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  1. #326
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Team creates solar cells that are wearable, washable

    Japanese researchers said they have developed solar cells that are so slim that they can be used in clothing and still function after being cleaned in a washing machine.


    The team was led by Kenjiro Fukuda, a researcher at the Riken Center for Emergent Matter Science, and Takao Someya, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Tokyo.


    The research on the batteries, which are 3 micrometers thin, was published on Sept. 18 on the website of Nature Energy, a British science journal.


    The solar batteries were created by coating an organic compound with semiconductor properties onto a polymer membrane to create photovoltaics.


    The photovoltaic was about twice as efficient in converting solar rays into electricity than ordinary ultra-thin solar batteries.


    The stretchability and water resistance of the batteries were improved when the cell was sandwiched between two layers of transparent rubber film.


    The function of the cell did not decrease even after it was washed with detergent.


    Fukuda said the battery could be attached to clothing and used to power medical devices that constantly monitor the wearer’s blood pressure and body temperature to detect early signs of illness.


    The battery could also be used for an ultra-thin smartphone that is sewn into clothing, Fukuda added.


    photos here

    Team creates solar cells that are wearable, washable?The Asahi Shimbun

  2. #327
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    China to Phase Out Internal Combustion Engine Cars

    China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market led by companies including BYD Co. and BAIC Motor Corp.

    Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales. The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday.

    The world’s second-biggest economy, which has vowed to cap its carbon emissions by 2030 and curb worsening air pollution, is the latest to join countries such as the U.K. and France seeking to phase out vehicles using gasoline and diesel. The looming ban on combustion-engine automobiles will goad both local and global automakers to focus on introducing more zero-emission electric cars to help clean up smog-choked major cities.: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...c-vehicle-push

    Starts at the 1:00 mark

    ____________

    Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene

    Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis

    Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have harnessed the power of photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into fuels and alcohols at efficiencies far greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant milestone in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel.


    Many systems have successfully reduced carbon dioxide to chemical and fuel precursors, such as carbon monoxide or a mix of carbon monoxide and hydrogen known as syngas. This new work, described in a study published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, is the first to successfully demonstrate the approach of going from carbon dioxide directly to target products, namely ethanol and ethylene, at energy conversion efficiencies rivaling natural counterparts.

    The researchers did this by optimizing each component of a photovoltaic-electrochemical system to reduce voltage loss, and creating new materials when existing ones did not suffice.

    “This is an exciting development,” said study principal investigator Joel Ager, a Berkeley Lab scientist with joint appointments in the Materials Sciences and the Chemical Sciences divisions. “As rising atmospheric CO2 levels change Earth’s climate, the need to develop sustainable sources of power has become increasingly urgent. Our work here shows that we have a plausible path to making fuels directly from sunlight.”: Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene | Berkeley Lab

    ___________

    Navajo Nations first solar project now producing enough electricity for about 13,000 homes


    A giant array of solar panels near the famed sandstone buttes of Monument Valley has begun producing electricity for the Navajo Nation at a time when the tribe is bracing for the loss of hundreds of jobs from the impending closure of a nearby coal-fired power plant.

    The Kayenta Solar Facility is the first utility-scale solar project on the Navajo Nation, producing enough electricity to power about 13,000 Navajo homes.

    The plant comes at a time when the area's energy landscape is shifting.

    The coal-fired Navajo Generating Station near Page is set to close in December 2019, leaving a site that both tribal and private entities say has the potential for renewable energy development.: Navajo Nations first solar project now producing electricity for the tribe

    ____________

    Dubai launches world’s largest Concentrated Solar Power project

    Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid launches world’s largest single-site Concentrated Solar Power project


    Dubai: The world’s largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project, costing Dh14.2 billion, will be implemented in Dubai, state news agency Wam reported on Saturday.

    To be implemented by Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (Dewa), the largest single-site project will generate 700 megawatts (MW) of power when completed. Using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, it will include the world’s tallest solar tower, standing 260 metres tall, and a Dh100 billion fund to finance the plan.

    “We are steadily moving towards achieving Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 goals, which we have launched to turn Dubai into a global hub for clean energy and green economy and become the lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050. We are very proud to see our goals turning into tangible achievements by our national cadres who proved efficient and excellence in various fields.”

    Dewa has revealed that it has awarded the contract for the construction of the CSP project using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model with a consortium that includes Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and China Shanghai Electric. It has also guaranteed to achieve the lowest cost price of energy with 7.3 US cents per kilowatt.: Dubai launches world?s largest Concentrated Solar Power project

    _________

    THE ELECTRIC MOTORHOME

    Electric cars are already poised to take over our roads, but anyone looking to buy a motorhome is still stuck with only fossil fuel-powered options. That could soon change thanks to Dethleffs.

    The German motorhome manufacturer has just unveiled their e.home concept. The exterior of this futuristic RV is blanketed in 31 square meters (334 square feet) of solar panels, generating electricity to help fuel the vehicle’s electric powertrain. Its electric 80-kilowatt (107-horsepower) motor can be paired with several battery options.


    According to Dethleffs, the e.home’s maximum range is 280 kilometers (174 miles) rated on the New European Driving Cycle, while an EPA rating would likely put it closer to 225 kilometers (140 miles). However, both of those ranges are set without hauling weight. Dethleffs claims a fully outfitted e-home that’s hauling weight would have an estimated range of 165 kilometers (103 miles).

    The battery pack lasts for approximately 1,500 charges — about 250,000 kilometers (155,000 miles) — before needing replacement. The e-home supports both level 2 and DC fast-charging, and the solar panels provide 3 kilowatts of supplementary battery-charging electricity.: https://futurism.com/take-a-look-at-...-battery-pack/

    _________

    Solar now costs 6¢ per kilowatt-hour, beating government goal by 3 years


    Cost goals met, the DOE is moving on to address grid reliability in solar.

    On Tuesday, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that utility-grade solar panels have hit cost targets set for 2020, three years ahead of schedule. Those targets reflect around $1 per watt and 6¢ per kilowatt-hour in Kansas City, the department’s mid-range yardstick for solar panel cost per unit of energy produced (New York is considered the high-cost end, and Phoenix, Arizona, which has much more sunlight than most other major cities in the country, reflects the low-cost end).

    Those prices don’t include an Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which makes solar panels even cheaper. The Energy Department said that the cost per watt was assessed in terms of total installed system costs for developers. That means the number is based on "the sales price paid to the installer; therefore, it includes profit in the cost of the hardware," according to a department presentation.

    According to NREL, “Approximately 13.7 gigawatts (GW) of new PV systems were installed in the US last year, with the largest share coming from 10.2 GW in the utility-scale sector.”: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017...ampaign=buffer

    _________

    Hinkley nuclear power is being priced out by renewables


    Hinkley Point C nuclear power station was conceived in the days when offshore wind cost £150 per megawatt hour and a few misguided souls, some of them government ministers, thought a barrel of oil was heading towards $200.

    Successive governments swallowed the line that Hinkley represented a plausible answer to the UK’s threefold energy conundrum – keeping the lights on, reducing carbon emissions and producing the juice at affordable prices for consumers and business.

    Hinkley still scores on reliability and low carbon (if one ignores the effect of spoiling the Somerset countryside with so much concrete), but the extent to which its costs are obscene is now plainer than ever. In Monday’s capacity auction, two big offshore wind farms came in at £57.50 per megawatt hour and a third at £74.75. These “strike prices” – a guaranteed price for the electricity generated - are expressed in 2012 figures, as is Hinkley’s £92.50 so the comparison is fair.: https://www.theguardian.com/environm...for-renewables

    __________

    A conservative-leaning court just issued a surprise ruling on climate change and coal mining

    In a rebuke to Trump, the federal court said greenhouse gas emissions need to be considered in lease approvals.


    Late last week, a federal court knocked down plans to expand coal mining in the Western US, adding to a growing body of rulings against the Trump administration’s efforts to push climate change off the agenda.

    The surprising decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, which has jurisdiction in Colorado, Kansas, Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, told the Bureau of Land Management to redo its math on greenhouse gas emissions from coal leases and sent the approval of these leases back to a lower court.

    Under the National Environmental Policy Act, federal agencies have to consider how a given proposal both affects climate change and is affected by climate change.

    The 10th Circuit is the highest court to rule on climate change accounting so far, and its opinion undercuts President Donald Trump’s efforts to resuscitate the dying US coal industry.

    “It’s reaffirming what a lot of people already knew: Government has to take a hard look at what their environmental impacts are,” said Sam Kalen, a law professor at the University of Wyoming. “Cases like this are sending signal that regardless of what the administration wants to do, the law says you have to take a look at these issues.”

    In March, President Trump lifted President Barack Obama’s moratorium on coal leasing and stopped a comprehensive review of federal coal policy, with the goal of spurring more coal mining.

    However, the courts are once again standing in the way of Trump’s agenda.: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-envir...climate-change
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  3. #328
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    FIRST UP ... A LITTLE ABOUT ME - MY FOSSIL FUEL ALTERNATIVE

    In the West I have an average home, bit like the one below ...



    Some time ago, maybe 5/6/7 years, the Government decided that a subsidy should be paid to assist in funding a basic Photovoltaic Cell (PV Cells) set-up.
    That was the Federal/Commonwealth Government.

    Simultaneously the State Government said it would pay a decent feed in Tariff, well above what you would pay to buy their electricity.

    Win/Win for the Consumer. Well, almost. I bought a 1.5 KW System and it ties into the grid.
    Eight 190 Watt panels facing North-West. The North-East roof profile is heavily shaded by my neighbours trees.

    At the time, after reading the feed-in tariff explanation, I presumed that I would be paid only the high tariff for that electricity that I generated
    over and above what I used.

    I was WRONG

    They paid the High Tariff on everything I produced. Had I known, I would have bought a 5 kw system !

    The difference between the Solar Tariff (what I produce) and what I buy in is double.
    I other words, I get paid twice as much per kilowatt hour then what it costs me to buy.

    Had I known the full details of the generous scheme, my roof would have looked more like this ...



    Hindsight is a wonderfull thing.


    So, 5 years later, you can't upgrade your inverter. I can't keep the generous feed-in tariff, buy a 5KW system and make my roof look like the one above.

    The current feed-in tariff is 1/4 of what I get. So, I'd have to go to a 6KW system to maintain the financial status-quo.

    Still, the good news is that we don't actually have any Power Bills

    By spending 6 months a year in Thailand and judicious use of the elec switch when home ... we currently have a modest credit with the Power Company.

    Should/when the current Hot Water unit craps itself (it's one of the old storage devices) we might get a Solar Hot Water or a Heat Exchanger,
    don't know just yet.


    Are we Green, or just Greedy?

    Since the solar Meter installation, we have produced about 10,000 KWH and consumed 13,000 KWH ... a fair effort I reckon.

    Do we have a Green conscious? Yes, but we are not tree huggers.

    Are we Greedy? No, I don't believe so.
    We take care of the bills and, if we can do that in a green way, all the better.

    ---

    Now, my background is that I'm a Sparkie, but I did my time with the distribution network. 415/11,000/33,000 volt stuff.

    This next bit isn't written for the likes of S Landreth et. al.

    I'm all for renewables ... brilliant stuff ... and it's only going to get cheaper and more efficient.

    Wind, Solar, Tidal, Wave action etc.


    But what happens when it's night and the wind sock resembles a dick in need of Viagra?

    You need a 'Base Load' Generator, be that coal fired, gas fired, nuclear or, potentially Battery Back-up (grid or domestic).

    More below ...
    Perspective is everything ... it's the difference between going through an ordeal or going through an adventure..

  4. #329
    Thailand Expat
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    I'm not an Electrical Engineer, just a high voltage sparkie and it's been more then 2 decades since I was in the game.
    Disclaimers over.


    I'm all for renewables ... brilliant stuff ... and it's only going to get cheaper and more efficient.

    Wind, Solar, Tidal, Wave action etc.

    But what happens when it's night (no solar) and the wind sock resembles a dick in need of Viagra?

    You need a 'Base Load' Generator, be that coal fired, gas fired, nuclear or, potentially Battery Back-up (grid or domestic).

    Think of a Base Load Generator as a Metronome ...
    It sets the beat that everyone plays to.

    AC electricity cycles, in Thailand 50 times a second between positive and negative and the voltage constraints.

    It does this ...

    To complicate things, there are 3 phases of electricity so, imagine 3 of the above, 120 degrees apart which have to be in perfect sync,
    50 times a seconds.


    Now imagine thousands of roof top solar cells, wind generators etc all trying to be in perfect sync, 24 hours a day,
    whether you have just turned the Air-Conditioner on or it's 1/2 time during the FA Cup Final*


    The BIG turbines in coal/gas fired stations act like the fly-wheel in your car, lot's of kinetic energy (energy of motion)
    and smooth out each firing of the individual cylinder.
    Takes a lot to start them up, and a lot to slow them down.

    The BIG turbines in coal fired stations are excellent source of base load power.



    Clear as mud? Still not sure ... think of this.
    You've got 20 paddlers in a canoe. Some are facing forward, some facing back, some have big paddles, some only their hands to dip in the water.

    The base load power station is the Cox sitting at the back yelling "All right you lazy lot, face the same way and, on the count
    of three, paddle ... STROKE, STROKE, STROKE ... and canoe moves forward.



    Nicked that from the OP

    Now, that old, smoke bellowing coal fired generator/Power Station has to replaced with something.

    You need a 'Base Load' Generator, be that 'clean' coal fired, gas fired, nuclear or, potentially Battery Back-up (grid or domestic) and,
    you also need a conductor, a coxswain which keeps everyone in sync. This bit apparently can be done artificially through
    electronic control, but I don't know how that works.

    This leads me to what, for Australia is potentially the most exciting concept for large scale, clean, green, cheap Base Load Power Generation.

    Pumped Storage Hydro ... linked to a Solar/Wind Farm.

    More on it below (when I get time to write).


    * It's (apparently) a measurable event because there are a lot of kettles being flicked on to make a cuppa

  5. #330
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Global electric shock has lessons for Southeast Asia

    Southeast Asia is at the forefront of a global energy-market transformation that is outpacing even the most ambitious predictions. In the last few days, a report from analyst Wood Mackenzie stated that the ASEAN nations will need to double their energy capacity in the next 20 years, at a cost of more than US$500 billion.




    WoodMac also concluded that half of the new capacity within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc will come from renewables, a very different profile to what energy markets were assuming only a few short years ago.




    The WoodMac forecast for this region is unexpected, and highlights that ASEAN states have the opportunity to learn from both the successes and failures of other parts of the world that are further down the energy-transition path, and at the same time leverage the enormous cost deflation achieved in renewables in the past two years.


    In Europe, the rise of cheap renewable energy has combined with falling electricity demand thanks to the impact of energy efficiency to pull down wholesale electricity prices to unprecedented lows, causing financial pain for utilities that have delayed their transition from fossil fuels to renewables.


    Over the 2010-2016 period, European utilities have made US$150 billion in asset write-downs. Investors from Goldman Sachs and UBS have been warning for years that coal has reached retirement age and that solar will become the “default technology of the future”.


    Similar trends have been apparent now for some time in China and more recently in India, where drives to install both thermal and renewable capacity concurrently have seen utilization rates for coal-fired power stations drop to 47% in China and 56% in India in 2016. This is despite electricity demand growing in these countries.


    While some utilities such as Italy’s Enel and the United States’ NextEra are world leaders in positioning themselves for electricity systems dominated by renewables, there are many examples of utilities suffering significant shareholder-value destruction as a result of resisting the inevitable or belatedly making their transition.


    Once Germany’s biggest utility, E.On’s belated response was to spin off its struggling coal, gas and hydro generation assets into a separate company. Germany’s RWE has been affected in the same way. By failing to refocus their businesses toward renewables sooner, these major players have suffered significant continuing reductions in shareholder value compared with Enel, which made its strategic move earlier.


    In Australia, where thermal power is being progressively replaced by a growing base of renewable-energy plants, AGL appears to be another utility leader. Even despite continuing policy uncertainty, into 2017, Australia is seeing an A$11 billion (US$8.6 billion) wave of investments in renewable-energy infrastructure projects.


    In accepting a future dominated by a succession of closures of end-of-life coal-fired power plants and one in which expensive domestic gas is no longer an option as a transition fuel, AGL is working to ensure the closure of its last coal-fired power stations ahead of target.


    In fast-developing countries like India, increasing electricity demand means the large coal-fired generation fleet cannot be quickly abandoned. However, the global energy transition backed by the biggest financial players has not gone unnoticed by state utility NTPC, which is becoming a key linchpin of the Indian government’s emerging leadership in renewable energy. This transformation is economically logical given that, as of 2017, solar is cheaper than existing coal-fired power generation.


    A key economic imperative is that renewables are deflationary. The equation is simple. Technology gains and economies of scale have seen renewable generation consistently outbid fossil fuel-based generation in an ever-wider number of markets from Brazil and Mexico, to Dubai and South Africa.


    While countries including Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar currently face the offer of relatively cheap international export credit agency (ECA) finance for thermal power, this is in effect a manufacturing and engineering capacity fire-sale, with China, Japan and South Korea seizing a final opportunity to offload old technology produced by domestic manufacturers even as it becomes completely obsolete.


    But around the world, the biggest financial institutions such as the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Bank of England, BlackRock, Deutsche Bank, CalSTARS, JPMorgan Chase, Macquarie Group and Swiss Re, plus AXA and SCOR of France, have all come out in support of a renewable transition and/or changed investment policies to avoid stranded asset risk and expand low emissions investment capacity.


    Notably, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, stated this year that “coal is dead”.


    Put simply, electricity utilities need to accelerate their path toward renewable energy to avoid the financial risks and shareholder-value erosion incurred by being a late mover.


    This is the clear global lesson, and it’s one that should be heeded by the fast-growing economies of Southeast Asia, because the decisions they make now will have repercussions for decades to come, delaying the inevitable transition to a more sustainable, lower-cost energy system, and missing out on strong investment flows and job creation in industries of the future.





    Global electric shock has lessons for Southeast Asia | Asia Times

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