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Solar ... In the news

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  • zeupater
    zeupater Posts: 5,358 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.
    Hi
    I was thinking more of 'the land of the midnight sun' where, in the case of Svalbard, you effectively get 24/7 sunlight for ~4 months in the Summer ... not much in the Winter though ....  ;)
    The issue I was attempting to convey is that when the sun doesn't set, it tracks the horizon for the full 360 degrees, which logically means that a fixed orientation array isn't exactly optimised and will effectively be self shading for considerable periods, particularly in dry/clear Arctic conditions ...
    Some time ago I read an article related to a tracker based system being used in a research facility in either Canada or Alaska for this very reason and it was reported to be running quite well .... the issue at the time was that panels were considerably more expensive than now, therefore the cost of the tracker unit had a far better ROI than would be likely now .... well, that and the setup was financed by some NGO or university so a ROI probably wasn't even a consideration .... B)
    HTH - Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    B)
  • Coastalwatch
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    QrizB said:
    This might be of interest to the solar power afficionados:
    After Hurricanes Katrina and Ida, a city initiative is building solar-driven disaster response hubs to increase its resilience
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/16/we-needed-to-get-off-the-grid-new-orleans-responds-to-its-crises-with-community-lighthouses

    Thanks QrizB great to read an uplifting newspaper article and what an inspiration for other communities to take on board if something needs doing when authorities or energy providers are busy focussing elsewhere.
    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.
  • Coastalwatch
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    Italy forging ahead with PV installations this year. But of course they are nearer the equator than here in the UK.

    Italy’s January-September solar installations hit 3.5 GW

    Italy deployed more than 3.51 GW of new solar in the first nine months of 2023, bringing its cumulative installed PV capacity to 28.57 GW at the end of September, according to the national energy agency.


    While Germany, further north, trebles it taking their installs to a whopping 72 GW's.

    Germany’s January-October solar capacity additions hit 11.7 GW

    Germany installed 11.7 GW of new solar capacity between January and October 2023, with 1.23 GW added in October alone, bringing the nation’s cumulative installed solar capacity to 79.2 GW.
    https://www.pv-magazine.com/2023/11/22/germanys-january-october-solar-capacity-additions-hit-11-7-gw/


    Government figures show a 6.7% increase in the UK’s solar capacity in last year

    Here in the UK government figures show an increase of 6.7% in the last year taking the total out to 15.2 GW so approx 0.8 GW growth. 
    But, fear not, we're leading the world and still on track to be net zero by 2050!  :*
    The UK government has published solar PV deployment statistics which show a total of 15.2GW of solar capacity, an increase of 6.7% in the year since June 2022. 
    The yearly increase is the highest seen since September 2017, and there are now a total of 1,353,261 solar installations in the UK.
    https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/government_figures_show_a_6-7_increase_in_the_uks_solar_capacity_in_last_ye/



    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.
  • Coastalwatch
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    If anyone was in any doubt about new energy generation being financially viable in any form other than renewables come the end of this decade then the article below will surely go some way to dispelling it. Not only that, but several years earlier as well. So just maybe, China's peak FF energy generation will arrive sooner than might otherwise have been anticipated!

    Solar module prices may reach $0.10/W by end 2024

    Tim Buckley, director of Climate Energy Finance, speaks to pv magazine about the current steep trajectory of solar module prices. He estimates that PV panels prices will end up dropping by 40% this year and predicts the closure of old technology and sub-scale solar manufacturing facilities, both in China and globally.

    Describing this new industry cycle for the solar PV technology, Buckley said it is different from previous ones, as solar is now the cheapest electricity, which is disrupting incumbent industry competitors.” This means finance will rapidly flee from investing in any new thermal power capacity in the electricity sector globally,” he said.

    The analyst is convinced that finance won’t just flee for environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues or moralistic or climate reasons, but it will flee nonetheless because it will not provide new financing to inevitably stranded assets, particularly with the concurrent rapid scaling up of battery energy storage and EVs.



    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.
  • Martyn1981
    Martyn1981 Posts: 14,873 Forumite
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    PV and batts in South Africa providing 16.5hrs of power per day. I assume setups like this will be possible across most of the World ..... but sadly in sunnier climes than the UK.

    Scatec’s 540MW PV + 1,140MWh Battery Storage Project In South Africa Begins Supplying Electricity To National Grid

    Scatec, a renewable energy solutions provider, has announced that it has officially started producing and supplying electricity to the national grid from the three Kenhardt plants in the Northern Cape Province, in South Africa. Scatec says the Kenhardt project is positioned to make an important impact on the renewable energy landscape as one of the world’s largest hybrid solar and battery storage facilities. With an installed solar capacity of 540 MW of PV, and a battery storage capacity of 225MW/1,140MWh (BYD ESS), the plant is designed to deliver 150 MW of dispatchable power from 5 am to 9.30 pm year-round to the national grid under a 20-year power purchase agreement with South Africa’s national power utility company, Eskom.

    The hybrid solar and battery storage plant integrates solar and battery technologies, overcoming intermittency challenges and bolstering grid stability. With the ability to deliver reliable power in low or no sunlight, the integrated storage enhances overall reliability. Dispatchable power production and releasing stored energy during peak demand make these plants ideal for meeting region-wide energy needs during high consumption periods.
    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.
  • Martyn1981
    Martyn1981 Posts: 14,873 Forumite
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    Article on agrivoltaics. Nice piece but nothing particularly new. However, thought I'd post it as it includes info on a study in the US regarding the benefits to the local habitat. This seems to mirror results that have been found in the UK/Europe.

    I'll quote the bit that particularly interested me.

    Agrivoltaics In Action: Evidence Shows Solar Panels Nurture Habitats And Farms, Too

    Here Are The Numbers

    As for the data, Argonne explains that the two solar arrays included in the study were planted with native grasses and native flowering plants near the beginning of 2018.

    “From August 2018 through August 2022, the researchers conducted 358 observational surveys for flowering vegetation and insect communities. They evaluated changes in plant and insect abundance and diversity with each visit,” the lab notes, emphasizing the meticulous research that went into the study.

    “The effort to obtain these data was considerable, returning to each site four times per summer to record pollinator counts,” explains study co-author Heidi Hartmann, who manages the Land Resources and Energy Policy Program of Argonne’s Environmental Sciences division.

    All the technical details are available in the study under the somewhat whimsical title, “If you build it, will they come? Insect community responses to habitat establishment at solar energy facilities in Minnesota, USA.” Argonne also provides this handy summary:

    “By the end of the field campaign, the team observed increases for all habitat and biodiversity metrics. There was an increase in native plant species diversity and flower abundance.

    “In addition, the team observed increases in the abundance and diversity of native insect pollinators and agriculturally beneficial insects, which included honeybees, native bees, wasps, hornets, hoverflies, other flies, moths, butterflies and beetles.”

    “Flowers and flowering plant species increased as well. Total insect abundance tripled, while native bees showed a 20-fold increase in numbers,” the lab added. “In an added benefit, the researchers found that pollinators from the solar sites also visited soybean flowers in adjacent crop fields, providing additional pollination services.”
    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.
  • Martyn1981
    Martyn1981 Posts: 14,873 Forumite
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    Just saw this news about a silicon/perovskite tandem module. I'm not sure I've heard about modules before 'just' cells.

    This is ~25% efficient, and works out at 421Wp for a 1.68m2 panel. That also jumped out at me, as the 250Wp panels on the front of my house are 1.68m2 (1.6m x 1.05m). There's also enough slack for a 1.68m x 1m panel ....... not that I'm pondering a swap ............  ;)

    This paragraph sounds promising:
    Prof. Dr. Stefan Glunz, head of photovoltaics at Fraunhofer ISE highlighted the mass-production potential of the technology. Glunz said: “The fact that mass production-compatible technology was used for its manufacture demonstrates the enormous potential of tandem technology for the PV industry.”
    but I've no idea how far away from potential production this technology is yet. There's also the issue of cost / cost competiveness, and the fact that perovskite degrades rapidly in sunlight (not ideal for PV), so that has been a major hurdle to overcome.

    It's always been hoped that the cheapness of perovskite (v's silicon PV), will balance out against the additional cost complexity of a tandem cell, so that the final tandem cell has the same approx cost per Wp as a conventional silicon panel, but in a smaller package.

    I'll also stick my neck and suggest that once these tandem cells are viable, and reach mass production, the efficiency figure will rise quickly too, given the high potential.

    Oxford PV, Fraunhofer ISE achieve ‘record-breaking efficiency’ for PV module

    Solar cell developer Oxford PV and Fraunhofer ISE have successfully developed a full-sized tandem PV module with a record efficiency of 25%.

    Using the Oxford PV perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells, a research team at Fraunhofer ISE has successfully manufactured a glass-glass tandem PV module with 25% efficiency (related to designated illuminated area).

    The record-breaking cell achieved an output of 421 watts on an area of 1.68 metres. This makes it the “world’s most efficient silicon perovskite tandem solar module in industrial format”, the companies declared.

    According to a statement released by the two organisations, the PV modules, which are based on perovskite silicon tandem solar cells, could have a greater efficiency rating in comparison to standard silicon PV modules. Interestingly, silicon tandem cells have a theoretical maximum efficiency of over 43% compared to less than 30% for silicon solar cells.

    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.
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
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    We might've had this before, but there's no harm having it again:

    China built more solar panels in 2023 than entire world in 2022

    China commissioned as much new solar power capacity in 2023 as the entire world did in 2022, as Beijing ramped up its drive to dominate the renewable energy market.
    Renewable energy capacity surged globally last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a new report, driven chiefly by huge expansion in China.
    “The world’s capacity to generate renewable electricity is expanding faster than at any time in the last three decades,” the IEA said, pointing out that capacity grew by 50pc globally in 2023.
    Much of the growth has come from China. Swathes of the Gobi desert are being carpeted in solar panels. Last April the first stages of a planned 450 gigawatt solar and wind system were connected to the grid.
    Xi Jinping, China’s autocratic president, has promised the country’s CO2 emissions will peak by 2030 but the breakneck expansion of renewables means it could start falling as soon as this year.
    The world’s second-largest economy will be responsible for almost 60pc of the new renewable capacity added worldwide by 2028, the IEA said.

    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Taking a break, hope to be back eventually.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • Coastalwatch
    Coastalwatch Posts: 3,233 Forumite
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    Further research highlighting the two fold benefits of Solar, combined with agriculture as against the long held view of Nimby organisations who stubbornly believe that Solar displaces agriculture rendering the area barren!
    Even in cases where crops are not grown, solar farm layouts where the planting of hedgerows and wild flowers have shown to increase biodiversity over otherwise intensely farmed cropping areas so benefitting both the number and variety of insect species along with bird and animal populations too.
    While in the uk we have less sunshine than Portugal, so a longer payback time likely, the positive benefits to plant, insect and wild life are retained.

    Research finds agrivoltaics have payback time of less than five years in Portugal

    The group found that agrivoltaic systems can achieve a payback time of five years or less and generate more value than only PV systems or only agricultural production on the land. Additionally, in studying two types of layouts – one with elevated panels and one using spaced rows of panels – the researchers noted that the spaced solution has a slightly higher potential than the elevated one.

    The team included a regular PV implementation for comparison and studied scenarios where all the energy produced by the panels was directly sold to the market using a calculated value. The analysis assumed that the farmer has a PPA and sells the energy at €0.043 ($0.046.34)/kWh. Monocrystalline silicon solar cells were chosen for the PV systems. To determine the payback period, various parameters were selected using PVsyst software, including initial investment and O&M costs and energy sales prices.




    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.
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