Offshore wind to float

In a recent article published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, the challenges for the future of off-shore wind were discussed, considering Spain as a case.

The need for floating structures is a clear cornerstone for the development of off-shore wind in countries like Spain, where swallow waters are not convenient or restricted.

The development of these technologies to a commercial level will bridge the difference from on-shore connected windpower and off-shore or off-grid generation. Energy harvesting as discussed in this post with multi-use offshore platforms can be envisioned as a next step.

Picture from Yarik Mishin on freeimages.com

Picture from Yarik Mishin on freeimages.com

Excluding the technological and environmental challenges, there are other hurdles.

As it is highlighted usually, the unstable regulatory framework causes a lack of interest for investment, specially if paired with complicated administrative procedures.

Publication: Superconducting Fault Current Limiter

Recently we got published an article on short circuit current limiting on Elevier’s Electric Power Systems Research, were I’m a co-author;

Cover image Electric Power Systems Research

“Performance analysis of a Superconducting Fault Current Limiter in a power distribution substation”, Volume 136, July 2016, Pages 89–99

Antonio Colmenar-Santos, , J.M. Pecharromán-Lázaro, Carlos de Palacio Rodríguez, Eduardo Collado-Fernández

The results of the research and pilot project for this technology are promising. The short circuit current limiting with a superconducting system (SFCL-Superconducting Fault Current Limiter) is an example of FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission System) for the Smart Grid. It allows a real-time response, that is an automatic reaction, reducing short circuit currents, thus avoiding damage to equipment. This enables a more meshed operation while the energy losses are kept low.

The paper presents the operational benefits and performance of an installed system in a distribution network. These benefits are translated into economic terms, with the goal of setting a target price for economic feasibility of such systems. While the difference between the economic target of 100 k€ and the cost of the real project is tenfold, it remains a trigger for market adoption. Moreover, it is likely that economies of scale and technology improvements drive the implementation cost down in the coming years.

The consequence of widespread use of SFCL would be more reliable and resilient distribution networks. We will see more of this coming, in the near future.

The complete article is available for some days on the link: http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1SbPa1M7~0UanK

Research article: Asessing Islanding Microgrids

The article we recently published, presents a method to assess the most appropriate microgrid configuration, depending on the costs of grid energy, renewable prices, storage, islanding conditions, etc:

Article Microgrids

Our definition of microgrid includes any network on household or building when including control, generation, storage or islanding capabilities. These microgrids must ask themselves what configuration is their best option, from full utility dependence to off-grid… The thing is: You ARE a microgrid, so what kind of microgrid is best for you to be?

Timer Plug off-grid TICTAC

Image from newkemall on freeimages.com

Actually, to turn every household and every residential, industrial or commercial building into a microgrid, with a Home – Building Energy Management system, with renewable generation (and storage) is the way of implementing the Smart Grid bottom-up and also Democratizing power generation.

It also pushes the system towards net-zero energy buildings which is the way forward pointed out by the EC, for example.

You also wonder what the Grid Independence Cycle is?

Read the article and take a look at Spain, where the menace for a toll on self-consumption and the fact that fixed costs are higher than variable costs may lead the system into the circle, with increasing partial or complete islanding (even with an additional toll, who knows) from the network.

Sea Energy Harvesting – off-shore

Of course, onshore resources are first.

Of course, it will take a long time before it’s real business, but we can start with the vision…

Where is the most “energy intense” location on earth in terms of wind, solar and other renewable sources? Is it onshore or off-shore?

Let’s see what sea energy harvesting is about…

Derived from Image by http://www.freeimages.com/profile/leonardobc

Concept derived from Image by http://www.freeimages.com/profile/leonardobc

There was in 2011 an interesting research I recommend here, that overlapped the irradiation and the temperature, in order to determine where solar can yield more, given the PV panels are less efficient the higher the temperature. The resulting optimal areas for generation where the Himalayas (not too accessible), the Antarctica (similar to off-shore) and regions in the southern Andes.

Sigue leyendo

Energycon 2014

Organized by: IEEE

Date & venue: 12-16 May, 2014, Cavtat- Dubrovnik – Hotel Croatia

The Energycon event was an opportunity to present a research paper on Smart Grid decision making part of my PhD. Very related to the topic I discussed in an old post: Smart Money for Smart Grids. It was included in the Distribution Grid Planning and Operation Session, part of the Track- Low Carbon Energy Systems.

The event, was also an opportunity to see other research on the subject, and enjoy the surroundings.

Cavtat adriatic view

A view from the hotel venue of the Adriatic

It’s impressive to see the number of presented papers on smart grid, for example Sigue leyendo

Movilidad eléctrica interurbana – Artículo

Recientemente publicaron un artículo parte de mi doctorado, algo que llevaba intentando desde hace tiempo y que aprovecho para explicar también en el blog.

El artículo completo está disponible en la red en open access.

El ejercicio de investigación que planteamos consistió en elaborar un método para planificar la infraestructura de movilidad eléctrica interurbana.

Source: sxc.hu, Axonite (www.pavelmatousek.cz)

Source: sxc.hu, Axonite (www.pavelmatousek.cz)

¿Qué quiere decir esto? Significa determinar cuantas “electrolineras”,

Sigue leyendo

MegaPV Plants, Power ¿and crops?

One of the concerns of utility scale solar plants is the land use. While wind power plants only employ aprox. 1% of the agricultural land where they are installed, a solar photovoltaic power plant normally hinders other uses for almost 100% of the power plant’s surface.

Exceptions can be found, of course, as with 2-axis single post trackers, that can be designed to allow cattle land use, as a reference with CPV in California for cows. The use of sheep under a solar field, is also a solution for maintaining the land under the panels, as in Puerto Errado, Spain (picture from Novatec Solar)

Ganaderia en CSP

Actually,the higher the structure the bigger the cost, so it has to compensate with the land usage increase. Other solutions for crop farming (not cattle) would be, for example, moveable solar plants that cover only fallow land with wheeled structures.

But what, as far as I know, has not been developped enough, is Sigue leyendo