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New, Cheap Electric Energy Storage System Like Pumped Hydro but Subterranean

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Pumped Hydro Compressed Air Energy Storage (PHCAES) is a new system that can deliver stored energy at two to three cents per kilowatt-hour. This cost, far lower than that of lithium batteries, is similar to Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES), a proven technology. Although it has many similarities to PHES, PHCAES has significant advantages over PHES -- including lower capital costs and significantly less land space required.

Like PHES, PHCAES uses a ground-level water reservoir and a power plant. The difference is in the pressure reservoirs. Whereas PHES uses a high elevation water reservoir to create a water pressure head, PHCAES uses a depleted underground well (gas/oil/water) that contains a reservoir of water along with high-pressure air to create its water pressure head. Both PHES and PHCAES pump/reverse water flow between the surface water reservoir and their respective high- pressure head reservoirs through a power plant to either store or produce electric power. See figure 1.

Capital costs will be lower for PHCAES because this system uses an existing well compared to constructing a sizeable elevated water reservoir for PHES. PHCAES stores energy at a much higher pressure, therefore requiring a five times smaller surface water reservoir than PHES for the same amount of energy stored.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 January 2021 06:39

UK takes historic step to decarbonise cars and vans

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The UK has taken another historic step on the road to ending its contribution to climate change while boosting jobs in the process, as the Prime Minister, Transport Secretary and Business Secretary announced the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030. This will put the UK on course to be the fastest G7 country to decarbonise cars and vans. Following consultation with stakeholders, industry and the wider public, a two-phased approach to the process was announced.

Step one will see the phase out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans brought forward to 2030. Step two will see all new cars and vans be fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2035. Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and vans can be sold if they have the capability to drive a significant distance with zero emissions (e.g. plug in hybrids or full hybrids), and this will be defined through consultation.

The move is underpinned by over £1.8bn to support greater uptake of zero emission vehicles for greener car journeys. New measures announced today include more chargepoints to build on our world-class infrastructure network, alongside innovation for new clean technologies. This investment will improve air quality in our towns and cities and support economic growth right across the UK, putting us at the forefront of the zero emission vehicle revolution with vehicles built right here in the UK. Part of today’s announcement is £1.3bn to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles in homes, streets [across the UK] and on motorways across England, so people can more easily and conveniently charge their cars.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 November 2020 13:56

Solar Power Supply awarded the contract for the installation of a 144 kW solar in California

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Solar Power Supply, a leading provider of solar energy systems in Southern California, formally announced it was awarded the contract for the installation of a 144 kW solar energy system with America’s Best Value Inn & Suites located in Fontana, California. The system will consist of 336 Hanwha Q Cells Q.Peak Duo L-G8 430 solar panels, 168 SolarEdge Optimizers, three SolarEdge Inverters, Unirac solar rack mounts, and Prosolar FastJack fasteners. This large project for the company is targeted to be completed by the end of November, just in time for the holiday season. With the recent approvals obtained, Solar Power Supply started installation earlier this month and will ramp up its progress to ensure it meets its deadline.

“America’s Best Value Inn & Suite in Fontana sees the value of renewable energy, and we’re extremely excited to have been chosen as the supplier for their solar power needs,” said Rudy Flores, CEO of Solar Power Supply. “We’ve designed a system that will create ample power for them throughout the year, even in times when energy consumption is at its peak. As for Solar Power Supply, this project requires additional manpower which will help generate job openings that were once lost due to the pandemic.”


Renewable energy sources dominate U.S. electrical generating capacity in 2020

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According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data just released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) dominated new U.S. electrical generating capacity additions in the first eight months of 2020. Combined, they accounted for 63.3% - or 10,445 megawatts (MW) - of the 16,499 MW of new utility-scale capacity added during the first two-thirds of this year.

FERC's latest monthly "Energy Infrastructure Update" report (with data through August 31, 2020) also reveals that natural gas accounted for 36.5% (6,029 MW) of the total, with very small contributions by coal (20 MW) and "other" sources (5 MW) providing the balance. There have been no new capacity additions by oil, nuclear power, or geothermal energy since the beginning of the year. Moreover, all of the 2,781 MW of new generating capacity added this summer (i.e., June, July, August) was provided by solar (1,448 MW), wind (1,309 MW), and hydropower (24 MW).

Renewable energy sources now account for 23.2% of the nation’s total available installed generating capacity and continue to expand their lead over coal (20.1%). [1] The generating capacity of just wind and solar is now at 13.3% of the nation’s total … and that does not include distributed (e.g., rooftop) solar. For perspective, five years ago, FERC reported that installed renewable energy generating capacity was 17.4% of the nation's total with wind at 5.9% (now 9.2%) and solar at 1.1% (now 4.1%). By comparison, in August 2015, coal's share was 26.5% (now 20.1%), nuclear was 9.2% (now 8.7%), and oil was 3.9% (now 3.3%). Only natural gas has shown any growth among non-renewable sources - expanding modestly from a 42.8% share five years ago to 44.6% today.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 October 2020 12:03

Multilayered solar panels are more efficient

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The main reason why solar panel manufacturers choose silicon solar panels are because they are relatively affordable. However, the main issue with silicon solar panels is that they convert only around 20% of available sunlight into usable electricity.

The recent study conducted by the University of Illinois claims that the answer for improving the solar energy efficiency may lie in multilayered solar panels.

According to this study by using a precisely controlled fabrication process, manufacturers can produce multilayered solar panels with the potential to be 1.5 times more efficient compared to traditional silicon panels.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 October 2020 05:35

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