Commercial solar power news – New solar tech, solar ports and more
The remaining strand of the government’s ill-fated Green Homes Grant has mostly failed, at least as far as solar is concerned. Israeli solar power scientists take a smart step forward. The Port of Valencia fits solar panels you can walk on. Northern Ireland has introduced smart solar waste bins. One innovative Somerset firm takes solar seriously at its new site. And c. Here’s the latest news about solar power.
Just an hour and a half of sunshine will power the world for a year
If you’ve ever wondered about the global potential of solar power, this is fascinating stuff. Some experts say the amount of sunlight that hits the planet in just 90 minutes is enough to give humanity the energy it needs for an entire year. Is it crazy not to do everything we can to take advantage of solar power? The only answer is ‘yes’!
The TGT Group goes solar at its new Somerset premises
We’re delighted to hear that TG Group builders merchants is fitting brand new, highly efficient 152 photovoltaic panels on the roof of its new Bridgenorth premises. They estimate they’ll recoup their costs in just over three years as well as reducing the impact they have on the climate. The 57.76kWp system is due to be installed at the firm’s Chartwell Park site and will save the equivalent of 28.5 tonnes of CO2, helping the company to slash its carbon footprint.
Did you know we’ll instal the latest solar tech to your commercial premises at no cost? It’s great news when the uncertain times we’re in mean many businesses are reluctant to make a large capital outlay.
The UK government’s big Green Homes Grant fail
The government’s Green Homes Grant has been in trouble from the start, bedevilled by a level of demand it didn’t expect and couldn’t cope with. The scheme mostly shut down at the end of March. The latest news is that just four solar PV systems have been installed under Local Authority Delivery, the only part of the deal still running.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy says just 1180 installations of green technology were made to the end of March 2021, four of which were solar PV. 87% of the installations were insulation-focused and there were just 113 instals of low carbon heating, 104 using air source heat pumps. Only nine solar thermal instals were completed.
Exciting advances in solar power tech
Israeli scientists are working hard to help make Photovoltaic solar panel technologies even more efficient.
Researchers from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Technion, in partnership with scientists from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, have come to a better understanding about the way semiconductors work.
Solar panels use either photovoltaic cells or photoelectrochemical cells. Photoelectrochemical cells only generate energy during the day, which means you need external batteries to store energy for use at night. Photovoltaic cells use semiconductors instead of external batteries.
Semiconductors force light energy to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, which can be stored separately to use as a fuel source. Iron-rich haematite is the commonest semiconductor material used today but it isn’t that efficient, which means a lot of potential energy gets wasted. The research team has created a new technique for testing the efficiency of haematite and other semiconductors, and this should help develop better solar panels in future.
The Port of Valencia fits an innovative solar panel array
It’s pioneering stuff. The Port of Valencia is moving ahead fast with plans for energy sustainability, determined to meet its Valenciaport 2030 strategy for zero emissions. The news positions the port as a benchmark in SmartPorts.
It’s all thanks to 24 passable solar tiles, which have been fitted on the north dock of the Port, designed to deliver more than 1 kWp power over a mere six square metres of surface area. The solar tiles deliver an energy equivalent of half the annual consumption of a three-person household, and as a result the port will avoid emitting 5.7 tonnes of CO2 every year.
The pilot project delivers an innovative solution to sustainability in the maritime port sector, testing electricity generation in difficult open-air conditions, exposed to salt and other sea-side threats.
Northern Ireland introduces solar powered compacting bins
Ards and North Down is the first area in Northern Ireland to use solar-powered compacting bins, fitting 22 of them after a successful 2019 trial involving three bins. The local council won funding for the project from Stormont’s Department for Communities.
The bins are spread across five town centres and take 240 litres of waste each. They feature an automated compacting mechanism and store as much as 20 times more waste than standard bins. They send an electronic message to the council when they’re full, which means fewer collections, lower costs and fewer emissions. The clever fully-enclosed design means they’re bird and pest-proof, and they’re super-simple to use via a foot pedal. The bins can even reveal how many times they’re used, helping local council figure out the busiest places.
Local solar farm profits go to support communities
Six community solar farms in England and Wales have created an impressive £60,000 of surplus profit, which will be used to support their local communities. The companies involved released a similar amount in 2020, bringing the total for the last two years to more than £255,000.
Let’s go solar – FREE solar panels for commercial premises
If your business has a suitable-sized roof that has the right level of pitch and isn’t overlooked, we can explore fitting completely free, high tech solar panels to it. It’s an amazing offer but it isn’t too good to be true. It’s simply true! Give us a call to talk things through, no obligation, or explore our Installation page to find out more.