Solar Resource Map of Pakistan

The map below shows the solar energy falling on a horizontal surface of area 1 m2 during one year. It can be seen that areas of Balochistan and Southern Sindh are most gifted while Peshawar, Lahore and Islamabad also have quite favorable conditions. Lets assume that we are installing a Solar System in Karachi where the annual irradiation is around 2000 kWhr/m2. This means that there is an average daily irradiation of around 5.5 kWhr/m2. This means that a Solar Panel of area 1 m2 would receive 5.5 kWhr per day or 1 kW for 5.5 hours daily. If the above Solar Panel has an efficiency of 20% we can produce 200 Watts of electrical energy from it for 5.5 hours each day.

Solar Resource Map of Pakistan

Solar Resource Map of Pakistan

Note:
1. The above map is for energy collected by a horizontal surface. A suitably tilted surface or a tracking one can obtain significantly more energy.

2. The received energy not only depends upon the relative position of the Sun and Earth but also on the atmospheric conditions such as cloud cover during different seasons.

Can I Run My Air Conditioner on Solar

Air Conditioner on Solar

Air Conditioner on Solar

I have been asked this question many time by my friends "Can I Run My Air Conditioner on Solar". The short answer to this question is YES YOU CAN. Thompson N' Thompson HVAC, Inc provides heating and cooling Charlottesville, Virginia.

Lets assume that you have a basic air conditioning unit that is categorized as 1-ton. Now the way Air Conditioners work is that they draw a lot of current at the start, as much as three times the normal steady state current. So a 1-ton AC might be drawing only 1200 Watts at steady state, it may require as much as 3600 Watts at start up. Now there are two ways to solving this problem. Either you can put up 3600 Watts of Solar Panels on your roof and operate your system only when peak sunshine is available. Or, the better option is to have enough panels to run the AC at steady state and use some batteries to provide the initial peak current or power. These batteries will also provide back up after solar hours and when the electricity from the main grid is not available. Thermal Imaging for HVAC Efficiency can also help pinpoint airflow variations and duct leaks. By detecting these issues early, technicians can recommend remedies, preventing energy loss and potential damages like ac short cycling to your unit. Consider hiring a professional to complete the necessary repairs, such as North Florida heat pump repair services. You may also consider hiring a team of experts like rochester air conditioning maintenance services.

One company providing solar solutions in Pakistan recommends installing 1800 Watts of solar panels and 600 Ampere Hours of batteries. So assuming that we have 6 hours of peak sunshine available the solar panels would be able to run the AC for about 6 hours directly on solar energy (assuming an average power consumption of 1800 Watts). After the solar hours the battery would be charged by the main grid and can provide backup of around 4 hours (12 V x 600 Ah / 1800 W =4 hours). Also one must not forget that to convert DC voltages to AC voltages you would need an inverter and for controlling the charge and discharge cycles of the batteries a charge controller would be needed. Usually the modern solar inverters have built in charge controllers which somewhat limits the costs for air conditioner and heaters. HVAC repair and maintenance at the right time can save you money in the long run. Additionally, for more insights on financial incentives related to solar, check out this site at https://www.theinspirationedit.com/solar-rebates-a-financial-incentive-that-works-for-you/.

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After going through all this technical jargon the question that needs to be answered is "How Much Would This System Cost". The answer to this is around Rs.450,000 including transportation and installation. You might think that this is too high a cost, but think of it this way, even if you are saving Rs.5000 on your electricity bill per month you would have saved enough to offset the cost in about 8 years. And a solar panel installation would last you much longer than 8 years (typically around 25 years).

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Wind Power - Indigenous Development Opportunities

Pakistan is blessed with solar and wind energy. We have discussed solar in our previous articles, now let us have a look at wind map of Pakistan. It can be seen from the figure below that unlike solar which is available in most parts of the country wind power is available in only limited corridors along the coast and some northern parts of the country. It is well known that a wind speed of at least 12 miles per hour (5.4 meters per second) is required for the wind turbine to work. If we look at the major cities we can say that wind power is available in the cities of Karachi,  Hyderabad, Quetta and Islamabad.

Wind Map of Pakistan

Wind Map of Pakistan

Like solar, wind projects also require a large initial investment. Wind power projects can be divided into two main categories namely on-shore and off-shore. The typical cost for these projects in the developed world, is analyzed by IRENA in a study conducted in 2012. It can be deduced from this study that for on-shore projects the cost is $1.7-$2.45 per Watt. This can be compared to price of solar for Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur which is around $1.31 per Watt.  Off-shore projects require even higher initial investment, with price per Watt ranging from $3.3 to $5.0.

If we look closely at the costs for an on-shore project we see that 64% of the cost goes into the construction of wind turbines. Within this category the major cost is associated with the rotor blades and tower. These two components of the wind turbine account for more than 30% of the total cost. Other major contributor to the total cost is the foundation which accounts for 16% of the total cost. For off-shore projects the rotor blades and tower contribute about 50% to the total cost. And navigating through complex project requirements demands a keen eye for detail and an understanding of how to effectively assess potential challenges. For more insights on mastering these skills, visit https://www.commodious.co.uk/risk-assessment-training.

Wind Power Cost

Wind Power Cost

A description of the main components of the Wind Turbine is given below (reproduced from IRENE document).

Tower: These are most commonly tapered, tubular steel towers. However, concrete towers, concrete bases with steel upper sections and lattice towers are also used. Tower heights tend to be very site-specific and depend on rotor diameter and the wind speed conditions of the site. Ladders, and frequently elevators in today’s larger turbines, inside the towers allow access for service personnel to the nacelle. As tower height increases, the diameter at the base also increases.

Blades: Modern turbines typically use three blades, although other configurations are possible. Turbine blades are typically manufactured from fiberglass reinforced polyester or epoxy resin. However, new materials, such as carbon fiber, are being introduced to provide the high strength-to-weight ratio needed for the ever-larger wind turbine blades being developed. It is also possible to manufacture the blades from laminated wood, although this will restrict the size.

Generator: The generator is housed in the nacelle and converts the mechanical energy from the rotor to electrical energy. Typically, generators operate at 690 volt (V) and provide three-phase alternating current (AC). Doubly-fed induction generators are standard, although permanent magnet and asynchronous generators are also used for direct-drive designs.

Transformer: The transformer is often housed inside the tower of the turbine. The medium-voltage output from the generator is stepped up by the transformer to between 10 kV to 35 kV; depending on the requirements of the local grid.

Bottomline: For Pakistani companies interested in the indigenous development of small wind turbines (0.2kW - 100 kW) a good point to start is to develop rotor blades and towers which contribute to 30% cost of an on-shore wind power project (this increases to 50% for off-shore projects). The material used could be steel or wood which is easily available in the local market. One can also experiment with lighter materials that increase the efficiency of the system. A small wind power project of 3000 Watts can easily support all the appliances of a typical household in Pakistan (except heavy loads such as air conditioners or large freezers/refrigerators). Power and utility systems that connect organizations and homes are essential types of critical infrastructure—a realization that has not gone unnoticed by cyber criminals. This threat is only exacerbated by the modernization of OT networks that control critical infrastructure. Without traditional utility cybersecurity measures in place, these critical infrastructures are left at risk.

Pakistan Telecom ARPU Declining

Deep inside all the hustle and bustle, glittering stats, assertions about one of the fastest growing 3G and 4G markets in the world and millions of new subscriptions every month, the telecom sector of Pakistan — in reality — is in deep trouble.

The telecommunication sector is made up of companies that make communication possible on a global scale, whether it is through the phone or the Internet, through airwaves or cables, through wires or wirelessly. These companies created the infrastructure that allows data in words, voice, audio, or video to be sent anywhere in the world. The largest companies in the sector are telephone (both wired and wireless) operators, satellite companies, cable companies, and Internet service providers.

Telecom companies operate in an extremely competitive industry where it’s a constant bidding war over who offers the best coverage for the best price. Providing a service that is widely used by consumers requires direct, real-time access to customers in order to stay one step ahead of competition. Social media is, without a doubt, the most effective way of making a real and meaningful connection with customers.

Telecom companies all offer very similar services, making it incredibly challenging to stand out in the crowded market. Yet, a strong social media presence and an attentive social customer service team serve as vital tools for crafting a distinctive brand and connecting with customers. However, should you find yourself in a vehicular accident, you can rely on the expertise of this California car accident lawyer for the best assistance. Seeking assistance from a reputable car accident lawyer can greatly impact the outcome of your case. Injured in a car crash? Call the car accident lawyers from Big Auto.

Not long ago, the telecommunications sector consisted of a club of big national and regional operators. Since the early 2000s, the industry has been swept up in rapid deregulation and innovation. In many countries around the world, government monopolies are now privatized and they face a plethora of new competitors. Traditional markets have been turned upside down, as the growth in mobile services outpaces the fixed-line and the Internet starts to replace voice as the staple business.

 

Engro 49.5MW Wind Energy Plant at Gharo

This week we went to visit Tenaga Wind Farm in Gharo being commissioned by Engro Pakistan. According to the company of energy systems the project has a total capacity of producing 49.5 MW of electrical energy from 31 turbines rated at 1.6 MW each (one turbine out of the 31 produces 1.5 MW). The total cost of the project is $120 m and it is expected that this investment would be recovered in 5-6 years. The cost of a unit (kwhr) is going to be Rs.15 as agreed with the Government of Pakistan.

The total energy produced annually would be 134 GWh which can be used to calculate the average power produced by the 31 wind turbines.

Power = Energy/Time = (134,000,000 kwhr)/(365 x 24 hours) = 15296 kW = 15.3 MW

That is the project would produce on average only 30.9 % (15.3 / 49.5) of its rated capacity. Furthermore, the electrical energy needs to be converted to a level suitable to be supplied to the national grid. For this, the electrical energy is converted from 690 Volts AC to 33,000 Volts AC. Lastly, the project would be monitored and maintained by General Electric (GE) for two years as this is part of the turbine purchase contract. Three such projects are at various stages of installation in Gharo and seven such projects are being undertaken in Jhimpir which is the preferred wind corridor in Sind due to the quality/firmness of the soil there.

IMG_20160809_122456IMG_20160809_121150IMG_20160809_121135IMG_20160809_100304IMG_20160809_100255IMG_20160809_133128



Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park - The Reality

There have been conflicting claims about the capacity of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park (QASP) in the media. While the the chief executive officer of the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Power (Pvt) Limited claims that the project is producing 12% more energy than expected, opposition parties are claiming that it is producing only 18 MW as compared to the advertised capacity of 100 MW. So what is the truth?

Energy vs Power

Actually both the parties are correct in some sense. While the project does have the capacity to produce 100 MW peak power, this only happens for a very short duration during the day (around noon time). When averaged over 24 hours the park is only producing about 20 MW. This can be easily calculated by assuming that the peak solar energy is available for 5 hours (typical for this region) and averaging it over 24 hours.

100 MW x (5/24) = 20.83 MW

We can also calculate the average power produced by the park by looking at the numbers provided by Quaid-i-Azam Solar Power (Pvt) Limited on its website. According to the website the park is producing 169 Gigawatt Hour as compared to the original estimates of 153 Gigawatt Hour per year (a 12% increase). But this is energy, how do we calculate power?

The answer is simple, divide the energy produced in a year by the number of hours in a year (365 x 24 = 8760 hours).

Average power produced = 169 GWH / 8760 hours = 19.29 MW

Cost of Production and Tariff

The good news is that there is very minimal cost of production of solar energy (there was an installation cost of Rs.13 billion plus there are about 700 security personnel deployed for the security of 700 Chinese engineers working in the park). The tariff can be easily calculated by the revenue earned and the energy produced. According to QASP sources, the revenue reached a peak of Rs. 320 million in September. Let's calculate the cost per unit from the total revenue earned in September and the energy produced in the month of September.

Cost per unit = Rs.320,000,000/(19,290kW * 24 hours * 30 days)= Rs. 23.04/unit.

So the QASP claim that it is costing a consumer Rs.12/unit is not true. The actual cost to a consumer is Rs.23.04/unit. Again the data has been taken from the QASP website. Sign up for สมัคร UFABET now and unlock a world of excitement, entertainment, and lucrative opportunities.

Environmental Impact

There is no doubt that there is going to be a negative impact on the environment. About 500 acres of desert have been taken over by QASP and this will definitely impact the biodiversity of the region. The total area dedicated to this project by Chief Minister of Punjab Mr. Shahbaz Sharif is 6500 acres (near Lal Sohanra National Park). Lastly there are vasts swaths of land in Balochistan which receive about 10-20% more Solar Irradiance than any location in Punjab and there are a number of new and existing Hydel projects that are crying for attention (case in point being Tarbela expansion which can yield additional 1400 MW of power).

Information taken from:

http://www.qasolar.com/

http://www.dawn.com/news/1217587/solar-park-producing-12pc-more-power-than-target

World Fossil Fuel Reserves

While alternate energies such as solar and wind are becoming increasingly important by the day, fossil fuels still have an important place in the energy mix and will continue to do so in foreseeable future. In this post, we compare the reserves of three most important fossil fuels and their total value as per market rates at the moment amongst the top ten producers of the world.

Rank Country Oil (billion barrels) Gas (trillion cubic feet) Coal (billion tons) Value (trillion dollars)
1 Russia 87 1163 157 40.7
2 Iran 157 1187.3 35.3
3 Venezuela 297.6 196.4 479 34.9
4 Saudi Arabia 265.9 290.8 33
5 USA 35 300 237 28.5
6 Canada 173.9 70 6.58 20.2
7 Iraq 150 126.7 18
8 Qatar 23.9 885.1 16.4
9 UAE 97.8 215.1 13.8
10 China 17.3 109.3 115 13.2
Iran Pakistan Gas Pipeline

Iran Pakistan Gas Pipeline

From a regional perspective it is important to note that two of Pakistan's neighbors namely Iran and China have substantial reserves of oil, gas and coal. Iran is in fact number one as far as proven reserves of natural gas are concerned and fourth in the world in oil reserves. However, large production of fossil fuels has been hampered by the sanctions imposed on Iran by USA and EU.

It is expected that once these sanctions are removed Iran will have a greater role to play in the international market of fossil fuels. It must also be noted that work is under progress on the Pak-Iran gas pipeline, which will bring natural gas from Iran to the cities of Pakistan. Iran has completed most of the work on its side of the border but work is slow on the Pakistani side.

Source: Business Insider

Solar Panels from Used solar battery

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have demonstrated a procedure to convert used lead acid batteries from automobiles into solar panels with the help of a solar power company. A single battery can be used to produce solar panels for as many as 30 homes. It must be noted that with the advancement in solar battery technology it is expected that 200 million lead acid batteries will be retired soon from USA alone. This development shows us a way forward to reusing a huge resource of lead that would otherwise go to dumping sites.

A material that is making this possible is organo lead halide perovskite. A layer of perovskite only 1/2 a micrometer thick is enough to produce a solar panel and does not require a very high manufacturing process like for other silicon based solar panels. One might think that this is another experimental material that achieves an efficiency in single digits. But this is hardly the case. In just a few years of research perovskite based solar cells have achieved efficiency of more than 19%. It is expected by the end of 2014 the efficiency would cross the psychological barrier of 20%.

1 Battery Provides Solar Panels for 30 Homes

1 Battery Provides Solar Panels for 30 Homes

Perovskite (source: Wikipedia)  is a calcium titanium oxide mineral species composed of calcium titanate, with the chemical formula CaTiO3. The mineral was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia by Gustav Rose in 1839 and is named after Russian mineralogist Lev Perovski (1792–1856).

It lends its name to the class of compounds which have the same type of crystal structure as CaTiO3 known as the perovskite structure. The perovskite crystal structure was first described by Victor Goldschmidt in 1926, in his work on tolerance factors. The crystal structure was later published in 1945 from X-ray diffraction data on barium titanate by Helen Dick Megaw.

Efficiency of a solar panel is the ratio of the electrical energy produced to the incident solar radiation e.g. a 20% efficient solar panel of 1 m2 area would produce 200 W when the incident solar radiation reaches a level of 1000 W/m.

First Solar Likely to Invest in Pakistan

First Solar, America's Solar giant is poised to invest in Pakistan's Alternate Energy sector after starting a 45 MW Solar project in Indian state of Telangana. First Solar has a worldwide installed capacity of 8 GW and was ranked no. 1 in Forbes list of 25 fastest growing technology companies in USA. The 45 MW project to be launched in Telangana will be operational by May of 2015 and would sell electricity at a rate of $0.106/kWh. India currently has an installed Solar capacity of 2900 MW which will be ramped up to 9000 MW by 2017.

According to some estimates Pakistan is facing an energy shortfall of around 4600 MW and government is quite keen to start new projects, be it Solar, Hydel or Thermal. Pakistan has set a target of 5% of energy to be generated from Alternate Energies by 2030. This is quite a conservative target and might actually be achieved before 2030, especially with the new initiatives such as the 1000 MW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park to be operational by end 0f 2016. It is hoped that with a stable government and sustained policies in the coming years the Solar Energy sector would prosper and Pakistan would achieve its targets much before 2030.

Solar Park

Solar Park

First Solar Sets New CdTe Solar Cell Efficiency Record

First Solar Inc. an American manufacturer of thin film Photovoltaic (PV) modules announced that it has achieved a record efficiency of 21% for its CdTe Solar Cells. The previous best achieved by the company was 20.4% in Feb of 2014. The record has been accepted by US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and included in "Best Research Cell Efficiency" reference chart. First solar aims to achieve an efficiency of 22% by 2015.

Thin Film Solar Panels

Thin Film Solar Panels

Note: Efficiency of a Solar Cell is the ratio of the Electrical Energy produced to the incident Solar Energy e.g. if the incident Solar Radiation is 1000 W/m2 the Electrical Energy produced by a 21% efficient Solar Panel of 1 m2 area is 210 W (neglecting the various losses that might be encountered).