Category Archives: Renewable Energy Products

E.ON commissions large scale wind and solar projects in the US

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PV Application: Micro, String or Central? It depends! Webinar

Most people know there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for solar. Each site has its own challenges that just can’t be solved by one inverter technology- if you factor in return on investment and the operation and maintenance considerations for each kind of inverter.

This informative webinar will cut through the hype and get to the bottom of what really matters for the installation: Using the right tool for the job to harvest the most energy and to keep costs down.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

9:00am PT

Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Cost: FREE

LEEDCo selected to optimize offshore wind foundation design for fabrication in the US

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) developed the conceptual design of the foundation system last year through a US Department of Energy (DOE) competition. A new DOE award of $2.8 million was finalized today to complete the detailed engineering.

According to Dr Lorry Wagner, president of LEEDCo. this will be the first monopile foundation designed from the ground up to be built by American companies and installed in American waters. “Monopiles have proven to be the most cost-effective solution for the vast majority of offshore wind projects in the world,» Wagner said. «This design will enable American fabricators to compete against their European counterparts that already have decades of experience in this industry.”

LEEDCo has partnered with GLWN, a leading wind industry supply chain adviser, to engage local and regional fabricators. GLWN is an initiative of WIRE-Net, a Cleveland-based manufacturing support organization. With their help, LEEDCo selected American Tank Fabricating (ATF), a Cleveland-based steel fabricator, as a partner to represent US fabricators during the design process.

“ATF has over 70 years of experience providing quality steel products, and we are excited about the opportunity to extend our expertise for use in the offshore wind industry,” said ATF CEO Michael Ripich. “Offshore wind in Lake Erie has huge potential, and we look forward to collaborating with LEEDCo on this project.”

LEEDCo will work with several other key project partners. A team at Case Western Reserve University, led by Professor David Zeng, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, will conduct laboratory testing to validate the design; Offshore Design Engineering, a U.K.-based company that has designed and installed several European offshore wind projects, will lead the detailed engineering of the foundation; the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, located in Hanover New Hampshire, part of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Research and Development Center, will characterize ice formations in Lake Erie to inform the loads analysis; and Sound and Sea Technology, an ocean engineering firm based in Lynnwood, Washington, will perform geophysical and geotechnical analysis.

The foundation design will be used first for LEEDCo’s Project Icebreaker, a six-turbine offshore wind demonstration project planned for the Ohio waters of Lake Erie seven miles north of downtown Cleveland. The design team will collaborate closely with Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, LEEDCo’s key partner for developing an installation strategy for offshore wind in the Great Lakes.

Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson and Cleveland Foundation president and CEO Ronn Richard, longtime supporters of the Icebreaker project, voiced their enthusiasm for this latest development.

“The Department of Energy’s further support of Project Icebreaker will provide the initiative with continued momentum to create a freshwater wind industry built upon our current economic assets,» Mayor Jackson said. «The transition to a clean, renewable energy economy is a key part of my Sustainable Cleveland initiative. ”

Mr. Richard, who also chairs LEEDCo’s board, said this engineering initiative represents one more step on the path to creating a new advanced energy economy in Greater Cleveland. «Building offshore wind projects in Lake Erie sets our region on a path to creating jobs and protecting one of our country’s most important freshwater resources.”


The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) is a regional non-profit corporation leading efforts to create an offshore wind energy industry in Northeast Ohio. As a public-private partnership, LEEDCo represents Northern Ohio’s public interest in offshore wind and is working to develop an initial 18-megawatt project in Lake Erie seven miles offshore Cleveland. Founded in 2009, LEEDCo members include Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake and Lorain Counties, City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Foundation and NorTech. |

GE to supply new turbines for ambitious wind project in Poland

Ten of the wind turbines are currently under construction, with another 17 planned to begin construction in 2015. Once operational, the 120 MW Galicja Wind Farm will generate the equivalent energy needed to power approximately 52,000 Polish homes for a year.

Galicja is GE’s first wind farm in the southern Polish region of Podkarpackie and will be one of the country’s largest wind farms.

“We are delighted that Lewandpol Company has chosen GE wind turbine technology,” said Cliff Harris, general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa for GE’s renewable energy business. “This agreement highlights our commitment to Poland’s wind energy development.”

Beata Stelmach, GE chief executive for Poland and the Baltics, added: GE is excited to help our customers in Poland work toward its goals for renewable energy growth in the country. With an increasing electricity demand at 0.9 per cent per year and aging power infrastructure, Poland needs to invest in modern, low- emission energy sources, and has huge potential for wind energy.”

In 2013, Poland installed 894 MW of new wind capacity, ranking the country eighth highest in the world in terms of annual wind capacity growth, according to the GWEC’s Global wind report. At the end of 2013, Poland’s total installed capacity was 3.4 GW, nearly half of the of the 6.5 GW wind target by 2020, as defined in its National Renewable Energy Action Plan. Under its current energy policy, the Polish government forecasts additional wind growth reaching up to 13 GW by 2030 and 21 GW by 2050.

GE will ship the turbines from its manufacturing facility in Salzbergen, Germany, and the wind farm is expected to begin commercial operation by the end of 2015.

“GE’s wind turbines are well suited to our sites,» said Andrzej Lewandowski of Lewandpol Company. «We are pleased to be working closely with GE as construction at the site progresses.» 

SunJack 14W Portable Solar Charger

Stay charged anywhere the sun shines. Even when the sun isn’t shining, you can power up from the SunJack’s internal battery pack, which fully charges after 5 hours of sun.  Each battery pack can power up to 4 smartphones or 1 tablet, and is compatible with any USB device including cameras, speakers, bluetooth devices, and more.  Enjoy wall outlet charging speeds on the go.

Portable, powerful, and rugged, SunJack is valued by campers, boaters, hunters, and travelers worldwide. SunJack is also a critical item in any emergency or disaster preparedness kit.  Are you prepared if the grid goes down?

SunJack® is assembled and shipped from California, USA and supported with a one-year limited warranty.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory welcomes new fellows

The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently named Richard DeBlasio, Sarah Kurtz and Suhuai Wei to its Research Fellows Council, which advises NREL executive management on the strategic direction of science and technology research at the laboratory.

Kurtz and NREL colleague Jerry Olson championed the early use of multi-junction solar cells by showing that a top cell of gallium indium phosphide (GaInP) and a bottom cell of gallium arsenide (GaAs) can capture and convert photons more efficiently into electricity than previous attempts at using other materials. Their breakthrough was embraced by NASA, which uses multi-junction solar cells based on this invention to power many space satellites, as well as the Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.

Kurtz’s work helped illuminate ways to grow high-quality cells, determine how to measure multi-junction cells and track how their performance is affected under various spectra. More recently, she has looked at reliability issues when integrating multi-junction cells and other solar PV into larger systems. Kurtz — the winner of numerous individual and team awards — also helped form the International PV Quality Assurance Task Force to develop comparative test standards for PV modules.

During the last 29 years at NREL, Wei has made a number of key contributions to the current understanding of the structural and electronic properties of materials, including work on the effects of ordering on semiconductor alloys, the effects of d and f electrons in II-VI and magnetic semiconductors, the chemical trends of band offsets and deformation potentials in semiconductors, and the doping limit and control in wide-gap semiconductors. His work covers a wide range of fields, including alloys, superlattices, PV materials, magnetic semiconductors, hybrid materials, nanomaterials, and wide band gap nitrides and oxides.


NREL demonstrates vastly improved efficiency for concentrator solar cell

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has announced the demonstration of a 45.7 percent conversion efficiency for a four-junction solar cell at 234 suns concentration. This achievement represents one of the highest photovoltaic research cell efficiencies achieved across all types of solar cells.

NREL’s new solar cell, which is designed for operation in a concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system where it can receive more than 1,000 suns of concentrated sunlight, greatly improves earlier designs by incorporating an additional high quality absorber layer to achieve an ultra-high efficiency.

Multijunction solar cells harvest sunlight by dividing the solar spectrum into portions that are absorbed by a material with a bandgap tuned to a specific wavelength range. Combining materials with optimal bandgaps is critical for high efficiency. The challenge is to maintain the high quality of the materials while integrating them into a complex cell capable of efficient photoconversion.

«The distinction of this multijunction device is the very high quality of the lattice-mismatched subcells,» said NREL Scientist Ryan France, designer of the solar cell. «Lattice-mismatched materials require the introduction of defects, called dislocations, into the device, which can drastically hinder device performance. NREL has learned to control and confine these dislocations to inactive regions of the device, allowing even highly mismatched material to be used in a multijunction cell.»

NREL invented and developed the advanced four-junction inverted metamorphic (4J IMM) cell with these challenges in mind. The new design consists of a gallium indium phosphide (GaInP) junction, a gallium arsenide junction, and two gallium indium arsenide junctions that are lattice-mismatched to the substrate. The cell’s peak efficiency of 45.7 ± 2.3 percent was measured under the AM1.5 direct spectrum at 234 suns concentration, but the device performs nearly as well at even higher concentrations, having 45.2 percent efficiency at 700 suns concentration.

The device has numerous other improvements over previous designs, including a broadband four-layer anti-reflection coating, a novel metamorphic tunnel junction interconnect, and unprecedented performance from the GaInP top cell. Compared to standard GaInP subcells, this subcell has both higher voltage and reduced series resistance, which is essential for high efficiency at high solar concentrations.

ITM Power announces sale of second major Power-to-Gas plant, to German utility

The electrolyser system for RWE is one of ITM Power’s CE-marked HGas platforms, which has been successfully demonstrated in a P2G installation with Thüga AG in Frankfurt am Main.

‘This sale is our second significant Power-to-Gas order in an important strategic territory for this technology,’ comments Dr Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power.

Efficient hydrogen generation

The system incorporates proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser stacks operating under differential pressure. As with all ITM Power’s HGas platforms, the system has the ability to self-pressurise, operate via remote control, and modulate rapidly in response to demand.

The system is packaged in a 20 foot (6 m) ISO container for use outdoors.

ITM Power will supply the plant with a two-year warranty, and with a three-year after-sales support contract. The full contract value will be recognised in the ITM Power financial year ending April 2015.

Improving the business case

The RWE deployment will use a higher current density than the Frankfurt system, permitting a higher hydrogen output per stack. The system efficiency is also increased, through simplification of the balance of plant.

As part of the company’s drive to increase productivity, delivery timescales have also been significantly reduced.

First deployment in Frankfurt

ITM Power recently provided an update on its ground-breaking Power-to-Gas energy storage project with Thüga AG, a German network of municipal energy and water service providers, following its first full year of successful operation.

Thüga reports that the system has been declared ‘technically able to participate in the secondary power market’. This means that the electrolyser is technically capable of offering grid-balancing services, which increases the economic viability of the technology.

The system has passed its first annual re-assessment by TÜV Hessen. The electrolyser system has met every aspect of its specification including efficiency, remote control functionality, and response time.

The 300 kW plant is the first rapid-response PEM electrolyser plant to inject hydrogen into the German gas network, beginning in November 2013.

Gamesa, Iberdrola launch WindCORE® + WindOne®

Gamesa and the Iberdrola Group, through its engineering and construction subsidiary, have launched a wind sector-pioneering system which enables the remote management, using a single interface, of any make of wind turbine, anywhere in the world. This new system, called WindCORE® + WindOne®, enables operators to control and monitor this class of renewable facilities from a distance, analyse their operating data and generate reports with a view to optimising their electricity output.

This tool developed jointly by Gamesa and Iberdrola allows for the supervision, in real time and from a single control centre, the multiple variables which can affect a wind farm’s operations. These range from measuring wind speed at each turbine to their temperature, intensity and production. In addition, the WindCORE® + WindOne® system is capable of operating, using a single interface, turbines made by any manufacturer. This negates the need for a different software programme for each technology brand, as is the case with most of the systems being used at present.

“With over 10,000 MW in operation, and reinforced by Iberdrola’s know-how, we want to offer this value-added tool to our customers so that they can get the most out of their wind farms by operating them to the highest performance specifications”, said Fernando Valldeperes, director of services sales marketing at Gamesa.

Javier Ontañon Ruiz, who runs Iberdrola Engineering’s remote control developments, added: “The versatility of WindCORE® + WindOne®, the result of a collaborative development between two of the sector’s leaders, will pave the way for its implementation in any environment while respecting each customer’s proprietary communications network infrastructure and management tools.»

DNV GL certifies Gamesa’s G47 wind turbine lifetime extension programme

DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts, has been chosen by Gamesa to certify its wind turbine lifetime extension programme for the design of its G47 wind turbine, extending the lifetime to up to 30 years. The turbine lifetime extension programme aims to maximise the profitability of ageing wind farms by reducing the lifecycle-based costs of energy of existing turbines and keeping them operational for a longer period of time.1

“Extending wind turbine operation beyond the original design life without additional risks for health, safety, environment and grid integration, is of huge benefit to the renewable energy industry,» said Sergio Vélez, director of Gamesa’s Life Extension programme. «DNV GL’s certification supports our efforts in maximising the lifetime of our turbines and optimise its continuous operation.”

Many wind farm owners in Europe and the US are starting to consider operational strategies for turbines approaching the later stages of their design life. This provides them with the option to either replace their turbines or seek to extend their operational lives.

“Wind turbine lifetime extension is a vital step for the global renewable energy market to maximise efficiency and reducing costs,» said Andreas Schroeter, executive vice president-Renewables Certification of DNV GL. «One of the largest benefits of lifetime extensions for owners and operators is driving down the lifecycle-based costs of energy.”

In order to find suitable solutions from a technical point of view, DNV GL has published a guideline on the continued operation of wind turbines. This guideline has been the basis for the lifetime extension programme of Gamesa’s G47 wind turbine from a technical point of view.


  1. Although a lot of wind farms are still less than 20 years old, many owners anticipate that their assets will be affected by rising operation and maintenance costs. While existing turbines were certified by the standards in force at the time they were designed, greater technical knowledge and practical experience have led to more accurate models and new design standards. Upgrading the turbines to extend their design lifetime requires an in-depth understanding of all disciplines involved, in order to ensure a safe operation of the turbines after they have exceeded their original design lifetime.