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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 10, 2019, 04:53:21 pm »

How Do I Choose the Solar Mounting System for My Project?

Show Me the Money

Itching for some REAL costs now? Jump to the end of the article to get the actual cost breakdown of a real solar project. We’ll show you a bill of materials for a project using rails and the same layout using direct-attach.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 29, 2019, 08:36:57 pm »

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September 29th, 2019 by Steve Hanley

Hanwha Q Cells Dedicates Largest Solar Panel Factory In Western Hemisphere  

Hanwha Q Cells officially opened its 300,000 square foot solar panel factory in Dalton, Georgia last week, claiming it is the largest such manufacturing facility in the western hemisphere. The $200 million factory employs more than 650 workers and is capable of producing 12,000 solar panels a year — enough to generate 1.7 GW of electricity. Its standard production panel features six bus bars, has an efficiency of about 19%, and an output of up to 345 watts.

Credit: Hanwha

The Georgia factory began producing panels in January and and started shipping them to customers in February. At full capacity, it will have three production lines operating simultaneously. “The factory is currently producing over 10,000 modules per day and very close to the full 12,000-module-per-day capacity,” Scott Moskowitz,director of strategy and market intelligence for Hanwha, tells PV Magazine. “We expect to be running at full capacity by the end of the year.”

Politics & Power

Georgia Governor 👹 Brian Kemp, who stole the election last year by systematically denying access to the polls to African American voters while he was running for governor and serving as Georgia’s secretary of state, trotted up to Dalton to say a few words about the new plant, claiming it makes northwest Georgia “a hub for the manufacturing of clean, renewable energy sources.”

There are currently three other solar panel factories in operation or under construction in the US — LG’s 500 MW factory in Alabama, Jinko Solar’s 400 MW fab in Florida, and First Solar’s 1.2 GW production line in Lake Township, Ohio. PV Magazine points out that the decision to move forward on all four came after the Republican-controlled Congress rammed through a massive tax cut for corporations in 2017.

Since then, Trump’s tariffs imposed as part of his trade war with China have added an extra economic incentive to manufacture solar panels in America. But as PV Magazine points out, the total output of all four factories will be about 5 GW while the US as a whole is on pace to install 12 GW of solar power next year. Clearly lots of panels are still coming into the US from foreign countries.

We haven’t forgotten about the Tesla/Panasonic factory in Buffalo, New York, but its production is negligible at present and there are concerns it may never begin producing more than a trickle of panels, so it is largely irrelevant to the conversation.

PV Magazine also points out that all the solar cells used in the Hanwha, LG, Jinko Solar, and First Solar are manufactured outside the US. Trump’s tariffs on those cells are hurting America’s quest to make its utility sector carbon neutral by driving up the cost of domestically manufactured solar panels no matter how you look at it.

Bear in mind that tax policies and tariffs can change quickly. If a future administration alters either or both, the long term prospects of these four factories could be in doubt as corporations continue to seek the lowest possible cost of manufacturing.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 29, 2019, 08:43:54 pm »

2019 Top Residential 🌞 Solar Contractors

This is the list of 2019 Top Solar Contractors that primarily work in the residential market. These companies chose their primary market as “residential” when applying to the list, and they may also work in the commercial and utility markets. The listed kilowatts installed by each company could come from multiple markets and not just residential projects.

The companies below are a segmented portion of the overall 2019 Top Solar Contractors list, organized by kilowatts (DC) installed in 2018.

For more information on Solar Power World‘s annual Top Solar Contractors list, visit our Top Solar Contractors landing page.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 09, 2019, 02:00:10 pm »

AXITEC Increases Warranty to 15 Years 👍

The well-known solar module brand AXITEC extends its manufacturer’s warranty to 15 years. An experienced team has been providing high quality consistently for over 18 years. The long-standing confidence of the customers in AXITEC’s solar modules is to be given back by the extended warranty.
Leading warranties

• Industry leading 15 years’ manufacturer’s warranty

• Exclusive performance warranty of 85 % after 25 years

Available modules

• AXIpremium Mono 370 Watts - 72 cells

• AXIpremium HC Mono 380/385 Watts - 144 cells

• AXIpremium BLK HC 320 Watts – 120 cells

• AXIblackpremium HC 310 Watts – 120 cells

In stock now!!!

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 01, 2019, 12:31:47 pm »

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Los Angeles & 8minute Solar Announce 25-Year PPA At Under 2 Cents Per kWh!

June 30th, 2019 by Steve Hanley

When Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti announced his city’s Green New Deal in April — a plan that will accelerate its zero emissions and renewable energy goals — his words were welcomed by the Sierra Club and other climate activists. Now the city’s Department of Water and Power has presented a proposal that will help turn those words into reality.

Credit: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

If approved, the city will enter into a 25-year power purchase agreement for 400 MW AC/530 MW DC of solar electricity at a price of 1.997 cents per kWh — the lowest price yet for solar power in the US. Adding a 100 MW/200 MWh battery will cost an additional 1.3 cents per kWh. The project includes the option to add 50 MW/200 MWh of energy storage for 0.665 cents per kWh more.

The project, known as the Eland Solar & Storage Center, will be built in two 200 MW AC phases in Kern County north of the city and proud home of beautiful downtown Bakersfield. In the second phase, the size of the battery storage component may double. In an e-mail to PV Magazine, 8minute Solar says there is no price escalator clause that applies to the second phase of the project.

The battery storage can be used to meet the late afternoon, early evening surge in energy demand that occurs on a daily basis. There is a possibility it may also be used to meet some of the early morning increase in demand. Using stored electricity means there is no need to ramp up gas fired peaker plants, which is good news for the environment.

Representatives of LA Water and Power say they are drawing up plans for 7 other solar power plants to help meed the city’s needs for electricity in coming years. Construction of the first phase of the project is expected to begin in 2022 with a completion date set for the last day of 2023. When it is brought online, it is expect to supply 5% of the city’s renewable energy needs.


I really enjoyed this comment!

Electric Vehicle Network, Inc • 12 hours ago
Dear Mr. Koch, please accept our deepest condolences. We understand the news of $2 cents per kW solar power must come as a shock. How is it possible? The more dark money bribes you pay the faster renewable energy progresses!? Sir, may I offer a consolation stock tip? There is this company you may have heard of. They are called TESLA.TESLA are headed by a indomitable young fellow named Elon Musk. You may want to consider liquidating your Koch stock while you still can. And purchase every share of Tesla you can at this time. To ensure your grandfather does not do a complete 360 in his fossil fuel soaked grave.

Yours in renewable energy, Don Macallister, Ceo, Electric Vehicle Network, Inc.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 15, 2019, 05:21:44 pm »

Mining Methane In Lake Kivu, Rwanda: An Unusual Source Of Renewable

June 15th, 2019 by David Zarembka


Lake Kivu, between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (called “DRC” by Africanists), is many times larger than the two Camerooning lakes. It is the eighth largest lake in Africa, with a surface area of about 1040 square miles. Two million people live on its shores.

Mount Nyiragongo it 20 miles north of Lake Kivu in the DRC. It has erupted 34 times since 1882. There was a massive eruption of Nyiragongo in January 2002 and its lava flowed all the way into Lake Kivu. There were fears that the lava might set off a limnic explosion. Luckily, it didn’t.

This danger led the Rwanda government to explore the idea of mining the methane in the lake to reduce the possibility of a limnic event. In 2010, KivuWatt, the first methane-extraction platform, was proposed and it went online in 2015 at 26.2 MW of output, which was later increased to 34 MW. Recently, two more platforms have been approved for development, one at 56 MW and the second at 25 MW. When these are in service, this will total 125 MW of power. While this might seem extremely small, Rwanda’s total electricity capacity in 2018 was only 218 MW. The two additional plants will therefore add a significant amount of additional capacity to the country. The estimated 65 cubic kilometers of methane in the lake would last for more than 50 years.

Then in February of this year Rwanda signed a $400 million agreement with a company called Gasmeth Energy to extract methane from the lake and directly bottle the methane gas for direct use by consumers.

This methane gas mining from the bottom of Lake Kivu is an interesting, unusual source of renewable electricity. It is “renewable” because it is already existing, produced by a natural process. The CO2 in the lake is still of great concern, but since Lake Kivu is 200 times the size of Lake Nyos, withdrawing the CO2 from the lake would be a major engineering problem.

full article:

Agelbert COMMENT: To David Zarembka:
 I understand and support the human dire need for energy, but this technology unfortunately causes more Greenhouse Gases to be released into the already over burdened heat trapping atmosphere. I have an alternate proposal that you may wish to consider.

Fishing boats on Lake Kivu, 2009

The fish fauna in Lake Kivu is relatively poor with 28 described species, including four introduced species. Lake Kivu fish stock viability is important to the local economy surrounding the lake. Fish stocks are negatively impacted by the estimated 65 cubic kilometres of CH4 (that If burnt over one year, would give an average power of about 100 gigawatts for the whole period).

Fish require a certain amount of dissolved oxygen in the water in order to survive and thrive. The estimated 256 cubic kilometers of carbon dioxide, which no doubt contributes to to the pH level of about 8.6, also limits the fish biome within the lake. 

Since the lake surface area, estimated at some 2,700 km2 (1,040 sq mi), is quite extensive, if they could get a loan from China to put floating solar panels (China makes the most inexpensive solar panels), they would have much more energy produced than the methane harvesting technology provides AND could use some of the Renewable Solar Panel harvested Electricity produced to pump air down into the lake depths (through the same pipes they are now using to pump methane up) to prevent bacteria from anaerobically (i.e "living, active, occurring, or existing in the absence of free oxygen") metabolizing CO2 to produce methane (CH4).

It being that CH4 is from 25 to 70 times more potent a GHG than CO2, preventing this methane from forming in the first place would make the floating massive solar panel project even more justified.

In addition to a Renewable Energy bonanza, pumping air (which holds about 20.9% oxygen) down 300 metres (1,000 ft) would dissipate anoxic conditions, thereby enabling lake fish habitats to expand. If the air pumping is vigorous enough, the CO2 mixed with pressurized ambient air would cause the pH to go down towards neutral pH, another plus for fish viability.

Over the long term, while providing plenty of energy for all the surrounding population, a massive floating solar panel system, covering 40% or so of the surface of Lake Kivu, would prevent a future limnic event, improve the fishing economy, reduce surface evaporation, thereby providing more fresh water for agriculture and human consumption, and improve the surrounding environment in many other life promoting ways. 

I mention surface evaporation because Lake Kivu, at 1,460 m (4,790 ft) above sea level, is a high elevation lake. All lakes at high elevations have high evaporation rates. Reducing the evaporation rate has many environmental benefits, though the lake temperature would have to be kept from rising too much as a result. According to Wikipedia, the water temperature is 24 °C. For the sake of the lake fauna, you certainly do not want that, already rather high lake temperature, to go up.

Lake Kivu Methane extraction platform:

The methane harvesting plants can pe repurposed as oxygen and nitrogen pumping fish habitat enhancing plants. They could monitor lake evaporation rate, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, etc., and take appropriate action to prevent problems in any of those areas.

We have a GHG problem. We have a reduced fish stocks problem, not just in Lake Kivu, but in all the oceans and lakes of the world. Ironically (in addition to overfishing, of course), it's the low (acidic) pH in the oceans that threatens them, not the high (basic) pH as in Lake Kivo.

Lack of energy, clean water, adequate food and healthy cropland are human problems that must be addressed holistically. The methane harvesters only address the energy issue, while actually contributing to the other problems that guarantee Catastrophic Climate Change.
As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come. -- Proverbs 26:2
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 09, 2019, 09:16:48 pm »

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June 9th, 2019 by Cynthia Shahan

Walt Disney World Solar Panels Now Span 270 Acres — 50-Megawatt Solar Park Powers ~2 Theme Parks

Associated article with pictures and more video:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 25, 2019, 06:23:29 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 18, 2019, 05:38:41 pm »

May 18th, 2019 by Tina Casey

Perovskite Solar Cells

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 11, 2019, 01:00:30 pm »

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May 10th, 2019 by Charles W. Thurston

Dual axis trackers capture more late afternoon light. Credit Charles W. Thurston

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 23, 2019, 01:14:46 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 22, 2019, 05:53:45 pm »

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April 22nd, 2019 by Steve Hanley

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 12, 2019, 08:24:59 pm »

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April 12th, 2019 by Steve Hanley

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 02, 2019, 07:02:35 pm »

The Climate Reality Project

April 2, 2019

Did you know scientists estimate that more than enough solar   energy strikes the Earth every hour to power the planet for an entire year? Yes, really.

Or that the cost to produce solar power fell an incredible 86 percent between 2009 and 2017? Yes, that too

But thanks to Big 🦕😈🦖 Polluters, there’s a lot of misinformation out there.
In our new e-book, we set the story straight and give you the facts, so you know what to say the next time you hear a Big Polluter talking point about solar power.
By using solar, other renewable technologies like wind, and energy storage in larger and more connected grids, we can create a twenty-first century energy system that provides reliable electricity 24/7, regardless of the weather.

All without fueling climate change.
Which means it’s not a case of should we replace aging fossil fuel infrastructure – like outdated and inefficient coal-fired power plants – but how fast we can do it.

Plus, switching to renewable sources of energy like the sun means we can save billions of dollars. Not only by avoiding the expense of replacing these plants, but also avoiding the ever-increasing costs of climate change – like hospital bills and damage from extreme weather events and sea level rise.

Download our latest free e-book now and share the facts about solar energy’s sunny outlook 

- Your friends at Climate Reality
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 31, 2019, 01:36:24 pm »

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March 30th, 2019 by Guest Contributor

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 21, 2019, 04:40:53 pm »

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EU Installs 8 Gigawatts Of Solar In 2018, Up 36%

February 21st, 2019 by Joshua S Hill

The European Union installed 8 gigawatts (GW) of new solar capacity in 2018, according to the region’s solar trade body SolarPower Europe, an increase of 36% over 2017 figures.

SolarPower Europe published its official estimates of 2018 new solar capacity figures on Wednesday, revealing that the European Union installed 8 GW of new solar capacity in 2018, an increase of 36% over the 5.9 GW installed and connected to the grid in 2017. Solar installations for the European region as a whole — including the European Union plus Belarus, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and others— increased by approximately 20% in 2018, with 11 GW of new capacity installed, up from 9.2 GW in 2017.

The figures are an amalgam of official national government data and national solar associations, compiled by SolarPower Europe, and holds open the possibility that final installation numbers might be subject to change given the long-tail of fourth-quarter data availability.


Germany was the region’s largest solar market in 2018 with a total of 2.96 GW of new capacity added by the year’s end, up 68% from the 1.76 GW it installed in 2017.

Germany was then followed by Turkey — which fell from the top spot it held in 2017 — which installed 1.64 GW of new solar capacity in 2018, down 37% from 2017 due in large part to a decline in demand caused by the country’s financial downturn. The Netherlands stepped into third spot by adding 1.8 GW of new capacity in 2017 compared to the 770 megawatts (MW) it installed in 2017.


“It is good to see Europe fully embracing solar again,” said Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe. “With solar being the most popular energy source among EU citizens, the most versatile and often also the lowest cost power generation source, and with cost reductions continuing, we are only at the beginning of a long upward trend for solar in Europe.”

“We will see very strong demand for solar in Europe in the next two years,” added Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director of SolarPower Europe. “One of the main reasons is the upcoming EU 2020 targets, where many member states will opt for low-cost solar to meet their obligations. Beauvais added: “The EU has done its homework – by removing the trade measures on solar panels and ensuring a highly positive framework for solar through the Clean Energy Package legislation, the stage is set for significant solar growth. Now it is important that EU member states enforce the right national climate and energy plans to sustain this solar boom.”    

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 07, 2019, 07:09:38 pm »

A cold, sunny environment is the optimal operating condition for solar panels. Counterintuitively, it’s heat that actually reduces solar efficiency. Lab tests have shown that panels start to lose efficiency above 77ºF.

News flash: Solar works in cold weather

By SPW | February 5, 2019

By Manish Nayar, CEO, OYA Solar

The polar vortex blew some frigidly cold weather into the U.S. last week. It also brought out some confused comments about solar in cold weather like this one:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 07, 2019, 06:55:54 pm »

By Kelly Pickerel | February 4, 2019

U.S. crystalline silicon technology startup Merlin Solar is ready for the traditional solar market


When exploring the expanding field of U.S. crystalline silicon solar panel manufacturers, Merlin Solar is often overlooked. Even though the innovative Silicon Valley company has over 50 worldwide patents and offers UL-certified products — including hurricane resistant ground-mount panels, adhesive Class A fire-rated rooftop panels and flexible panels for metal roofs — the ruggedness of these panels, along with their light weight and ease of installation, has lent Merlin to first focus on challenging and non-traditional solar applications like the transportation, portable and military markets. After being acquired by Filipino conglomerate Ayala Corporation last year, Merlin Solar now has the scale to bring its IP-protected grid interconnection technology of silicon cells to traditional solar markets.

Full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 12, 2019, 12:29:46 pm »

Fenix International Powers The Entire Home With Pay-As-You-Go Solar Systems #CES2019

January 12th, 2019 by Kyle Field


Pay-as-you-go programs continue to revolutionize the world through solar lighting and cell phone charging systems that open up the opportunities that come with electricity, and Fenix International is leading that charge in Africa.

CleanTechnica sat down with Jit Bhattacharya, CTO of Fenix International at CES this week to talk about how pay-as-you-go solar systems have scaled up to power the entire home and how the acquisition by Engie has helped Fenix International take its business to the next level.

Full article;


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 10, 2019, 12:49:08 pm »

January 9, 2019

New solar panel cleaning product 🌞 reduces manual labor, improves safety


The hyCLEANER black SOLAR looks like a little car and moves on four wheels with two toothed-belts. The belts are covered with special straps that grip the wet surface and can move at angles up to 35°.

More »


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 10, 2019, 12:39:59 pm »

January 7, 2019

Chinese tariffs cause wave of changes to solar inverter manufacturing

The Fronius manufacturing plant in Austria. Fronius

The Section 301 tariffs on Chinese inverters are forcing many companies to make big decisions, even though the expected jump from 10 to 25% tariffs set for Jan. 1, 2019 has been stalled for 90 days of negotiation.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 10, 2019, 12:32:27 pm »


How much do solar panels cost to install now?

By Sponsored Content | December 26, 2018

Over the last 5 years, solar prices have fallen significantly due to market competition and technological advancements. The average price for a residential solar system in the United States is now only $3.20 per watt. This makes a typical 6-kW system $19,200 before solar incentives but assuming you’re eligible for the 30% federal solar tax credit, the final cost of a 6-kW system would be $13,440.

How much will I save from installing a solar system?

Since most states offer a program called net metering you can usually eliminate between 75%-100% of your monthly electric bill. Each state and utility offer slightly different programs, for a free estimate on your solar savings with local incentives, click the link below.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 09, 2019, 04:50:38 pm »

January 8, 2019

Hawaiian Electric submitted seven solar-plus-storage projects to its utility commission for review last Thursday, making it the second-largest announcement of its kind in the U.S.

The projects total over 260 megawatts of solar and one gigawatt of storage, with costs between $0.08 to $0.12 per kWh -- lower 😀 than that of fossil fuels in the state.

The projects are expected to be active in 2022 and follow even lower-cost solar-plus-storage projects announced on the U.S. mainland last year. Separately, AES Corporation completed what is now the world’s largest solar-plus-storage plant on Tuesday in Kauai, Hawaii. The project will help Hawaii move off fossil-fueled peaker plants by making renewable energy available when it’s most valuable.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 31, 2018, 05:47:44 pm »

Providing Affordable Clean Water and Renewable Energy in Remote Areas 

OffGridBox™ is an all-in-one system using solar energy to purify water and distribute energy.

learn more:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 31, 2018, 05:18:51 pm »

December 31, 2018


Put your hands together for the most watched video on our Facebook page in 2018! We’re honestly not surprised that this one took the crown. The Trump 🦀 Administration 🐉🦕🦖 has done a lot of damage to the climate movement this year – and clearly, people were paying attention.

Every week (and sometimes every day) seemed to present another instance of the White House on the wrong side of climate history. Case in point: the administration’s decision to place a tariff on solar panels manufactured overseas. This video explains why imposing this tariff was such a terrible idea, hurting both American workers and our planet.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 29, 2018, 12:16:54 pm »

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Powerhouse 3.0 Solar Shingles Head To The Roof 🌞

December 28th, 2018 by Charles W. Thurston

The snail-slow solar shingle race is moving once again, as Real Goods Solar accepts the first of its $127 million worth of Powerhouse preorders on December 27. The company also announced plans to ramp up production every quarter during 2019 toward a 5 megawatt annual capacity guarantee from its manufacturing partners. The announcement coincides with Tesla plans to ramp up its solar shingle production next year as well. May the best shingle prevail.

Real Goods Solar (RGS) acquired its shingle technology from Dow Chemical after the giant had spent close to six years trying unsuccessfully to commercialize its design. A general consensus on the failure was that the system cost too much, and Dow was not advertising the cost. Last year, RGS paid Dow $1 million for an international license for the tech, and will pay another $2 million soon, now that the RGS shingle has gained UL certification.

The Powerhouse solar shingle has 12 patents and more than 25 patents pending its technology, RGS says. The patents cover Australia, Canada, China, European Patent Office, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

RGS has reworked the solar cell chemistry from the original Dow system, replacing the Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) cells with Half Cut Mono-PERC Silicon. While the earlier cells produced 32-40 Watts per cell, the new chemistry yields 55 to 60 Watts per cell 👍, RGS claims. As a result, the per-Watt cost of the system has been lowered, the company says.

RGS now claims that its system will cost $4.14 per Watt installed, versus the $8.14 that it says the Tesla solar panel will cost, in a November 18 presentation. “The company anticipates the revenue from an average Powerhouse kit sold to a roofer, including shingles, inverter, monitoring, non-electrical balance of system components and freight charges to be $19,000,” RGS said in its September 30 10Q report.

NASDAQ-traded RGS has been issuing shares and raising capital for the last year, and now should have close to $20 million to finance a manufacturing roll-out if all its outstanding warrants are exercised, the company said in the 10Q.

Part of the lower cost for the Powerhouse 3.0 will come from a new manufacturing partner in China, Risen Energy. The company’s products are exported to more than 30 countries and regions such as Europe, America, South Africa, and Southeast Asia, it says.

“We are now fulfilling purchase orders from RGS to enable them to meet their customer demand,” said Bypina Veerraju Chaudary, Risen Energy’s chief sales and marketing officer. “We have begun manufacturing solar components and wire harness connectors for Powerhouse and expect to increase our production schedule in the coming months,” he said in a December 11 statement.

In April, RGS announced that General Polymers Thermoplastic Materials, a thermoplastic resin distributor serving custom injection molders in North America, will supply the polypropylene plastic resin for the base assembly of Powerhouse 3.0. The plastic is expected to maintain the durability and toughness of the original version resin while increasing manufacturing efficiency and reducing the overall cost of raw materials, RGS said.

At the same time, RGS announced that Creative Liquid Coatings will supply all Powerhouse 3.0 molded polymer components fully assembled, with all solar components, wire harnesses, and other parts required to deliver a finished product to RGS Energy customers.

Dow has reportedly installed its Powerhouse on about 1,000 homes in the United States. RGS is working to sell its V3.0 to roofers and homebuilders. “With a typical asphalt roof lasting 20 to 25 years, RGS estimates that annually there are approximately 5 million homes needing new roofs in the United States. Approximately 80 percent of homes in the U.S. are asphalt roofs,” the company said last year.

The RGS license is international, and the company also expects non-US sales to take off next year. “Outside of the U.S., the exclusive license allows RGS to market the product internationally. According to BBC Research, the global market for BIPV will grow at a 12.2% CAGR from $2.5 billion in 2016 to $4.3 billion by 2021,” RGS stated last year.

The Powerhouse 3.0 is expected to come with a 11-year product warranty, which is “the standard product warranty of most traditional solar panels today, and a 24-year power production warranty,” RGS said. RGS provides the warranty on all earlier Dow era installs. The shingle is built to withstand winds from 110 to 200 mph

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 30, 2018, 07:40:03 pm »

A Sol-Ark inverter+battery solution for grid backup only. Credit: Sol-Ark

Hybrid inverters can future-proof solar+storage installations

By Kelsey Misbrener | September 11, 2018


Tom Brennan, engineering manager at Sol-Ark, said that most inverters in home installations are grid-tied string inverters. They don’t work with batteries, but instead have to sell all the power they produce back to the grid. 🤔

“A battery-enabled inverter, or battery-based inverter, is something that can do a lot more than just sell back power to the grid,” Brennan said. “It can store power, it can work off-grid, it can store power for time-of-use [rate structures].” 

Battery-enabled inverters differ from traditional inverters because when there is a grid outage, standard inverters must shut down completely per Rule 21, while hybrid inverters connected to batteries can simply switch to an off-grid mode temporarily and continue to power the home.

“I think the real story here is that inverters are doing a lot more than they ever have,” said Jeremy Niles, marketing manager at Pika Energy.

They’re doing more for a number of reasons.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 26, 2018, 05:32:02 pm »

Concentrated Photovoltaics Achieve Solar Conversion Efficiency Record Of 41.4%

November 26th, 2018 by Steve Hanley


Last week a research consortium called CPVMatch, which is funded by the European Union and led by Germany’s highly respected Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Research, announced that its latest experimental CPV solar module has achieved an incredible solar conversion efficiency of 41.4%. The secret to the new module is the use of achromatic  lenses that focus incoming sunlight on miniaturized multi-junction solar cells. A two-axis solar tracker is also employed to boost efficiency during the day.

CPVMatch has been working toward the goal of making CPV technology production-ready for the past 3½ years. It has merged the efforts of researchers in Germany, Italy, Spain, and France. It is not enough to set records in the laboratory if the results cannot be translated into commercial products at an affordable price.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 25, 2018, 03:59:05 pm »

What is a half-cell solar panel?

By Kelly Pickerel | October 24, 2018

Panel trends have a way of quickly becoming mainstream. IHS Markit predicted that passivated emitter rear cells (PERC) technology would go from a blip in the market in 2014 to mainstream by 2020—a prediction confirmed by anyone looking at panel models released this year. PERC is here to stay.

Different cell dimensions. Source: ITRPV

The next technology on that mainstream path is half-cell designs. The ninth edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic (ITRPV) predicts the market share of half cells will grow from 5% in 2018 to nearly 40% in 2028.

Half-cell modules have solar cells that are cut in half, which improves the module’s performance and durability. Traditional 60- and 72-cell panels will have 120 and 144 half-cut cells, respectively. When solar cells are halved, their current is also halved, so resistive losses are lowered and the cells can produce a little more power. Smaller cells experience reduced mechanical stresses, so there is a decreased opportunity for cracking. Half-cell modules have higher output ratings and are more reliable than traditional panels.

“When considering a solar installation, the idea of ‘more’ is at the forefront—produce more energy, save (or earn) more money and do more good for the environment,” said Cemil Seber, VP of global marketing and product management for module manufacturer REC. “In the case of rooftops where there is a limited amount of space available, using solar panels with half-cut cell technology can help.”

REC is a half-cell pioneer, first introducing the design in 2014. The company’s TwinPeak half-cell module series effectively turns each panel into two twin panels. Since the cells are smaller, inter-cell spacing doesn’t have to be as wide and they can be placed closer together. This allows REC to separate the panel into two. Independent upper and lower module halves lead to improved shading response. If the bottom half of a module is shaded, the top half will still perform.

REC’s polycrystalline TwinPeak half-cell module (left) and its monocrystalline N-Peak half-cell module (right)

REC has pushed the boundaries with half-cell designs in polycrystalline modules. REC’s half-cell PERC polycrystalline modules have reached 300 W, and they can compete with full-cell modules in the more efficient monocrystalline class. The company has been so impressed by the advantages of half-cells, it is transitioning all its manufacturing lines to the new technology.

“Since 2014, REC has been continuously transferring its production lines to half-cut cell technology,” Seber said. “Today, all but one of our module production lines in Singapore have been equipped for half-cut cell technology.”

During the 2018 tradeshow swing, REC released its new N-Peak series of modules, the company’s first stab at monocrystalline half-cells for even higher efficiency and output—up to 330 W in a traditional 60-cell footprint.

Other manufacturers have also started half-cell designs in the monocrystalline class. LONGi Solar recently exceeded 360 W in testing with its 120-cell half-cut monocrystalline PERC module. Hanwha Q CELLS received the Intersolar Award 2018 Photovoltaics category for its Q.PEAK DUO-G5 solar module—a 120-half-cell, six-busbar monocrystalline module. The Hanwha module uses round wires instead of flat ribbons for busbars to reduce shading on the cells. Hanwha also has half-cut designs for the 72-cell market, although in polycrystalline. Its Q. PLUS DUO L-G5.2 is a polycrystalline half-cell module with a maximum output of 370 W.

Half-cut cells  (Photo from Hanwha Q CELLS SPI 2017 booth)

Since half-cell designs are the hottest trend right now, a manufacturer just has to update a few things on its lines to keep up. The two challenges with switching full-cell manufacturing to half-cell designs is the cell cutting and the stringing process. Since half-cells are usually PERC cells to begin with, the cell itself is quite fragile. Laser-cutting the cell down the middle without cracking it is a delicate process. Half-cells often use four or more busbars. Stringing these very narrow connection strips across a smaller footprint requires the use of precise equipment. Junction boxes are also different on half-cell modules. Most brands use multiple, smaller junction boxes so each module half can function as its own. Otherwise, half-cell module assembly is like full-cell production.

Since half-cell modules produce more power and are more efficient and reliable than their full-cell counterparts, their use can lead to time and money savings for the installer.

“By delivering more power per square meter, fewer panels are required to generate the same power,”  Seber said. “This means quicker installation times and the need for fewer components such as clamps and racks—all of which reduces the overall costs.”


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 25, 2018, 03:19:54 pm »

Johnson Controls installing Colorado’s first floating solar array 

By Billy Ludt | October 18, 2018

Johnson Controls will implement Colorado’s first floating solar PV array at the Town Water Treatment Facility in Walden. The array will provide a renewable and supplemental energy source to treat drinking water in the town, school district and Jackson County offices.

Colorado’s first floating solar PV array at the Town Water Treatment Facility in Walden. The array will help the town cut back on energy use and secure a more sustainable future, made possible through a performance contract.

The array will help conserve water by limiting pond evaporation and can potentially minimize algae growth in the pond. Additionally, its capacity is approximately 75 kW, which will offset a good portion of the power purchased used to treat drinking water for the town and in some months, could completely power the town’s drinking water facility.

“This is a monumental project for our town and will help to further our reputation as a leader in sustainability,” said Jim Dustin, mayor of Walden. “We knew Johnson Controls was the perfect partner for this project as a prequalified energy services company through the CEO performance contract program and their extensive solar experience. This project is a testament of what can be achieved with a little bit of sun, multiple state agencies and private industries working together for one common goal—and provides a great example for other towns across the state and country to emulate.”

The project was made possible through a performance contract with Johnson Controls and supported by the Colorado Energy Office (CEO). Through the contract, Walden is guaranteed energy savings and approximately 2,503,974 kWh over the next 20 years. Additional funding was secured through the Department of Local Affairs through an Energy Mineral and Impact Grant.

“The Town of Walden is setting the bar high for the state’s energy resiliency efforts,” said Rowena Adams, performance infrastructure account executive for Johnson Controls. “They are a prime example of the impact even a small town can have in being mindful of energy consumption and securing their energy future with the help of innovative solutions made possible through funding approaches like performance contracts.”

Johnson Controls worked with the non-profit organization GRID Alternatives Colorado—a leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to low-income communities—and Ciel & Terre, a floating rack manufacturer, to design, build and expedite racking delivery so the system could be commissioned by fall 2018.

News item from Johnson Controls


Agelbert NOTE: I have been advocating this approach to preserving water in drought ridden areas for years . Water bodies like hydropower dams will also benefit from the added PV energy . The aquatic 🐟 life benefits because the water temperature does not rise enough to threaten them while the water level remains more stable. I hope this common sense solution is adopted in the Western USA, where more severe droughts are an increasingly deleterious effect of Catastrophic Climate Change (see below).

Interactive Map: Precipitation in the 2050s

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