Archive for Energy Storage

819 solar panels placed atop Bristol’s old demolition landfill

Bristol, Tenn. —

Bristol installs solar on closed construction landfill

You can certainly feel the power of the sun on one of recent sunny days. It’s not only the heat but those rays can be used to make power.

That’s the cornerstone of the solar energy business.

There’s a new alternative energy business – that includes solar and wind power – in Bristol, Tennessee.

It was a symbolic green ribbon that was cut to signal the opening of Ecological Energy Systems in Bristol Tennessee.

The new business focuses on solar and wind power and have actually been doing business for over two years now.

This is their first store front, but their work is visible around the region, from commercial applications, to residential, and then there’s a solar farm.

819 solar panels placed atop Bristol’s old demolition landfill that’s no longer in use.

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A New High Energy Storage Concept for Solar PV

If you cannot beat them, then join them

 Hydrogenics Corp. announced that it has entered into an agreement with Enbridge Inc. to jointly develop utility scale energy storage in North America. The collaboration will bring together Hydrogenics’ expertise in water electrolysis with Enbridge’s expertise in the ownership and operation of natural gas pipeline networks and renewable energy generation. . With ’Power-to-Gas’, the hydrogen produced during periods of excess renewable generation will be injected into the existing natural gas pipeline network, proportionally increasing the renewable energy content in natural gas pipelines for essentially the operating cost of the electrolyzer. Small quantities of hydrogen can be manageable in existing natural gas pipeline networks. With the significant scale of the natural gas pipeline network, these same quantities of hydrogen have a very meaningful impact on electricity energy storage potential. The natural gas pipeline network represents a vast energy storage system which already exists. The utility scale energy storage leverages existing natural gas pipeline and storage assets to enable improved operability for the electrical system. Furthermore, the economics are further improved by leveraging existing gas generators to bring this renewable energy back to the electrical grid where, and when, it is needed most.

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Tennessee Could Power the World’s 1.5 Billion Without Electricity

An estimated 1.5 Billion people, or a quarter of the world’s population, are without electric power.  Reliable electric power is key to economic development around the world.  Electricity is needed to power cell phones, medical equipment, schools, lighting, radio, and many other uses to increase human health and the quality of life.  The answer to reliable electric power for all people is a solar powered, inexpensive, air-droppable power source.

According to the Humanitarian Technology Challenge sponsored by the United Nations Foundation and the IEEE, what is needed is a low cost, high reliability, low maintenance, high scalability and flexibility, environmentally friendly solution to energy accessibility.  A household in a rural area without power only needs a modest 0.1 to 1 kW of power, and a rural hospital only needs 3 to 5 kW of power.  A solar powered air-droppable power source fits all of these requirements.

Our vision is a 5 kW solar array combined with a power box that will house all the power electronics and enough energy storage to continue supplying power at night or through the rainy season.    The power source is neatly packaged and air-dropped into location, where it can be set up in a few hours by the local population.  All they have to do is inflate the solar panel array, plug it into the power box, and then simply plug in their lights, cell phones, or anything they require day or night.

As the village requires more electricity, the modular design of the system allows for the flexibility of adding more panels or more energy storage in the future.  A system can accommodate energy storage levels from 1 kWh to 50 kWh.  The system could also be used as an energy source for a micro grid connecting to all of the houses and small businesses in the village.

This is an achievable goal with new technology in the next 5 years at a low price that would enable a village to buy their own systems.  Instead of relying on foreign aid money, the people of the village can pay as little as $2.00 a month to buy their own power source through micro loans.

We could build a factory for these systems here in Tennessee, and sell these systems to the people of less developed countries all over the world.  This would be a giant leap to helping our fellow humans.  We can bring jobs and money into our community, while making the world a better place for everyone.  We are our brother’s keeper.

For more information on the Humanitarian Technology Challenge, visit their website at: ieeehtc.org.

Power Tower and Salt Storage

With approval of the Environmental Impact Review on its 200-megawatt, two-tower Saguache Solar Energy Project, SolarReserve hopes to soon get started on a new pair of solar power tower/molten salt storage facilities.”"

“This is the major environmental permit,” SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said. “The bigger issue, in order to start construction, is we need to secure an offtaker.” CEO Kevin Smith also stated that his solar power tower and molten salt storage system is “less expensive, more efficient, and technically superior.”

SolarReserve’s flagship 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant in Nevada has a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Nevada Power and is under construction and scheduled to come on-line at the end of 2013. For more information please click here.

Team claims highest efficiency for quantum dot photovoltaic battery

A research group at the University of Tokyo and Sharp Corp developed a quantum dot-type photovoltaic (PV cell with a high efficiency.

Its cell conversion efficiency is 18.7% without light condensing and 19.4% at the time of 2x light condensing. The research group is led by Yasuhiko Arakawa and Katsuaki Tanabe, who are professor and specially-appointed associate professor, respectively, at the Institute for Nano Quantum Information Electronics, the University of Tokyo.

The 18.7% efficiency is the industry’s highest efficiency for a quantum dot-type PV battery that is not concentrating light, Arakawa said. Before the achievement was made, the highest efficiency had been 18.3% achieved by a research group at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The latest quantum dot-type PV battery was developed by using the “intermediate band method,” in which conversion efficiency is improved by forming a superlattice structure (in which quantum dots are three-dimensionally arranged) and a miniband (intermediate band) that absorbs infrared light.

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Energy IS National Security says Wesley K. Clark

This guest post was written by Wesley K. Clark, the retired Army general and former NATO supreme allied commander. Clark is a senior fellow at the Burkle Center for International Relations at the University of California, Los Angeles. Photo: U.S. Department of Defense

By Wesley K. Clark
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called for the U.S. to “double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.”

Solar, wind and other clean energy technologies played a central role in the president’s address because of their importance to American economic competitiveness and prosperity – and rightly so, the sector is already providing a welcome spot of job and market growth with the opportunity for much more with further U.S. commitment. But while all eyes are on the economy, let’s not forget that those same clean energy investments are mission critical to another top national priority: to strengthen American energy security.

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President’s 2013 Budget Revives 1603 Solar Tax Credit, Eliminates $4B in Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Here are some of the highlights of the energy portion of the budget:

  • The budget provides for an extension of the Section 1603 Treasury Program, a program that addresses the scarcity of tax equity for financing solar projects.
  • The budget proposes the repeal of over $4 billion per year in “inefficient” tax subsidies to oil, gas, and other fossil fuel producers.
  • The budget proposes funding the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at $2.33 billion, an increase from 2012 figures.
  • $310 million for the SunShot Initiative to make solar power at grid parity without subsidies by 2020.
  • $95 million for wind power, including offshore wind technologies.
  • $65 million for geothermal power and enhanced geothermal energy technology.
  • $770 million for the Office of Nuclear Energy, including funding to research and develop small modular reactors (SMRs).
  • The DOE receives $27.2 billion under the budget request, a 3 percent increase from 2012 levels.
  • The Office of Science would receive $5 billion to fund basic research.
  • The beleaguered DOE loan guarantee program would not win any expanded funding, though the budget does call for maintaining the current loan portfolio.

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Oak Ridge National Labs Developing Charging Of Electric Vehicles While They Are Out On the Road

A handful of researchers are even working to extend the concept to allow charging of electric vehicles while they are out on the road. Researchers at Oak Ridge and Stanford recently developed detailed concepts for such a system. In a $2.7 million federally funded project, researchers at Utah State University are installing a system to charge buses as they stop along a route in Salt Lake City.
In the Oak Ridge model, 200 coils would be embedded in a section of the roadway and controlled by a single roadside device; successive coils would be energized as electric vehicles pass over them, providing enough power for the vehicle to reach the next series of coils a mile down the road.
John Miller, a research scientist at Oak Ridge, estimates that each series of coils plus the controller would cost less than a million dollars. “Wireless chargers for electric vehicles are so convenient. You don’t have to mess with plug cables. You don’t care what the weather is. You don’t even have to think about it. I think it’s going to catch on superfast,” Miller says.
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Energy Department Announces Over $12 Million to Spur Solar Energy Innovation

February 08, 2012

As part of the Obama Administration’s blueprint for an American economy built to last, today U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced over $12 million to speed solar energy innovation from the lab to the marketplace through the Energy Department’s SunShot Incubator program. The funding will accelerate American innovation in solar energy and manufacturing by supporting advancements in hardware, reductions in soft costs, and the development of pilot manufacturing and production projects.

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The Sunflower: Secret to Solar’s Efficiency Success?

Finding inspiration in the structure of a sunflower, a group of scientists has designed a concentrated solar power plant (CSP) that will require 20 percent less land than existing plants while increasing theamount of sunlight its solar mirrors are able to collect. To read mor eplease follow this link: Sunflower is key to solar