Category: Talking Point

Functions and capabilities of PV inverters to be part of a Smart Grid

PES presents an illuminating despatch from Fronius International GmbH that explores the challenges presented by Smart Grids and how these challenges can be met with integrated inverters. As the number of decentralised energy generators grows, also the need for an intelligent power grid rises. In the Smart Grid of the future, the parties of the… Read more »

Germany: a market in upheaval

seebaWIND’s CEO, Holger Hämel, is an expert commentator on the cost-effective operation of wind power plants in Germany. In this latest dispatch, he offers PES readers an invaluable perspective on the market’s various trends and challenges. As the REL 2.0 goes into effect, the remuneration rates for wind power plants will be significantly reduced starting… Read more »

Memorable gestures and major projects

As one of the oldest and largest logistics companies in the Netherlands, Royal Wagenborg has always been a pioneer. Over a century has passed since it was founded, and yet the company continues to be at the forefront of the industry. Max Tack gives us a ‘guided tour’ of the visionary organisation and its notable… Read more »

Taking innovation to the next level

Seatower, a Norway-based designer of foundations for offshore wind turbines, is set to become the first to demonstrate gravity-based foundations. We find out more about what could be a game-changing development… The world’s first self-floating gravity based hybrid foundation will be installed in the English Channel in the fourth quarter of 2014. The Seatower Cranefree… Read more »

Training and certification: understanding the process

Going through the certification process for a wind turbine, support structure or 
substation related to the wind farm ensures that your asset adheres to required 
industry standards and best practice, and hereby reduces the total risk during the 
lifecycle of the project. However, in a market with tight time schedules and scarce 
resources, it is… Read more »

Failure is not an option

by Morgan Troedsson, Product Manager, FORCE TechnologyThe long-term efficiency of wind power relies on periodic revisions, with recurring inspection and maintenance. Morgan Troedsson, Product Manager at FORCE Technology, talks about what they bring to this vital subject on system reliability. Offshore turbinesWind turbines erected offshore were initially not designed for the offshore environment. Tough lessons… Read more »

Investing in cable protection

Jack Simpson of Tekmar talks to PES about how an innovative system for connecting and protecting subsea power cables is contributing to cost reduction across the lifespan of wind farms and beyond. As governments of the world look to cut carbon emissions and reduce society’s dependence on traditional energy sources, one of the main deciding… Read more »

Test met mast delivers promising results

Words: Peter Herbert Meier, TÜV SÜD Industrie ServiceTÜV SÜD has been operating a 140 m research wind mast in Hessenreuther Wald, a forest region near Erbendorf in Northern Bavaria, Germany, since October 2012. The mast records meteorological data for assessing the site’s viability for wind power and for research purposes and the results are intended… Read more »


The Wind Turbine Generator (WTG) is the key focal point of any wind farm. The blades themselves are the key operational element of the WTG, as their performance in capturing the wind enables each manufacturer to optimise the availability and yield of their turbines. DIAB is a leading manufacturer of core materials, which is one… Read more »

Understanding the certification process and the importance of training

Going through the certification process for a wind turbine, support structure or substation related to the wind farm ensures that your asset adheres to required industry standards and best practice, and hereby reduces the total risk during the life cycle of the project. However, in a market with tight time schedules and scarce resources, it… Read more »

Critical analysis for a vital industry

EWC Weather Consult’s high-speed computing graphic cards reduce uncertainty in long-term performance reference and the prediction of wind power production. Today, meteorologists need high-performance computing architectures in order to create high-quality weather forecasts and analyses. These results play a key role in the evaluation, production, provision and trade of wind power. It is now time… Read more »

Staying safe at blade height

There’s perhaps never been a more apposite time to consider Health & Safety at work – especially in our industry, with ever-growing turbines. We caught up with the latest thinking, and opportunities for training. Working high up in a wind turbine nacelle offers a spectacular view no matter if you are onshore or offshore, but… Read more »

Top of the world

Morgan Troedsson, Product Manager for FORCE Technology, writes exclusively on the topic of blade maintenance offshore, and offers an expert industry perspective, coupled with an organisational overview. FORCE Technology is a leading technological consulting and service provider internationally. Our target is to sell highly specialised engineering know-how that delivers useful and efficient testing solutions to… Read more »

When Energy And Water Collide

Traditional energy production methods are, by and large, cooled by water, and place a massive burden on North America’s resources. Wind power, however, needs no such cooling and this is one of the reasons why it is being lined-up to play a stronger role in the energy mix. PES investigates. The heat waves and drought… Read more »

Alberta Uncovered Winds Creeping Acceptance

While the mainstream media will insist that the public are broadly against wind power developments, the reality – according to a recent Canadian study – points to a growing acceptance. And fewer complaints than you might expect. A spokesman for the Pembina Institute explains all… No other province in Canada has a longer history with… Read more »

Playing with fire

Multi-Contact explains why allegedly ‘compatible’ PV cables are so dangerous. This time, the warehouse burnt down completely. The solar system on the roof of the warehouse had caught fire again. It was the third fire on the 450-square-metre photovoltaic system within the time of just a few weeks. Although the fire service had quickly managed… Read more »

Spectroscopy: the ultimate tool in PV materials analysis

In an industry that is currently driven by efficiency and optimum performance, spectroscopy has perhaps never been such a critical factor in the evolution of PV technology. We take a closer look… With their modest cost, compact size 
and great flexibility, miniature fibre optic spectrometers are attractive options for the evaluation of materials and equipment… Read more »

Connecting The Sandwich To The Battery A Model Of Optimised Self Consumption

The topic of self-consumption is one of the most discussed in the photovoltaic industry. And while self-consumption is not limited to the immediate use of electricity generated during the day, it is also applied to extend the availability of electricity during the night-time with the aid of battery storage systems. Indeed, they can help elevate… Read more »

In it for the long run: weathering the challenges of a rapidly growing industry

In an exclusive dispatch for PES, Upsolar’s Enrico Carniato shares why ‘staying lean,’ ‘being green,’ and ‘venturing downstream’ represent the cornerstones of sustainable growth in the PV industry. In the not-so-distant past, solar PV was a nascent market with few technology providers and customers who primarily turned to renewables for the environmental good. Today, PV… Read more »

Reliable solar forecasting for a changing planet

Dr. Alexander Los, Director of EKO INSTRUMENTS Europe B.V. talks us through the complex (yet ever-more understood) world of forecasting – crucial for an effective PV undertaking. Forecasting wind and solar radiation is probably one of the most complex topics in the renewable energy generation process. The variable and intermittent character of renewable energy sources… Read more »

Silicones improve the reliability and durability of optical concentrators

Advances are being made in the field of concentrating optical units – and silicones are leading the charge. Inexpensive optics can cut down on precious solar-cell surface area – this 
is the basic idea behind photovoltaic concentrators. Many manufacturers use concentrating optics composed of Fresnel lenses to achieve this aim. The lens system is increasingly… Read more »

Harvesting the sun for production

Self-consumption of solar energy is on the rise as Feed-in Tariffs decline and electricity prices go up. This is an interesting option, not only for house-owners, but also for companies and communities as the case of the AmeyCespa waste treatment plant shows. Power Purchase Agreements are one way to use the energy of the sun… Read more »

Inspecting roof mounted solar panels with thermal imaging

We’re delighted to welcome FLIR to the magazine for the first time. The global leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of thermal imaging infrared cameras, the company’s products play pivotal roles in a wide range of industrial, commercial and government applications in more than 60 countries. Today, we turn the spotlight on its activities… Read more »

Monitoring and controlling photovoltaic systems for economy and reliability

We’re delighted to be joined by Gantner Instruments’ Annette Christine Kehrer, who writes about her company’s creative systems and how they can be applied to real-world PV scenarios. In large solar power plants, monitoring equipment is becoming constantly more complex and important: system operators want to find faults in modules, strings or groups quickly and… Read more »

Solar and autarky: a European symbiosis

Autarky: the quality of being self-sufficient. We’re proud to present a thought-provoking dispatch on the subject and how it’s rooted in the solar market from one of the industry’s most respected commentators… Since the 60s, people have been putting panels on their roofs with complete disregard for Feed-in Tariffs. These green pioneers were interested in… Read more »

Tech focus: how small bearings can make a huge difference

A sector of the solar market that is expected to grow from two to four gigawatts per year, CSP is currently enjoying an enviable boom. But it’s worth noting that the technology relies on a seemingly innocuous small part to work effectively, as Janaki Weiden, Global Market Manager, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, explains. The facts speak… Read more »

Investing In Europes Future

In this exclusive dispatch, Julian takes a look at the wind industry’s contribution to EU GDP and argues that ‘Green Growth’ is central to recovery – and growth. Europe is in crisis. The economy has entered the slow lane. Jobs are vanishing. Yet Europeans are paying €700 per person per year to countries such as… Read more »

A structured approach to onshore and offshore wind turbine gearbox maintenance

Despite the scale and rapid growth of the wind industry, it has until recently been challenged by the limited service options available for the maintenance and overhaul of turbine gearboxes. We take a look one company’s forward-thinking solution. The UK wind energy market comprises more than 4,000 onshore and offshore wind turbines, with around 1,400… Read more »

Ship to offshore

As the prospect of Cape Wind and other Atlantic coast wind energy projects move closer to becoming reality, leading international shipbuilder Damen Shipyards is developing an entire range of vessels for the offshore wind industry, and with many of these tailor-made vessels proving popular at European offshore wind parks, Damen is looking forward to bringing… Read more »

Plains power

The state of Nebraska has huge potential as a major producer of clean energy. Wind power – a sustainable energy source – can be of great economic benefit to Nebraska communities, according to Jerry Hudgins, professor and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr Hudgins spoke to PES and… Read more »

Meeting Winds Challenges

The use of wind power in the United States is the fastest growing energy trend on record. According to a second quarter 2012 report published by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the country added 1,200 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity during the April to June 2012 timeframe, bringing the nation’s total cumulative wind capacity… Read more »

One size no longer fits all

It is to be expected that not every turbine will be required to work under the same conditions, and in the past, developers have gone with the accepted wisdom that each turbine should be the same across a site, which means an inevitable compromise on the efficiency of energy production – until now. PES speaks… Read more »

On the trail of solar cost leadership

Darren Brown, Alternative Energy Business Manager at DEK, discusses the drive towards greater efficiency in solar cell manufacturing, and asks how best to achieve cost leadership – and ultimately, competitive advantage. Achieving the optimum level of production of anything requires any number of stars to be aligned. These range from the cost of the raw… Read more »

Political shifts and technical advances are redefining the solar energy market

Steve Helliwell, a leading ground-mounted solar PV construction expert, discusses the physical, technical and political challenges facing this particular corner of the market… Contrary to widely-held misconceptions, opportunities in solar energy are increasing. According to finance experts, there are more investors interested in funding large-scale solar PV projects than ever before. In the industry’s early… Read more »