How Can Solar Energy Speed Puerto Rico’s Recovery?

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Puerto Rico Recovery

A lot of times you’re not using all that energy at night, so the excess energy can then feed back into the grid. A smart grid is a self-thinking network of micro grids. Adam Gentner works for Sonnen, a world leader in solar battery storage. After Maria, the German company provided free solar batteries and panels at 15 key sites in Puerto Rico. This entire tech then combines with a marketplace app. As you can see it’s not a small system for a home, but it’s much more resilient to environmental factors. But a microgrid can do more than support a phone line, according to Sunrun’s Andy Newbold. But building this type of virtual community requires complex software.

But cloudy weather and the darkness of night keeps solar panels from constantly generating power. But solar is not an easy fix. By packing less energy per square inch, lithium iron phosphate batteries last longer and are less likely to overheat in Puerto Rico’s hot humid climate. CAPT. Gentner expects this $40,000, six-kilowatt-hour battery system at this Laundromat to last 26 years But Puerto Rico’s solar emergence will need more than just batteries. Here are four things that Puerto Rico would need to make solar work. In Germany, one community of 10,000 residential microgrids produces as much energy as all the coal plants in Texas and West Virginia.

  • Ingredient 1: Solar batteries.
  • Ingredient 2: Microgrids – Maria crushed 911 emergency communications on the island, so the Las Vegas Fire Department partnered with the nonprofit Empowered by Light and the solar energy company Sunrun to turn these fire stations into solar stations.
  • Ingredient 3: A digital OASIS.
  • Ingredient 4: Government buy-in.

It can autonomously communicate where energy is being produced and where to send it. It can discharge and charge up to 10,000 times and its major plant’s beam power from the south to the heavily populated north and west. Let’s think about smart and resilient energy going forward. Manuel Rodriguez Martinez and a team of computer scientists, electrical engineers, and social scientists have spent three years designing a smart grid just for Puerto Rico. Many are wondering if this commonwealth would be better off being powered by solar.

Next, they designed a smart card that connects to home power meters, so microgrids can chat with each other. OASIS is a project that we’re running from the University [of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez] with the goal of designing a new type of smart grid that is decentralized. Puerto Rico’s governor announced he wants to privatize and break up the energy utility with a goal of more than 30 percent renewable energy But because of the 30-year-old Stafford Act, a law that doles out federal assistance for natural disasters, Puerto Rico’s energy system must be rebuilt exactly how it was so batteries have made an enormous leap forward in recent years as with the addition of lithium-ion batteries.

So it’s enough for them to power the radios, the critical parts of this station, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So it’s unclear at the moment how solar will integrate into the grid. Let’s not build poles and wires just to have them knocked down again in the next hurricane. So rather than just building something and then hoping that people will buy it, the project is trying to understand from a design point of view what people want. Solar panels can withstand hurricanes even Maria’s 155 miles per hour winds failed to knock out solar power at the Veterans Medical Center in San Juan. Something like eBay, where you can see all the offers available for energy and the time when it is available, and then you can decide who to buy it but none of this would work without.

The energy collected during clear days must be stored. The storm flooded these power stations, ripped out 65 percent of aboveground cables and crippled the power supply. They engineered machine-learning algorithms that monitor weather reports to predict how solar panels will perform and ones that identify power surges before they happen. This excess energy can be siphoned into a virtual power plant a power plant organized in the digital cloud We’re working on aggregating all these systems together, so its hundreds of homes with solar and batteries and that way when PREPA or any utility across the country needs it, they can call on us When grouped together, these microgrids can power a whole community or whole cities.

This firehouse in Naguabo is now a microgrid, a self-contained island of power production. This includes schools, food shelters and this public Laundromat in Old San Juan They picked this site because after Maria, wastewater wasn’t being treated and washing clothes became lethal. This is 6,600watts on the roof, they support an 800 amp-hour, 25-kilowatt-hour battery system. We used lithium iron phosphate, which is. When Hurricane Maria hit, Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority had been relying on imported fossil fuels for 98 percent of its energy. With this microgrid, the city’s 30,000 residents can access emergency services even during blackouts and how can I incorporate that feedback into the system? same poles, fossil fuel generators, and wiring as before.

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