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GoGreenSolar increases energy independence with Sonnen Batterie
Aug26

GoGreenSolar increases energy independence with Sonnen Batterie

GO GREEN SOLAR is proud to announce that it is now one America’s select distributors of the SONNEN BATTERIE, a smart and elegant energy storage system that allows homeowners to keep and use the excess energy their solar arrays produce.   The addition of a Sonnen Batterie to a solar home allows for greater independence from energy companies, which have unpredictable rates and charge higher prices during peak energy hours.   “Sonnen offers smart technology that allows for management of energy usage within the home, such as controlling the time to use appliances to reduce electricity.”   Recent pressure from Big Energy on state legislators to do away with net-metering incentives and raise KW per hour rates on solar homeowners has sparked nationwide controversy, stimulating many of these homeowners to look for ways to further cut ties with the conventional energy grid.   The Sonnen Batterie offers these energy producing homeowners one such solution by combining powerful lithium-iron-phosphate battery cells, smart metering technology and a friendly user interface into a well designed wall unit that  harvests energy from a solar array or grid during peak energy hours, when rates are cheapest, and uses the stored energy when the rates are more expensive.     Designed by the German-based company to look minimalistic and sleek, fitting on the wall of any conventional home, the battery can save up to an additional 75% on electrical bills.   “Sonnenbatterie has integrated smart meter technology into every unit, allowing our customers to switch to battery power automatically when they are reaching their demand charge limits,” said Boris von Bormann, Country Manager of Sonnenbatterie North America   The battery, which is immediately available for purchase in the United States from Go Green Solar, also comes with the unique benefit of tapping into the Sonnen Batterie Community. Owners of the battery automatically become members of the Sonnen Community, which connects them off-the-grid to on another, allowing them to share excess energy or purchase excess energy from members at rates that pay better and cost less than those offered by electricity providers.   The Sonnen Batterie features smart phone capabilities that track energy usage, lasts up to 10,000 charging cycles and can scale out to meet a home’s energy needs.   Go Green Solar is an affiliate of Gigawatt Inc, developing solutions like home solar distribution since 2006 to help people stay powered.   Sonnen Batterie has been the leading European manufacturer of next generation smart residential and commercial energy storage solutions since 2011.   The two companies recently joined forces to bring homeowners using solar a smarter, more economical and efficient way to step off...

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Cash in on net-metering while you still can!
Mar14

Cash in on net-metering while you still can!

The rationality of net-metering is hard to deny: If your home generates more energy than it consumes and that energy is added back into the grid, it’s only fair you should be compensated for the contribution. However utility companies, who usually end up footing the bill, are of a different opinion. As of January 2016 more than half of the 40 U.S. states with net-metering incentives have had their policies come under scrutiny. At the start of the year, homeowners in California breathed a collective sigh of relief as state regulators narrowly voted to uphold the existing net-metering benefits. However their neighboring solar enthusiasts in the state of Nevada weren’t so lucky. As more people are switching to using solar and generating their own power, state regulators have been forced to balance on a high wire of encouraging the trend while also pacifying the big energy companies that power houses during non-daylight hours. Check out the map below to see if you’re in one of the blue states where net-metering incentives are still applicable. If you are, and haven’t yet made the switch to solar, time might be running out to cash in on making more sun energy than you...

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SunJack – World’s Most Portable 20W Solar Charger Live on Kickstarter
Apr17

SunJack – World’s Most Portable 20W Solar Charger Live on Kickstarter

Harold Tan, one of the team members at GoGreenSolar.com, has launched a new Kickstarter campaign to build and market SunJack, the world’s most portable 20-Watt solar charger and battery pack for off-grid applications and emergency mobile power. The campaign will also benefit the rural villages of Papua New Guinea with smoke-free lighting and energy. As an off-grid camper and extreme outdoorsman, Tan knows how important charged electronics can be in isolated areas. But whether power was needed for light, weather information, or communication, Tan saw that solar powered chargers on the market today were flawed. They gave too little power too slowly. With today’s power-hungry mobile devices, off-grid campers could wait 12 hours or more to fully recharge and have enough stored energy for map apps, rescue calls, night lighting, or just enjoying music at night. Realizing the need, Tan designed the SunJack system, a 14 Watt or a 20 Watt fast-charging solar powered battery system that’s lightweight and easily folds into the size of an iPad. When completely opened, the lightweight SunJack systems can be securely attached to a backpack and fully replenish its batteries in approximately 5 hours of direct sunlight. With the 14 Watt model, SunJack’s 8000 mAh lithium-polymer battery can charge two USB devices simultaneously, run independently from the solar panels, and has a built in LED light for off-grid lighting. With the premium 20-Watt SunJack model, family campers can receive 16000 mAh capacity, enough to power up to 8 iPhones, or 1.4 iPads or 8 hours of 5 Watt lighting. SunJack is unique for its proprietary USB port and a lithium-polymer battery that was specially designed for faster charging from sunlight. “Think of it as being able to get more water out of your faucet faster,” said Tan. “The SunJack is able to get more electrons flowing into the battery faster than any solar charger available, which means you get wall-outlet charging speeds in an incredibly portable form-factor.” But SunJack is more than an off-grid power system for boats, beach days, emergencies, and rock climbing trips. It’s also a path for non-toxic lighting for the rural villages of Papua New Guinea. For certain levels of Kickstarter investors, Tan will donate a SunJack and an LED light to a rural village, enabling rural families to learn to read and perform indoor chores at night without breathing noxious kindling wood fumes. The SunJack Kickstarter campaign is running from now until Thursday, May 15th and will offer backers several early investor values, including portable solar lights and significant discounts off SunJack’s projected $250 retail price. If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, backers should receive the first production...

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Canadian Solar Inc – From Icy Paths to Solar Panels
Mar17

Canadian Solar Inc – From Icy Paths to Solar Panels

Foreward: As a leading retailer for solar products and kits, we’re proud to provide access to the industry’s top manufacturers. But with so many companies, there’s of course, the subtle, but key distinctions between companies, their products, and the people who make them. By shining light on these differences and sharing their stories, we’re aiming to provide a more clear picture to help in your decision making. Canadian Solar Inc., at a Glance Canadian Solar Inc. is one of the largest solar manufacturers in the world. Their story combines global reach and world class financing, expressed through the hard work and humble beginnings of founder and CEO, Dr. Shawn Qu. They maintain their space as leaders in the industry by driving product innovation and in-house R&D; and in 13 years since their founding, they have elevated themselves as a leading company in the solar industry. From Icy Walkways to Sun-Powered Panels Canadian Solar Inc. was founded in 2001 by Dr. Shawn Qu. Qu. As a serial academic/entrepreneur, he received his Bachelor of Science in applied physics from China’s most prestigious school, Tsinghua University. He later graduated with a Masters of Science in physics from the University of Manitoba and went onward to receive his Ph.D in material sciences from the University of Toronto. In an insightful 2010 interview, Dr. Qu recalls the “cold, cold, Winnpeg winter,” as he walked from class to class on icy campus walkways. His story sets an interesting backdrop: The basic beginnings of what would ultimately become the world’s leading solar company. Before founding Canadian Solar Inc., Dr. Qu worked at Ontario Power Generation as a research scientist, then moved into product engineering, business development, and strategy at Automation Tooling Systems, Inc. Here, he was led into the solar industry with Photowatt International S.A. Eventually, he returned to his alma mater Tsinghua University as a visiting professor in 2011. He currently runs Canadian Solar Inc. as CEO and chairman of CSI’s board of directors –  alongside an esteemed lineup of accomplished professionals in corporate finance, law, and nanotechnologies. Leading the Industry Dr. Qu’s multi-discipline background reflects itself within the company’s products and services. They provide a huge range of solar applications (cells, modules, wafers, ingots, panels, etc.) across different verticals and scales (from consumer level to huge solar farm contracts). Their operations are spread across 13 countries worldwide and in more recent news, they were announced as the Nasdaq’s second-best performer with a 687% surge by Q4 of 2013 (hovering around $30/share). As of 2014, their value has grown (once again) by an astounding ~25% to an average of $40 a share with market value...

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What’s wrong with solar permitting?  Q&A with Deep Patel, CEO of GoGreenSolar.com
Mar04

What’s wrong with solar permitting? Q&A with Deep Patel, CEO of GoGreenSolar.com

Experience any roadblocks while trying to pull a permit for a photovoltaic (PV) system in your city?   Paying too much?  You’re not alone.  Getting your PV system a permit can be a daunting task for both customers and installers. According to report by Clean Power Finance, about 23% of PV installations cost more than expected.   More than a third of solar installers actually avoid working with certain Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) because of their solar permitting processes. What’s wrong with these permitting processes and what can we do to fix it?  What’s being done right now? No standardized permitting process or fees have been set among AHJs, or the entities that have the power to determine and enforce code requirements for PV systems.  I’m catching up with GoGreensolar.com CEO Deep Patel to touch on some of these issues. From a solar contractor’s perspective, how do varying permitting procedures affect your business? It makes it more difficult to generate a proposal.  There really is not a cookie cutter solution, so unfortunately we can’t just generate proposal on the spot.  It often takes weeks because we have to call the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), leave messages, and wait for them to call us back. So when you’re trying to get a proposal out, it often takes up your time.  This increases the wait-time for customers and often drives up the soft costs of solar.  Would you say that this cost is passed along to consumers? Yes, proposals currently have to account for this unpredictability. When you’re running a business with that kind of uncertainty, you have to pad the proposal in case of any unexpected fees or codes changes. In an attempt to bring down the time and soft-costs that come with this inconsistent permitting process, the DOE’s Sunshot supported Clean Power Finance’s efforts to develop a National Solar Permitting Database.  The goal is to provide solar professionals a platform to give testimonials about different AHJs and coach each other through these permitting processes.  I guess you could say it’s like Yelp for solar contractors to review AHJs. A National Database can help solar contractors work more efficiently, but is it not placing a Band-Aid on a bullet wound?  Given that the DOE already has a standardized set of permitting policies known (solar ABCs), is it even fair that the burden of navigating these arduous permitting processes is imposed on those who are installing solar electric systems?  The problem is that the DOE doesn’t have the jurisdiction here.  The DOE can’t force the cities to follow a standardized permitting process, but they can make recommendations and city governments can choose to adopt them.  Meanwhile,...

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3 Ways Enphase M215 Just Got Better
Jan27

3 Ways Enphase M215 Just Got Better

Enphase Energy just revealed some key improvements to the Enphase M215, 215 Watt microinverter and their system as a whole. Take a look at the new features… 1. Enphase M215 with Integrated Ground Photovoltaic (PV) systems in North America have normally required bonding each microinverter together with continuous copper grounding wire.  The purpose of this standard is to prevent fires, protect workers from shocks, and comply with National Electrical Code (NEC).  Some changes to NEC have allowed Enphase to incorporate integrated (DC isolated) ground technology into their 4th generation line, which now includes the M215. Because the DC circuit is isolated and insulated from the ground, you can now safely install Enphase M215 microinverters without a Grounding Electrode Conductor (GEC) connected to each microinverter. Coming soon… the 4th generation M215. Download the new M215 Microinverter data sheet (PDF). As you can see in the image above, the M215 now has a flat lid with no grounding lug. Yes, this product meets U.S. National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements Ungrounded Photovoltaic (PV) Power Systems and it’s actually a safer product. Integrated Ground(IG) technology simplifies this cumbersome installation process, reducing materials and labor costs.  Installers and D.I.Y. customers already prefer to use Enphase for residential systems because of its straightforward installation.  The new M215 further simplifies the process because there’s no need to run copper wire between each microinverter. Sound familiar?  Last year, Enphase released their fourth generation model, the Enphase M250, which also features this new IG technology.  The Enphase M520, however, is optimized for solar panels all the way up to 300 Watts. The Enphase M215 is compatible with modules up to 270W, a lower wattage range where consumers are finding the best dollar per Watt on solar panels.  So basically, Enphase put all the benefits of the M250 into the M215. Oh yeah, the new Enphase M215 also has a CEC efficiency rating of 96.5% compared with the previous version’s 96%. For more information on the new M215’s integrated grounding feature, please see Enphase’s M215 white paper. 2.  Wi-Fi option for the Envoy Communications Gateway Now Available! The Envoy Communications Gateway is the hub connects your Enphase microinverter system to Enlighten, Enphase’s web-based monitoring software for PV systems. Instead of running an Ethernet cable from the Envoy hardware into a broadband router, you can now connect the Envoy Communications Gateway with the new wi-fi option (pictured top right). The new Wi-fi option simplifies connectivity and makes finding a location for the Envoy way easier. Connect up to 600 microinverters to one Envoy.   3. MyEnlighten & Enlighten Manager Software Customers who use the Enphase Envoy to monitor their systems get...

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