Two Alternative & Renewable Energy Sources

Wind Solar Energy

Two Alternative & Renewable Energy Sources

As the world consumes and produces more energy we must cut back our us fossil fuels, and begin using alternative energy to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels

Currently we have 4 sources of renewable and alternative energy that we are able to produce: wind generation, solar energy, hydro power, and geothermal energy. Here we will discuss the most common two.

Wind Power

Wind as a source of power has been around for ages. Previous generations used wind in many different ways like, pump water, sailing ships, flour mils, saw mills and more. but at the start of the industrial and economic revolution, wind mills have improved and wind turbines were developed to supply electricity.

Lots of us learned about the old windmills in The Netherlands which were used to pump water or mill grain. The technology has improved developed hugely since the past decade. In this day and age wind turbines manage to generate thousands of megawatts of power, and once used on small scale projects, wind generation to create power will substitute standard energy sources, contributing to many households to get off the grid.

Solar Energy

Solar is the one of the most abundant form of energy available, we really should harness this great energy resource. We can use it on a large scale or a small scale. Technology is constantly improving and becoming more affordable. Households have many choices in regards Solar Energy. It can generate electricity, heat, be used for cooking etc.

Both electricity and heating systems powered by the sun are cost-effective, great for the environment and planet. Solar Installations require hardly any maintenance and after the initial investment have no running cost saving you on bills. Solar cookers are a great way of cooking food. They are affordable, portable and easy to use. It is a great solution used in many African countries where one has no power available.

The largest solar plant in the world to be switched on.

As reported by the guardian

Morocco’s king will switch on the first phase of a concentrated solar power plant on Thursday that will become the world’s largest when completed.

The power station on the edge of the Saharan desert will be the size of the country’s capital city by the time it is finished in 2018, and provide electricity for 1.1 million people.

Noor 1, the first section at the town of Ouarzazate, provides 160 megawatts (MW) of the ultimate 580MW capacity, helping Morocco to save hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

Article Source : The Guardian

What is a CSP or concentrated solar power?

CSP is used to produce electricity (sometimes called solar thermoelectricity, usually generated through steam). Concentrated-solar technology systems use mirrors or lenses with tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight onto a small area. The concentrated light is then used as heat or as a heat source for a conventional power plant (solar thermoelectricity). The solar concentrators used in CSP systems can often also be used to provide industrial process heating or cooling, such as in solar air-conditioning.

Concentrating technologies exist in five common forms, namely parabolic trough, enclosed trough, dish Stirlings, concentrating linear Fresnel reflector, and solar power tower.[15] Although simple, these solar concentrators are quite far from the theoretical maximum concentration.[16][17] For example, the parabolic-trough concentration gives about 1/3 of the theoretical maximum for the design acceptance angle, that is, for the same overall tolerances for the system. Approaching the theoretical maximum may be achieved by using more elaborate concentrators based on nonimaging optics.[18]

Different types of concentrators produce different peak temperatures and correspondingly varying thermodynamic efficiencies, due to differences in the way that they track the sun and focus light. New innovations in CSP technology are leading systems to become more and more cost-effective.

Commercial applications of Concentrated Solar Power

CSP is being widely commercialized and the CSP market has seen about 740 megawatt (MW) of generating capacity added between 2007 and the end of 2010. More than half of this (about 478 MW) was installed during 2010, bringing the global total to 1095 MW. Spain added 400 MW in 2010, taking the global lead with a total of 632 MW, while the US ended the year with 509 MW after adding 78 MW, including two fossil–CSP hybrid plants.[4] The Middle East is also ramping up their plans to install CSP based projects and as a part of that Plan, Shams-I which was the largest CSP Project in the world has been installed in Abu Dhabi, by Masdar. The largest CSP project in the world until January 2016 is Noor in Morocco.

There is considerable academic and commercial interest internationally in a new form of CSP, called STEM, for off-grid applications to produce 24 hour industrial scale power for mining sites and remote communities in Italy, other parts of Europe, Australia, Asia, North Africa and Latin America. STEM uses fluidized silica sand as a thermal storage and heat transfer medium for CSP systems. It has been developed by Salerno-based Magaldi Industries. The first commercial application of STEM will take place in Sicily from 2015.

CSP growth is expected to continue at a fast pace. As of January 2014, Spain had a total capacity of 2,300 MW making this country the world leader in CSP. Interest is also notable in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as India and China. The global market has been dominated by parabolic-trough plants, which account for 90% of CSP plants.

US invests R5.4bn in SA solar power

US government development bank, Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC), will invest up to R5.4 billion ($400 million) in a solar thermal plant in SA.
The 100MW Redstone solar project, developed by California-based SolarReserve and Saudi Arabian electricity producer ACWA Power, will be situated in the Northern Cape and provide electricity to over 200 000 homes during peak demand once complete.
“In itself, [the project is] not that big,” considering SA has a peak power demand of approximately 35 000MW, says Chris Yelland, energy analyst and MD of EE Publishers.

Yet small-scale renewable energy projects are relatively quick to deploy, and a large number of small energy projects affords SA’s energy sphere more flexibility and less risk than relying mostly on large-scale plants, which often take longer than expected to develop, pose greater risk to SA’s power grid if they encounter complications, and are too expensive for private investors to finance, Yelland continues.

Source : http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=146405:US-invests-R5-4bn-in-SA-solar-power

Facts & History of Solar Power

Interested in solar power? How about some facts and history of solar power.

  • Horace Bénédict de Saussure (1740-1799), a Swiss physicist, geologist, and early Alpine explorer was the inventor of the hotbox which later was succesfully used by British astronomer John Herschel to cook food while on expedition in Africa.
  • The well known and respected Albert Einstein received a Nobel Prize in 1921 for his experiments on photo voltaic and solar power.
  • In 1958 Solar power was used to power space exploration equipment such as satellites and space stations. This is probably the first know commercial use of solar energy.
  • In 1981, the first solar powered aircraft was produced by Paul Macready. The aircraft successfully managed to fly from France to England.
  • Germany is major solar power producer despite its less than favorable climate. The energy generated during sunny days is stored in batteries.
  • Energy from the sun travels for approximately 8 minutes to reach Earth.
  • We can produce the same amount of electricity from 1 ton of sand (siliconis used in the production of photo voltaic cells) as burning 500 ton of coal.
  • In 1982, the first large scale power plants was opened in California.

GE, First Solar Announce Solar Technology Partnership

GE, FIRST SOLAR ANNOUNCE SOLAR TECHNOLOGY AND COMMERCIAL PARTNERSHIP

  • Partnership accelerates thin-film solar technology development
  • GE takes equity interest in First Solar
  • Existing scale and manufacturing capabilities of First Solar, combined with both companies’ complementary technologies, will enable increased efficiency, cost competitiveness
  • Inverter, balance of plant commercial partnership to improve solar grid integration and connection

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. & TEMPE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Today, GE (NYSE: GE) and First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) announced a technology partnership to advance thin-film solar cells and modules. First Solar has acquired GE’s global cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar intellectual property portfolio, setting a course for significant advancement of photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar technology. GE received 1.75 million shares of First Solar common stock as part of this transaction. GE has agreed to retain the shares for at least three years.

The combination of the two companies’ complementary technologies and First Solar’s existing manufacturing capabilities are expected to accelerate the development of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar module performance and improve efficiency at manufacturing scale. In addition, GE Global Research and First Solar R&D will collaborate on future technology development to further advance CdTe solar technology.

GE, which has 34GW of renewable energy installed globally, will enhance its presence in solar through access to purchasing and branding First Solar’s modules for future global GE deployments, in addition to its investment in inverters, controls, balance of plant and ownership of utility scale systems.

Additionally, GE and First Solar have formed a commercial relationship around solar inverter technology. First Solar will continue to purchase inverters from GE Energy Management for use in First Solar’s global solar deployments to optimize electrical balance of plant. By combining complementary technologies, the collaboration is expected to lead to an improvement in solar grid integration, more competitive cost structures and a roadmap for combined electrical equipment.

“We are creating an exciting synergy with this deal,” said Jim Hughes, First Solar’s Chief Executive Officer. “The addition of GE’s PV thin film technology and R&D resources will advance our technology roadmap, while realizing cost reduction in our manufacturing process.”

“To lead in today’s solar industry, you must have the most competitive technology at the most competitive cost position,” said Anne McEntee, president and CEO of GE’s renewable energy business. “We’re excited to partner with First Solar to accelerate innovation and bring our complementary technology and R&D to market faster through its manufacturing capabilities.”

First Solar’s existing manufacturing sites will be used to further advance CdTe technology and achieve an increasingly competitive cost position. GE has decided to discontinue the build-out of its Aurora, Colorado, solar manufacturing facility.

The transaction has closed. King & Spalding LLP and Arnold & Porter LLP represented GE on the transaction, and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP represented First Solar.

About GE Power & Water

GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar; biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.

About First Solar

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.

For First Solar Investors

This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the company’s business involving the company’s products, their development and distribution, economic and competitive factors and the company’s key strategic relationships and other risks detailed in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. First Solar assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.

Source: First Solar, Inc.

Google to invest in south african solar power plant

Investment in solar energy is continuing in South Africa with the announcement on Thursday the 30th of may 2013 of Google’s $12m investment in the Northern Cape’s 96MW solar photovoltaic Jasper Power Plant.

Eskom the national power producer could see the first power procured from the first round of the independent power producer procurement programme by year-end. Many of the projects coming of the ground from the 18 preferred bidders in the first window of the Department of Energy’s renewable energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (IPP) programme already at build phase.

Independent Power Producers.

The first group IPP bid winners will generate a total of 631MW of electricity from solar power parks ranging in capacity from a small 5MW to larger plants. South Africa’s power supply is urgently in need of extra capacity as it has been running on a thin reserves since about 2008. In 2008 demand outstripped supply, causing a range of blackouts that damaged the economy to the tune of R50bn.

The Jasper project was developed and funded by US-based SolarReserve and South African companies Intikon Energy and the Kensani Group, as well as the Public Investment Corporation, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the PEACE Humansrus Trust.

When completed, Jasper would be one of the largest solar installations in Africa, capable of generating enough electricity to power 30,000 South African homes, Google said in a statement.

The consortium is expecting to bid for an additional 1,500MW of solar photovoltaic projects in subsequent bid rounds.

At the start of this the week, South African Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters launched another of the projects from the first window of the IPP programme. The development of the RustMo1 Solar Power Plant is the first solar energy park in North West and the first renewable energy project that will supply power to the Eskom grid and produce 250,000MW of energy over the next 20 years.

This 7MW solar photovoltaic power plant was awarded to Momentous Energy, a local black-owned development company. The project includes the installation of 11 inverters and 29,808 photovoltaic solar modules, with a step-up transformer to connect to the 88kV substation.

South Africa is in dire need of more energy after 10 years of Eskom’s pleas for investment in generation capacity being ignored. Solar Power will become a major part of South Africa’s energy needs.

The investment in solar power is not only good for South Africa’s energy requirements it should add to highly needed employment as well.

Solar Powered Plane Flies 18 Hours

A solar powered plane named the solar impulse managed to fly in 18 hours and 18 minutes non stop from San Francisco to phoenix. This feat was achieved without a single drop of fuel. The plane which is designed to fly non stop for 24 hours is a test model. The team behind it is planning a non stop round the world flight with a larger model.

Solar Powered Plane Technology

The aircraft is propelled by energy collected from 12 000 solar cells built into the wings that at the same time recharge the four large lithium batteries with a storage capacity equivalent to a Tesla electric car. The batteries allow it to fly after sunset.

The lightweight design and wingspan allow the plane to conserve energy, but make it vulnerable to weather conditions. It cannot fly in strong wind, fog, rain or clouds. The plane can climb to 8 534m and flies at an average of 69 km/h.

The Solar Impulse has already flown over Europe and Morocco, before it arrived in the U.S in February. This flight over San Francisco was its third and final test flight before its cross-country journey.

Solar Powered Future ?

Commercial solar powered flights are not foreseeable for the near or distant future, but this project shows what can be achieved with solar power and battery storage.

Solar Panels

Solar Panels can be divided into two different types. You have the Photovoltaic Solar Panels and then you have your Solar thermal collector. Both use the energy from the sun and convert it to power or hot water.

Photovoltaic solar panels & solar thermal collectors can be used independently of each other or in combination. They both serve a different purpose.

Photovoltaic solar panels.

Photovoltaic solar panels collect light from the sun and converts this light into usable electricity. These solar panels can be connected to a battery system to store electricity for use when the sun is not shining. You can have grid tied systems which means you are still connected to the main electricity grid. Off grid systems are stand alone systems where one is not connected to the main electricity grid to have uninterrupted power a battery backup system is required.

Solar thermal collectors.

Solar thermal collectors convert the solar energy received from the sun into hot water or hot air. These solar panels are commonly used in South Africa for heating pools, heating water for use in showers and baths. Considering hot water requirements for a modern household are a major contributor to electricity bills. Investing in solar thermal collectors is a worthwhile investment which should pay for itself. They are also a great solution for the many areas in South Africa which have not been electrified. It will provide cheap hot water for our daily needs.

Solar thermal collectors are more commonly installed than Photovoltaic solar panels due to the technology being simpler and more affordable. If electricity keep rising then we might see more installations of photovoltaic solar panels.

Eskom wants to be solar giant

Eskom South Africa’s main power producer said on Monday it expects to become a dominant solar energy player as it seeks to reduce its carbon footprint, with plenty of funding available to pay for renewable energy ventures. Lets hope this becomes a reality because with the amount of sunshine South Africa receives eskom should be at the forefront of Solar Energy.

Read More Here

Eskom wants to be solar giant

Sun Solar