Publication: Charging island homes

Do you think islands can benefit from the use of Electric Vehicles?

It’s quite reasonable to agree on the benefits.

Because of the limited distances, because of the availability of renewables, lack of local fuels and high energy dependence, and because of the environmental impact, electric mobility apparently fits there like a glove.

Besides, resiliency to face weather events by storing energy in the vehicle, and reducing peak electrical demand on normal conditions seem to be economically beneficial.

kreta-1364084 car island

Image taken in Crete by Repsaj on freeimages

The research we recently got published in Energy, focuses on the effect of using the vehicle’s energy to charge the home at peak load and charge the vehicle* during valley.

This is what we found out…

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NZEB + EV: The decarb combo

Are you aware of these stats?

  1. Buildings account for 40 % of energy consumption and 36 % of energy emissions (EU data)
  2. Road transport accounts for 25 % of energy consumption and 20 % of energy emissions (EU data and EU stats)

Then, what happens when we combine NZEB buildings (net Zero Energy Buildings) with local renewable generation and EVs (Electric Vehicles) charging in these NZEB?

NZEB & EV.png

It’s obvious… -> We can decarbonize 65 % of the energy system!* Sigue leyendo

Upcycling sun-tennas

The following picture was taken in Casablanca from the Kenzi Tower one month ago. It isn’t the best example, though, for example, in Cairo, it strikes more to the eye.

What do you see?…

Antenas techo

Actually, there are approximately 200 TV antennas on the roof-tops. Let’s zoom in a bit:

Antennas 25 In this portion, corresponding to one building alone, you have around 25 units.

With the advent of cable television, wireless video streaming and other technology, these antennas could soon become stranded assets in many countries. Imagine how many could be left useless and need recycling. While thinking about asset utilization and the sharing economy, I couldn’t help but think:

What can they be used for instead?… Sigue leyendo

Bono social y pobreza energética

El pasado domingo 13 de diciembre el programa Salvados #encasadeElisa estuvo dedicado a la pobreza energética.

Por qué es este tema relevante?

Es un problema que ha crecido un 69% en España en los últimos 4 años según el INE, aunque el Ministro de Industria no estaba enterado. Para Jose Manuel Soria, además parece que la única manera de combatirla, junto con reducir el paro, es el bono social. Como escribió Fernando Ferrando sobre el mismo tema, quien no puede pagar, aunque le hagan un 25% de descuento, sigue sin poder. Además, aunque el consumo energético eléctrico es mucho menor que el consumo de gasolina y representa una parte pequeña del consumo familiar (como planteaba en mi post sobre electrificar el transporte) no es el caso de las personas en situación de pobreza energética. Para ellos, obviamente supone una parte mucho más importante, compitiendo con la comida por el dinero disponible.

old-parabolic-electric-heater-1175580

Calefactor eléctrico. Imagen de Gabriel Fernandes en freeimages.com

 

A pesar de reconocer que el bono social está mal planteado, el (hasta dentro de poco) ministro de industria no mostró ninguna intención de mejorarlo. En el mismo programa, al menos el ex-ministro Sebastián planteó la opción de que un consumo mínimo debería ser gratuito, puesto que la energía es un bien de primera necesidad.

Cómo se podría modificar el bono social y la tarifa eléctrica?

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The grid as an emergency supply?

It’s official. Finally Spain has the most toll-intensive consumer power generation (what is called self-consumption) law in the world. The so-called “sun tax” is in place.

It is important to understand the worries of the regulator here;

Given the high fixed costs of the system, further reductions of electricity demand (as with self-consumption) increase the price of energy in a Grid independence cycle. The goal of increasing the toll on self-consumption is to ensure the system costs are covered, delay the implementation of self-consumption (starting in the islands and small systems), delay consumer energy storage (in fact it is also a “battery tax”) and (try to) avoid further political problems. Of course, it is not the best solution, academics and regulatory experts agree that politically fixed costs that have to be paid by all citizens shouldn’t be in the tariff but evenly paid from the nation’s bugdet (like the extra-costs for electricity in the islands).

Image by Cancia Leirissa on freeimages.com

“Grid Emergency Exit”                                                       Image by Cancia Leirissa on freeimages.com

What are the consequences? Rising prices, and the fact that fixed costs (for the contracted power) are surging, push the active consumer to look for the following solutions:

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From 0 to 5-star Microgrids

Every building, office or home is a microgrid.

The question is, how good a microgrid do you want it to be?

Here is a simple 5-star rating for microgrids, an approach for anyone to understand;

You get one star for adding each of the following technologies:

1. Control

2. Generation

3. Electric Vehicle charging

4. Energy Storage

5. Microgrid Islanding functionality

Star Microgrid

A normal 0-star microgrid is a conventional building or home, with no automation or else.

It happens you upgraded your home and installed a smart thermostat for electric heating/cooling? Sigue leyendo

Take the panel with you

Solar Panels are getting cheaper every day, so this idea might convince you less today than it could have some time ago…

Anyway, suppose you have bought yourself one 300 W solar panel for your flat. In fact you found a smart orientation that covers your “base load” for the fridge and all the stand-by consumption and also lowers your consumption once you arrive home. It happens you have a e-bike that is prepared for you to plug your panel, for your daily commuting, keeping your battery fine or even charging while you are working. Additionally, you own an Electric Vehicle. During the week-ends, you can dock your panel for the journey and lower your consumption. And it happens that you are as wealthy as to have a second house in the forest, which is off-grid, so you use the battery of the Electric Vehicle for your consumption and you also plug your panel when you arrive.

Panel cycle

This is just an example of maximizing the asset utilization of a panel, for house self-consumption in two locations, and also for mobility. This will not be the case for most people, of course. Besides, regulatory frameworks may promote the use of the panel to feed the grid when it would be underused only for self-consumption and could be connected elsewhere for other purposes. Anyhow, the point of having portable generation opens more possibilities for generating one’s own energy, in this case at home and also for transportation. It is also an application for extending the access to electricity in developing countries.

In fact, if a person consumes (as it is the case in Spain) 3487 kWh/year of electricity and 9908 kWh of total energy at the home, together with 12000 km/year of driving, which can be calculated as 2400 kWh (with an EV doing 20 kWh/100 km) it makes a total of 12308 kWh. In order to source this with solar PV, he would need approximately 6 kW of solar panels working 2000 equivalent hours. These 20 solar panels he cannot take around with him that easily. For the moment…

P.S.: Allow me to include the crowded house video as the song I thought about while writing…