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building integrated wind energy

Architectural Wind is a new term we came across at renewable energy world 2009. AeroVironment has developed a rooftop wind turbine called the AVX1000 which is designed for quick and easy installation on top of concrete tilt up wind turbines. The wind turbines bolt right onto the parapet wall of the building. The advantages of using this type of mounting is that it avoids not only costly towers associated with traditional wind turbines but also eliminates the need for roof penetrations. Each AVX1000 building integrated wind turbine weighs approximately 130 pounds and at an average wind speed of 30 MPH the AVX1000 can produce up to 1,000 watts of power. The picture above shows an array of AXV1000 building integrated wind turbines on the Logan International Airport in Boston. These wind energy systems are completely scalable, meaning you can continue to add capacity to the system in the future. What do you think about wind energy systems that can be easily integrated into...

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supersized thin film solar panels

ENN solar, a Chinese thin film solar panel manufacturer has released their supersized solar panel EST series which has a STC (standard test condition) output up to 458 watts! That’s the largest power output from a single solar panel that I’ve ever seen. I wonder what the efficiency of the EST series are? According to the company large solar panels reduce installation costs, would you agree? Since the ENN solar panels are thin film they perform well in low, diffused light and high temperatures compared to standard crystalline solar panels. Thin film solar panels are also flexible so they can be applied in places traditional crystalline solar panels cannot be mounted onto. To understand the size of the EST series, they are 5.7 square meters which is more than four times larger than traditional solar panels. The company says that the larger solar panel footprint and high efficiencies will able them to deliver a lower cost per watt. What do you...

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mounting solar panels hasn’t been this easy

Veranda Solar, a start up company is developing a plug and play solar panel system that can be easily clipped to gutters and balconies or may be hung from your window. The unique looking solar panels can snap together and is similar to a solar power appliance which can be installed in a couple hours. The company was founded by two students at Stanford University in spring 2008 who developed their unique solar panel design as a product design thesis, according to their website they expect to have their system on the market by the end of 2009. This concept looks really good, but I think they will have challenges with making sure the solar panels can resist high wind loads and also connecting the solar panels to the grid, how will they interconnect? Will they use a plug n play grid tie inverter? The current grid tie inverters on the market that can be plugged directly into an A/C outlet are not UL listed. I wonder how efficient the solar cells are? Will the mounts be able to tilt the solar panels in the optimal degree to maximize power generation? There are just so many unanswered questions today with this product but I think this company is on the right track by developing products that make solar panels more “plug and play”. What do you think about this unique small scale solar power...

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PVPowered gird tie inverter enhancements

We visited the PVPowered booth last week at Renewable Energy World 2009 (rew 2009) in Las Vegas, according to the company’s representatives the PVPowered residential grid tie inverters have made some improvements to simplify the installation. PVPowered has included a single knob AC/DC disconnect with a wire raceway. Integrated disconnects is a trend we’re seeing with grid tie inverters, seems like now this is becoming a standard feature on new models from various manufacturers. The picture of the PVP3000 was taken at PVPowered’s booth at rew 2009, PVPowered offers 9 different residential string grid tie inverters in their product family including models ranging from 1.1 kW to 5.2 kW. The company says the benefits of the integrated disconnects eliminates the need for unnecessary conduit which saves money on installation materials and shortens the time to install their grid tie inverter. Check out the specifications sheet below, what do you think about PVPowered residental string grid tie inverters? What do you think their unique features are over SMA, Fronius or...

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New Sanyo HIT N series solar panel

Sanyo is a leader in highly efficient solar panels, has released their N series solar panels now with 72 solar cells that are 5 inches in size. The new Sanyo HIT N Series comes in 205W, 210w, and 215w power outputs and are made of hybrid technology which allows them to perform better in higher temperatures compared to traditional crystalline solar panels. Even though Sanyo is a Japanese company the wafers and ingots that the Sanyo HIT N Series are composed of are made right here in the USA. Since Sanyo solar panels are high efficient that means you produce more watts per square foot. The great aspect of Sanyo solar panels is you receive a minimum guaranteed power, meaning you can be confident that your solar panel will produce at least the nameplate STC (standard test conditions) or better. The 72 solar cell configuration has lowered voltage of each solar panel compared to previous higher voltage models, now you can string up to 10 solar panels in a string. check out the PDF below that compares a Sanyo HIT N Series solar panel versus a traditional crystalline solar panel, do you think Sanyo solar panels are worth the extra price for the premium power output you’ll...

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exceltech’s plug n play micro inverter?!

We’re in Las Vegas this week learning about new products at Renewable Energy World 2009….I’d have to say I’m quite disappointed since there are not many new products at the highly anticipated trade show, although I did run into a “game changing technology” in the works. ExcelTech, traditionally a manufacturer of off-grid inverters is working on a couple products to enter the grid tie inverter market. According to ExcelTech, they have been working on their own version of a grid tie micro-inverter that attaches right to the back of a solar panel, similar an Enphase micro inverter. The demo unit at Excel tech’s booth even had a standard household AC plug that can be connected directly to the gird via a household socket. Very interesting don’t you agree? Although ExcelTech said they have hundreds of these units in the field operating flawlessly, the company not released their micro inverter to the public because they want a solar panel manufacturer to integrate the inverter right into the solar panel so the micro-inverter itself can operate without connecting a DC disconnect to every unit, which is required by NEC code. Do you think ExcelTech can convince a solar panel manufacturer to build in their micro-inverter right into a solar panel? This is some game changing technology, would you not...

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