NREL researchers found a winning combination of materials to create a high-efficiency solar cell: a bottom layer of gallium arsenide and a top layer of gallium indium phosphide, the first practical III-V solar cell (referring to columns in the periodic table).
With each layer capturing a different part of the solar spectrum, NREL pushes the boundaries with four and five-junction cells, reaching 45.7% solar conversion efficiency. Superefficient, lightweight solar cells based on this discovery have powered satellites and the Mars rovers.
More information here.
Many owners of buildings could benefit from a sunny roof by using solar panels or a solar boiler, yet do not realise the opportunity they are passing up. The Solar Map of Flanders, one of the regions in Belgium, shows how well a roof is ranked as a source of solar energy and how much a solar installation would cost and yield simply by entering an address online.
With VITO providing their expertise in processing big data as one of the collaborators, the initiative came up with a detailed survey of the entire landscape of Flanders. By combining all information, the Solar Map is able to provide an initial, objective estimate of the suitability of every roof for a solar installation, together with a calculation of the cost price and repayment time of solar panels and a solar boiler as well as the annual savings in energy costs and CO2 emissions. The creators of the Solar Map hope to encourage building-owners, be it families or large-scale consumers, to take the result of their calculation and install solar panels or a solar boiler on their roof in order to generate up to 3.7 GW in Flanders by 2020.
Original press release by VITO.
DERlab General Assembly Welcomes TNO as New Member and Prof. Graeme Burt as New Spokesperson of the Association
The DERlab Association held its annual General Assembly on 22 March, 2017, in Arnhem (NL) to report on the work of the association, consider members’ advances in their laboratory capabilities, and discuss key areas of future activity through international opportunities and the association’s working groups. The event provided a vibrant programme with lab tours to the facilities of DERlab members EnergyVille in Genk (BE) and DNV GL (NL).
This year’s gathering gladly welcomed TNO as a new member of the DERlab Association. The Dutch organisation for applied scientific research will assist the association with its expertise in intelligent energy networks and smart grids. With the newly opened HESI facility (Hybrid Energy System Integration), TNO will contribute to the DERlab collective knowledge base and an already wide range of DERlab members’ testing services.
For the year 2017 the General Assembly elected Prof. Graeme Burt of the University of Strathclyde as the new Spokesperson of the DERlab Association. Succeeding Peter Vaessen of DNV GL, Prof. Burt is anticipating the prospective endeavours of his term, “I’m delighted to continue my cooperation in DERlab as its Spokesperson. We are at a very exciting stage in the development of distributed energy and smart grids, with new and emerging opportunities in power system testing and laboratory integration. I look forward to serving the network in this new position as DERlab grows and expands further.” Prof. Graeme Burt has been a member of the DERlab Board for 6 years, supporting the objectives and development of the association throughout.
Lab tour at DNV GL in Arnhem (NL)
ETIP SNET launched a call for experts in January and has attracted over 400 applicants. 200 experts were selected as direct and full members and another 200 as observer by the Working Group Chairs and the Executive Committee (ExCo) to define Europe´s RD&I priorities towards Energy Transition.
The experts come from a wide range of organisations and research institutions with an interest in the energy sector and have been allocated to Working Groups (WG) specialised in the following topics:
- WG1: Reliable, economic and efficient smart grid system
- WG2: Storage technologies and sector interfaces
- WG3: Flexible Generation
- WG4: Digitalisation of the electricity system and consumer participation
- WG5: Innovation implementation in the business environment
Click here for further information.
Enel, through its Mexican renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power México (EGPM), has started construction works at its 754 MW1 Villanueva solar photovoltaic plant in Viesca, Coahuila State, which is the largest PV facility under construction in the Americas and Enel’s largest solar project worldwide.
Enel will be investing around 650 million US dollars in the construction of the facility and, thus, contribute to Mexico’s growing electricity sector with the clean energy generated by Villanueva. The facility is expected to enter into service in the second half of 2018 and to generate over 1,700 GWh each year, equivalent to the energy consumption needs of over 1.3 million Mexican households.
Find out more in the original press release.
DNV GL has started the testing of ultra-high-voltage (UHV) grid components has started at its recently expanded KEMA High-Power Laboratory (HPL) in Arnhem, the Netherlands. KEMA HPL is the world’s largest independent testing and certification laboratory for medium, high and ultra-high voltage TD equipment.
The need to carry higher volumes of electricity over longer distances is leading to the emergence of so-called super grids, large-scale electricity transport networks operating at voltages of 800 kV and above. To support the electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) industry as it transitions to higher transport voltages and super grids, DNV GL expanded its available testing power to 15 GVA. Today, KEMA High-Power Laboratory is the first facility in the world capable of testing UHV electrical grid components including power transformers up to 800 kV and switchgear up to 1200 kV. “The expansion of KEMA will help the T&D industry move into the super grid age with confidence”, said Jacob Fonteijne, Executive Vice President KEMA Laboratories at DNV GL.
First UHV component, an ABB transformer, successfully passed testing in extended KEMA Laboratories High Power Laboratory at DNV GL.
Click here for the original press release.
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