New project aims to overcome the challenges solar energy faces in the US

February 5, 2016 0 By John Max

SunShot initiative issues more support for further research into the solar power field

The U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative is looking to change the way the country makes use of solar energy. The SunShot National Laboratory Multiyear Partnership has recently awarded the University of Tennessee’s College of Engineering with a $2.3 million grant. The grant will support a 36-month long project that is focused on improving solar energy and photovoltaic technology. The College of Engineering believes that its study will have a significant impact on the U.S. energy grid.

Solar energy may have a major impact on the country’s energy grid

Researchers associated with the project believe that the United States has a great deal of potential when it comes to solar energy. The research team wants to investigate how solar power can be used to stabilize the country’s energy grid, ensuring that large blackouts are avoided and other energy issues are effectively mitigated. As solar energy has grown more popular, the number of grid-connected solar arrays has increased dramatically. This has become cause for concern among utilities who believe that the growing number of grid-connected arrays could have an impact on grid stability.

Clean power continue to experience challenges in terms of grid connection

U.S. Solar Energy ChallengeThe research team has already discovered that the overall frequency response of the energy grid will deteriorate as renewable energy systems become incorporated. This is a phenomenon that has been seen in other countries as well. Ireland has been working to embrace wind energy more aggressively, which has resulted in new challenges for the energy grid. Overcoming these challenges may involve modernizing the grid, making use of new technology that is more compatible with clean power.

Researchers will look for solutions concerning the challenges faced by solar energy

The project from the College of Engineering will focus on developing several scenarios that project the penetration of photovoltaic technology and how these energy systems will affect the energy grid. The project will also focus on forming a better understanding of the grid frequency impact that solar power will have as well as testing solutions to the challenges that clean energy faces.