YCombinator's Alternative Energy Investments

YCombinator is the most prolific seed investor in the world. Their portfolio of hits include AirBnB, Dropbox & Stripe. They have now publicly committed to backing alternative energy investments.

5 Reasons a String Inverter Won't Cut It

Knowing the limitations of string inverters may tell you just why the Module Level Power Electronics segment - microinverters - is on the rise.

Tidal power: An inside look at how it works

From EnergyDigital:  Tidal power, a sister resource to wind, takes advantage of the predictability of the ocean tides to generate electricity, either via estuary barges or directly from the currents themselves via tidal streams. According to the Ocean Energy Council, the ideal area to net the most potential power is an area with a tidal range of at least seven meters. Energy can be generated via floating devices that drive hydraulic pumps, oscillating water columns within cylindrical shafts to create air movement, or hydropower turbines. The Pacific Northwest coast of the United States is an excellent location for tidal power, given its broad range of tide movement. According to Renewable Northwest, some areas of potential development include: • Makah Bay, Washington (by AquaEnergy Group) • Newport, Oregon (by Oregon State University / Oregon Department of Energy) • Tacoma Narrows (by Tacoma Power) • Puget Sound (by Snohomish County Public Utility District) The following sites are under development in Wales due to their wide tidal height variation and economically receptive marketplace: • Swansea Bay (by Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay) • St. Asaph (by North Wales Tidal Energy & Costal Protection) As a whole, the UK has the potential for over 11,000 MW, a staggering amount given the relatively small landmass of the country. This makes it the single largest source of hydrokinetic power in Europe, enough theoretically support 10 percent of the world’s energy consumption.   Cont'd...

Small-scale solar power growing in the United States

By Daniel J. Graeber for UPI.com:  Small-scale solar installations in the United States account for about a third of the overall capacity on the grid, a report from the federal government said. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates total U.S. solar-power output in September, the last full month for which data are available, at 3.5 million megawatt hours. Of that, just more than 30 percent came from small-scale solar installations. "Generation from roof-top photovoltaic systems has become an increasingly important part of total solar generation in the United States," EIA AdministratorAdam Sieminski said in an emailed statement. A September report from the Solar Energy Industries Association, with support from green energy market adviser GTM Research, found second quarter residential solar capacity grew 70 percent year-on-year to 473 megawatts.   Cont'd...

The Fuel Cell Industry Review 2015

The Fuel Cell Industry Review 2015 offers data and analysis by region, application and fuel cell type and includes objective commentary on key events in the industry over the past year.

Wind Farms

Many of the largest operational onshore wind farms are located in Germany, China and the United States.

Why Solar Power Could Hit a Ceiling

There could be a limit on how much solar power can grow. That’s because the more solar power we add to the grid, the less valuable it becomes. It’s a simple supply-and-demand story: solar reaches peak generation during sunny afternoons, but there’s a limited demand for such additional power during those times. As a result, solar begins to compete with itself, driving down the price that utilities are willing to pay generators. Solar power accounts for less than 1 percent of the world’s electricity generation today, but as more is added to the energy mix, the economics become increasingly unfavorable. Shayle Kann, head of GTM Research, and Varun Sivaram, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, cite recent studies of the grids in Texas and Germany that suggest the value of solar will be cut in half by the time it makes up 15 percent of the energy mix. A study of California’s grid concluded that if solar power were to reach 50 percent of the grid, it would be only a quarter as valuable as it was before any solar had been added. Kann and Sivaram combined the data from those studies to make the comparison below.   Cont'd...

Innovative Engineering in Solar Relays

As the demand for higher kVA capacities of solar inverters keeps expanding, higher switching currents need to be accommodated by relays used in these applications.

Super Cathode Battery Technology

This Q&A will focus on the incorporation of BioSolar Super Cathode technology with lithium-ion batteries - and how your technology can achieve significantly higher capacity with costs below $100/kWh, which is less than half of today's lowest cost lithium-ion batteries.

German battery maker launches scheme to share solar power

Reporting by Vera Eckert for Reuters:  German battery maker Sonnenbatterie has launched a scheme to connect households with solar panels and other consumers, aiming to better distribute surpluses of the renewable energy and help members to become more independent of conventional suppliers. The start-up company hopes the scheme, called "sonnenCommunity", will boost demand for its batteries which store solar power, allowing owners to use the clean energy even when weather conditions are not favourable. SonnenCommunity takes the storage idea a step further, allowing solar power to be shared among its members. Sonnenbatterie said the scheme would initially target the 1.5 million solar power producers who, if they sign up to the community, will receive a battery storage system with a starting price of 3,599 euros ($3,812). But eventually, the offer will also be open to non-producers, it added. If the idea of battery-powered buildings takes off, it could pose a challenge to traditional utilities such as RWE and E.ON, which still derive the bulk of their power from big centralised power stations running on fossil fuels.   Full Article:

Hydropower And Pumped Storage

The pumped storage provides a load at times of high electricity output and low electricity demand, enabling additional system peak capacity.

Smart Meters - Improved Battery Life

The battery lifetime calculation made at the beginning of a smart meter's deployment project may be impacted by the software upgrades or the increased frequency of index emissions.

70% of Mongolian nomads now have solar power

by MIHAI ANDREI for ZME Science:  In many the vast steppes of Mongolia, some things have remained unchanged for centuries. But some things have changed, and big time: according to a new report, almost 3 out of 4 Mongolian nomads are now using solar power. Even if your lifestyle is pretty much Medieval, you can still benefit from advanced technology – that’s the reasoning behind a new government initiative that encourages nomads to use solar power. Mongolia is a geographically large but sparsely populated country. Covering over 600,000 square miles, it only has a population of 3 million people. About 1.2 million of Mongolia’s citizens live in the urban capital of Ulaanbaatar, while the remaining population is widely dispersed throughout the country with a large number residing in rural areas. In total, about a quarter of the population consists of nomadic herders. The per capita income in Mongolia at the start of the millennium was about US$470 per year, with income amongst herders even lower.   Cont'd...

RevoluSun Smart Home Offers Solar Storage to Hawaiian Homeowners

Other products include PV hot water, whole house fans, skylights and sun tunnels, home automation and security, EV car charging, among others.

Chasing Efficiency in Solar Energy Sector

In 1977, the cost of solar panels was US$76.67/watt and today, it is just US$0.613/watt

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