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The GENERA 2019 Innovation Gallery highlights 11 ground-breaking projects on energy efficiency and renewable energy


A selection of new alternatives and solutions to improve energy efficiency, storage processes and promote energy savings, as well as innovative solutions aimed at improving the installation and performance of solar panels, among other proposals 

Organised by IFEMA, GENERA will be held from 26 February to 1 March at Feria de Madrid. 

The Innovation Gallery at GENERA 2019, Energy and Environment International Trade Fair, organised by IFEMA from 26 February to 1 March, has highlighted 11 projects for their contribution to the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Spain. This initiative is focused on supporting the scientific and technological research work carried out by public and private organisations and on the innovative activity of industry companies. 

The projects were chosen by a jury comprised of experts, professionals and representatives of the main sector associations, based on their degree of innovation, energy efficiency, applicability and their capability to positively influence progress of renewable energies and energy efficiency. 

In this new edition, the GENERA 2019 Innovation Gallery will bring together a selection of novel alternatives and solutions, among which is a modular energy storage system; a solution to improve evaluation of the optical quality of heliostats and solar energy plants; a solar energy installation aimed at reducing the consumption of natural gas in a polymer-producing industrial complex; a monitor that allows families and companies to analyse energy consumption through a mobile app; a solar concentration system applicable to thermal, photovoltaic and hybrid energy generation, with a better cost-efficiency ratio; a complete photovoltaic system integrated in a single compact product, and another modular photovoltaic generation system that is portable and foldable.

The jury panel has also chosen a digital tool to optimise the production of hybrid solar panels; an online training project to cover the demand for general and specialised information and training on sustainable energy, to qualify the population in small countries and small island developing states (SIDS); a solution for Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), and another for the installation problems posed by double-glazed frameless modules.

Proposals chosen:

Development of the eBick Modular Storage system
Cegasa Portable Energy (Vitoria)
The eBick modular energy storage system represents progress in stationary storage solutions based on Lithium ion technology. This is a modular solution with LFP lithium, compact and scalable to the market, designed exclusively for commercial industrial applications, both independently and connected to the grid. The combination of its individual features concentrated into a single solution make it a truly innovative system, developed entirely in Spain. It seeks to provide a flexible solution to applications such as Industrial Self-consumption; isolated installations; backup for electrical car charging; back up / UPS and insufficient power.

Innovative instrumentation and methodology to characterise the quality of the sunlight reflected by long-distance heliostats in commercial solar energy concentration tower plants
CENER (Sarriguren, Navarra) & UNIZAR (Zaragoza)

This is an applied research project to improve evaluation of the optical quality of heliostats and their direct repercussion on the commissioning and operation of solar energy plants based on the central receiver or tower technology, as well as to promote ongoing cost-reduction in this technology.
An innovative system was developed within the project, aimed at resolving the difficulties and deficiencies of the state of technology methods. Thus, a system was achieved capable of characterising far-away heliostats, which are the ones that are mainly installed in the latest commercial plants built. The measuring device is comprised of detectors capable of measuring incident radiation. These detectors are placed vertically on a post or portable structure, turning into a functional device for use in existing commercial plants, and several can be installed on the tower itself for the simultaneous characterisation of several heliostats. The measurement procedure uses the movement of the sun as sweeping element of the light reflected by the heliostats, which remain stationary ensuring a uniform and constant sweep, without the jumping, deviations or errors caused by mechanical systems.

Program for Creation of Online Capabilities on Sustainable Energy Solutions for the Islands and Territories of the Pacific, the Caribbean, Africa and the Indian Ocean.

CIEMAT (Madrid)
CIEMAT, through the Knowledge and Training Management Division, is leading the project to create capabilities that establish an online itinerary on sustainable energy solutions for island regions and territories that are strongly threatened by the effects of climate change. The project was conceived to satisfy the urgent need to access programs for training and certification on sustainable energy in small island developing states (SIDS), and it develops a training itinerary comprised of nine online modules in the Massive Online Open Course format, MOOC, self-training and open-access, which will be transmitted through the websites of the Regional Centres of the Pacific, the Caribbean and Ecowas, the PCREEE, the CCREEE and the ECREEE, respectively. The modules will be available in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

They are developed in two formats with a different focus and dimension, aimed at covering the needs and the demand for information and training to strengthen a critical mass trained in SIDS that reach not only the scientific, academic and industrial world, but the public in general, and that will contribute to promoting the socioeconomic transition based on sustainable and low-carbon energy technologies.

Production of Solar Heat in the Petrochemical Industry: Integration in the existing process
Master ERMA Etsidi – UPM – AEDES (Madrid)
Development of the design for a concentration thermal solar installation with parabolic trough concentrators, aimed at reducing natural gas consumption in a polymer-producing industrial complex. The design takes into account the limitations of space, orientation and the solar resource, and maximises the use of existing equipment. The resulting installation manages to cover a theoretical 23.3% of the energy demand with an occupied space of 12,600 m2.

The difference with other similar designs is that this study is based on a process that is already operating, designing the solar field by taking into consideration the space limitations in the actual petrochemical complex, the orientation of the available plots, and looking to make maximum use of the equipment (pipes, pumping systems, expansion containers, etc.) already installed.

The parameters that influenced the selection of the process to be “solarised” are: on the one hand, the location, on the East coast of Saudi Arabia, with an exceptional availability of sunlight, and the type of process itself, which uses a thermal fluid operating under working conditions similar to the current solar concentration energy production systems.

Smart Energy Button Monitoring
CLIENSOL ENERGY (Caldes d’Estrac, Barcelona)

The Energy Button monitor analyses power consumption through an app on the cell phone, achieving energy savings for families and companies.
This is a bluetooth data logger energy monitor that records the optical pulses of the electricity company’s electronic meter and shows how and when this energy is consumed. An electrical analyser in the palm of your hand to optimise the power to be contracted, define the rate that is best suited to each consumption, compatible with any electronic electricity meter. It uses low-consumption technology, therefore its autonomy can exceed one year just with the energy provided by a button cell battery, which allowed for a significant reduction in size, eliminating the wires and bulky devices of other equipment currently on the market. Another innovative aspect is its direct communication with the users mobile device, doing away with the need to have a WiFi network or mobile phone network connection.

Fresnel Lens Solar Concentration System
Compañía Valenciana de Energías Renovables S.A., COVALERSA (Valencia)
This solar concentration system is applicable to the generation of average temperature thermal energy (100ºC to 200 ºC), photovoltaic and hybrid, and it improves the existing technologies on the market from the viewpoint of cost-efficiency, applicable to solar cooling (absorption chillers), process heat and electricity.

The technological novelties of this new design are three-fold: reducing from a structure measuring 2.5 m wide x 2.5 m high to one measuring 0.7 m wide x 0.8 m tall, manufacturing simplicity, less than half of the profiles, welds and mobile elements, leading to a drastic reduction in weight and cost; the technological novelty in the collector, based on one of the great advantages of refraction, which is that the concentrated lineal radiation that enters the collector is received from the top, thus the sides and base of the collector can be covered and insulated, preventing conductive, convective and radiative losses, therefore lower-cost materials can be used; and the technological novelty of the lenses, reducing optical aberrations and chromatic defects in the lenses and leading to increased technology performance.

Development of a digital tool to optimise production of hybrid solar panels

Endef, S.L. – NABLADOT, S. L. (Zaragoza)
This digital tool consists of the combination of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques, optimisation algorithms and control logics. The concept underlying this tool consists of the simulation of operation of the oven for a relevant number of configurations, and processing the results with optimisation algorithms to obtain the optimal oven configuration. The results obtained allow for a practically real-time configuration of the oven (provided that there are no significant changes in the geometry of the oven or panels).

The methodology implemented in the tool and the results obtained are especially innovative. Combining a CFD simulation with optimisation algorithms and control logic of an oven is, in itself, an innovative development. But, in addition, the effort to model and break-down the optimisation of the oven, along with the production of a reduced model of the oven, is a totally new approach. Comparison of the results obtained with the experimental measurements reinforces the validity of the strategy implemented in the tool.

In addition, the optimisation performed by the tool allows a reduction of the laminating process by 15%, saving approximately 20% in energy consumption.

MEINKRAFTWERK Photovoltaic system
This is a photovoltaic system comprised of a solar module, autofix structure and inverter, integrated in one single compact product. The MEINKRAFTWERK photovoltaic module is simple, functional and is innovatively designed with the latest technology in solar systems.

The added value of this photovoltaic module is in its support structure, integrated within the frame itself, so that it is completely hidden in the module, making it aesthetically harmonious. Another advantage is how easy it is to install it on the facade, balcony or roof, without affecting the aesthetics of the building. The system also allows for several units to be installed side by side, without any space in between, achieving a matt circular design that grows as more modules are added.

EASYN System. Double functionality: Replace conventional roof tiles with photovoltaic modules
SOLARWATT and RUANO ENERGÍA (Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid)
This is a building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) solution that replaces conventional roof tiles with photovoltaic modules. EasyIn 60M style, are glass-glass modules with a black anodised aluminium frame. They are comprised of monocrystalline solar cells and their power is 280-285Wp. Therefore, it is a soft transition between the module and roof tiles, which do not require maintenance and are naturally cleaned, as rainwater flows over all of the modules. They are flexibly adaptable to the roof and, in addition to their functionality, their high quality makes them aesthetically pleasing. 
My Solar Plant
XIZAN Energy Efficiency SLU (Madrid)
This is a high-performance modular photovoltaic generation system that is easy to handle, compact, portable and foldable. The idea is for users to have a true personal solar plant that can be easily set up, taken down and transported anywhere, and which will work anywhere in the world without requiring reconfiguration (“plug and go”). The range of power for this system aims to cover the typical average requirements of private homes and small businesses.

The innovative element of this system compared to the traditional photovoltaic generation systems on the market is provided by the modular unit that is fully foldable and comprises the photovoltaic panel and the structure. The main advantages compared to traditional installations are that the structure comprises a 2-axis following system that improves performance by around 50%, that it comprises semi-flexible panels, a higher performance technology (~20%) and much lighter in weight because it does not require structural frames. The sophisticated tipping protection design of its structure makes it self-supporting and each full module is simple to install, light, portable, resistant and foldable, making it easier to transport and install. The system, completed with a portable “box” that contains a hybrid inverter and battery, also custom designed, can work independently as self-consumption, or it can be integrated with existing installations for self-consumption or to be fed directly to the grid according to current needs and regulations.

UltraD Design
SUNTECH (Germany)
This is a solution to the problem of installing double-glass frameless modules, so that the glass does not break during installation. The new Ultra D design for double-glass modules combines the advantages of the frameless modules, which are lighter and cheaper, so that they take up less room during transportation. The design allows the modules to be assembled by the section that does not have a frame. The module must have a certain weight and size for it to be able to withstand loads of up to 2800 Pa. In addition, by controlling the size of the module frames, up to 30% more of the space on a pallet is used, compared to the double-glass modules with a full frame. Thanks to SUNTECH’s innovative design, the double-glass modules are even lighter than traditional modules. The double-glass panels are also much easier to install and assembly is much more stable than frameless panels.