For a number of reasons, replacing all of the inverters in an existing PV project is an increasingly common strategy among PV project owners, particularly for projects that have been in operation longer than five years. This revamping can bring advantages in terms of higher energy yields and lower operations costs, but it is also a complex process with potentially broad implications. In this pv magazine Webinar, produced in partnership with Sungrow, we’ll shine a spotlight on this revamping process, offering insight from successfully completed projects.
Having picked up GBP 5.8 million ($8 million) in a series of investments, U.K.-based Power Roll is pushing ahead with pilot production of an innovative new thin film with which it can manufacture both solar modules and capacitors. In the future, the design could also bring the potential for solar generation and energy storage within a single lightweight device.
Scientists in the UK have had a closer look at the impacts of floating PV systems on the water. They found that their cooling effect on water mitigates blooms of toxic blue-green algae and increased water evaporation, which are both caused by global warming. They also warned, however, that colder water may result in a reduction of the duration of so-called thermal stratification. The right proportion between the surface occupied by the PV array and a water surface’s total area is key for addressing this issue.
An Anglo-German report has suggested the environmentally-friendly desire to use only clean power to produce hydrogen, outlined by nations such as Germany, could end up being more emissions-heavy than the more pragmatic embrace of blue hydrogen under consideration in the U.K.
A global ranking of large scale solar project capacities indicates prominent roles for a resurgent Spain, behind the usual top three of China, the U.S. and India, with Australia and the Netherlands also on the rise. There were disappointing returns, though, for the U.K., Italy and Canada.
Scottish start-up Gravitricity has begun construction of a 250 kW gravity-based energy storage project at Port of Leith. A 15m-high rig uses renewable energy to raise a mass in a 150-1,500m shaft and discharges the electricity thus ‘stored’ by releasing the mass to rotate an electric generator.
Each 1.8 GW of new gas generation capacity could be replaced by 1.7 GW of solar as part of a cleaner, 6.3 GW collection of renewables and energy storage facilities–and that alternative already comes in cheaper than the business-as-usual approach, according to the Carbon Tracker thinktank.
A British-Egyptian research group has tested the use of hydrogels beads for PV module cooling. The micro-sized particles were saturated with aluminium oxide (Al2O3) water-based nanofluids and placed below the simulated PV panels. The experiment showed, according to the scientists, that the hydrogels beads were able to significantly reduce the temperature by between 17.9 and 16.3 degrees Celsius.
Scientists in the UK developed a model to explain one of the challenges to harnessing an oxygen-redox reaction in certain cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries. Based on their improved understanding of the reaction, they suggest several possible routes for further research to avoid the unwanted reactions and develop reversible, high energy density cathode materials.
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