Lightyear One Solar Car – Long Range Prototype

The Dutch solar automobile manufacturer Lightyear have a new prototype which is of a long rage solar car. The car, known as Lightyear One, can supposedly go up to 800km without a charge and it also has solar power

Lightyear One Solar Car – Long Range Prototype

Lightyear One Solar Car - Long Range Prototype
Lightyear One Solar Car – Long Range Prototype (source: lightyear.one)

The car’s been touted by Lightyear as ‘the electric car that charges itself’ as it was announced at Lightyear HQ in Katwijk, NL. It claims 12km/hour of solar charging, which means that you could drive to work 30km, park for 8 hours, and drive it back home without ever plugging it in. “Level 2” charging is 22kW and level 3 boosts 60kW for faster charging.

The Lightyear One website explains the way solar has been integrated into this car: “Unlike conventional solar panels, our cells function independently. This means that even if part of the roof or hood is in shadow, the other cells continue to efficiently collect solar energy. In fact, our solar cells provide about 20% more energy than traditional ones.”

“Two years of dreaming, thinking and working hard have led to this milestone, which is a giant leap towards achieving our mission of making clean mobility available to everyone,” Lightyear CEO Lex Hoefsloot said.

Discussing some of the issues with the current stock of electric cars and charging them via renewable energy, Hoefsloot had more to say about the Lightyear One and how it could possibly work in a home ecosystem:

“We are solving these issues with what we call ultra-efficiency. On one hand, that will lead to an exceptional range of 725 km (WLTP) on a relatively small battery. On the other hand, it can charge directly from the sun because its energy consumption is much lower, generating up to 20,000 km worth of energy per year. Moreover, all of the charging options out there become easier to use because you get a lot more range for the same amount of energy charged. So, effectively, you charge a lot faster from any power outlet. You can charge up to 400 km per night from ordinary 230V sockets. That’s great for road trips because you don’t need a charging infrastructure.” Hoefsloot continued, as reported by Electrek.

Lightyear One Energy Range
Lightyear One Energy Range

Perhaps they’d like to park the car at the award winning USQ solar carpark?

In any case, here’s a video of the car, which is expected to cost around $170,000 USD (~$242,000 AUD). Lightyear are currently taking orders for it so click here and visit the official website if you’re interested in learning more about this amazing car! It releases in 2021 and 

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XXXX Beer and Commercial Solar

A rooftop solar system has been installed at the Castlemaine Perkins brewery in Milton, Brisbane. The XXXX brewery is a local institution and to think that it’ll now be brewed by using renewable power will make it taste even more sweet! Or bitter. I’m not sure of the correct parlance. Anyway. Solar powered milton mangoes. Let’s learn more!

XXXX Beer and Commercial Solar

XXXX Beer and Commercial Solar
XXXX Beer and Commercial Solar (source: lionco.com)

The iconic XXXX brewery has become the latest private company to install commercial solar. Given the price considerations are dropping as the electricity prices remain volatile, more and more companies are taking the leap and investing in commercial solar systems.

A posting on the official Lion website notes that the $2m project has been completed and the 690-kilowatt system will generate approximately 1,368,000 kilowatt hours every year.

“This will reduce the site’s annual carbon emissions by about 1260 tonnes, which is about seven per cent of CO2 emissions from electricity used at XXXX,” Lion’s Group Supply Chain Director Ian Roberts (sadly not the footy player) said.

“We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint and being a good neighbour to the many residents and businesses that call Milton home.

“And we will keep the big yellow wheel in place on Milton Road just as a reminder of how far we’ve come. It is change like this that has allowed us to preserve the brewery’s rich history and keep making Queensland’s favourite beer. This is something everyone at XXXX is very proud of.  In addition to the solar power system, we have also installed a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis plant which reuses waste water – enabling XXXX Gold to be produced at a ratio of 2.8 litres of water for every litre of beer produced, which is approaching world-leading levels of efficiency for brewing,” Mr Roberts continued.

I don’t actually know what the big yellow wheel is, but I’ve reached out to Lion. Sounds mildly interesting. Watch this space! 

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Empowering Homes – Interest free solar battery loans in NSW

Empowering Homes – Interest free solar battery loans in NSW could be set to commence towards the end of 2019 – let’s take a look at the system and how to apply for it.

Empowering Homes – Interest free solar battery loans in NSW

Empowering Homes – Interest free solar battery loans in NSW

The Empowering Homes program is going to support the installation of up to 300,000 solar-battery systems across New South Wales in the next 10 years, providing interest free solar battery loans to eligible residents. The loans will offer up to $9,000 for a battery system, or $14,000 for a solar battery system. As long as your household has a combined income of less than $180,000, you’ll be eligible for the scheme (subject to normal loan assessment criteria).

Empowering Homes interest free solar in NSW
Empowering Homes – Interest free solar in NSW. (source: energy.nsw.gov.au)

The scheme, which is using $50m redirected from a cancelled virtual power plant program, is still missing a lot of information. According to the official website it aims to ‘unlock up to $3.2 billion in clean energy investment, adding up to 3,000 megawatt hours of storage into the NSW energy system when complete’. 

“I want to deliver a program that provides robust consumer protections in terms of safety, system performance and value for money,” NSW Minister for Energy, Matt Kean, said in comments reproduced on the NSW Government’s website.

According to Solar Quotes and statistics provided by the Australian PV Institute, New South Wales’ solar penetration (at ~19%) is quite far behind Queensland (34.1%), South Australia (33.5%), and Western Australia (27.6%). 

According to figures from the Government website, “a household with a $500 quarterly electricity bill could save up to $285 a year on their bills while repaying the no-interest loan. Savings could increase to over $2000 a year once the loan is repaid.”

For further information about battery systems please visit Energy Saver NSW.

If you’re like to register your interest in the Empowering Homes program and also receive updates as they become available, please click here and fill in the form at the bottom of the website. According to the official site the first battery/solar-battery systems will be available for install in summer 19/20. 

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Cultana solar farm EPC services signed.

The Cultana solar farm is one step closer to completion today – as Sanjay Gupta’s Simec Energy Australia securing an EPC partnership agreement with Shanghai Electric. Let’s take a look!

Cultana solar farm EPC services signed.

The 280W solar farm is located near the Wynalla Steelworks (also owned by Mr Gupta’s GFG Alliance under the name Liberty OneSteel), and will be built through Simec Energy, Gupta’s renewable arm which has a lofty goal of $1b spend in clean energy projects. The Cultana solar farm is set to cost $350m and represents the first stage of Simec Energy’s $1b plan.

“Cultana Solar Farm is an ambitious project that will deliver globally-competitive renewable energy on a large scale to power-heavy industry. It is a great step forward in our vision to revitalise industry and we look forward to working with our partners to bring our renewables projects to life,” Gupta was quoted as saying upon hearing the news.

“Our planned Next-Gen project will ignite a new industrial revolution in Australia. These projects are shining examples of GFG’s commitment to create a sustainable future for industry and build stronger local communities,” Mr. Gupta continued.

Last month we wrote about how the solar farm has been granted approval from the South Australian government despite an interesting objection Adania Renewables lodged against the application.

The basis of this program is up to 1GW of solar to be constructed in and around Whyalla, so more great news for South Australian  solar. Reid told the solar conference that the first step is an 80MW solar farm “behind the meter” near the Whyalla Steelworks, and after this they will install 200MW of grid connected solar on property owned by GFG Alliance.

According to RenewEconomy, the solar farm will include over 880,000 solar panels and they will be supplied by Wuxi Suntech.

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What is Passive Solar and How Does It Work?

What is Passive Solar and How Does It Work?

With an increased focus on greener building and energy efficiency, the term “passive solar” is being used more and more. Not to be confused with solar panels, passive solar is the use of the natural environment in a way that will optimise the internal temperature of a home. Rather than relying heavily on mechanical cooling or heating systems, a passive solar design will instead focus on building in a way that encourages the retention of warmth in winter and the reflection of heat in summer.

A home with a well thought out solar design will collect heat from the sun and store it in the “thermal mass” of the building (dense materials like concrete and brick that retain heat). Engaging a builder who has experience in passive solar design will go a long way towards improving the energy efficiency of a new house, as passive solar designs will vary based on what climate the home is situated in. Typical methods for improving passive solar include:

  • South Facing Windows: To make the most of the suns natural warmth, windows in the main living areas should face towards the south and be free of shading during the winter months when the sun is lower. If the roof overhang is correctly sized, then this will block excessive heat during the warmer months (when the sun is higher); alternatively, the installation of an awning or shutters can have a similar effect.
  • Thermal Mass: Building materials with thermal mass will absorb heat during the day and then release it slowly at night when the temperature drops. A well-insulated home with products such as brick, masonry or concrete (all commonly used in construction) will assist with warming the house in winter and cooling it down in summer.
  • Energy Efficient Windows: Some people may express concern that installing windows will be counterproductive to passive solar design, but this is not necessarily the case. Energy efficient windows block ambient outside temperature (whether it is cold or hot), while still allowing radiant heat to pass through. This means that a home with energy efficient windows will still benefit from winter sunlight, but with reduced heat loss in winter and improved retention of warmth in winter.

A home with optimal passive solar design will be comfortably cool in summer, warm and cozy in winter and obtain a good deal of sunlight all year round. Although a greater level of energy efficiency can be achieved when passive solar is a consideration before a home is built, existing houses can still benefit from these concepts. Simple and effective steps such as installing shutters, upgrading window glazing or increasing insulation can all contribute to an improved passive solar design. Although some of these tasks could be completed by homeowners, engaging the services of a professional may save time and money in the long run.

Houses that are constructed with a passive solar design will effectively reduce the need to rely on mechanical heating and cooling systems, thereby lowering power usage, minimising utility bills and benefiting the environment.

Solar windows are seeing a massive boost in popularity as the technology improves. We’re looking forward to see where the tech is going for this and also passive renewable energy. 

 

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