Fridge0 is a design for an offgrid, solar powered fridge, with no battery bank. Using an inexpensive chest freezer with a few modifications, the fridge retains cold overnight and through rainy periods.
Fridge0 consists of a standard chest freezer, an added thermal mass, an inverter, and computer control. It ties into the typical offfgrid system of a solar charge controller, battery bank, and photovoltaic panels to maintain a safe temperature range.
The battery bank is a large part of the cost of a typical offgrid fridge installation. It needs to be sized to run the fridge overnight, as well as for several days of poor weather. Cheaper batteries only last 3-5 years, and longer lasting batteries are correspondingly expensive; either way a battery bank for an offgrid fridge is extremely expensive over the lifetime of the friddge.
By storing solar power in the form of cold, fridge0 avoids the battery bank expense and environmental footprint. The only battery power fridge0 needs is enough to turn it off cleanly when the solar panels stop producing -- a few minutes of power instead of days -- and a small amount for its computer control.
There are offgrid fridges produced by several manufacturers, which are designed for 12v solar power, but these still may need a battery bank, and are much more expensive than conventional equipment due to being very well insulated using features like vacuum bottles. These offgrid fridges were designed when solar panels were much more expensive than they are today.
With modern cheap and efficient solar panels, commercial offgrid fridges make less sense than they used to. A kilowatt of solar panels provides enough power to run a conventional fridge on even most cloudy days, and costs less than a commercial offgrid fridge.
2018/09/27: scientists trying to improve the solar cells themselves developed an integrated battery that works in three different ways. It can work like a normal solar cell by converting sunlight to electricity immediately, explains study author Song Jin, a chemist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. It can store the solar energy, or it can simply be charged like a normal battery. It's a combination of two existing technologies: solar cells that harvest light, and a so-called flow battery.
The most commonly used batteries, lithium-ion, store energy in solid materials, like various metals. Flow batteries, on the other hand, store energy in external liquid tanks. This means they are very easy to scale for large projects. Scaling up all the components of a lithium-ion battery might throw off the engineering, but for flow batteries, "you just make the tank bigger," says Timothy Cook, a University at Buffalo chemist and flow battery expert not involved in the study. "You really simplify how to make the battery grow in capacity," he adds. "We're not making flow batteries to power a cell phone, we're thinking about buildings or industrial sites.
2018/09/24: One of the administration’s favorite arguments confuses the largely accurate observation that solar and wind are intermittent sources for energy (as in, the sun doesn’t always shine) with the more dubious logic that renewables are somehow more susceptible to security threats than a physical stockpile of coal.
It’s “a tremendous form of energy in the sense that in a military way — think of it — coal is indestructible,” Trump said at an August fundraiser on Long Island. “You can blow up a pipeline, you can blow up the windmills. You know, the windmills, boom, boom, boom, bing, that’s the end of that one.”
But that’s not what we’ve been seeing after catastrophic hurricanes. After Maria, solar power became a symbol for more reliable power, even if few had access to it. And more recently, Hurricane Florence tested the most solar-powered state after California. In North Carolina 4.6 percent of the state’s electricity comes from the sun. InsideClimate News reports that large solar farms and even rooftop solar (which face more variable conditions and are more susceptible to damage) remained intact following the storm. At the same time, those who live in North Carolina still saw massive power outages — at one point more than 300,000 residents were without power.
The upside of solar is that it easily lends itself to decentralized power and micro-grids that could maintain the power for more people in the wake of a disaster.
2018/09/10: microgrids as the end result the combination of several technological trends, namely, rooftop solar, electric vehicles, heat pumps and batteries for storage. The key is that these technologies are decentralized—they can easily be owned by consumers and cooperatives in local systems.
Currently the way in which we use these technologies is, in his words, “dumb.” We simply attach solar panels, heat pumps, and electric vehicles to the grid for their own separate purposes. This dramatically increases the load on the local grid, requiring costly infrastructure upgrades to sustain the system.
The report simulated what would happen if the Ardehuizen implemented an intelligently managed microgrid with more sophisticated local supply and demand mechanisms.
These would entail a whole suite of interconnected technologies: a community battery storage system, smart meters which actively monitor the entire system, air-to-water heat pumps intelligently managed according to actual demand, local energy trading between the houses so they can exchange surplus, more electric vehicles, the use of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units which generate both heat and electricity using biomass, and the installation of a local district heating network to distribute heat to multiple houses.
this could well represent only the beginning of what is possible. The end-goal of the Metabolic team’s technology research is a concept called “Smarthoods.”
The project aims to design an urban system which integrates decentralised food, water and energy flows in order to create a nearly fully self-sufficient neighbourhood.
It works based on the principle of “circularity”—recycling water, materials, and waste as much as possible within the system.
The installation of a standalone hybrid solar photovoltaic (PV) refrigeration system has drastically changed the economic prospects of the village. Installed at the village community hall, the system enables villagers to chill their fish in preparation for the journey to the market, and helps power lighting and phone charging outlets. A backup diesel generator ensures the operation of the freezers during long cloudy periods.
It can cost between $10,000 to $25,000 to install a solar panel system on a home. And then there are the barriers beyond cost, like being a renter or having a roof that’s too small or shady for panels. These factors mean solar isn’t available to about half of all Americans, according to the Department of Energy. New York is among the top dozen solar-producing states in the U.S., but in 2014, less than 4 percent of solar installations benefited New York households with incomes below $40,000.
That could change if the community solar model catches on. Not only does community solar make renewable energy accessible to more people; proponents say that it has the potential to alleviate energy insecurity. Each month, one in three Americans struggles with choosing between paying their utility bill or for other basic necessities. With the right incentives, community solar can lower utility bills and give communities control over how they produce and consume energy.
Elon Musk will likely launch a home energy storage pack this Thursday. With it, the solar plus storage energy revolution is sure to pick up speed.
Niche applications will help advanced power-grid-battery technology.
Soft energy paths supply appropriate energy in the most cost effective, environmentally efficient manner.
Does the recent climate accord between US and China mean that many countries will now forge ahead with renewables and other green solutions? I think that there are more pitfalls than many realize. Pitfall 1. Green solutions tend to push us from one set of resources that are a problem today (fossil fuels) to other
Le intrusioni di pirati informatici riguardano un terzo degli operatori della rete elettrica, infrastruttura tra le più delicate per qualsiasi paese. La minaccia si fa reale
Fights over rooftop solar generally focus on "net metering," but the challenge to utilities is far greater than that, and if they hope to survive, their response must be more ambitious.
City ordinances in some places make off the grid living illegal.
What happens when solar and batteries join forces? Together they can make the electric grid optional for many customers-without compromising reliability and increasingly at prices cheaper than utility retail electricity.
Powered by solar panels and biomass, microgrids are spreading slowly across India, where 300 million people live without electricity. But can these off-grid technologies be scaled-up to bring low-carbon power to tens of millions of people?
The conservative group's anti-green agenda includes efforts to penalize people who install their own solar panels.
The success of many African countries in addressing the digital divide masks a large, yawning hole into which many are about to fall.
FIDDLY cables, incompatible plugs and sockets, and the many adaptors needed to fit them all together used to be the travellers' bane. But the USB (Universal Serial Bus) has simplified their life. Most phones and other small gadgets can charge from a simple USB cable plugged into a computer or an adaptor.