Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Can you name any other energy plant that you build, operate and try to understand if it’s performing efficiently, without actually measuring the fuel that you’re supplying? A wind farm is often exactly that. According to a recent ‘A Word About Wind’ study, almost 50% of those surveyed placed the validation of their production plant as the Number One priority for them – and currently almost half the interviewed were not confident in what’s actually happening with their asset at any given time. Until recent years the cost and complexity of measuring with met masts across a wind farm has made this measure of wind farm ‘fuel’, i.e. the wind, impractical. Nacelle or spinner anemometry is given the challenging job of trying to do its best whilst measuring wind behind, or close the rotor and the disturbed air flow. Add to that site complexity, wakes and turbine array effects… it has meant that estimations of wind speed based on rotor speed, power generation or forecasting are often the only choice. In contrast, Nacelle Based Lidars remotely and precisely measure the wind ahead of a turbine and provide meaningful validations of how wind turbines and wind farms are performing providing information for asset optimisation.

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The declaration of a climate emergency in Scotland, quickly followed by the rest of the UK, has been a boon for the renewable energy sector. After all, without clean power, heat and transport fuels, our ambitious net-zero targets are totally out of reach. But we know tackling the carbon emissions caused by our increasing demand for energy isn’t enough on its own. The world’s raw resources are limited. As demand for these resources increase, supplies deplete, driving up costs. It’s imperative that we change the way we use products and materials, and Scotland’s ambition for a circular economy shows we are committed to making that change. The circular economy represents an opportunity to move away from the linear approach of creating and delivering a product or service that is disposed of at the end of its life. This waste represents an enormous pool of resources that can be exploited with minimal impact on the environment. A circular economy focuses on responsible production: businesses which supply products and services get the maximum life and value from the resources used to make them, keeping these resources in a continuous loop of re-use. Doing that can take a number of forms: • from re-use and repair -where a product’s

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Delivering climate neutrality requires adequate new national energy strategies, policies, and regulatory frameworks to be in place due to the massive energy transformation needed. The European Union has been at the forefront of global climate action so far, and is the first major economy to put in place a legally binding framework to deliver on its pledges under the Paris Agreement and it is successfully transitioning towards a low emissions economy, targeting to reach climate neutrality by 2050. We have useful lessons that can be drawn from the renewables energy industry, showing what can be achieved when there is a joint commitment by governments, energy companies and regulators. Denmark’s energy transition experience can teach very valuable lessons. The transition in Denmark started more or less 50 years ago, when the oil crisis rocked the world in the 1970s and Danish industries had to shut down; at that time almost 90% of the energy was coming from imported oil. From the oil crisis of the 70s, via the first offshore wind farm in 1991, today 44% of electricity in Denmark is supplied by wind and solar power. So far from the 90s their carbon emissions dropped by 38%, while its GDP more than doubled.

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How lessons from the oil and gas industry can support the floating offshore wind (FLOW) sector’s sustainable development Floating offshore wind has the potential to substantially increase access to an unlimited energy resource in deeper waters, and can play a crucial role in driving the world’s transition to clean energy. This paper examines the importance of adopting proven approaches from the offshore hydrocarbon sector to realise floating offshore wind’s successful commercialisation, drawing on comparisons between the sector’s current use of asset monitoring systems in pilot projects and the potential of the technology’s full-scale application. Going beyond model verification, it analyses how the technology can secure platforms throughout their entire lifecycles; mitigating risk to stakeholders, supporting array upscaling, and delivering the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) benefits of digitalisation. As part of the worldwide aim for net-zero, or carbon neutrality, European leaders have committed to reaching a 32% renewables grid contribution by 2030 – up from 17.5% in 2017. Recognising the limitations of fixed bottom offshore wind, floating offshore wind (FLOW) is increasingly viewed as an integral part of this initiative. With consistent high-velocity winds, operating in deep waters has the potential to uplift FLOW’s capacity factor when compared with its fixed

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In recent years, the construction of offshore wind farms has flourished as many countries strive to increase the share of renewable energy in their overall energy mix. Offshore wind offers some significant advantages compared to onshore developments, including stronger and more stable wind conditions ensuring a more dependable energy output, sufficient space in the national EEZs for large projects, and, last but not least, increased public acceptance compared with onshore developments. These benefits have fueled the realization of numerous projects not only in the North Sea, but also in many other shallow-water, mid-latitude areas of the world. However, the nature of offshore wind turbine generator (WTG) foundations and offshore environmental conditions pose serious challenges for the construction of wind farms. Today, WTG foundations are most often constructed as monopiles: large-diameter: 5 -10 m steel pipes that are rammed, or vibrated into the seafloor sediments to a depth of 30-80 m. However, several other foundation types have been used, e.g., jacket and gravity foundations and, more recently, suction buckets in conjunction with monopoles or jackets. The decisions as regards foundation types and necessary installation depths generally depend on the local geotechnical characteristics of the encountered sediments. Foundations are designed in the appropriate

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The reliability of an offshore wind turbine and the resources required to maintain it can make up ~30% of the overall cost of energy, thus determining and understanding offshore wind turbine failure rates is vital for modelling and reducing O&M costs and in turn minimizing the levelized cost of energy (LCoE). The reliability of an offshore wind turbine and the resources required to maintain it can make up ~30% of the overall cost of energy, thus determining and understanding offshore wind turbine failure rates is vital for modelling and reducing O&M costs and in turn minimizing the levelized cost of energy (LCoE). One of the main optimization challenges that offshore wind faces is the cost of Operation and Maintenance activities, especially because of the difficulties associated with access for maintenance. The reliability of an offshore wind turbine and the resources required to maintain it can make up ~30% of the overall cost of energy, thus determining and understanding offshore wind turbine failure rates is vital for modelling and reducing O&M costs and in turn minimizing the levelized cost of energy (LCoE). Even if the documentation on offshore failure rates is rather poor in the past, some recent analyses have already identified

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With the steady growth of solar power and the increase of PV plants worldwide, a new series of PV modules, suitable for 1500-Volt systems, is on the rise. The higher demand for the latest, ‘1500 Volt ready’ generation of PV connectors from Stäubli Electrical Connectors, raises the question of the interchangeability of the new MC4-Evo 2 with the Original MC4. Along with the growth of the worldwide demand for energy and the need for replacing fossil fuel energy generation technologies, the renewable energy sector added 176 GW of power generating capacity globally last year, accounting for 72 percent of all power expansion during that period1. Main drivers behind this growth are the trend toward decarbonization and the overall electrification of appliances and industries. Solar energy contributed with more than 60 percent to this rise as it was able to generate a cost-competitive solution in regard to the needs. Important technology innovations and cost reductions accompany and support this market development that experienced a steady but very fast rise during the last 10 years. A 1500-Volt PV system design offers investment cost benefits over traditional system designs in large-scale PV plants. This leads to an increase of 1500-Volt systems being implemented during the

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Powerful vacuum technology and reliable tightness control for improved efficiencies of solar receivers When solar energy for electricity generation is discussed, photovoltaic systems most often come to mind. However, concentrated solar power systems are gaining popularity as an interesting alternative. In this type of power plants, collector systems concentrate sunlight and collect it on an absorber pipe. A heat transfer fluid in these absorbers or receivers transports the energy to a turbine which is connected to an electrical power generator. This type of power plant is installed in regions that offer high levels of direct sunlight irradiation, for example, in Spain, the US (California and Arizona), and North Africa (Morocco). More recent installations are spreading all over the world including facilities in India, Israel, the Arabian Peninsula, South Africa, Australia and China. The technology Various concentrator technologies are using parabolic troughs, solar power towers, Fresnel reflectors, and hybrid systems using both solar power and synthesis gas as an energy source. The majority of installations is using parabolic troughs. In a solar thermal parabolic trough power plant, parabolic shaped mirrors concentrate solar radiation in an absorber pipe, the so-called receiver, positioned at the focal point of the reflectors. A heat transfer fluid such as

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The performance degradation of solar modules Renewable energies are among the most important sources of electricity in Germany. Their expansion is a central pillar of the energy transition. Solar energy is one of the most significant renewable energy sources. Photovoltaic systems and solar parks represent an ever-increasing share of global energy production, because photovoltaics offer many advantages: extremely low operating costs and reliable yield forecasts; they do not require extensive construction measures and do not produce either pollutants or noise. Photovoltaic systems are also becoming particularly attractive in terms of their service life, which is now specified at 20 to 40 years. This depends primarily on the quality of the individual components. The quality of the solar modules, inverter and mounting frame is therefore crucial. The service life of the PV system is also determined by factors such as professional planning and design, the execution of the installation, and regular maintenance and servicing. A problem that now occurs in many PV systems and considerably impairs their service life is Potential Induced Degradation (PID) – the performance degradation of solar modules. As a result of negative voltage between the solar modules and the ground potential, there is a successive reduction in performance,

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