terça-feira, 23 de dezembro de 2008
Os habitantes dos concelhos de Torres Vedras e Peniche que residam em moradias podem, a partir de hoje, candidatar-se a um programa de instalação de painéis solares para reduzirem custos energéticos (...) em parceria com um banco e uma empresa de instalação dos equipamentos. (...) Os interessados poderão concorrer até 31 de Janeiro de 2009.
A Central Solar Fotovoltaica de Amareleja, que desde meados de Março produzia e injectava energia na rede eléctrica nacional de forma parcial, através dos primeiros 2,5 megawatts (MW) instalados, começou hoje a funcionar em pleno, disse Francisco Aleixo, director-geral da Amper Central Solar, empresa que instalou e gere a central e propriedade da Acciona (...) Com uma capacidade total instalada de 46,41 megawatts (MW) distribuídos por 2520 seguidores solares azimutais, equipados com 104 painéis solares cada um, a central de Amareleja situa-se num terreno de 250 hectares, perto daquela vila, considerada "a terra mais quente de Portugal", devido aos recordes de temperatura máxima no Verão.
segunda-feira, 22 de dezembro de 2008
[S]ix key First Solar customers aren't able to install the solar panels quick enough. Those customers, including EDF Energies Nouvelles, Conergy, Ecostream, Phoenix Solar and Colexon, might have an even tough time doing so in 2009, when First Solar is due to ship even more panels to them than it did in 2008. (...)
Moreover, we don't expect these modules to move out soon, given weakening economics, lower natural gas prices, higher interest rates, and tougher underwriting requirements," wrote Jonathan Hoopes, managing director of energy technology research at ThinkEquity. (...)
Hoopes estimated First Solar shipped about 208 megawatts worth of panels to the six customers between the second half of 2007 and 2008. He combed through company announcements and presentations and figured that roughly 105 megawatts, leaving 103 megawatts in their inventories.
A government investigation has uncovered many incomplete projects that were reported as finished by a September deadline. Those projects could qualify for the new 500MW cap for 2009, blocking new project applications (...) The National Energy Commission, or CNE, began investigating these reports in late October (...) After checking 287 solar farms, investigators found that only 97 of the projects (roughly 44 percent) were legally completed by September.
(...)Spanish newspaper El Pais published a story on Dec. 7 about the government investigation, noting that six government workers resigned after evidence showed they gave solar energy development permits to relatives.
sexta-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2008
Strong solar and LCD panel growth is straining global supplies for silane, the most critical raw material , but most of the supply chain captive by polysilicon manufacturers. (...) Future solar applications will use more silane than any other application that demands silane today -- he estimates that the future requirements for silence will be ~67,000tons/year of silane, about double the amount used for semiconductors and LCD manufacturing (excluding polysilicon production). (...) "Due to economic issues, the ramps that were planned for 2009-2010 are slower than anticipated, so for now we've covered the (silane) gap," (...) but the long-term issue is whether production capacity can keep up with demand -- "How much confidence do we have in demand forecast[s] to invest $100M up-front in a silane manufacturing plant?"
quinta-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2008
The economic crisis has weakened demand for everything from polysilicon to rooftop panels, just as manufacturers have spent billions expanding production. The overcapacity has caused prices to plummet and left the industry financially exposed. A number of companies—especially startups—may not survive a shakeout that could last 18 months or longer. (...) The causes of the downturn are complex and interrelated. As the price of oil plunged from its peak last summer, solar and other forms of renewable energy became relatively less cost-competitive—dampening demand from industrial, commercial, and residential customers. At the same time, the credit squeeze has made it harder for customers, whether power companies or energy-conscious homeowners, to finance solar projects. Some also are holding back in anticipation that solar equipment prices will fall even further.
segunda-feira, 15 de dezembro de 2008
Vejam a explicação aqui
Research, Solar Cell Production and Market Implementation
Europe's photovoltaic industry is growing rapidly and is now worth EUR 14 billion a year, according to the 2008 Status Report on Photovoltaics released by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) this week. The report reviews global research, development, industry and policy efforts in photovoltaics throughout 2007 and sets out some recommendations.
The status report indicates that solar photovoltaic production grew by an average of 40% annually since 2003, peaking at 60% growth in 2007. Germany was a clear leader in the European market with a EUR 5.7 billion turnover (more than 100,000 houses installed solar panels). Half of the world's photovoltaic-based electricity production, which totals 10 Billion KWh, comes from the EU.
domingo, 14 de dezembro de 2008
Foi assinado (...) pela Câmara Municipal de Moura, a Sky Energy, a Tom, Lda e a Lógica, um memorando de entendimento [que] visa a construção de uma central termo-solar com capacidade até 10 MW. O investimento previsto ronda os 40 milhões de euros e deverá assegurar a criação de 25 novos postos de trabalho. (...) A estrutura de financiamento deverá ficar concluída até final de Agosto de 2010, para permitir o início da obra, logo que sejam emitidas as respectivas licenças e autorizações.
sábado, 13 de dezembro de 2008
Cavaco Silva deslocou-se ontem à Zona Industrial de Vila Verde (Oliveira do Bairro) para presidir à inauguração da “Solar Plus” – Produção de Painéis Solares SA, que é a primeira unidade fabril de produção integral de painéis solares com tecnologia de película fina. A empresa representa um investimento de 18 milhões de euros e já permitiu a criação de 150 postos de trabalho directos e mais de meio milhar indirectos. (...) A Telcabo, Net Plan, Eurico Ferreira e a Energy Photovoltaics (New Jersey), constituem a Solar Plus, que tem como objectivo produzir cerca de 140 mil módulos anuais, e que poderão gerar aproximadamente 9.310.000 Kwh por cada ano de funcionamento e assim permitir a redução de 3500 toneladas de CO2 por ano em Portugal.
quarta-feira, 10 de dezembro de 2008
EU Parliament delegation, EU Council and European Commission agreed today on the EU Directive on Renewable Energy.(...) The Renewable Energy Directive sets the goal of increasing renewable energy's share of the market to 20% by 2020, from around 8.5% today, by means of binding national targets. For all countries, 10% of energy used in transport will have to come from renewables. Member states will have to clearly set out how they will meet those targets through detailed national action plans. The EU Commission will have full power to monitor these plans and launch infringement procedures against member states not implementing the directive.
O projecto "Aplicação de Novas Tintas Coloridas em Painéis Solares Térmicos Tradicionais e Estudo da sua Eficiência Energética" desenvolvido [por uma] equipa da FCUL foi considerado pelo júri do concurso universitário um dos cinco melhores [da edição 2008 do EDP University Challenge].
As concorrentes [estudantes do mestrado em Química Tecnológica, Salomé Vieira e Maria João Figueiredo e a aluna de doutoramento, Ana Paula Ribeiro] explicam que “este projecto tem por base demonstrar a importância e a performance dos revestimentos por pintura na eficácia da conversão da energia solar, o processo de fabrico de uma tinta a nível laboratorial e a sua caracterização morfológica, estrutural, química e metrológica”(...) “é de prever a substituição de alguns produtos actualmente perigosos por outros mais inócuos e simultaneamente a aplicação da nova tinta para camuflagem/valorização do visual da paisagem superior às tintas existente no mercado”.
O projecto vencedor “Plano de Comunicação sobre Energias Renováveis” foi realizado por um grupo de alunos do Instituto Português de Administração e Marketing (IPAM), que recebeu uma bolsa de estudo no valor de 6000 euros a par da possibilidade de realizar um estágio de três meses na EDP, em Portugal, Espanha ou Brasil. O professor que orientou os estudantes do IPAM foi contemplado com uma bolsa de investigação no valor de 2500 euros.
A nova edição do EDP University Challenge já foi lançado.
segunda-feira, 8 de dezembro de 2008
Distributed computing: the Clean Energy Project
World Community Grid and the Clean Energy Project are assembling a virtual laboratory to build thousands of organic compounds in order to discover those that are the best candidates for future solar cell research. With the aid of World Community Grid, new molecular materials with specific properties will be designed in software, instead of having to actually synthesize and test the molecules in an actual chemical experiment. Thus rather than measuring the response of the molecules to sunlight, scientists from the Aspuru-Guzik group at Harvard University will be able to look at their calculated molecular properties and estimate their performance as solar cells. To be successful, they will need to achieve the highest levels of accuracy available with current computational chemistry methods - and must do so for tens of thousands of molecules.
terça-feira, 2 de dezembro de 2008
Propriedade do grupo português de energias renováveis Cavalum, a Central Fotovoltaica de Olva, com uma capacidade instalada de quase 2,4 MW e 14.870 painéis solares, situa-se num terreno de seis hectares, na Herdade das Pereiras, freguesia de São Miguel do Pinheiro. (...) A Central Solar Fotovoltaica de Olva é a segunda instalação do género no concelho de Mértola, depois da Central Fotovoltaica da Corte Pão e Água [750kW], também do grupo Cavalum [da Jayme da Costa].
sábado, 22 de novembro de 2008
Hoje tivemos a oportunidade de testar o Buddy, o carro eléctrico que poderá vir a ser construído em Portugal já no próximo ano. Sem acessórios extra, pure and simple, o Buddy transporte 3 pessoas a 80km/h com uma autonomia de 80km.
A propósito, entretanto o Governo português e a aliança Renault-Nissan assinam hoje o acordo final 'Zero Emission Mobility', segundo o qual Portugal vai criar uma rede de abastecimento para o seu projecto de veículos eléctricos [que prevê] 320 locais de abastecimento para automóveis eléctricos em 2010, número que atingirá os 1300 no final de 2011.
quinta-feira, 20 de novembro de 2008
As many have heard, the Mars rover Spirit is clinging to life, with its solar arrays covered with dust from a recent dust storm. (...) Inevitably, people are asking: why don't the rovers have some kind of wiper system to sweep dust off them? [The New Scientist discusses some of the options considered but never implemented...]
terça-feira, 18 de novembro de 2008
BP Solar said it will close its solar power equipment manufacturing plant in Sydney at the end of March to focus operations on lower-cost locations. (...) The move follows BP's decision earlier this month to end planned wind power projects in India, China and Turkey to focus on onshore plants in the U.S. as it concentrates resources on larger-scale ventures. (...)"Most of the new plants going worldwide now are about one gigawatt, so [this] BP plant is really small fish in the present market" said Vernie Everett, at the photovoltaics group at the Australian National University's College of Engineering and Computer Science. "Part of the problem is they are running out of space at the Homebush site."
The Sydney plant accounts for about 17 percent of BP Solar's total manufacturing capacity of about 300 megawatts, Mark Twidell, BP Solar regional director, told reporters on a conference call. The lost capacity will be taken up by BP Solar plants in China, India, Spain and the U.S., he said.
quinta-feira, 6 de novembro de 2008
The accumulation of dirt on solar panels has a significant, detrimental impact on the performance of solar power systems. Dirt, however, is only part of the problem. PV system operators must also compete with the build‐up of dust, tree debris, moss, sap, bugs, bird droppings, water spots, mold and more. (...) The patent pending SolarWash system provides a complete solar cleaning solution including maintenance free nozzles, a webbased interface, and a programmable logic controller (...) allows operators of large PV systems to (...) initiat[e] the washing of panels without the need to schedule a maintenance crew.(...) [The system] will typically pay for itself in three to five years with PV systems that are experiencing energy degradation of 5% or greater.
Panasonic, the world's top plasma TV maker, is betting on a green future of solar power and hybrid cars as it negotiates a price for rival Sanyo Electric that analysts say could be up to $8.7 billion. A key driver for Panasonic is Sanyo's auto batteries business that powers increasingly popular hybrid and electric vehicles, but it would also secure a foothold in the solar cell industry (...) Sanyo is the world's seventh-largest solar cell maker and competes with bigger rivals such as Germany's Q-Cells
terça-feira, 4 de novembro de 2008
In the next two weeks, [Cool Earth Solar] plans to start testing a prototype solar plant built around rows of reflective balloons hung on poles. (...) combin[ing] cheap building materials, notably plastics, with expensive high-efficiency solar cells. Light goes through the side of the balloon facing the sun, is reflected on an aluminum coating on the bottom, and is concentrated onto solar cells in a "receiver." (...) The method can concentrate light between 300 and 400 times. To keep heat under control, the balloons have an automated water-cooling system.
quarta-feira, 29 de outubro de 2008
The UNSW ARC Photovoltaic Centre of Excellence already held the world record of 24.7 per cent for silicon solar cell efficiency. Now a revision of the international standard by which solar cells are measured [done by the International Electrochemical Commission in April], has delivered the significant 25 per cent record to the team led by Professors Martin Green and Stuart Wenham (...) The world-record holding cell was fabricated by former Centre researchers, Dr Jianhua Zhao and Dr Aihua Wang, who have since left the Centre to establish China Sunergy.
terça-feira, 28 de outubro de 2008
O Instituto Superior Técnico está a preparar o lançamento de um canal online dedicado ao tema da energia, em Full Screen HD. Este projecto vai ser financiado pelo Programa de Promoção para a Eficácia no Consumo (PPEC), da Entidade Reguladora de Sistemas Energéticos (ERSE). (...) A página, www.tvenergia.tv, vai ser lançada oficialmente no dia 10 de Novembro, com notícias actualizadas “quase diariamente” e, segundo o responsável, três programas actualizados de mês em mês. Estes formatos incluem uma magazine de informação com reportagens e notícias de 25 minutos, chamado Inova Energia, uma plataforma de curta metragens e documentários, de 4 a 5 minutos, com o nome Cinema ao Ar Livre, e, por fim, o Eventos Energia, uma cobertura de convenções sobre a temática.
O acordo oficial entre o Governo português e a aliança Renault-Nissan para a implementação de uma rede de abastecimento para o projecto dos carros eléctricos vai ser assinado a 22 de Novembro. (...) O protótipo que a Nissan está a desenvolver inclui uma bateria de iões de lítio que é instalada sob o chão do veículo e que em 2010 se prevê que tenha uma autonomia de 160km - com o avançar da tecnologia, deverá chegar aos 240km em 2012. A bateria terá uma vida útil de 150 mil km - o que dá uma média de 10 anos, tendo em conta que a quilometragem média de referência nos automóveis é de 15 mil km/ano. (...) "Sem a bateria, o carro deve ser proposto ao cliente final ao mesmo preço que um normal. Será depois este que terá que fazer as contas do que gasta nas duas versões [entre estacionamento, portagens, combustível, mecânica para trocar baterias e o seu valor residual] e optar", avança Diogo Jardim. Calcula-se que o consumo custe, a preços actuais da energia eléctrica, na ordem dos dois a três euros por cada 100km. Hoje, um carro do segmento médio familiar gasta cerca de seis a sete litros de gasolina - ou seja, à volta de oito euros.
[O] cluster industrial eólico em Viana do Castelo (...) antecip[ou] em cerca de um ano o arranque da primeira das suas fábricas (...) [A] Enercon está a construir uma nova unidade de pás não prevista no contrato com o Estado. (...) A primeira unidade de pás, em laboração há um ano, funciona junto ao porto da cidade; a segunda, cuja construção começou em Setembro passado e estará pronta dentro de um ano, fica no parque de Lanheses, a cerca de 15 quilómetros de Viana. São, para já, 55 milhões de euros de investimento e mais 500 postos de trabalho a somar ao projecto inicial. A central dessalinizadora, que vai satisfazer todas as necessidades de água para a laboração da fábrica, é um projecto extracontrato que o consórcio já previa na proposta inicial mas o júri do concurso público não considerou.
segunda-feira, 27 de outubro de 2008
BioSolar announced today that it has filed a patent application to protect the novel inventions and processes behind its proprietary biobased backsheet, a protective covering for the back of photovoltaic solar cells traditionally made from expensive petroleum-based film. (...)
[the] technology made from renewable plant sources [consists] a cellulosic plastic equivalent derived from cotton and castor beans materials.
Expected to cost significantly less ["by allowing manufacturers to lower the cost of their finished product without being impacted by the volatile cost of petroleum.”] than traditional Tedlar based backsheet, the petroleum-based film made by DuPont in use by the majority of silicon-based solar-cell manufacturers today, BioBacksheet meets or exceeds the characteristics of various testing and performance standards for the photovoltaic industry.
sexta-feira, 24 de outubro de 2008
Solterra Renewable Technologies (...) has concluded the worldwide exclusive license with the Rice University for intellectual property which includes the "Synthesis of Uniform Nanoparticle Shapes with High Selectivity." (...) [a] new chemical method for making low cost, four-legged cadmium selenide quantum dots. (...) In addition to photovoltaic applications low cost high quality quantum dots are widely thought to be the enabling factor for a variety of other emerging technologies including high performance QD based lasers, color displays, solid state lighting, bioimaging, quantum computers and solar/hydrogen generation. Solterra is scheduled to begin scale up of this revolutionary technology in early November 2008 with commercial production anticipated to begin in the second half of 2009.
Honda's wholly-owned solar cell subsidiary Honda Soltec Co., will begin sales throughout Japan of thin-film solar cells for public and industrial use (...) thin film of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS).
quinta-feira, 23 de outubro de 2008
Quem quiser uma cópia desta edição, basta pedir-me.Editorial: How to run the world on renewables
THE price of a cup of coffee. That's one estimate of what it will cost each American every day for the next 20 years to break the fossil fuel habit of generations and turn to renewables instead. A daily outlay of a shade under a couple of dollars does add up to trillions over the decades, but is it really that much to ask?
To prevent dangerous climate change, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere need to be cut by 80 per cent by the middle of the century - and that's relative to 1990 levels. It will be a huge undertaking, but both candidates in next month's US presidential election acknowledge that the world's biggest polluter will have to change its tune if others are going to play their part (see "Feeling the Heat").
The UN says the renewable energy that can already be harnessed economically would supply the world's electricity needs 15 times over (see "Electric dreams"). As yet only a tiny proportion of electricity is generated this way, but replace existing coal, gas and oil-fired power stations with renewables and you achieve a colossal environmental win.
There's a bonus, too. Renewable energy breaks nations' dependence on imported sources, and this has brought its traditional, mainly Democratic, supporters in the US some unexpected allies. The Texan oil tycoon and long-time Republican supporter T. Boone Pickens wants to build the world's biggest wind farm in Texas. Former CIA chief James Woolsey is now a vocal advocate of renewables on the grounds of national security. And while many Republicans remain ambivalent, a handful of the party's senators now publicly back the idea.
One long-standing objection to renewables - that wave and sun power can never be relied on for a steady supply, day in day out - is vanishing too as new ways to store energy are rolled out. The nuclear industry can no longer sell itself as the only reliable source of low-carbon baseload electricity.
Shifting the US to a predominantly renewable supply of electricity by 2030 would cost $4.4 trillion and would cut the nation's CO2 emissions by 95 per cent, according to an estimate by internet giant Google. To put this in context, the $700 billion banking bailout attempt approved by Congress last week would already have paid for the first three years. A world run on renewables is no longer a hippy's fuzzy green dream. It's time we stopped arguing about its merits, and got on with making it a reality.
Energy and Fuels - Learn more about the looming energy crisis in our comprehensive special report.
In a speed-obsessed world, "hypermiler" Jack Martin stands out for going to extremes to squeeze the maximum fuel efficiency from his car. Devin Powell caught up with Martin to find out his top fuel-saving tips - and how hypermiling can change your life
When did your enthusiasm for fuel-efficient driving start?
In the 60s and 70s, school buses in North Carolina were driven by students. I signed up. One day the school asked if I was cutting out part of my route - I was using less gas than the previous driver. I told them, no: my driving instructor said that a good driver is gentle with his vehicle. He doesn't get on the brakes all the time and doesn't floor it.
Something must have triggered this economy bug for you. What was it?
Canoes. When I was young, I used to fish out of these boats and would try to get across the lake using as few paddle strokes as possible. When I taught swimming later in my life I would always say the same thing: see how few strokes you can use to get across the pool, then see if you can improve your strokes and glide to use even fewer.
Being economical is all very well but hypermiling seems a bit extreme. How did you get into it and what do you get out of it?
When I was doing the 2001 World Solar Challenge - a solar-powered car race across Australia - the drivers looked at the route ahead of them and timed their driving so that they didn't use much energy. I took that to heart. I met Hans Tholstrup there, this wild adventurer who had gotten 128 miles per gallon (1.84 litres per 100 kilometres) crossing the outback in a Honda Insight. He didn't call it hypermiling back then, but I started using his techniques.
It was only a couple of years ago that people started holding official hypermiling rallies, at which you're judged on your mileage divided by the US Environmental Protection Agency's fuel-economy rating for your vehicle. That's what I like about hypermiling: someone in a gas-guzzling Hummer could get 18 mpg (15.7l/100km) and this would still be an 80 per cent increase in fuel efficiency. Everyone is competing on a level playing field.
Hypermilers have a reputation for going very slowly to save fuel. Is this accurate?
We're not the slowest people on the road; we're typically the ones going at the speed limit. When a vehicle goes by, you feel it initially suck on you a little bit and then push you. If you're sensitive to that, you can work it, like a porpoise riding the waves created by a boat. You start looking at it as energy around you. And it's nonsensical to try to be too slow because then you're just fighting that wall of air as it goes past you.
What do you think of the more extreme hypermiling techniques, such as draughting in the slipstream of large trucks?
I've seen people draughting, but personally I just don't have the balls for it. It takes a tremendous amount of concentration, and it's cool until you have to go to the hospital to get the tailpipe pulled out of your head.
How does the way you drive differ from how everyone else drives?
I have difficulty multitasking while driving. I can't talk on the phone while driving. It's about awareness and "hyperconsciousness", which takes a lot of practice. You have to look far down the road and be aware of everything going on in front and around you. I first learned that while driving the bus. My eyes were constantly moving to the mirrors, the speed dial, the road, to anticipate conditions and stop in time.
What is one thing this "hyperconsciousness" has shown you that the rest of us miss?
Roads often have little valleys and ridges created by the tyres of many cars. If you ride the ridges, you can get better mileage per gallon, especially if it's been raining and the valleys are filled with puddles.
Would you feel comfortable teaching your children these techniques? Aren't they dangerous?
I have no problem teaching them most techniques - there is a safety gain from the heightened awareness that hypermiling brings. Whether they'll use them is another question. My son's car doesn't get nearly the miles per gallon that I get. But I'm an old man and drive a lot more slowly.
Does hypermiling require changes to your vehicle?
You make sure that your car can breathe - that the air filters are clean - and inflate your tyres to their maximum rated pressure. It's amazing the difference you can feel in the resistance of pumped-up tyres. I once saw a Prius race a slalom course at a competition. The tyres were squealing and bulging on the turns, but then they pumped them up to the maximum rating. The sounds stopped and the time improved.
So what is the best way to improve fuel efficiency?
Buy some kind of feedback system. A scan gauge that costs about $130 will give you instantaneous feedback on how many miles you're getting to the gallon. If you pay attention, it will improve your overall mileage. If you lose focus, if your foot taps just a little too hard, you can see your miles per gallon drop and it's very disheartening.
Most hypermilers also like to drive barefoot to feel the resistance on the accelerator. The connection between that resistance and the numbers on the scan gauge tells you what behaviours improve your mileage. By following my techniques, a friend improved her mpg by 70 per cent.
You make it sound as if hypermiling becomes some kind of life-changing experience for the people who do it.
Hypermiling is a virus which makes you start to change other behaviour. Most hypermilers improve the efficiency of their homes; they'll show you a programmable thermostat that gives them feedback on their energy consumption and cuts the electrical bill by 60 or 70 per cent. One of the things that has always tickled me is how many hypermilers take up bicycling. It starts off as an efficiency thing that grabs their attention, but then they feed off each other and it becomes part of the community.
Which is more important for conserving energy: new technologies or changing behaviour?
I've always thought that the most timely thing we could do is to develop new behaviours that we could use now. We have cut a million barrels of oil out of demand in the US since April because people are not going out as much. If we could just average around 50 miles per gallon (4.7l/100km), we could cut oil usage in half.
You mention concern about exactly who is selling the US its oil. Is there a political side to hypermiling?
When you ask a hypermiler what set them off, you'll find most of them are pretty patriotic. They say, "I don't want to see us going to war, so I'm increasing my fuel efficiency." Some say it's for the environmental benefits or to save money. But not wanting to kill people for oil is probably the most common reason.
Not wanting to kill for oil is the most common reason to hypermile
What's your next big challenge?
There are two things I would love to be able to do. One would be a solar safari around the world, building and giving away solar technology. The other would be to build a solar-powered train and set a transcontinental speed record.
Cars and Motoring - Learn more about the latest technologies in our comprehensive special report.
Energy and Fuels - Learn more about the looming energy crisis in our comprehensive special report.
quarta-feira, 22 de outubro de 2008
Evergreen Solar, a manufacturer of STRING RIBBON™ solar power panels (...) announced it has filed suit in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District Court of New York against Barclays PLC, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and certain of their affiliated entities declaring that Lehman Brothers did not have title to shares of Evergreen Solar’s common stock previously loaned by the company to Lehman Brothers in July 2008 and seeking their return. (...) The 30.9 million shares in question were loaned to Lehman Brothers in connection with a $375 million financing Evergreen Solar completed in July 2008.
The efficiency and operation of organic solar cells strongly depends on the nanomorphology of the active layer, i.e. on a stable mix of organic compounds that can trap the light’s energy and transport it to an electric contact. IMEC already reported such cells based on P3HT:PCBM with efficiencies near 5%. But to date, the lifetime of these cells is far too short for commercial applications, for which 5 years is seen as a minimum. (...) [IMEC has now] introduced a new method and new conjugated polymers to stabilize the nanomorphology of the active layer making it far more robust to phase segregation under prolonged operation. Experiments on bulk heterojunction organic solar cells based on this new material showed no degradation of the efficiency after more than 100 hours whereas reference cells degraded already after a few hours. This means that a lifetime improvement of at least a factor 10 can be obtained.
LG Electronics (LG), a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, decided at its board of directors meeting held on October 20 to convert its A1 plasma panel-manufacturing line in Gumi, Korea, into solar cell production lines. LG plans to invest KRW 220 billion by 2010 to establish two production lines. The company expects that the first line will be able to begin mass production from the first quarter of 2010, with the second line beginning full operations in the first quarter of 2011. Both lines will manufacture crystalline silicon solar cells and modules with a capacity of 120MW each.
quarta-feira, 15 de outubro de 2008
[Frondel et al, Energy Policy, Nov 2008; also available from here] This article demonstrates that the large feed-in tariffs currently guaranteed for solar electricity in Germany constitute a subsidization regime that threatens to reach a level comparable to that of German hard coal production, a notoriously outstanding example of misguided political intervention (...) For the first scenario [if it had ended in 2007], we have estimated real net cost of approximately 26.5 Bn€, while an abolition in 2010 [after the next federal election] comes at similarly large additional net cost of about 27 Bn€ (in prices of 2007) (...) We argue that in the early stages of development of noncompetitive technologies, it appears to be more cost-effective to invest in research and development (R&D) to achieve competitiveness, rather than to promote their large-scale production.
sexta-feira, 10 de outubro de 2008
Solyndra's technology is a copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS)-based thin-film PV system. The company said that its system invloves rolling CIGS thin-films into a cylindrical shape and then placing 40 of the cylinders into a 1-meter-by-2-meter panel. (...) The panels' cylindrical modules could be capable of capturing sunlight across a 360° photovoltaic surface and are capable of converting direct, diffuse and reflected sunlight into electricity.
quinta-feira, 9 de outubro de 2008
[Nature Materials, Rodgers at al, Illinois] The authors carve their microcell arrays from a rectangular block of silicon. They begin by etching the outlines of the microcells (the tops and sides) onto the upper surface of the silicon block. They then make electronic junctions and electrical contacts by doping the silicon, adding boron and phosphorus, and using an inert mask to define the regions to be doped. A further round of etching exposes the final three-dimensional shape of the microcells, retaining a thin sliver of silicon to anchor the cells to the block. Finally, the base of the wafer is doped with boron, to yield functioning solar microcells. To make bendable, large-scale solar cells, Rogers and colleagues use a printing technique. They press a flat stamp onto the arrays of microcells on the silicon block, breaking the anchors that tether them to the silicon. The microcells stick to the soft surface of the stamp, and are transferred to a flexible substrate simply by pressing the stamp onto the substrate. The authors then construct electrodes to connect the microcells to each other, using one of various established methods. [more details on Semprius]
quarta-feira, 8 de outubro de 2008
Está a decorrer esta semana em Lisboa a Eurosun 2008, organizada pela ISES e a SPES. O tema da conferência é "Solar heating, cooling and buildings" com um cheirinho de fotovoltaico. A conferência serve ainda de pretexto para uma outra iniciativa da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, em colaboração com a Universidade de Kassel, na Alemanha: a organização de um curso de uma semana sobre energia solar para estudantes de mestrado de todo o mundo que participem na Eurosun.
terça-feira, 7 de outubro de 2008
[N]o âmbito das medidas de eficiência energética anunciadas em Janeiro que irão permitir a redução em 40 por cento da factura energética do edifício (...) os painéis solares vão permitir fornecer uma "potência de génese solar fotovoltaica de cerca de 20kW". Com uma capacidade de produção estimada em 30.152KWp anuais [talvez kWh!?], o sistema fotovoltaico instalado cobre cerca de 15 por cento dos consumos eléctricos da Presidência da República.
segunda-feira, 6 de outubro de 2008
The U.S. Department of Energy today announced up to $17.6 million, subject to annual appropriations, for six early stage photovoltaic module incubator projects that focus on the initial manufacturing of advanced solar PV technologies.(...) Upon negotiation of their subcontracts through DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the following six companies will begin their 18-month projects:
- 1366 Technologies - new cell architecture [for] low-cost multi-crystalline silicon cells
- Innovalight- very high-efficiency, low-cost solar cells and modules by ink-jet printing their proprietary “silicon ink” onto thin-crystalline silicon wafers
- Skyline Solar - integrated lightweight, single-axis tracked system (...) 10X onto silicon cells
- Solasta - novel cell design based on an amorphous-silicon “nanocoax” structure
- Solexel - high efficiency mono-crystalline silicon cell technology
- Spire Semiconductor - three-junction tandem solar cells by growing differentiated bi-facial cells on a Gallium Arsenide substrate
sábado, 4 de outubro de 2008
Solar companies proposing large power plants in the Mojave Desert are facing opposition from conservationists. They say a rush to build solar here threatens to tear up large tracts of desert habitat and open space. (...) Conservationists worry that a plan for the Mojave desert will upset species’ habitats (...) Desert’s defenders argue that solar panels should be located on city rooftops rather than pristine lands.
Solar power for toxic waste sites?
Why not set up utility-scale, renewable energy in polluted zones instead?
That's what the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing. (...) 850,000 acres it has cleaned up, among 15 million contaminated acres total, are exceptional destinations for clean-power companies, in part due to the low cost and existing infrastructure there. Plus, brownfields, former mines, etc are unattractive for most commercial and residential development, especially in rural areas.
quarta-feira, 1 de outubro de 2008
No âmbito do concurso BII da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa o Centro de Sistemas de Energias Sustentáveis da UL propõe quatro projectos para estudantes do 1º Ciclo com interesse em "aprender a investigar" energia solar. O período para candidaturas termina dia 15 de Outubro.
[Nanomaterials, N. Hoth, Konarka] The technological attraction in organic solar cells is their compatibility to printing processes. However, up to today, nearly no literature on “printed” organic solar cells have been published and the major body of the research work was done by spin coating or blading techniques. Transferring the spin-coating or doctor blading process currently used for the fabrication of bulk heterojunction solar cell to a printing process holds morphological challenges that have not been observed or reported up to today. We highlight these challenges and we show that inkjet printing of organic bulk heterojunction solar cells requires completely novel approaches and skill sets compared to the current state of the art (...) report a new record power conversion efficiency of 3.5% for inkjet printed poly(3-hexylthiophene):fullerene based solar cells.
[Advanced Materials, Mitzi et al, IBM] In an effort to significantly reduce fabrication costs relative to vacuum-based approaches (e.g., no vacuum requirements, less energy intensive deposition, better materials utilization efficiency), as well as known solution-based approaches (e.g., fewer processing steps, no high-temperature selenization treatment, more facile Ga incorporation), we are pursuing a simple molecular-based approach for solution-depositing CIGS layers. (...) yielding a short-circuit current density (Jsc), open-circuit voltage (Voc), fill factor, and total area power conversion efficiency of 25.7 mA cm2, 605 mV, 0.66, and 10.3%, respectively.
sexta-feira, 26 de setembro de 2008
A empresa portuguesa Martifer inicia em Outubro a montagem de parques de painéis solares para produção de energia eléctrica na Bélgica (...) com a duração de três anos, prevê uma capacidade total de produção de electricidade de 30 MW.
quinta-feira, 25 de setembro de 2008
A EDP congelou os três projectos de energia fotovoltaica que estavam previstos para Espanha, o maior dos quais contemplava, para uma potência instalada de cerca de 50 MW, um investimento de 200 milhões de euros, a realizar na região de Saragoça. Mas a eléctrica nacional não é a única a rever a sua estratégia. Apesar de garantir que os projectos actualmente em curso não estão em risco, a Martifer admite reajustar os seus objectivos para este mercado. Já a BP Solar ameaça, segundo a imprensa local, cancelar o investimento fotovoltaico em Espanha. O mesmo acontecendo com os alemães da Goldbeck Solar, especialistas em instalações de coberturas solares.
Spain has decided to ease proposed sharp cuts in a generous subsidy scheme to solar power producers in one of the world's hottest markets, Energy Secretary Pedro Marin said on Tuesday.
Marin said the proposed limit on total capacity of new solar power panels entitled to subsidies in 2009 will be 500 megawatts, which compares to an earlier draft proposal to set the cap at 300 MW. (...) Industry groups say that the new cap is still too low, as it will be absorbed by an estimated 300-400 MW of ground-based plants that are already under construction, but will miss the deadline for the current subsidy scheme.
Spain expects 3,000 MW in solar plants by 2010
Spain's government said its new and less generous subsidy scheme, due to take effect shortly, foresees solar power plants reaching a capacity of 3,000 megawatts by 2010, or about double the present total. (...) [Industry Minister Miguel] Sebastian said the new subsidies would still be at least 25 percent above the highest rate recently set in Germany, which receives 20 percent less sunlight than Spain.
sexta-feira, 19 de setembro de 2008
É já na próxima terça feira. Começam as aulas de Energia Solar Fotovoltaica (ligação para a cadeira só para alunos... por enquanto) na Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, no âmbito do Mestrado Integrado em Engenharia da Energia e do Ambiente. A cadeira pretende oferecer uma panorâmica geral sobre fotovoltaico, desde os fundamentos da radiação solar e da física das células solares, métodos de caracterização e as várias tecnologias, projecto de sistemas PV e até um módulo de tópicos avançados, onde discutiremos mais detalhadamente alguns assuntos da 'moda', como silício metalúrgico para aplicação solar, concentração solar e novos conceitos.
Suniva Inc., a manufacturer of high value crystalline silicon solar cells [spinoff from Georgia Tech], today announced that its R&D team has developed several silicon solar cells in its lab with over 20% conversion efficiencies using a patented combination of simple cell designs and screen printing technologies. (...) represent a world record for screen printed cells and incorporate advanced design features that boost power output from the cell. For example, Suniva can create a higher sheet resistance emitter as well as enhanced surface passivation dielectrics in a single high tempeature step. Suniva produces narrower screen‐printed contacts on the front of the cell and a high‐quality surface reflector on the back. These components, combined with improved texturing methodologies, allow Suniva to trap light and achieve high efficiencies while keeping costs low.
terça-feira, 16 de setembro de 2008
A empresa portuguesa WS Energia e a norte-americana Solar Monkey assinaram, sexta-feira, um acordo com vista a produzir nos Estados Unidos uma nova geração de seguidores solares de alta precisão, elevada fiabilidade e baixo custo com base na tecnologia patenteada e galardoada da WS Energia. O acordo vai permitir desenvolver unidades fabris nos Estados Unidos, com base na tecnologia de seguimento actualmente produzida e comercializada na Europa pela empresa nacional.
The new method for slicing [germanium] solar cell wafers – known as wire electrical discharge machining (WEDM) – wastes less germanium and produces more wafers by cutting even thinner wafers with less waste and cracking. The method uses an extremely thin molybdenum wire with an electrical current running through it. (...)The process is slow. Wire electrical discharge machining takes 14 hours to cut a single wafer. Bamberg says the electrified wire method has to be done gently to avoid cracking the germanium, but he hopes to increase the speed to the six hours it now takes to cut a wafer using a wire saw.
domingo, 14 de setembro de 2008
Thin-film solar production is expected to double in each of the next three years to reach 4.18 gigawatts worth of equipment in 2010, according to a report to be released by Greentech Media and the Prometheus Institute on Tuesday. (...) Most of the new companies are developing amorphous-silicon films on glass, which (...) has the lowest barriers to entry because companies can buy "turnkey" manufacturing equipment from suppliers such as Applied Materials and Oerlikon.
(...) They expect cadmium telluride, which had the highest production in 2007, to remain the most common thin film to be produced this year before being overtaken by amorphous silicon. Cadmium-telluride films, which have been popularized by No. 1 thin-film manufacturer First Solar, will end up as a niche technology adopted by only a few companies, they wrote, although First Solar will remain a significant player in the industry.
Meanwhile, copper-indium-gallium-diselenide technologies – also known as CIGS–- "[remain] the most exciting, but also the most elusive," according to the report. Grama and Bradford predict that 2009 will be a breakout year for the technologies.
A European Parliament committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on a proposed biofuel target that would require less than 6 percent of all transportation fuels to come from food-based biofuels by 2020. The 6 percent target represents a major reduction from the 10 percent mandate contemplated by EU lawmakers earlier this year, reported Reuters Wednesday.
sexta-feira, 12 de setembro de 2008
Major Italian Corporations ERG Renew (ERG Group) and Permasteelisa, are to enter into the development and industrial production using Dyesol materials and technologies of DSC panels (Dye Solar Cells) (...) The Universities of Rome Tor Vergata, Ferrara and Turin will be partners in the project which will undertake the industrial research phase. Universita Roma Tor Vergata recently purchased a prototype facility from Dyesol and a team from the University is currently training at Dyesol's Australian Headquarters. (...) On completion of the development and first stage production facility, ERG Renew and Permasteelisa will produce and market these next-generation panels which based on cost, efficiency and durability are forecast to set a new industry benchmark being more competitive than the traditional silicon technology products. (...) about $75 value of DSC materials in every square metre of product.
quinta-feira, 11 de setembro de 2008
O Governo aprovou hoje uma resolução para classificar como "interesse estratégico" um investimento em Vila do Conde, na área das energias renováveis, que está avaliado em 99,7 milhões de euros (...) O ministro da Presidência, Pedro Silva Pereira, referiu, no final da reunião, que o investimento na área da energia solar será feito pela "Itarion Solar" e visa a produção de células fotovoltaicas. "O projecto prevê a criação de 200 pontos de trabalho, dos quais 142 com qualificação superior. É mais um projecto de investimento em Portugal na área das energias renováveis e que conta com a experiência da Quimonda, empresa de referência neste domínio", declarou o ministro da Presidência.
quarta-feira, 10 de setembro de 2008
Germany's solar industry has been given a boost after the government said it would scale back the feed-in tariff for solar electricity by only 9-10 percent each year until 2011 much less than the 30 percent scale-back that some industry experts had predicted. (...) According to the German solar magazine Photon, solar power could end up costing Germans €77 billion in higher tariffs by 2010 assuming that solar electricity generates 2 percent of the country's total electricity by then, and some critics have said the costs are not in relation to the performance. (...) In 1999, the extra costs to consumers were €19 million; in 2005, €506 million; and in 2008, the cost is expected to €1 billion. The costs could grow even higher in the coming decade because households with solar panels are guaranteed a fixed income for 20 years for surplus electricity sold to the national grid. (...) According to the Rheinisch Westfälischen Instituts für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), every job created in the solar industry costs €128,900 in subsidies and every ton less of carbon emissions costs €900, indicating that solar electricity might be the least efficient and most expensive way of tackling climate change.
terça-feira, 2 de setembro de 2008
Nos dias 1 e 2 de Setembro estivemos na Física 2008, uma organização da Sociedade Portuguesa de Física, para realizar uma workshop sobre Energia Solar onde se falou sobre sustentabilidade energética e energia fotovoltaica em particular. Os formandos vieram para o exterior para medir curvas características de painéis solares, testar associações de módulos e até montar um pequeno carrinho solar de cartão.