About the company

Type
Startup or self-employed

Members type
innovator

Headquarters
41001 Seville, Spain

Company size
10

Founders

Founded
2016

SDG's

  • Affordable and clean energy

  • Sustainable cities and communities


Social

Website
http://www.thesouthoracle.com

Alliance member

The South Oracle, S.L.


TSO the south oracle. Innovando para abrir nuevos mercados a la energía solar. Empresa especializada en I+D y comercialización.

Offers

PSU: Photovoltaic Solar Urban power plant

Description
Community solar concepts are starting to make noise especially in certain US and European regions. In those concepts, any end-user can participate in either purchasing clean energy from a solar PV power plant and/or investing in a portion of such power plants. However, usually these power plants consist of conventional flat PV silicon modules, usually in the MW scale far away from the cities. We propose here to bring solar communities right to the front door of the end-users. With the aim of really socializing solar energy, a Photovoltaic Solar Urban (PSU) power plant is presented, made of very small, but widely spread solar generators especially designed to be attached to any urban furniture (for instance, streetlights) and generate right at the consumption points, avoiding transmission, conversion, tax costs of bringing the energy from far away (almost 40% of the total final price). And also using publicly, widely spread available, already existing and amortized supporting structures (urban furniture). To do so, a novel concept of mini solar module of 40 Wp has been developed and is currently being tested. First simulations on its performance show their worldwide profitability.

Distributed generation has always been and is still one of the main advantages of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy over other sources of energy: it can be deployed almost anywhere and close to the consumption points. This notion was clearly present in the “dreamer” days of photovoltaics, and somewhat lost during the last decade, when PV growth has entered the world of big industries and big businesses. However, distributed generation is slowly gaining ground again. Along the shared economy growth in the mobility and hosting sectors, many concepts for sharing electricity generation and consumption from renewable sources are starting to take off. For instance, community solar concepts are starting to make noise especially in certain US and European regions. In those concepts, any end-user can participate in either purchasing clean energy from a solar PV power plant and/or participating in such power plants by buying a small portion of it. However, usually these power plants consist of conventional flat PV silicon modules, usually in the MW scale far away from the cities. It is but in cities where, as of today, 50% of world’s population live, rising up to 70% in 2050. Therefore, it is in cities where consumption is happening. In this paper, we propose to bring solar communities right to the front door of the end-users. With the aim of really socializing solar energy, a novel concept of solar power plant, the Photovoltaic Solar Urban (PSU) power plant, is presented. It is made of very small, but widely spread solar generators, which we have especially designed to be attached to any urban furniture (for instance, streetlights) and generate right at the consumption points, avoiding transmission, conversion, tax costs of bringing the energy from far away (almost 40% of the total final price of electricity in many markets). And also using public, widely spread, available, already existing and amortized supporting structures (urban furniture). Unlike the conventional solar streetlight concepts, which rely on new urban furniture and are mainly designed for self-consumption and autonomous operation, PSU allows for municipalities to either become electricity producers themselves or rent out their otherwise useless and already amortized urban furniture. In any case, they turn them into sources of income. By allowing the people living in their municipalities to a.) either purchase clean energy from the PSU, and/or b.) involve themselves in investing in their own power plants, which they can see right outside their doors. This way, awareness and consciousness of the real power of solar energy is arisen, and solar energy is socialized in its true, original conception.

Categories of application
Affordable and clean energy, Sustainable cities and communities

Sector of application
Clean energy production, Energy distribution & management, Communities infrastructures

Status
Tested implementation


OSR - Optimized Solar Repowering

Description
Our novel software automatically identifies defect modules in solar plants and proposes optimized reconfiguration.

Aerial inspections by drones equipped with infrared (IR) or electroluminescent (EL) cameras are indeed being increasingly used. But there is no available software that automatically analyses the big amount of data gathered during these flights. Instead, the analysis is nowadays made “by hand”, i.e., an operator physically goes to the detected defect modules and analyses the cause of failure. The cost of this method is very high. Therefore, as of today, the only commercial purpose of aerial inspections are warranty claims, where it is certain that the defect modules will be substituted for free, and then the high cost of the inspection can be compensated. As product warranties cover only the first 10 years of operation (the widely publicized 25-year-warranty is performance), for PV power plants over 10 years old the current high cost of defect analysis is not worth the gain they would obtain by continually removing or repairing defect modules. Therefore, instead of inspecting at regular intervals, this analysis is only made if a severe failure appears, where “by hand” analysis compensates the huge losses. But common, less severe losses also exist and are not being addressed: at least 2% of the modules will fail after year 10, affecting their whole series-connected string and causing losses of over 2% for subsidized plants and even over 25% for unsubsidized plants. An affordable method to recover these losses, easily implementable in regular maintenance plans, would be very welcome in the sector. The solution is to automate the process of defect analysis. Our innovation with respect to the conventional “by hand” method consists in a.) automating the analysis of the images taken by the drones, and b.) also automating the proposal of a plant re-configuration that keeps power output at a maximum, with minimum investment. We estimate a cost reduction of over 95% and up to 25% increase in PV plant profitability.

Available in
Worldwide

Categories of application
Affordable and clean energy

Sector of application
Clean energy production, Energy distribution & management

Status
R&D