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Solar ... In the news

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  • Exiled_Tyke
    Exiled_Tyke Posts: 1,205 Forumite
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    edited 2 November 2023 at 7:49PM
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    zeupater said:
    ABrass said:
    You're right that nuclear has a low marginal cost for fuel. It doesn't matter if the reactor is at 50% or 100%, it costs the same to run and the power just costs twice as much.

    So using nuclear to load follow is incredibly expensive. We'd end up building the same intraday storage for renewables again, as we did with Dinorwig pumped hydro to deal with inflexible nuclear and coal.
    Hi
    As we all know (or should do by now!), Dynorwig boils down to a pretty huge generator set coupled to a teeny, weeny battery (~9 Megalitres water) which was effectively designed to partly address the evening peak demand when consumers in the served area were making a cuppa-tea and settling down to watch Coronation Street ... no more, no less ...
    It's definitely not inter-seasonal and by no means even intraday .... in order to improve on the idea to a scale where it would even be considered as being 'intraday' or having a potential to be considered to be any type of strategic resource, you'd need to expand the storage to somewhere approaching the water volume of the Elan Valley system, so ~100,000 Megalitres.
    The original idea of utilising pumped storage in this area was to partially soak up excess overnight nuclear generation for the local Trawsfynned (~15miles) & Wylfa (~25miles) power stations. However, where Dynorwig's location and capacity is potentially useful is due to it's proximity to the sea and the massive tidal flow potential of the Menai Strait (~7miles) in order to cover for slack tide conditions .... perfect location, perfect synergy, joined-up-thinking!! ....
    ... now all we need is a large tidal flow flow scheme to capture the vast generation potential of the natural Menai Strait resource and we're logically on our way to a a well balanced winner .... but then again, who takes time to think logically ???
    HTH - Z ... :*
    To take us even more off topic, here's a nice little right up about Dinorwig.  However, a few years back I was discussing it with the National Grid's chief electrical engineer how told me that it never made economic sense and wouldn't have been done today. However that discussion was way before prices spiked and with so many other factors changing as generation and demand change, perhaps the economic case for such schemes is stronger again.https://www.theguardian.com/news/2023/nov/02/beauty-of-infrastructure-electric-mountain-dinorwig-power-station-north-wales
    Install 28th Nov 15, 3.3kW, (11x300LG), SolarEdge, SW. W Yorks.
    Install 2: Sept 19, 600W SSE
    Solax 6.3kWh battery
  • Martyn1981
    Martyn1981 Posts: 14,870 Forumite
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    edited 8 November 2023 at 5:43PM
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    Perhaps this is more general energy, but let's pop it on the solar news thread.

    So many big issues in one:

    We have Nigeria cancelling fuel subsidies, which has related in a huge jump in petrol and diesel prices.

    Then we have the very well priced (I believe) packages of PV, batts and inverters to displace diesel generators.

    And also potentially, a great way to accelerate the shift to RE, improve electrification and maybe even aid small/simple BEV's.

    Nigeria Has Ended Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Giving Solar Power A Boost

    Solar power in Nigeria is experiencing a breakthrough moment. The poster child for neo-colonialism in Africa, Nigeria is that continent’s largest producer of crude oil. Yet it has no refineries of its own, which means Nigerians pay exorbitant prices for gasoline and diesel fuel shipped in from first world countries. To offset some of the sting of high prices, the government has resorted to subsidies for more than three decades to keep prices at the pump low. Until recently, they cost the government about $522 million each month. In 2022, Nigeria spent $9.7 billion to subsidize imported gasoline.
    When Nigeria’s new president, Bola Tinubu, took office in May, the first thing he did was scrap those subsidies. “The fuel subsidy is gone,” declared in the middle of his 30-minute inauguration speech, according to Bloomberg. Gasoline and diesel prices spiked 175% overnight, disrupting the economics of a nation that depends on portable generators. Prices have risen even further since then.
    The first X Series product is the Arnergy 5000X Solar System. It is a 3 kVA complete microgrid solar solution incorporating a 5 mkVA inverter, a 5.4kWh/48v LFP lithium battery, and 2.31 kWp of solar panels. It features free solar system installation, a sleek protective casing, and a realtime online energy management platform. The full spec sheet with prices is available here.

    The Arnergy 10000X offers the same benefits but with more power. It is a 10 kVA complete microgrid solar solution that incorporates a 10 kVA (two 5kVA) inverter, 10.8kWh (two 5.4kWh) 48v LFP lithium batteries, plus 9.24 kWp of monocrystalline solar panels. It also features free solar system installation, a sleek protective casing, and a real time energy management system. The full spec sheet is available here.

    Both systems come with a five-year warranty. The 10000X with a 10.8 kWh battery is priced at around $11,500, which seems quite affordable when compared to the price of a Tesla Powerwall and a 9 kW solar array.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW). Two A2A units for cleaner heating. Two BEV's.

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • Coastalwatch
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    Amazing that PV still functions usefully this far north accepting that it must have limited, if not zero output during winter months. Battery storage will also play a part, albeit just intra day. I guess to improve on that 70%, a wind turbine might assist, although not entirely sure the freezing conditions would allow it to operate normally. From the images I've seen of polar expeditions then strong winds often seem to feature so wonder if the blades might end up covered in ice and therefore dangerously out of balance.

    Norwegian developer switches on northernmost ground-mounted PV plant

    Norway's Store Norske Energi has a PV system in the Svalbard archipelago, at the 78th parallel north. The islands are the last inhabited locations before the North Pole and are immersed in darkness throughout the winter.
    Mons Ole Sellevold, renewables project manager for Store Norske Energi AS, told pv magazine that the pilot project could reduce the use of fossil fuels by 70% and serve as a model for Arctic communities' transition to renewable energy.


    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus Zappi charger and 2 x ASHP's. Givenergy 8.2 & 9.5 kWh batts, 2 x 3 kW ac inverters. Indra V2H . CoCharger Host, Interest in Ripple Energy & Abundance.
  • 70sbudgie
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    Although they would have short generating windows in the winter, they will have long generating periods in the summer.
    4.3kW PV, 3.6kW inverter. Octopus Tracker. Zoe. Ripple x 2. Cheshire
  • Martyn1981
    Martyn1981 Posts: 14,870 Forumite
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    Another article talking about both agrivoltaics and vertical mounted bi-facial panels. The study points to a reduction in water needs due to reduced evaporation from the shading, and also soil loss thanks to the wind break effect. Both new news for me.

    I assume that E/W facing, vertically mounted bi-facial panels work better and better as you approach the equator, but I may be jumping to very dodgy conclusions.

    Lots of positives.

    Bifacial Solar Panels To Open Floodgates Of Agrivoltaic Potential

    The agrivoltaic field is racing along at a rapid clip in some parts of the globe, where farmers are eager to combine renewable energy from solar panels with pollinator habitats, grazing lands, and other agricultural activities. The economic case for these dual-use projects has yet to develop in some regions, but research in Chile indicates that new bifacial solar panels could help expand the practice around the world.
    Agrivoltaic arrays deploy raised solar panels and other design features to enable farming activities to take place within the array. The additional cost of the raised racks is offset by the value of grazing livestock, growing crops, or cultivating pollinator habitats on the land, in addition to the broader value of preserving farmland against destructive development.

    Researchers are also building evidence that the combination of solar panels and farming shares features with regenerative agriculture, a set of sustainable land management principles based on the practices of indigenous cultures. Regenerative agriculture prioritizes soil health, which solar panels can assist by reducing evaporation and reducing windblown soil loss, too. The shade from the panels also creates a microclimate that can increase yields for some crops.
    The December issue of the journal Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments includes a close look at the use of vertical solar panels under the title, “Vertical agrivoltaics and its potential for electricity production and agricultural water demand: A case study in the area of Chanco, Chile.”

    You can get all the details from the journal, but for those of you on the go the researchers compared a conventional solar array with a vertical, bifacial one.

    As may be expected, they found that the conventional array generated more electricity, but the vertical array performed well on a holistic level, including water conservation. “The results highlight that vertical AV [agrivoltaics] can generate renewable energy while reducing the water demand of irrigated main crops of the region,” they explained.

    “Results for the climatic year 2021 indicate that a north-tilted power plant produced more energy than a bi-facial vertical AV [agrivoltaic] plant, but the latter represents a significantly less [sic] impact on agricultural activities,” they emphasized.

    In an interesting twist, the research suggests that the pattern of energy output from vertical arrays could actually be an advantage in regions where the grid is already over-saturated with solar power during peak midday generation periods.

    “The analyzed vertical AV presents a lower impact to the grid due to the two peaks in daily power production that spread the generation over the day and does not contribute to the overproduction in the midday,” the researchers explained.

    The researchers also noted that water conservation related to shading was enhanced by the wind-breaking effect of the vertical panels.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW). Two A2A units for cleaner heating. Two BEV's.

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • michaels
    michaels Posts: 28,221 Forumite
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    Another article talking about both agrivoltaics and vertical mounted bi-facial panels. The study points to a reduction in water needs due to reduced evaporation from the shading, and also soil loss thanks to the wind break effect. Both new news for me.

    I assume that E/W facing, vertically mounted bi-facial panels work better and better as you approach the equator, but I may be jumping to very dodgy conclusions.

    Lots of positives.

    Bifacial Solar Panels To Open Floodgates Of Agrivoltaic Potential

    The agrivoltaic field is racing along at a rapid clip in some parts of the globe, where farmers are eager to combine renewable energy from solar panels with pollinator habitats, grazing lands, and other agricultural activities. The economic case for these dual-use projects has yet to develop in some regions, but research in Chile indicates that new bifacial solar panels could help expand the practice around the world.
    Agrivoltaic arrays deploy raised solar panels and other design features to enable farming activities to take place within the array. The additional cost of the raised racks is offset by the value of grazing livestock, growing crops, or cultivating pollinator habitats on the land, in addition to the broader value of preserving farmland against destructive development.

    Researchers are also building evidence that the combination of solar panels and farming shares features with regenerative agriculture, a set of sustainable land management principles based on the practices of indigenous cultures. Regenerative agriculture prioritizes soil health, which solar panels can assist by reducing evaporation and reducing windblown soil loss, too. The shade from the panels also creates a microclimate that can increase yields for some crops.
    The December issue of the journal Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments includes a close look at the use of vertical solar panels under the title, “Vertical agrivoltaics and its potential for electricity production and agricultural water demand: A case study in the area of Chanco, Chile.”

    You can get all the details from the journal, but for those of you on the go the researchers compared a conventional solar array with a vertical, bifacial one.

    As may be expected, they found that the conventional array generated more electricity, but the vertical array performed well on a holistic level, including water conservation. “The results highlight that vertical AV [agrivoltaics] can generate renewable energy while reducing the water demand of irrigated main crops of the region,” they explained.

    “Results for the climatic year 2021 indicate that a north-tilted power plant produced more energy than a bi-facial vertical AV [agrivoltaic] plant, but the latter represents a significantly less [sic] impact on agricultural activities,” they emphasized.

    In an interesting twist, the research suggests that the pattern of energy output from vertical arrays could actually be an advantage in regions where the grid is already over-saturated with solar power during peak midday generation periods.

    “The analyzed vertical AV presents a lower impact to the grid due to the two peaks in daily power production that spread the generation over the day and does not contribute to the overproduction in the midday,” the researchers explained.

    The researchers also noted that water conservation related to shading was enhanced by the wind-breaking effect of the vertical panels.
    You could probably use the pvgis calculator to prove or disprove your theory although I guess shading vs the relative value of early/late electricity also needs to be factored in
    I think....
  • Martyn1981
    Martyn1981 Posts: 14,870 Forumite
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    michaels said:
    Another article talking about both agrivoltaics and vertical mounted bi-facial panels. The study points to a reduction in water needs due to reduced evaporation from the shading, and also soil loss thanks to the wind break effect. Both new news for me.

    I assume that E/W facing, vertically mounted bi-facial panels work better and better as you approach the equator, but I may be jumping to very dodgy conclusions.

    Lots of positives.

    Bifacial Solar Panels To Open Floodgates Of Agrivoltaic Potential

    The agrivoltaic field is racing along at a rapid clip in some parts of the globe, where farmers are eager to combine renewable energy from solar panels with pollinator habitats, grazing lands, and other agricultural activities. The economic case for these dual-use projects has yet to develop in some regions, but research in Chile indicates that new bifacial solar panels could help expand the practice around the world.
    Agrivoltaic arrays deploy raised solar panels and other design features to enable farming activities to take place within the array. The additional cost of the raised racks is offset by the value of grazing livestock, growing crops, or cultivating pollinator habitats on the land, in addition to the broader value of preserving farmland against destructive development.

    Researchers are also building evidence that the combination of solar panels and farming shares features with regenerative agriculture, a set of sustainable land management principles based on the practices of indigenous cultures. Regenerative agriculture prioritizes soil health, which solar panels can assist by reducing evaporation and reducing windblown soil loss, too. The shade from the panels also creates a microclimate that can increase yields for some crops.
    The December issue of the journal Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments includes a close look at the use of vertical solar panels under the title, “Vertical agrivoltaics and its potential for electricity production and agricultural water demand: A case study in the area of Chanco, Chile.”

    You can get all the details from the journal, but for those of you on the go the researchers compared a conventional solar array with a vertical, bifacial one.

    As may be expected, they found that the conventional array generated more electricity, but the vertical array performed well on a holistic level, including water conservation. “The results highlight that vertical AV [agrivoltaics] can generate renewable energy while reducing the water demand of irrigated main crops of the region,” they explained.

    “Results for the climatic year 2021 indicate that a north-tilted power plant produced more energy than a bi-facial vertical AV [agrivoltaic] plant, but the latter represents a significantly less [sic] impact on agricultural activities,” they emphasized.

    In an interesting twist, the research suggests that the pattern of energy output from vertical arrays could actually be an advantage in regions where the grid is already over-saturated with solar power during peak midday generation periods.

    “The analyzed vertical AV presents a lower impact to the grid due to the two peaks in daily power production that spread the generation over the day and does not contribute to the overproduction in the midday,” the researchers explained.

    The researchers also noted that water conservation related to shading was enhanced by the wind-breaking effect of the vertical panels.
    You could probably use the pvgis calculator to prove or disprove your theory although I guess shading vs the relative value of early/late electricity also needs to be factored in
    LOL. Yep, I started to do that, but wasn't sure if the bi-facials generate equally front and back, so gave up as I might just mislead myself and others. So went with an 'I don't know' instead.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW). Two A2A units for cleaner heating. Two BEV's.

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • zeupater
    zeupater Posts: 5,358 Forumite
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    70sbudgie said:
    Although they would have short generating windows in the winter, they will have long generating periods in the summer.
    Hi
    Yes, but on optimal angle fixed arrays there's a point at which no direct sunlight is falling on the face of the panels, they're effectively self-limiting on the number of efficient generation hours ....
    There's an argument for tracker systems or varying angles of incidence, but then again the additional costs need to be offset against increased generation, so it' simply boils down to a ROI calculation .... seeing that the array in question seems to be totally fixed it seems that the ROI for alternatives probably didn't work ... :(
    HTH - Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    B)
  • michaels
    michaels Posts: 28,221 Forumite
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    zeupater said:
    70sbudgie said:
    Although they would have short generating windows in the winter, they will have long generating periods in the summer.
    Hi
    Yes, but on optimal angle fixed arrays there's a point at which no direct sunlight is falling on the face of the panels, they're effectively self-limiting on the number of efficient generation hours ....
    There's an argument for tracker systems or varying angles of incidence, but then again the additional costs need to be offset against increased generation, so it' simply boils down to a ROI calculation .... seeing that the array in question seems to be totally fixed it seems that the ROI for alternatives probably didn't work ... :(
    HTH - Z
    They seem to be at about 45 degrees which sounds like they are optimised for max generation rather than an angle that might give lower peak generation but spread generation longer through the year.

    I suspect the environment is not to conducive to tracking mechanisms or pretty much  anything mechanical.
    I think....
  • Martyn1981
    Martyn1981 Posts: 14,870 Forumite
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    zeupater said:
    70sbudgie said:
    Although they would have short generating windows in the winter, they will have long generating periods in the summer.
    Hi
    Yes, but on optimal angle fixed arrays there's a point at which no direct sunlight is falling on the face of the panels, they're effectively self-limiting on the number of efficient generation hours ....
    There's an argument for tracker systems or varying angles of incidence, but then again the additional costs need to be offset against increased generation, so it' simply boils down to a ROI calculation .... seeing that the array in question seems to be totally fixed it seems that the ROI for alternatives probably didn't work ... :(
    HTH - Z
    I think that's where the countries closer to the equator have us beaten, over and over, and over.

    They can use simple single axis trackers, and rotate the panels from E to W during the day. Whereas we need more complex dual axis trackers to follow both the direction and height of the sun.

    And then to rub it in even worse, a 20% (or so) gain from using trackers on a larger annual generation, is more than a 20% gain for us.

    Not to mention (too late) the smaller differential between winter and summer generation, and predictability on a daily basis ....... man I went dark, fast.

    I love PV (not that you'd know  ;)) but remain ever jealous of the potential that sunnier climes can achieve.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW). Two A2A units for cleaner heating. Two BEV's.

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
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