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A*STAR opens smart energy centre

FOUR COMPANIES, namely, Rolls Royce, Vestas, SP PowerGrid and CEI Contract Manufacturing entered into strategic partnerships with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) today to develop smart grid and distributed energy solutions. This was announced at the groundbreaking ceremony of its smart grid research facility of the Experimental Power Grid Centre (EPGC) by Guest-of-Honour, Mr Ravi Menon, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade & Industry.

The technologies and solutions being jointly developed will form the key components to be integrated into the intelligent grid system. Said Mr. Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman, A*STAR: “Smart grid R&D is critical to transforming Singapore into a smart energy economy and EPGC is an important enabling infrastructure that will bring us a step closer to realising an intelligent national energy grid. With this infrastructure in place, Singapore will be positioned to take R&D in energy to the next level.”

He added: “Innovation and development of energy technologies are vital to the growth of the global smart grid industry, which is expected to be worth US$187 billion by 2015 . As Singapore moves towards its goal of becoming Asia’s Innovation Capital, the EPGC will provide

Historic solar revival

Just 5 weeks from receipt of the order from ETTLIN Immobilien, Parity Solar has successfully commissioned a state-of-the-art 162 kW solar system in the historical Albtal industrial park in Ettlingen, Germany. Building owners, ETTLIN Immobilien, are intent on developing a commercial environment that respects the rural surroundings.

an innovative research platform for public- private partnerships in the emerging area of energy technologies. We are pleased to have garnered strong interest from a mix of MNCs and local enterprises to collaborate with us in this endeavour. This is a strong endorsement of the potential of EPGC. We hope to anchor more companies to further shape the R&D agenda and to translate research into useful applications for economic goals.”

When completed in 2011, the EPGC research facility will be the first experimental smart grid research facility of its kind in South-east Asia. It will be built by a consortium led by Meiden Singapore. Together with the Command and Control Centre in Fusionopolis, the EPGC will be a world class research centre to develop new smart grid technologies suitable for intelligent and decentralised power distribution, interconnection and utilisation.

Module reliability delicately balanced

FUELLED by public incentive programs, the photovoltaic industry’s growth in the U.S. continues to rise but possibly at the expense of design quality. According to TÜV Rheinland PTL, LLC, a member of the world’s largest solar and photovoltaic testing network, photovoltaic reliability is sometimes a delicate balance with module performance.

This balance affects the way products are designed. As a result, some photovoltaic manufacturers are shifting their attention toward product performance features at the expense of design quality. Dr.

Govindasamy Tamizhmani, president of TÜV Rheinland PTL, discussed the topic recently.

According to Dr. Tamizhmani, system engineers predict energy output over decades by reviewing PV modules’ performance characteristics at different temperatures and irradiances, and ensuring they meet the full requirements of the qualification standards.

Dr. Mani is a professor in the Department of Electronic Engineering Technology at Arizona State University (ASU), the former

The generation of electricity using natural sunlight seemed an obvious step. This latest Parity Solar installation alone will save around 150

tonnes of CO2 from entering the earth’s atmosphere each year.

Covering a flat rooftop of 1150 m2, the so-called “Envelope Hall” development comprises 900 modules from CETC 48th Institute in China, mounted on a ballast system to avoid impact to the roof. The electricity generated is converted from DC to AC by four central inverters manufactured by the German company, REFU Elektronik.

Parity Solar has long term supply agreements with a variety of component manufacturers. President, Alexander Gramm, explains. “With access to a wide variety of world class inverters, mounting systems and other components, we are able to optimise every system we design, ensuring maximum output and the best possible financial returns.”


director of ASU-Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory (ASU-PTL) and the current president of TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC. Dr. Mani has been involved in R&D activities related to photovoltaics and fuel cells for over 25 years, and photovoltaic module testing and certification activities for over 10 years. He has been involved in test standards’ activities since 1996. Issue V 2010

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