May 17, 2020

Solar Panel Air Conditioning Helps Beat Heat Wave

Solar
panel
roof
rooftop
Admin
2 min
With a heat wave spreading across the U.S., solar panel owners may be surprised to learn about an air-conditioning side effect
Cant stand the heat? Then get yourself a solar roof! According to a new study, solar roofs exhibit a unique air conditioning effect that may help sola...

 

Can’t stand the heat?  Then get yourself a solar roof!  According to a new study, solar roofs exhibit a unique air conditioning effect that may help solar-savvy homeowners stay cool amidst the record heat wave spreading across the U.S.

The current issue of the journal Solar Energy features a study that finds roofs adorned with solar panels tend to result in a ceiling temperature of five degrees F cooler than roofs without.  The solar panels apparently reduced the amount of heat reaching the roof by 38 percent.   

"It's mostly that shadow effect, like when you park your car under a tree. The sun hits the solar panels, not your roof," says study co-author Jan Kleissl, an assistant professor of environmental engineering at the University of California - San Diego

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Kleissl, along with researchers Anthony Dominguez and Jeffrey C. Luvall used thermal infrared imagery to measure the temperature of the Powell Structural Systems Laboratory, which is partially covered with solar panels.  The building is a commercial warehouse style building with little insulation.

The amount of energy saved as a result of the solar panel air conditioning effect is entirely dependent on the characteristics of the building itself.  In large commercial buildings such as the one tested, the savings may be very large.  The research team estimates that the average savings as a result of the cooling effect over the life of a solar panel rooftop system could be as much as five percent. 

In winter months, the solar panels actually can act as an insulator, further extending the benefits in reducing the cost of heating a building. "It's like having a blanket," Kleissl says. "In winter, the solar panels won't allow all the heat to be lost to the atmosphere."

Kleissl’s research team is now working on a calculator to help businesses and homeowners calculate the cooling effect of installing solar panels on their roofs. 

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Apr 20, 2021

Amazon's renewable energy projects surpass 200 milestone

Amazon
Renewables
Solar
Netzero
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Nine new projects announced today takes Amazon's renewables portfolio beyond 200 projects

Amazon claims it is now Europe's largest corporate buyer of renewable energy as its projects surpassed 200 globally.

Broken down, it has 136 solar rooftops on facilities and stores and 71 utility-scale wind and solar projects, nine of which were announced today covering the US, Canada, Spain, Sweden and UK. They include:

First solar project paired with energy storage Based in California’s Imperial Valley, Amazon’s first solar project paired with energy storage allows the company to align solar generation with the greatest demand. The project generates 100MW of solar energy, and includes 70MW storage.

First renewable project in Canada An 80 MW solar project in the County of Newell in Alberta. Once complete, it will produce over 195,000MWh of renewable energy to the grid.

Largest corporate renewable energy project in the UK Amazon’s newest project in the UK is a 350MW wind farm off the coast of Scotland and is Amazon’s largest in the country. It is also the largest corporate renewable energy deal announced by any company in the UK to date.

New projects in the US Amazon’s first renewable energy project in Oklahoma is a 118 MW wind project located in Murray County. Amazon is also building new solar projects in Ohio’s Allen, Auglaize, and Licking counties. Together, these Ohio projects will account for more than 400MW of new energy procurement in the state.

Additional investments in Spain and Sweden In Spain, Amazon’s newest solar projects are located in Extremadura and Andalucia, and together add more than 170 MW to the grid. Amazon’s newest project in Sweden is a 258 MW onshore wind project located in Northern Sweden.

It now has more than 2.5 GW of renewable energy capacity, enough to power more than two million European homes a year, and aims to power all its activities with renewables by 2025 and net zero by 2040.

Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge in 2019, a commit ment to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. The pledge now has 53 signatories, including IBM, Unilever, Verizon, Siemens, Microsoft, and Best Buy.

A map of all of Amazon’s renewable energy projects around the world can be found here.

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