Eltek announced a contract with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide complete photo voltaic solar solutions for 104 hospitals in Zimbabwe.
Eltek will provide full delivery, installation, service and monitoring of the solar systems which use Eltek’s breakthrough Rectiverter technology as a key component. The Rectiverter combines the functions of a rectifier and an inverter. With a modular design, these solar power solutions can easily be adapted to different requirements in the field. Installation of the equipment is expected to be completed during the summer of 2017.
The installation aims to provide safe, reliable and environmentally friendly electricity to hospitals in remote areas that currently have no, or poor, grid access. A key challenge in these hospitals is to keep medicines refrigerated and to provide other essentials necessary for the hospitals to treat their patients.
“This contract represents a new and exciting area for Eltek and our technology,” said Morten Schøyen, Chief Marketing Officer at Eltek. “It makes us proud to work together with UNDP and to contribute to improved health care and reduced operational cost, by providing pure and reliable renewable energy,” Mr. Schøyen added.
UNDP works in nearly 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. The organization helps countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.
The “solar for health programme” is aimed at health facilities across Africa, the Arab States and Central Asia and addresses several of the main “sustainable development goals” identified by the UN.
How atmostpheric dust affects photovoltaic output
A hazy sky and dirty cars are well-known consequences of Saharan dust carried to Europe by air currents. As part of the "PerduS" project, the German Weather Service (DWD), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and meteocontrol are currently examining how dust – as haze in the atmosphere and deposited on solar panels – affects the output of photovoltaic systems. The aim is to provide a more reliable forecast for the output of photovoltaic systems through a better prediction of the spread of dust.
When it comes to Saharan dust outbreaks, the photovoltaic output is reduced not only through a significant increase in atmospheric aerosol content by 10 to 20 percent, but also through dust deposition on the photovoltaic modules on subsequent days. These are the findings of preliminary investigations by the project partners. Often the term "blood rain" is used in combination with the soiling of cars by Saharan dust mixing with rain.
"With Saharan dust outbreaks, atmospheric currents carry dust blown up in the Sahara over very long distances, even as far as Central Europe," Dr. Bernhard Vogel, meteorologist at KIT, explains. "On a long-term average, we're observing this on four days a month in spring and summer in Germany, and in some years on up to nine days a month."
According to the Federal Statistical Office, six percent of total gross electricity was generated by photovoltaic systems in Germany in 2015. The installed capacity of all photovoltaic systems is around 39 gigawatts in the whole of Germany, which means that the systems can produce a peak output of more than 30 gigawatts on cloudless days. This corresponds to the output of more than 20 German nuclear power plants. So far, output forecasts cannot yet realistically take into account the effect of Saharan dust, but the project team thinks that this is necessary to ensure grid stability.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is funding the PerduS research project for four years. The primary objective is to bring together all components in a forecasting process, which are necessary for taking into account Saharan dust outbreaks for the prediction of the photovoltaic output. This involves expanding ICON, the numerical weather forecast model from DWD, with an improved dispersion prediction of desert dust in collaboration with KIT. The ICON-ART modelling system will then be used for future dust outbreaks alongside the commonly used numerical weather prediction. This means that the system will provide information on the sunlight which is reduced by simulated dust distribution. Based on this, the forecast service provider meteocontrol will produce power forecasts, and evaluate the technical and economic benefit of the new forecast system. The expected soiling ofphotovoltaic systems by the deposited Saharan dust will also be estimated, and how soon the dust will be washed off by rain later on.
ICON-ART modelling system and measuring systems used
To expand the ICON modelling system, which has been used at DWD for the daily numerical weather prediction since January 2015, the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research at KIT developed the ART module (Aerosols and Reactive Trace Gases). It enables the dispersion of particles such as mineral dust and sea salt and their interaction with clouds to be simulated. In the past and also in collaboration with DWD, ICON-ART was used in forecasts for simulating the dispersion of ash particles following volcanic eruptions. KIT's main research objectives in PerduS are to further develop the description ofdust emissions in the Saharan source region, and to better describe the interaction between dust particles and atmospheric radiation.
What's more, measurements at the solar power storage park at KIT Campus North are carried out to determine the level of soiling of the solar panels by deposited mineral dust and its effect on photovoltaic output. The scientists also use these measurements to record the effect of precipitation in cleaning thesolar panels again. To achieve this they use precipitation radar, KIT's measuring tower, instruments for measuring droplet size distribution and the amount of precipitation, and DWD's Aerosol lidar system. The descriptions of the relevant processes derived from these measurements will then be integrated into the ICON-ART modelling system.
Salford University physicists to develop highly-efficient perovskite photovoltaics
Working with 12 international partners, the €5m CHEOPS (Cost and Highly Efficient phOtovoltaic Perovskite Solar cells) project aims to upscale initial trials of the technology to industrial and commercial levels.
According to Salford University, perovskite photovoltaics are a novel class of materials, commonly a hybrid organic-inorganic lead or tin halide-based material, with a crystal structure that makes it possible to fabricate extremely efficient solar cells in a simple manner and at potentially low manufacturing costs.
Dr Heather Yates, principal investigator for the Salford CHEOPS project said: “As researchers, we may get excited when we achieve a new efficiency record with a small cell of about 1cm2 but to prove this technology we need modules of at least 15cm2 and we need them to be stable.
“At Salford we will be employing a technique called Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Vapour Deposition to produce large-scale thin films which make up the perovskite cell. We will also consider how to produce films using tools, techniques and procedures that can readily be implemented in an industrial environment.”
In addition to upscaling the technology, researchers will also produce tandem cells – with a perovskite cell on top of a conventional silicon-based cell. Such tandem cells can harvest a broader spectrum of light than a single cell, which should lead to an increase in their efficiency further approaching the 30% range.
In the longer term, existing manufacturing methods used for silicon devices might require only minor modification before being used to produce tandem cells, as the perovskite layer would simply be added on top of the conventional cell to act as an “efficiency booster”.
“It is essential to continually improve the attractiveness of solar as a renewable energy source,” said Dr Yates. “Perovskite photovoltaic technology can be an important step in this direction and the team at Salford University are looking forward to sharing our findings with our academic and industrial partners.
In 2014, photovoltaic produced around 200 gigawatts of power, or 1 -2 % of global electricity demands.
The CHEOPS Project is coordinated by CSEM, Switzerland and co-funded by the European research and innovation program Horizon 2020. It officially began in February 2016 and will end in January 2019.