Tag Archives: energias renovables en latinoamerica

Free Solar Tools (III)

On Internet we can find free tools for basic or low complexity solar systems dimensioning and for certain components or accessories estimation.

Sopelia research team has carried out an exhaustive search and testing from which a new corporate website section called Free Solar Tools has been created.

Selected tools were classified into 4 categories.

Today we will analyze the third of them: Solar Thermal.

In first category we have already analyzed tools to obtain data about solar resource and other variables to be considered in energy estimation solar system will provide in our location.

In the second category we have analyzed tools to calculate the “load”, ie the energy demand to be met.

Now we are going to analyze tools to solar thermal system dimensioning and others to estimate individual components of a system.

The order of the tools is not random. We have prioritized the most intuitive, the most universal and those that can be used online without download.

For this third category our selection is as follows:

1) Solar Thermal Calculator

Approximate calculation tool from which budget, production data and system performance study is automatically obtained.

A Navigation Guide and Manuals can be found at page bottom.

Resultado de imagen de calculadora solar térmica

2) Simulation for Solar Thermal System Pre-design

Online application based on the TSOL software that allows solar energy system simulating to ACS and ACS + heating contribute.

Available in German, English, Spanish and French.

Resultado de imagen de simulación solar térmica

3) Solar Fraction Calculation

Free download program developed by IDAE (Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving) and ASIT (Solar Thermal Industry Association) that allows to define a wide variety of solar systems introducing a minimum of project parameters, associated to each system configuration; and in this way, obtain solar system coverage on ACS and pool conditioning energy demand.

Resultado de imagen de fracción solar térmica

4) Solar Expansion Vessel Calculation

Tool developed to calculate solar expansion vessel volume.

Volume values (total circuit, solar collectors, pipes), Maximum system temperature (ºC), Glycol concentration (%), Height between expansion vessel and system highest point (minimum value 1 Bar) and safety valve Pressure setting must be introduced.

Resultado de imagen de cálculo vaso expansión solar

5) Thickness Insulation Pipes Calculation

Calculator that allows to estimate minimum and more economical water pipes insulation thickness.

Pipe Grade and Size, Insulation Material, Humidity and Temperature (Internal and Ambient) must be entered.

Resultado de imagen de aislamiento tubería solar

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Other Thermal Collectors

We have already talked about flat solar collectors and vacuum tube collectors.

Air collectors are also found in collectors without concentration category.

They are flat and their main characteristic is to have air as heat transfer fluid.

They do not have a maximum limit temperature (convective processes have less influence on the air) and work better in normal circulation conditions, but in contrast they have a low heat capacity and heat transfer process between plate and fluid is not good.

Its main application is heating.

Externally it is not possible to distinguish an air collector from a water collector. It is in the absorber where greatest differences are found. It has a rough shape and lacks the classic pipe of water collector ducts. The air circulates freely on absorber surface collecting the heat that it transforms.

Being a technology that has not been widely disseminated until now, there is no standardized solar collector model and each manufacturer makes its own model.

Resultado de imagen de colector solar de aire

There are also conical or spherical thermal solar collectors.

Their main characteristic is that they simultaneously constitute collection and storage unit.

Its catchment surface is conical or spherical with a same geometry glass cover. With this form it is achieved that illuminated surface throughout the day, in shade absence, is constant.

Their installation is simple, but they present water stratification problems and useful catchment surface is small.

Its main application is sanitary hot water in single-family homes production and in very benign climates, since large storage surface, weather exposed, causes great energy losses.

Resultado de imagen de colector solar cónico o esférico

Finally, in collectors without concentration category, we find outdoor swimming pools solar collectors.

They are made of rubber, polypropylene or polyethylene; and incorporate in their manufacturing process substances that protect them from plastics natural tendency to degrade under ultraviolet rays action.

They also carry other additives to protect them from chemical agents used in pool water purification. They have an acceptable night frosts resistance.

They are used mainly to heat pools water and thus be able to prolong its use for several more months.

These collectors do not have cover, neither with housing nor with insulating material. They are constituted by naked plate collector. This is because working temperature will not exceed 30ºC in any case and at this low temperature, radiation and conduction losses are very small, making it possible to dispense with covers and insulation.

It is not necessary to use any type of heat exchanger or accumulator, because pool water flows directly through collectors.

They need a frame because they are usually not rigid, but they can also be placed directly on a roof, or even on the ground. By being flexible, absorb surface irregularities on which they rest.

These equipment enjoy an approximate 10 years lifespan. They need little maintenance and there is little risk of corrosion, as they are synthetic.

Resultado de imagen de colector solar piscinas

The second major group is that of solar collectors with concentration.

Its most common use is not at domestic level but in thermoelectric plants and facilities that work at medium and high temperature.

These collectors concentrate the solar radiation received in a very small surface receiving element (a point, a line).

Being smallest receiver and concentrated radiation, it allows a better solar energy absorption.

They are capable of providing temperatures above 300 ° C with good yields.

Concentration collector plants generate high temperature steam for industrial processes and to produce electricity.

There are concentration collectors of various types (tower, cylindrical-parabolic, Stirling engine).

Nevertheless, all of them have in common that they demand to be equipped, to be efficient, with a tracking system that allows them to remain constantly located in best position to receive the Sun’s rays throughout the day.

One of the drawbacks of most concentration collectors (and especially the cylindrical-parabolic) is that they only take advantage of Sun direct radiation, that is, they only take advantage of solar rays that actually hit their surface. They are not able, on contrary, to capture diffuse solar radiation.

Therefore, they are not convenient in climatic zones that, although they receive an acceptable solar radiation amount, are relatively cloudy. They are only effective in authentically sunny áreas.

Resultado de imagen de colectores solares con concentración

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.

Honduras Solar PV

Honduras is a country where news about massacres, multiple forms of violence, corruption, instability and political intrigues usually comes out and in which two thirds of its 8 million inhabitants live in poverty while the 10% who receive higher salaries, accounting for 42% of national income and poorest 10% only receives 0.17%.

However, there is a sector in which Honduras stands out at regional level: renewable energies and, especially, solar energy.

Honduran government introduced fiscal incentives for photovoltaic installations in 2013.

A tariff supplement for first 300 PV MW that entered into operation before August 1, 2015 was also approved.

In 2015, Honduras and Chile were the largest PV markets in Latin America.

At the end of 2017, total private capital investment for PV plants construction exceeded US$ 1,600 million.

Investment has been divided into 12 solar plants that are already operational and add up to 405 MW; 39% of country’s private sector renewable capacity, amounting to 1,047.07 MW.

In general calculation, 61% of country’s energy comes from renewables, and in 2017 it became the first country in the world with 10% solar energy in its electric mix.

Resultado de imagen de parque solar nacaome

Most emblematic project is Nacaome-Valle Solar Park, which generates the energy consumed by some 150,000 Honduran families every day.

It has 480,480 modules with capacity to produce up to 125 MW of alternating current (AC) peak power.

It took more than 1,000 material containers, US$ 240 million in investment and the help of more than 1,200 employees who changed shifts without stopping, to build and start operating the plant in less than 2 years.

Photovoltaic modules receive the radiation to generate between 600 and 850 V, in CC form. With use of inverters, this energy is converted into AC, which passes through transformers to raise its Voltage to 34.5 kV and distribute it around the park.

Finally, this current is transmitted to plant electrical substation, where voltage rises to 230 kV to be transmitted throughout the country by Central American Electric Network, which arrives from El Salvador, passes through Honduras and goes to Nicaragua. .

The Nacaome solar plant has been an engine of economic, scientific and academic development for Honduras people and a monumental engineering work that has put Central American nation on sustainable energy industry international map.

Imagen relacionada

Construction of Los Prados solar park, which would have 53 MW and should have started operations at end of 2016, is being halted by local residents protests who fear possible damage to their people caused by the park.

A solution is currently being sought between authorities and settlers, since everything is ready for work execution, but news is not encouraging.

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

Solar Networking

Second year of the occasional meeting between an expert in solar energy and another in digital marketing is completed.

On these dates we usually look back 12 months to make balance:

* Blog that you are reading now is still full working.

It includes a research work on solar sector in Latin American region. Right now we are analyzing Honduras.

Three posts from each of the 20 countries of the region describe their renewable energy matrix, their solar thermal sector of domestic applications and their photovoltaic sector.

Also included are contents about solar technology, latest information and new developments.

* The web-based e-learning platform Moodle 3.1 that allows you to receive solar energy training from your PC, Tablet or Smartphone wherever you are; has finished its fourth edition.

* The 3 ebooks exclusively sold on Amazon (Introduction to Solar Energy) and Casa del Libro (Technical Manual-Commercial of Solar Thermal Energy and Technical-Commercial Manual of Solar Photovoltaic Energy) continue to be a success.

* Solar Layout downloads continue to increase, the most intuitive solar app on the market for collectors and solar modules positioning at the installation site.

* We continue to actively participate in projects management and development (not only in Latin America).

* We continue to commercialize equipment and turnkey solutions for solar thermal, photovoltaic and solar lighting.

* Sopelia has been Media Partner of most important solar energy events at regional level.

All this was possible thanks to changes and transformations that in IT, telecommunications and work sectors have occurred in recent years.

Currently professionals situated in different locations can create, exchange information, interact in a virtual way, develop and manage projects.

Work teams are flexible. They are born, transformed and mutated depending on business opportunities.

The fuel for all this to work has been a powerful solar and linked sectors professionals and companies networking that increases day by day with Social Media impulse.

Resultado de imagen de networking

What we could call “stable cast” is the following:

+ Marcelo Ferrari – CEO

+ Nahuel Rull – Argentina Country Manager

+ Tomás Ruiz – Solar Thermal Energy Expert

+ Francisco Ramírez – Photovoltaic Solar Energy Expert

+ Federico Redin – Facilities Expert

+ Dante Fiorini – Digital Marketing Expert

+ Rafael Chacón Almeda – E-learning Expert

+ Antonio Vites – SEO & SEM Expert

+ Sergio Fernandez Alonso – Programming and Apps Development Expert.

We want to wish you a prosperous 2018 in which we hope to continue collaborating in your solar energy projects and count on you to continue tending the Sopelia Network.

Free Solar Tools (II)

On Internet we can find free tools for basic or low complexity solar systems dimensioning and for certain components or accessories estimation.

Sopelia research team has carried out an exhaustive search and testing from which a new corporate website section called Free Solar Tools has been created.

Selected tools were classified into 4 categories.

Today we will analyze the second one: Consumption Calculation.

In first category we have already analyzed tools to obtain data about solar resource and other variables to consider in estimating energy solar system will provide in our location.

Now we are going to analyze tools to calculate the “load”, that is, the energy demand to be satisfied.

Tools order is not random. We have prioritized the most intuitive, the most universal and those that can be used online without download.

For this second category our selection is as follows:

1) Housing heating calculation

Approximate calculation tool developed by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining of Uruguay.

Consider the variables surface, heating technology, materials, openings, insulation and roof.

Data that interests us to solar thermal system dimensioning is kcal / month.

Imagen relacionada

2) Advanced Energy Efficiency Calculator

Tool to make detailed calculations of house energy consumption.

It includes a general table (all devices), a groups table (device families) and a configurable table (custom).

Last one is a version in which you can modify table data and know more accurately your particular case.

Resultado de imagen de electrocalculadora

3) Hot water, heating and pool conditioning demand calculation

Spreadsheet for hot water, heating and swimming pool conditioning demand estimation.

Only Spain localizations are deployed, but can be used as template and adapt to any location by manually solar resource and other starting data entering.

Inputs: location, number of occupants and occupant’s consumption, temperature of use, collector’s number.

Outputs: collector surface, inclination, accumulation volume, yields and savings, demand and coverage calculation and comparative graphs.

Resultado de imagen de Cálculo demanda ACS, calefacción y climatización piscina

4) Electrical consumption calculation

Only available for PC.

Cannot be viewed from mobile devices (Smartphone / Tablet).

Application developed by the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Peru to estimate electricity consumption based on each device power (W) and hours of use number.

Resultado de imagen de Ministerio de Energía y Minas de Perú

5) Energy consumption calculator

Very easy operation online free basic calculator.

Different electrical devices, their power, and their daily use regime are added.

Resultado de imagen de calculadora del consumo eléctrico

Accessing Free Solar Tools section of Sopelia’s corporate website you will find the links to have these tools and begin to configure your future solar system.

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

Honduras Solar Thermal

Honduras is one of the 148 countries in the world with best solar energy generation potential; however, solar thermal energy barely wakes up from several decades of stagnation and at present, its participation is not relevant in the national energy matrix.

Solar thermal energy has a unique competitive potential in the “Sunbelt” countries, characterized by high levels of solar radiation and, often, high prices in energy tariffs.

In Honduras, Choluteca and Valle are the areas with greatest solar energy generation potential, since a maximum annual average of 8.4 hours per day is registered.

February, March and April are the months of greatest solar energy availability in the country, in February there is up to 9.1 sunshine hours on average per year for country southern area.

Other places with high solar potential are in part of Lempira department and Francisco Morazán southern area.

As it happens in almost all Latin American countries, there is no solar thermal energy development according to its enormous potential.Resultado de imagen de solar térmica honduras

Its performance is twice that of photovoltaic solar energy and is the purest expression of distributed generation.

In Honduras, its implantation in residential sector is scarce and there are only isolated cases in commercial and industrial sectors.

An example is the meat plant where a solar thermal system was installed to heat sanitizing water in production area, trays and tables cleaning, pigs blanching, slaughter tools sterilization, sausages cooking and smoking.

Water volume consumed was classified into two types: sanitation and processes.

The advantage of working with the solar thermal system is basically that a volume of preheated water is given to the boiler system.

Initial thermal variation of 20º to 165º C is reduced to a thermal variation of 90º to 165º C, this 70º C difference in temperature is equivalent to the saving (48% in average) provided by solar thermal system as complementary to industrial boiler system.

Another example is the dairy plant in which a solar thermal system was also installed.

In this case, energy efficiency measures were previously applied to reduce hot water consumed volume.

Main one was industrial water guns withstand temperatures higher than 100 ° C implementation.

A thermal solar system with heat pipe collectors was installed, which contributes to sanitization processes and boiler water consumption.

In year highest radiation times, system can cover 97% of monthly boiler water consumed, and 82% on maximum consumption day.

It can also provide up to 90% of total water consumed for production area sanitization.

It can even provide hot water at 42º C for yoghurt preparation.

Solar thermal energy potential in Honduras and in Latin America in general is currently not being exploited.

An exhaustive project survey and analysis allow us to know, a priori, savings will be obtained, initial investment and the generally low maintenance costs.

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

Free Solar Tools (I)

On Internet we can find free tools for basic or low complexity solar systems dimensioning and for certain components or accessories estimation.

Sopelia research team has carried out an exhaustive search and testing from which a new corporate website section called Free Solar Tools has been created.

Selected tools were classified into 4 categories.

Today we will analyze the first one: Solar Resource and Other Baseline Data.

In this category we will find data about solar resource and other variables to consider in order to estimate the power that solar system will provide in our location.

It is the starting data for necessary solar system dimensioning in order to satisfy our energy demand.

Tools order is not random. We have prioritized the most intuitive, the most universal and those that can be online used without download.

For this first category our selection is the following:

1) Meteorological and solar energy data

Sponsored by NASA Science Applications Program and developed by the World Prediction Energy Resources Project, this site offers information and supporting documentation for solar systems dimensioning.

The “Data Retrieval” section that interests us is “Meteorology and Solar Energy” and within it, “Data Tables for a Particular Location”.

Once there, entering Latitude and Longitude of our location, we access a series of calculation parameters that we can select or obtain entirety.

Resultado de imagen de eosweb

2) Daily and annual solar calculator

Spreadsheet developed by US NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory based on Jean Meeus astronomical equations algorithms.

It allows to calculate solar day, year and location specific data.

Resultado de imagen de national oceanic and atmospheric administration

3) Renewable energies Global Atlas

Geographic Online Information System (GIS) interrelated worldwide distributed centers data.

In addition to information about renewable energy resources you can access information such as population density, topography, land use, infrastructure and protected areas.

The objective of this system is to allow users to identify areas of interest for further exploration.

It is an initiative that involves national institutes, energy agencies, private companies and international organizations.

Resultado de imagen de global atlas de energías renovables

4) Opensolar

Open database (you can extract and insert information) with global average daily solar radiation data for each month of the year measured on the surface.

5) Monthly average radiation calculation

Tool developed by IDEA research group to calculate monthly average radiation on arbitrarily oriented and inclined surfaces.

Resultado de imagen de Grupo IDEA universidad de jaén


Accessing Free Solar Tools section of Sopelia’s corporate website you will find the links to have these tools and begin to configure your future solar system.

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

Solar Energy Honduras

Honduras is an example of energy matrix transforming in a country.

In 2007 renewable energies contribution to national energy demand was 6%.

In 2016 it was 65% and in 2025 it is expected to be 80%.

It is from August 1st, 2015 when renewable sources exceed the fossils, with the implementation of 12 photovoltaic solar plants (388 MW) in the departments of Choluteca and Valle.

Solar-based generation systems, located in 5 of the country’s 18 departments, represent 24% of country’s installed capacity.

In Choluteca department is the majority of them, with 40 solar plants, followed by Valle department with 9 solar plants, and of Yoro department with 7 solar plants.

Resultado de imagen de energía solar honduras

Biomass has become a very profitable business for Honduran cane and sawmills that produce renewable energy from this technology, which involves using organic waste as a raw material to heat water and produce electrical energy with steam by using turbines.

Greatest cane generation is obtained from cane bagasse combustion.

It was once a problem to get rid of it and suddenly it has become a multimillion dollar business for sugarcane.

Most important wind farms are Mesoamerica (105 MW) and San Marcos (50 MW). A wind farm currently under construction will contribute 45 MW more.

Work is already being completed on Platanares geothermal plant (35 MW) in the department of Copán.

The generation-by-technology map reveals that hydroelectric plants generate more renewable energy with 1,921.44 MW, followed by solar plants (1,388.62 MW), wind farms (1,247.8 MW), and thermal plants (954.3 MW).

The amount of energy generated by geothermal and biomass plants is much lower.

In case of geothermal plants it amounts to 60 MW and in case of biomass plants to 97.66 MW.

Resultado de imagen de energía solar honduras

The other side of the coin is reflected in data from Observatory of Natural Property and Human Rights (OBNDH) study published in 2015 indicating that in relation to acts of Human Rights violation, renewable energy generation companies advance entails an intrinsic violation of territories claimed as ancestral rights.

Tolupan, Garífuna, Miskito and Lenca are the most affected groups, according to the OBNDH study.

The study points out that for indigenous and Garífuna groups, for their organizations and human rights organizations, the Honduran State is the main responsible for making human rights situation in original groups territories so fragile.

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

The Solar Software Industry

At end of work that resulted in corporate website Free Tools section, Sopelia’s R&D area went work to analyze Solar Software sector in depth.

Around 70 professional software companies were classified in 4 categories:

1) Solar thermal systems configuration

2) Solar photovoltaic systems configuration

3) Monitoring applications

4) Complementary applications

Resultado de imagen de solar software

Here are the conclusions.

Software for solar thermal systems configuration supply is very small. Its total share is only 9%.

Software for solar photovoltaic systems configuration offer, with a 43% participation, is the most extensive; followed by monitoring applications, whose total participation is 26%.

Finally, complementary applications offer (which includes facilities design, project management and financial evaluation software) participates with 22%.

The largest solar software vendors’ concentration is in California.

This is the result of two factors: it is the USA state with further renewable energies development promotion policies and the most developed place in information technology sector.

In North American market, are offered applications that cover the entire distributed generation PV systems value chain.

Software for: potential customers identification, customer relationship management (CRM), proposal generation and system design, investment financial risk management, operation and energy management.

Providers located outside United States focus almost exclusively on large-scale solar systems.

Something that caught our attention with force is the little or null response capacity of many suppliers.

The only communication ways is a web form or a phone that does not work and after 2 months of survey, we didn´t get answer to our questions in 22% of companies.

This is an aspect to consider when buying software, since technical support is a key factor in this product.

Solar Software sector will open Strategic Partners section of this blog in 2018.

Resultado de imagen de strategic partners

This new section will include suppliers who have incorporated the Latin American market into their business plans and who have assigned resources to provide reliable products and good customer service.

In Solar Software sector, the news is not very encouraging.

Despite being one of the regions with highest potential and currently with the highest levels of renewable energy investment, very few companies have focused on Latin American market.

The vast majority have not updated their solutions to adapt to this market and do not have the operational capacity to provide adequate after-sales service.

Companies that take the initiative will acquire a dominant position in the region.

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

Haití Solar PV

Although slow, Haiti’s economic and social recovery appears to have begun and to give a strong boost to renewable energy sources, particularly photovoltaics, has been a wise decision.

First important signal has come through a humanitarian organization, whose mission is to modernize health in the world, which has opened with the Haitian Ministry of Health, the world’s largest solar powered hospital.

Facilities receive the contribution of 1,800 photovoltaic modules installed in the roof that enable medical attention of more than 60,000 people.

Resultado de imagen de hospital solar haití

Second signal is called Klere Ayiti or Light Up Haití.

It is a joint project between a money transfer company and Arc Finance, in which also collaborates the Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

It´s a service through which people can buy and send photovoltaic kits to their relatives on the island.

Each solar kit includes 2 or 3 LED lights, solar module charger, and various plugs with which cell phones can also be charged.

The lights can be used as flashlights or hanging from the ceiling and kits cost US $ 140 and US $ 180, respectively.

The project organizers chose the kit model from 25 different manufacturers evaluated over a period of 2 years.

It´s a product that gives families the possibility of having light at night, something we take for granted in developed world and that implies a radical progress for these people.

Resultado de imagen de light up haití

Third signal materialized in February 2016 in the mythical Champ de Mars square in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, where the Presidential Palace is located.

The square has since then a lithium-ion energy storage system powered by 110 kW of solar modules to provide light and Wi-fi in this public area.

Resultado de imagen de energía solar haití

Fourth signal is called the “Triumphe” project and is the first photovoltaic plant in Haiti.

The system has an installed capacity of 100 kW configured so that contribution coincides with the daily demand of 200 kWh.

The ‘Triumphe’ project will assess the potential of similar applications to support renewable energy in Haiti.

Project was launched thanks to Haitian Government and World Bank Energy Office financing and is a symbol in renewable energy generation.

But above all it represents Haiti’s continuous efforts to recover from 2010 earthquake that destroyed a large strip of the capital and its environs, which affected around 3 million people.

Renewable energy systems such as Triumphe represent a sustainable means to address persistent poverty and lack of basic public services in the country, including energy access, water and support for socio-economic development tools such as wireless internet access.

Resultado de imagen de solar fotovoltaica haití

Haiti, with a population of 10,123,787 inhabitants and a poverty rate of 77%, is considered one of the poorest countries in the world.

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