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Savita Solar Wins British Airways Business Opportunity Competition

Savita Solar in Hong Kong was hand selected from nearly 200 applicants to receive a Business Opportunity Grant.

The grant includes 10 Business Class return flights to anywhere on the British Airways network.

To enter the competition, companies were required to describe the scope of their companies' operations, outline their goals and objectives for 2010 and detail how the opportunity and continuity of business travel for a year would benefit the business.

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Ecobuild

Macao

2010MIECF - SaVita Solar has been invited to attend the The Macao International Environmental Co-operation Forum & Exhibition (MIECF). It is a high-level, pro-active platform promoting Thinking Green, Going Clean and Living Cool in the Peoples Republic of China.

It will be attended by the Ministry of Environment and Protection of the People's Republic of China. This exhibition is the "Green Gateway" for green resources, technology exchange and co-operation between Peoples Republic of China and international markets, particularly the EU.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is photovoltaics (solar electricity), or 'PV'?
A: PV materials and devices are able to convert light energy to electricity.


Q: How can we get electricity from the sun?
A: When certain semi-conducting materials, such as certain kinds of silicon, are exposed to sunlight, they can knock electrons loose from their normal position in an atom of the material. This process is known as the photoelectric effect.

The special design of a PV solar cell can force these freed electrons to flow in a certain direction. This flow of electrons is a current and by attaching a wire to the top and bottom of the PV cell, we can make use of this current just like a normal battery.

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Q: What are the components of a photovoltaic (PV) system?
A: Generally a PV system will have at least the following components.
  1. Panels or modules of PV Cells: these can be made from monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, or amorphous film.
  2. Inverter: changes the DC (direct current) to AC (alternating current).
  3. Charge regulator: prevents damage to the system in the event of a power outage).
  4. Plus wiring, and mounting hardware or a framework.
  5. Additional components could include batteries, meter readers or other mechanism for displaying the output of the panels and storage batteries.
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Q: What's the difference between PV and other solar energy technologies?
A: There are four main types of solar energy technologies:
  1. Photovoltaic (PV) systems: convert sunlight directly to electricity by means of PV cells made of semiconductor materials.
  2. Concentrating solar power (CSP) systems: concentrate the sun's energy using reflective devices such as mirror panels to produce heat that is then used to generate electricity.
  3. Solar water heating systems: faces the sun and either heats water directly or heats a 'working fluid' that, in turn, is used to heat water.
  4. Transpired solar collectors, or 'solar walls,' which use solar energy to preheat ventilation air for a building.

Q: How long do photovoltaic (PV) systems last?
A: A PV system that is designed, installed, and maintained well will operate for more than 30 years.


Q: How much sunlight can hit our panels?
A: On a clear day approximately 1000 Watts per metre squared hits the surface of the earth (1.36 kilowatts per square meter hits the earth's outer atmosphere).

Only a certain part of the spectrum is used by silicon PV modules; from 0.3 to 0.6 mirometers, approximately the same wavelengths to which the human eye is sensitive. These wavelengths encompass the highest energy region of the solar spectrum.

The energy of the sunlight hitting a panel will depend on cloud cover, sun position, time of year, pollution, number of hours of sunshine and position on the earth.


Q: What does energy efficiency mean?
A: While the sun produces a wide spectrum of light, silicon systems currently can make use of only a small portion of that spectrum. Our PV systems are approximately 15% efficient. For comparison, a typical fossil fuel generator has an efficiency of about 28%. Some experimental PV cells now convert nearly 40% of the energy in light to electricity. We will always provide the latest commercially available systems.


Q: How much electricity does a photovoltaic (PV) system generate?
A: A 10% efficient PV system will generate about 180 kilowatt-hours per square meter. A PV system rated at 1 kilowatt will produce about 1800 kilowatt-hours a year. Most PV panels will last around 30 years and degrade (lose efficiency) at a rate of less than 1% per year. A PV system could generate close to 36,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity over 20 years and close to 54,000 kilowatt-hours over 30 years.


Q: What is meant by the term 'additionality'?
A: It is the intention of this company to create bona fide offset opportunities within the PRD. In the environmental community, what constitutes a bona fide offset largely boils down to a concept called 'additionality'. Essentially this requires that a project be reducing emissions 'beyond business as usual'. Thus, if we were to help fund a paper manufacturer in China to plant trees, and this would be required anyway, then we should not really consider this as a carbon offset. Our view is that we should give offset revenues only to those projects that really need them.

The concept seems simple, as illustrated in the above example, but in practice it is often more difficult to distinguish between the bona fide offsets and those that are 'business as usual'.

To clarify the situation, The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and WWF Gold Standard have laid out a few basic questions to help decide. It is assumed that any such project was not required by law and was implemented with the aid of offsets revenue.

The basic questions are:
  1. Is the return on project investment, without offset revenues, too low for the project owner to make the investment? If so, and if the prospect of offset revenues raises the expected return to an adequate level, the project is additional.
  2. If the return on investment without offset revenues is or would be adequate, does the project owner, without offset revenues, lack access to the capital to make the investment? If so, and the offset revenues provide the necessary capital, or enable access to it (such as providing the downpayment), the project is additional.
  3. If the return is adequate and capital is available without offset revenues, are there other barriers to implementation, 'technical barriers, for example,' that offset revenues can overcome? If so, the project is additional.
  4. If the return is adequate, capital is available, and there are no technical barriers, is the project the first or substantially the first of its kind in the particular market, region or application? If it is the first or substantially the first of its kind, it is by definition not business as usual, and so is additional.

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