Watch how this solar panel will increase the electrical capacity of the International Space Station – pv magazine USA


Also on the rise: Intel will work with EIC to develop long-term energy storage approaches for data centers, and while 2020 has been a downturn for most of us, renewables have worked very well. .

The last SpaceX Dragon supply spacecraft left NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 3, carrying more than 7,300 pounds of science experiments as well as new solar panels for the International Space Station (ISS).

The resupply mission will deliver a new ISS Deploying Solar Array (iROSA), produced by Redwire, to the space station located in the trunk of the Dragon spacecraft. Once the Dragon is docked to the Harmony module on the space station, the Canadarm2 robot will extract two dies, the first of six dies to be delivered to the station. Astronauts will install them during spacewalks scheduled for June 16 and 20. The electrical upgrade costs around $ 100 million.

Using solar cells from Spectrolab, a subsidiary of Boeing, each iROSA assembly will provide more than 28 kW of power at the start of its life. Combined, the six new grids will produce more than 120 kW, increasing the space station’s power generation capacity by 20 to 30 percent.

The SpaceX mission carrying the new solar panels was launched on June 3.

Image: NASA

The iROSA technology is based on a previous deployment panel demonstration performed at the station in 2017. Redwire said the network design uses composite arrows to serve as both primary structural members and a deployment actuator. These are associated with a set of modular photovoltaic cover.

Instead of using motors for deployment, iROSA uses the energy stored in carbon fiber arrows which are cut and coiled against their natural shape for storage. When it is time to deploy them, the stored strain energy of the arrows forces the actuation of the unwind deployment. When fully extended, the now rigid booms provide the structural rigidity and strength of the solar panels.

The new solar panels will be attached at a slight angle to an exterior assembly of the lab’s existing panels to provide additional power, helping to offset age-related degradation. Although the new panels are smaller than the originals, they produce more power.

Long-term energy storage

Energy Internet Corp. stated that she was working with Intel to develop a benchmark design based on long-term energy storage to accelerate the adoption of sustainable and carbon neutral IT in data centers.

EIC said long-lasting energy storage will deliver “more resilient and available” carbon-free renewable energy to data centers, at lower costs than current designs.

As part of its work, EIC will integrate its software-defined machine (SDM) and liquid piston heat engine (LPHE) technology into a benchmark design architecture to offer a variety of energy storage offerings for different segments of the data center market.

The reference architecture will be adapted to different classes of data centers, such as remote / edge, medium scale (up to 50 MW) and hyperscale (greater than 50 MW). The reference architecture will use EIC’s long-term zero-carbon energy storage solution (more than 10 days).

2020 was a good year for renewable energies

All sources for the United States energy consumption amounted to 92.9 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) in 2020, a record decrease of 7% compared to 2019. Consumption has decreased for all fuels compared to 2019 with the exception of renewable energies which increased by 2%. Consumption of petroleum fell by 13%, that of natural gas by 2%, coal by 19% and nuclear electricity by 2%.

The data was provided by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the Department of Energy. He converted the energy sources to British thermal units to compare different types of energy which are usually measured in units which are not directly comparable.

In 2020, the sector consumed 60% of all renewable energy used, a level last reached in 1998.

The EIA said the transportation sector typically accounts for about 70% of U.S. oil consumption, and the industrial sector accounts for most of the rest. In 2020, US consumption of oil for transportation fell 16%, or more than 4 quads, from 2019 levels. Oil consumption fell by less than one quad in each of the industrial, residential and commercial.

The electric power sector has accounted for about half or more of the renewable energy consumption in the United States since the 1960s. In 2020, the sector consumed 60% of all renewable energy used, a level reached for most recently in 1998. The industrial sector’s share of renewable energy consumption in the United States has increased from about 30% to 20% over the past 15 years. During this period, the share of the transport sector increased to more than 10%, mainly due to the increase in fuel ethanol consumption. The residential and commercial sectors in the United States consistently account for less than 10% of the combined consumption of renewable energy in the United States.

In 2020, energy use in the United States decreased in all four end-use sectors after accounting for energy losses from the electrical system. The consumption of the transport sector decreased by 14% from 2019 levels, the industrial sector decreased by 4%, the residential sector by 3% and the commercial sector by 7%. Consumption in the industrial sector exceeded consumption in the transport sector for the first time since 1999 after accounting for energy losses.

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