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SkyStream 3.7 the most popular residential wind turbine.

The Skystream 3.7 has revolutionized the residential wind power market, its so popular that even the Bush family has one at their home in Maine. What makes the Skystream 3.7 by Southwest Wind Power so different from endless selection of wind turbines in the market? Southwest Wind Power has really figured out their target market for the Skystream 3.7, the wind turbine has a built in grid connected inverter, so you can plug it right into the grid without having to buy an inverter along with the wind turbine. The Skystream 3.7 not only has great reviews about its design but the way it operates, its very quiet compared to older wind turbine technology. Installation is a snap, you can order with or without the pole. Typically its better to source the pole locally to save on shipping costs. The 5 inch adaptor kit is an optional part to help you can order to attach the skystream 3.7 to a 5 inch pole you can locally source. The amount of electricity you will produce from the 1.8 kW (kilowatt) skystream depends on your the average wind speeds in your area. The chart below shows an excellent diagram on the expected monthly kWh (kilowatt hour) a skystream 3.7 will produce for you. To get started with the skystream 3.7, first let your neighbors know your installing one. You may need to file for a building permit with your city and register with your electric company to connect the turbine to the...

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Building Integrated photovoltaics is so cool!

Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is when solar panels are actually designed into the facade of a building. Typically building integrated solar panel systems start off with an architect who draws the solar panels with the perfect orientation right into a building’s initial design. BIPV is completely different than retrofitting a building with solar panel, you can often tell by the aesthetics of a solar panel system in a BIPV building. The solar panels are flushed right into the building. Another example of BIPV is solar roofing shingles, which replace the shingles on your roof with ones that have solar cells embedded into them. MSK, a company which produces BIPV products have windows that produce electricity, how cool is that! A better way to understand BIPV is implementing solar cells into building materials we use in everyday construction. The building in the picture above is the CIS Tower in England and is a very delightful example of how the side of the building is designed to host solar panels which send the electricity produced right into the grid. The CIS building is turning a non-revenue producing asset (the side of a building) into an asset that can produce a return by integrating solar panels into their building design from the ground...

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solar panel tracker systems, do they make sense?

As the sun travels across its sun path each day a stationary solar panel system has significant efficiency disadvantages compared to a tracker solar panel system. A tracker solar power system can increase solar panel efficiency by 40% by following the path of the sun through out the day. Although tracking systems doubles the total price of a system and requires more yearly maintenance compared to a stationary system. The suns path in the sky varies through the seasons (summer and winter), elevation, and time of day a solar tracker system can keep your solar panels pointed towards to sun through out the whole day. For the typical home or small business solar panel system installation, a stationery system makes most financial sense, unless you have the funds to cover the upfront cost of the tracker system. Residential tracker systems are becoming more efficient a cheaper, although at this point of time, tracker systems only make sense in large commercial or industrial installations. EI Solutions, the company that installed the solar power system on the Google campus, has recently started to design solar panel tracking systems that require less maintenance, called the ray tracker. We met the engineers of the ray ticker at the ASES 2008 conference and feel they have a great product to help the commercial and industrial scale photovoltaic...

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Just plug it In – grid tied solar power appliance

Grid tied solar power systems allow you to reduce your electric bill by sending extra electrons produced sent back into the grid which you recieve credit for. Traditionally, an electrican would hook up a grid tied system to your utility’s service box so your system can interact with the grid. Today, through inverter innovation, it is now possible to plug in an inverter right into a AC outlet and push electrons back into the grid, which reduces your bill. The SWEA 250 grid tied inverter features an AC Output which can be pluged directly into a socket. Just connect two 130 watt solar panels to the inverter and plug it into the wall. The special inverter allows renters, people who live in apartments or condos to be able to plug right into the grid. The GoGreenSolar.com Plug N Play Solar Kit is truly small scale solar power appliance that can help reduce your electric bill. Multiple kits can be put together to create a larger system which have a larger net impact. We believe this solar power kit will significatally reduce the cost and installation barriers traditonally consumers face when considering a grid-tied system and help more people to get their feet wet with small scale grid tied solar...

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Say hello to Mirco-Inverters

Buzz going around solar town is there is a new “micro-inverter” on the street made by Enphase. Cool! Before I even go into what an micro-inverter” is lets start off with the basics. An inverter in general coverts the DC (direct current) power produced by solar panels into AC power (alternating current). Basically, AC power is what most of our appliances run on. So, the inverter plays a critical in your solar power system. Traditionally, solar power systems have a series of solar panels connected to an inverter. So if an inverter goes down, that whole series goes down with it. So how is a micro-inverter different? The major difference is instead of having a series of panels connected to one inverter, a mirco-inverter connects to each panel. It means, your system performance will greatly increase because: maximizes the harvesting capabilites of each solar panel in the array. increases the reliability of the solar power system. simplifies the installation process. solar panels performs better in shady conditions, and is resiliant to dirt and bird poop. Awesome innvotation continues in renewable energy industry, people are really thinking of some out of the box soltuions to problems down to the installtion level. The solar power industry is heading to mass adoption like a bullet...

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How are solar panels made?

The process of manufacturing solar panels is very interesting. The solar panel manufacutures have been improving their processes and have been getting progressively more efficent in their process and passing down the saving to their customers. I found an interesting video of how solar panels are made, it seems like an older, very labor intensive process…what do you think?

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