Block ip Trap

Cloud Clean Energy

21 Jul 2021

By Daniel Peña

The nonstop growth of renewable energy has created a need for methods and equipment to manage and distribute this power in the most efficient way possible. While little known, cloud technology has successfully met this challenge. 

What is Cloud Clean Energy? 

To fully optimize energy production, modern renewable energy systems rely on data. Data allows producers to know who needs how much energy over the course of days, months, and years, so they can determine how to store and distribute electricity intelligently and efficiently. Accurate historical data as well as real-time data are also necessary in order to make informed and proactive decisions.  

PV solar panels serve the purpose of producing renewable electricity that greatly reduces monthly energy bills. Employing solar trackers results in greater optimization. Single Axis Trackers, for example, increase production 15 to 20 percent. Not only can this boost profits, but it helps developers significantly reduce their environmental impact. Combining tracking with Clean Cloud computing makes is possible to further optimize site, portfolio, and performance.

Benefits of Cloud Clean Energy 

One of the main objectives of complementing renewable energies with Cloud technology is sustainability. Implementing both can result in benefits such as:

  • Completely reduce the use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Achieve a cleaner energy production, but at the same time more efficient 
  • Reduce reliance on energy-intensive practices through offsite data transfer
  • Prevent computers from being idle for extended periods  
  • Achieve more sustainable business practices while saving money due to cloud connectivity and intelligent energy use 

Building a solar panel system is no small investment. The growth of Cloud Clean Energy can help to realize sizable cost savings, which further increases when applied to a portfolio that include numerous PV sites. 

Cloud technology in the Circular Economy

The circular economy concept is garnering a lot of attention as the world becomes more cognizant of the need to produce, distribute, and consume renewable energy. A key principle of the circular economy is to decouple physical assets from the services they provide. What does this mean? It means consolidating monitoring/computing hardware in a single location instead of having the redundant computing hardware at multiple sites. Cloud technology is the key to having a consolidated hardware site while remotely monitoring multiple sites. The consolidated site allows users to optimize the hardware and computing power for the best efficiency and power production. One example is the ability schedule power intensive calculations at night when electricity is the least expensive, while doing lower consumption activities during the peak rate times. 

Other key benefits of Cloud Clean Energy include:

  • Hardware designs selected to maximize energy efficiency and service capacity
  • Consolidated data center hardware to avoid on-site installations, reducing the amount of hardware
  • Increased hardware utilization when used across multiple sites 
  • Upfront consideration of equipment’s end of life means that reuse and recyclability significantly improved - less hardware is also a significant benefit
  • Maximum resource utilization thanks to the visibility and control of the system for continuous capacity planning and increase utilization densities 
  • Predictive and preventive maintenance to guarantee maximum site availability at the lowest cos

The role of automation in solar energy 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are adapting to the needs of solar energy users. For instance, an automated system can monitor energy consumption in a data center and point to appropriate ways to reduce electricity use.

Similarly, the automation of a solar energy system allows access to information remotely through its cloud-based data center, making it easy to manage sites from anywhere in the world.

Through machine learning, the cloud-based system can learn about this same interaction to conserve energy when data isn't in use or doesn't need to be transferred.  

Another use of automation in Cloud Clean Energy is consideration of electricity and weather patterns, where the systems know when to conserve energy during cloudy or windless days. By increasing the net production for the site, maximum production is maintained at all times.

The future is Cloud Clean Energy 

A few companies have already adopted and continue to push development of this technology. In 2017, Google became the first company to match 100 percent its electricity consumption with renewable energy. Yet its goal is much more ambitious, as it seeks to run its business on carbon-free energy everywhere and at all times, which means they're looking to always have their data centers powered by clean energy through the cloud. Encouraging more companies to adopt clean energy management through the cloud opens up a greater opportunity for sustainability and profitability.

 

Daniel Peña is Chief Technology Officer at P4Q Suntrack Services- Subsidiary of P4Q Electronics- providing comprehensive custom support and after-sales services for individual PV Solar projects worldwide.

Suntrack by p4q https://suntrack.p4q.com/   


Author: Daniel Peña
Volume: 2021 July/August