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Archive for the category “photovoltaics”

NOOR – World’s Largest Solar Power Plant in Morocco

The countries of Northern Africa have one of the best solar resources in the world, lots of space and additionally close proximity to one of the economic power houses of the world, Europe. Additionally, the Maghreb has a weak economy. As part of the international division of labor nothing would be more logical than that Northern Africa would concentrate itself on producing renewable energy, like electricity and/or hydrogen, for European markets, replacing Arabia as an important oil-energy supplier to Europe.

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Airborn Solar Panels


“Liftoff, we have a liftoff!”. Europe, one of those territories eagerly absorbing photo-voltaic energy generation, has a little bit of a space problem, being one of the most densely-populated areas in the world. A field covered with solar panels unfortunately can’t be used for agriculture. Or can it? The Fraunhofer Institute has found out that it is very well possible to use land for both agriculture and energy generation by stacking both functionalities.

Upshot agricultural yield: corn slightly negative, but grass and shadow-loving potatoes make no difference.

Influence partly shadowing on different crops

[wikipedia.com] – Agrivoltaic
[ise.fraunhofer.de] – Agrophotovoltaics Goes Global: from Chile to Vietnam
[biomlandconf.files.wordpress.com] – 20 slides Fraunhofer Institute
[cleantechnica.com] – Fraunhofer Experiments In Chile And Vietnam Prove Value Of Agrophotovoltaic Farming
[cleantechnica.com] – Combining Solar Panels With Agriculture Makes Land More Productive

The State of Solar

[worldatlas.com] – Countries That Use The Most Solar Power
[energy-charts.de] – Electricity-production in Germany

Solar Panel Array Automatic Cleaning

This is NOT what you want, because of the water:

Solar Road in China

[cleantechnica.com] – China Opens 1-Kilometer Long Solar Road

Printing Solar Cells

Solliance from Eindhoven, The Netherlands, wants to mover away from standard solar panels towards thin film solar and apply those to surfaces like cars, windows, curved building surfaces or even glasshouses:

They are close to printing cheap roles of hundreds of meters of solar thin film cells, with a conversion efficiency of 12.2-13.5 % on the basis of perovskites.

[hightechcampus.com] – Solliance dichterbij drukmachine voor zonnecellen op rol

Read more…

Solar Panel Automation Production Line

LG 365 Watt Solar Panel

LG Efficiency breakthrough 21.1% resulting in a 365 Watt panel or 26% more power than the regular 290 Watt panels of the same size (1686 x 1016 x 40 mm / 66.38 x 40 x 1.57 inch).

Power output warranty:

First 5 years : 95%
After 5th year : 0.4% annual degradation
25 years : 87.0%

[solarelectricsupply.com] – LG NeON R LG365Q1C-A5 365W Solar Panel
[solarpowerworldonline.com] – LG introduces 365-W solar panel to residential market
[wikipedia.org] – LG Corporation

Energy Problems? What Energy Problems?

If you realize that the annual influx of solar irradiation has a larger energy content than all fossil and nuclear energy cumulatively consumed in history; if you realize that thin film solar has an EROI of ca. 35, than you know that once the energy storage problem has been solved, as it will be solved since the entire world is working on it, the world’s energy problem will have been solved as well and with it a lot a climate problems.

[cassandralegacy] – Our Photovoltaic Future: The Metabolic Revolutions of the Earth’s History.

Thin film solar has EROI values in the thirties range, enough to silence those rear-guard critics who keep claiming that renewable energy can’t work because its “not energy intense enough”

The yellow area represents the magnitude of annual solar energy reaching earth. It is larger than the cumulative energy contained in all fossil and nuclear energy consumed throughout human history. An area the size of Spain plastered with solar panels would suffice to replace all energy consumed globally today. It can be done.

Transparant Solar Panels

Dutch language video

prof. dr. Dave Blank explains his work on transparant solar panels, where he made considerable progress. Means: nano-technology. Vision: windows and roof tiles as solar panels.

Read more…

LightYear Solar Car

Youtube text: Introducing the electric car that charges itself with sunlight. Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear announces our mission. Dutch company Lightyear launches four-wheel drive solar-powered car able to drive for months without charging. Currently, all cars of the world combined drive one light year, every year. That is 9.500.000.000.000 km. Every year. Powered by fossil fuels. Our goal is to accelerate the adoption of electric cars so that by 2030, one light year will have been driven electric. To that, we are providing a scalable solution.

[tue.nl] – TU/e startup Lightyear launches solar powered car
[nltimes.nl] – Dutch Startup Puts First Solar Powered Family Car On Market
[digitaltrends.com] – Dutch Startup Promises a Solar Car For Around $130,000
[treehugger.com] – Lightyear One solar car charges itself and will have a 500-mile range
[electrek.co] – Creators of record-breaking solar car launch startup to sell street-legal version

Most Efficient Solar Cells and Panels in 2017

Solar cells efficiency ranking:

10. [wikipedia.org] – Organic solar cell (11.5%)
09. [wikipedia.org] – Dye-sensitized solar cell (11.9%)
08. [wikipedia.org] – Perovskite solar cell (21.1%)
07. [wikipedia.org] – Polycrystalline silicon (21.3%)
06. [wikipedia.org] – Cadmium telluride photovoltaics (22.1%)
05. [wikipedia.org] – Copper indium gallium selenide solar cells (22.6%)
04. [wikipedia.org] – Monocrystalline silicon (27.5%)
03. [wikipedia.org] – Gallium arsenide (28.8%)
02. [wikipedia.org] – Multi-junction solar cell (38.8%)
01. [wikipedia.org] – Concentrator photovoltaics (46.0%)

[phys.org] – Multijunction solar cell could exceed 50% efficiency goal

Price Utility Solar to Drop with 27% in 2022

Already prices for utility solar are below $1/Watt in 2017. According to a new report by GTM Research price will fall further with 27% over the coming 5 years time.

[greentechmedia.com] – PV System Pricing H1 2017: Breakdowns and Forecasts

Floating Solar in China

[source]

An artificial lake located near Huainan, Anhui, China, was used to install 40 MW worth of floating solar panels. The lake was a result of abandoned coal mining activities in the past. Advantages floating solar: cooling of the panels, no land use, which is important for overcrowded countries like China.

[idropnews.com] – World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Plant Opens in China
[Google Maps] – Huainan, Anhui, China

A Possible Future of Energy Production: Private Ownership

Zonneweide Bergen fase 2

There is an alternative for choosing between buying kWh’s from your utility company, with a few % “green electricity added to the mix” or having solar panels on your own roof, namely running your own small energy company with a few hundred neighbors.

An example of this approach is “Zonneweide Bergen” (“solar meadow”) in Bergen in the Netherlands.

Area: 1.9 hectare
Panels: 9.234 of 125 Watt
Power: 1.15 MW (peak)
Financial return: 5-6% (possibly 8-9%)
CO2 reduction: 635 ton/year
Lifespan: 25 years
Share unit: 870 euro or 6 panels
Payback time: 10 years
Max. share: 15-25 units

Precondition: you need to live in the ZIP-code area of the solar meadow.
At least 15 years energy tax reduction.
Capital: 20% private participants, 80% bank loan, to be paid back from kWh’s in 10 year.
Customer electricity: grid

Upshot: after 10 years the installation has paid itself back and the remaining 15+ years of free electricity are yours. It is a safe investment of 5-6%/year or more in case of increasing electricity prices.

[bergenenergie.nl] – Zonneweide Bergen Fase 2
[trouw.nl] – Een blauwe zonneweide maakt Bergen weer een stukje groener
[trouw.nl] – Zonneweide Bergen staat klaar voor mooi weer
[duurzaambouwloket.nl] – Bouw Zonneweide Bergen Begonnen
[Google Maps] – Location: Bergerweg, Bergen, the Netherlands

Spectacular Growth Solar Installations in the Netherlands

The Dutch national news reported today that there is a spectacular growth in demand for corporate solar installations in the Netherlands, measured by subsidy applications: 1 billion euro in the 2nd half of 2016 and 3.2 billion so far in 2017.

The demand is so high that China is unable to deliver the required quantity and now the production of solar panels will return to the Netherlands, where it left Europe completely since recently the last German manufacturer SolarWorld went bust. China has always massively supported the buildup of a domestic solar sector, but Europe not so much.

The knowledge of building solar panels has always been present in the Netherlands, that preferred to build solar panel factory lines for export, rather than operating these lines themselves. The Frisian company Powerfield will build a new factory in the Groningen province that will produce 1 million panels per year, half of them for the construction of large “in-house” solar parks.

So far 2% of Dutch electricity production originates from solar, but this is expected to increase rapidly soon. With solar system payback time of 7-9 years, followed by 20 years of free electricity, investing in solar panels gives far more return than leaving money in a savings account.

[nos.nl] – Straks weer ‘made in Holland’ zonnepanelen
[powerfield.nl] – Powerfield home page

Exasun produces solar panels like roof tiles in the Netherlands as as niche product. Works with German and Belgian parts only.

Drone Used for Solar Panel Inspection in China

Parameters Baofeng Solar farm: 700 MW, 6.6 km2

Panels trace the sun.

[Google Maps] – Yinchuan, Ningxia, China

[wikipedia.org] – Yinchuan, Ningxia

Read more…

Zonnepanelen Straks Uit Groningen

[source/Powerfield/Twitter]

De firma Powerfield uit Dokkum bouwt binnenkort een fabriek voor zonnepanelen op het industrieterrein van Delfzijl (“Energy Valley”), om te beginnen met een capaciteit van 1.2 miljoen panelen per jaar, gerealiseerd door een personeelsbestand van 100-150 man. Bouwkosten 15-20 milljoen. Het gaat om assemblage van panelen, niet om de productie van cellen.

[trouw.nl] – Zonnepanelen straks ook ‘made in Groningen’

New Perovskite Solar Cell

polarons[source]

An interdisciplinary team of researchers has laid the foundations for an entirely new type of photovoltaic cell. In this new method, infrared radiation is converted into electrical energy using a different mechanism from that found in conventional solar cells. The mechanism behind the new solid-state solar cell made of the mineral perovskite relies on so-called polaron excitations, which combine the excitation of electrons and vibrations of the crystal lattice.

[phys.org] – Scientists lay foundations for new type of solar cell
[onlinelibrary.wiley.com] – Evolution of Hot Polaron States with a Nanosecond Lifetime in a Manganite Perovskite
[cleantechnica.com] – Holy Hot Polarons, Batman! New Perovskite Solar Cell Shows Promise

Forget everything you know about solar cells and check this out. A research team based at the University of Göttingen in Germany has come up with something they call an “entirely new” way to harvest energy from sunlight. In effect, the new solar cell puts the brakes on excited electrons, extending their lifetime. The result is a more efficient solar cell, with less energy lost in the form of heat and more energy converted to electricity.

[wikipedia.org] – Polarons

A polaron is a quasiparticle used in condensed matter physics to understand the interactions between electrons and atoms in a solid material. The polaron concept was first proposed by Lev Landau in 1933 to describe an electron moving in a dielectric crystal where the atoms move from their equilibrium positions to effectively screen the charge of an electron, known as a phonon cloud. This lowers the electron mobility and increases the electron’s effective mass.

Read more…

Solar Project Completed in the Netherlands

delfzijl-zonneparkLargest solar park in the Netherlands, ironically covered in snow

Location: Delfzijl [Google Maps]
Capacity: 7500 households
Panels: 120,000
Owner: German energy company Wirsol
Size: 65 soccer fields

Coming Spring the title “largest solar park in the Netherlands” will move from Delfzijl to Vlissingen [Sloehaven], with 140,000 panels.

In general, investment in solar energy is booming in the Netherlands. In 2016 500 MW new capacity was installed, 100 MW more than in 2015.

[nos.nl] – Delfzijl heeft grootste zonnepark van Nederland
[nu.nl] – Grootste zonnepark van Nederland geopend in Delfzijl

zonnepark-delfzijl[source] Same park

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