main

Без рубрики

ICO, KYC, PVS, ADV, AMA, UFO and other strange words… 👻😱

30.01.2018 — 0

1. Token Sale (ICO).

Solar DAO is actively developing, over the past six months we’ve made a great progress. We love and appreciate our Community and we are also grateful to the Pre-ICO participants for their faith in project and its support.

We decided not to run the ICO. Really.

For now there are 1’172’767 SDAO released and no more tokens will be issued.

Why?

  1. As we reported earlier, the bulk of funds for Project’s implementation will be attracted and formed in** Private Equity Fund**.
  2. We’ve attracted new partners and institutional investors, collecting preliminary commitments worth several millions.

Thus, Solar DAO does not need the ICO. We have already secured the support of early and institutional investors. Next step is to construct PV solar plants (PVS).

What does it mean?

  • First of all, today’s holders of SDAO tokens are the only owners.
  • Collected funds are enough to start the construction of solar plants.
  • More funds will be attracted in classic way to the main Fund.
  • PR campaign will attract to get SDAO but only from exchanges.

2. Fundraising.

Recently the Solar DAO project was presented at the Roadshow made by the Monaco Growth Forum. Solar DAO has been represented to over 200 investor (Family Offices, Private Investors and Funds) in 5 major financial centers of Europe (London, Zurich, Geneva, Lugano, Milano). We got positive feedback and currently working with the people we met.

3. Solar plants construction.

Currently we are still working at solar projects selection, evaluate them and conduct due diligence for every project that looks promising.

We consider construction in Kazakhstan, Poland, France and Israel. We cannot guarantee these countries because of changing proposals. But our main goal is to begin construction in March 2018.

Please note about the non-disclosure policy. We understand how important it is to know about upcoming projects, but the principle of interaction between partners is built on secrecy, based on the interests of both parties. Therefore, we will notify the Community of an exact project being implemented immediately after the final signing of all necessary documents.

The first PVS construction will begin as soon as everything is ready for it.

4. KYC proceedure.

According to the planned legal structure, we need to conduct KYC (Know Your Customer) proceedure. Week ago, we started development of private area for SDAO token holders. We aim to launch it in February.

5. Marketing

To achieve the Projects goals, to maximize Project’s profitability and value of the SDAO tokens, we are launching new marketing campaign. Important! To get the best results and achieve the highest ROI for advertising, PR campaign will begin when the first solar plant construction begins.

What we are going to do:

  1. Increase activity in social networks.
    We’ve analyzed 40 SMM campaigns of tokenized projects. We plan to increase project activity in social networks, stimulating interest in SDAO tokens. We will combine different approaches of advertising in order to keep its effectiveness at the maximum level. (Facebook, Twitter, Vkontakte, Reddit.)
  2. Targeted advertising.
    This week we are launching targeted ads in social networks based on the look a like mechanism, targeting the residents of the largest financial centers: London, Zurich, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Geneva, Munich and some others.
  3. Advertisement in communities.
    We will place paid advertising in 100+ communities with our target audience.
  4. Reddit activity.
    We’ve already started the formation of activity to get attention to Solar DAO in Reddit: r/CryptoCurrency, r/CryptoMarkets, r/investing, r/RenewableEnergy, r/solar, r/crypto, r/Bitcoin, r/InvestmentClub and others.
  5. Banners, etc.
    Next week we will launch a Solar DAO advertisement with additional attention to a limited number of released tokens.

6. #AMA (Q&A session).

On February 28, Solar DAO team will hold an AMA conference for the Community and answer all your questions. Get ready! 🙂

— SUMMARY —

  • No additional SDAO tokens will be released. No ICO. No Token sale.
  • Fundraising will be held into Private Equity Fund and only from institutional investors. Solar DAO will become a part of this Fund.
  • KYC procedure will be held for token holders.
  • First PV solar plant construction should start in March.

Без рубрики

SDAO Tokens on Bitafex.com

27.12.2017 — 0

We are glad to present: the third exchange with our tokens: BITAFEX.
Links to the cabinet:

Bitafex.com is a well known crypto-exchange that supports trading SDAO with all popular pairs: BTC, ETH, LTC, DOGE.

You can also use FlashTrade:

You can check the interface of the market and ask us if you need any help using this service.


We remind you that Solar DAO will continue to place tokens on other decentralized exchanges. Tokensale will start on February 28, 2018 and will not be limited in time.

To know all the latest announcements, subscribe to our chat in Telegram****and also to the **official newsletter — **https://solardao.me/

Без рубрики

SDAO Tokens on IDEX

18.12.2017 — 0

We are glad to present: the first exchange with our tokens: IDEX.
**Link to the cabinet: **https://idex.market/eth/sdao

IDEX is a decentralized crypto exchange that supports the exchange of SDAO to the Ethereum (and contrariwise). The service works with a smart contract as a trading mechanism and transaction processing arbitration.

**Detailed exchange instructions are available here: **https://www.reddit.com/r/auroradao/comments/7c3j6z/idex_user_guides_how_to_trade/
If you face problems with exchange, you can contact us for help.


We remind you that Solar DAO will continue to place tokens on other decentralized exchanges. Tokensale will start on February 28, 2018 and will not be limited in time.

To know all the latest announcements, subscribe to our channel in Telegram and also to the **official newsletter — **https://solardao.me/

Без рубрики

ICO. What’s new?

16.11.2017 — 0

Recently only a few could predict the rapid growth and development of ICOs. For reference, for the first half of 2017 in the world was attracted more than 1.3 billion dollars during the ICO. The popularity of this method of fundraising continues to gain momentum, and therefore there are difficulties that need to be overcome by future successful projects.

Strict control and prohibition of ICO

The governments of all countries basically divided into two categories:

  • Those who prohibit ICO (China) or strictly regulate it, equating tokens to securities (USA, Canada, Singapore)
  • Those who allow and facilitate ICO in order to increase the attractiveness of their country for business:

One of them — the Isle of Man, where the Ministry of Finance sees financial prospects and is already developing its legal regulation.

By the end of the year Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange plans to launch a service that allows licensed listing and digital tokens trading.

In Estonia it is proposed to hold the first state ICO in the world.

Another example is the Swiss “Cryptovalley” Zug. The government supports the established industry group for the management of blockchain assets.

Tendencies and rules in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain change constantly. We monitor the situation and continue to work on creating a legally correct structure for conducting a legal ICO. This is important, because those who conducted the ICO without regard to legal aspects, today faces the impossibility of withdrawing funds to Fiat. We do not want our investors to face such problems and continue to look for a solution.

Stay tuned! 
Join our group chat in Telegram: https://t.me/solardao

Без рубрики

Solar DAO Marketplace released

15.10.2017 — 0

We are glad to introduce:*****Solar DAO Marketplace! 
***Solar DAO Marketplace is a new step of Project development. It’s like “one single interface” we planned and called it Sirius but, not it becomes much bigger and going to change the way to fund renewable energy market.

Now it’s in public beta test

Solar DAO is a blockchain platform that helps everyone to participate in PV solar plants construction around the world. It designed to reduce risks, costs and surpass technical barriers. Solar DAO helps to get, own and trade solar assets freely and safely.

Solar DAO Marketplace will allow to easily manage tokens inside the platform and monitor the progress of the projects in real time.

Attention! Currently Marketplace work with “virtual” SDAO tokens. It means everyone will have some SDAO to test the platform. But… you do not have to send your SDAO tokens to use them and you cannot withdraw anything 🙂

In this version:

  • Fund PV projects with SDAO tokens
  • Find out everything about projects
  • See how the funding works inside Solar DAO Marketplace
  • Use test tokens in this beta

Без рубрики

Solar DAO Pre-ICO Summary

11.09.2017 — 0

We are happy to update you that the project keeps going in accordance with the roadmap. We’ve been working hard, and it is time to show you what we’ve done!

So. Let’s have a look. What we have already achieved.

Most Important

Since the start of the Pre-ICO, we have gathered more than $443’340, far exceeding the minimum capital target. Thanks to your support, we can move forward as planned, buy the first PV solar plants and begin testing.

Since July 27th, in less than 6 weeks **we have distributed more than 861’000 **SDAO tokens to our investors. More than 700 investors contributed to the Pre-ICO and got early bird bonuses.

We have launched the process of the company establishment. As you read this, our lawyers are **registering the three legal entities in Russia, Israel, and Cyprus. **This will help us enhance the legal security and enable the distribution of profits.

**We’ve been published in the most important journal of solar energy industry: PV Solar Magazine! **Solar DAO acquires professional recognition and it feels very rewarding. The article is available here.

Team and Community Growth

As Solar DAO develops, our team grows. We’ve hired solidity and front-end developers, support engineers, solar project managers, lawyers and marketers to help us build and promote the project further. Now we are 14 professionals working towards a greener and more profitable energy. That’s the Magnificent Seven, doubled! 🙂

Our community is also growing rapidly. **The followers base of Solar DAO has increased 18 times **since the start of the Pre-ICO! We have been actively involved with our community, having answered to more than 1440 messages by email, messengers and the web-chat.

We are also doing our best to familiarize you with solar energy and energy tech more generally. We’ve published 24 blog posts, covering various relevant issues: from how to a PV solar plant works to the overview of the solar energy blockchain projects (hint: we don’t compete directly). Follow us on Medium.com and let’s be in touch!

What Else Happened

We are enjoying an extensive and positive coverage in the media. Solar DAO has featured in 148 articles, including such major resources as The Cointelegraph, Coinfox, Criptonoticias, and more.

We’ve revealed the Chinese version of our web-site. Since Solar DAO is not a Chinese company, the recent bans on ICO investments do not prevent our supporters from China to participate in the project. Welcome!

In August there has been an attempt to crack our smart contract. Thanks to our security engineers, we’ve successfully handled the attack and made two smart contract migrations,without losing any Ether or Token! The last contract migration is available here.

Your funds are safe with Solar DAO.

We have negotiated a cooperation agreement with an industrial drones manufacturing company. The drones will allow to monitor the PV solar plants remotely from anywhere in the world, 24/7. This is also a way to significantly cut operating expenses.

What is Ahead

Our next step will be to begin the actual construction of PV solar plants. Currently we are working hard studying the markets of Israel, Portugal, and Kazakhstan.

We are planning to enter a partnership with HUAWEI inverter manufacturing and implement the remote monitoring system for Solar DAO members. Besides, very soon we are going to be listed on the Orderbook exchange.

Moreover, in the next few months we will hire new team members, and create the holding company structure to develop the project further, and establish an (offline) office.

It’s been a great month of hard work. We hope you now feel as rewarding as we do. But things are going to be even more interesting, so: Stay tuned!


If you enjoyed this story, please click the 👏 button and share to help others find it! Feel free to leave a comment below.


Без рубрики

Why Solar DAO Uses Blockchain?

10.09.2017 — 0

Because it’s totally awesome. Here’s why…

Solar DAO is based on Ethereum blockchain and utilizes cutting edge smart contract technology to provide its users maximum security.

As we have already observed, most energy tech projects use blockchain to manage the demand side. They try to create new cryptocurrencies that will allow users to trade solar energy on specialized decentralized platforms, and to flexibly balance energy supply and demand. They also aim to incentivize customers financially, allowing them to store and exchange energy units, and receive rewards for renewable energy generation.

Blockchain gives such projects many advantages and sharpens their focus on the demand side. In short, their ultimate goal is to effect the transition to a “greener” energy by changing the way people produce and consume it, and simultaneously to mitigate the most important risks involved in such a transition.

On the contrary, Solar DAO uses blockchain as a means for crowdfunding. It is oriented at the supply-side of the energy financing equation. The use of Ethereum blockchain, and the issuance of ERC20 compatible SDAO tokens makes Solar DAO different from both other energy tech projects that utilize blockchain, as well as from non-blockchain based investment partnerships in the field of solar energy.

Picture credit: https://www.slideshare.net/accenture/the-new-energy-consumer-what-promises-do-blockchain-technologies-offer-energy-providers

Negatively speaking, the use of blockchain destroys the triple hierarchy that prevents most people from investing into the booming field of solar energy. By undermining the financial hierarchy, the hierarchy of expertise that assumes most of the transaction costs, and the hierarchy of attention from the policy makers, blockchain makes the investment projects in the field of solar energy at the same time financially viable, technically feasible, and trustworthy from the point of view of the public. It also radically diminishes transaction costs by eliminating agency issues and the costs of due diligence and contract enforcement.

First, blockchain allows for the use of smart contracts that are (partly) self-executing and self-enforcing. This creates enhanced security for the members of the Solar DAO, and enables trust within the membership.

Second, Ethereum blockchain allows to democratize access to solar energy investments. The investors of Solar DAO can contribute sums as modest as $1, and still acquire a membership in the investment fund, and the status of an investor into the construction of PV solar plants. Moreover, even with one token in your hand, you can still receive a portion of the dividends. There are no more financial thresholds that could prevent you from participating.

Third, tokenization of investing into solar energy creates a unique opportunity for the investors to anonymously and securely own and trade tokens that are tied to the real assets in the real economy. That means that SDAO combines the flexibility and tradability of a cryptocurrency with stability and value increases of a real asset. And not just any real asset, but one with a bright and promising future — PV solar plants.

Fourth, the decentralized structure of the investment fund enabled by blockchain in itself also solves many issues of corporate governance. By purchasing SDAO tokens, the investors acquire membership and voting rights within the decentralized autonomous organization. That means that the investors have direct control over the key decisions of the fund’s future. On the other hand, the benefits of specialized expertise are not compromised, since the project’s team is in charge of the technical due diligence, while remaining completely accountable to the investors.

In other words,

blockchain in Solar DAO means = Trust, Security, Transparency, and Increasing (Real) Value.

That’s it, as simple as that. Invest in Solar DAO in the Core ICO this October. Read more on the difference of Solar DAO and the value of SDAO tokens.


If you enjoyed this story, please click the 👏 button and share to help others find it! Feel free to leave a comment below.


Без рубрики

Why Solar? The Advantages of PV Solar Energy Compared to the Other Renewables

07.09.2017 — 0

This article explains the advantages of solar energy compared to other renewable energy sources.

The current trend of increasing attention to renewable energy among policy makers, business community, and the public, tends to portray it as a unified field that beats traditional energy sources on all fronts. The recent roadmap, published by a team of researchers from Stanford University, also envisions a transition to “100% of wind, water, and solar”, as if they were indistinguishable. While it is true that the ultimate aim of the short- and mid-term policies targeted at renewable energy support is to diversify energy portfolios, rather than to create a mono-energy source system, there are significant differences between the main sources of renewable energy.

We have already written about the distinctive features of renewable energy before. First of all, the correct way is to call it not just renewable, but variable renewable energy, or VRE. The reason is simple. It is more important to distinguish renewable energy from the point of view of energy supply system, rather than simply based on the generation source. The most important difference of renewable energy is that it is inherently unstable, as opposed to traditional, “baseline” energy generation.

Suppose you own a coal power plant. Once you’ve set it up, having spent a considerable amount of capital to meet the upfront costs of building the facility, you can operate it steadily and without major interruptions. Having reached the full capacity in terms of output, you will see the breakeven point fastly approaching, and the average costs gradually falling down to a minimum. In other words, provided there is a stable demand for electricity, a coal power plant (or, for that matter, a nuclear one) can generate relatively cheap electricity in a stable long-term way. This allows for a greater stability in electrical supply and ensures the minimal necessary demand is always balanced. The cost of this, of course, are heavy pollutions and environmental unsustainability, as can be clearly seen from the picture below (a bit old, but still relevant).

On the contrary, when it comes to renewables, there is a very limited possibility to predict and control the output of solar, wind, and water energy generating objects, as opposed to traditional generation. Since the supply of renewable energy depends on the weather and climatic conditions, it requires a far more flexible system of demand and supply management. Many policy initiatives in the field of renewable energy support, and many energy tech applications are designed precisely to enable such flexible coordination.

However, here the differences between various sources of renewable energy come into play. Water, wind, and solar energy generation differ in terms of their predictability, their efficiency, and their costs. Here’s how.

Cycles and Scales

The first point to be considered before turning to actual comparisons of different renewables is the fact that all energy sources have their natural reproduction cycles. Even fossil fuels are not an exception, although their cycles of reproduction exceed the lifecycle of a human being (not to say the renewables’ lifecycles) by several orders of magnitude.

The following table, adopted from a research report by Clean Line Energy, summarizes the differences in the timescales of the natural cycles of renewable energy sources.

As can be seen from the table, all renewables are different in terms of the temporal scales of their lifecycles. The first conclusion that can be drawn from it is that it is possible to achieve a sufficiently diversified energy portfolio, based on the renewable sources alone. Renewable energy sources that are more prone to temporal fluctuations in the short-term can be supported by more stable generating objects that still use renewable energy.

The second important issue the table shows relates to the requirements of flexible balancing of electricity supply and demand. Such variable sources as solar and wind energy require very flexible patterns of supply and demand management, but can also provide for a greater flexibility if they are included in the energy portfolio of a community or a country.

Finally, roughly speaking, the table can be read as a snapshot of some broader correlations: the shorter the scales of temporal variability of an energy source, the more flexible it is, and the less upfront investments are required to install such a facility. While biomass is an exception to this rule, all other energy sources can be ranked in such a manner (in fact, it does not fit to the picture also because it is not clean).

Thus, geothermal and hydropower plants require heavy capital expenditures; wave- and tidal power facilities occupy the middle, and solar and wind energies are the cheapest ones in terms of the upfront costs. The problem with waves and tides is that, while being generally in the “golden middle” in terms of costs/output stability ratio, they are very site-dependent.

Tidal Power

Tidal power is the only source of renewable energy that is independent from the Sun, while the others are indirectly related to it one way or another, including ven fossil fuels and biofuel. On the contrary, tidal power is embedded into the nature of the Earth-Moon system interactions.

Essentially, tides occur because of the movements of the Sun and the Moon, as well as because of the Earth rotation effects, and the effects of landscape. The gravitational forces exerted by the celestial bodies create motions or currents in the oceans of the Earth. The sea level changes as masses of water move horizontally due to the gravitational effects. As the sea level increases, water from the middle areas of the oceans moves closer to the shores, thus creating a tide.

The tides are quite predictable and occur in according to the three interacting cycles:

  • A half-day cycle caused by the rotation of the earth within the rotational field of the moon results in tidal movements every 12 hours and 25 minutes.
  • A 14-day cycle based on the superposition of the gravitational fields of moon and sun.
  • Interaction of the gravitational fields of sun and moon at new and full moon result in maximum spring tides.
  • Minimum neap tides occur at quarter phases of the moon, when the sun’s force of attraction cancels out that of the moon.

All these cycles are highly predictable, and so is the variability of the tidal energy output. The following picture illustrates the distribution of tidal phases:

These periodical movements of tides can be exploited to produce electricity. Currently, there are two main technologies. The first one is to harness power through dam-like structures that trap rising waters on one side and release it back to the other turbines that spin to generate electricity. The second one is tidal stream technology that harnesses fast-flowing currents to spin turbine and generate electricity. The former is best known, while the latter is only beginning to be tested commercially.

The main advantage of tidal power is that tides will be there as long as there are celestial bodies of the Sun system. They are thus renewable, and much more predictable than wind and solar power. However, in the case of tidal electricity, location is everything.

First, depending on the changing positions of the celestial bodies, the magnitude and character of the tidal motions also varies. The effects of the Earth’s rotation and local geographies of the sea levels and coastal lines have an impact on the availability and intensity of tidal power.

Second, tidal power plants are very site-dependent, and the number of places where they can be constructed is very limited geographically, as opposed to the other renewable energy sources. The following map, created by B.C. Energy, illustrates this point very clearly:

The availability of sites where a tidal power station can be constructed is limited by the geography of the sea and coastal lines, because the tides of sufficient range and flow velocities are to be found only in certain places. The other problem with tidal power is its high cost that requires high upfront investments in the construction of the tidal facility. The same can be said regarding the various forms of hydropower, although it is much less site-dependent, it requires even more initial investments to create artificial lakes at which the hydro-electrical plants are based.

Wind and Wave Power

Winds are created by the Sun’s heating of the Earth and the latter’s rotation. Wind power is exploited by the means of Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT), which represent 90% of the world’s wind turbines in use (there is also an alternative, Vertical Axis design that comprises the remaining 10% share). There are also smaller wind turbines in use by individuals.

HAWTs have large angled propellers with blades that catches the wind. As the wind passes through the blades, it causes the entire blade assembly (the rotor) to spin around the central nacelle on the top of the tower. The nacelle is a complex housing, in which a gearbox is located. The gearbox converts the incoming rotational force with a low speed into a high-speed outgoing rotational force that is powerful enough to run an electrical generator that is also located in the nacelle.

While generally cheap and widely available, wind power is the least predictable of all of the variable renewable energy sources. Because of the variable nature of the wind, grid operators are compelled to use day ahead forecasting to optimize the use of available power sources next day. They also rely heavily on weather forecasting to predict the likely wind energy output. The picture below presents an example of the day ahead prediction and actual wind power, evidencing a rather strong correlation between the two:

Wind power also has other limitations. It is highly intermittent and non-dispatchable, since it depends on many factors that have an important impact on its output. First, location does matter, although not as much as in the case of tidal power. Second, such things as wind speed, air density, and the characteristics of the turbine (among others) can cause significant variations in the output of wind power generators. The speed of the wind is one of the most important factors, since, depending on the turbine, it must be above 3.5 m/s in order to generate electricity, but below 25 m/s, otherwise it would damage the turbine.

Wave energy largely depends on wind, and that’s why the two can be considered together. In general, the power available from waves tends to follow that available from wind, but due to the mass of the water is less variable than wind power. The fluctuations of waves energy are different, as waves in deep water lose their energy and by this smooth out only slowly and therefore can travel long distances. Wave energy, however, is subject to cyclic fluctuation as well, dominated by wave periods and wave heights. As a result of these fluctuations, the power level available from waves varies daily and monthly, as well as seasonally.

Geothermal Power

There are two primary sources of geothermal energy: radioactive decay and the primordial heat of the Earth that was created during its original formation. In the former case, the process of decay of certain radioactive elements (like uranium-235 or thorium-232) occurs naturally in the ground below the Earth’s surface. As a result of this process, a lot of heat is generated, that can be used productively. Since the Earth’s interior has only decreased its temperature by a few hundreds degrees over the entire period of its existence, geothermal energy is practically inexhaustible, and the process of radioactive decay is ongoing anyway.

In the latter case, the solid outer layer of the Earth’s surface insulates us from the heat that was produced in the process of the plant’s formation. The primordial heat continues to flow from the interior of the Earth to its surface through the slow conduction of solid rocks, and heat transport fluids like water and magma. It can also be usefully exploited.

To do so, one needs to find a large source of available heat, put it into a reservoir to contain it, and lock it in there using a barrier. Finally, there must be some kind of carrying agent, for example, a fluid to transfer the heat.

The reservoirs are usually rock units with high permeability and temperature. Once such a hot unit of rock is surrounded by impermeable rock layers, the latter can function as barriers and contain the heat. The extraction of geothermal is carried out by means of drilling into the reservoirs. The conventional way of extracting geothermal power is implemented in the locations where the rock is porous, and there is hot water inside. Such locations are usually found in the areas where magma has poked through the continental crust and created convective circulation of groundwater.

Geothermal power has many advantages, including its very stable and predictable nature, as well as minimal operating costs. However, the initial capital costs are significant, being sometimes up to $4 M per 1 MW, depending on the size of the power plant and local geography. Over 50% of the costs are absorbed by drilling. Moreover, geothermal power is somewhat site-dependent and, most importantly, can be a very risky investment, because after spending millions on exploration, the resources found can be unfit for exploitation.

Solar Photovoltaics

We have already written about how PV solar stations work and what is the nature of the photo-effect, so let’s concentrate on its advantages as a source of renewable energy.

Solar PV plants can operate for years without incurring much of operation and maintenance costs, so that the O&M costs are extremely low as compared to conventional power technologies.

In grid-tied PV systems the electricity produced can reduce or eliminate the use of grid electricity during peak hours of operation (during the day). This advantage requires a time-of-use meter, which may not be available to some users. Grid-tied PV systems also reduce the amount of transmission losses that occur as a result of transmission of electricity over long distances. They can also reduce or eliminate completely the use of grid electricity during the peak hours.

The other advantages of PV solar energy can be listed as follows:

  • The sun is a clean, renewable, energy resource that is proven and increasingly cost competitive, as the costs of solar panels steadily fall down, and more research and development efforts are put into the field of solar photovoltaics
  • Increased use of solar energy builds energy security, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and moves us toward a sustainable energy future
  • Using solar PV systems help reduce peak loads, postponing or preventing the need for additional baseload energy generation and distribution infrastructure (hydroelectric dams, coal-fired power generation stations, and underwater electrical cables)
  • Solar requires no fuel or moving parts, makes no noise and produces zero emissions with minimal maintenance.
  • In remote sites, solar PV competes aggressively with the costs of electricity derived from conventional sources and areas requiring extensive power line construction may find solar PV to be more cost effective.

In sum, solar energy is the best investment choice among the sources of renewable energy. It is not as heavy in terms of the capital costs as tidal and geothermal (and much less risky); it is simple, but, unlike wind and waves, quite predictable. It is also much less site-dependent, although it requires considerable amounts of free areas. As the industry develops, the costs of solar panels, as well as capital costs per unit of energy will continue to fall down, making the investment opportunity even more interesting. The concluding pictures provide a few snapshots of the lay of the land in the solar photovoltaics over the recent decades:


If you enjoyed this story, please click the 👏 button and share to help others find it! Feel free to leave a comment below.

Без рубрики

How 140 countries could be powered by 100% of renewable energy sources by 2050

05.09.2017 — 0

On August 23, the journal *Joule, *published by Cell Press and focussing on sustainable energy, revealed the latest roadmap to a fully renewable energy future authored by a group of researchers under the leadership of Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University. The roadmap presents a comprehensive vision of what kind of steps a transition to 100% renewable energy would involve for 139 countries. To be entirely powered by wind, solar, and water energy, the governments will need to have their all energy sectors electrified by 2050, but a successful transformation would mean a net increase of over 24 million of long-term jobs, an annual decrease in 4–7 air pollution casualties per year, and annual savings of over $20 trillion in health and climate costs. In addition, the roadmap envisions less energy consumption, cleaner electricity, and stabilization of energy prices as a result of the proposed change.

On the Utility of Roadmaps

This article is about a recent roadmap, and roadmaps enjoy rather bad reputation among the sophisticated public. After all, what’s the purpose of the efforts of drafting a roadmap, involving researchers, analysts, and policy-makers, if there’s no enforcement mechanism, expressed or implied? The roadmap is there, but who would follow it, really? Politics is done behind the closed doors, and material interests, not public commitments, play the decisive part. That’s how the usual story goes. However, it still misses some crucial points.

Sociological and organizational research shows that people do need directions in their decision-making processes, and that public commitments to some objective, in the form of a roadmap, for example (or a business plan in the more private setting), can make a big difference. That is especially true in the case of high-tech industries, where the playground is often unclearly defined, and the stakeholders don’t quite see what’s going to happen even in the short-term. Roadmaps and performance targets help them focus, and also collectively build a shared vision of the future.

For example, if you’re a startup company, you need a business plan — not just because of a pro forma. The business plan, often denounced as a completely useless document, in fact, serves a crucial purpose in the evolution of your business. It is not legally binding, indeed, but it functions as a disclosure mechanism, enabling the potential investors to trust you and to see your skill set and vision of the future business. It also helps yourself by setting clearly the goals you want to achieve, and enabling more detailed performance assessments against these projections.

Or take the example of the Moore’s Law. When it was discovered, a roadmap outlining the projected evolution of transistors was shared among the scientists and industry participants. This document, provisional and non-binding like a business plan, enabled different stakeholders to achieve a shared vision of the future of the semiconductor industry. During the early stages, nothing is more important.

This explains why it is worth looking at the recent renewable energy roadmap published by Joule on August 23. Similar to any and all such documents, it acquires an increasing importance due to a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy: if you’re a stakeholder in the energy sector, you’re going to look at it, because you reason that others will do so anyway.

The Vision

The roadmap developed by Jacobson’s group provides a target vision of the coming developments towards a low-carbon economy and avoiding the global warming by creating energy self-sufficiency in 139 countries. The roadmap provides detailed assessments of the crucial parameters like the available raw renewable energy resources in each country, the number of renewable generators utilizing wind, solar, and water power, that will be needed to achieve 80% renewable generation by 2030, and a 100% level 20 years after that. It also details how much land and rooftop area these generators would require, with an optimistic conclusion that the number is going to be as little as 1% of the total area available and will significantly reduce energy demand and costs compared to the business-as-usual scenario.

Jacobson is the director of Stanford University’s Atmosphere and Energy Program and co-founder of the Solutions Project, a U.S. non-profit educating the public and policymakers about a transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. Contrary to many one-sided views, he believes that the “green” transition can be led by both governments and individuals alike, and sees his role as providing “some reasonable science” to help the policymakers in understanding that such transition is possible. “There are other scenarios. We are not saying that there is only one way we can do this, but having a scenario gives people direction.”

The data selection process was in part motivated, as often is the case, by the availability of the relevant data in the public domain. The 139 countries included in the roadmap have been comprehensively monitored by the International Energy Agency, so that there’s plenty of data available online. In particular, the researchers looked into the data on each country’s electricity, transport systems, heating and cooling, industrial and agricultural sectors, including also fishing and forestry industries. More specifically, the case selection was based on the fact that the countries at issue collectively emit over 99% of all carbon dioxide pollution globally.

Among the interesting and rather counter-intuitive findings, the study shows that the countries with a larger share of land per population, such as the US, China, and the EU, will have an opportunity to effect the transition more smoothly and easily than overpopulated countries like Singapore. The former are projected to achieve the 100% of renewable energy faster and with lesser costs, while for the latter, being an island surrounded by the ocean, the transition to fully solar, wind and water generation may require huge investments in offshore solar facilities.

The Benefits of Transition

The projected “green” transition is expected to bring about a few collateral benefits. First, a transition to 100% renewable energy would mean a deep change in the supporting infrastructure. Once you cease using biofuel and fossil fuel like oil, gas, and uranium, you no longer need the scaffolding infrastructure for mining, transporting and refining these fuels. That alone is quite an economy in terms of energy consumed by processing these substances, which leads to a decrease in the global power demand by 13%. The higher efficiency of electricity as opposed to burning the fossil fuels would also decrease demand by another 23%. Finally, less dependence on natural resources will potentially eliminate the unfavourable international dynamics, such as war and conflict around the fossil fuels issues, and economic shocks like the oil crisis of 1973. Oil has shaped military international conflicts for decades, and the transition to renewable energy might make this relationship less tight, and its consequences less severe. Just look at the picture below.

Moreover, renewable energy is also more accessible for distant communities living in relative insulation: for example, nothing prevents one from installing a large array of solar panels in isolated desert villages of Kazakhstan.

Jacobson’s study stand out precisely because it is not exclusively concerned with the issue of climate change and potential climate benefits of the proposed transition, but maps out the whole socio-economic landscape and how it will change with the gradual adoption of renewable energy. It covers also cost benefits, air pollution benefits, and net jobs benefits triggered by the movement to 100% wind, water, and solar. Jacobson says that “aside from eliminating emissions and avoiding 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming and beginning the process of letting carbon dioxide drain from the Earth’s atmosphere, transitioning eliminates 4–7 million air pollution deaths each year and creates over 24 million long-term, full-time jobs by these plans.” “It appears we can achieve the enormous social benefits of a zero-emission energy system at essentially no extra cost,” says co-author Mark Delucchi, a research scientist at the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

Science Daily reports that “the Joule paper is an expansion of 2015 roadmaps to transition each of the 50 United States to 100% clean, renewable energy and an analysis of whether the electric grid can stay stable upon such a transition.” The new study improves the calculations of the availability of rooftop solar energy, renewable energy generation and resources, as well the potential to create new jobs to replace the ones lost. In addition, the new roadmap extends the focus to encompass the world globally.

Contexts and Critiques

Similar to other renewable energy transition projects, Jacobson’s roadmap is not free of criticism. There are several prominent arguments against such visions. First, the critics assert that it is still worth looking at the traditional energy sources, such as biofuel and the “clean coal”, as well as nuclear power, and that those cannot be simply ignored. Second, the transition to 100% of water, wind, and solar energy have been criticized for being dependent on some specific technologies such as underground heat storages, that are possible to organize only in some rocky places, and the use of electric and hydrogen fuel cell aircraft, which now exist only in small planes. Finally, the third line of criticism argues that any such transition would require massive investments in infrastructure that not all countries can really afford.

Jacobson defends his views as follows. Firstly, it was necessary to exclude nuclear power because of its long (10 to 20 years) cycle of planning and operation, as well as its high cost and waste and military risks. “Clean coal” and biofuels are neglected because both are known as heavily polluting the air and emitting 50+ times more carbon per unit of energy than wind, water, or solar power.

As for the underground heat storage, it is not a necessarily required but certainly a viable option since it is similar to district heating, which provides much of the heat in certain countries (for example, as much as 60% of Denmark’s heat). Jacobson also says that space shuttles and rockets have been propelled with hydrogen, and aircraft companies are now investing in electric airplanes. Wind, water, and solar can also face daily and seasonal fluctuation, making it possible that they could miss large demands for energy, but this kind of instability of variable energy sources is well known and can be addressed in several ways. Moreover, the traditional baseline energy generation tends to overemphasize the demand stability which is even harder to predict in rapidly growing economies.

Finally, regarding the social and economic costs of the transition, including the energy, climate and health costs, Jacobson says that, overall, it will be one-fourth of that of the current fossil fuel system. Moreover, most of the costs to be faced upfront will be needed anyway, because the existing infrastructure needs to be replaced, and the rest of the investment will pay itself off by hugely reducing climate and health costs of the society.

The scientific community is generally positive about the roadmap, finding it as pushing forward the “conversation within and between the scientific, policy, and business communities about how to envision and plan for a decarbonized economy,” Mark Dyson of Rocky Mountain Institute, in writes an accompanying preview of the paper.

References:

  1. Jacobson et al. 100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight (WWS) All-Sector Energy Roadmaps for 139 Countries of the World. Joule, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2017.07.005
  2. Mark Z. Jacobson, Mark A. Delucchi, Guillaume Bazouin, Zack A. F. Bauer, Christa C. Heavey, Emma Fisher, Sean B. Morris, Diniana J. Y. Piekutowski, Taylor A. Vencill, Tim W. Yeskoo. 100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States. Energy Environ. Sci., 2015; 8 (7): 2093 DOI: 10.1039/C5EE01283J
  3. Mark Z. Jacobson, Mark A. Delucchi, Mary A. Cameron, Bethany A. Frew. Low-cost solution to the grid reliability problem with 100% penetration of intermittent wind, water, and solar for all purposes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015; 112 (49): 15060 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1510028112
  4. Martin Giraudeau. **The drafts of strategy: opening up plans and their uses.**Long Range Planning, 41 (3). pp. 291–308. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36817/
  5. Peter B. Miller P, Ted O’Leary. **Mediating instruments and making markets: Capital budgeting, science and the economy.**Accounting, Organizations and Society. 2007 Oct;32(7–8):701–734. Available from, DOI: 10.1016/j.aos.2007.02.003

If** you enjoyed this story, please click the 👏 button and share to help others discover it! Feel free to leave a comment below.**

Rooftop PV Solar Plant

Без рубрики

Everything You Need to Know About Operations & Maintenance (O&M) For Utility Scale PV Solar Plants

02.09.2017 — 0

From the key issues to contracts structure, all explained in brief.

Once the PV solar plant has been built, it needs to be efficiently operated and carefully maintained. Compared to other power generating technologies, solar PV power plants have low maintenance and servicing requirements.

However, as International Financial Corporation warns, “proper maintenance of a PV plant is essential to maximise both energy yield and the plant’s useful life. Optimal operations must strike a balance between maximising production and minimising cost”.

Indeed, while solar energy does require almost no maintenance at all as compared to the other generation sources, PV solar plants are investments that are likely to last for 20–25 years or more, and that’s why in order to arrive at an accurate ROI figure, one needs to address the operation and maintenance issues.

Thus, before turning to the actual process and stages of maintenance and operation, one needs to understand the issues involved in the functioning of a PV solar plant. Naturally, they can be divided into the groups according to the plant’s main components.

O&M Issues in PV Solar Energy

1. Natural Degradation

All solar cells naturally degrade over time, regardless of the environment they are in. This is called natural degradation, and is completely normal for all solar cells to experience once in operation. Depending on the material, the rate of degradation can vary. This is important to take into account in budgeting and investment planning.

The following table summarizes the degradation rates of solar panels made of different materials. As is clear from the table, Solar DAO PV plants are among the most robust ones, since the solar panels used are made of crystalline silicon which is characterized by the one of lowest annual degradation rates.

Natural degradation cannot be prevented, but must be taken into account in the planning process. It can also be covered by warranties. Usually, manufacturing companies that produce solar modules offer warranties if degradation rate exceeds certain amounts, for example, if it is more than 0.8–0.6% depending on the particular firm. The good news is that the higher quality panel, the less natural degradation.

The degradation rate must be weighed against the cost and the utility of particular materials from which the solar models are made. The following chart, provided by Scandia Labs, demonstrates the estimates for Average Utility-Scale Solar PV O&M Costs, by Technology ($/kWAC-yr), including different types of solar panels materials, as well as different types of trackers with which the panels are equipped. Here, again, crystalline silicon stands out, as do conventional solar panels as opposed to concentrating photovoltaics that uses lenses and curved mirrors to focus sunlight on the solar cells.

  • CdTe — cadmium telluride;
  • CIGS — copper indium gallium selenide;
  • c-Si — crystalline silicon;
  • SAT — single-axis tracking;
  • DAT — dual-axis tracking;
  • CPV — concentrating photovoltaics.

2. Grounding and Lightning Protection

PV solar plant is a structure of considerable size, which is why some lightning protection is in order. The first level of such protection is the ground mount system itself, whereby the grounding system redirects the energy from the lightning into the ground and away from the panels. Depending on the foundation, different forms of grounding can be used, as summarized in the following table provided by the Desert Research Institute:

Note that copper conductor may be tinned, and that aluminium is not allowed to be buried into the soil. It is also important to use the same type of metal in both the grounding system and in the protection equipment, so as to avoid corrosion.

Even with a proper grounding system, a PV installation can still be at risk from lightning. Even after the lightning energy has been discharged into the ground, it can still cause a power surge within the solar panels array, which is why a surge protection equipment is in order. In some cases it is not needed, if the grounding system is effective enough to reduce the lightning strike energy.

3. Component Failures (panels, inverters, trackers)

3.1. Panel cracking.

Different components of PV solar plant may fail during the operation. First, panels might crack, even in the new once, if they have been damaged in the manufacturing process. The micro-cracks are not always obvious, and that’s why the new panels must be inspected and a warranty must be secured. The cracks may lead to the failure of panels or losses of optimal efficiency.

3.2. Visual discoloration.

Visual discoloration is another common defect that reduces the amount of sunlight that penetrates into a solar cell. As a result, solar cells are less exposed to solar irradiation, and generate less energy. The reason it leads to loss of efficiency is because different color panels changes the wavelength of light that can be absorbed. As in the case with panel cracking, not much can be done once the panel became discolored, hence the solar panels must be carefully operated and maintained.

3.3. Hotspots.

Contrary to the common misleading opinion, solar panels are most efficient when they gain maximum solar irradiance, not maximum temperature. Quite the contrary, high temperatures can actually damage solar panels, leading to the emergence of the hot spots. Hot spots occur when a panel is shaded, damaged, or electrically mismatched and decrease power output. Since solar cells are attached in strings, just one hot spot can lead to multiple cells functioning poorly. To solve this problem, all shading should be negated, and electrical connections should be optimized.

3.4. Inverters failure.

Generally, inverter faults are the most common cause of system downtime in PV power plants. Therefore, the scheduled maintenance of inverters should be treated as a centrally important part of the O&M strategy.

3.5. Trackers and Panel Orientation.

Panel orientation is an issue for static PV solar systems. It requires due diligence on the consumer’s part to make sure the installer is taking the proper steps necessary to determine an ideal panel orientation. Similarly, tracking systems also require maintenance checks. These checks will be outlined in the manufacturer’s documentation and defined within the warranty conditions. In general, the checks will include inspection for wear and tear on the moving parts, servicing of the motors or actuators, checks on the integrity of the control and power cables, servicing of the gearboxes and ensuring that the levels of lubricating fluids are appropriate. The alignment and positioning of the tracking system should also be checked to ensure that it is functioning optimally. Sensors and controllers should be checked periodically for calibration and alignment.

3.5. Structural Integrity.

The module mounting assembly, cable conduits and any other structures built for the solar PV power plant should be checked periodically for mechanical integrity and signs of corrosion. This will include an inspection of support structure foundations for evidence of erosion from water run-off.

4. Weather Conditions (snow, wind, soiling).

Finally, depending on the environmental conditions, the panels must be protected from wind, snow, and soiling (in dusty areas). Regular cleaning and maintenance will be enough in these cases. Solar DAO uses durable crystalline silicon panels that are built of lead-free, optically transparent, anti-reflective glass, which can withstand the tested shot of an ice ball with 35mm diameter at a speed of 30 m/s. Their serviceable life is up to 25 years, with 10 years of guaranteed performance.

5. Other issues

Other common unscheduled maintenance requirements include but are not limited to:

  • Tightening cable connections that have loosened.
  • Replacing blown fuses.
  • Repairing lightning damage.
  • Repairing equipment damaged by intruders or during module cleaning.
  • Rectifying SCADA faults.
  • Repairing mounting structure faults.
  • Rectifying tracking system faults.

O&M Approaches and Activities

Maintenance can be broken down in two parts:

  • Scheduled maintenance: Planned in advance and aimed at fault prevention, as well as ensuring that the plant is operated at its optimum level.
  • Unscheduled maintenance: Carried out in response to failures.

Another way to classify the PV O&M approaches is to break them down into three categories, each with different cost-benefit tradeoffs and risk profiles:

  • Preventative maintenance (PM) encompasses routine inspection and servicing of equipment — at frequencies determined by equipment type, environmental conditions, and warranty terms in an O&M services agreement — to prevent breakdowns and unnecessary production losses. Th is approach is becoming increasingly popular because of its perceived ability to lower the probability of unplanned PV system downtime. However, the upfront costs associated with PM programs are moderate and the underlying structure of PM can engender superfluous labor activity if not optimally designed.
  • Corrective or reactive maintenance addresses equipment repair needs and breakdowns after their occurrence and, as such, is instituted to mitigate unplanned downtime. The historical industry standard, this “break-fi x” method allows for low upfront costs, but also brings with it a higher risk of component failure and accompanying higher costs on the backend (perhaps placing a premium on negotiating extended warranty terms). Th ough a certain amount of reactive maintenance will likely be necessary over the course of a plant’s 20-year lifetime, it can be lessened through more proactive PM and condition-based maintenance (CBM) strategies.
  • **Condition-based maintenance (CBM) **uses real-time data to anticipate failures and prioritize maintenance activities and resources. A rising number of third party integrators and turnkey providers are instituting CBM regimes to offer greater O&M efficiency. The increased effi ciency, however, comes with a high upfront price tag given communication and monitoring software and hardware requirements. Moreover, the relative novelty of CBM can produce maintenance process challenges caused in part by monitoring equipment malfunction and/or erratic data collection.

Preventative Maintenance (PM) includes the following activities:

  • Panel Cleaning
  • Water Drainage
  • Vegetation Management
  • Retro-Commissioning (identifies and solves problems that have developed during the course of the PV system’s life.)
  • Wildlife Prevention
  • Upkeep of Data Acquisition and Monitoring Systems (e.g., electronics, sensors)
  • Upkeep of Power Generation System (e.g., Inverter Servicing, BOS Inspection, Tracker Maintenance)
  • Site maintenance (e.g., security, road/fence repair, environmental compliance, snow removal, etc.).

Corrective/Reactive Maintenance typically includes:

  • On-Site Monitoring
  • Non-Critical Reactive Repair (addresses production degradation issues)
  • Critical Reactive Repair (high priority, addresses production losses issues)
  • Warranty Enforcement

Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) usually consists in Active Monitoring — Remote and On-Site Options Equipment Replacement (Planned and Unplanned) and Warranty Enforcement (Planned and Unplanned).

Contracts & Obligations

1. Key Contractual Provisos (KCP)

KCPs in O&M contracts impact the O&M budgeting considerations and approaches, and typically include:

  • **Service-level agreements (SLA) **— specify compliance timeframes for responding to and resolving a range of plant conditions, based on equipment type and issue severity level.
  • Availability or “uptime” guarantees — define the percentage of time that a system must be fully able to produce electricity. Availability guarantees are typically set at 97–99% per year.
  • Performance ratio and yield guarantees — stipulate plant performance levels (e.g., a minimum amount of energy delivered) according to measured solar irradiation at a site, based on system design and modeled plant behavior — which can be variable, thus introducing risks. These guarantees account for Force Majeure events and warranty defects.
  • **Production guarantees **— state annual plant production levels, independent of weather conditions. Insurance coverage can be used to mitigate weather risk, though it can be an expensive policy to underwrite.
  • **Performance incentives **— reward/penalize for plant performance that misses, meets, or exceeds projected production levels.
  • Energy-based contracts — links plant production (kWh/yr) with O&M service provider revenues so that associated expenses are calibrated according to low (fall/winter) and high (spring/summer) revenue periods.

2. O&M Contract Contents

The purpose of an O&M contract is to optimise the performance of the plant within established cost parameters. To do this effectively, the O&M contract should clearly set out:

  • Services to be carried out by, and obligations of, the contractor.
  • Frequency of the services.
  • Obligations of the owner.
  • Standards, legislation and guidelines with which the contractor must comply.
  • Payment structure.
  • Performance guarantees and operational targets.
  • Methodologies for calculating plant availability and/or performance ratio.
  • Methodologies for calculating liquidated damages/ bonus payments in the event of plant under- or overperformance.
  • Terms and conditions.
  • Legal aspects.
  • Insurance requirements and responsibilities.

3. O&M Contractor Services and Obligations

The O&M contract should list the services to be performed by the contractor, including the following entries:

  • Plant monitoring requirements.
  • Scheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Unscheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Agreed targets and/or guarantees (for example, response time or system availability figure) Reporting requirements (including performance, environmental, health and safety, and labour relations reporting).
  • The contractor should also be contractually obliged to optimise plant performance. Additionally, it should be stipulated that all maintenance tasks should be performed in such a way that their impact on the productivity of the system is minimised.

The O&M contract will also typically define the terms by which the contractor is to:

  • Provide, at intervals, a visual check of the system components for visible damage and defects.
  • Provide, at intervals, a functional test of the system components.
  • Ensure that the required maintenance will be conducted on all components of the system. As a minimum, these activities should be in line with manufacturer recommendations and the conditions of the equipment warranties.
  • Provide appropriate cleaning of the modules and the removal of snow (site-specific).
  • Make sure that the natural environment of the system is maintained to avoid shading and aid maintenance activities.
  • Replace defective system components and system components whose failure is deemed imminent.
  • Provide daily (typically during business hours) remote monitoring of the performance of the PV plant to identify when performance drops below set trigger levels.

In an O&M contract, the obligations of the owner/ developer are generally limited to granting the O&M contractor access to the system and all the associated land and access points, obtaining all approvals, licences and permits necessary for the legal operation of the plant providing the O&M contractor with all relevant documents and information, such as those detailed above, that are necessary for the operational management of the plant.

If** you enjoyed this story, please click the 👏 button and share to help others discover it! Feel free to leave a comment below.**