[source] “MyReserve”, 93% efficiency. 4,4 kWh; 6,6 kWh; 8,8 kWh; 11 kWh units
Solar installation company Solarwatt from Dresden/Germany has announced that it will offer batteries for substantially lower prices in the Summer 2017.
Price 4.4 kWh unit: 5.499 Euro
German price context:
1 kWh from the grid: 30 cent
1 kWh grid feed-in compensation: 12 cent
1 kWh cost from panel: 10 cent
Under these (very German) price conditions does it pay to install this Solarwatt battery.
This btw is still a far cry from the promised $100-200/kWh.
Terra-Watts solar is coming, replacing Giga-Watts. This is the conclusion prominent scientists from the German Fraunhofer Institute (ISE) and US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) arrive at. They predict that by 2030, the global cumulative installed solar capacity will be 10-30 fold of what it is today. Solar panel producer “First Solar” predicts that as early as 2020, the price of solar panels will decrease to as little as 25 cents/Watt. That would mean that a standard 100 cm x 164 cm, 300 Watt panel costing € 300,- will cost € 75 in 2020. Solar panels as block-board.
Currently Abu Dhabi is able to produce solar electricity for a staggering low 2.4 cent/kWh.
There is no long-term global energy problem.
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.
Location: Delfzijl [Google Maps]
Capacity: 7500 households
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.
[source] Same park
The report underscores that SEE possesses vast technical renewable energy potential – equal to some 740 GW.” This renewable energy potential is dominated by wind and solar. “The region’s wind energy (532 GW) and solar PV (120 GW) potential is largely untapped, and 127 GW of this overall renewable energy potential could be implemented in a cost-competitive way today.”
[irena.org] – Cost-competitive renewable power generation: Potential across South East Europe (pdf 124p)
[cleantechnica.com] – 790 Gigawatts of Cost-Cutting Renewable Energy Potential in South East Europe
Belgium giving the good example: railway tracks covered with solar panels.
Great-Britain is a mid-sized country with high population density. Not strange then that a study has been started to see if space near railway tracks can be used to place solar panels.
[solarlove.org] – UK Studying Track Side Solar Panels To Power Electric Trains
Tower height: 240 m
Power: 121 MW
Cost: $700 million
Private preparations for a ‘sustainable future’ are progressing satisfactorily:
– Solar panels gave me 1450 kWh in the first year on a household consumption of 1550 kWh; that’s almost full coverage.
– Three seasons of running a vegetable garden, making substantial progress every season. Coming season the full garden will be available, providing 100% of potatoes and vegetables. Additionally a greenhouse will be installed in February after the last tree stubs will have been removed and 100 m2 will be available for gardening, enough for two persons.
– Freezers and generator backup are in place.
Motivation: anticipating a global financial “Big Reset“, as well as creating a pension plan not (entirely) based on paper assets. “Peak oil” is of secondary concern only.
The last item on the prepper todo list is space heating support. For that purpose 10 m x 1.6 m garden fence facing South-West is available. The idea is to construct a huge solar air heater, consisting of a large black plate, covered by double glass, so that during the day, air hotter than 21 C (if any) can be pumped into the living room. At a later stage, air from the collector can serve as input for an electric heat pump for temperatures < 21 C. Ideally the black backside solar radiation absorber will consist of black solar panels to gain extra electricity, to be used for the electric heat pump. In the Summer the glass cover needs to be removed to prevent over-heating of the solar panels. At a later stage a heat storage, like a vessel of 1 m3 filled with pebbles, could be added to the system.
In the Netherlands space is scarce… but there are many roads. The idea is to let traffic drive over solar panels. In 2014 a bicycle path was created to test the concept. Meanwhile the results are in.
An upbeat report from a stakeholder: utility solar in the US is doing fine and reaching grid parity, if one includes tax incentives, scheduled to last until 2021. But reduced tax benefits maybe compensated by continued price decline of large scale solar installations. Several large utility scale PV power stations came online this year, such as the 550-megawatt (MW) Topaz Solar plant in San Luis Obispo County, California and the 550MW Desert Sunlight plant in Desert Center, California.
The first reported contract for solar power under five cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) occurred in 2014: Austin Energy’s 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunEdison for 150 MW of solar power. The trend continued in 2015, when Nevada Energy secured a 4.6 cent per kWh PPA with SunPower.
Editor: articles like this explain why we have lost interest a little in energy problems, because the initial fear, which prompted us to start this blog nearly four years ago, namely a world running out of energy fast, has been pushed to the background and replaced with worries about the state of the economy and international finance, the destabilizing refugee crises and the threat of war.
Personally, it costed merely 3000 euro to have a solar installation on the roof that will annually produce almost twice as much electricity as needed for the next 25-30 years.
Now that utility solar has reached grid parity, the only remaining energy related problem is storage, to overcome daily and most important seasonal demand and supply fluctuations. Potential solutions: pumped hydro and perhaps fuel production from electricity. But there is little doubt that a 100% renewable energy base is feasible within a few decades.
[blogs.edf.org] – A Sunny Future for Utility-Scale Solar
[countercurrents.org] – Can We Afford The Future? By Richard Heinberg
[cleantechnica.com] – Solar Power Per Capita & Wind Power Per Capita Leaders
Solar panels where installed earlier this week and despite grey November weather, today the first kWh is produced, meaning the energy required to pull a standard car up the Eiffel tower.
[deepresource] – One Kilowatthour
The panels should generate 1.5 times the electricity required on a yearly basis, for a relatively modest standard consumption pattern to power desktop computer + monitor, fridge, freezer and television. The converter has a build-in wifi and can send the solar production data via the internet router to a server. Via a browser actual and cumulative data can be displayed, see screenshot above.
Additionally, the smart meter bridging the household with the grid operator also has a wifi, enabling to read consumption data, see iPhone-6 screen shot below.
In other words, at 11 o’clock on a half-clouded morning in November, the panels already produce more than is consumed. The rest is fed into the grid.
Later this month a gardening center will deliver a few m3 compost to upgrade the soil of the garden, that next season will be fully utilized for food production.
[deepresource] – Not in my Backyard?
Next prepping investment will be focused on producing ‘hot air’. The idea is to install 8 or so 100*165 cm solar panels (for electricity) against a palisade and additionally put glass plates in front of them, leaving a space of 5-10 cm. The panels are black and hence absorb all radiation. 10-15% will be converted into electricity, the rest into hot air that can be pumped into the living room with simple desktop computer ventilator.
*** UPDATE ***
After 13:00 MET the sun began to shine, 2.15 kwh on one November day with only two hours of sunshine.
[buienradar.nl] With solar panels on your roof the weather becomes more interesting than ever. A good cloud front can cost you half a euro.
The German Fraunhofer Institute continues to make progress in reducing the cost of wafer used to produce solar cells.
Roughly a third of the costs for a silicon solar module is accrued before production of the wafer even starts… Holding a wafer-thin silicon disc between his two index fingers, Schönfelder explained that it is the industry standard, roughly 180 micrometres thin. He said that his research project is about producing even thinner silicon wafers, as well as reducing the breakage rate… Fraunhofer’s DiaCell project… DiaCell refers to the name of the diamond wire saw involved in the research… Reducing costs for the entire value chain is the mission of the DiaCell research project… This sawing gap created by the wire cutting process is incredibly expensive, representing a nearly 50% material loss… another research effort is developing wafer-splitting strategies to produce zero material loss. Instead of sawing the wafer into slices, with wafer splitting, a special polymer is glued to both sides of the wafer. When in a frozen state, the special polymer layer contracts, developing a strong enough force to split the wafer into slices.
The record was accomplished by US company First Solar. In general, thin film solar cells are less efficient, but cheaper, certainly if you integrate thin film solar in the roof of new houses.
In 2013 thin-film technologies accounted for about 9% of worldwide deployment, while 91% was held by crystalline silicon
[source] Siemens solar plant, Le Mées, France
MIT comes to the conclusion that with existing solar panel technology, the world can very well be powered. The real bottleneck is not technology, but investment. By 2050 a large chunk of the current overall power consumption of 15 terawatts could be replaced using solar power. 15 terawatts represents the power equivalent of 15,000 standard 1 GW power plants.
MIT expects battery technology to play a key role in the development of the solar economy.
Published 28 March 2015
Travel from Daejeon to Sejong by bike (Watch it from the air)
Aerial view of the bicycle road between Daejeon and Sejong, both cities are located 2~3 hours south of Seoul. Solar panels not only generate power but also provide protection to cyclists from sun and rain. Taken by a drone camera in fall, see the golden rice fields!
[gas2.org] – Korea’s Solar Panel-Covered Bike Highway A Model For America