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solar clover, simplifying solar installation

Armageddon Energy is beta testing their do it yourself “solar energy in a box” product concept. The company released pictures of their beta test through GreenTech Media today of how easy it is for more people to install what they call the “solar clover”. The solar clover system is a pre-fabricated solar electric system packaged with mirco-inverters which takes the complex inverter stringing process of a typical installation out of the equation. The racking for the solar clover system has unique triangle shape which can fit about 400 watts of solar clover panels. Three triangles filled with solar clovers on your roof can provide just over 1 kW (kilowatt) of solar electric capacity. Solar Clovers are lightweight because instead of using glass that traditional solar panels use, they’re coated with Teflon developed by DuPont. Armageddon Energy decided to make their solar panels a hexagon shape since they believe the shape is stronger and more efficient than rectangular solar panels. Even though the solar electric system installation process is supposedly simple with the Solar clover, the system still has to be secured to the roof, pointed in the right orientation, optimal pitch and connected to the grid which is not a task for everyone. What do you think about the solar clover system? Do you think more people will be encouraged to install a solar electric systems if they can be assembled as easily as the furniture purchased at...

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clicksys, solar panel mounting just got easier

UniRac, a leading solar panel mounting hardware provider released their brand new clicksys flush mounting system using a unique i-beam design which enhances aesthetics, optimizes strength and eliminates extra components required to mount solar panels onto a rooftop. Less parts to deal with means less time on the roof to install the system. The video below demonstrates the time saved when using clicksys compared to traditional solar panel mounting systems. There is no need to drill and the “click and secure” connections removed the needs for nuts and bolts. Clicksys is compatible with most roofs and carries a 10 year warranty. The company produced a video of a side by side installation test to prove how fast you can install solar panels with clicksys. What do you think about solar panel racking systems becoming more standardized and easier to...

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national electric code requires product changes

Recently updates to the NEC (National Electric Code) have required solar panels and other solar power products to change up connectors to MC4, also known as locking connectors. MC4 connectors have been more common in Europe before they became required in the USA. The revisions to the NEC in 2008 require solar power product manufacturers to update their offering with lockable connectors for compliance purposes. Older MC3 connectors could potentially pose a safety hazard since they can accidentally become undone. The industry has moved towards the MC4 as a standard due to NEC’s influence it has over products that are offered in the solar power...

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premium roofs with a hidden talent

There are many homeowners with clay roofs that want to harness the power of the sun to generate clean electricity but don’t want to install bulky solar panels on their premium roofs. SRS Energy is offering a product called Solé Power Tile which integrates seamlessly with traditional US Tile’s clay tiles to maintain the depth and aesthetics of a sophisticated roofline while infused with solar photovoltaic technology. The Solé Power Tiles are UL listed and uses flexible solar cells manufactured by Uni-Solar, a leading developer of thin film solar cells. Thin film solar cells perform better in higher temperatures and low diffused light compared to standard crystalline based solar panels. The Solé Power Tiles have been tested under harsh conditions for durability, including UV stability, color fastness, wind resistance, electrical output, safety, and extreme mechanical stresses. The tiles install just like traditional roofing, but are even lighter than their ceramic counterparts. Each Solé Power Tile is 37.4 inches wide and 18 inches long. 30 tiles, weighing 240 pounds can fit in a 100 square foot surface area. The tiles can generate 500 watts per 100 square feet. What do you think about Solé Power Tiles? Do you think more homeowners would adopt solar photovoltaic if it can be integrated right into the...

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got an inkjet printer? print solar cells

People are coming up with creative ways to lower the cost of solar cells through manufacturing efficiencies. Traditional crystalline based solar panels have an intensive manufacturing process which requires silicon to be grown and it quite a complex process which increases the cost per watt. Recently National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has been investing in solar inkjet and sprayer systems, equipment which allows a manufacturer to print photovoltaic material right onto a substrate thus greatly reducing the cost and time it takes to produce solar cells. By inkjet technology I mean similar to inkjet printers, solar photovoltaic material can be deposited onto a substrate with minimal material usage and waste through use of a digitally controlled process. I’ve read some articles in the past about a university student that basically modified a standard inkjet printer to print very low efficiency solar cells that actually produced a small electrical charge! Obviously we are far away from being able to print solar cells in our own homes, but the concept can be revolutionary especially in the developing word. We could one day take an inkjet printer into an Afican village and print solar cells right at the point of use and change the lives of the billions of people who have no access to clean...

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transformerless grid tie inverters lower cost

Transformerless inverters are popular in Europe and increasing becoming more common with 3-phase central inverters. But what exactly does transformerless really mean? Well traditionally inverters have built in transformers inside each unit. Although is a transformer really needed inside the inverter? Most buildings have a transformer on the same line as the solar grid tie inverter, therefore more than often the transformer in the grid tie inverter is really not needed. Some grid tie inverter manufacturers decided to eliminate the transformers to reduce the cost, size and weight of their product line. The greatest advantage of removing the transformer from the inverter is it increases efficiency since the loss components are eliminated. For transformerless inverters to meet NEC (national electric code) a more expensive PV wire has to be used to ensure a code compliant installation. What do you think about transformerless...

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