On Thursday, March 23, 2017, scientists in Germany flipped the switch on a giant honeycomb-like setup of 149 industrial-grade spotlights officially known as "Synlight" --- or what's being described as the world's largest artificial sun.
This experiment in pursuit of efficient and renewable energy is taking place in Jülich, a town located 30 kilometers west of Cologne, and it was designed by scientists from the German Aerospace Center ("DLR"). Each one of the industrial-grade film projector spotlights used boasts roughly 4,000 times the wattage of the average light bulb.
The giant apparatus can focus all of its simulated solar energy to a surface of 20 by 20 centimeters. By doing so, the surface would receive the equivalent of 10,000 times the normal solar radiation. The scientists involved say that the device can induce very high temperatures that may help them find new ways to obtain hydrogen, which many consider to be the fuel of the future because it does not produce carbon emissions when burned for fuel.
"We're essentially bringing the sun to the Earth, by re-creating its radiation in a lab. We orientate all lamps to focus on one point, which can generate temperatures of over 3,000 degrees Celsius. The operation produces water vapor that can be split into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen created can then be used to power airplanes and cars (with) carbon-dioxide-free fuel." - Bernhard Hoffschmidt, Director of the DLR's Institute for Solar Research.
Proponents of hydrogen as a future fuel are keenly interested in taking water and splitting the H from the O, which is most simply done via a sizeable electric current. So far, this process has consumed lots of energy, which kind of defeats the purpose of fuel production.
With Synlight, DLR researchers are hope to shine light on a new method. Rather than an electric current, Synlight harnesses the power of the (artificial) sun. Hoffschmidt said the dazzling display is designed to take experiments done in smaller labs to the next level, adding that once researchers have mastered hydrogen-making techniques with Synlight's 350-kilowatt array, the process could be scaled up ten-fold on the way to reaching a level fit for industry. Nevertheless, experts say this could take about a decade, if there is sufficient industry support.
GUELPH, Ontario, Oct. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Canadian Solar Inc. (the "Company", or "Canadian Solar") (NASDAQ: CSIQ), one of the world's largest solar power companies, today announced that working together with Empowered by Light, in partnership with the GivePower Foundation, it has donated 30 kW solar panels with 72 poly cell matrix, CS6X-P, to the first mini-grid systems in Virunga National Park -- installed in August 2016.
Located in the Eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Virunga National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979.Virunga National Park is home to a large portion of the world's endangered mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, Okapis, and other rare species. In recent years, many wildlife populations have been damaged by the Congo Civil War and relentless poaching efforts. Due to the efforts by the Virunga park rangers, these numbers have shown signs of reversal, and Canadian Solar is proud to be part of the continued protection efforts.
"Protecting endangered species and environment is every corporate citizen's responsibility. As a founder and a CEO of a world leading PV solution provider, I am happy to be able to empower rangers in their endeavour," commented by Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar.
This mini-grid PV system provides electricity to the three security sectors within the conservation, powering security lights, radios, and helping enhance the ranger's ability to protect the park's wildlife, even in remote areas at night.
About Canadian Solar Inc.
Founded in 2001 in Canada, Canadian Solar is one of the world's largest and foremost solar power companies. As a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules and provider of solar energy solutions, Canadian Solar also has a geographically diversified pipeline of utility-scale power projects in various stages of development. In the past 15 years, Canadian Solar has successfully delivered over 16 GW of premium quality modules to over 90 countries around the world. For additional information about the company, follow Canadian Solar on LinkedIn or visit www.canadiansolar.com.
A microgrid is a local energy grid with control capability, which means it can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously. With centralized local power generation, businesses and/or communities can have a say in how energy is generated and distributed. And they just may become the great equalizer between consumers and the electrical companies.
The Rise of the Microgrid
Microgrids are part of a growing trend toward “distributed energy,” power that’s produced independent of a traditional utility. Distributed energy is used by its producer, but is sometimes also sold to a utility and put back onto the general grid. In other words, electricity flows two ways, not one. Microgrids are well-suited to university campuses, corporate research parks, military bases and other insular environments that want to run on their own energy from start to finish. But more than that, microgrids are making their way to neighborhoods, office buildings, and beyond.
The increasing adoption of renewable power sources have made distributed power much more practical. It’s hard to imagine generating energy for standalone neighborhoods or communities using natural gas or coal. Fossil fuel-based electricity requires complex plants and refineries that cost billions of dollars and serve millions of buildings. Rooftop solar panels and clusters of wind turbines on the other hand can successfully generate enough energy to keep the lights on in just a handful, a few hundred or a few thousand homes. Renewables may not be able to meet the needs of entire cities today. But they can reliably serve people who live off the grid, or who want to declare independence from major utilities.
According to a research report from Markets and Markets ("Microgrid Market by Grid Type Global Forecast to 2022"), the microgrid market is estimated to reach USD 34.94 Billion by 2022, representing a CAGR of 10.9% between 2016 and 2022. Drivers include falling renewable prices, especially solar PV cells, low gas emissions, as well as a growing number of rural electrification projects in Africa and APAC.
The first three months of 2016 saw the United States electrical grid add 70 times the amount of new energy capacity from renewable sources than it did from natural gas. During this three month span, nine new wind power projects provided 707 megawatts of capacity, followed by 44 solar projects adding 522 megawatts of capacity, biomass projects bringing 33 megawatts, and hydropower adding 29 megawatts. This compares to only two new natural gas projects providing 18 megawatts of generating capacity. No new capacity was added to the grid from coal, oil, or nuclear power generation.
This record uptick in renewable projects coming online happened despite sharp declines in oil, coal, and gas prices that supposedly would protect the supremacy of fossil fuel generation.
Government policy has certainly has had, and will continue to have, a role to play. Last December's Paris climate summit witnessed the U.S. pledge to lower its greenhouse gas emissions 28% by 2025. President Obama’s Clean Power Plan to reduce GHG emissions and state renewable energy mandates has prompted utility companies to increasingly invest in wind and solar farms.
Crystal Green Energy Corporation is an emerging green technology company currently developing Combined Heat and Power (CHP) panels (which they call Solar Optic Modules) for residential and commercial applications. Their patent-pending Luminosity Lens concentrates the sun’s rays on an extremely compact (1×1.1sq.m) panel, delivering over 600W CHP per panel. Compared to a traditional solar panel operating at around 15% efficiency, the SOM boasts a remarkable efficiency close to 40%.
A byproduct of this revolutionary design is a substantial amount of thermal heat. That heat could be used to decrease your domestic hot water or heating system costs.
The Sudbury, Ontario-based company is hoping to have SOMs available on the market by early next year. While the technology has potential commercial and industrial applications, the company expects the first users to be residential customers and small business owners.
GUELPH, Ontario, April 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ), one of the world's largest solar power companies, today announced that it has connected an additional six solar power plants, totaling 39.4MWp to the grid, bringing its total fleet of solar power plants in commercial operation in the United Kingdom to approximately 103.0MWp.
The six solar power plants were connected to the grid in March 2016 under the Renewable Obligations Certificate (ROC) program.
"We are very pleased to announce that our portfolio of operating solar power plants in the UK has now reached over 100MWp," commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar, "We remain committed to leveraging our industry-leading position and expertise in solar project development to meet the growing demand of clean solar energy in the UK and around the world."
About Canadian Solar Inc.
Founded in 2001 in Canada, Canadian Solar is one of the world's largest and foremost solar power companies. As a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules and a provider of solar energy solutions, Canadian Solar has a geographically diversified pipeline of utility-scale power projects. In the past 14 years, Canadian Solar has successfully deployed over 14 GW of premium quality modules in over 90 countries around the world. Furthermore, Canadian Solar is one of the most bankable companies in the solar industry, having been publicly listed on NASDAQ since 2006.
Source: Canadian Solar Inc.
Potentia Solar is a leading independent solar power producer in Ontario. Through partnering with school boards, Potentia is installing solar rooftops while making much needed roof repairs for schools across Ontario, while helping educate future generations on the benefits of solar power.
Potentia Solar is focused on developing, owning and operating solar photovoltaic energy systems for rooftop and ground installations. Their proven technology and demonstrated track record of delivering solar-powered electricity into Ontario’s energy mix enables communities to lessen their reliance on fossil-based fuels.
For more information on Potentia Solar, visit their website at www.potentiasolar.com.
We believe it is essential that we move to a clean energy economy and lessen our dependence on fossil fuels this decade. This blog shares ideas, news and other information about better, cleaner ways to meet our energy needs.