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advantages of thin film solar panels

When people think about thin film solar panels the first thing that comes to mind is the lower cost, but that’s not the only advantage of thin film solar panels. Thin film solar panels perform more efficiently than crystalline solar panels in low light or shady conditions. They weigh 10% less than traditional silicon based solar panels and can be flexible which allows them to be installed on various surfaces. Thin film solar panels are more resilient to hail, rocks, golf balls…etc. If part of a crystalline solar panel is damaged, the whole solar panel will stop working…on the other hand a thin film solar panel will continue to operate at a lower output if a part of the solar panel is damaged. The downside of thin film solar panels is they’re less efficient than traditional crystalline solar panels, you will need more surface area to work with. Silicon based solar panels typically produce more watts per square foot. What type of solar power projects do you think thin film solar panels are a good fit...

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meet the enphase m190 grid tie inverter

Enphase Energy, the manufacturer of the revolutionary micro inverter system has released a new and improved version of the micro inverter called the m190. Enphase recently put out their preliminary datasheet of their newest addition to the Enphase product mix. The m190 is compatible with 60 and 70 cell solar panels and has the following improvements over the m175 and m200 product lines: a wider temperature range the micro inverter can operate in. The enphase m190 can operate in ambient temperatures between -40c to +65C mean time between failures (MTBF) of 365 years, which triples the MTBF rating of the M175/M200 models. According to the company this was verified by testing the micro inverter for 10 million unit hours of operation in the field. The M190 makes installation even easier by reducing the number of cables to manage to one 6′ cable versus two 3′ cables on the M175/M200 models. You thought the M175/M200 was small enough? The new m190 has a 30% smaller footprint than its predecessors. upgraded racking bracket makes it easier and more flexible to install the m190 face up or down and allows for easier cable routing. The Enphase M190 marks a significant milestone in how the micro-inverter is evolving. In my opinion it’s a good sign that Enphase Energy is making continuous improvements with their product because the results are going to be a more a even smaller, easier to install grid tie inverter solution. Check out the preliminary datasheet below. What do you think about the Enphase...

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champlain cable for solar pv panels

Your solar electric system’s performance rests upon one of the most simple components in the overall system, the electric wire. Not only does the gauge size of the wire count, but the overall quality of the wire used in your solar panel installation can make your system run smoothly into the future. Champlain Cable a company that traditionally focuses on high performance general wire and cables has entered the solar photovoltaic market by introducing their Exar 150PV and the Exar 180PV UL rated photovoltaic wires. Since your solar electric system will not only generate power for the next 25 years plus, but the wire needs to survive the extreme environmental conditions your solar electric system is subjected to over time. Most wires on standard photovoltaic systems are not designed to outlast the 25 year warranty on your solar panels offered by manufacturers. The Exar 150PV and 180PV stand out because they can handle high amounts of UV radiation, water and steam which can cause a typical wire to fail. According to the company the special PV series wires will last more then ten times longer than the standard THHW (Flame Retardant, Heat Resistent Thermoplasitc) a common wire used in most solar PV...

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Solarphire PV glass

The team at PPG Industries is quite confident in their new Solarphire PV glass, a new type of solar panel that boasts higher efficiencies than crystalline solar panels. According to the company the proprietary glass formulation gives Solarphire PV glass an enhanced ability to capture the sun’s ultraviolet spectrum between 350 and 1100 nanometers, in which traditional silicon based solar cells are not as responsive. From the picture the solar panel looks very similar to a crystalline solar panel, it dose not look like the solar pv glass I wrote about in the past. PPG Industries is not a familiar brand in the solar power industry since the company is originally a glass & high performance coating company that is now making “glass based solar panels”, pretty interesting don’t you agree? I’m not convinced yet about the ability of the new solar glass, I went on PPG Energy’s website and didn’t find much information about their game changing technology. What do you...

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wind power in Antarctica

If you could go anywhere in the world, for most people Antarctica would never be mentioned, unless your a researcher. There are 600 researchers and 2,000 additional people who support life and work on the uncivilized Antarctic continent. Research facilities across Antarctica have plenty of electrical appliances, but how does the limited population get the power they need to energize their lives? Most of the research bases depend on diesel generators to create power. Although the Belgium-based International Polar Foundation research facility is the only base on Antarctica that is carbon-neutral and completely energy independent thanks to Proven Wind Energy system. Proven Energy is a UK-based manufacturer of small scale wind turbines you can put in your backyard but the wind turbine is durable enough to survive the harsh climates of Antarctica. The proven wind turbines will experience average wind speeds of 53mph and gusts of over 200mph, while providing 230V of clean electricity for the research facilities heating, computers, lights and research equipment. According to Proven Energy the electricity generated from the proven wind energy system is expected to be the highest output of any small wind power system in the market. I hope this example gives you an idea of the reliability proven wind energy systems provide, would you consider installing a wind turbine to help power your home or...

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solar pv awnings

We’ve all seen solar panels mounted on top of roofs but that’s not the only place to mount solar panels. Many people have solar pv awnings in which solar panels not only generate electricity but provide shade during a hot summer day which reduces cooling loads and cuts glare. Mounting solar panels on top of awnings will increase airflow around the solar panels which allows them to operate at cooler temperatures. Solar panels generate more electricity the cooler they operate since heat restricts electron flow. Solar photovoltaic awnings can be retrofitted into an existing building or integrated into a new building’s design. Solar photovoltaic awnings are an example of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), a term that defines when solar panels are integrated into the shell of the building. What do you think about solar pv...

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