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PowerFlex Solar Strings by Global Solar Energy

Thin Film solar panels are becoming more popular as the cost continues to be driven down through using elements besides silicon to produce solar cells. The PowerFlex Solar Strings manufactured by Global Solar Energy, come pre-connected to the Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS) which are flexible that make it easy and affordable for product designers who are looking to retrofit products with solar. The company is able to offer these solar cells to the market through a “roll-to-roll” manufacturing process which makes the solar cells flexible and affordable in nature. The PowerFlex Solar Strings are the only “drop-in” solar cells available and really help people who are looking specifically to create products with solar power embedded in the products. These cells can be integrated into Building Integrated Photovoltaic products such as roofing shingles, facades of buildings, windows or we could soon see our laptops and other electronics offerings these types of solar power cells implemented within the products. Global Solar Energy has a great reputation in manufacturing consumer portable solar thin film charging...

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GreenCore Solar Air Conditioning

The air conditioner is typically the largest load on your monthly electric bill. Traditional Air Conditioners are typically very difficult to power from a solar array. A company called GreenCore Air has released a new product called the gc102000 solar air, which can heat and cool 600 square feet rooms. The GreenCore solar air comes in two models a fixed version and a mobile solar air conditioner. The amazing part of this unit is that it can operate from a 170 watt solar panel. The GreenCore is Air is DC (direct current) the same output as solar panels. Solar Panels put out DC and typically need to be converted to AC to work with house hold appliances, so what makes this product unique is that it runs on DC, therefore there is no conversion / inverter needed from solar panel to the air conditioner. When the sun is not out the unit runs on the battery bank which is integrated within the unit. McDonalds is currently testing one of these units at a restaurant location…..which is a great sign of how much traction this unit has. Finally! Some innovation in solar air conditioning! We’re very excited about this...

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Can’t mount solar on your roof? try ground mount.

Solar Photovoltaic Panels that turn sunlight into electricity take up a significant amount of roof space. For every 1 kilowatt of solar you need 100 square feet of southern roof space for solar power to be most cost effective. In the northern hemisphere southern exposure gives you the best return on investment on a solar power system. Many consumers just don’t have the roof space to install solar panels or don’t want to risk the integrity of a new roof by retrofitting solar power. The great aspect of solar panels is that they don’t have to be installed on the roof, they can be mounted on the ground. Typically ground mounted systems are eaiser to clean since they are more accessable, although on the flip side if there is public access on your property, a ground mount system can be exposed to vandalism. The plants, if any around a ground mount must stay trimmed to make sure they don’t end up shading the edges of the ground mounted solar panels. In Germany, where solar panels are very popular and mainstream, ground mounted systems are very common, you can see them everywhere. Obviously a roof top or ground mount systems both have their advantages and disadvantages, you just have to weigh the risks to see which system would fit your individual...

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Sunrgi – Concentrated Solar Power that makes sense!

At one point in our lives, we may have experimented with a magnifying glass and concentrated the sun’s light to start a fire or even more evil, light a ant on fire. With lenses or mirrors the suns light can be concentrated into a very powerful force. Humans have concentrated the sun for a very long time, the first documented case in the 12th century, Archimedes burned up the whole Roman fleet by tilting a mirror toward the sun, concentrating the sun’s light. It seems like the guys at Sunrgi have studied Archimedes. Sunrgi is a US based solar power company that has designed a solar panel which uses the power of concentrating the sun to produce electricity. This product looks very futuristic and is practical too. We have talked about concentrated photovoltaics in the past and understand there could be a heat issue when concentrating light onto a solar cell, although if you notice on Sunrgi’s unit they have a massive heat sink built right into the concentrator, the neat aspect of this concentrated solar panel is that it has a cooling system built in! The company calls their new solar panel line, Xtreme Concentrated Photovoltaics (XCPV), which magnifies sunlight high efficency solar cells. The company claims that its technology will allow people to produce large ammounts of power at $0.05 (USD) per kWh. Traditional solar photovoltaic panels produce electricity anywhere from $0.13-$0.15 per kWh. This is a very amazing claim the company makes because at $0.05 per kWh this competes with most electric bills, even where people are getting bargain rates from their utility companies. Not only will concentrated compete with traditional electric rate head on, but it will greatly reduce the surface area a customer needs to eliminate their entire electric bill! The Sunrgi Concentrated Solar Panels will be out on the market 12-15 months for now, we can’t wait to get our hands on a couple to test drive...

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Wind Power Anywhere, Anytime!

Our post yesterday discussed the importance of the tower height….obviously the higher you go the more wind speeds you can pick up. Magenn Power, an innovate company has a very interesting product which will be released in 2009 that will change the way we see traditional wind turbines. Mageen Power understood that the wind is higher up in the sky and traditional vertical axis turbine designs are just plain inefficient in most areas. The company decided put the wind turbine where the air is, in the sky. In fact the MAGENN AIR ROTOR SYSTEM (M.A.R.S.) can soar 1,000 feet in the air and will catch the jet streams that exist everywhere. Currently, in general wind turbines can only be placed in areas with at least 10 miles per hour wind speeds to produce a significant return on investment. With the Magenn Power wind power can be technically be put anywhere. The wind turbine rotates on a horizontal axis and can be combined with diesel generators for off-grid use in developing countries and deliver power at the 20 cents a kWh range. The video below shows an excellent model of how the unique wind turbine can be used off-grid or grid-connected wind power system The soaring wind turbine stays a float with the use of non-flammable helium and the company has been conducting some interesting Field test of their products. The wind turbines will come in 10 to 25 kW (kilowatt) models with a target price of $3 to $5 dollars a watt. According to the company the Wind turbine has a lifespan for over 20 years. If you are thinking to install one of these puppies in the USA, you will need a special permit from the FAA. Magenn power has combined the same technology used in blimps into an innovative wind turbine design. I can’t wait to see this product hit the mainstream market, according to the company their target markets are developing nations. It’s probably going to be a very hard time deploying these here in the USA because of the building permit and FAA regulations. Overseas the rules are less strict so I can see It not being an issue. Although in rural areas of the USA we may see some of these units in action pretty soon. So as wind power evolves, will these be the turbines of the future? What do you think, will these types of designs catch on with the public? What do you think are the potential...

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It’s not all about the wind generator, think about the pole!

You don’t want to put a solar panels in the shade, just like you don’t want to put a wind generator on a short pole. Wind Generators perform better the higher they are up in the air, therefore a taller pole the more you electricity you will produce. A taller pole may lead to a faster return because you can catch more wind but it also leads to a higher upfront cost for the pole. According to wind power experts in a Homepower magazine article, “How Tall is Too Tall” a wind turbine’s blades should at least be 30 feet above the tallest object within a 500 feet radius of the wind power system. The pole and the wind generator itself must be sat securely because this can make a huge difference in making or breaking your return on investment. A wind power system with a weak foundation in a high wind area will not outperform a wind power system in an area with medium wind speeds with a solid foundation. A taller pole can raise maintenance costs and may cause issues acquiring building permits if your home or business is close to other structures. Also if you have neighbors near by, they maybe worried about the aesthetics if the pole / tower is too...

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