Apr 27, 2012
Consulting firm targeting solar, wind prospectsBack
Expertise|3E|Africa|CoAL|Consulting|Design|Measurement|PROJECT|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Sustainable|System|Systems|Africa|Europe|South Africa|Able-energy|Building|Energy|Energy Sector|Energy Sources|Expanded Manufacturing Capability|Manufacturing|Manufacturing Quality|Peripheral Technology|Products|Project Developers|Renewable Energy|Service|Services|System Operators|Systems|Environmental|Richard Doyle|Measurement |Technology Of Solar PV Modules
© Reuse this
The company joins the South African energy sector at a time when the focus on renewable energy is increasing, with mounting pressure on the reduction of carbon footprints and finding alternative energy sources for a mainly coal-powered country.
“While 5 MW photovoltaic (PV) projects are considered large in Europe, there are bids in South Africa for 50 MW and 75 MW PV projects. These will be some of the largest in the world,” says 3E MD Richard Doyle.
He continues: “An assumption is made that the technology is mature, which is partly true. However, manufacturing quality assurance has not yet caught up with the technology, which is why it is critical to have a strong technical adviser to ensure that companies ‘get what they buy’ and can deliver in line with both technical and financial projections.”
The company makes use of a module assessment when evaluating projects. The evaluation of the underlying and peripheral technology of solar PV modules often leads to the efficiency of such projects. “Poorer than expected efficiencies can directly compromise project profitability in the long term and even sink projects. The dramatic reduction in PV costs in recent years has come about by significantly expanded manufacturing capability. In some cases, this has itself come at the cost of manufacturing quality and quality assurance.
“Certifications are made on a small number of panels and those provided by new factories, although notionally the same, may not be valid. The company has carried out some 50 factory visits and does so for clients in addition to on-site inspections following delivery and installation to give clients the assurance that the panels and modules being bought will perform as expected,” Doyle explains.
Doyle adds that it also allows for ongoing efficiency and early fault detection. “It is a key part of ensuring an efficient return on investment for any project. Based on the services provided on many projects through SynaptiQ, 3E has gathered operational experience, which is reflected in its consul- tancy services at each stage of a project,” he notes.
“We currently offer SynaptiQ Solar, SynaptiQ Forecasting and SynaptiQ Wind. In the future, 3E plans to expand the suite to cover all related services for renewable-energy management,” Doyle adds.
The company has also developed other products, including a medium-sized wind turbine, Xant, for which fundraising is advanced. “This will be mostly used off-grid and in developing countries. The company has also developed a means of measuring offshore wind speed without a mast. This floating light detection and ranging device is currently being commercialised,” he says.
The firm has a large number of global partnerships with leading research laboratories in its quest to lead in innovation, with financial advisory services with a view to offering a full service to complement its technical advice, and with other organisations and companies including nongovernmental organisations, funds and environmental lobby groups.
“We are starting to build and consolidate similar networks in South Africa,” Doyle points out. One such partnership is with renewable-energy consultancy Emergent Energy.
“The Emergent Energy team has extensive local and international experience in the renewable- energy and broader energy sectors, offering expertise in large renewable-energy projects, off-grid renewable-energy systems, sustainable building design, indus- trial and commercial energy efficiency, and international and local renewable-energy policy. The company and Emergent Energy have a cooperation agreement and cross-sell and service projects together where it makes sense.”
Further, the company provides a number of services, including site screening and strategic guidance for investors and project developers; wind measurement campaigns in any terrain; advanced modelling and data analysis for bankable wind resource assessments and solar yield calculations; technical advisory services and reviews from design to operation; full scope, technical and financial due diligence; and training in, and seminars on, optimal measurement.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
The international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope – which is to be jointly hosted by South Africa and Australia with, later, outstations in other countries – may not yet exist, but international scientific working groups are already deciding what...
A free Web-based solar power plant capacity-planning tool offers project planners and developers, as well as governments, a means to assess the solar energy potential of thin-film solar PV power over an area of land. The tool was developed by thin-film solar...
As yet, no specific methodology, timeline or costs have been finalised to remedy the water ingress, excessive to contractual specifications, into the Gautrain tunnel between emergency shaft two (E2) and Park Station, says Bombela Concession Company technical and...
The “seriously disruptive” electricity outages in South Africa have cost packaging group Astrapak more than R2-million in “irrecoverable downtime costs”, the company said on Monday, adding that the power cuts were negating some of the benefit of energy saving...
Bakkies and more affordable cars dominated South Africa’s new vehicle market in 2014. Unaudited data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shows that South Africa’s most popular vehicle in 2014 was the Toyota Hilux, selling 37 562 units.