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Evergreen Solar ES-A Panels

Last month Evergreen Solar released its ES-A, a new solar panel line. The new panels offered by Evergreen Solar comes in 200, 205 or 210 watt models. There is a trend in the industry right now, we’re seeing more companies release solar panels that are rated over 200 watts. This means you can use less solar panels in a complete solar power system as the output of solar panels continues to increase. The Evergreen Solar team has not only thought about the output of the solar panels but has equipped the ES-A line with quick clickable connectors, which cuts down the time it takes to connect multiple solar panels together to create a solar array. Clickable connectors can make a big difference in cost savings in large commercial installations. Evergreen Solar Panels are manufactured using a string ribbon technology which reduces the carbon footprint in manufacturing Evergreen Solar panels by 50% compared to any other solar panel on the market. Evergreen Solar holds the title of “most environmentally friendly solar panel” in the market, especially compared to Chinese solar panel manufacturers which have been caught dumping manufacturing waste. Evergreen Solar is a US based company with superior quality which makes their products a hot...

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Charge Controllers 101

What’s a charge controller? And why do I need one? Many consumers who are charging batteries with solar panels or have a grid tied system with battery backup will need a charge controller. A charge controller is a unit that sits between a solar panel and battery bank and regulates the charge so the battery is not over-charged. Over-charging a battery can lead to battery and solar panel damage, because once the battery is full, without a charge controller the electrical current can go back into the solar panel causing major damage to components. The picture above shows a morningstar sunkeeper charge controller which is a basic controller that does a great job regulating the electric current that comes from a solar panel into a battery. Charge controllers come in different voltages, for example the sunkeeper comes in a 12v or 24v….your charge controller has to match the voltage your solar panel puts out and how you have your batteries wired up. If you have a 12v solar panel, you would need a 12v charge controller and wire your batteries up in a 12v series. Even though most residential systems do not have a batteries and will never need a charge controller, those people who are working on off-grid systems or are building the next solar powered car, lawn mower or are trying to retro fit solar panels onto your devices, you need to understand why charge controllers are...

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Issues to consider when shopping for wind power

Many consumers come to us asking about prices and figure that is the only barrier to purchasing a wind power system, although it goes much further than just prices. When putting up a wind power system you have to consider the following points: 1. Does your project site at least have 10mph wind speeds? check your wind speed here.2. Does your property have at least a half acre with unobstructed views? 3. Does the city zoning allow a structure 42′ feet tall? 4. Does your utility company have an interconnection agreement? 5. Have you considering speaking to your neighbors to let them know you maybe purchasing a wind power system that maybe visible from their home? Typically the city will require building permits to put up a solar or wind power system and there will be a fee for building permits you have to pay to the city. The city may also require tower engineering drawings that you may have to get from a certified engineer if you are building a custom tower to put up your wind...

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All the buzz about thin film solar panels

It’s the word on the street, Thin Film Solar Panels, what are they? And why are so many people talking about thin film technology? Similar to how computers and cell phones became slimmer and more efficient as the technology evolved, the same thing is happening in the solar power industry. Solar Panels are becoming thinner but no necessarily more efficient, thin film solar cells are bringing the cost down for industrial electricity producers and large commercial entities although not for the residential or small business owner. Thin Film Solar Panels are typically less efficient or just as efficient as traditional silicon based solar panels, although they thin film panels are made up of other elements that can turn the sun’s rays into electricity besides silicon. As you may know one of the primary reasons solar panels have a high price tag is because there is a shortage of silicon since there is such a high demand for the substance. Although more silicon refineries are coming online, next year, this has not stopped the thin film solar manufacturers to continue to innovate in their space to use other elements which have the potential to be very efficient in the near future. Thin Film solar cells are more flexible and are not made out of glass therefore are virtually unbreakable…which make the technology very resilient. Thin film solar panels have a lot of potential in terms of bringing down the cost per watt for solar power systems, therefore much investment and talent is focusing on this sector of solar power because they see it as the future. Right now the market has limited thin film products that people are using to power small appliances or use thin film solar panels for small solar power system installations. People who have a lot of surface areas such as utility companies and big corporations can also take advantage of thin film technology. I agree with many industry people that thin film is the future of solar panels although I feel it is at least 5 years away until we see thin film solar panels that make financial sense out on the market for the general public to...

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concentrated solar power at the consumer level

Typically concentrated solar power has been a viable option for utility scale projects, there there are more companies moving into the space on a daily basis, even Big Blue (I.B.M.) has decided to play in the concentrated photovoltacis (solar power) sandbox to offer concentrated solar power products at the consumer level. So why is there so much buzz around this sector of solar power? First we have to understand what concentrated solar power is…. What is concentrated photovoltacis (CPV)? With the use of mirrors or reflective material, concentrating the sun’s light onto the surface area of solar cells to significantly raise the output of the solar cells, thus producing more electricity per square foot of solar panels. Concentrated Solar Power is forcing light into a solar cell, similar to forced induction (turbo) for a car. How does this help you? Concentrated Solar Power can lower the upfront cost of going solar. Solar Panels are expensive because solar panels are made up of an element called silicon which is in high demand at this point of time. Concentrated solar power uses less silicon in each panel, therefore lowering the overall cost of a system significantly while increasing the output per square foot. Although this sounds great, there are some issues before this technology hits the mainstream market. Heat decreases the performance of solar panels, therefore concentrating solar power could have some efficiency issues in the long run, also the lifetime of concentrated solar panels maybe limited compared to traditional solar panels. On the bright side there is a lot of innovation going on in this sector, IBM are the masters of cooling silicon (they have experience cooling computer processors which are also made of silicon)…so as the technology develops I can see CPV catching on in the mainstream...

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A quicker, easier and more secure roof mounted solar power installation

QuickMountPV a company that specializes in creating easy to install roof mounts for your solar panels. A common concern to retrofit solar panels on top of a roof is the chance of roof leaks in the future. The QuickMountPV team, a group of experienced installers understand that problem and created a product that is waterproof, low profile and requires no cutting into the roof! A very innovative project to solve the largest pains of retrofitting solar panels to the top of your roof. The QuickMountPV is compatible with every racking system and has a lifetime of 50 years, this product can last for the life of your roof and solar panel system. The company has even released a step-by-step instructional video We understand this product can help improve your experience of installing a roof mounted solar panel system, we packaged QuickMountPV into a 1kW kilowatt and 2kW kilowatt kit to help you the leverage the power of this revolutionary mounting system. 1kW QuickMountPV Kit 2kW QuickMount PV...

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