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US Army base installs 3000 solar PV panels

US Army base installs 3000 solar PV panels | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
The US Army’s base at Fort Hood in Texas, USA, has seen the installation and activation of a 684 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system at the base’s Liberty Village Military Housing.
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Batteries included: A solar cell that stores its own power

Batteries included: A solar cell that stores its own power | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Is it a solar cell? Or a rechargeable battery? Actually, the patent-pending device is both: the world’s first solar battery. Scientists have succeeding in combining a battery and a solar cell into one hybrid device.

Key to the innovation is a mesh solar panel, which allows air to enter the battery, and a special process for transferring electrons between the solar panel and the battery electrode. Inside the device, light and oxygen enable different parts of the chemical reactions that charge the battery.

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The Future of Solar Economics and Policy

The Future of Solar Economics and Policy | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Solar power is at a unique place in history. It’s growing rapidly, its price is falling precipitously. Within the next 10 years, it will compete favorably with utilities for electricity sales, on price, and without subsidies.

Given its rapid ascent, it might seem silly to talk about change.  But the continued expansion of distributed solar power may rely on modifying a bedrock of distributed solar policy.

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Renewable Energy Storage Gains Critical Mass

Renewable Energy Storage Gains Critical Mass | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
A host of U.S. renewable energy storage executives recently gathered here in the Silicon Valley are referring to the rapid expansion of the storage industry by comparing it to the solar power industry six or eight years ago, before that companion sector became the juggernaut it is now.

 “Energy storage wasn’t invented for grid-scale applications, but with it getting acceptance in solar, more states and nations will start to move toward implementing policy,” said Andrew Chung, a partner at the venture capital firm Khosla Ventures.. Khosla lists six energy storage start ups within its portfolio now.

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All-in-One Solution: Solar that Stores Its Own Power

All-in-One Solution: Solar that Stores Its Own Power | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Is it a solar cell? Or a rechargeable battery? Actually, the patent-pending device invented at The Ohio State University is both: the world’s first solar battery.

In the October 3, 2014 issue of the journal Nature Communications, the researchers report that they’ve succeeded in combining a battery and a solar cell into one hybrid device.

Key to the innovation is a mesh solar panel, which allows air to enter the battery, and a special process for transferring electrons between the solar panel and the battery electrode. Inside the device, light and oxygen enable different parts of the chemical reactions that charge the battery.

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Solar Life's curator insight, October 10, 4:19 AM

photons to electrons to storaga in 1 device - well the heat 70°C behind solar must go ...

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A Potentially Cheap Way to Store Solar | MIT Technology Review

A Potentially Cheap Way to Store Solar | MIT Technology Review | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
A simple, cheap device turns sunlight into hydrogen fuel.

If solar power is to become a primary source of electricity around the world, we’ll need cheap ways to store energy from the sun when it isn’t shining. A paper published in the journal Science this week reports a major step toward such a system. Researchers have developed a device that cheaply and efficiently converts the energy in sunlight into hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel and is easily stored.

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Philip Smith-Lawrence - EnegrySaver's curator insight, October 1, 3:32 AM

♯wetheatingadditive ♯centralheatingadditive ♯energysaver

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Solar energy: a sunflower solution to electricity shortage

Solar energy: a sunflower solution to electricity shortage | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Computer giant IBM last week revealed the prototype of its advanced solar electricity generators: a 30ft-high concrete “sunflower” fitted with wafer-thin aluminium mirrors and a maze of tiny tubes for carrying coolant through the heart of each device. The machines, which will be built in conjunction with the Swiss company Airlight Energy, can convert 80% of the sun’s radiation into electricity and hot water, it is claimed, with each generating 12 kilowatts of electricity and 20kW of heat on a sunny day, enough to supply several homes.

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Du soleil à l'hydrogène, à bas prix et sans métaux rares

Du soleil à l'hydrogène, à bas prix et sans métaux rares | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Science publie aujourd'hui les dernières avancées du laboratoire de Michael Grätzel, à l'EPFL, dans le domaine de la production d'hydrogène à partir d'eau et du rayonnement solaire.

En combinant une paire de cellules solaires à perovskite et des électrodes à bas prix et sans métaux rares, les scientifiques ont obtenu un taux de conversion du soleil vers l'hydrogène de 12,3%, un record avec des matériaux si abondants.
La course au rendement de l'énergie solaire se joue sur plusieurs fronts. Panneaux photovoltaïques au silicium de plus en plus performants, cellules à colorant, cellules à concentration et centrales solaires thermodynamiques visent tous un même objectif : produire un maximum d'électrons à partir des rayons du soleil.

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Le G12 propose 12 mesures concrètes en faveur de l'énergie solaire

Le G12 propose 12 mesures concrètes en faveur de l'énergie solaire | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Un collectif de 12 dirigeants de PME (G12) faisant la promotion de la place de l'électricité photovoltaïque dans le futur mix énergétique français, a apporté son soutien le gouvernement de porter à 32% la part d'énergies renouvelables de la consommation en 2030 et de faire voter le projet de loi dans les meilleurs délais.
Pour le G12, la filière française des producteurs d'énergie solaire a atteint une certaine maturité et serait désormais compétitive par rapport aux autres nouvelles capacités de production électrique installées. En conséquence, ils se disent "vigilants à ce qu'aucun amendement ne vienne dégrader ce nouveau cadre favorable."
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Solar City and Tesla Hatch a Plan to Lower the Cost of Solar Power

Solar City and Tesla Hatch a Plan to Lower the Cost of Solar Power | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Tesla and Solar City say their vast manufacturing operations will make solar the cheapest source of electricity in the United States.

Both companies’ manufacturing plans are ambitious but also risky, given the recent track record of U.S. energy companies, and because unexpected technology advances could quickly render the components produced in those plants outmoded. In the case of solar panels, there is also the continued threat of heavily subsidized competition from China. For both companies, the bet is that rapidly growing demand will allow new economies of scale to lower the cost of manufacturing these components, which in turn will lower the cost of solar power.

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, September 23, 8:04 AM

At an event hosted in New York this week by Solar City, CEO Lyndon Rive and chairman Elon Musk announced that within five to 10 years every set of solar panels that Solar City installs will come with a battery pack to help deal with the intermittency of solar power—one of the key factors limiting its use. Musk says his company Tesla Motors will supply at least some of those batteries.

(...)

Rive and Musk, who are cousins, also said at the New York event that within the same time frame electricity from solar power would become cheaper in the U.S. than power produced from natural gas. To meet that target, the pair both plan to build two major manufacturing operations that will feed off each other. One of Musk’s other companies, Tesla Motors, announced plans earlier this month to build a vast factory for producing lithium-ion batteries in Nevada (see “Does Musk’s Gigafactory Make Sense?”). This factory will supply batteries for its electric vehicles as well as to Solar City. While some lithium-ion batteries and solar cells are made in the U.S. today, the vast majority are made in Asia.

Solar Life's curator insight, September 24, 5:48 PM

batteries from Tesla cars will go into home solar storage

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China Surpasses EU in Per-Capita Pollution for First Time

China Surpasses EU in Per-Capita Pollution for First Time | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

China surpassed the European Union in pollution levels per capita for the first time last year, propelling to a record the worldwide greenhouse-gas emissions that are blamed for climate change. 

The findings led by scientists at two British universities show the scale of the challenge of reining in emissions damaging the climate. They estimate that humans already have spewed into the atmosphere two-thirds of the fossil-fuel emissions allowable under scenarios that avoid irreversible changes to the planet.

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Retour sur le premier smart grid testé à l'échelle d'une zone d'activité

Retour sur le premier smart grid testé à l'échelle d'une zone d'activité | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Enerzine a évoqué le sujet récemment, un smart grid à l'échelle d'une zone d'activité a été installé dans une zone d'activité à Toulouse afin de connecter les installations qui consomment de l'énergie, celles qui en produisent et celles qui la stockent.

Sur ce site où travaillent en permanence 230 personnes dans des bureaux, des ateliers, des laboratoires…, 50 % des besoins énergétiques sont aujourd'hui couverts par la production locale d'électricité d'origine renouvelable, éolienne (60 kW) et photovoltaïque (300 kWc).

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The Untapped Power of Solar Data : Greentech Media

The Untapped Power of Solar Data : Greentech Media | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Why we need to leverage big data to grow solar. 

Last year, the global solar industry surpassed 100 gigawatts of cumulative installed capacity, and it is quickly approaching 100 gigawatts of annual deployment. While solar has rapidly scaled up in the past ten years, there are several hurdles to clear before solar can make its way into the mainstream. One of the industry’s biggest impediments is that its technology is still perceived as “new” and therefore risky by the more conservative financial community.

“One of the reasons why the private market isn’t doing much with clean energy now is that it doesn’t understand the technology and its potential,” said Douglass Sims

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New molten salt solar plant starts operation

New molten salt solar plant starts operation | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Novatec Solar and BASF have commissioned a solar thermal demonstration plant based on a new type of molten salt technology, known as direct molten salt or DMS technology. The plant is located on the site of the solar thermal power plant PE1 in southern Spain. The plant uses inorganic molten salt as heat transfer fluid. Most solar thermal power plants currently use heat transfer oils, which have a limited qualification temperature near 400 °C. Using inorganic salts as heat transfer fluid allows temperatures above 500 °C, resulting in a significant increase in power yield.

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Energy Storage Is Preventing Blackouts But Its High Cost Is Impeding Progress

Energy Storage Is Preventing Blackouts But Its High Cost Is Impeding Progress | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Now that Duke Energy Corp. has successfully tested its wind-integrated energy storage project in Texas, what does that mean for the future of the technology? 

The “Notrees Energy Storage Project” is not what the average person might envision — a battery that soaks up the grid’s electrons at night and then releases that electricity during the day if the wind is not blowing. While that’s the long term objective, the battery’s main function right now is to feed the electrical network with the energy it would need if a power surge occurs that would cause the grid to overload and the lights to go out.

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Argentinean province of San Juan to begin construction on 70 MW solar factory

Argentinean province of San Juan to begin construction on 70 MW solar factory | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Argentina's Minister of Planning and Public Investment Julio De Vido announced on Oct. 21 that construction on a 70 MW integrated PV factory in Argentina’s San Juan Province would begin in 10 days, reports local newspaper Diario de Cuyo. Germany-based engineering and construction company M+W Group and PV equipment maker Schmid Group are building the factory under a contract with Energia Provincial Sociedad del Estado (EPSE), the energy agency of San Juan Province. EPSE awarded the two partners the contract through a call for tenders issued in 2013.

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IEA Report Predicts Solar Power Domination by 2050

IEA Report Predicts Solar Power Domination by 2050 | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
According to the IEA, solar PV could conceivably be used to generate as much as 16 percent of the world’s electricity needs by mid-century, with solar thermal electricity generated by concentrating solar plants (CSP) accounting for another 11 percent.

The reports state that when combined, PV and CSP could cut annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 6 billion tonnes – effectively equaling the current output of worldwide transportation emissions and exceeding all CO2 emissions produced in the U.S. today.

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Big business of desalination

Big business of desalination | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
As demand grows, Mark Lambert, IDE Americas CEO, discusses what percentage of the worlds' drinking water will come from sea water desalination.
Pol Bacquet's insight:

No doubt about this but just couple it with solar energy

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Potential of solar power hailed

Potential of solar power hailed | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Solar power could outstrip fossil fuels, other renewables and nuclear to be the biggest source of electricity by mid-century, the International Energy Agency has said.

Solar technologies could generate more than a quarter of the world's electricity, with 16% from photovoltaic (PV) panels and a further 11% from solar thermal electricity systems, which collect the sun's rays to heat fluids that drive electricity turbines.

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Successful upscaling of fullerene-free organic photovoltaic cells

Successful upscaling of fullerene-free organic photovoltaic cells | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

At this week’s European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC 2014), nanoelectronics research center imec presents a fullerene-free organic photovoltaic (OPV) module of 160 cm2 achieving a conversion efficiency above 5 percent, and a semi-transparent OPV module with an efficiency above 4.5 percent. With both modules showing excellent electrical and optical properties, imec’s latest achievement in the upscaling of OPV cells into highly efficient and stable modules is an important step in realizing the product development of organic photovoltaics.

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Abu Dhabi will be the Host City for Solar Impulse 2

Abu Dhabi will be the Host City for Solar Impulse 2 | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab Emirates, will be the start and finish of the first solar-powered flight around the world, which Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are planning to undertake in March 2015 with Solar Impulse 2 (Si2).
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, is the host partner of Solar Impulse. The team will be hosted by Masdar and Abu Dhabi at the start of January for testing and training before the start of the first solar-powered flight around the world, which is due to take place in March 2015.

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Solar Life's curator insight, October 2, 11:23 AM

@SolarImpulse flying monster #solar Aircraft

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Mobile Hybrid Technology to Bring Cheaper Power to Billions

Mobile Hybrid Technology to Bring Cheaper Power to Billions | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

ccording to statistics, roughly 20 percent of the world population — some 1.3 billion people — exist without access to an electrical grid. The vast majority live in developing nations and rely on diesel generators to provide primary power. This is a costly proposition, considering the lengthy supply chain involved in getting the necessary fuel. The recent announcement of a partnership between Ideal Power and EnerDel hopes to make life both easier and more affordable for that billion-plus population.

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Micropower's Quiet Takeover

Micropower's Quiet Takeover | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

Micropower now produces about one-fourth of the world’s total electricity. In a cover story and article 14 years ago about the emergent disruption of utilities, The Economist’s Vijay Vaitheeswaran coined the umbrella term “micropower” to mean sources of electricity that are relatively small, modular, mass-producible, quick-to-deploy, and hence rapidly scalable—the opposite of cathedral-like power plants that cost billions of dollars and take about a decade to license and build. His term combined two kinds of micropower: renewablesother than big hydroelectric dams, and cogeneration of electricity together with useful heat in factories or buildings (also known as combined-heat-and-power, or CHP).

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IKEA to widen solar panel sales to eight new nations from UK | Reuters

IKEA to widen solar panel sales to eight new nations from UK | Reuters | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it

(Reuters) - IKEA Group, the world's biggest furniture retailer, said on Monday that it will widen sales of home rooftop solar panels from Britain to eight other nations including the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The Swedish company also said that plastic in its home furnishing products - which it said range from washing up brushes to garden chairs - would be made from recycled materials or from renewable sources such as wood by 2020

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Rural electrification set to transform Asia-Pacific microgrid market

Rural electrification set to transform Asia-Pacific microgrid market | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
The proliferation of microgrids in Asia-Pacific has been encouraged by rural electrification programs in developing countries, and the establishment of commercial microgrids in developed nations, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Japan leads the countries in the region with several established microgrids, while Australia also set up microgrids last year. The key driver for the market remains the need for a resilient power supply, according to the study.  

The report finds that the proliferation of microgrids in Asia Pacific has been encouraged by the rural electrification programs in developing countries as well as the establishment of commercial microgrids in developed nations.

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Sun-powered desalination for villages in India

Sun-powered desalination for villages in India | Solar Energy projects & Energy Efficiency | Scoop.it
Around the world, there is more salty groundwater than fresh, drinkable groundwater. For example, 60 percent of India is underlain by salty water -- and much of that area is not served by an electric grid that could run conventional reverse-osmosis desalination plants. Sun-powered desalination could deliver clean water for off-grid villages.

Now an analysis by MIT researchers shows that a different desalination technology called electrodialysis, powered by solar panels, could provide enough clean, palatable drinking water to supply the needs of a typical village. 

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