Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Grid integration is a key issue in the expansion of renewable energies throughout Europe. The requirements for power generation plants at all voltage levels have changed significantly with the pan-European harmonisation of grid connection requirements and the resulting adaptations to the national foundations. The aim of the EU regulation is to create a stable electricity grid throughout Europe in order to further increase the share of renewable energies with respect to climate goals. ‘We are glad to have found a competent and very experienced partner for power plant control in meteocontrol.’ These new regulations close the gap, particularly in the area of verification, which previously presented a grey area at the project level: manufacturers attested themselves with a manufacturer’s declaration that ensured that their power plant controllers fulfilled the necessary requirements. Project-specific uncertainties during commissioning were the result. With the new network code throughout Europe a new step has been made. Creating a solar power plant in the three-digit megawatt range such as Midden-Groningen with feed-in at the high voltage level is a challenge that is unparalleled in its complexity and scope. The requirements for power plant control, especially for voltage and reactive power control, were high and the verification process

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Reliable measurement of solar irradiance, and other environmental parameters, is crucial to accurately calculating the performance ratio (PR) of a solar energy plant. IEC 61724, published in March 2017, is the latest and most comprehensive international standard to address these issues. But what does it mean? IEC 61274-1 Photovoltaic system performance - Part 1: Monitoring also serves as the basis of two standards for performance analysis that rely upon the data collected, IEC TS 61724-2 and IEC TS 61724-3. Part 1 outlines equipment, methods, and terminology for the performance monitoring and analysis of solar energy PV plant systems; from irradiance input to AC power output. It is applicable to fixed angle, single-axis tracking and dual-axis tracking conventional PV modules and to concentrator (CPV) systems. It does not currently cover bifacial installations. For Classes C and B, it is acceptable to estimate some measurements from other nearby and reliable data sources, but these are rarely available. For Class A all parameters must be monitored at the site.

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Abstract: we analyze available measurement time in a sun simulator in highest-throughput production of silicon solar cells. We explain how this time is distributed on the different measurements, which need to be performed to characterize a solar cell. For high-efficiency solar cells, we elaborate how it is possible to reduce the required measurement time to determine their IV characteristics such that throughput requirements can be met in all cases. We find that a combination of voltage sweep speed adaptation and advanced hysteresis evaluation is suited for highest throughput without compromising measurement accuracy even for highest-capacitance heterojunction (HJ) cells. Introduction Modern solar cell production lines run at high throughput with cycle times of 1 s or below. For the near future, cycle times as low as 800 ms, translating to a throughput of up to 4500 wafers/hour, have to be achieved on a single line of a solar cell tester and sorter. To allow such short cycle times, handling and measurement times need to meet strict requirements. At the same time, Si-solar cell efficiency is constantly improving, thereby increasing cell capacity due to higher effective charge carrier lifetime. As a result, the required time for a device to achieve quasi-steady-state conditions after a change

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Dr Rob Grant FRSC, CEO at Gas Recovery and Recycle Limited, dropped in on PES to bring us up to date on their argon recycling process. They have experienced tremendous growth already and more is expected. The ArgonØ™ is good for the environment and through recycling, delivers cost reductions to companies implementing it. No wonder business is good! PES: Hi Rob, it’s a pleasure good to talk with you. As you know we have been following GR2L for some years now and you are regular participants in PES Solar/PV. To start with please could you give us a brief overview of your company? Dr Rob Grant: GR2L was founded in 2008 to commercialise chemical looping combustive purification technology developed in collaboration with Cambridge University, UK. This addresses the 10-10,000ppm impurity level gap not addressed by current conventional gas purification technologies as seen, for example, in the microelectronics industry.

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PES dropped in on Tony Etnyre, the CEO at FTC Solar, Inc, a new company, with a very experienced, committed team. Their latest PV tracking system, Voyager, is easy to install, cost effective and suitable to use on the most challenging sites. Their close collaboration with their customers is of paramount importance and flexibility is their watchword. PES: Hi Tony, it’s a pleasure to welcome you to PES Solar. Would you like to begin by giving our readers a brief overview of FTC Solar, Inc? Tony Etnyre: The team at FTC Solar has industry leading experience designing, developing, supplying, and deploying over 4 GW of single axis trackers across the US and abroad. FTC Solar was established in 2017 with a team of solar professionals who had been involved in designing and building solar plants for over a decade. We were convinced there was a need to build a better, more simplified single axis tracker for the global market. We believe the Voyager Single Axis Tracker, coupled with the software and engineering services we provide, meet that need. Our mission is to provide high performance, low cost PV tracking systems that are easy to install, minimize BOS costs and are suitable for

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Following the acquisition and integration of ABB’s solar inverter business, completed in the first quarter of 2020, FIMER took a decisive step forward in its strategy. Leonardo Botti, Head of Global Sales and Product Management explains how FIMER is shaping a new era in solar as digitalization will level the energy playing field, enhance Distributed Energy Resources (DER) operations and propel solar adoption. In a global scenario where the demand for renewable energy is constantly growing, solar has the power to shape new and progressive energy models for a sustainable world. Recent reports indicate that, in the current climate, demand for renewable sources are holding their own with several MW investments taking place in territories such as Spain, South East Asia and the Middle East with solar being one of the principle energy sources.* Thanks to its distributed nature, reliable performance and competitiveness, solar energy will continue this trajectory. In the future, the energy market will experience a massive surge in energy diversification and solar will be a key power source supporting all business models effectively, including energy generation and distributed energy resources (DERs) to self-consumption and peer-2-peer (P2P) technology. Geographical limitations will also be reduced, as solar today is much more

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Our reliance on fossil fuels is ending. Not because we’ve run out of oil, gas, or even coal. Not even because the harmful environmental impact of these resources is finally, sadly, irrefutable; except to the most dogmatic of climate change deniers. No. Our reliance on fossil fuels is ending because of the advances we have made in renewables, wind, hydro, geothermal, and solar; especially solar. Solar energy has always been integral to life on earth, and now through advancements in technology, increased efficiency, and the hard truth of economics, solar is fast becoming the definitive energy source of the next era in human civilization. Solar technologies have broad applications, from off-grid stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) systems to Giga-Watt (GW) scale PV power farms, or Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants, and more. Their productivity is defined by their ability to transform solar radiation into electrical and thermal power efficiently. Increased efficiency in any application is equal to more energy produced; to more money saved, or earnt. Know your input, understand your output To define the efficiency of any solar technology, we need accurate data on the input and output energy. That is, how much potential energy is available from the sun versus how much

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Atonometrics was founded in Austin, Texas, in 2007, with the mission to provide high-quality test and measurement equipment to the small but growing photovoltaics industry. The company founders came from a long background in test and measurement equipment for the semiconductor industry. The experience of the management team included over 30 years of R&D, product development, sales, marketing, and manufacturing. The company’s first products included light soaking systems and IV measurement systems for PV module manufacturers and test labs. These products have been installed in factories and labs worldwide. This experience in the PV industry led the company to develop products for operational PV plants. The company’s first soiling measurement system was introduced in 2010 and that product was followed by calibrated reference cells for cost-effective irradiance measurements. Soiling: the accumulation of dust and other contaminants is a significant concern for photovoltaic (PV) solar power plants. Soiling affects solar power generation by blocking sunlight from getting to the solar panels. It causes worldwide solar industry power losses of 4 to 7%, with corresponding revenue loss in the multibillion-dollar range. And some locations, such as the Middle East, can experience soiling losses of 50% or more during dust storms.

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PES had a great catch up with Mark Kingsley, CEO of Alion Energy, California. Leaders in solutions for trackers and O&M robotics and currently enjoying the bifacial surge in our industry. Although the current Covid 19 situation presenting some challenges, he has no doubt about the future opportunities. PES: Hi Mark, it’s a pleasure to welcome you to PES Solar. Would you like it begin by giving our readers a brief overview of Alion Energy? Mark Kingsley: Alion Energy is a total solutions provider for bifacial trackers and O&M robotics. Our brand promise is ’The Most Power from PV’ as we use integrated design to combine reflective foundations and cleaning robotics, with a patented A-frame + ballasted tracker. System design optimizes our tracker’s steel content to <18 metric tons per MWp, which allows for both a stronger and cost competitive design. PES: Would you say the solar/PV industry is expanding at the moment? MK: Very much so. Bifacial has finally arrived in force and our industry’s economics vs alternative sources of energy have never been better.

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In case you missed it, Bloomberg New Energy Finance just revised its already bullish estimates for the growth in storage deployments upward – again, predicting a 122-fold boom in the installation of stationary energy storage over the next two decades. For its part, solar continues its high double-digit growth, making it the fastest-growing form of new generation. Solar plus storage is rapidly entering the vernacular of popularly associated words and will no doubt soon be joining the ranks of peanut butter and jelly and ham and cheese in frequent use. Like those classic culinary combinations, solar and storage just go so well together. Pairing storage with solar allows solar to move from an intermittent source of energy to a dispatchable one. Achieving the base-load reliability storage offers solar will be a major step to allowing us to achieve our renewable energy goals and combat climate change. Besides for their more frequent concatenation, solar and storage share another feature common: They are both DC energy sources, batteries are actually both DC sources and loads. When the sun’s rays hit solar panels, they generate DC current. Batteries store energy in DC. Of course, our distribution grid transmits power in AC. Amazingly though, most

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