Self-drive delivery van can be 'built in four hours'

Jane Wakefield for BBC News:  A self-drive electric delivery van, that could be on UK streets next year, has been unveiled at the Wired 2016 conference in London.

The vehicle's stripped-back design and lightweight materials mean it can be assembled by one person in four hours, the firm behind it claims.

The vehicles will be "autonomous-ready", for when self-drive legislation is in place, the firm said.

The government wants to see self-drive cars on the roads by 2020.

"We find trucks today totally unacceptable. Loud, polluting and unfriendly," said Denis Sverdlov, chief executive of Charge, the automotive technology firm behind the truck.

"We are making trucks the way they should be - affordable, elegant, quiet, clean and safe."  Cont'd...

Small Power, Big Grid: Part 3 - DERs AND TRANSMISSION SYSTEM PLANNING

The Emerging Relationship between Distributed Energy Resources and the Transmission System.

Is The Best Analogy For The Energy Storage Business--Eeek!--Hard Drives?

Michael Kanellos for Forbes:  The optimism in the energy storage industry is based on soaring demand, rapid technological advances, expanding capacity and, for some, what will likely be a scary competitive environment.

First, the good news. Lithium ion battery packs over the last ten years have declined faster than the cost of solar, said John Carrington, CEO of Stem, which makes behind-the-meter storage systems for hotels and other commercial customers looking to shave peak power costs, during a hallway meeting at Finance West sponsored by the American Council of Renewable Energy this week.

Solar panels have declined by 50% or more in the last five years. Batteries have declined by 80% in three years, he said. Battery packs hit the under $300 per kilowatt hour mark last December, Carrington added. By 2020, battery pack prices could drop to $190 per kilowatt hour. (In 2007, lithium ion battery packs in the wholesale markets sold for around $1,000 per kilowatt hour.)  Cont'd...

Batteries That Make Use of Solar Power, Even in the Dark

Stanley Reed for the NY Times:  A new cash crop has sprung up on Nicholas Beatty’s enchanting farm near here. Rows of gray solar panels range over about 25 acres, turning sunlight into electricity, as dog-size muntjac deer hop by.

The panels themselves, trouble-free money earners that feed into the electric grid, are no longer unusual on farms in Britain or other countries. What’s new in Mr. Beatty’s field is a hulking 40-foot-long shipping container.

Stacked inside, in what look like drawers, are about 200 lithium-ion cells that make up a battery large enough to store a substantial portion of the electricity the solar farm puts out.

The battery and its software give Mr. Beatty an advantage over other solar panel farmers. Power prices in Britain and elsewhere rise and fall, sometimes strikingly, during the day and over the year, depending on the supply and demand.  Cont'd...

Repurposing Electric Vehicle Batteries

EV batteries still have storage capacity, typically at 80 percent, after they're removed from their vehicles and can be reclaimed for a "second life" as stationary power sources.

The Aquion Energy Saltwater Storage Battery

This system is working good in a 4000 sq ft shop & house combo, but could use more storage for peace of mind & will likely upgrade next year.

Flow Batteries in Cars?

Flow battery technology is immature. There is everything to play for and although pumping liquids from reservoirs does not sound compact or reliable in a car but who knows? Watch this space.

Tesla, Apple and Uber Push Lithium Prices Even Higher

The lithium ion battery market is forecast to expand to $46.2 billion through 2023, which represents an 11% average annual growth rate.

Solutions for E-Mobility Demands

There are two standards governing EV charging. In the U.S. there is the SAE J1772 standard, while in Europe and China the IEC61851 standard is used.

Small Power, Big Grid: Part 2 - DERs AND REGIONAL LOAD FORECASTING

The Emerging Relationship between Distributed Energy Resources and the Transmission System.

Is 2016 The Turning Point For Energy Storage?

Michael McDonald for OilPrice.com:  In the future, when investors look back at the year that represented the turning point for clean energy, 2016 may be it. The industry overall is growing at a breath-taking pace, but perhaps not for the reason that some investors think. Energy storage rather than solar power and wind power are the real factors that are driving a revolution across the electrical power industry.

Energy storage changes the equation, not only in the renewables space, but in the conventional utility space as well. The concepts of spin/non-spin reserve costs, peaker prices, and a variety of other conventional concerns for utilities, lose meaning in the context of efficient and cost-effective energy storage. While energy storage was available previously, it’s only today that costs are coming down substantially. Tesla’s economies of scale on battery storage are well-known, but small start-ups like Orison are finding ways to lower costs in innovative ways as well. The graphic below from a recent EPRI presentation highlights the role that multiple layers of costs savings can play in creating economical battery storage.  Cont'd...

Using Y Connectors in String Inverter Systems: Part I

In Part I of this blog post Eric Every, Yaskawa - Solectria Senior Applications Engineer, explores cases in which PV system designers should use Y-connectors, what the code implications may be, how they may be used with internal inverter combiners.

Siemens unveils new hot rocks energy storage system

Jocelyn Timperley for BusinessGreen:  A new energy storage technology currently under development by Siemens is set to see excess wind energy converted to heat rocks, allowing the energy to be stored using an insulated cover.

The system consists of a fan that uses an electrically-heated air flow to heat the stones to high temperatures, with the thermal energy then converted back to electricity when needed using a steam turbine.

The simple principle of the set-up promises to deliver a low-cost way of storing energy, Siemens said, with the only limit to the concept being the space required for the rock-filled insulated container.  Cont'd...

Small Power, Big Grid: Part 1

This series will focus on these questions in the area of transmission planning (regional load forecasting and solutions to identified grid needs), wholesale market design, and facilitation of utility business model reform.

New solar panel integrates battery storage, inverter, and smart software into a single unit

Derek Markham for TreeHugger:  This startup is reinventing the solar panel, and aims to cut the cost of integrating clean power and energy storage to homes by half.

Home solar has the potential to reduce, and even eliminate, electricity costs for many people, but even with the rapid advancements we're seeing in solar technology, there are still weak points that can be addressed and overcome, such as energy storage and 'smart' home integration. But a newcomer to the residential solar scene believes it has the answer, in the form of a standalone solar and battery unit which can be used singly or connected in an array, and which may be able to lower the overall costs considerably.

SunCulture's SolPad solar device integrates solid state batteries directly into the solar panels themselves, offering its users the ability to not only generate their own clean electricity, but to also store if for use after dark or during peak demand times, when electricity costs are higher. The SolPad units also incorporate an inverter, which converts the electricity from the DC generated and stored by the device to the AC required by most household appliances, and includes "intelligent software" that communicates with both the users and with their home's systems, allowing for granular control over which rooms or devices will receive the solar power.  Cont'd...

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Energy Storage & Distribution - Featured Product

sonnenBatterie eco

sonnenBatterie eco

The sonnenBatterie eco is a fully-integrated, all-in-one residential energy storage solution that utilizes intelligent energy management software and lithium-ion batteries to turn houses into smart energy homes. The system is available in a variety of storage capacities and configurations, allowing for extensibility and expansion and integrates with new and existing PV systems. The sonnenBatterie eco allows customers to save money every single day by storing excess energy generated by solar PV systems and using the stored energy from the battery to power homes when the utility rates are more expensive or when the grid is out of service in addition to enabling customers to go off-grid.