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elyOn Solar Private Limited is a solar venture focused on on-grid & off-grid and solar power plant applications.
Article | February 27, 2020
Electricity is a unique kind of commodity— although it is not perishable, it is (still) hard to store on a large scale. Electricity must be generated relatively close to where it is demanded and at the time it is demanded. Therefore, operators must constantly keep an eye on the use of electricity. When demand is high, operators will signal the generators to increase their output; if less, generators get the instruction to generate less electricity. Roughly, this is how the grid works. The devil is in the details: the flexibility of power plants is unique to its type. Nuclear and coal power plants take the longest to start up and shut down, followed by oil/diesel power plants.
Both renewable power projects and conventional energy operations have felt the constriction of global supply chains, which are currently being limited in a global effort to fight and contain the spread of the virus. Many manufacturers of wind turbines and their critical components are based in Asia, such as Goldwind in China, as well as producers of photovoltaic panels and batteries (particularly lithium). Market reticence about bringing in products from affected areas has seen significant constriction in the importation of these materials and parts - the price of batteries has dropped by 60%, owing to the industry’s concentration in Asia.
Scientists and researchers around the world are increasingly turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI)and so called Robo-Scientists to help them discover everything from new anti-biotics and drugs, through to new spray-on solar panel materials and vaccines, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that AI is now being used to help develop new battery tech. “In battery testing, you have to try a massive number of things, because the performance you get will vary drastically,” said Ermon, an assistant professor of computer science at MIT, referring to how scientists traditionally hunt for new battery breakthroughs, and who led the new project to use AI to help them develop new promising batteries for Electric Vehicles.
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