Growth in the concept of clean and pure energy resources is unstoppable, as reflected in recent reports produced by the International Energy Agency. They represented more than half of all new electricity generation capacity installed. The transition to an energy system based on renewable technologies will have very positive economic consequences. Hydropower is the most widely-used renewable power source, with the global hydroelectric installed capacity exceeding 1,295GW, accounting for more than 18% of the world’s total installed power generation capacity and more than 54% of the global renewable power generation capacity.
More than 486GW of installed capacity makes solar the third biggest renewable power source in the world, with photovoltaic (PV) technology being dominant. The use of concentrating solar power (CSP) technology is also on the rise, with global CSP installed capacity reaching 5.5GW by the end of 2018. China, US, Germany, Japan, Italy, and India possess the biggest solar PV capacity in the world, while Spain has 42% of the global CSP capacity.
The most common method of hydropower generation involves construction of dams on rivers and releasing water from the reservoir to drive turbines. Pumped-storage type plants represent another method of hydroelectricity generation. Wind is the second most widely used renewable energy source, as global installed wind power capacity exceeded 563GW in 2018, accounting for approximately 24% of the world’s total renewable energy generation capacity.
Transition to clear energy is a sustainable investment
While sharing his views with ELE Times on the recent developments in the renewable energy sector, Manoj Kodakkatery, Manager- Business Development, Omron Electronic Components business division, India commented “Renewable energy can surely play a significant role in all energy-intensive industries which includes automotive and other manufacturing domains. The activities which require large amount of electricity to run heavy equipment, enable heating and cooling systems have a huge potential to be replaced by a solar energy source leading to significant saving in cost as well as ecological burden in the long run. Besides, the conceptualization of electric and hybrid vehicles in the automotive sector is a well-known development which will gain more expansion in the coming years.”
He further mentioned about the optimistic approach led by India in promoting as well as diversifying the sector of renewable resources. We know that India has one of the fastest rates of electricity consumption in the world owing to the population and economic development rate. Our energy supply is facing lot of difficulties to keep up the pace with demand; there are energy shortages almost everywhere in the country. The impact of this situation on our overall economic growth cannot be debated. The traditional sources of energy are limited. There are significant environment concerns. Hence for economic as well as environment reasons, India is expected to continue with this adoption of green energy sources to meet future demand for electricity. It will turn out to be one of the most useful investment in the long term. Green energy will also lead to decentralized distribution of energy to a great extent which will help empower the people at the grass root level too.
The country has also risen up to emerge as the third largest market for solar. The country aims for installing 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022. There is a considerable progress over the last few years, however, still there is a long way to go. The segment faces lot of challenges such as lack of steady stream of investments to boost the sector. The sector has not been able to attract a significant FDI and so it’s more dependent on domestic investments. The domestic manufacturing ecosystem is yet to become strong and lessen its dependence on imports for capacity addition. Last but not the least, Solar PV still needs to gain effective cost competitiveness in order to compete well and be at par with other energy generation technologies.
Market offers massive economic opportunities
Omron Electronic Components, one of the leading players in the electronic components segment in the country recently unveiled an advanced portfolio of Relays exclusively for the energy sector. The relays, targeting at the PV and EV industry equipment makers, bring in immense value in minimizing the cost of the solution which in turn plays a great role in increasing its adoption amongst the users. The low contact resistance and optimized design of these relays provide big difference in heat emission and heat dissipation optimization which is one of the most difficult design challenges for an OEM leading to fire hazards, frequent maintenance, reduced warranty and even total system failures. The relays not only reduce the heat dissipation but also helps in downsizing and making the product (like PV and EV batteries) compact delivering a significant reduction to the overall cost. Let us also have a look at the new products in the market.
Omron Electronics G7EB PCB Power Relays
The Omron G7EB relay has 5mΩ low CR contributing to the ever-challenging heat issues of product designing by OEMs. Omron Electronics G7EB PCB Power Relays are high power and high temperature relays with 480VAC and 100A current switching capability. Omron Electronics G7EB Power Relays offer +85°C ambient temperature and 10kV high impulse withstand voltage. Applications include power conditioner inverters, industrial inverters, and uninterruptible power supplies.
Crowd Supply makerPower Solar OMRON G7EB (100A) Relay
Crowd Supply makerPower Solar is an intelligent solar power system ideal for Internet of Things (IoT) projects. The makerPower Solar combines a solar battery charger and a 5V power supply, enabling technical professionals and hobbyists to take their embedded systems and IoT devices off the grid and run them anywhere. The makerPower Solar can operate as a simple stand-alone power supply or as a peripheral capable of fully reporting power conditions.
S111 Wind Turbine Generator
The S111 is built on technology that makes optimum use of available wind resources and available in variants of 50 Hz and 60 Hz, making it compatible for a variety of climatic conditions. It also offers a combination of an asynchronous induction generator with a six pole design and DFIG (doubly fed induction generator) to enable optimum operations in variable wind speeds. The turbine is built for easy and secure operation and maintenance thereby ensuring higher machine availability. The turbines have a safe and efficient nacelle design; and features that facilitate improved ventilation for better air cooling within the nacelle. An onboard crane makes for easy maintenance, thus achieving higher reliability and machine availability for longer periods.
Hybrid battery solution for hydropower by ANDRITZ Hydro
Hydropower is the most proven and best-developed form of renewable electricity generation. Especially low head hydropower plants are facing some challenges like water level, reservoir restrictions, base load etc. HyBaTec is a dedicated hybrid solution for the hydropower industry, combining a Turbine-Generator-Unit with a battery. It can be added to all type of turbines.
TE Connectivity SOLARLOK 2.0 Connectors
TE Connectivity’s (TE) SOLARLOK 2.0 Connectors are a field-installable product that uses Insulation Displacement Contact (IDC) technology to create a connection between panels and cables without the need for any specialist tooling. This ensures an easy, quick and reliable connection. The connectors incorporate a closed-spring-cage to ensure constant termination force. Cables do not have to be stripped prior to making a connection.
TE Connectivity / Potter & Brumfield SSRMP Mini Puck Solid State Relays
TE Connectivity’s Potter & Brumfield SSRMP Mini Puck Series Solid State Relays are silent, fast, solid state relays with long electrical life. The panel mount relays have a load rating range from 10A, 16A, and 25A @ 240/480VAC and offer an unlimited number of switching operations. The input side is standard (4VDC to 32VDC) across all output ranges and high-speed switching prevents interference of external signals.
The energy resources in the future should be clean, reliable and efficient
Since energy richness, economic growth, population and pollution – all are interlinked, more than energy surplus through biomass energy production, government is making efforts to reduce dependency on energy sourced from coal and biomasses. As per the IEA’s Energy Review Report (2020), which says that by 2040, India is planning for an increase of energy from renewables from 18 % to 45% of the TFC (Total Final consumption) and to reduce the energy from conventional sources like coal from 76% to 46 %. This translated into a renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022, 430 GW by 2030 and 800 GW by 240.
Companies in the renewable energy industry should be mindful of a few caveats that could impact renewable energy growth. As the full force of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, the renewable energy sector that was primed for new growth suddenly slowed with shelter-in-place orders, labor constraints, and supply chain disruptions. Although the industry is still grappling with the full impact of the crisis, the outlook is changing rapidly. The latter half of 2020 could be crucial for the short-term renewable energy pipeline, depending on how the pandemic situation unfolds.
By Mannu Mathew | Sub Editor | ELE Times