China's Wind-Power Capacity Linked to Grid Up 87%, Xinhua Says

China connected 50.26 gigawatts of wind-generated capacity to the nation’s largest electricity grid as of this year, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing a statement from China State Grid Corp. Growth in the on-grid wind power capacity was up 87 percent annually over the last six years, Xinhua reported, citing the larger of China’s two transmission operators. Grid-linked capacity will rise to 100 gigawatts by 2015 and 200 gigawatts by 2020, according to the report published yesterday. China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, plans to have at least 15 percent of its energy mix come from non-fossil fuels by 2020. Wind farms are the second-biggest contributor to renewable-energy capacity in the nation after hydropower dams.

The Port of the Future:
The Potential of Fuel Cells to Green Our Nation's Ports

Fuel cells can help resolve many issues facing ports. By deploying this clean and modern technology, ports can reduce pollution and increase operational efficiency. Fuel cells generate electricity using electro-chemical reactions, not combustion, so there are no polluting emissions, only water and heat as by-products.

Algae to Biofuel Technology

Algae converts at a very high efficiency into biocrude, as it has lots of caloric value and happens to have the same molecular structure as petroleum. So out of all the whole biomass sources, algae is probably the most efficiently converted to biocrude.

Impact of EVs on the Grid

While the addition of each Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) to the street is a victory for the environment, their widespread adoption will present another potential challenge to the power distribution system, particularly in urban networks.

R&D Tax Credits for Alternative Energy Manufacturers

Federal and state R&D credits provide a dollar-for-dollar offset against tax liability up to an average of approximately 15 percent of qualified spending, i.e., taxable wages, supply expenses, and a percentage of contract research expenses related to research that goes into developing new and improved products and processes.

Data Management and Smart Grids

Recent developments in communications, computational capability, and data availability all lend themselves to a high level of intelligence both on the battlefield and within the utility. The proposed benefits of the "smart grid" align well with recent developments in data integration, mining, and fusion.

Solar IP Theft

We are asking for the support of the PV industry in our ongoing efforts to aggressively fight the theft and infringement of IP, and to help ensure it does not continue to proliferate. Companies should consult their own legal counsel if they have any questions about the materials they have in use and the potential implications of the production and sale of downstream products which incorporate "infringing" materials.

Biogas Plants
Due diligence for financial security and technical safety

Profitable and safe operation of a biogas plant involves the interaction of many factors. Providing 360°screening, technical due diligence ensures clarity regarding safety and cost-effectiveness throughout all phases of the project.

Anything Can Go Wrong on a Solar Farm

Here are 16 of the potential failures or damages that can occur on a solar farm and how they could impact operations if not addressed in a timely manner.

Self Cleaning Solar Modules

Our Lotus modules are self-cleaning because they are built using nanotechnology. This technology helps us achieve a completely smooth panel surface that prevents buildup. In fact, anything that falls on the panel rolls off or is blown away by the wind.

Auditing Platforms for Energy Companies

This article will cover what "platforms" that our customers are now selecting for new auditing software installations. These customers range from energy, water, lighting and now solar auditing; spanning government agencies, independent contractors, to utilities, as well other types of ESCO's.

Report: Wind power accounted for 32% of new U.S. capacity in 2011

New U.S. wind power installations are expected to be substantially higher in 2012 than 2011, driven by the threat of expiring federal incentives, a report says. While facing policy uncertainty beyond 2012, the United States remained one of the fastest-growing wind power markets in the world in 2011, second only to China, a report prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy said. With around 6.8 gigawatts of new wind power capacity connected to the U.S. grid in 2011, wind power comprised 32 percent of all new U.S. electric capacity additions for the year, the report said. Projections are for continued strong growth in 2012, followed by dramatically lower additions in 2013 following the expiration of key federal incentives, a Department of Energy release announcing the report said Tuesday. Low natural gas prices and modest electricity demand growth threaten to dramatically slow new builds in 2013 and beyond, despite recent improvements in the cost and performance of wind power technology, the report's authors said.

Schletter Invests $27 Million In Solar Power Manufacturing Plant, Creating 305 North Carolina Jobs

A manufacturer of solar power mounting systems, Schletter, Inc., will invest $27 million to establish a production and distribution facility in Shelby, North Carolina, with plans to create 305 jobs by the end of 2016. The new facility in Shelby, which will serve as the production and distribution hub of Schletter’s east coast operations, will house all functions required to produce the company’s eight types of solar mounting systems. In addition to the manufacturing operations, the Shelby location will become Schletter’s U.S. headquarters. We’re excited to offer our customers improved delivery and service options by opening our second U.S. manufacturing facility and new U.S. corporate headquarters in Shelby, North Carolina,” stated Martin Hausner, President of Schletter Inc. “The decision to locate a manufacturing facility in North Carolina was primarily based on providing improved services for our East Coast customers; faster delivery of our products, and reduced logistics costs,” Ludwig Schletter, owner of the Schletter Corporation said. “We will never lose sight of our goals which include remaining a competitive force in the market while providing the highest quality product.”

New Solar Power Design Inspired by Telescope Could Produce Twice the Energy

Researchers have designed a new solar power module that uses a curved mirror to focus sunlight onto a 5-inch glass ball that then spreads the light evenly across a solar panel, leading to twice the power output of traditional solar panels when combined with high-efficiency solar cells. The design was inspired by telescope technology and the high-efficiency solar cells used by space agencies. The module also tracks the sun and rotates with it to increase its efficiency. The whole module is mounted on a steel 10-ft by 10-ft rotating frame that moves with the sun. “The tracker is fully automated,” Blake Coughenour, a graduate student in the UA’s College of Optical Sciences, explained. “The system wakes itself up in the morning and turns to the East. It knows where the sun will rise even while it’s still below the horizon. It tracks the sun’s path during the day all the way to sunset, then parks itself for the night.” One of the most interesting parts of the system is the mirror. The researchers came up with a dish-shaped mirror design that works very well for concentrating sunlight specifically for photovoltaics, as opposed to a solar thermal system.  

China's Wanxiang to take control of battery maker A123

A123 Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: AONE) , designer, developer, manufacturer and seller of rechargeable lithium-ion and energy storage systems, today reported a loss in its second quarter. However, shares of the Waltham, Massachusetts-based are gaining after it secured a financing deal. For the second quarter, AONE reported a loss of $82.9 million, or $0.56 per share, compared to a loss of $55.4 million, or $0.44 per share reported for the same period in the previous year. Revenue for the quarter fell 53% to $17 million. AONE’s results were worse than Street estimates. Despite posting worse-than-expected results, AONE shares are up sharply today after the company reached an agreement with Chinese auto parts maker Wanxiang Group Corp. for an investment of up to $450 million. The investment will help AONE to stay afloat. David Vieau, CEO of A123 Systems, said that today’s announcement is the first step toward solidifying a strategic agreement that the company believes would remove the uncertainty regarding its financial situation.  

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Solar & Wind - Featured Product

SolarEdge Technologies - Solar Inverters, Power Optimizers and PV Monitoring

SolarEdge Technologies - Solar Inverters, Power Optimizers and PV Monitoring

The SolarEdge PV inverter combines sophisticated digital control technology with efficient power conversion architecture to achieve superior solar power harvesting and best-in-class reliability. The fixed-voltage technology ensures the solar inverter is always working at its optimal input voltage over a wider range of string lengths and regardless of environmental conditions. A proprietary data monitoring receiver has been integrated into the inverter and aggregates the power optimizer performance data from each PV module. This data can be transmitted to the web and accessed via the SolarEdge Monitoring Portal for performance analysis, fault detection and troubleshooting of PV systems.