Posts tagged ‘Renewable energy’

July 19, 2011

Solar panels roof could cool you home

by Jasmina Nikoloska

The journal Solar Energy recently published a study that shows additional benefits of having a solar panel roof.

According to a team of researchers led by Jan Kleissl, a professor of environmental engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, a solar photovoltaic panels not only provide clean power, they are cooling too.

Measurements of the thermal conditions throughout a roof on a building partially covered by solar photovoltaic (PV) panels were conducted in San Diego in April, and thermal infrared imagery on a clear demonstrated that daytime ceiling temperatures under the PV arrays were up to 2.5 K cooler than under the exposed roof.

Heat flux modelling showed a significant reduction in daytime roof heat flux under the PV array. At night the conditions reversed and the ceiling under the PV arrays was warmer than for the exposed roof indicating insulating properties of PV.

Simulations showed a 38 percent reduction in annual cooling load.

The team believes that much of the heat is removed by wind blowing between the panels and the roof and the benefits could be larger if there is an opening where air can circulate between the building and the solar panel, therefore tilted panels will provide more cooling.

Also, the more efficient the solar panels, the bigger the cooling effect, said Kleissl.

Since the use solar panels are growing it is important to know about their positive side effects and their impact on buildings’ total energy costs, according to Kleissl.

Although he thinks that there are more efficient ways to passively cool buildings, such as reflective roof membranes, he believes that depending on roof thermal properties installing PVs could increase reduction in the amount of used energy to cool your residence or business.

It was estimated that savings in cooling costs amounted to selling 5 percent more solar energy to the grid than the panels are actually producing.




March 14, 2011

SuperGrid is a synergistic bridge which will create Europe’s future

by Jasmina Nikoloska

Energetika.NET – reliable energy news for SEE Zubaidah Razak: SuperGrid is a solution for transmitting energy overseas Author: Jasmina Nikoloska

Ten ministers from northern and western European countries, representatives of the Offshore Grid Initiative and the European Commissioner for Energy assembled in early December 2010 to discuss a project known as SuperGrid. Their gathering resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding to develop this offshore electricity grid enabling interconnection between continental, offshore and British energy resources.

SuperGrid is an ambitious project that could secure the feeding of renewable energy generated offshore into the grid and delivery to where needed.

PHOTO: Jasmina Nikoloska

From 19 to 21 January, at the Synergistic SuperGrid for Transmitting Energy Overseas 2011 event in London, leading industry representatives, ministries, associations, solution providers and investors got together to extensively discuss insights into SuperGrid development, pathways to achieving efficiency and seeking upcoming opportunities in Europe and abroad.

Energetika.NET spoke with Zubaidah Razak, managing director at InnoQube, the organiser of Synergistic SuperGrid for Transmitting Energy Overseas 2011.

In your opinion, how important is this event in promoting the SuperGrid project and can it help to push faster the development of grid infrastructure and regulatory framework?

I would even say that there are lot of an events related to SuperGrid, based on the event I am organising – Synergistic SuperGrid for Transmitting Energy Overseas 2011. It is important and beneficial to have these three days, because we have a lot of people from different industries and backgrounds: the operators, the solution providers, the government. Planning for the event was done diligently, and we are getting good feedback from people who now understand much more. Compared with other events that only touch a little bit, we are having very good coverage.

Do you believe that SuperGrid is a synergistic bridge which will create Europe’s future?

Definitely, of course! We need something to connect, so SuperGrid, I would say, is the only thing that will help the European Union ambition to promote and to share energy among Europe, the Middle East and Africa, so SuperGrid is a solution.

This conference is coming to an end: What does your future hold?

Based on the feedback we received, as well as what we heard, and understanding more about this project, our plan is to fine-tune to get much more coverage in the development of SuperGrid, because we also want to contribute and help by organising the next event aiming at 2020-2050.

February 5, 2011

Solar industry raises concerns of potential e-waste

by Jasmina Nikoloska

Reducing the use of fossil fuel, cutting greenhouse gases and other air pollution emissions have become recognised necessities; the recent explosive growth of solar technology is a welcomed occurrence because of the expected energy crisis.

Thankfully, the Sun is most widely available energy resource.

However, solar modules contain some of the potentially dangerous substances found in electronic waste, including silicon tetrachloride, cadmium, selenium and sulphur hexafluoride, which is a potent greenhouse gas.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that e-waste is growing at two to three times the rate of any other source of waste; furthermore, only 15 to 20 per cent of e-waste is recycled.

The crystalline photovoltaic cell is the oldest and most widespread solar technology in the United States, holding a 57 per cent market share in 2009, according to Greentech Media. A thin film technology called cadmium telluride holds about 21 per cent, while copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) currently has a market share of just 6 per cent. Amorphous silicon, which also has an indium tin oxide layer, takes 16 per cent.

Silicon Valley Toxic Coalition (SCTC) issued a report in 2009 warning that solar panels provide clean energy while in use, but a variety of factors during their manufacturing and disposal has the potential to greatly damage the environment.

Now is the right time to recognise the necessary measures for the solar industry to remain sustainable and retain it green credibility. Although solar panels have a life expectancy of approximately 25 years, and it is not expected for large amounts of modules to be returned for another 10 to 15 years for recycling or disposal, there is a big e-waste potential.

It is important to build proper infrastructure and address the issues of producer responsibility, recycling in an attempt to avoid the danger of electronic waste and future plans for the disposal of solar panels that are no longer needed.

Still, most companies that are beginning recycling programmes today are proceeding under the assumption that recycling will be costly. They are preparing for that expense by creating a variety of funding mechanisms based on the principle of producer responsibility, The Guardian wrote on 3 September 2010.

Currently there is nothing much to recycle except…..

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