Tag Archives: energias renovables en latinoamerica

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.

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.