Tags Posts tagged with "distributed generation"

distributed generation

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FuturENERGY Dec. 18 - Jan. 2019

New technologies are reaching every sector, and power is no exception. To address this change, power transmission & distribution systems need to optimise the integration of renewables and manage the complex interactions between consumers and generators. This adaptation will require an investment of €7bn to 2035, according to IEA estimates. Given this scenario, smart electrical grids, as well as the development of distributed generation, will play a key role, as they will reduce the costs of this technological shift and increase the reliability of the energy model of the future. Funded by the European Commission and coordinated by CIRCE, the MEAN4SG project, which is training eleven young researchers who are preparing their doctoral theses on smart grids, is being developed within this field.

To date, Ingeteam has supplied 140 MW to Chile for solar projects coming under the Distributed Generation by Small Power Producers (PMGD) program, which supports the execution of generation projects with rated powers of up to 9 MW.

Distributed generation is an ongoing trend in Chile and in many other countries, accounting for one quarter of global investment in renewables in 2015. To promote the construction of projects of this type, the PMGD program gives PV plant owners the guarantee that they will be able to sell all their output to the electricity grid. Moreover, the National Energy Commission (CNE) allows these producers to choose between the sale of energy at either a marginal cost or stabilized price. In this latter case, producers are guaranteed stable prices that are higher than market prices, given the fact that these prices are calculated every six months by the CNE and are not subject to a time of day variation.

In the past two years, Ingeteam has supplied its PV inverters for ten solar projects of this type and is now supplying fourteen of its Inverter Stations with 1500V technology for seven solar PV plants that are being built by Grenergy, a company that also decided to install Ingeteam’s PV inverters at the La Esperanza, Marchigüe, Mostazal and Luders photovoltaic plants. Thanks to the supply of PV inverters for these last seven projects, Ingeteam has reached a total power of 140 MW at plants coming under the PMGD program in Chile. Ingeteam also has a portfolio of upcoming projects for this country, in which it holds a privileged position in the PV inverter manufacturer ranking.

In order to ensure a correct operation of the electric system, a project under the PMGD program must implement functionalities as minimum electric protections at the coupling switch. These functionalities are performed by Ingeteam’s PL70SV, already in operation in more than 20 installations of this kind. Ingeteam has supplied protection and control systems to the Chilean market to connect with the electric grid 12 renewable energy power plants –wind and solar PV-, totaling more than 1,100MW.

Furthermore, since Ingeteam first started operating in Chile, five years’ ago, the company has also gone on to secure its position as a leader in the operation and maintenance of renewable energy generating plants. In Latin America, the company provides maintenance services to a total of 2.5 GW, of which 664 MW correspond to Chile, accounting for 33% of the country’s total installed renewable power. In the solar sector in Chile, Ingeteam maintains a total of 330 MW. This record figure was primarily achieved thanks to the presence of Ingeteam in the Atacama desert. In fact, Ingeteam is going to supply the integral O&M service to four of these solar farms: Cachiyuyo Solar, Malaquita Solar, Valle Solar Este and Valle Solar Oeste. For the rest, the company will provide after-sales service.

Grenergy has closed the financing of two solar plants PMGD (Small Distributed Generation Media) photovoltaic energy projects of 9 MWs in Chile, amounting to 17 million euro, as announced earlier today to the Spanish Mercado Alternativo Bursátil (MAB).

This is the first time a Chilean bank supports a renewable energy project with these characteristics, selling energy under the Stabilized Price Regime. The projects have been financed by Security and Consorcio, in an operation that consolidates Grenergy in Chile where it in 2012 and establishes Chile as a key pillar in the Company’s Latin American strategy.

With this funding, in the form of Project Finance, the company will complete the projects of “Esperanza” and “Marchigüe”, two solar plants with a capacity of 18 nominal MW in total, which will occupy an area equivalent to over 65 football fields. The projects are under construction and will be connected to Chile’s distribution network, the Central Interconnected System (SIC). Both plants are located in the commune of Marchigüe, in the region of Libertador O’Higgins, one of the most populated regions of the country and, therefore, one with large energy needs.

In the coming weeks, Grenergy will connect its second plant in the country, “FV Alturas de Ovalle”, to the SIC, with a capacity of 3 MW’s. Together with their first plant, also located in the Ovalle region, Grenergy will generate 14 MWh/year of energy, which will cover the electrical needs of 1.900 homes while also reducing 9.000 tons of CO<sub>2</sub> per year of greenhouse gases emissions.

Chile, a leading energy market

Electric demand in Chile is growing at an accelerated rate. The combination of strong electricity demand and the country’s rich natural resources, especially solar energy generation, has made of Chile a very important energy market. In fact, Chile is a leader in solar energy in Latin America. Grenergy is very well positioned in Chile, and also has offices in Mexico, Peru and Colombia.

In addition, the government is incentivising further the development of the renewable energy sector, with the goal that by 2050, 70% of the energy consumed in the country must be from renewable sources.

Source: Grenergy

The current trend at global level in the energy sector is progressing towards distributed generation and renewable energy, fostering an increase in grid efficiency and the avoidance of energy losses during its transmission over long distances. For this, the grid requires solutions such as enhanced capacity by constructing new infrastructures or by extending those already existing and/or the implementation of energy storage solutions. This storage has to provide the grid with greater flexibility so that it can make efficient use of the available energy and facilitate the integration of a larger proportion of renewables.

Within this context, the LIFE ZAESS Project is focusing on the development of zinc-air flow batteries for large-scale grid application. The project has a 40-month duration and a budget of €1.2m funded by the EU’s LIFE Programme (LIFE13 ENV/ES/001159).

The project’s partners are CENER (Spain’s National Renewable Energy Centre) and Técnicas Reunidas, the latter acting as coordinator. Flow batteries are a type of battery in which the electrolyte is stored outside the cells, circulating through them when the charge or discharge takes place. This characteristic permits an independent dimensioning of the power and energy capacities that come from the total available surface of the cells and from the volume of electrolyte stored in the external tanks respectively. Read more…

Gabriel García, Maite Alonso and Raquel Garde
Renewable Energy Grid Integration Department at CENER (National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain)
Miguel Sierra, Belén Amunátegui and Manuel Pérez
Proprietary Technologies Development Division, Técnicas Reunidas

Article published in: FuturENERGY April 2016

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Researchers from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have developed a novel device that can track and concentrate sunlight onto high-efficient solar cells, without mechanically moving to follow the sun’s path across the sky. This proof-of-concept research is the first step towards the development of a self-tracking concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) system.

“Traditional CPV systems rotate solar panels to face the sun using a mechanical tracker that is both expensive and too big to put on rooftops,” explained Masdar Institute Research Engineer Harry Apostoleris, whose Master’s thesis focused on this work.

“We are trying to accomplish this tracking through a flat system that does not move, by changing only the optical properties of the collector, not its physical orientation,” he added.

Apostoleris is lead author of a paper published on this research earlier this month in the journal Nature Energy with his supervisor, Dr. Matteo Chiesa, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Materials Science Engineering, Masdar Institute, and Dr. Marco Stefancich, Researcher at the National Research Center in Parma, Italy. Their research was awarded an MIT Deshpande Center research grant for its innovative potential.

The team’s proposed sun-tracking system acts like a box – made of an opaque, waxy material made of a silicone and paraffin composite – that employs an optical “hole” on its surface to track the sun’s path throughout the day. As the sun’s infrared and visible light enters the hole on the box’s surface, the reflected rays are blocked when they try to escape and are utilized by high-efficiency PV cells.

The hole is created by focusing sunlight onto a single spot, which becomes transparent when hit with concentrated light, allowing the sunlight in. The box’s material is opaque when cold and transparent when hot. Thus, by focusing light onto the material, a small transparent region is created.

A lens is placed in front of the box, concentrating and directing sunlight onto a small area of the transparency-switching material, creating the optical ‘hole’ or transparent area. As the sun moves, causing the location of the focal spot to vary, the hole moves so that light can continually enter the device.

Traditional CPV systems reach high light-to-electricity conversion efficiencies – 30% or more – by concentrating direct sunlight onto multi-junction solar cells. These bulky systems track the sun’s path throughout the day with expensive and heavy mechanical systems that rotate as the sun moves.

Though, according to a report by IHS Technology, CPV installations have increased by 37% this year, their high costs and weight make them suitable only for utility-scale PV in regions with very clear skies, rendering them essentially absent from the fast-growing distributed PV market.

The main form of distributed PV, rooftop solar panels, are usually made of silicon or thin-film semiconductor cells with module efficiencies between 15-20% and are dominating the solar market. In the United States, more rooftop solar panels were installed in the first quarter of this year than natural gas power plants.

Because CPV efficiencies are much higher than flat solar panels commonly used for distributed applications, there is growing interest to make CPV systems accessible to the distributed market.

“The only thing holding CPV back from widespread residential use is its large size and high upfront costs,” explained Dr. Chiesa. “Our CPV system is compact, stationary and made of low-cost materials – which are key requirements for distributed PVs.”

Dr. Chiesa and Apostoleris have filed a patent for their Proof-of-Concept (PoC) sun-tracking system, which is the first step towards commercialization of the technology.

The team’s development of a next-generation CPV technology reflects Masdar Institute’s support of cutting-edge research that seeks to find sustainable, clean energy alternatives that are price competitive with conventional, fossil-fuel sources.


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Today, gensets with biodiesel- or natural gas-powered engines, are one of the most widely-used technologies in the distributed generation market, whether for emergency applications, prime or continuous power, CHP and so on. The global market keeps on growing and in line with two reports published by Navigant Research, global installed capacity in diesel gensets could grow from 62.5 GW in 2015 to 103.7 GW in 2024. Natural gas gensets are forecast to grow from 12.9 GW in 2015 to over 27.1 GW in 2024. Despite the predominance of diesel gensets, the line between both is increasingly blurred given the growing popularity of dual-fuel diesel-gas gensets. This article covers some of the main conclusions of these reports.

Reciprocating engines represent the most widespread and mature technology for any type of energy generation, from small portable gensets to larger industrial engines that power generators of several megawatts. Reciprocating engine-based gensets can be grouped together to form power plants, even though their primary use is for distributed generation.

As a source of emergency, continuous or prime power, diesel gensets have historically been the most popular for energy generation applications, in almost any power range and are positioned to continue this steady growth in most regions and power classes. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2015

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On 26th June the Platform for Distributed Generation & Energy Self-Consumption held a press conference in Madrid, in which it explained its point of view on self-consumption with net balance regulation, and the need for regulation that really benefits not only consumers, enabling them to save on their energy bill, but also industries, enabling them to improve competitivity.

According to the Platform, the development of a distributed generating market, focusing on saving and efficiency, would create employment, promote technological development, help to reach environmental goals, avoid the need for energy imports and allow a good section of the renewables sector to survive, particularly that part of it involved with PV and mini-wind energies.