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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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Top 10 BIG Businesses Going Solar (Infographic)
Dec12

Top 10 BIG Businesses Going Solar (Infographic)

Agree or disagree: Wal-Mart is a socially-conscious, altruistic corporation that installed 89MW of solar because it was the right thing to do. Let’s put it this way- Walmart wouldn’t install 89 Megawatts of solar (or 3.86 Million 230W solar panels) if it didn’t make financial sense. Wal-Mart now has a greater solar capacity than 38 states combined.  The falling price of PV has allowed companies like Wal-mart to use solar energy to reduce their operating expenses and take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit for renewable energy systems. Wal-Mart isn’t the only corporation that’s caught on.  Some other businesses that are using solar to lower their operating costs include Costco, IKEA, Kohl’s, Apple, Macy’s, Kaiser Permanente, Johnson & Johnson, Volkswagen, Walgreens, Target, Safeway… the list goes on. Vote Solar’s Executive Director Adam Browning explains, “For years, the promise of solar was always ‘just around the corner.’  Well, solar has turned the corner, and found itself on Main Street, USA. These companies – titans of American business – may have vastly different products, business models, and geographic locations, but they all have something in common: they know a good deal when they see one, and they are going solar in a big way.” Very BIG.   Commercial deployment of solar increased about 40% over last year.   Take a look at this infographic....

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SunPowered Robots Taking Over?
Nov08

SunPowered Robots Taking Over?

Yes, robots.  There are robots cleaning solar panels. SunPower, a leading solar company that designs and manufactures solar technologies, has announced their acquisition of GreenBotics, Inc., a company based out of Davis, California that offers a robotic solar panel cleaning service. Soiling is a build-up of particles on solar panels, which can be dirt, dust, and even bird droppings.  For most photovoltaic systems it would make sense to use pressure washers, solar panel cleaning kits, hoses, and cleaning solutions to remove soiling. It can be a challenge, however, maintain large-scale photovoltaic plants without an equally robust cleaning solution.  Losing up to 15% of the output from a multi-megawatt photovoltaic plant is a BIG hit financially. Often times, photovoltaic plants end up in dry, desert climates that are prone to dust. Dust = Soiling = Lost $ See the machine in action: To combat this problem, GreenBotics introduced their robotic solution that systematically cleans large-scale photovoltaic plants, which reduces water waste and much of the labor cost of cleaning these systems.  These robots will be used throughout SunPower’s projects and will be particularly advantageous for solar power plants in the Middle East, the western United States and Chile.   Tom Werner, president and CEO of SunPower, speaks of the acquisition of GreenBotics and how this will add value to their company and help reduce waste: “Customers in markets such as the Western U.S., the Middle East and Chile will especially benefit, as dust and debris is a challenge and water is in shorter supply.  We are very pleased to add the valuable services offered by Greenbotics to our energy services offerings.”  The cost of photovoltaic panels has become cheaper over time, and now the maintenance of large-scale systems is being optimized. Could robotics be the next big shift for solar?...

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Look at Solar in 2013
Oct31

Look at Solar in 2013

Visualize what’s happening with solar right now. Q2 2013 was solar’s second largest quarter yet and we’re looking at wrapping up another record-breaking year.   The cost of an average solar panel has declined by over 60% since 2011.   These falling prices, along with new financing options, has made solar more attractive to financially savvy homeowners.   Even investors like Warren Buffett and corporations like Walmart putting their money into solar energy. With over 9.3 Megawatts of installed solar in the United States, there’s currently enough solar capacity to power over 1.5 million homes in the country.  The progress that solar has made in the last few years alone is evidence that the U.S. electricity market is in the early phase of an all-encompassing transition towards clean energy. Check out this infographic, which is a year-end estimate based on research from GTM Research and Solar Energy Industries...

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Don’t Miss Solar Power International (SPI) 2013!
Oct17

Don’t Miss Solar Power International (SPI) 2013!

Solar Power International (SPI) October 21-24, 2013 McCormick Place 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60616 United States In 2012, PV installations grew a head-turning 76 %.    Q3 of 2013 has surpassed that of last year and experts suggest that photovoltaics will have grown 29% over 2013.  Solar professionals will be meeting to discuss the future of solar, attend educational seminars, exchange ideas, and show off the latest in solar technology. Don’t miss Solar Power International (SPI) 2013, this four-day B2B solar trade show and conference with presentations from industry leaders and networking opportunities with solar professionals from more than 75 countries.   Over 15,000 solar industry professionals will gather in Chicago next week to see loads of solar exhibits spread out over 300,000 square feet. Everything from racking to solar cells to inverters will be on display. While you’re cruising around the trade show floor, keep your eyes peeled for the new Enphase M250 microinverter. Some big-name booths to check out include: Fronius USA Morningstar Corp. TUV Rheinland Solectria Renewables Fronius USA There will also be an official SPI 2013 Solar Tweet up at at Kitty O’Shea’s (Chicago Hilton), where you can meet up with industry leaders, including Solar Fred and representatives from GoGreenSolar.com....

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Visit the Solar Decathalon in Irvine!
Oct04

Visit the Solar Decathalon in Irvine!

Despite the government shutdown that’s taking place, college students from throughout the country to participate in the 2013 Solar Decathlon. Come to Great Park in Irvine, CA this weekend  to see 20 modern energy-efficient homes, fully equipped with solar energy systems to cut costs and reduce carbon emissions. Solar Decathlon Village College students from throughout the U.S. are competing in a series of competitions to test the performance of these energy-efficient homes they built from the ground up. The Solar Decathlon, which is sponsored by the Department of Energy, gives university students hands-on training with renewable energy and building environmentally sustainable infrastructure. This event is free to the public, so come out any time from 11:00am to 7:00pm Friday through Sunday.  The Solar Decathlon will also be open for public tours next weekend (October 10th-13th). We’ll be there next week, so let us know if you want to meet up! For more information on this event, please visit www.solardecathlon.gov. ______________ Tom Jackson...

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