Power Energy Solutions: The big debate

Power Energy Solutions: The big debate

power and energy solutions


Steve McMahon, VP of Sales and Marketing for Orenda is featured in the Power Energy Solutions (PES) publication called ‘The Big Debate’.
What is ‘The Big Debate’? Well, as PES puts it, ‘The wind industry is constantly evolving and new ideas and innovations are a welcome source of change and regeneration. We asked five pioneers in the field – from  five diverging sectors – to give us their views on where  we’re headed and how they are helping to encourage  the evolution of an industry.’
Here’s are a couple snippets from the latest issue:
PES: Similarly, has there been enough progression in complimentary technologies such as smart meters, storage, grids, etc.?
Steve McMahon: There are several key challenges that wind power needs to address: The vast majority of the world’s land mass does NOT experience winds greater than 5m/s (average annual wind speed at >10m). The current technology that all horizontal axis wind turbines are based on does NOT operate effectively in these low wind regions. Therefore there needs to be a focus in R&D on designing wind turbines that can produce electricity efficiently in these low wind regions of the world.
This is particularly important when one considers that 25% or one quarter of the world’s population are without any electricity at all! This is the ultimate target market for small-medium scale wind energy, where there is real pain. A very small percentage of these regions experience what we would regard as decent wind for wind turbines to operate efficiently.
Linked to the point above concerning low wind technology, there is a growing need for hybrid renewable energy solutions, combining different types of renewable energy generation e.g. wind and solar PV in conjunction with efficient and practical storage technologies. Hybrid solutions are being deployed today. However, they are largely bespoke (custom) one –off solutions designed specifically for each individual application which results in high cost, low quality and hard to maintain solutions.
There needs to be a focus within the renewable industries to encourage partnering between companies who are expert in their own specific space, be it wind, solar, storage, power electronics etc. to develop true plug and play hybrid solutions.
PES: Year upon year, turbines are increasing in size. Would you agree that we perhaps need smarter turbines instead?
Steve McMahon: In short – yes! The transition towards larger and larger was driven by the returns available via the UK FiT program. The problem is that it is becoming tougher and tougher to find sites for the larger turbines due to tip height and grid constraints. This incentive led market is artificial to some extent and certainly time limited. To meet the longer term requirements in a sustainable “real” market for off-grid solutions we will certainly require “smarter” turbine systems including better low wind performance, efficient storage capabilities and off the shelf hybrid solutions incorporating wind, solar, storage etc.
Want to read the whole thing? Check it out on our resources page!

Posted By Sally on November 21, 2014 | 0 Comment

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