27 June 2012

WA awards grant to solar thermal & storage plant - reneweconomy.com.au : Renew Economy

WA awards grant to solar thermal & storage plant - reneweconomy.com.au : Renew Economy

Power to the regions, I say!

A new solar power plant is going to be built with the help of some funding by the state government.

Like other solar thermal systems, this new plant with a 1.5MW (initially) turbine generator located in the town of Morawa is capable of providing energy on demand, and around the clock. It does this by placing a solar receiver containing a quantity of graphite on a 24 metre high tower and surrounding it with a number of toroidal heliostats which follow the path of the sun and direct its rays onto the receiver where water is super-heated up to 800 deg C  (1472 deg F).

After passing through the turbine, the steam is then condensed to water and re-circulated into the feedwater system – a feature that, along with its use of air-cooled condensers – makes the Solastor System ideally suited to arid regions, with limited water supplies.

The system is also modular, with each receiver and its surrounding array of toroidal heliostats making up a single module (and approximately 4 modules per hectare of land) (For American readers: 1 hectare = 107 639.104 square feet, or approximately 2.5 acres).

Nice and compact, isn't it?

Read the full story at RenewEconomy where you'll also find a nice picture to show the technological principle of the plant.

12 June 2012

IEA: we’re on track for 6 degree warming | Climate Spectator

IEA: We're on track for 6 degree warming 

You can’t get much starker a statement than the one from International Energy Agency head Maria van der Hoeven, in relation to the latest edition of the IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives publication:
"Let me be straight. Our ongoing failure to realise the full potential of clean energy technology is alarming.
"Continued heavy reliance on a narrow set of technologies and fossil fuels is a significant threat to energy security, stable economic growth and global welfare, as well as to the environment."

Yes, she mentions it to be a threat to energy security (among other aspects)!
This clearly says that drilling for oil and digging up coal for the sake of "ensuring energy supplies" is actually threatening energy security.
A stark word from a very conservative agency, which the IEA is.

The article continues:
... "the particular highlight, or to be more precise, lowlight, of this report is that if governments don’t do something urgently to wean ourselves off fossil-fuels, we’ll most likely end up with global temperature rise of six degrees Celsius.

"According to a 2010 paper by Sherwood and Huber, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, such a temperature rise would mean significant parts of the globe would be so hot and importantly humid, that it would be beyond humans to successfully adapt."...

Well we (mankind) still can avoid catastrophic climate change if we are willing to cough up a few trillion $, but that has to occur quickly. We still would benefit financially even with a savings figure of $3 to $1 invested.

I just can't see those conservative money-driven countries to go down that path in a hurry.

11 June 2012

Good on you, Wincen Cuy, Mayor of Broken Hill, for having a vision that's worth it!

Solar project to boost far west economy - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
While "far west economy" is a relative term - we're talking NSW and not all of Australia here after all - it is still a great effort other local or state governments could take a lesson from.

"An estimated 450 construction jobs are to be created when two large-scale solar farms are built at Broken Hill and Nyngan, starting in 2014.
"What a great synergy that AGL is also undertaking the wind farm here as well so we now have the mining sector starting to take some strong holds, we also now have this new renewable energy.
Broken Hill has been famed for the resources its been able to produce over the last 130 odd years, now we can become the renewable energy capital of Australia."
Read the lot on ABC

05 June 2012

Panasonic's Lithium Ion Battery System For Home Solar Power : Renewable Energy News :

Panasonic Corporation has announced it will commence mass-producing a compact long-life lithium-ion battery system for home solar power applications this month.
The Panasonic battery system has a module capacity of 1.35kWh and includes a battery management system designed to control charge and discharge of the battery. The system can store surplus electricity generated by rooftop solar panels for use when needed, further reducing the dependence on grid supplied power.

The lithium-ion battery has a design life time of 5000 cycles, based on an 80% depth of discharge per cycle. This compares very favourably to traditional deep cycle battery technologies such as AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) and gel; which may only have a serviceable life of 1,500 cycles when discharged to 80%.
As to the cost of the system, that is unknown at this point, as is a release date for the Australian market. The system will initially be made available to European households via Panasonic's Smart Energy Systems Department; part of the Mobile Energy Business Division of SANYO Component Europe GmbH.
Read the lot

04 June 2012

Australia's cumulative rooftop PV capacity nears 1.5 GW

Australia's cumulative rooftop PV capacity nears 1.5 GW
31.05.2012: According to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Australia’s total installed rooftop photovoltaic (PV) capacity grew from 23 MW in 2008 to an estimated 1,450 MW by the end of February 2012. AEMO also found that in 2011, rooftop PV installations generated about 1,200 GWh of electricity, covering 0.6 percent of the country’s energy demand. AEMO forecasts that installed rooftop PV capacity will reach 5,100 MW by 2020 and nearly 12,000 MW by 2031, based on a moderate growth scenario. Under a rapid growth scenario – in which PV system costs fall sharply, energy prices rise quickly and incentives remain relatively generous – AEMO forecasts that installed rooftop PV capacity could top 18,000 MW by 2031. In a slow scenario, however, rooftop PV capacity would not even reach 6,000 MW by 2031. … Source: Australian Energy Market Operator; Summary: PHOTON

01 June 2012

6 Reasons to Buy Solar Stocks NOW - Green World Investor - Solar Feeds

6 Reasons to Buy Solar Stocks NOW - Green World Investor - Solar Feeds

Solar Stocks are again touching their all time low on news of US imposing duties on imports of the $ 3 billion of Chinese solar panel imports . This could herald retaliatory tariffs by the Chinese government which could further harm the already teetering solar companies . However the time may have come to buy solar stocks

1) Sentiment for buying solar stocks is ...
Read the full story