RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

Designing tomorrow with renewable energies and innovation

By ENGIE - 29 September 2020 - 12:04

The sun and the wind are available, clean and unlimited sources of energy. The strong decline in the costs of solar technologies also allows for more decentralized ways of harnessing the sun’s rays to produce electricity, giving us the possibility to produce energy on-site and essentially converting any structure into a power plant. Discover, in this chapter of our Research and Innovation dossier, our solutions for tomorrow's energy!

 

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Darwin: remote control and optimization of infrastructures

With its DARWIN software, ENGIE helps operators collect and analyze data from their renewable energy assets in real time, allowing them to raise revenues and optimize costs. Designed by ENGIE Digital, DARWIN collects and hosts data in the cloud from renewable plants located in 21 countries. A total of more than 16 GW are connected in this way. The platform is currently used to ensure the remote control and monitoring of 100 wind farms and 17 solar energy plants in France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Poland, Romania and the Netherlands.

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Kathu: 384,000 mirrors for one of South Africa's largest solar programs

ENGIE’s solar power plant in Kathu, South  Africa, is one of the country’s largest  renewable energy projects with a 100 MW capacity. The concentrated solar power plant uses parabolic through technology that is equipped with a molten salt storage system. This allows the storage of electricity in form of thermal energy for up to 4.5 hrs which can then  be used on days with less radiation, or during peak demand. The site covers 4.5 km2 with 384,000 mirror panels.

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Heliatek, solar architects

With its investment in German startup Heliatek, a specialist for photovoltaic solar film for buildings, ENGIE has gained tools for its ambition to become an energy architect for buildings. Heliatek produces the world’s first industrial-grade organic solar film, enabling buildings to become energy neutral. Its organic photovoltaic technology (OPV) uses carbon-based  molecules to convert  sunlight  into  energy. This method allows the creation of innovative solar products that are ultra-light, flexible and completely green. 

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Power Corner: mini-grids to bring electricity everywhere

Power Corner minigrids are containerized solutions for the generation, storage and distribution of electricity at the village level. The minigrid consists of solar panels with all the necessary elements of a mini-power plant are inside the container. Village houses, shops and other consumers are then connected to the container through smart meters and pay for the electricity they consume. 

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