Solar Grid Storage has developed an energy storage system for solar power that not only powers the building and stores enough power for 4 hours, the local grid can use it to store or discharge electricity. Wow. This is a game-changer. Install enough systems like this and distributed energy becomes a reality everywhere.
The systems are installed and maintained by Solar Grid Storage and are leased to the end users. Utilities also pay the company because the systems help balance supply and demand, which is always crucial, but even more so with renewable energy, since it fluctuates in output.
This is the future of power. Microgrids and local power as well as gigawatt plants. Currently only one major utility allows this. Too many of the rest, with a few exceptions like Duke Power, are troglodytes who will change or die. This technology can’t be stopped.
Solar Grid Storage develops battery energy storage systems co-located with PV systems but separately owned and maintained by Solar Grid Storage. Our solution eliminates the need for PV developers to purchase a solar inverter, reducing installation costs and offering new benefits to the host. Solar Grid Storage finances the storage asset through revenues derived from multiple stakeholders. These revenues come from grid support markets that pay Solar Grid Storage to dispatch assets to maintain grid stability, and a series of new benefits, such as host emergency backup services, demand reduction, and peak shaving.
An innovative new design in wind turbines is being tested and is aimed at the home or small business market. Designed to be inconspicuous, the Dragonfly can produce electricity even in very light winds. Also, big wind turbines can afford electronics or special designs that shut down the turbine if wind speeds get too high. Small turbines haven’t been able to do that, until now. However, the dragonfly apparently can.
The turbine has been designed to have a minimal visual impact and has only two blades, rather than the more usual three. when the turbine is not turning, the blades align vertically with the mast. in the total absence of wind, the turbine is capable of blending perfectly into the surrounding environment, being reduced to the slim vertical line of the tower
The Gemasolar solar thermal plant in Spain uses molten salt to store excess heat from the sun to power turbines at night. It recently produced electricity day and night for a record-breaking 36 days. Solar thermal uses heliostatic mirrors to reflect the heat of the sun to a central tower to heat water which powers the turbines. Many solar thermal system convert the steam back to water, thus hugely cutting water usage.
Molten salt is used in solar power tower systems because it provides a low-cost medium to store thermal energy and operates at temperatures that are compatible with steam turbines as well as being non-toxic and non-flammable.
Between rooftop solar for homeowners and big companies building microgrids, traditional power utilities are facing a major threat to their traditional monopolistic ways of doing business. We don’t need them nearly so much as we used to. It makes sense for big companies to have control over some or all of their power. Microgrid technology allows companies to easily switch between their own solar, fuel cell, or wind power and that coming from the utility. Smart utilities are gearing up to meet this huge change in distribution of power. Dinosaur utilities will fight it – and lose.
The 3,200 U.S. utilities are already facing what NRG Energy Inc. CEO David Crane calls a “mortal threat” to the industry. Forces including deregulation, green politics and an explosion of rooftop solar and other homemade energy — known as distributed generation — mean a reduction in the fossil-fuel electricity utilities sell.
Microgrids may be the mechanism through which this revolution in clean distributed generation will be carried out – - a portal for leaving the traditional power grid.
Venture capital investing in cleantech is way down, below 2006 levels. Worse, most of the VC investment is in existing companies with little in new and early-stage companies.
The third quarter of 2013 saw the 7th consecutive drop in cleantech venture investing. In Q3 there were 40 deals and $297 million invested, which was a 20 percent drop in dollars from the second quarter of 2013, and a 65 percent drop from the third quarter of 2012.
The narrative in cleantech investing is that the corporates will come in and pick up this slack, and to some extent that’s been true. But I’m wondering to what extent.
The LA Times follows the trail of the billions California has given to fund renewable energy, often to politically connected companies. Sure, renewables are great. However much of this reeks of cronyism. Sneaky consumer fees fund it. The price of electricity is going up, not down.
Soon California will mandate specific amounts of renewable energy must be produced within the state. Thus, all those shiny new solar and wind farms in California will have the citizens of California as captive customers. How cosy is that?
“Suddenly, you look up and there are literally hundreds of millions of dollars going into investments that produce marginal benefits,” said state Sen. Rod Wright (D-Inglewood), a member of the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee.
“You know the tale of Robin Hood? Well, this is robbing the ‘hood,” he said. “You are taking from poor people to give to rich people.”
In a great example of resiliency and smart thinking, Gussing, a small Austrian town, faced with huge power bills now is a model of energy conservation and local renewable energy. A town people once thought was dying is now booming due to green energy companies, jobs, and income.
They began by retrofitting public buildings with energy saving light bulbs and insulation, then installed gassification plants powered by decomposing wood, and expanded that to power and heat the entire town. They use sustainable forestry practices and are a net exporter of energy.
The little town has become a net energy producer—generating more energy from renewables than it uses. Altogether, there are more than 30 power plants using renewable energy technologies within 10 kilometers of the village. Now the goal is to take the lessons from the small town of Güssing and make the entire 27,000-person district an energy-self-sufficient net producer.
Currently around 400 people come to Güssing each week to visit the numerous demonstration plants.
Changeable architectural elements create a variety of sensory conditions—closing to form a protective cocoon for occupants and opening to allow them to expand their space.
Two patios create a balance between interior and exterior and public and semi-public spaces.
The passive solar design, combined with an automated screen and awning system, provides shade to keep the living spaces cool and comfortable.
A patio herb garden draws water from a rainwater reservoir.
Generous storage, completely integrated into the walls, frees the primary indoor space from clutter
A centralized utility room contains all the automated mechanical systems the house needs, including a photovoltaics monitor, ventilation, plumbing, and hot water supply.
Two high-efficiency, air-water heat pumps supply cold and hot water for space heating and cooling as well as for domestic hot water.
An energy-recovery ventilation unit acts as a heat and humidity exchanger between exhaust air and fresh intake air to keep the living spaces comfortable and healthy.
Sustainable desert living is the goal of this entry. Capillary mats on ceilings circulate chilled water to provide radiant cooling. Envelope design allows greater thermal efficiency. Large openings blend boundaries between indoors and outdoors. Indoor flexspace reconfigures for various uses.
SHADE (Solar Homes Adapting for Desert Equilibrium) pays tribute to the interdependence of desert plant life while maximizing occupant comfort and flexibility. Solar energy, regionally proven passive heating and cooling, and intensive water management nurture a healthy and sustainable habitat, and flexible, modular spaces foster a broader community concept.
Heating costs are expensive in New England. Students at Norwich University in Vermont have designed an affordable 2 bedroom 1 bath home with net zero energy use that will stay at 70 degrees even if it’s minus 20 outside. Wow.
The Solar Decathlon features homes designed and built by college students using solar power, and are judged on ‘consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.”
The solution is designed to maintain an interior temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, even when outside temperatures drop to 20 degrees below zero, all while achieving net zero energy usage.