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Author Topic: Photvoltaics (PV)  (Read 5518 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #225 on: May 06, 2017, 01:11:28 pm »


The Solar PV Life Cycle Dilemma
   
May 5, 2017

By John R. Balfour 

John R. Balfour, MEP, PhD, is President and CTO of AstroPower Corp. Dr. Balfour has spent 32 of his 40 years of PV experience as an EPC and has been a PV energy consultant and author since 1977.
 

Historically and in essence, electric utilities simply do not buy 20- to 25-year energy generation technologies. In fact, utilities and public works organizations seldom if ever build on such a short time schedule. It is simply not practical or profitable to build a 25-year coal, nuclear, oil, gas or hydro project. Utility infrastructure development, engineering and construction do not lend themselves to short-term energy generation, financing or thinking.

There could be a message in this for the solar PV industry, where the present 20- to 25-year model is an anomaly that is slowing progress for the industry on our road to maturity. While price pressure has driven the industry thus far, is it possible that a number of important issues have been ignored?

Our logic flows in the following process.

A project is planned; land is identified, tied up either in purchase or lease; and entitlements and other agreements are secured that include long-term agreements for and with utilities, grid operators, government agencies and others. The project is then put up for EPC bidding, designed, graded and fenced; roads and substations are built, all taking a substantial amount of time, energy, effort and fiscal resources.

This does not include the base PV plant itself, which is also complex and expensive.

After all of this effort, the plant itself is often compromised in a rush to deliver an energy generator that’s primary focus is on being inexpensive. Slim specifications are generally assembled for EPC bidding that places the vast majority of decisions in the hands of the EPCs, not the owners. The challenge here is that if you have five EPCs bidding, the owner can or will end up with five different plant offerings. It may not necessarily be the best offering for the best plant life or levelized cost of energy.
 
Historically, the traditional values utilities require in projects include reliability, availability, maintainability, testability, and safety, which in the PV industry today tend to become secondary or tertiary issues. In essence, if it isn’t clearly detailed and required in the project specification prior to design, owners should not expect these traditionally valuable items. This is not negligence due to the EPC, it is simply because they were never required in initial bidding documentation.

Today, specifications for PV plants are minimal, whereas for all other energy generation technologies, they tend to be quite detailed and specific. This raises and supports a number of questions as to: “Is this the right model for a viable long-term and cost-effective approach to delivering energy?”

At the beginning of the existing approach, insufficient weight and discussion is given to what happens in years 10, 15 and 20, much less year 26 if any. This assumes that the plant actually lasts that long. In fact, if the plant has not been designed for a fuller more robust life: “What are the odds that plant will actually meet the initial design life?”

Issues of repowering are presently considered esoteric, something to be discussed over a drink, however not important enough, seemingly, to be a key element of the planning process. If this were not the case, then each PV project would include a repowering and a detailed site restoration plan.

Once all of the preliminary work has been completed and a plant has been built, how many issues were not given the full attention that they might have been if it was any other energy generation technology?

We propose that this issue becomes a greater part of the discussion in the PV industry and that the existing business model be challenged. That challenge should result in a new model that is more preemptive in nature. After all, once you’ve put that entire infrastructure in, “How much more does it cost to meet existing utility requirements versus tearing the plant out between years 12 and 25 or having to do a major rebuild?”

Logic and finance appears to favor the longer-term approach.  More importantly, it gives a far better opportunity for utility companies and/or other buyers of energy to buy consistently reliable, available, maintainable, safe and economically viably priced energy.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/05/the-solar-pv-life-cycle-dilemma.html
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #226 on: May 09, 2017, 02:20:51 pm »


New Virginia Law Expands Solar Energy Development Authority to Include Energy Storage
   
May 9, 2017

By Renewable Energy World Editors     solar
 
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe yesterday signed a bill authorizing the expansion of the state’s Solar Energy Development Authority to include energy storage.

The legislation is part of a series of bills signed by McAuliffe that promote wind, solar and energy storage technologies.

SB 1258, introduced by Sen. Adam Ebbin, expands the purpose of the new Solar Energy and Battery Storage Development Authority to include positioning the state as a leader in research, development, commercialization, manufacturing, and deployment of energy storage technology.

The powers of the authority are expanded to include

•Promoting collaborative efforts among Virginia's public and private institutions of higher education in research, development, and commercialization efforts related to energy storage,

•Monitoring relevant developments nationally and globally,

•Identifying and working with the state’s industries and nonprofit partners.

In addition, the measure expands the size of the authority 11 to 15 members.

“Today, I am honored to sign these bills into law, furthering the great work we’re doing to support and promote the clean energy sector across the Commonwealth,” McAuliffe said at the bill signing ceremony, according to the governor’s office. “It is clear that Virginia is moving in the right direction, especially with the recent announcement of record growth in our solar industry, but there is still work to do.  Together, with our partners in the General Assembly and the private sector, I will continue to implement policies that bolster the entire clean energy industry in the Commonwealth.”
 
The governor’s office said that other bills pertaining to renewables that were signed by McAuliffe yesterday include:

•SB 1393, which creates a path for the development of community solar programs in the service territories of Appalachian Power Company (ApCo), Dominion, and the Electric Cooperatives.  Each utility will develop its own territory-specific program that allows citizens and businesses the ability to “subscribe” to receive electricity generated by a small centrally-located solar generation system.

•SB 1394 and HB 2303, which are identical bills, create a Small Agricultural Generators Program — a new framework for the generation of renewable energy at agricultural facilities and how that energy can be sold to utilities.

•SB 1395 increases the allowable maximum size of renewable projects to be eligible to be permitted through the state’s Permit by Rule (PBR) process from 100 MW to 125 MW.  These projects are exempt from environmental review and permitting by the State Corporation Commission. SB 1395 also exempts projects that are being built for use by a single customer of a utility from having to apply for and receive a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the SCC.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/05/new-virginia-law-expands-solar-energy-development-authority-to-include-energy-storage.html
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #227 on: May 10, 2017, 01:35:06 pm »


Seraphim Solar Increases Module Production Capacity to 360 MW To Meet Growing PV Demand  
   

May 10, 2017

By Renewable Energy World Editors
 
US-based solar PV module manufacturer, Seraphim Solar , announced last month that it is on target for its planned Phase 2 expansion, which would add 200 MW of manufacturing capacity to its existing 160-MW facility.

In addition, the company said that its high-efficiency, 60-cell solar modules, designed for the residential distributed generation market, are available for purchase in addition to its 72-cell module offering.

The company’s rapid growth rate significantly contributes to the local and national economy, and continues to provide more jobs for Americans, said Seraphim. The company is partnered with the city of Jackson, Mississippi to recruit employees and local companies.

Seraphim Solar’s “Made in the USA” solar modules are expected to meet the strong residential and commercial demand for solar energy. Seraphim said that it is consistently recognized within the highest rankings of the most trusted and most stringent testing organizations in the industry, and is the first module manufacturer to pass TÜV SÜD’s ‘Thresher' test, which was co-developed by the US Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to measure true long-term performance and safety.

The solar energy industry has a strong outlook for 2017. According to Mercom Capital’s most recent industry overview, Total corporate funding (including venture capital funding, public market and debt financing) into the solar sector in Q1 2017 doubled with $3.2 billion compared to $1.6 billion in Q4 2016. Year-over-year funding in Q1 2017 was about 15 percent higher compared to the $2.8 billion raised in Q1 2016.
 
In addition to large-scale solar, electric generating capacity from small-scale solar systems is increasing. In 2016, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the U.S. added 3.4 GW of small-scale solar generating capacity across all three end-use sectors, ending the year with more than 13.1 GW of installed capacity. According to EIA estimates, California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts had the most small-scale solar capacity with 5.4 GW, 1.3 GW, and 1 GW, respectively.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/05/seraphim-solar-increases-module-production-capacity-to-360-mw-to-meet-growing-pv-demand.html
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #229 on: May 26, 2017, 02:57:06 pm »


Arizona Utility Buys Solar Power at ‘Historically Low Price’
 

May 25, 2017 By Renewable Energy World Editors
         
Arizona utility Tucson Electric Power (TEP) said this week that it will buy solar energy at a historically low price from a new local system large enough to power 21,000 homes.

The 100-MW solar array and an accompanying 30-MW energy storage system are expected to be in service by the end of 2019. TEP said that, excluding the cost of storage, it will buy the system’s output for 20 years for less than $0.03/kWh — less than half as much as it agreed to pay under similar contracts in recent years.

“This new local system combines cost-effective energy production with cutting edge energy storage, helping us provide sustainable, reliable and affordable service to all of our customers for decades to come,” Carmine Tilghman, senior director of energy supply and renewable energy for TEP, said in a May 22 statement.

An affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources will build, own and operate the system on a site owned by the City of Tucson located inside TEP’s service territory south of the metropolitan area.

NextEra also will build and operate a long-duration battery storage system on the site that will help integrate renewable energy resources into TEP’s local energy grid. The storage system will be capable of providing up to 120 MWh of power. 


http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/05/arizona-utility-buys-solar-power-at-historically-low-price.html
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #230 on: May 28, 2017, 09:00:25 pm »


China Activates World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Plant

May 26th, 2017 by Steve Hanley

SNIPPET:

The panels help to conserve precious freshwater supplies by lowering the amount of evaporation into the surrounding atmosphere  . In return, the water keeps ambient temperatures around the solar panels lower, which helps boost their efficiency and limit long-term heat-induced degradation.

The most interesting thing about the floating solar power plant in Huainan, however, is that the lake supporting it was created by rain after the surrounding land collapsed in a process known as subsidence following intensive coal mining operations over a period of years. Anhui province is rich in coal reserves and has been the source of much of the coal used to power the Chinese economy.

“Sungrow supplied the plant’s central inverter unit, which transforms direct current from the solar panels into an alternating current for delivery to the local power grid,” I Drop News reports. “The manufacturer also supplied a customized combiner box that aggregates power from multiple solar panel arrays and sends it to the central inverter. The combiner box has been specifically designed for floating PV plants and can operate in environments with high humidity and salt spray.

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/05/26/china-activates-worlds-largest-floating-solar-power-plant/

Agelbert Note: Well, will wonders never cease?  ;D Renewable Energy actually benefited from intensive coal mining caused subsidence.  :D
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #231 on: May 31, 2017, 09:23:28 pm »
Trina IBC Solar Cell Record 'Significant'

May 26, 2017

By Charles Thurston  Freelance Writer

 The 15-MW Sunshine Coast Solar Farm in Valdora powered by Trina Solar panels
         
The recent announcement by Trina Solar that it had reached a new solar conversion efficiency record of 24.13 percent in a Changzhou, China laboratory for an interdigitated back contact (IBC) mono-crystalline silicon cell, is a “significant achievement,” according to a U.S. laboratory analyst.

Quote
“The efficiency is significant given the size of the cell at six inches,” says Abasifreke Ebong, a professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The 156 millimeter (mm) ×156 mm solar cell reached a total-area efficiency of 24.13 percent as independently measured by the Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET).

Trina said that the n-type mono-crystalline silicon solar cell was fabricated on a large-sized phosphorous-doped Cz (cubic zirconia) Silicon substrate with a low-cost industrial IBC process, featuring conventional tube doping technologies and fully screen-printed metallization.

Ebong notes that “the process of fabricating the cell is not outlined, which I believe is still the expensive lithography technology. Also, it is a laboratory demonstration which may take another year or so to implement in production.” The Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at the Charlotte Research Institute campus of UNC Charlotte, is a state-of-the-art research center that conducts applied research.
The technical description of the cell test includes the following: “The champion cell presents the following characteristics: an open-circuit voltage Voc (overclocking) of 702.7mV (millivolt), a short-circuit current density Jsc (short-circuit current density abbreviation) of 42.1 mA/cm2 (milliamps per square centimeter) and a fill factor (FF) of 81.47 percent,” Trina reported.

In April 2016, Trina Solar announced an improved industrial low-cost IBC solar cell with a total-area efficiency of 23.5 percent. Total-area efficiencies are always lower than aperture-efficiencies, due to efficiency losses related to the edges of the cells and electrical contact areas.   
 
In February 2014, Trina Solar and the Australian National University (ANU) jointly announced a world record aperture efficiency of 24.37 percent for a laboratory-scale 4.0 cm2 IBC solar cell, fabricated on a Float Zone (FZ) n-type substrate and using photolithography patterning. In December 2014, Trina Solar announced a 22.94 percent total-area efficiency for an industrial version, large size (156mm x 156mm, 6" substrate) IBC solar cell, the company noted.

"Over the last few years, our R&D team has managed to continuously improve the efficiency of our n-type IBC solar cells, pushing the limits and surpassing our previous records, and approaching very closely to the performance of our best small-area laboratory cell developed in collaboration with ANU three years ago,” said Dr. Pierre Verlinden, Vice-President and Chief Scientist of Trina Solar.

"IBC solar cells are one of the most efficient silicon solar cells available today and are particularly suitable for applications for which the requirement of a high power density is more important than LCOE (Levelized Cost of Electricity). We are very happy to announce today that our industrial large area IBC cell has reached almost the same level of performance as the small-area laboratory cell made three years ago with a photolithography process,” Verlinden added. 


http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/05/trina-ibc-solar-cell-record-significant.html
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #232 on: June 05, 2017, 04:32:27 pm »
Energy Dept. Pulls The Rug Out From Under Its Own Coal-Friendly Grid Study With Pitch For Wind, Solar   :o ;D

June 5th, 2017 by Tina Casey


full article:

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/06/05/energy-dept-pulls-rug-coal-friendly-grid-study-pitch-wind-solar
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #233 on: June 16, 2017, 08:02:56 pm »
Nevada Reinstates Net Metering

Nevada has reinstated a key rooftop solar policy that advocates say will revive the solar industry in the state. Republican Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill that reinstates net metering yesterday at the Tesla warehouse in Las Vegas. After Nevada did away with net metering in late 2015, the state saw a 32 percent decline in solar installation jobs. 

Solar giants Tesla, Sunrun and Vivint Solar have said they will return to Nevada and expand operations in light of the new policy 
       

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-solar-nevada-idUSKBN1962IZ
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #234 on: July 03, 2017, 01:55:48 pm »
"You do not Drill for solar. You do not Mine for solar. You MANUFACTURE SOLAR; THAT CREATES JOBS!"   


Solar power is already saving lives in the US. Here's how 

Updated by David Roberts@drvoxdavid@vox.com  Jul 2, 2017, 9:22am EDT

SNIPPET:


And finally, these are just benefits — no account of the costs of a large-scale shift to solar, which are real.

Okay, with all that said, on to the results! 

1) Benefits of existing solar

Here are the annual benefits of the solar installed in the US to date:


benefits of solar (DOE)

For the chart averse, that's:

Annual reduction of 17 million metric tons of CO2, which is, based on the central estimate of the social cost of carbon, "equivalent to an annual global benefit of $700 million."

Annual reductions of "10,000, 10,300, and 1,200 metric tons of SO2, NOx, and PM2.5, respectively ... which provide annual domestic air quality benefits of $890 million."

Annual water "withdrawal and consumption savings of 294 billion gallons (0.8% of power sector total) and 7.6 billion gallons (0.5% or power sector total), respectively, with much of those savings located in drought-impacted California."

It's worth keeping in mind that the somewhat clinical phrase "domestic air quality benefits" is another way of describing fewer kids having asthma attacks, fewer adults missing workdays, and fewer people dying of respiratory and circulatory ailments.

It's also worth keeping in mind that none of these social benefits are priced into the cost of solar; it is not compensated for its "positive externalities." If it were, it would knock almost 5 cents a kilowatt-hour off the price, which would mean the Sunshot cost target was already achieved.


Agelbert NOTE: Give the subsidies to Renewable energy Technologies, not polluters that are killing us! 


2) Benefits of solar at Sunshot target levels

Here are the benefits of hitting the Sunshot solar penetration targets (again, as compared with a scenario in which no new solar is built):

benefits of sunshot solar (DOE)

For the chart-averse, that's:

A cumulative savings of 10 percent of power sector emissions from 2015 to 2050, which represents a $259 billion global climate benefit.

Reductions in emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) sufficient to secure a cumulative $167 billion worth of avoided health and environmental damages.

Reduction of power sector water withdrawals by 46 trillion gallons (4 percent of total sector withdrawals) and water consumption by 5 trillion gallons (9 percent of total sector consumption). Importantly, water savings are concentrated in arid states.


The climate and pollution benefits together amount to $400 billion between 2015 and 2050, measured in present-value terms and using central estimates.

3) Where the benefits are concentrated

Finally, it's interesting to note that the local benefits of solar vary significantly based on what kind of power it displaces. In places where it pushes aside coal (as opposed to natural gas or even wind), benefits are highest.

I already mentioned that the water-saving benefits of solar are overwhelmingly concentrated in arid California. Here's where the local air quality benefits are concentrated:

solar air quality benefits (DOE)

On the left are the monetized air quality benefits. On the right are the equivalent changes in solar prices if the benefits were included in costs. Looks like the heavily populated Northeastern corridor could use more solar! 



https://www.vox.com/2016/5/19/11711040/sunshot-solar-benefits

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #235 on: July 14, 2017, 02:22:08 pm »
Japan’s Renewable-Energy Revolution

By Sam Hall  and Brian Eckhouse

July 13, 2017, 7:00 PM EDT

GREAT photos!

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/photo-essays/2017-07-13/japan-s-renewable-energy-revolution
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #236 on: July 14, 2017, 09:49:56 pm »
Rooftop Solar is Growing Like a Weed, Despite Fossil Fuel Billionaires trying to Crush It


July 14, 2017

Thom talks about the growing interest and support for residential solar power applications, and all the way dirty fossil fuel companies   are trying to stop it that we have to stand up to for a clean, renewable future.
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #237 on: July 19, 2017, 02:16:34 pm »
Panda-Shaped Solar Power Farm Providing Clean Energy To China
July 18th, 2017 by Steve Hanley


SNIPPET:

China Merchants New Energy Group is one of the largest clean energy companies in China. It is deep into a solar power project that will eventually cover more than 1,500 acres with solar panels. The first phase of construction was completed on June 30 — a 248 acre solar farm that looks like a a giant panda from the air. When complete, several panda-shaped areas will populate the Chinese countryside.
               


https://cleantechnica.com/2017/07/18/panda-shaped-solar-power-farm-providing-clean-energy-china/



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