Thursday, July 28, 2011

MIT develops photovoltaics that do not require sunlight to produce electricity

MIT develops photovoltaics that do not require sunlight to produce electricity

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Inexpensive Grid Stability Solutions | Renewable Energy News Article

Inexpensive Grid Stability Solutions | Renewable Energy News Article

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Storing solar energy indefinitely now possible thanks to carbon nanotubes | RobAid

mit-storing-solar-energy-1The idea of reversibly storing solar energy in chemical bonds is gaining a lot of attention these days. A group of researchers from MIT have developed a novel application of carbon nanotubes which shows potential as an effective approach to store solar energy for use whenever it’s needed. The method simplifies the process by combining energy harvesting and storage into a single step.
Previously, the chemicals used to achieve this type of conversion and storage either degraded within a few cycles, or included the element ruthenium, which is rare and expensive. Jeffrey Grossman, the Carl Richard Soderberg Associate Professor of Power Engineering at MIT, and postdoc Alexie Kolpak have created a new material which is a combination of carbon nanotubes and a compound called azobenzene. the full story Storing solar energy indefinitely now possible thanks to carbon nanotubes | RobAid

Monday, July 18, 2011

RSi ramping up to Solar Grade Silicon production

RSilogoTurning on the first 500 MT (Metric Ton) arc furnace in Fall 2011.

RSI Silicon rebrands as Renewable Silicon International (RSi).

I have not been able to update RSI Silicon commences Solar Grade Silicon production since March 2009, until now.

In an interview last week with RSi President and CTO Dr. Steve Amendola and Executive Vice President Greg Mandor, I learned RSi plans to start one of two (2) 500 MT arc furnaces at their Easton, Pennsylvania USA, facility in late September or early October 2011 to produce commercial sized 100 to 400 kg (kilogram) customer samples of solar grade silicon. RSi expects to be producing solar grade silicon full time with the first arc furnace by the end of 2011 or early 2012.

Thus far, RSi has produced small batches of 6-7N (six 99.9999% to seven nines 99.99999% pure) solar grade silicon material using the now patented ChemArc process with small experimental sized furnaces.

RSi has not sold any solar grade silicon material to prospective customers, and although RSi has grown a silicon ingot, no silicon solar cells have ever been made from the material. RSi said not enough material had been produced to supply production sized Directional Solidification System (DSS) furnaces. RSi believes their 6N+ quality material will cast 7N multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) ingots suitable for manufacturing mc-Si solar cells. Dr. Amendola said:

So far results have shown that we can produce a 6N material which when you put it into the multicrystalline direct solidification unit gets better than 7N and will make a very good cell.

RSi claims upward of 30 companies have expressed interest in sampling the material to date with new inquiries arriving weekly. Companies range from global brands to the smallest firms all vying for a limited number of initial samples.

As customers place solar grade silicon orders, RSi plans to ramp the second 500 MT arc furnace around 2Q 2012. the full story: RSi ramping up to Solar Grade Silicon production

Central and distributed power: symbiotic? | Intelligent Utility

Centralized power and constellations of microgrids will become the new power paradigm for a lot of good reasons. And you probably didn't hear that here first.

It's just plain obvious—the two elements are symbiotic and that notion of mutual dependency and support is a theme in biology because it's an effective strategy for survival. If a utility's system is over-loaded, a microgrid can cut its dependency on the centralized grid, reducing load—relieving the grid—while still serving its own vital needs.

read the full story: Central and distributed power: symbiotic? | by Phil Carson at Intelligent Utility

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Artist Daniel Canogar is interviewed by a student of the IEUniversity

Artist Daniel Canogar thoughtfully and poignantly explains his beautifully designed inspiring linear (LED screen) work of art.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Energy | Communities

In January's State of the Union address, the President stated:

"We're issuing a challenge. We're telling America's scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we'll fund the Apollo Projects of our time." is part of that challenge and part of the larger community. The President's challenge wasn't issued to a select group of academics, or through a contract to a limited number of private companies, it was issued to all of us—a call to action given to all Americans, as well as citizens of other countries, and a part of our Open Government Initiative. As co-chairs for this effort, we worked with a talented group of individuals to get this site and initial data available.

Read the Rest at Energy | Communities

Saturday, July 2, 2011 reports: Grid energy storage tool reduces risk to utilities

Quick Take: As the KEMA news release says: "Uncertainty about the total cost and value of energy storage device makes it difficult to determine payback." As a result, utilities often hesitate to add storage to their technology toolboxes. But new methods are emerging to solve this issue. Here's a new tool from KEMA (see below). And we've previously shared stories with you on monetizing energy storageup and coming smart grid storage technologies and why it's essential to choose storage technologies very carefully (because many may fail as the grid-scale storage wars grind on). – By Jesse Berst

Smart Grid, Smart Grid Deployment, Smart Grid Technologies, Smart Grid Energy Storage, Electric Utilities, KEMA
Choosing the right energy storage technology, let alone figuring out return on investment, is a tricky business when you're dealing with such a young industry. KEMA's new ES-Select, a new energy storage performance modeling tool, is designed to take the guesswork out of the process.

KEMA is well aware that energy storage technologies vary drastically – from electric batteries to flywheels and more – with equally drastic differences in deliverable power, efficiency, discharge time, cycle life and other operational elements. And, uncertainty about total cost and value makes it hard to determine payback, adding to the confusion and uncertainty.

Read the full story