May 17, 2020

Competition to build the greenest house heats up

2 min
The Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon is underway, with 20 teams of college and university students scrambling to design, build and manage the bes...


The Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon is underway, with 20 teams of college and university students scrambling to design, build and manage the best solar-powered house. In their attempt the build the most aesthetically pleasing, energy efficient house, students have not only harnessed the power of light and heat from the sun to but have also taken advantage of cooling breezes and shading. By combining energy efficient techniques with the latest off-the-shelf technology, each team strives to build a green, but still comfortable, home.

While many designs are more traditional, the University of Arizona's Project Sage house boasts a water-filled Trombe wall that forms a solar thermal collector. A piece of glazing over the water captures the heat from sunlight. The water absorbs the heat during the day, warming the air between the glass and the wall, and at night, the heat cannot escape back through the glass. In the winter, the rising heat can be sent inside to warm the house, while in the summer it can be vented outside.

Cornel University also crafted a unique house. Their "Silo House" stands out with 3 interconnected rust-colored cylinders placed under floating solar panels. Inside the cylinders are three interconnecting cylindrical rooms situated around a square courtyard shaded by the photovoltaic (PV) panels above. Each silo serves a different function: kitchen, bedroom, and living room. Each room is 16 ft (4.9 m) in diameter, with about 130 ft2 (12.1 m2) of floor space.


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Aug 4, 2021

Sungrow links Europe's largest energy storage plant to grid

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Europe's largest energy storage project, the 100MWh Minety plant with Sungrow's 1500V energy storage system solutions, has connected to the UK grid

Europe's largest energy storage project, the 100MW/100MWh Minety plant featuring Sungrow's 1500V energy storage system solutions, has been successfully connected to the UK grid.

The UK experienced the most debilitating blackout in nearly a decade in August 2019. The incident exposed the serious lack of frequency regulation of the national grid and demonstrated that the construction of energy storage projects that can regulate the frequency of the grid in a timely fashion should be prioritised. The Minety project, which began at the end of 2019, considerably mitigates the problem and is designed for facilitating grid stability and maximising renewable energy utilisation.

Sungrow supplied both NCM and LFP battery energy storage system solutions featuring high integration, which minimise the footprint, slash the commissioning duration and significantly reduce the system cost by 5%. The solution well meets the latest UK frequency regulation requirement called dynamic containment - requesting the plant to respond to the power instruction of the grid within 1 second, making the project one of the rare 30% of the UK's storage plants equipped with this function.

"We are proud of being part of this landmark project, offering solutions with extreme efficiency and safety while in compliance with the stringent UK grid codes," said James Wu, Vice President of Sungrow, which shipped more than 800MWh of energy storage systems in 2020.

Battery storage capacity in the UK is likely to heavily increase as move towards operating a zero-carbon energy system. At the end of 2019 the GB battery storage capacity was 0.88GWh. National Grid forecasts it could be as high as 2.30GWh in 2025.

Global energy storage updates

TEVOCS has announced the launch of a powerful series of universal portable power stations that provide reliable power for off-grid situations, travel, home backup and more. With an impressive 2080WH capacity and 2000W output, the TEVOCS power station is billed as 'the ultimate power station for modern life' and is available here.

Enlight Renewable Energy has completed the acquisition of 90.1% of the holdings in Clēnera LLC, a leading and seasoned company in the field of initiation, development, construction and operation of solar energy and energy storage projects in the United States.

Last month Canadian Solar Inc. was awarded the first utility-scale battery storage project in Colombia of 45 MW/45 MWh. The project was awarded in the public tender launched by Colombia's Ministry of Energy and Mines, via its affiliate UPME, the Mining and Energy Planning Unit. 

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