Inverters and Inverter Manufacturers


Inverter Cost Components; GTM Research

Inverters are key components in any photovoltaic (PV) power system.  Inverters convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).  They control power factor (e.g. reactive power) and ensure power output quality aligns with downstream equipment specs.  And finally, they play an essential role in the protection, operation and communication philosophy of the solar power plant.

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Renewable Energy and the Carbon Majors

CarbonMajorsThe business case for renewable energy and CO2 reduction is changing as carbon tracking and court cases shift focus from carbon emitters to the ultimate producers of coal, oil and natural gas … to the “carbon majors.”

A 2013 study published in the journal Climatic Change cites 90 companies by name and responsible for 63% of human induced greenhouse gas emissions since the beginning of the industrial revolution.  National industrial plans (NIPs) and energy companies from the US and Europe dominate the list with familiar names like ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, British Coal, and RWE.

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Aerosol Animation

Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) defines the degree to which aerosols prevent the transmission of sunlight by absorption or scattering.  AOD is measured using an integrated extinction coefficient over a vertical column of air.  The extinction coefficient can be used to analyze solar extinction and the performance of solar power systems as a function of location and time.


Posted in Animation, Data, Dust, Meteorology, Modeling, Qatar RE, R Data Import, R Graphics, Resource Assessment, Saudi Arabia, Solar, Spatial Analysis | Comments Off on Aerosol Animation

Crop Raster Images in R

E020N40The maptools package has a pruneMap() function t0 crop map objects in R.  In practice, the function extracts data from SpatialPolygon or SpatialLine objects given a boundary box or specific area of interest.  Unfortunately, there is no equivalent function for high resolution, large data, raster images, which are common in many Earth Science applications.  The following post defines a custom function to crop raster images in R and to extract data from SpatialGridDataFrames.  The function is tested using a raster image from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM; shown at left).  The resulting data is then mapped using the image() function in R.

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R Source Code

WordcloudSource code access is one of the great benefits of R.  Source code is available for base R and over 5,000 open source packages.  There are many reasons to view source code: to know what software does when documentation is vague or incomplete; to combine code objects in custom scripts or libraries; and to change source code as needed.  The following post defines the different types of R source code available and how to access R sources.

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Qatar National Grid (QND95)

surveyingQND95 is a two dimensional coordinate reference system that is the standard for geographic mapping in Qatar.  QND95 is intended for onshore activities only. QND95 provides up-to-date specs to calibrate surveying tools, GPS devices, GIS tools, and analysis activity.  The coordinate reference system facilitates standardization and consistency across activities. 

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New Solar Technology – LCOE Roadmap Qatar

NREL_Best_Research-Cell_EfficienciesBloomberg has released May 2014 PV Spot Prices with current module costs (COGS), margins and sales prices.  This data is extended to profile the levelized cost of  energy (LCOE) for solar PV technology, and is combined with new solar efficiency data to define the LCOE roadmap for solar energy in Qatar going forward.

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Solar PV and Gas Displacement in Qatar

GasDisplacementA critical component of the economics of solar PV in Qatar is the ability to translate solar power production into local gas  market efficiencies and displacement of natural gas demand.  More important: the ability to extend gas displacement into higher LNG exports AND to link the export cash flows to the income statement of the solar power systems.  The result can be solar PV projects that are economically feasibility in the absence of government grants, production subsidies or tax incentives.  Meanwhile, project cash flows tied to natural gas exports can be 20% to 400% greater than cash flows from power sales, depending on the domestic power tariff in force and the gas marketing strategy used.  

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Solar Data Collection in Qatar

KippZonen_Doha_pyranometers_pyrgeometerSolar data collection, as defined by ISO and WMO standards, is a relatively new activity in Qatar.    This article summarizes initiatives underway.  In nearly all cases, public access to the solar radiation data is  limited since data collection remains immature and unvalidated, or the data is strongly aligned to private commercial interests.  Notwithstanding, data collection efforts are making significant progress and are likely to benefit renewable energy strategy development and policy design at the national level.

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Fast File Reads (fread) for Large Data

freadThe standard way to read text files into R is to use the read.table() command.  However, many users struggle with time delays when loading large data sets.  An alternative command that offers significant speed improvements is fread(), or fast read, which can found in the data.table package.  The following code loads a tab delimited file with a million elements and reveals that fread() reduces load time by almost 99%, as confirmed by the benchmark performance stats at left.  The function is still under development, but it is available for download and doesn’t suffer from stability issues.  Instead, expect argument structure and command syntax to change over time.

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New CSP Storage

1An innovative CSP storage demonstration project is being pursued by Sandia National Laboratories and Areva  at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Solar Thermal Test Facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The CSP storage pilot project, partly funded by the DOE, uses the French industrialist’s Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) technology married to a molten salt test loop to reduce the cost of concentrating solar power projects.

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Solar CSP in Saudi Arabia

csp in saudi arabiaCSP in Saudi Arabia made progress today with the new commissioning announcement by Solar Systems of Australia, a Silex company.  A 1MW demonstration project began production at the Nofa Equestrian Resort, a recreational facility owned by His Highness, Prince Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Kabeer.  As shown in the project image, the plant uses Solar System’s “dense array” dish concentrator solar technology.  There are 26 dishes in total and project economics were justified by displacing on-site diesel generation for the remote facility.

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Setting Up A Scientific Programming Environment in Ubuntu

With language, we learn to listen and to speak. With literacy, we learn to read and to write.  With programming, we learn how to use and to make software programs. Programming is the new literacy of the digital age.  Scientific programming is an essential skill.  It allows us to respond to new data structures and new technology, to expand Internet interfaces, to challenge common understandings or wisdom, and to access the control panels of machines and civilization.

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O&M for PV Plants in MENA

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

This week, PV Insider, CSP Today and MENASOL hosted a seminar on Optimal O&M for PV Plants in MENA.  It gave practical insight into some of the soiling and O&M issues that developers, asset managers, and debt providers take into account in O&M planning and budgeting.

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Top 15 Wind Turbine Suppliers (2013)

WTGMAKE Consulting has released its list of the top 15 global wind turbine suppliers of 2013. According to the report, Vestas has maintained its No. 1 spot, GE has dropped from second to sixth place, and Chinese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have secured over half of the top positions.
RankSupplierMarket Share
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