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IBM Unveils Wind And
Solar Forecasting System

IBM has developed a power and weather modeling technology to help utilities integrate renewable energy resources into the grid more reliably. The new system combines weather prediction and analytics to forecast the availability of wind power and solar energy.

The Hybrid Renewable Energy Forecasting (HyRef) system uses weather modeling capabilities, cloud imaging technology and sky-facing cameras to track cloud movements.

IBM says this level of insight will enable utilities to better manage the variable nature of wind and solar and more accurately forecast the amount of power that can be redirected into the power grid or stored. It will also allow energy organizations to easily integrate other conventional sources such as coal and natural gas.

According to IBM, China’s State Grid Jibei Electricity Power Co. Ltd. (SG-JBEPC), a subsidiary company of the State Grid Corporation of China, is using HyRef to integrate renewable energy into the grid. This initiative, led by SG-JBEPC, is phase one of the Zhangbei 670 MW demonstration project, a renewable energy initiative that combines wind and solar power, energy storage, and transmission. This project is part of China’s five-year plan to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

IBM: ibm.com


Naval Lab Develops
Field Solar Sensor

Research scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Electronics Science and Technology Division have developed a low-cost spectral sensor for field analysis of solar cell irradiance performance and spectral distribution.

Spectral radiometers are widely used to measure the spectrum of emitted, transmitted or reflected light of a given material. According to the NRL, current spectral radiometers generally require sophisticated optical components for beam forming and diffraction, refined electronic components for the signal readout, or moving parts that contribute to inefficient power consumption and high production costs.

The new sensor system can be used in remote solar radiation monitoring applications such as mobile solar power units as well as in long-term environmental monitoring systems where high precision and low power consumption are necessities. Mobile solar power units have been recognized as a promising route toward decreasing the dependence of the military on fossil fuel generated power.

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory: nrl.navy.mil


TS-Space Systems Launches
Compact Solar Simulator

U.K.-based TS-Space Systems is offering its Unisim Compact solar simulator as a bench top unit complete with a current versus voltage (IV) measurement system.

The enclosure houses a TS-Space Systems’ 2-zone Unisim solar simulator that combines metal halide and incandescent sources via a proprietary filter system to give an air mass zero close-match spectrum.

The standard system includes an embedded source meter with a complete IV measurement system (computer, GPIB interface, IV software, MS Excel), relative irradiance indicator for monitoring lamp intensity and a manual shutter.

TS-Space Systems: ts-space.co.uk


SK Group Invests
$19M In HelioVolt

South Korea-based SK Group has made a $19 million investment in U.S.-based solar technology developer HelioVolt Corp. to commercialize its copper, indium, gallium, selenium (CIGS) modules.

HelioVolt says that after several years of limited product shipments from its current facility in Austin, Texas, it is preparing to expand its capacity. The company wants to target residential, commercial and utility-scale projects with its thin-film CIGS modules.

HelioVolt is collaborating with Austin Energy on a commercial install of its modules on the roof of the nonprofit Yellow Bike Project. Austin Energy will own the 12.4 kW solar power system.

HelioVolt: heliovolt.com


Sun Invention Enters
Chinese PV Market

London-based Sun Invention Ltd. has entered the Chinese PV market and will start with the production of its Plug & Save grid-connected modules, as well as its Plug & Power off-grid modules.

The company has tapped TRESS Electronics Group Ltd. as its manufacturing partner to produce the modules at its factory in Huangshi, China.

Sun Invention and TRESS have also formed an engineering, procurement and construction company called TRESS Sun Invention Green Energy Ltd. to pursue solar parks business development in China.

Sun Invention: suninvention.com


Saft Batteries Ready
For German PV Systems

France-based battery maker Saft has entered series production of its lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries to be incorporated into Bosch’s BPT-S 5 Hybrid energy management and storage system intended for Germany’s residential PV market.

The BPT-S 5 Hybrid system integrates a solar inverter, energy management system and Saft’s Li-ion batteries. Saft says the unit has been safety tested and certified for installation in Germany.

Saft: saftbatteries.com


Schneider Releases
New Inverter/Charger

Schneider Electric has released its latest off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger, the Conext SW.

Schneider says the Conext SW provides pure sine wave output inverter/chargers in power ranges of 4 kW and lower, enabling it to effectively run modern electrical appliances and equipment.

Intended for off-grid solar, backup power and small community electrification applications, the Conext SW is a 24 V system that offers selectable 50/60 Hz functionality. It is available in 120/240 VAC or 230 VAC models, and in 2.5 kW or 4.0 kW versions. Breaker panels and accessories are available to build a complete system that communicates through simple network architecture.

Schneider Electric’s line of Conext solar products now also includes the new Conext ComBox, a communication gateway for setting up and monitoring off-grid installations. The device enables operators of Conext solar systems to remotely monitor yield performance using personal computers, tablet devices or building management systems.

Schneider-Electric: schneider-electric.com


Yingli Authorized For
In-House UL Certification

Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Ltd. says that its wholly owned subsidiary, Yingli Energy (China) Company Ltd., is now authorized to conduct in-house Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification testing for solar modules under the latter’s Client Test Data Program.

Yingli Green Energy: yinglisolar.com


FLEXcon Offers New
Solar Module Backsheet

Massachusetts-based FLEXcon has expanded its line of solar module backsheets with the addition of black/white and black/black products. FLEXcon says the new black backsheet products are intended to be more aesthetically pleasing for the high-end commercial and residential markets.

The company’s existing white backsheet offering includes double fluoropolymer, single fluoropolymer and non-fluoropolymer sheets.

FLEXcon: flexcon.com


China Sunergy Launches
Super Black Solar Module

China Sunergy Co. Ltd. has unveiled its Super Black solar module following an initial custom order for a 60 kW rooftop project in Hawaii.

The company says the Super Black module is intended for high-end rooftop projects and integrated constructions, offering a pure black appearance for the entire panel, including welding strips. It has an anti-glare feature to reduce reflection.

China Sunergy says the module performs well in low sunlight conditions, is resistant to salt mist and ammonia, and can withstand up to 7,200 Pa of snow pressure and 2,400 Pa of wind pressure.

China Sunergy: csun-solar.com S

Products & Technology

IBM Unveils Wind And Solar Forecasting System




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