Tag: Solar PV

Giant batteries to store green energy

According to the Sunday Times, Britain could soon be relying on battery power under plans to create a network of electrical storage facilities around the national grid.

Greg Clark, the business secretary, is expected to announce plans this week for giant rechargeable battery facilities to be installed near wind and solar farms to store the energy generated when demand is low. It can then be released when demand rises.

Households will also be encouraged to switch to battery power — for example, installing batteries alongside solar panels.

Source: Sunday Times 23 July 2017

Orison – pre-launch their plug and play battery Storage

US company Orison have pre-launched their plug and play battery storage – that is due to be shipped globally to pre-paid customers from August 2016 through Kickstarter

Orison

Orison will automatically store energy when utility rates are low, and then use that energy to power your home or business when rates are high. During a power outage, it will automatically power a home or business and make sure none of your stored energy is sent back to the grid. By localizing your energy distribution, you save money and reduce peak demand on the grid.

In the UK his may not be particularly useful at present unless Economy & is used – but over the next few years “Time of Use” incentives are likely to come along with the roll out of smart metering.

Orison utility rates

However, for those that have solar PV already installed, Orison provides  a way to store the solar energy you produce so you can use it whenever you need it.

Orison diagram

The storage devices come as plug and play – in the form of an elegant panel that fits to a wall and

orison panel

in a lamp-stand shape tower.

orison lamp

The likely retail prices are for an 2.2 kWh tower $5580 and $9750 for 11 kWh. A panel will be $4900 for a 8.8 kWh system with expansion panels added to it for an additional cost. It will be shipped globally for an additional cost

More details

Victorian end-terrace, renovated with sustainable materials ~ case study

open eco homes

According to Judith the owner of this Cambridge 1912 terraced house, the main aim of the renovations was to create a bigger and more usable space. Rather than moving she realised that they could live better where we were with just a ground floor extension and better storage.

Insulating the house properly to make it cosier and reduce their Co2 emissions was very important and they also worked on making the most of the natural
light, for both aesthetic reasons as well as energy usage.

Ross Street

Improvements included using different types of internal wall insulation including polyurethane with aerogel in smaller spaces and on the chimney breasts. They also added a wood burning stove and solar PV.

Full details. Look out for Cambridge Open Eco Homes days where you can visit the property. The Open Eco Homes are run by Cambridge Carbon Footprint.

If you live in Cambridgeshire you can get a grant up to £6000 for the cost of solid wall insulation. Contact Peter Bates Tel 01353 667973 peter@80pc.org

 

Government closes popular Green Deal Home Improvement Fund immediately

The Department for Energy and Climate Change have just announced in press release that the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is to close with immediate effect. Despite only two days ago they issued a press release saying how successful the scheme had been and seemed to suggest that more money would be available, although they were reducing the subsidy for solid wall insulation from £6000 to £4000 from Friday 25 July and from 5 August 2014 flue gas heat recovery systems will not longer be an eligible measure for the subsidy.

GDHIF

See latest press release

My comment:

Only last week was I expressing concern that this scheme was in danger of becoming a classic example of “roller-coaster” intervention by DECC. This appears to have become true. DECC appear to be incapable of managing energy efficiency or renewable energy (Solar PV – Feed-in-tariff) that will lead to a steady sustainable uptake of measures – that are good for the environment, householders and the industry.

Peter Bates

 

Breakthrough research for super-efficient solar cells at Cambridge University

New solar cells could increase the maximum efficiency of solar panels by over 25%, according to scientists from the University of Cambridge. Scientists from the Cavendish Laboratory, the University’s Department of Physics, have developed a novel type of solar cell which could harvest energy from the sun much more efficiently than traditional designs.

Solar panels work by absorbing energy from particles of light, called photons, which then generate electrons to create electricity.  Traditional solar cells are only capable of capturing part of the light from the sun and much of the energy of the absorbed light, particularly of the blue photons, is lost as heat.  This inability to extract the full energy of all of the different colours of light at once means that traditional solar cells are incapable of converting more than 34% of the available sunlight into electrical power.

The Cambridge team, led by Professor Neil Greenham and Professor Sir Richard  Friend, has developed a hybrid cell which absorbs red light and harnesses the extra energy of blue light to boost the electrical current. Typically, a solar cell generates a single electron for each photon captured.  However, by adding pentacene, an organic semiconductor, the solar cells can generate two electrons for every photon from the blue light spectrum.  This could enable the cells to capture 44% of the incoming solar energy.

Bruno Ehrler, the lead author on the paper, said:

“Organic and hybrid solar cells have an advantage over current silicon-based technology because they can be produced in large quantities at low cost by roll-to-roll printing. However, much of the cost of a solar power plant is in the land, labour, and installation hardware. As a result, even if organic solar panels are less expensive, we need to improve their efficiency to make them competitive. Otherwise, it’d be like buying a cheap painting, only to find out you need an expensive frame.”

Full article