Solar Energy As Renewable Energy
Solar Energy As Renewable Energy – Amid increasing environmental concerns, the energy sector is undergoing major changes and a rapid transition towards sustainable energy sources. According to the Guardian, the world’s renewable electricity supply could increase by 50% in just five years. Not surprisingly, the rise of cheap solar energy is predicted to be the main driver of this growth. As a widespread, clean and inexhaustible alternative to fossil fuels, solar energy will be an important part of our energy networks in the future. With the rapid increase in the size of solar farms, energy companies need a new approach to manage their assets and ensure efficient integration of renewable resources into the national grid. Expanding the use of IoT in the energy sector can be a major force in this journey.
Installing and operating a solar farm is a huge project. Although considered a mature technology, solar photovoltaic (PV) energy still has a high degree of unpredictability. Any change in weather conditions such as solar radiation and ambient temperature can cause changes and fluctuations in energy output. This increases the pressure on the national grid to maintain a stable electricity supply. Therefore, continuous environmental monitoring of solar farms is necessary to ensure accurate forecasting of electricity production levels and related adjustments to the national grid.
Solar Energy As Renewable Energy
Reliance on external conditions is not the only barrier to large-scale solar operation. To maximize the overall efficiency of a solar farm, each panel must operate at its maximum level. Measuring total farm output is not a problem. However, recording what is happening in individual modules has been a challenge, especially with hundreds or even thousands of PV panels in the field. Wired sensors are the most common of existing monitoring systems, but the high cost of equipment and installation limits the deployment of hazards. Therefore, even if inefficiencies are observed at the network level, it is difficult for operators to trace their root causes. Lack of visibility also causes repairs to be done late or too often.
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Today, IoT technologies have achieved success in remote monitoring to help energy companies better manage their solar energy production. The reduction in sensor costs and the emergence of innovative interconnections now allow the easy and inexpensive deployment of granular monitoring networks in large solar farms. In such a network, operators can collect key external and production parameters panel-by-panel and easily access this data from a central user interface. This opens up compelling opportunities to improve the efficiency and reliability of solar energy systems.
By combining various data such as solar radiation, temperature, wind speed, dust levels and energy output of individual panels, grid managers can detect units that are underperforming the performance and possible causes. This helps in improving planning of repairs and maintenance to improve asset performance. For example, reduced power output combined with high levels of airborne particles may indicate panel contamination and suggest regular cleaning schedules. Similarly, low efficiency of individual modules can reveal isolation, configuration and compatibility problems.
With a granular view, technicians can quickly find and resolve the source of the error, rather than wasting time checking every single window. Additionally, automated data collection reduces field trips for maintenance and repair purposes only, freeing up technicians’ time for more important tasks.
Beyond reactive responses, IoT benefits for renewable energy also include better generation forecasting and improved grid stability. With enough historical data available, energy companies can use analytical and predictive models to calculate energy production rates under certain weather conditions. Therefore, they can predict how much solar energy can be produced on a given day and how the inputs of other energy sources should be adjusted to balance supply demand on the national grid.
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IoT-based monitoring systems are also a powerful tool to help protect solar panels from attempted theft and vandalism, especially in rural areas. For example, IoT sensors can detect suspicious movement around a panel or if it has been removed from its supporting structure. An alarm can be automatically triggered for operators to intervene in time.
Although there are so many wireless standards and protocols today, not all of them are designed to support granular IoT monitoring systems. You want a solution that is reliable, scalable, yet cost effective to support a large number of stations in a solar farm. To ensure easy installation and maintenance, the equipment must operate on self-contained batteries for many years. At the same time, the entire network should allow direct integration with your existing IT environment.
Low power wide area networks (LPWAN) have established themselves in the smart metering area, but their greatest potential is in the remote monitoring scenario. And, the solar industry certainly plays a part in this. By providing packet sizes and data rates compatible with telemetry use cases, LPWAN brings distinct advantages in terms of range, power and cost. With powerful and scalable technology, you can stay on top of your solar systems and easily integrate new assets as your business grows. Also, a private, software-driven LPWAN architecture can help keep data privacy and proprietary issues at bay.
The potential of IoT in renewable energy is limitless, especially with the rise of solar energy. With innovative connectivity like LPWAN, the smart grid of the future can be fed critical energy supply data for load balancing and demand response. Additionally, grid managers can gain complete visibility into energy production at the unit level and understand how individual assets are performing. This fully enables a smooth transition to a sustainable energy grid powered by renewable resources. A renewable energy source means energy that is sustainable – something that is inexhaustible or endless, like the sun. When you hear the term “renewable energy,” it usually also refers to renewable energy sources. This means energy sources that are alternative to non-renewable resources – such as coal.
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Electricity produced by nuclear is not renewable, but it is zero carbon (1), meaning that its production emits low or almost no CO2, like other renewable energy sources. Nuclear energy is a sustainable source, meaning it is not dependent on the weather and has played a large part in getting the UK to net zero status.
All our tariffs are powered by zero carbon electricity(1) and if you decide to switch to us you can play your part today in achieving the net zero goal.
Sunlight is one of the most abundant and available sources of energy on our planet. The amount of solar energy that reaches the earth’s surface in one hour is more than the planet’s total energy needs for an entire year. Although it seems like an ideal source of renewable energy, the amount of solar energy available to us varies depending on the time of day and season of the year, as well as geographical location. In the UK, solar energy is an increasingly popular way to increase your energy consumption. Find out if it’s right for you by reading our solar energy guide.
Wind is a great source of clean energy. Wind farms are becoming increasingly popular in the UK as wind energy makes an ever-increasing contribution to the National Grid. To harness electricity from wind energy, turbines are used to drive generators that feed electricity into the National Grid. Although local or “off-grid” generation systems are available, not all are suitable for a home wind turbine. Find out more about wind energy on our wind energy page.
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As a source of renewable energy, hydropower is one of the most commercially developed. By building a dam or dam, a large reservoir can be used to create a controlled flow of water that drives a turbine, which generates electricity. This energy source is often more reliable than solar or wind power (especially if it is tidal rather than river) and also allows electricity to be stored for use when demand increases. Like wind energy, in some cases hydropower can be used more as a commercial energy source (depending on the type and compared to other energy sources) but depending on the type of property, it can be used at home, “off the grid”. . generation Find out more by visiting our hydroelectricity page.
This is another type of hydropower that uses currents of water twice a day to drive turbine generators. Although tidal flow, unlike other sources of hydropower, is not variable, it is highly predictable and therefore can compensate for periods of low water. Learn more by visiting our marine energy page.
By harnessing the natural heat beneath the earth’s surface, geothermal energy can be used to directly heat homes or generate electricity. Although it uses energy directly under our feet, geothermal energy is less important in the UK compared to countries like Iceland, where geothermal energy is cheaper.
It is the conversion of solid fuel produced from plant materials into electricity. Although at its core, biomass involves burning organic materials to generate electricity, and these days it’s a much cleaner and more energy efficient process. By converting agricultural, industrial and household waste into solid, liquid and gaseous energy, biomass produces energy at very low economic and environmental costs.
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Fossil fuels are not a renewable energy source because they are not finite. Additionally, it releases carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, which contributes to climate change and global warming.
Burning wood instead of coal is a bit better, but
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