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Standards Not Sufficient for Preventing Failure

Standards Not Sufficient for Preventing Failure | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
The insulation performance of PV modules is vital for sustained field operation and personnel safety. Yet, despite international standards for dry-insulation resistance test procedures, field failures remain prevalent. For some time PV module manufacturers and customers alike have been troubled by the following problem: Why do PV modules occasionally operate uncharacteristically in the field, yet operate normally when returned to a controlled laboratory environment?.
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Does a High Penetration of Solar and Wind Energy Cause -- Or Prevent -- Grid Instability?

Does a High Penetration of Solar and Wind Energy Cause -- Or Prevent -- Grid Instability? | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Given that solar and wind are intermittent, our usual notion of these most common forms of renewable energy is that they create grid instability – perhaps even blackouts – stemming from unpredictable clouds covering the sun or changing patters in the winds in a given region.  But according to the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) in Kassel, Germany, these fears may be unfounded; when better understood, a high penetration of solar and wind may actually prevent power outages.

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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Home Electricity for 2020
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Prius powers home during post-Sandy blackout

Prius powers home during post-Sandy blackout | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Many residents who lost power during Hurricane Sandy turned to home power generators to keep the lights on. One man used his Toyota Prius.
Via Diedert Debusscher
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Smart Grid: Isn't it time for the grid to go underground?

Smart Grid: Isn't it time for the grid to go underground? | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Smart Grid - A growing chorus of East Coasters is crying for the distribution grid to be buried underground to forestall outages from giant storms like Hurricane Sandy.

I understand the problems and concerns about undergrounding... yet I believe that, as an industry, we overestimate the cost of burial. And that's because we underestimate the potential for cooperation and collaboration with other utilities to do joint undergrounding.
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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Développement durable et efficacité énergétique
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Microgrids: So Much More than Backup Energy

Microgrids: So Much More than Backup Energy | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

A microgrid senses the quality of the power flowing through the grid. In the event of an outage, it can disconnect from the grid at a moment's notice. It can also leverage solar, wind, or stored energy to supplement a dip in the current power supply. If things are running smoothly with the regional grid, a microgrid generating electricity from renewable sources can export that clean energy to the grid for everyone's use.


Via Stephane Bilodeau
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Lebanon Electricity: The Sun May Be the Answer to Power Cuts - Al-Bawaba

Lebanon Electricity: The Sun May Be the Answer to Power Cuts - Al-Bawaba | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

At his goat farm in the remote Bekaa Valley town of Qaa near the Syrian border, Hasan Istaytiyyah is enjoying a rare luxury in Lebanon: 24-hour electricity.

For the past seven months, the house on his farm has been running on a solar-powered system that has replaced unreliable state-run electricity, which was provided for only six hours per day. He has even discarded his noisy, expensive and polluting generator.

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Solar Energy and Durability Testing

Solar Energy and Durability Testing | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

This first report covered tests of five of 2012′s top eight crystalline silicon PV modules, from among SunPower (SPWR), Suntech (STP), Yingli (YGE), Trina (TSL), Canadian Solar (CSIQ), Sharp (SHCAY), Hanwha SolarOne (HSOL), and Kyocera (KYO).

The results showed “a substantial spread in thermal cycling durability, while all tested module types proved very good stability in the damp heat/UV test sequence.” And though some participants wanted to remain anonymous, all the data acquired under the PVDI will continue to be used to provide a comprehensive comparison in years to come.

Hans De Keulenaer's insight:

Since the massive use of solar photovoltaics is a relatively recent trend, there is little information on the long-term performance of PV panels. This report provides a welcome piece to the sustainable energy puzzle.

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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Smart grid
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The Smart Grid and Natural Disasters

The Smart Grid and Natural Disasters | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Greentech MediaThe Smart Grid and Natural DisastersEnergy CollectiveThe globally emerging smart grid, of course, will not eliminate the threat of devastation, but developing aspects of the next-generation infrastructure would mitigate against the...

Via Joan Tarruell
Hans De Keulenaer's insight:

If smart grids can be designed to provide ancillary services at distribution level, they could provide a buffer against large-scale blackouts.

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CEER - Europe's energy regulators latest efforts to put customers first

CEER and BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation, presented their vision of an energy sector which puts smaller customers first at the 2012 Citizens' Energy (London) Forum, 13-14 November.


The vision establishes a set of 4 principles - reliability; affordability; simplicity; and protection and empowerment. The CEER-BEUC vision was endorsed by 8 different bodies in the energy sector.

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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Sustain Our Earth
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Best Solar Chargers to Have for Emergencies

Best Solar Chargers to Have for Emergencies | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
With Superstorm Sandy leaving so many without power for days on end, a lot of people are thinking harder about what alternative energy solutions they should add to their emergency kits. We have quite a few suggestions for where to start looking for the best options.

First, check out our 5 Best Portable Solar Laptop Chargers. These are great options for laptops from companies like Brunton, Go Power, and Sunlinq, and you can also use them to charge up smaller devices like cell phones. The prices make them an investment but they'll get the job done.

Next, we like the solar chargers launched by Swiss Army. It folds up nicely to fit in an emergency backpack and is a much lower price tag. But that also means less charging capability. It'll work for cell phones, flashlights, extra batteries and radios, but it would take ages to charge something as large as a laptop.


Via Digital Sustainability, SustainOurEarth
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Rescooped by Hans De Keulenaer from Développement durable et efficacité énergétique
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How can microgrids enable us to optimize the deployment of distributed energy resources

There are a number of benefits that can be derived from a well planned, implemented, and operated microgrid. Some of the key benefits we see in the US today include:

- Improved energy reliability and security of supply: This is especially so where energy is mission critical to the services being provided (i.e., health care, military bases, etc.).
- Net excess energy revenues and efficiencies: Such benefits support funding of new grid investments; this becomes a sustainable master energy plan, and in some cases is self-funded.
- Ability to self optimize assets with full self control of energy operations: This exists in cases where the microgrid operator has both the supply and demand control and responsibility.
- Deferral of infrastructure investments to better match a visible and controllable load profile: The ability to shift the peak and lower the grid imported power through savings and self generation can avoid the need for larger contracts and/or delay the building of new supply side assets.
- Enabled emissions reductions supporting sustainability targets: Where reducing emissions and overall carbon footprint is a key strategy, effective deployment of renewable energy can be achieved with the real-time control with other assets in the microgrid.
- The support of a net zero strategy; and the Microgrid Optimization Model: This allows you to systematically plan and implement steps to achieve such a goal.
- Increased reliability and backup capability: This is supported by optimally sized storage technology.
- Management of generation variability in renewable energy sources.
Via Joan Tarruell, Stephane Bilodeau
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