to the planet
Lease Agreement Plan
Equivalent trees planted
Liters of water saved
Annual amount payable
Total amount payable
The production of energy from renewable sources, particularly photovoltaic, leads to a number of environmental benefits for the planet. Power Clouds decided to show and quantify (in a clear and direct manner) these positive impacts connecting electric energy production in the following 3 parameters:
- CO2 emissions avoided
- Equivalent trees planted
- Water saved
To determine this, it was necessary to estimate the conversion factors between the Power Unit’s annual production and these environmental parameters listed in the calculator.
Annual Power Unit Production
To derive a series of specific parameters of the plant to which it refers, in particular:
- Irradiance (I): Specifies the site where the plant is located. It represents the average annual value of solar energy impacting the earth per square meter of surface.
- Conversion efficiency (ec): Specifies the photovoltaic panels used in the system. It represents the amount of solar energy (irradiance) which is transformed into electricity through the photovoltaic effect triggered by the silicon modules panel. For panels used, this efficiency is 13%.
Starting from these values and multiplying them, it is possible to calculate the specific production Ps (per unit area) of the plant which, for example, in the case of the Scornicesti Solar Farm, is equal to 216 kWh/m2 per year.
The panel’s effective surface area (S), in terms of area of photovoltaic cells, is equal to 1.63 m2. From here, we derive the annual production of Pu from a single Power Unit that, again in the case of Scornicesti, is reported to be 0,350 MWh / y. This value represents the energy produced under optimal conditions from a single Power Unit, in one year of operation, and constitutes the basis of calculation of successive conversions.
Environmental parameter no. 1: CO2 emissions avoided
For the determination of the conversion factor between energy produced and carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted, must refer to the values determined by the International Energy Agency (2012) . These values refer to the emission generated by the production of a KWh of energy, in terms of weighted average of the different sources used for the production (% of use). The report is obtained a value of 502 gCO2/kWh.
Environmental Parameter no. 2: Trees Planted
An environmental parameter, figuratively easy to understand, is represented by the equivalency between the energy produced and the number of trees planted. To perform this step, we must first consider the amount of CO2 avoided, since each tree leads to reduced atmospheric carbon dioxide of an estimated value of 0.039 t CO2 / y  (for medium growth coniferous trees planted in an urban setting, not densely planted, and allowed to grow for 10 years). From this we achieve the conversion coefficient equal to 12.8 trees per kWh of energy produced by Power Clouds’ photovoltaic plants (4.48 trees per Power Unit).
Environmental Parameter no. 3: Water Saved
Producing energy from renewable sources can also clearly allow water savings compared to energy production with traditional sources. Water, in fact, is used in different phases of the production process in conventional power plants, while thanks to the use of photovoltaic technology, significant water savings are achieved. To be able to estimate the amount of water saved, reference is made to what is reported in a study on the analysis of the life cycle of water for photovoltaics, which correlates to energy production with a savings of 1.33 m3/MWh [3 ].
The following table summarizes the conversion factors used with reference to 1 kWh of energy produced by Power Clouds plants, and also in reference to a single Power Unit. Lastly for this, it distinguishes between the annual value and the estimate of plant’s entire life (considered in a precautionary manner, to 25 years).
 International Energy Agency (IEA), 2012. CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion − Highlights. CO2 emissions per kWh from electricity and heat generation. Year 2010. (Available at: http://www.iea.org/co2highlights/co2highlights.pdf).
 Energy Information Administration (EIA), 1998. Method for Calculating Carbon Sequestration by Trees in Urban and Suburban Settings. United States Department of Energy. (Available at: ftp://ftp.eia.doe.gov/pub/oiaf/1605/cdrom/pdf/sequester.pdf)
 Sinha P., Meader, A., de Wild-Scholten M., 2013. Life Cycle Water Usage in CdTe Photovoltaics. Photovoltaics, IEEE Journal of. Volume: 3 , Issue: 1 Page(s): 429 − 432 (Available at: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6313879&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fiel5%2F5503869%2F6387608%2F06313879.pdf%3Farnumber%3D6313879)
POWER CLOUDS Pte. Ltd., is a company that promotes the spread of photovoltaic plants (Clouds) all over the world. This renewable energy project takes its name,“Power Clouds” from the company. It is based on a very simple and smart concept: involving people to built solar plants on a large scale, guaranteeing constant earnings. It’s very simple: people purchase one or more photovoltaic panels (Power Units) and then they decide to lease them to Power Clouds that designs and builds the solar power plants. Together to provide clean electricity to the world. Fro the whole duration of the subscribed contract (Lease Agreement), people receive a guaranteed monthly payment, a rental fee from Power Clouds.
The Super Power Unit is a group of solar panels that together reach the total power of 490 Watts. These will be installed in their related Cloud and wired to the local electricity network. The Super Power Unit is therefore part of a whole solar plant (Cloud), made of several panels all wired together.
The Power Clouds project is based on the involvement of people from all over the world that purchase their own solar panel. Once purchased it, the solar panels can be leased to Power Clouds for a 20-year period by signing a Lease contract. The contract guarantees the owner a monthly payment for the contract entire duration. The payment is distributed by Power Clouds in exchange for the panel’s use. At the end contract expiration,people keep their ownership on the Super Power Unit.
First of all, through the calculator you can simulate all the social, environmental ad economic benefits based on the number of Super Power Units you want to buy. You start choosing how many Super Power Units you want to Lease to Power Clouds. The calculator review the data and provides a list of economic information: Lease Period: Lease contract duration in years; Total Amount Payable: Total return. It is the total amount you will receive once that all the monthly fees have been paid; Annual Component: it is the calculation of the fee on annual basis (this amount will be divided per 12 months as reported in the Lease Agreement).
Payments are based on the Lease contract terms and the solar power plant (Cloud) that you decide to involved in. They do not depend on Cloud performance and are not variable. To get a clear picture of the financial returns that you can have, the calculator has been prepared on the www.powerclouds.com website.
The calculator, based on the number of operating Super Power Units selected, works out the the potential annual electricity production of the panels. From this data, using correlation coefficients (developed and widely-shared in the scientific field), it’s possible to determine the value of avoided emissions, the equivalence in terms of trees planted and the quantity of water saved. These values, which provide an overall figure related to a plant’s life of 25 years, are useful in describing (in a simple way) the benefits that photovoltaic technology produces with respect to energy production achieved from traditional sources.