The assignee for this patent, patent number 8629646, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Embodiments of the invention relate generally to management of solar energy systems and, in particular, to the generation of solar renewable energy certificates.
"Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), which includes Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), are a form of Renewable Energy Certificate or Green tag utilized to reward the producers of renewable energy. RECs are available in states where a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) exists with a specific allocation for solar energy. SREC programs, for example, provide a means for SRECs to be created on behalf of a solar panel owner and sold to state electric suppliers to meet the solar RPS requirement. Electric suppliers are then required to use the SREC program to show compliance with this part of the State's Renewable Portfolio Standard.
"The SREC is separate from the value of the electricity itself and permits the owner or purchaser to claim the benefits of the clean energy production by effectively subsidizing the cost of the installed system. SRECs are designed to provide individuals and corporations with an economic incentive to investing in solar electric systems, which improve the electrical distribution grid. SRECs represent the renewable attributes from a solar facility and are typically bundled in minimum denominations of one megawatt hour of production. The additional income received from selling solar certificates increases the economic value of an investment in renewable energies. Instead of up-front subsidies from the state, solar system owners can recover their investment in the solar system by selling certificates to utilities.
"In order to produce SRECs, a solar system must first be certified by state regulatory agencies, usually public service commissions or public utility commissions, and then registered with a trading platform. Once a solar system is certified with the state agency and registered with a trading platform, SRECs can be issued using either an estimate table or actual meter readings by the trading platform--depending upon state regulations. In some cases, smaller installations may be able to use estimates, while actual meter readings are required for large installations. One SREC is created for every megawatt hour of electricity produced from a qualified solar renewable energy generator.
"Therefore, there is a need for solar components that better track power production in order to allow the generation of RECs."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Consistent with some embodiments of the present invention, a system and method for the capture and aggregation of renewable energy certificates based on power produced by a renewable power appliance is presented. An apparatus according to some embodiments of the present invention can include a renewable power source; an electronic circuit coupled to the renewable power source that provides charging for a battery and distributes power to a connector when an external device is coupled to the connector; a control system coupled to the electronic circuit that controls the charging of the battery and the distribution of power to the external device, wherein the control system compiles a transmission record of the amount of power produced by the apparatus. In some embodiments, the renewable power source is a solar cell. In some embodiments, the transmission record can be sent to an external device, for example a smart phone, coupled to a connector. In some embodiments, the transmission record can be directly communicated with a records server for recordation of the power produced in the apparatus.
"A smart phone according to some embodiments of the present invention can include a connector that couples to an appliance, the appliance including a renewable power source, a battery, electronics that distribute power between the renewable power source, the battery, and the connector, and a processor that monitors and compiles an amount of power generated by the appliance; and a processor that executes a software code that monitors the appliance, receives a transmission record of the amount of power generated by the appliance, and transmits the amount of power generated to a REC server.
"A server according to some embodiments of the present invention can include a database; a network connection; and a processor coupled to receive transmission records from a sender, the processor recording individual transmission in the database, and compiling the individual transmission records into a single renewable energy certificate once record of sufficient power generation to generate a renewable energy certificate is received. In some embodiments, the database includes files including individual transmission RECs that are aggregated to form a REC.
"A method of recording power generation according to some embodiments of the present invention includes receiving individual transmission records from one or more power generators; recording each of the transmission records into a database; monitoring the transmission records in the database until record of sufficient power generation to receive a renewable energy certificate is received; closing the database to indicate one renewable energy certificate; and opening a new database for receipt of further individual transmission records once a database is closed.
"Records can be sorted, for example by geographic location or by ownership. Records and certificates may be traded in the real or virtual world for real or virtual goods and services.
"These and other embodiments of the invention are further described below with respect to the following figures."
For more information, see this patent:
Keywords for this news article include: Oil & Gas,
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