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COWIN
SOLAIRE
Dévoué à fournir un nouveau mode de vie énergétique solaire.
7 années
fondé
6
Succursales à l'étranger
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COWIN   SOLAIRE
Dévoué à fournir un nouveau mode de vie énergétique solaire.
7 années
fondé
6
Succursales à l'étranger
100 MW
Capacité annuelle
500 +
employés
NOS PRODUITS AVANCÉS
Innovation is the first productive force

Solar power does work – and a lot better than we thought
One of the prices we have to pay for our ideological divide on renewable energy is that we have to read headlines like this, particularly in the Murdoch media: “Solar and wind power simply don’t work, not here, not anywhere”. It was written by the former chairman of a coal mining company, in case you were wondering.

 

Solar doesn’t work? New analysis of Australia’s first large-scale solar farms shows that solar actually does work, and rather better than expected. And the findings should make it a lot easier for future projects to get the backing of equity investors and bankers, if not the owners of coal fired generators desperately protecting their turf.Cowin Solar | Devoted to Provide a New Solar Energy Lifestyle.

The research has been produced by US-based solar module manufacturer First Solar, whose panels have been used for around three quarters of the large-scale solar projects built in Australia to date, by capacity.
first solar data farms
Its study shows that at all the solar farms built by First Solar – in western NSW, north Queensland and Western Australia – the output has been higher than forecast. Collectively, the Australian solar plants using First Solar thin-film PV modules are performing above expectations by an average of 3.2 per cent.
first solar greenough river
The solar farm with the longest record to date, the 10.2MW Greenough River solar facility near Geraldton, in WA, shows that over four years it has produced an average 1.2 per cent above forecast.
first solar broken hill
The best result has been produced by Broken Hill, the 53MW plant built near the iconic mining town in western NSW, which is so far delivering 4.2 per cent above expectations.

(Spectral advantage, btw, is a measure that First Solar uses to show how much better their panels work in humid conditions than silicon-based rivals).

Now, this might not sound like ground-breaking news – forecast production broken by a few percentage points.

But people in suits are very conservative types, and investment in renewable energy in Australia, both in wind and solar, has been hampered by the fact that bankers won’t finance investments unless they can actually touch, feel and watch the technology, and have proof that it actually works.

This data, Curtis says, is proof that the projects are, indeed, bankable. And that’s more important than it might sound.

Curtis says that even though large-scale solar has been proved in many international locations, local investors still wanted proof that it would work in Australia, even though it does have some of the best solar conditions in the world. Such, perhaps, is the insular nature and/or inherent conservatism of Australia’s banking system.

But Curtis is reassured, not just by the release of the production statistics, but also by the attitude of equity investors and financiers in the local market.

“What’s been most encouraging is that the international banks are bringing their lending frame of reference to the local market, rather than adopting the local ones,” Curtis says. “That will make it hard for local banks to ignore.”

This new level of competition should make it easier for project developers to obtain finance. As RenewEconomy reported on Monday, Curtis believes that the results of the large-scale solar tender by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency in the next few weeks will be a “watershed” moment for the utility-scale sector in Australia.

That’s not just because the projects selected to share the $100 million in ARENA grant funding will get the go-ahead, but because it will also be a trigger for other projects to move forward.

And Curtis expects that many of the solar projects to be built will incorporate single axis tilting, allowing the panels to track the movement of the sun from east to west, and adding to their output in the early morning and late afternoon.

Curtis says the costs of adding single axis tracking mechanisms will be more than compensated by the increase in output.

Based on research at the Gatton solar farm, Curtis estimates that tracking-enabled solar farms will have capacity factors in the high 20 per cent and low 30 per cent, compared to the 25-26 per cent of those without.Cowin Solar | Devoted to Provide a New Solar Energy Lifestyle. 

“Given the evolution in tracking technologies, any project north of Sydney is doing itself a disservice if it doesn’t have tracking technology,” he says.

Australia’s biggest solar farm with tracking technology is the 57MW Moree solar farm in NSW. First Solar is proposing tracking for the Manildra solar farm in NSW it is planning to build for Infigen Energy, and which has applied for the ARENA grant.

The 100MW solar farm proposed by Sun Brilliance in the West Australian wheat belt will also use single axis tracking technology, making it the biggest solar farm b output if and when it is completed.

Of course, Curtis says the results from the four solar farms his company has built in Australia underscores the advantage of his company’s “thin film” technology over the silicon based panels favoured by its rivals.

“This shows that our panels perform better when it gets hotter, and when it gets humid,” he said. “That’s why Australia is one of the core markets for First Solar.”

Coincidentally, about 2 minutes after I had put down the phone from my chat with Curtis, Dylan McConnell, from the Melbourne Energy Institute, emailed through a production chart from the 102MW Nyngan solar farm, which also used First Solar technology.
nyngan solar farm output data

McConnell pointed out that, indeed, Nyngan was producing at a capacity factor of 25 to 26 per cent. This, he said, was far higher than official forecasts relied upon for the Australian Power generation Technologies Report, which estimated the average capacity factor of large-scale solar PV at 19-22 per cent.

That, says McConnell, suggests that the forecasts relied upon by the federal government underestimate the output of solar farms by between 15 and 35 per cent.

Little wonder that the government can’t make any sensible decisions about large-scale solar, and why it insists on defunding the agency that has brought about most of the cost reductions in the past year, ARENA.  

Cowin Solar | Devoted to Provide a New Solar Energy Lifestyle. 

 

 

Time to shine: Solar power is fastest-growing source of new energy

Renewables accounted for two-thirds of new power added to world’s grids last year, says International Energy Agency

A rooftop covered with solar panels at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York
 A rooftop covered with solar panels at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. The US is still the second fastest-growing market for renewables despite Donald Trump’s pledge to revive coal. Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP
 
Solar power was the fastest-growing source of new energy worldwide last year, outstripping the growth in all other forms of power generation for the first time and leading experts to hail a “new era”.
Renewable energy accounted for two-thirds of new power added to the world’s grids in 2016, the International Energy Agency said, but the group found solar was the technology that shone brightest.
New solar capacity even overtook the net growth in coal, previously the biggest new source of power generation. The shift was driven by falling prices and government policies, particularly in China, which accounted for almost half the solar panels installed.
The Paris-based IEA predicted that solar would dominate future growth, with global capacity in five years’ time expected to be greater than the current combined total power capacity of India and Japan.
Dr Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA, said: “What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar photovoltaics [PV]. We expect that solar PV capacity growth will be higher than any other renewable technology up to 2022.”
The authority, which is funded by 28 member governments, admitted it had previously underestimated the speed at which green energy was growing.
The amount of renewable energy capacity forecast globally in 2022 has been revised upwards on last year’s forecast, driven by the IEA expecting a third more solar in China and India. Choose CowinSolar in solar energy service .
 
Solar energy is becoming more diverse than rooftop panels on houses. It has become a consistent source of innovation in the U.S., guiding the flow of research dollars and policies that even the Trump administration can't seem to dodge — and is even embracing.
President Trump went as far as suggesting the idea of integrating solar panels into his border wall with Mexico after reportedly cribbing it from Las Vegas architect Thomas Gleason.
Gleason's architecture firm submitted a proposed solar border fence to the Department of Homeland Security, telling Business Insider that he had been batting around the idea "for months" and knew a few people in contact with Trump who could get the proposal in front of the president.
Gleason said the wall would take about 20 years to build, but it wouldn't be able to generate stable amounts of electricity. The Mexican border is far from a straight line, and light intensity changes from month to month, which could complicate his calculations. Gleason said his company hasn't received the go-ahead from the federal government to conduct a full evaluation of the plan.
One of the big drawbacks to solar is its intermittency, since solar panels generate electricity only when the sun is shining. There are exceptions, such as big solar thermal plants. But those are utility-scale projects the size of small towns. Typically, smaller solar cells on a single-family home, for example, cannot generate energy when the sun goes down.
Much of the money being spent on research is aimed at solving those fundamental problems with solar electricity, with companies all over the world pushing new technologies to make solar more reliable and cheaper.
Here are seven things you didn't know about where solar energy is headed:
1. Prince of solar

Before his death, Prince quietly funneled millions of dollars into solar energy research. (AP Photo)
Solar energy received a lot of support from the late music icon Prince, according to Van Jones, former President Barack Obama's former green jobs adviser and a CNN commentator.
Before his death, Prince had been quietly funneling millions of dollars into solar energy research. By the time he died in April 2016, Prince had contributed $25 million. He sent some of the money to a for-profit investor group called Powerhouse that connects solar energy entrepreneurs to investors.
Prince sought out Jones when he was still working in the Obama White House to understand how he could support solar energy development.
"He asked, ‘If I have a quarter-million dollars, what can I do with it?'" Jones said in a recent interview with the Daily Good online magazine. "My wife said he should put solar panels all over Oakland, [Calif]."
​The funds that he provided went directly to fund commercial solar installations in Oakland with an original contribution of $250,000, according to Powerhouse.
2. Solar crystal power
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is developing an advanced crystal that could be the answer to making rooftop solar panels a continuous source of electricity and heat in the not-too-distant future.
The solar crystals do something that no other solar panel can do: They can produce up to 1,000 degrees Celsius worth of heat.
​"Because heat is easier to store than electricity, it should be possible to divert excess amounts generated by the device to a thermal storage system, which could then be used to produce electricity even when the sun isn't shining," according to the MIT Technology Review. "If the researchers can incorporate a storage device and ratchet up efficiency levels, the system could one day deliver clean, cheap — and continuous — solar power."
However, the MIT crystal orbs are "still a crude prototype," with an operating efficiency of about 6.8 percent. Silicon solar cells on houses are at the most about 20 percent efficient at converting sunlight into electricity currently. But with tweaks, the efficiency of the MIT heat crystals could be increased to "roughly twice as efficient as conventional photovoltaics," according to the journal.
3. Tiny and everywhere
Solar technology is proving to be increasingly adaptable to overlapping with other seemingly unrelated digital technologies.
For example, a new development in solar energy is nanotechnology, the latest trend in the push to displace fossil fuels with more renewables. And it could mean micro-solar panels on everything from smart phones to children's toys in the near future.
In Europe, 3-D printers are able to turn out ultra-thin solar cells that are no thicker than a human hair.
A European renewable energy conference this summer in the EU's sun capital of Malta featured discussions on new energy technologies to solve the issue of renewable energy intermittency and replacing the electric demand from home appliances with distributed energy production from printed solar panels.
"Nanotechnology as a field has an enormous role to play in moving our planet to sustainable and intelligent living," said professor Martin Curley from Maynooth University in Ireland, addressing the EuroNanoForum.
4. Ikea solar

Ikea recently announced that it will begin selling solar power for houses. (AP Photo)
Ikea is getting into the renewable energy business, announcing recently that it will begin selling solar power for houses, beginning in the United Kingdom.
The big-box furniture store from Sweden also could set up shop in the U.S. in the future, although continental Europe is probably first on its list of destinations.
The company is not producing its own line of solar panels, but has teamed up with a solar power company from England called Solarcentury.
Installation and set-up costs $4,000, which would make switching to solar panels achievable for many budgets.
The decision for a furniture retailer to begin selling solar panels came a few months after Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and Solar City, announced he will begin selling solar roof shingles.
5. Solar shingles
Musk's solar shingles can cover the entire rooftop, greatly expanding the electricity-generating square footage of a house over conventional solar rooftop panels that are fixed to a few areas of the home.
The "solar glass" panels are supposed to be more durable than normal shingles. The Tesla Solar Roof website shows how they stand up to hail balls being shot at them side-by-side with normal slate and tile shingles. The normal tiles explode, while the solar glass shingles show no damage.
There are multiple styles: textured, smooth, slate, and coming next year, terracotta-styled "tuscan."
"Solar Roof complements your home's architecture while turning sunlight into electricity," according to Tesla, which uses the new product to complement its line of energy storage battery packs that are also meant to integrate into a home like a painting on the wall.
"With an integrated Powerwall battery, energy collected during the day is stored and made available any time, effectively turning your home into a personal utility," the website says.
6. Solar flowers bloom

SmartFlower Solar calls its mobile power plants an all-in-one solar energy system. (Photo courtesy Facebook)
An Austrian solar energy company is gaining attention in the U.S. for its solar energy flower, a miniature power plant that can sit outside a house or office to provide more electricity than conventional rooftop panels.
The compact "SmartFlower" tracks the sun throughout the day on a rotating turbine, whereas rooftop photovoltaic solar panels are static and cannot take advantage of the sun as it moves from east to west.
Florida State University this month unveiled its "SmartFlower" solar panels, which it will be deploying on its Tallahassee campus.
The company, SmartFlower Solar, calls its mobile power plants an all-in-one solar energy system. It offers two models, the standard model that produces power when the sun is shining and the Plus model that produces electricity day and night because of its added battery storage.
Because the smart flowers aren't fixed to one's home, they are mobile and can be moved from house to house.

7. Big is also beautiful
The U.S. is swiftly becoming a leader in building utility-scale solar power plants, with the California company Solar Reserve this month securing a 20-year contract with the government of South Australia to build and operate a huge solar thermal power plant.
The state premier said the plant in Port Augusta will be the biggest of its kind in the world, while other public officials said the power plant places the country's powerful coal industry on notice.
The company prides itself on being able to build solar power plants that deliver electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even when the sun isn't shining.
Solar Reserve's technology has the ability to store thermal energy that it can use during the night to run a boiler, like a coal plant, to produce electricity — except its boiler sits atop tall towers the height of the Statue of Liberty. Thousands of controlled mirrors beam sunlight at the top of the towers to boil liquid salt that is used to produce steam to run a turbine and generate power that it sends to the electric grid.
The company's Crescent Dunes plant in Nevada was the first in the world to use molten salt to store thermal energy during the day to produce power at night. The Nevada plant is one of many the company is building around the world.
Its main rival, Brightsource Energy, built the Ivanpah solar thermal plant it California that uses a similar system, but without the ability to produce electricity at night. Congressional Republicans had criticized Ivanpah for costing too much and harming migratory birds by incinerating them in flight. But the plant is still operating as the first of its kind and largest in the world. And demand for U.S. solar thermal plants appears to be increasing. The Solar Reserve plant at Port Augusta is set to dethrone Ivanpah as the largest.
Tom Koutsantonis, a member of parliament representing South Australia, said the Solar Reserve plant would make coal power plants obsolete in the country.
"A shiver has just gone up the coal generation industry's spine," he tweeted. "Solar thermal just won a competitive tender for baseload generation in SA."
The plant will provide 150 megawatts of electricity and cost $650 million to build. The power output is only a small fraction of a coal plant, but so is the cost. It is scheduled to open next year.
 

 

Oh, poor investor is my first thought when I see this picture. Bye bye with the IRR for at least 2-3 years.

This installation did not survive a normal storm and is damaged seriously. And now facing the battle between the developer, insurance company and himself.

How could this happen?

Guess you have your ideas. It is a combination of causes but at the end, you can bring them back to 1: saving money.

Recently PV Magazine held a round table discussion about this. And the conclusion is in the headline: spend a little to save a lot.

From many sources, we get information on projects in India and the conclusion is there have to be improved a lot to get the trust of the professional investors.

Many projects are for sale. Indian sellers say the projects are cheap. Is that so?

Don't think so. In our group, we recently did for more than 500MW health check in Europe for developers who want to sell their projects. Well, I can tell you most of the sellers get much less than expected.

Why, do you ask?

  • Now already known future warranty claims on the modules for several reasons (PID, LID, hot spot, delamination, junction box issues etc)
  • To less maintenance. At the end, this has to be caught up one day. And the investor is not paying your bad job
  • Future replacement costs. Bad quality cables, rusting materials (cheap galvanized) and so on
  • Technical design mistakes. Inverters which does not match the modules and therefore underperform, wrong cabling etc

All above is applicable for existing (and new) projects in India. And sorry but Jugaat is not making investors happy. Cheap projects can be extremely expensive in this way for investors.

That is also why experienced investors demand a health check. Spending a little to save a lot.

And for new projects a full due diligence. Yes, they do your work all over again by specialists.

Back to bankability. All above is part of it. Bankability is a complex topic but can also be made simple: Is an investor willing to give you money to realize your project?

Risk mitigation is key in this:

  • Insurances play a key role in this
  • A good insurance is only available when certain quality control took place by third parties
  • And you only pass when there are no shortcuts

Here is the circle round: no quality no money for your project. Basically, that is bankability

Spend a little to earn more is my advice to the developers in India.

Success

This Containerized Solution Brings Clean Water & Solar Power To Remote Areas

August 17th, 2017

Getting electricity and clean water to remote villages and off-grid locations can make a huge difference in the lives of those who live there, but running power and water lines from a central location can cost far more than bringing an electricity generation and water filtration system directly to the location, and one Italian startup has a $15,000 all-in-one modular solution to do just that.


The OffGridBox container can supply 16 kilowatt-hours of clean solar energy each day, plus 24,000 liters of filtered and sterilized drinking water, to remote locations, which is said to be enough to provide for a village of about 300 people. It’s fully self-contained in a 6-foot cube, and includes an inverter, a 5.5 kWh LiFePO battery bank, a 4 kW solar array, water collection and 1500 liter storage system, and a water filtration system that uses filters and UV sterilization to produce up to 1000 liters per hour. The units are designed for use as a rural electrification system, for disaster relief, for off-grid living, or as a backup or alternative system for grid-tied properties, and are said to be able to be “installed and maintained by untrained workers with a basic set of tools.”


The units are modular, so capacity can be ramped up by adding more units to the installation, and additional options are available, including a larger solar array, a bigger battery bank, WiFi capability, a desalination unit, a drip irrigation unit, a ‘pay as you go’ battery swap feature, a wind turbine, remote monitoring, and an integrated heat pump.

According to an article in Fast Company, OffGridBox has sold and installed about 28 of the units so far, and has a forthcoming pilot project in Rwanda that will see 18 units installed, but scaling up the business has been challenging.

“In places where no one has access to sustainable, reliable electricity and safe water, OffGridBox can make it happen! In a few hours using a small crane and a pickup truck, we can deliver and start the unit. We also provide basic training to local maintenance operators–no matter their education level. It’s a great opportunity to empower women while solving this crucial issue.” – OffGridBox

The company has been chosen as one of the startups in the 2017 Boston Mass Challenge accelerator, which could help shift the OffGridBox business plan away from trying to sell units to NGOs and toward providing power and water through ‘pay as you go’ systems selling direct to the end users.

“We saw that one unit, managed by a local women co-op in a Rwandese village, impacts 1500 people providing Tier 1 electricity and sterilized water with a 20c$/d per family on a Pay-As-You-Go basis (half the current rate).” – OffGridBox

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