Tag Archives: renewables

Re-purposing old coal mines as pumped hydro storage facilities

Energy storage is a necessary component of practical solar or wind energy systems. Without storage, a passing cloud or a day of calm winds could result in the lights turning off.

This article from philly.com discusses a proposed energy storage system that may be used to complement wind energy in Central Pennsylvania. The Bucks County-based Merchant Hydro Developers wants to convert 21 out-of-use anthracite coal mines into pumped storage facilities. When power is less expensive, intermittent wind power will be used to pump water into an upper reservoir. When energy prices rise during the middle of the day, the water will be released into the lower reservoirs of the mines, spinning turbines on the way down to generate a consistent and predictable flow of power.

Pumped hydro storage already accounts for the vast majority of stored energy in the world including 97% of the energy storage in the United States. The coal mine reservoir solution is unique because it is a closed system. Most pumped storage draws from flowing bodies of water  (e.g. rivers) and released the water back into the same system.

Offshore Renewable Energy Systems in Singapore

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is constructing four offshore hybrid microgrid systems in Singapore under the Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator-Singapore (REIDS) initiative. The microgrids will include over 3,000 square meters of solar panels; their first customers will include fish hatcheries and nurseries in Singapore.

Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at: http://www.asianscientist.com/2016/11/tech/reids-initiative-singapore-offshore-renewable-energy-system-ntu/

Image credit: Asian Scientist Magazine

TEDx: Community Microgrids for a Sustainable Future

Avnaesh Jayantilal explains the concept of community microgrids in his TEDx talk.

What’s the largest thing ever built by humans? It isn’t the internet, it is the electric grid. Still 20% of the world has no access to electricity. Tackling this issue in an integrated approach can have profound educational benefits at home and abroad by training local solar engineers and pairing access to power with schools.

Update: NordLink – IEEE Spectrum

In December, IEEE Spectrum published an article on the now-underway NordLink project, which will result in a new high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link between Norway and Germany. A new Spectrum article reveals that the project is on schedule to be completed in 2019, and will travel a total of 623 km, making it the longest HVDC line in Europe. And with a 1400 MW capacity, it will also be the most powerful HVDC line in Europe.

The new Spectrum article highlights the three primary incentives for the project, from and electrical point of view:

Firstly, the HVDC converters have the ability to connect two non-synchronized grids, thereby linking the frequency of the two separated electrical zones represented by the Nordic and continental grids. Secondly, the HVDC connection makes it possible to transmit electricity over long distances with minimum losses. In fact, it is not even possible to transport alternating current (AC) over long distances subsea due to capacitive losses. Finally, the VSC-HVDC converter stations have full STATCOM (Static Synchronous Compensator) functionality to support the AC network at the Norwegian and German point of common coupling.

You can visit the official ABB site on Nordlink here.