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Posts tagged ‘Solar Energy’

Indian Space Agency Test-Drives Solar Electric Hybrid Vehicle

New Delhi (Sputnik)

May 04, 2017

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) added another milestone to its list of achievements by successfully showcasing a solar-electric hybrid vehicle. ISRO’s different engineering branches at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram developed the vehicle.

The team working on the project developed a solar panel to fit on the roof of a car, along with an internal gearbox, control electronics for the battery and solar panel, and a conversion kit for fitting an electric motor to a vehicle with an internal combustion engine.

The vehicle was powered by ISRO’s famed Lithium-ion batteries, with a high power supercapacitor to meet the power demands to achieve required torque. ISRO also ensured to not compromise the safety while integrating various subsystems.

The vehicle was successfully test-driven, including an uphill drive. The space agency will now focus on building indigenous Lithium-ion fuel cells, supercapacitors and an electric motor.

“ISRO is doing a lot of things in addition to launching satellites. And all projects are interlinked and laying down the foundation for an industrial complex which will boost innovation and job creation. They have started sub-contracting many of their product building processes, which again will help in the growth of industries,” Dr. Mayank N. Vahia, Department of Astrophysics, at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, told Sputnik.

India is aiming to push the use of electric vehicles to tackle rising pollution in its cities with the government setting a target of 6 million electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2020 under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles.

The sales of electric vehicles in India is currently very low, rising 37.5 percent to 22,000 units in the year ended March 31, 2016, over 16,000 in 2014-15, according to the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles. Of these 22,000 vehicles, only 2,000 were cars and other four-wheelers.

The high cost of batteries, a majority of which are imported, is a major hindrance to the development of the sector. Yet another challenge is to create a network of docking stations or charging stations for electric vehicles although that is more of a demand-related problem.

“A helping hand is required to create the infrastructure… There are two concerns for electric vehicles-first is cost and second is infrastructure,” Mint quoted Abdul Majeed, partner and national auto practice leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers as saying.

The government recently asked ISRO to share its technology on Lithium-ion batteries with other public and private sector firms to give a push to the production of batteries in India and bring down the cost of electric vehicles.

Source: Solar Daily.

Link: http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Indian_Space_Agency_Test_Drives_Solar_Electric_Hybrid_Vehicle_999.html.

California Reaches Solar Milestone, Electricity Prices Turn Negative

Climate Nexus

12 April

Solar power met roughly half of California’s electricity demand for the first time on March 11, according to new estimates from the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA).

EIA estimated that almost 40 percent of electricity on the grid between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. came from California’s large-scale solar plants, with smaller solar installations on homes and businesses supplying the rest. When factored with other sources of clean energy in the state, renewable energy accounted for more than 55 percent of power on the grid on March 11.

The abundant supply of solar in California this winter and spring has driven wholesale prices near zero or into the negative during certain hours.

“In March, during the hours of 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., system average hourly prices were frequently at or below $0 per megawatthour (MWh),” the EIA said in its report.

“In contrast, average hourly prices in March 2013–15 during this time of day ranged from $14/MWh to $45/MWh. Negative prices usually result when generators with high shut-down or restart costs must compete with other generators to avoid operating below equipment minimum ratings or shutting down completely.”

Source: EcoWatch.

Link: http://www.ecowatch.com/california-solar-energy-prices-2357256997.html.

Britain buying solar-powered Zephyr 8 drones from Airbus

Toulouse, France (UPI)

Feb 18, 2016

Airbus Defense and Space has received an order from Britain’s Ministry of Defense for its solar-powered Zephyr 8 unmanned aerial vehicle.

The Zephyr 8, described by Airbus as a high-altitude pseudo-satellite craft that provides persistent surveillance and communications links for about a month at a time before it needs to land for refurbishment.

Its altitude ceiling is about 65,000 feet. Its wing span is about 72 feet, and it weighs about 30 percent less than its predecessor, the Zephyr 7.

Solar panels on the aircraft charge its batteries from sunlight during the day and maintain the aircraft’s high altitude at night.

Airbus said Britain ordered two of the aircraft. Other contract details were not disclosed.

The first Zephyr 8 ordered is being built at an Airbus facility in England and is due to fly in mid-2017.

Source: Space War.

Link: http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Britain_buying_solar-powered_Zephyr_8_drones_from_Airbus_999.html.

Neo Solar Power to Invest in BlueChip Energy’s 120 MW Sorrento Solar Farm Project

Lake Mary FL (SPX)

Oct 11, 2011

BlueChip Energy has announced it has signed a letter of intent with Neo Solar Power, a Taiwan-based solar cell manufacturer, for an equity participation in BCE’s 120 MW Sorrento Solar Farm project.

As part of the agreement, Neo Solar Power will contribute at least 10 MW of its high efficiency solar cells for an equity stake in the project, which is currently under construction in Lake County, FL. The cells will be converted into solar panels by Advanced Solar Photonics, BCE’s manufacturing subsidiary. Neo Solar Power focuses on high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar PV cells. As of the second quarter of 2011, the company had installed capacity of 1.3 GW.

“We are delighted to be working with NSP as a partner. They are one of the largest cell producers in the world, their product is top quality and, most importantly, NSP’s executive management understands that to truly thrive in the PV industry, it is necessary to put your product to work in project generating electricity revenue,” said Yongshuang Wang, VP of Strategic Development for BCE.

The LOI between BCE and Neo Solar Power is a major milestone in the US solar power industry as it marks the introduction of a new business model for developing solar power projects, without the use of power purchase agreements (PPAs) and financed by manufacturers themselves, rather than financial institutions.

BCE’s new solar power development model will be described in more detail in an upcoming series of Executive Briefings to be released by the company over the next few weeks.

The Sorrento Solar Farm is unique among announced solar power projects in the United States in that is:

+ Fully permitted: Rezoning authorization issued by Lake County Zoning Board and the Lake County Board of Commissioners; Environmental Permit issued by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (permit No ERP35-0307272-001-SI);

+ Ideally Located: The project is located on land owned by BCE, gently sloping from north to south (eliminating the need for grading) and adjacent to two substations owned by Progress Energy Florida and SECO; and

+ Federally Licensed: The project has Qualifying Facility status (FERC Docket Number QF11-240-000) and Wholesale Generator status (FERC Docket Number EG11-58-000) certified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Source: Solar Daily.

Link: http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Neo_Solar_Power_to_Invest_in_BlueChip_Energy_120_MW_Sorrento_Solar_Farm_Project_999.html.

Vast desert sun farm to help light up Morocco

By Jalal Al Makhfi

Ouarzazate, Morocco (AFP)

Dec 13, 2015

On the edge of the Sahara desert, engineers make final checks to a sea of metal mirrors turned towards the sun, preparing for the launch of Morocco’s first solar power plant.

The ambitious project is part of the North African country’s goal of boosting its clean energy output with what it says will eventually be the world’s largest solar power production facility.

Morocco has scarce oil and gas reserves, and is the biggest importer of energy in the Middle East and North Africa.

The plant is part of a vision to move beyond this heavy dependency and raise renewable energy production to 42 percent of its total power needs by 2020.

About 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside Ouarzazate, half a million U-shaped mirrors — called “parabolic troughs” — stretch out in 800 rows, slowly following the sun as it moves across the sky.

Spread over an area equivalent to more than 600 football pitches, they store thermal energy from the sun’s rays and use it to activate steam turbines that produce electricity.

King Mohamed VI launched construction of the plant, called Noor 1, in 2013, at a cost of 600 million euros ($660 million) and involving roughly 1,000 workers.

Its start of operations by the end of this month was set to coincide with the conclusion of high-stakes COP21 global climate talks in Paris.

“Construction work has finished,” said Obaid Amran, a board member of Morocco’s solar power agency.

“We are testing components of the production units with a view to connecting them to the national grid at the end of the year.”

The project’s next phases — Noor 2 and Noor 3 — are to follow in 2016 and 2017, and a call for tenders is open for Noor 4.

– ‘A million homes’ –

Once all phases are complete, Noor will be “the largest solar power production facility in the world”, its developers say, covering an area of 30 square kilometers (11.6 square miles).

It will generate 580 megawatts and provide electricity to a million homes.

The solar power project will also help reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The energy ministry estimates that its first solar power plant will allow the country to reduce CO2 emissions by 240,000 tonnes per year initially, and by 522,000 tonnes with the second two phases.

That is equivalent to nearly one percent of Morocco’s CO2 emissions of around 56.5 million tonnes in 2011, according to World Bank figures.

The so-called “greenhouse effect” is a natural phenomenon — an invisible blanket of gases including small amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) — that has made Earth warm enough for humans to survive on it comfortably.

But human activities such as burning coal and oil inject additional CO2 into the atmosphere, leading to global warming.

Humanity’s annual output of greenhouse gases is higher than ever, totaling just under 53 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2014, according to the UN.

Morocco, to host next year’s COP22, aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent by 2030 as it develops renewable energy production.

“We have a project to introduce 6,000 megawatts to the existing electricity production nationwide,” Energy Minister Abdelkader Amara said recently.

“Two thousand megawatts will come from solar energy and 2,000 megawatts from wind and hydroelectric power.”

Morocco started producing electricity at Africa’s largest wind farm in its southwestern coastal region of Tarfaya last year.

“Things have been going well so far,” the minister said. “We’re likely to go beyond 2,000 megawatts by 2020 in the area of wind power.”

But Rabat has not abandoned fossil fuels altogether — last December, Amara announced a multi-billion-dollar project to step up Morocco’s search for natural gas to produce electricity.

Source: Solar Daily.

Link: http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Vast_desert_sun_farm_to_help_light_up_Morocco_999.html.

Kyocera expands number of solar recharging stations in Japan

Kyotango, Japan (SPX)

Dec 14, 2015

Kyocera has supplied two more solar-powered recharging stations in Kyotango City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan which began operation earlier this month. The stations power electric vehicles (EVs) as well as plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs).

In addition, the stations become central hubs for back-up power during emergencies by switching to grid-independent operation, improving access for electric-powered transportation, as well as contributing to the community’s overall disaster preparedness infrastructure.

More than 740,000 electric cars were on the road across the world by early 2015, with the U.S., Japan and China among the top markets – and the U.S. leading the world with more than 11,000 recharging stations.

In Japan, the government is aiming to increase the ratio of EVs and PHVs to 15-20% by 2020*4 and is promoting the expansion of charging facilities for next-generation vehicles.

In conjunction with this project, Kyotango City is adding recharging stations at multiple convenient public sites for tourists and residents who rent or own EVs and PHVs.

Kyocera’s solar recharging stations provide an ideal configuration for independent power production to help with emergency situations as well as daily electric vehicle charging.

The two stations for this project, installed by Ostem Co., Ltd., each include a 3.2kW Kyocera solar power generating system, standard charger, 30kW Nichicon quick charger and 7.2kW Nichicon battery storage system.

In addition, the stations are equipped with LED lighting and disaster control boxes which include an emergency power strip, radio, flashlight and work gloves.

During normal operation, electricity generated by solar modules assists the commercial grid in powering the standard charger, and is also sent to the storage system for LED lighting at night.

In times of disaster, the solar-generated electricity saved in the storage system powers the disaster control box in addition to powering LEDs at night. By operating off-grid during disasters, the stations will enable the community to charge devices such as mobile phones during power outages.

Originally, Kyocera’s solar recharging stations were developed in 2010 as an environmentally-friendly solar-powered station to power electric-assisted bicycles, using the company’s high performance PV modules.

Based on this system, the company developed solar recharging stations to power EVs and PHVs in 2012. By making solar technology more ubiquitous in society, Kyocera hopes to contribute to the development of sustainable and resilient communities.

Source: Solar Daily.

Link: http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Kyocera_expands_number_of_solar_recharging_stations_in_Japan_999.html.

Country’s first solar-powered bus unveiled in Istanbul

DAILY SABAH WITH IHLAS NEWS AGENCY

ISTANBUL

August 20, 2015

The Istanbul Electric Tramway and Tunnel Establishments (İETT), the city’s transportation authority, introduced a solar-powered bus on Wednesday.

The bus is the first of its kind to be used in mass transit in the country, which seeks to increase its renewable energy use and has an annual solar power capacity of 380 billion kilowatt hours, one of the highest in Europe.

İETT officials demonstrated the bus to the media at a bus depot in the Topkapı district, the first station for the bus’s route, which will continue on to Eminönü, a busy commercial hub in Istanbul’s historic peninsula dotted with landmarks such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

Fitted with 15 solar panels on its roof, the white bus with the slogan “We thought of the future and used solar power in public transportation” inscribed on its sides, took its first passengers to Eminönü.

Fatma Nur Yılmaz, an İETT official, told reporters at the unveiling event that the world is already using solar power in transportation, especially in vehicles capable of operating over long distances, but it was the first time solar power is being used in city mass transit where speeds and operation of buses greatly vary due to traffic. Yılmaz said the bus had an environmentally friendly engine and they sought to boost awareness to renewable energy use.

Although the bus runs on gasoline, the solar panels cover almost every energy need of the bus like powering information screens, cellphone charge units, Wi-Fi connection, loudspeakers, cameras and electronic ticket units. They also provide additional power for the bus’s battery and contribute to fuel efficiency. More importantly, the bus does not pollute the air as it does not have carbon monoxide emissions, İETT officials said.

Yılmaz said millions of people use public transportation in the city, adding to carbon emissions. She said their aim is to reduce emissions through solar-powered buses. More solar-powered buses will take to Istanbul roads in the near future.

Elif Özdemir was one of the first passengers on the bus. “We need more projects like these. People have difficulty breathing because of high carbon monoxide levels. I think this bus will prove beneficial, especially in Istanbul’s heavy traffic,” she said.

Selim Özkul, another passenger, said buses can also be used in other cities as Turkey has fairly sunny weather.

Public transport serves more than 14 million people in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, which also has the notoriety of having the worst traffic in the world according to a study sponsored by a leading electronic navigation company with travel times for even short distances taking up a few hours in rush hour. Add to this the carbon monoxide emissions from vehicles in traffic – over 3.5 million according to latest statistics – and transportation deals a serious impact on the environment. The İETT already introduced another environmentally friendly bus last year. Botobus, a “botanic” bus, running between Edirnekapı and Taksim, with plants on its roof to help to offset the carbon emissions the bus generates.

Source: Daily Sabah.

Link: http://www.dailysabah.com/nation/2015/08/20/countrys-first-solar-powered-bus-unveiled-in-istanbul.

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