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Green Projects Financing(II)

It is usual to encounter renewable energy projects that are promoted in the network or come to our hands, often in careful presentations form.

But, what requirements must a project meet to have potential ?

The “sine qua non” requirement is to provide supporting documentation that proves:

1) Land rights

2) Solar / wind resource measurements

3) Grid connection point provision

4) Environmental permit obtaining

5) Electric market agent registration

Resultado de imagen de ready to build solar projects

Once completed, project is classified as RTA (Ready to Auction / Agreement) and it is worthwhile to move on to next stage: profitability analysis.

The most significant variable in this part of the analysis is the PPA (Purchase Price Agreement).

That is, the agreed purchase price for the renewable energy that project will generate.

This price can be set in:

– An auction, usually public

– A private parties agreement, usually with an electricity distribution company whose corporate clients demand energy from renewable sources voluntarily or legally required.

After this second phase, project is classified as RTB (Ready to Build).

Resultado de imagen de evaluación de proyectos

Funding is now necessary to make it happen.

The information needed to begin the application process is:

1* Documentation proving project ownership

2* Business plan detailing repayment coming from funds flow generated by project itself operation. That is, by the sale of the energy generated

3* Information demonstrating that project is “bankable” and for this the most important are Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) terms and the offtaker

4* Information about project risks allocation as there are many risks that funder is not willing to assume. For example, that project has all permits required by local legislation, with all environmental approvals, with a proven EPC builder, etc.

5* In relation to PPA, a relevant issue is force majeure definition. Hail, for example, should be considered as a force majeure cause since it is very relevant in some regions.

Sopelia collaborates in complete process. From “sine qua non” conditions fulfillment to financing.

On June 3rd, 2017, Sopelia has become Representative Fiduciary Agent for Latin America of a major Abu Dhabi Investment Fund.

This Investment Fund collects and manages a multimillion-dollar portfolio of local, regional and international investments, which wishes to reinvest in projects financing to third investors, project owners and business facilitators in general at an annual interest rate of 3%.

These must be long-term investment projects that can generate an acceptable ROI during funding period.

Funding amounts range from a minimum of U$D 1 million to a maximum of U$D 10.9 billion.

We invite all renewable energy projects owners to send us their initiatives for our previous evaluation.

All you need is Sun. All you need is Sopelia.

Argentinean Deja Vú

When we were still celebrating RenovAr Program renewable energy MW auction success, in Dr, Jekyll and Mr. Hyde best style, Argentina goes up Delorian again and returns … to the past!

Government has announced millions of investments, including disbursements in nuclear and thermal generation.

Yes, you read well … nuclear.

Most of disbursements are geared to generation based on gas and other fuels.

Again, you read well … gas and other fuels.

The so-called 21 Resolution created very attractive conditions for private companies, so investments of up to US$ 3 billion are planned to install 2990 MW, of which bulk should be ready this year.

The reward for private capital has to be very high to invest in a high risk country.

But why such a hurry?

It happens that renewable energy projects, which are expected to disburse US$ 3.5 billion to install 2423 MW, are mostly not ready until 2018 and will be completed only in 2019.

In addition, some renewable energy projects could be delayed because of difficulties in financing accessing.

And since there are not many private companies that are encouraged, it is State that will also invest and manage.

We already know how this story ends.

Resultado de imagen de deja vú

Apocalypse horseman banished from practically all developed economies, nuclear energy, is welcomed with open arms in Argentina.

Near Atucha I central (Buenos Aires province) will be built Carem 25, the first nuclear central entirely designed and built in the country.

This project had been announced by previous administration on February 8th, 2014, but as in many other cases, it was announced and practically nothing was done.

On the other hand, before end of July government will inform in which site of San Matías Gulf (Río Negro province) another nuclear power generating plant will be installed.

Municipalities of Viedma, San Antonio Oeste and Sierra Grande, which make up the Gulf, were declared non-nuclear zones by respective ordinances approval.

Local representatives have already protested against nuclear plant installation and have requested that same investment be made but in renewable energies.

If materialized, it would put at risk the rich marine biodiversity of a protected natural area.

It will also be invested in a uranium processing plant in Formosa province.

Resultado de imagen de atucha i

When at global level there is a commitment to a change in energy matrix towards renewable energies greater participation, distributed generation promotion and nuclear energy abandonment; Argentina does the opposite in pursuit of its desperate investments search at any price.

The values and principles outlined in RenovAr Program are trampled by the electoral agenda and a short-term vision.

It is a story that repeats itself no matter what political party is in government.

It will be very difficult to overcome the obscene swindle of Río Turbio coalfield perpetrated by previous government, but these announcements represent a step back in the configuration of a modern and sustainable national energy matrix.

All you need is Sun. All you need is Sopelia.

Surfing The Third Wave

Distributed energy generation is the true energy revolution.

It is an unstoppable process, no matter how governments and large electricity companies strive to maintain a centralized and obsolete energy matrix.

Are we completing the Third Humanity Development Wave?

Probably yes.

Alvin Toffler calls First Wave the one that arose with agricultural revolution (from year 8000 BC until XVII century).

Hunting and fishing stage is overcome, and agriculture is born; emerging new structures such as commerce and first villages.

Second Wave emerges during XIX century, with Industrial Revolution in which steam engine and printing press replaced manual labor.

Huge urban centers form; mass production concept is born; physical transport are intensified thanks to railroad, car and steamboat; natural resources begin to exploit as energy or raw material source; producer and consumer concepts are born.

Third Wave encompasses changes that world is living in last 50 years, which break paradigms that Second Wave imposed on us.

This Wave is at its peak and we surf more and more on it disarticulating structures through decentralization, demassification and personalization.

Resultado de imagen de la ola del sol

In Sopelia, we firmly believe that citizen empowerment through distributed generation is the means to achieve energy sovereignty at individual and national levels.

That is why we want to share this article published in a Spanish newspaper last Sunday, July 9th.

It puts name and surname to protagonists of a situation that until recently would have seemed to us of science fiction and that hopefully is more and more habitual.

In Germany Also Electricity Can Be Sharing.

All you need is Sun. All you need is Sopelia.

The Solar Battery

Without batteries, off-grid PV systems (except some cases such as water pumping) would be meaningless, because their functionality depends on electrical energy storage.

The battery is an electrochemical device that transforms chemical energy into electrical energy, whose presence is necessary because solar modules only generate energy when light hits them.

In addition, sometimes battery provides an instantaneous power higher than that of modules (eg: for starting motors) and provides stable and constant voltage regardless of light incidence.

The battery determines modules operating voltage. Therefore a safety margin is required which will mean a small loss (about 10%) with respect to maximum power that module could provide at higher voltages.

There is no ideal battery. The choice is a compromise between economy and suitability starting from a minimum quality that provides reliability and long life to the system.

In a battery, we have to take into account 3 technical considerations:

1º The discharge capacity

It is the maximum amount of electrical energy that can be supplied from its full charge to its complete discharge. Measurement unit is the amp hour.

The loading and unloading ratio and the battery and environment temperature are factors that can make vary its capacity.

Resultado de imagen de capacidad batería solar

2º The discharge depth

In renewable energy systems, only deep discharge batteries are used (we refer to capacity percentage that is used in a cycle of loading and unloading).

Deep discharge batteries have an average discharge of 25%, and can reach 90%.

Resultado de imagen de capacidad batería solar

3” Cycles of a battery

It is the time from complete charge to discharge.

Battery life is measured in number of cycles it can handle.

Resultado de imagen de capacidad batería solar

Auto-discharge should also be considered as an additional consumption that daily demands a certain percentage of stored energy.

As damaging as excessive discharge is for a battery to too much load. Way to prevent this is by introducing a charge controller.

Every time battery is recharged, does not completely regenerate, resulting in a degradation that will determine battery life.

If discharge depths are respected and maintenance is correct, battery service life should be approximately 10 years.

For PV systems, batteries used are:

1. Lead-Acid: Characterized by their low cost and maintenance they require (need to be in a cool place and periodically check electrolyte amount).

Lead-antimony are the most used in medium and large systems and lead-calcium are mainly used in small systems.

There are also 2 types of sealed lead-acid batteries: Gelled (incorporating an electrolyte gel type) and Absorbed Electrolyte (electrolyte is absorbed into a microporous glass fiber or a polymer fiber web).

These batteries don´t require maintenance in water aggregate form nor develop gases, but both require less deep discharges during their service life.

Resultado de imagen de batería solar de plomo - ácido

2. Nickel-cadmium: offer better performance, but have a higher price.

The electrolyte they use is an alkaline, have a low self-discharge coefficient, good performance at extreme temperatures and the discharge they support is around 90% of their rated capacity.

They are recommended for isolated or dangerous access places.

They can´t be tested with same reliability as lead acid. Therefore, if it is necessary to control charge state, they aren´t the best option.

Resultado de imagen de batería solar de níquel - cadmio

3. Lithium: they take up little space, they weigh less, they do not emit gases, they can be put anywhere, loading time is the fastest, total discharges can be made without affecting their useful life in a relevant way.

What is the disadvantage? Its very high price.

The manufacturer who can optimize them will have found the solar sector Holy Grail.

Resultado de imagen de batería solar de litio

This is an extract of contents included in Technical-Commercial Photovoltaic Solar Energy Manual and Sopelia e-learning training.

All you need is Sun. All you need is Sopelia.

Haití Solar Thermal

Devices that capture solar thermal energy range from collectors placed on the roofs to parabolic dishes or solar towers used in large systems that concentrate sunlight, produce heat and generate electricity.

Solar thermal devices are used in countries such as Haiti to:

* Solar water disinfection (SODIS)

By solar light and PET plastic bottles. UV rays exposure eliminates pathogens and bacteria providing a source of clean water and reducing water diseases transmission.

Resultado de imagen de sodis

* Solar Pasteurization

Using a solar cooker and water pasteurization indicators (WAPIs). Solar cooker heats the water and WAPI (small tubes / capsules with melting wax at 65 ° C, temperature with which viruses and bacteria die) indicates when it is suitable for consumption, saving fuel and reducing water diseases transmission.

Resultado de imagen de solar pasteurization

* Solar food dryer

Box with glazed lid and opening + mesh frames. Foods are placed in mesh racks and dried as the sun warms the box. Reduce use of fossil fuels, pollution and post-harvest losses.

Resultado de imagen de solar food dryer

* Solar kitchen

Heat trap boxes, curved concentrators and cooker panel. A device (mirror or reflective metal) concentrates light and heat inside a small cooking area. Reduce reliance on traditional fuels such as wood or coal and reduce indoor pollution.

Resultado de imagen de cocina solar

* Solar water heater

Solar thermal collector + water storage tank. Collector heats the fluid passing through it and heat is stored in the tank. Reduces reliance on traditional fuels; reduces carbon emissions and local pollution.

Resultado de imagen de solar water heater

Constant earthquakes cause many people in Haiti to live outdoor and in very bad conditions.

As they say, “here the sun never fails us.”

However, charcoal is life and scourge of Haitians. Without it, they don´t eat.

97% of the country is deforested. Each person consumes the equivalent of 500 kilograms of wood a year and an average family leaves half of their profits in firewood purchase.

Erosion is the big problem. People cut trees to survive; there is no other way to living.

This country needs a permanent solidarity commitment from international community.

An example of this is solar cooker project for Mont-Organisé.

Devices are based on solar concentration: they generate thermal energy from sunlight that passes through a lens. Energy is stored in a thermal “battery” that maintains heat for 20 hours, and therefore allows cooking at night.

Materials chosen to make the kitchens are sustainable, biodegradable and the device obviously does not need fuel.

Project is developed in collaboration with Italian Microcredit Agency, Federico II Naples University Agrarian Department, Tesla IA SRL and PACNE NGO.

In addition to financing, solar energy expansion to poor people requires a mix of scientific improvements, policy initiatives and collective action to combat climate change and energy access lack.

All you need is Sun. All you need is Sopelia.

Green Projects Financing

Many renewable energy projects have all the permits and have made the necessary (technical and economic) assessments that clearly demonstrate their great potential and cost-effectiveness.

Why aren´t they carried out ?

Simply because they don´t find the financing these kind of long term projects need.

Which projects can access affordable financing immediately ?

They are called RTB (Ready to Build), which basically count on:

* Technical and economic study
* Environmental impact assessment
* Grid connection point assigned
* PPA signed or electricity sales price fixed.

Resultado de imagen de financiación de proyectos verdes

To arrive at this categorization, initial kick is to make a terrain on which project is intended to develop evaluation respect to following variables:

– Unevenness
– Renewable resource availability
– Kms distance to paved transport routes
– Kms distance to electrical substation.

From this first analysis it is decided whether or not it is worthwhile to elaborate the project.

On June 3rd, 2017, Sopelia has become Representative Fiduciary Agent for Latin America of a major Abu Dhabi Investment Fund.

This Investment Fund collects and manages a multimillion-dollar portfolio of local, regional and international investments, which wishes to reinvest in projects financing to third investors, project owners and business facilitators in general at an annual interest rate of 3%.

These must be long-term investment projects that can generate an acceptable ROI during funding period.

Funding amounts range from a minimum of U$D 1 million to a maximum of U$D 10.9 billion.

The financing access process is very easy and transparent, with a direct relationship with investor once project qualifies established criteria.

We invite all renewable energy projects owners to send us their initiatives for our previous review.

After this preliminary stage, Investment Fund Board of Directors will analyze the project to determine if it is within the scope of our financing.

Resultado de imagen de evaluación de proyectos

Subsequently, a group of consultants will conduct a reevaluation and evaluation (due diligence).

This is the most important step in financing considering process.

The due diligence defines the terms and conditions to approve the financing and these conditions will be the basis of agreement that will be signed by Investment Fund and project owner.

As soon as due diligence process is completed, the Investment Fund will officially make a financing offer to project owner in very clear and precise terms.

Once terms have been established to grant the loan and if terms and conditions are declared acceptable by project owner, he is invited to sign the financing agreement to officially confirm Investment Fund’s project contribution.

All you need is Sun. All you need is Sopelia.

Vacuum Tubes Collector

Within group of solar collectors without concentration are the vacuum tubes collectors.

Currently they are the most used.

As was seen in flat collector’s analysis, conversion of radiant energy from the sun to thermal energy leads to radiation, conduction and convection losses that progressively decrease the yield as temperature difference between collector and environment increases.

Improvement provided by vacuum tube collectors is to avoid conduction and convection losses.

If less heat is lost, we will in most cases obtain more yield for same amount of Sun energy.

We will see that this is not always the case and depends on temperature of use.

Vacuum collectors find their main application in intermediate temperature systems (heating, air conditioning, industrial processes, etc.) and in cold places with high differences between collector temperature and the environment.

The vacuum technique used by fluorescent tubes manufacturers has been developed and is the one used by vacuum tube manifolds manufacturers.

Vacuum tube collector systems are based on evacuated tubes.

These are formed by two concentric tubes between which the air has been sucked up producing a vacuum. At one end, both tubes are joined by sealing the vacuum. Inside both tubes are located the different types of absorbers that determine the different systems.

Single evacuated tubes are evacuated tubes, assembled directly with accumulation tank or independently, which may contain only water or water plus antifreeze.

A dark colored layer of absorbent material is located on evacuated tube inner wall.

When solar radiation strikes the absorbent material layer it is transformed into heat and raises the temperature of the fluid that is in contact with it.

The fluid is heated by convection and begins to rise through the tube being replaced by cold fluid which in turn heats up and restarts the process.

This type of vacuum tube offers the advantage of having the aforementioned few heat losses and the disadvantages of being very sensitive to pressure.

Resultado de imagen de colector solar tubos evacuados

U-Pipe vacuum manifolds are used both in individual collectors and in compact solar systems with integrated tank.

Absorber can be placed on tube wall as in evacuated tube case or on an absorbent material sheet.

In any case, absorber is run on its surface by a pipe (preferably copper) through which the fluid raises its temperature in contact with it flows.

U-Pipe tube manifolds have the advantage of being able to adopt both horizontal and vertical position without impairing their performance since tube can rotate on its axis by tilting absorber in the most appropriate way in case the absorber has sheet shape.

Resultado de imagen de colector solar u pipe

Finally, in vacuum tube technology we find heat pipe manifolds.

They employ a mechanism consisting of a closed tube into which a vaporizing fluid (alcohol mixture) of specific properties is introduced.

When sun hits absorber attached to the tube, fluid evaporates and absorbs heat (latent heat). As gas rises above liquid to top of the tube where the cold spot is located. There it liquefies (condenses) and yields its latent heat to the fluid we are interested in heating by falling back to tube bottom by capillarity or gravity.

This process (evaporation – condensation) is repeated for sun’s radiation duration or until collector has reached a very high temperature (around 130 ° C or more).

They have the advantage that each tube is independent being able to change in full system operation. It is highly frost resistant.

Since tubes can also rotate on their axis, it is possible to adopt vertical and horizontal positions as in the case of U-Pipe systems, although in this case generally a minimum tube inclination (between 15º and 20º according to manufacturer) to allow fluid, once liquefied, to fall by gravity.

There are 3 qualities of these collectors:

– Dry union: heat exchange occurs without direct contact between heat transfer fluid and tube, which makes them very suitable in areas with unfavorable water qualities.

– Diode function: heat transfer is always carried out only in one direction, from absorber to heat transfer fluid, and never other way round.

– Temperature limitation: evaporation – condensation cycle takes place as long as vaporizing fluid critical temperature is not reached, thus avoiding uncontrolled temperature rise inside the tubes risks.

Resultado de imagen de colector solar heat pipe

This content was extracted from the Solar Thermal Energy Technical-Commercial Manual and is part of Solar e-learning.

All you need is Sun. All you need is Sopelia.

Haití Solar Energy

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, where electricity is only available for very few people, while the vast population majority can only rely on kerosene lamps for lighting and on wood from the forests for other uses.

For a long time, Haiti has suffered problems in its energy supply, so much so that more than 70% of its population does not have daily access to a reliable electricity source.

The country covers all of its energy demand with supplies from Petrocaribe, a regional project that benefits 18 Caribbean region countries to which Venezuela supplies oil and oil products under favorable payment conditions.

It is also part of Petrocaribe Energy Security Treaty (TSE), signed in 2007, by which signatory nations made a commitment to develop, as far as possible, projects for renewable energies promotion.

Since 2010, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has provided funds to Haitian government to develop a new energy infrastructure that takes advantage of country’s wind, solar and hydroelectric potential.

Among the projects financed are Peligre hydroelectric plant rehabilitation, country’s largest renewable energy source.

The institution also funds projects to develop solar energy use as energy source in health and education sectors.

Devastating consequences caused by frequent earthquakes in much of the Caribbean country leave population exposed to social instability dangers still present.

Resultado de imagen de potabilizadoras solares móviles

One specific action is mobile water treatment plants use, which allow different types of water purification and obtain productions from 500 to 7,500 liters / day, according to the water source; only with the energy of its 3 photovoltaic panels.

Charcoal (70% of national energy consumption) is the main energy source in kitchens of majority Haiti inhabitants, lacking in electrical energy. The result is that today forest area only covers 2% of territory.

Deforestation is a direct cause of soil erosion, which increases Haiti’s vulnerability to extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts and floods that may be more intense each year as a climate change result.

But little by little, renewable energy makes its way.

Toussaint Louverture Avenue, one of main arteries of Port-au-Prince, lights up every night with its solar lamps; as well as other public spaces of this capital and some municipalities of the country.

Resultado de imagen de energía solar haití

The Nouvelle Grand Anse Fundation has signed an agreement with the NGO Cubasolar to create in Dekade town a renewable energy reference center for surrounding region and the whole country.

Haiti president-elect made a tour of energy plants in Dominican Republic in early 2017.

He visited plants of Punta Catalina project (2 coal plants), Monte Plata Solar project and AES Dominicana consortium’s electricity generation plant; which supplies 40% of the energy consumed by the country.

It’s a good gesture.

Dominican Republic and Haiti must normalize their relations, as Dominicans and Haitians must work together and collaborate to improve their energy generation matrix.

All you need is Sun. All you need is Sopelia.

The Solar Module

Cells are silicon in the most used modules, element which is the main component of the silica, the material of the sand.

The regional production capacity distribution differs significantly depending on product type and its value chain position.

Solar grade silicon production capacity is headed by the US; followed by Europe, China, Japan and the rest of Asia.

Silicon cells and modules production capacity is dominated by Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers; followed by Europeans, Japanese and the US.

Thin-film manufacturers must still optimize production to reach optimal cost structure to be competitive.

A difficult task with much lower prices for polysilicon, resulting in a significant decrease in silicon modules prices.

Resultado de imagen de fabricación panle solar

In order to avoid scarcity or oversupply cases, it is of utmost importance to guarantee supply, demand stability, based on a sustainable market so that the industry can foresee the growth of the same and plan its capacities.

Photovoltaic systems demand depends to a large extent on general economic climate and, most importantly, on governments policies to support their development.

Tariffs, along with administrative procedures and grid connection simplification, as well as priority grid access are policies aimed to guaranteeing sustainable demand.

A silicon cell provides a voltage of about 0.5 V and a maximum power of between 1 and 2 W.

In module manufacturing process, a certain number of cells must be in series connected to produce voltages of 6, 12 or 24 V indicated for most applications.

To produce a 12 V module, you need between 30 and 40 cells.

Cells connecting process is done by a special welding that joins the back of a cell with the front face of the adjacent one.

After electrical interconnections are completed, cells are encapsulated in a sandwich structure (tempered glass laminate – EVA – EVA – polymer cells).

The structure varies by manufacturer.

Subsequently a vacuum sealing is carried out, introducing it in a special furnace for its lamination, making tight the assembly.

If they have a metallic support frame, module perimeter is first surrounded with neoprene or some other material that protects it.

Resultado de imagen de silicio solar

Once positive and negative connections are mounted, following controls are performed to ensure a 20-year service life with acceptable performance levels:

– Thermal cycles (-40 ° to 90 ° C)
– Humidity cycles.
– Freezing cycles.
– Wind resistance.
– Mechanical strength.
– High electric shock resistance.
– Saline atmosphere test (for marine environments).

Manufacture, performance, electrical and mechanical characteristics of photovoltaic module are determined in product technical specifications provided by the manufacturer.

As in solar cell, following parameters are important:

– Module maximum power or peak power PmaxG.
– IPmax: Intensity when power is maximum or current at maximum power point.
– VPmax: voltage when power is also maximum or voltage at maximum power point.

Other parameters are:

– IscG short-circuit current.
– Open circuit voltage VocG.

These parameters are obtained under standard conditions of universal use according to EN61215. Established as follows and the manufacturer must specify:

* Irradiance: 1000 W / m2 (1 Kw / m2)
* Incident radiation spectral distribution: AM 1.5 (air mass)
* Normal incidence
* Cell temperature: 25ºC

Modules working conditions may be very different once installed, so it is advisable to know variations that can occur, in order to make calculations relevant corrections.

In practice, module power decreases by approximately 0.5% for each cell temperature increase degree cell above 25 ° C.

To avoid having to calculate radiation average intensities, we can assume that cell average working temperature is 20º higher than ambient temperature.

For this concept, yield drops to 90%. In not based on crystalline silicon technologies, yield lower is smaller.

This is an extract of contents included in Technical-Commercial Photovoltaic Solar Energy Manual and Sopelia e-learning training .

All you need is Sun. All you need is Sopelia.