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Topic Summary

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 »

CleanTechnica
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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 »

CleanTechnica
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April 22nd, 2019 by Steve Hanley



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

CleanTechnica
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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.
 
DOWNLOAD E-BOOK
 
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Which means it’s not a case of should we replace aging fossil fuel infrastructure – like outdated and inefficient coal-fired power plants – but how fast we can do it.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 »

CleanTechnica
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March 30th, 2019 by Guest Contributor



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

CleanTechnica
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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.”    

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/02/21/european-union-solar-capacity-grows-by-36-in-2018/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 07, 2019, 07:09:38 pm »

Quote
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

SNIPPET:

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:

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2019/02/u-s-crystalline-silicon-technology-startup-merlin-solar-is-ready-for-the-traditional-solar-market/

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

SNIPPET:

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;

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/01/12/fenix-international-powers-the-entire-home-with-pay-as-you-go-solar-systems-ces2019/

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 »

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2019/01/new-solar-panel-cleaning-product-reduces-manual-labor-improves-safety/


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:

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2019/01/chinese-tariffs-change-solar-inverter-manufacturing/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 10, 2019, 12:32:27 pm »

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/



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.

https://www.solarreviews.com/blog/how-much-will-solar-panels-for-home-cost-to-install-in-2018
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.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/aes-completes-its-record-breaking-solar-and-battery-plant-on-kauai#gs.YOeN4FHB
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:


https://www.offgridbox.com/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 31, 2018, 05:18:51 pm »

December 31, 2018

SNIPPET:

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.


https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/31/top-5-climate-change-videos-of-2018/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 29, 2018, 12:16:54 pm »

CleanTechnica
Support CleanTechnica’s work via donations on Patreon or PayPal!

Or just go buy a cool t-shirt, cup, baby outfit, bag, or hoodie.


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

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/28/powerhouse-3-0-solar-shingles-head-to-the-roof/
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

SNIPPET:

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:

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/09/hybrid-inverters-future-proof-solar-storage-installation/
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

SNIPPET:

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:
   


https://cleantechnica.com/2018/11/26/concentrated-photovoltaics-achieve-solar-conversion-efficiency-record-of-41-4/
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.”

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/10/what-is-a-half-cell-solar-panel/

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

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/10/johnson-controls-installing-colorado-floating-solar-array/

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
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 18, 2018, 02:00:45 pm »


Tabuchi Eco Intelligent Battery System (EIBS) 💫


Learn more:

https://www.tabuchiamerica.com/residential
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 18, 2018, 01:45:15 pm »



Case study: Massive nonprofit installation helps Portland’s homeless in a powerful way

By Kelsey Misbrener | October 15, 2018

SNIPPET:

This project size required massive people-power, but Twende had no trouble recruiting area solar companies and other industry workers to help. In fact, it had the opposite problem—so many people were willing to pitch in that some had to be turned down.

“We were just blown away at the pent-up supply of people willing to contribute to work like this,” Grieser said. “We pretty much had some volunteer from every competing solar contractor across the state contribute in person on this project.”

Grieser said he observed different solar companies checking out the tips and tricks of their usual competitors while installing side by side. During lunch, the group would convene and talk about their different installation methods.

“I think the collective knowledge base of the industry just rose from working on this project together with everybody,” he said.

One of the most inspiring aspects of this project came in the form of two volunteers from PRM. This PRM site is a women and children’s recovery center, and when the organization asked residents if anyone was interested in helping with the solar project, two women raised their hands right away.    

Full article with Podcast: 

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/10/case-study-nonprofit-installation-helps-portland-homeless/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 27, 2018, 12:44:48 pm »


Thursday, September 29, 2018

PUERTO RICO MOVES FORWARD: INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS AFTER HURRICANE MARIA

RMI has been supporting Puerto Rico in advancing microgrids for schools, including one being commissioned this week in Orocovis (see story above). RMI’s islands team also supports Puerto Rican civil society to chart an alternative vision for renewables and community participation through convening and advisory support for new legislation.

A recent video from PBS’s NOVA series shows how Puerto Ricans are innovating to find new energy solutions after Hurricane Maria revealed extreme weaknesses in the island’s electric grid. Watch now:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 19, 2018, 04:49:11 pm »



September 19, 2018

Solar ⚡ power installations 💫weathered the storm and are mostly back online 🌞👍 after Hurricane Florence knocked out power for over one million people.
Flooding will continue as crews work to restore power. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


All of Duke Energy’s solar sites in North Carolina are back to producing power and installers in the residential solar space said only minimal damages have been reported.

Extreme weather events like Hurricanes Maria and Florence are increasing consumer interest in batteries that can store power from solar and other systems when power lines are disrupted after a storm. 

Read more:

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/clean-energy-players-weather-hurricane-florence#gs.zF=RVYw
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 15, 2018, 12:21:45 pm »

   

888.825.3432   
 
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August 14, 2018

The S-5 PV Kit 2.0 is built to save you time and money


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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 14, 2018, 01:09:25 pm »

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Solar Farms Can Become Pollinator Habitats & Help Save the Bees!

August 14th, 2018 by Carolyn Fortuna

They buzz and swarm, hover and dart. In the process of gathering pollen and nectar for their hives, bees and other insects pollinate flowers, ensuring that plants reproduce and yield fruit and other products. They contribute to pollinating nearly 75% of all human food crops worldwide, and yet humans have put tremendous stress on insect pollinator habitats with pesticides, land development, altered hydrologic patterns, and other actions. As a result, insect species have declined significantly. Ultimate loss of these insect species could have global scale impacts — wiping out crops, elevating food production costs, and compromising human nutrition.

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, however, are investigating ways to use pollinator-friendly solar power as a way to reinvigorate pollinator habitats. By studying solar energy facilities with pollinator habitats on site, researchers hope to rehabilitate pollinator populations that play a crucial role in national and global agricultural industries, plant species, and thriving pollinator numbers.

pollinator habitat

Concerns regarding the conservation of pollinators have risen to the global scale as countries have seen severe pollinator declines and have begun developing strategies to sustain pollinator species in the face of an ever-expanding human population. Although the total land area projected to be required for solar development through 2030 is less than 0.1% of the contiguous US surface area, a need exists to improve the landscape sustainability of large-scale solar developments to avoid or minimize potential impacts to local agriculture and cultural, ecological, and other natural resources.

With goals to conserve habitat, maintain ecosystem function, and support multiple ongoing human land uses in the landscape, researchers in Argonne’s Environmental Science (EVS) division have found that the area around solar panels could provide an ideal location for the plants that attract pollinators. This study outlines opportunities for investigating the environmental benefits of pollinator habitats, such as water conservation, land management, and carbon dioxide reduction.

pollinator habitat


Background about Rural Energy Development and Agricultural Intensification

Utility-scale solar energy (USSE) developments (≥1 megawatt [MW]) are increasing in agricultural landscapes, specifically on former agricultural fields. Driven variously by economics, rejection of fossil fuels, global climate change actions, air and water pollution, and energy security, USSE grew at an average rate of 72% per year between 2010 and 2016. By the end of 2016, USSE facilities accounted for approximately 22 GW of installed US electricity generation capacity, with an additional 13 GW of planned USSE construction. Interest in on-site vegetation management approaches to USSE farms is increasing, as it could restore ecosystem balance such as crop pollination that also maintains or even enhances agricultural production on nearby lands.

Recent emphasis has been placed on the creation and maintenance of pollinator habitats at USSE facilities. “Pollinator habitats” describes the practice of planting seed mixes of regional native plants such as milkweed and other wildflowers, within the solar infrastructure footprint after construction. Sowing could occur among solar panels or other reflective surfaces, or in off-site areas adjacent to the solar facility. Sowing has the intent to attract and support native insect pollinators by providing food sources, refuge, and nesting habitat.

Despite their ecological differences, all types of solar-pollinator habitats have the potential to improve biodiversity and ecosystem function as compared to conventional USSE vegetation management practices.


Conventional USSE management practices are intended to minimize or prohibit the growth of vegetation within the facility footprint:

• placement of gravel

• establishment and maintenance of turf grass

• mowing

• herbicide application

Such practices provide little or no habitat suitable for pollinator species, especially if these vegetation management practices occur frequently during operation of the solar facility.

Solar-pollinator habitat and related activities provide ecological benefits for pollinators and non-pollinators alike:

֍ limited mowing

֍ no herbicide or pesticide applications

֍ planned seed sowing to attract pollinators


pollinator habitats

Reclaiming Pollinator Habitats through Cultivated Solar Farms

In response to the population decline of pollinating insects, such as wild bees and monarch butterflies, the Argonne researchers have examined the potential benefits of establishing pollinator habitats at USSE facilities to conserve pollinators and restore the ecosystem they provide. Examining over 2,800 existing and planned USSE facilities in the contiguous US, the researchers determined whether solar-sited pollinator habitat could benefit agriculture. They found over 3,500 square kilometers of agricultural land near existing and planned USSE facilities that could benefit from rehabilitation and which could help reinstate the declining pollinator population with few subsequent side effects.

For example, one team looked at 3 example crop types to measure the agricultural benefits of increased pollinator habitats. These crops – soybeans, almonds, and cranberries – depend on insect pollinators for their annual crop yields. If all existing and planned solar facilities near these crop types included pollinator habitat and increased yield by just 1%, crop values could rise $1.75 million, $4 million, and $233,000 for soybeans, almonds and cranberries, respectively.

Solar-sited pollinator habitats can help optimize the land-use efficiency of solar energy developments while not compromising solar panel efficiency. Often filled with gravel or turf grass, much of the land in a solar farm is untended. Research has shown that in many locations these grounds offer an ideal place to establish native plant species, such as prairie grass or wildflowers, which are prevalent pollinator habitats and can encourage steady insect population growth. There are economic benefits to pollinators, too — honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the US.

By increasing the ability of pollinators to pollinate adjacent agricultural fields, solar-sited pollinator habitat may boost farmers’ crop yields and create companion income revenues to neighboring agricultural farms. Rejuvenating local pollinator habitat is one way that local farmers can augment trends to lease land for solar arrays, as the practice has proven more lucrative to them at times than cash crops.

pollinator habitats

Final Thoughts

Studies in the UK support findings that solar panels enhance biodiversity and wildlife abundance — botanical diversity within solar farm landscaping is responding to favorable management practices.

Most UK sites studied point out that herbicide application to date at USSEs has been limited to spot treatment of weeds. They conclude that a reduction in the use of broad-spectrum herbicides will lead to greater diversity of broadleaved plants. High soil fertility of arable farmland favors a few dominant species of plants, but, as soil fertility reduces in the absence of fertilizer, diversity of both grasses and broad leaved plants is able to and is anticipated to increase. Where suitable USSE management exists, botanical diversity increases over time, with plants emerging from seed banks as well as airborne or animal-carried seed.

The symbiosis of solar farms and pollinator habitats may widen appreciation among community members and local governments for the pollinators’ role in agricultural production. It may persuade solar developers to rethink the landscape design around their installations.

Many US states are catching up to their European counterparts and acknowledging the need to address pollinator population declines through legislation. Solar facilities are beginning to respond by sowing in pollinator-friendly areas. Illinois recently passed a “Pollinator-Friendly Solar Energy Bill” in May, 2018. Other states like Maryland and Minnesota have made part of their legislative agendas to transition to USSEs that incorporate landscape compatible environs.

Photos on Foter.com and  solartradeassociation on Trend Hype / CC BY-SA and USDAgov on TrendHype / CC BY-ND and by oatsy40 on Trend hype / CC BY

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/08/14/solar-farms-can-become-pollinator-habitats-help-save-the-bees/

Agelbert COMMENT: There is a destructive mentallity in much of the USA in regard to vegetation in general and lawns in particular. This attitude has influenced most of the non-indigenous population for centuries.

What am I talking about❓ I'm talking about the destructive practice of maintaining manicured lawns. The Zoning Nazis in most towns in the USA prohibit home owners form growing food in their front yards or even allowing the yard to be "wild" with wild flowers or other local vegetation.  👎

All this adds pollution from gasoline powered lawn mowers (which pollute massively because those small engines have no pollution controls whatsoever!)  AND poisons the soil with (hydrocarbon feed stock) chemical pesticides and herbicides. 👎👎👎

Where did this unhealthy practice come from⁉️

 It came from the Midieval Castle use of "Killing fields".

Look at this picture:


We are all very familiar with the concept of a moat. BUT, most castles did not have one.

The castles were subject to attack, so the grounds around the walls were cleared so attacking troops could not use tall foliage as cover to get near the walls. These areas were called "killling fileds" because the archers on the walls  would kill anyone attacking the castle in the cleared areas.

When peace was more routine, castle grounds went from large manicured (i.e. short) lawns to manicured bushes and fastidiously ordered flower gardens with mazes and walks for the "nobles" to stroll along in a 100% "tamed" nature area.



This Victorian idea of ordering natue obsessively was, unfortunately, transferred to the "new" world along with the genocide of the native population. 🤬

It's time to stop being stupid with lawns, people. We do not need a killing field (for people AND bees, butterflies, ladybugs, worms, beetles, trillions of soil health providing microbes, etc.) in our front yard.

📢 Vote the Zoning Nazis OUT in your town!

We DO need to take seriously our RESPONSIBILITY as stewards of the biosphere to work to promote and preserve biodiversity, as Carolyn Fortuna 👍🌞 advocates here.

Thank you, Carolyn Fortuna 🍃, for being part of the solution. 💐 God bless you.


 
What it Means to be Responsible - Reflections on Our Responsibility for the Future  by Theresa Morris, State University of New York at New Paltz
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 10, 2018, 11:38:20 pm »

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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 09, 2018, 10:49:56 pm »



August 8, 2018

Welt Online

Solar panel owners reap benefits of record sunshine hours

The exceptionally sunny weather in Germany is lavishing owners of solar panels with a lot of money, according to an article published on Welt Online. However, the rate of remuneration varies widely: those who installed solar panels in the early 2000s receive 57 eurocents per kilowatt hour they provide to the grid, compared to 12.08 eurocents per kilowatt hour for those who installed their panels at the beginning of August this year, the article says. Despite this drop, “Photovoltaics are still worthwhile today because the prices for the panels have fallen in recent years by almost the same extent as the feed-in tariff has,” Peter Kafke, energy consulting expert at the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV), said.

https://www.welt.de/finanzen/plus180721942/Fotovoltaik-So-macht-die-Sonne-Sie-reich.html

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