Articles filed under Technology from USA

Arizona utility tries storing solar energy for use in the dark

Solana is not the first renewable energy plant with storage; several have added banks of electric batteries. But battery storage is so expensive that these have been used mostly to smooth the output of the plant, not to store huge amounts overnight. Batteries are expensive and have a limited lifetime. They are more economical in a car, where they help electricity substitute for something more expensive, like gasoline. But for utilities, they are nowhere near cheap enough to justify using them to avoid buying high-priced, late-afternoon electricity.
18 Oct 2013

Arizona utility tries storing solar energy for use in the dark

Solana is not the first renewable energy plant with storage; several have added banks of electric batteries. But battery storage is so expensive that these have been used mostly to smooth the output of the plant, not to store huge amounts overnight. Batteries are expensive and have a limited lifetime. They are more economical in a car, where they help electricity substitute for something more expensive, like gasoline. But for utilities, they are nowhere near cheap enough to justify using them to avoid buying high-priced, late-afternoon electricity.
18 Oct 2013

Wind power will return to Kahuku

A fire on Aug. 1, 2012, destroyed the battery storage building at the 30-megawatt wind energy proj­ect, forcing First Wind to shut down the entire facility. The battery maker, Xtreme Power Solutions, said the fire was caused by defective parts in inverters supplied by another company. HECO signed a 20-year agreement to pay First Wind an average of 22.9 cents a kilowatt-hour for electricity produced by the Kahuku wind proj­ect.
18 Aug 2013

Solar industry anxious over defective panels

The quality concerns have emerged just after a surge in solar construction. In the United States, the Solar Energy Industries Association said that solar panel generating capacity exploded from 83 megawatts in 2003 to 7,266 megawatts in 2012. "We need to face up to the fact that corners are being cut," said Conrad Burke, general manager for DuPont's billion-dollar photovoltaic division, which supplies materials to solar manufacturers.
29 May 2013

Wind Energy's Shadow: Turbines Drag Down Power Potential

In several recent published studies, Adams and other researchers have explored the issue of turbines stealing energy from the wind, creating drag or a "wind shadow" of air slowed by the spinning blades. Each turbine added to a particular landscape captures less energy. "You reach a point that if you add any more turbines, you get no more energy," Adams said.
16 May 2013

Rethinking wind power as the latest, greatest thing

Claims that there is no upper bound for wind power, that it is scalable because gusts and breezes don't seem likely to "run out" on a global scale, are not based on reality. And neither are claims that the generating capacity of large-scale wind farms is unlimited. The generating capacity of very large wind power installations ...may peak at between 0.5 and 1 watts per square meter. Previous estimates put that figure at between 2 and 7 watts per square meter.
25 Feb 2013

Minnesota wind-farm battery going back online

After the September 2011 battery fire in Japan, NGK halted production of the batteries and advised customers, including Xcel and 19 other customers in North America, to stop using them. NGK later determined that a faulty cell had leaked molten material, triggering a short circuit and fire.
28 Jan 2013

Electric cars letting off too much steam

The analysis, penned by academics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, expounds by saying that the toxic materials employed to build such cars exceeds traditional ones. Furthermore, fuels used to create the electricity are also important considerations, noting that if is coal then it may not be worth the environmental and economic costs.
9 Oct 2012

Northern Nevada wind power pioneers hit snag; vertical turbines not delivering savings as promised

Advocates of small-scale wind energy production say stories like the Sousas' experience at their high-desert home highlight the challenge early adopters face when investing in a nascent industry. That includes sorting through unsubstantiated claims made by some manufacturers of wind turbines meant for backyards or city parks as well as maintaining a realistic set of expectations for the technology.
22 Sep 2012

Decreasing Turbine Weight

According to Seco Tools, the U.S. should follow Europe’s lead in embracing efficient machining practices that decrease wind component weight and increase efficiency. Wind energy is one of the world’s fastest-growing sources of energy. According to a 2011 report provided by the World Wind Energy Association, China, the United States, Germany, Spain, and India were the top five wind power markets by total capacity in 2010. When it comes to producing wind turbine components as efficiently and inexpensively as some of these countries, however, the United States tends to lag behind. Why is that, and what can be done?
1 Mar 2012

Market risks are seen in energy innovations

"I think we have other Solyndras out there," said Representative Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican and chairman of the oversight and investigations committee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which held the hearing on Solyndra. "The government should not be picking winners and losers - that's what they're doing with Nissan, Tesla and Fisker," he said in an interview.
16 Sep 2011

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=2&topic=Technology&type=Article
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