Posts tagged ‘Energy’
Innovation key to solar advancement
Posted by Zeshan Rajput
A new study from UK-based GlobaData reveals that energy storage innovation will be essential to the advancement of solar power generation.
Unfortunately, the study also found that there is little renewable energy storage innovation and few firms focusing on it. “Currently, there are no effective storage systems for megawatt scale solar power plants,” said GlobalData analyst Pavan Vyakaranam.
Concentrated Solar Power uses molten salts to produce power for a short period after the sun goes down, Vyakaranam said. But, while that technology is being used in large-scale solar projects, it’s not efficient enough to be applied on a larger scale.
Ideas for innovation include adapting the processes involved in the generation of thermal energy to solar and other intermittent renewable sources. Pumped hydroelectric storage is currently used as a grid energy storage mechanism. It stores power during off peak hours when energy is cheaper and can be used during peak hours. “Pumped hydro storage is being used on large scale and it does hold hope for application on a larger scale,” Vyakaranam said.
There is little innovation happening in the renewable energy storage field, according to the report. Of 162 US patents issued for solar energy in the first quarter of 2012, only two dealt with energy storage. But there are likely other companies working on solutions, Vyakaranam said.
“Apart from solar energy companies with R&D facilities, storage innovation could also be expected from companies with pioneering research in other areas,” Vyakaranam said. “Companies dealing with advanced batteries and ultra capacitors are the important examples. There are a number of universities and research organizations with extensive research on fuel cell technology and Hydrogen-based energy storage systems, both of which can complement a solar power plant if there is a breakthrough in efficiency and cost.”
He said major energy companies like GE Energy and several battery companies are also doing research to see if battery storage could become more efficient and affordable.
“Currently, as solar energy is close to achieving grid parity in some locations, solar adoption is already increasing steadily,” Vyakaranam said. “However, a commercial storage technique would boost solar adoption in countries where there is excessive and intermittent generation of energy due to renewable energy sources like solar and wind.”
Solar microinverter manufacturer Enphase Energy offers field data demonstrating the reliability of its technology. The data, collected separately and independently byWestinghouse Solar and SunEdison over a two-year period from 2008–2010, shows the reliability of microinverters is 45 to 70 times greater than traditional central inverters. This level of field-proven reliability allows installers and system owners to benefit from the exceptional system uptime that the Enphase Microinverter System provides.
“We’ve incorporated the experience of having sold and supported more than 750,000 units into our manufacturing process and new product designs,” says Paul Nahi, CEO of Enphase Energy. “This empirical data from Westinghouse and SunEdison illustrates the reliability of our Microinverter System and the value that our estimated 99.8% uptime delivers to our customers.”
Enphase follows an end-to-end process, from development through manufacture, to ensure the reliability and durability of its microinverters. Each microinverter uses carefully selected components and is designed so individual components are stressed well within specification. Finally, units undergo a multi-stage testing process at the factory to minimize material or workmanship defects throughout the manufacturing process.
“Our leading AC solar solutions leverage the reliability of Enphase microinverters,” says Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Westinghouse Solar. “Our AC modules, with built-in Enphase microinverters, and integrated racking, wiring and grounding reduce field assembled components by 80 percent and labor by 50 percent. Field data has shown that these AC systems are more reliable, provide a higher ROI to the system owner and reduce on-going system maintenance costs.”
SunEdison also recently presented on inverter reliability during a technical workshop at Sandia National Labs in January 2011, and reported similar reliability data for their commercial systems using the Enphase Microinverter System.
Enphase Energy www.enphase.com
Govt approves scheme to fast-track National Solar Mission
Posted by sunnergyinfo
NEW DELHI: In an effort to fast-track the National Solar Mission, the Government on Thursday approved a scheme which will help in availability of funds for carrying out projects under the mission.
The Union Cabinet cleared the Payment Security Scheme to enable financial closure of projects under the mission by extending Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) amounting to Rs 486 crore to the New and Renewable Energy Ministry (MNRE), an official spokesperson said here.
The scheme will help MNRE in the event of defaults in payment by the state utilities to NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), the Central Agency which will purchase solar power from the developers and sell it to the utilities bundled with unallocated thermal power available from NTPC utilities.
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