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Enphase M215, meet the 3rd generation of solar micro inverters

The solar micro inverter from Enphase Energy has come along way since their first generation M175 micro inverter released back in 2008. The Enphase M175 was considered the first commercially successful micro inverter followed by a successor, the Enphase M190 which was introduced in 2009. Since Enphase Energy began selling the M175 to date they have shipped more than 500,000 micro inverters making their product one of the most highly sought after solar inverter by customers. Say hello to the third generation of the solar micro inverter by Enphase Energy, pictured above the Enphase M215 will be released in early June 2011 and will be a game changer in solar inverter market by not only delivering better performance and simplified installation but is now backed by a 25 year limited warranty! One of the key improvements with the new Enphase M215 micro inverter is its innovative cabling system, which offers the benefits of a 12AWG trunk cable which bumps up the number of micro inverters that can be on a single branch circuit up to 17. The Enphase M190 can only support 15 micro inverters per branch circuit. The Enphase M215 is rated at 215 AC Watts which will allow the new inverter to be compatible with high power output 60 cell solar panels such as 250 watt and 260 watt rated solar panels. Mechanically, the Enphase M215 offers faster mounting through its single-bolt design, unlike its predecessors the Enphase M190 and M175 required two bolts to fasten each micro inverter to the rail. check out the video below, what do you think about the new Enphase M215 micro inverter by Enphase Energy? Will micro inverters phase out central string inverters and be the new standard in the solar industry? what do you...

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Samsung now offering solar panels

Samsung is now in the solar panel business, introducing the Samsung LPC Line of Solar Panels with 15% efficiency that narrows gap against premium solar panels on the market such as SANYO and SunPower. Samsung Electronics, a global leader in consumer electronics, semiconductor and display technologies, has been developing its solar cell production capabilities for several years and recently entered the marketplace. It has taken its manufacturing expertise in semiconductors and developed its own line of highly efficient monocrystalline solar cells and panels. The first Samsung solar module offered is the LPC241SM, It stands out in today’s marketplace with its 15% module level efficiency, higher than any other product in its class. Samsung solar panels set a new benchmark for price/performance and narrows the performance gap against premium priced panels. The Samsung name brand and superior PTC power density of the LPC241SM provides a higher value to end-users. The quality of Samsung modules is evidenced by a world class peak power tolerance rating of -0%/+2%, guaranteeing full...

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which solar power system would you install?

Similar to a computer which is made up of not only the processor but a keyboard, mouse, RAM, memory, monitor, speakers..etc, there’s a lot more to solar power than just the solar panels. An ordinary solar power system includes solar panels plus mounting hardware, inverters, wires, clips, clamps, standoffs, L-Feet, grounding lugs, connectors, wire management, disconnects combiner boxes and many nuts & bolts not the mention the tools required to get the system installed. For someone installing a solar power system for the first time, it’s an overwhelming process of figuring out all the parts required to make up the entire system. Many times even experienced installers make several trips to the hardware store for missing parts. Why does installing a solar power system have to be like putting together a complicated jig saw puzzle? thanks to the developments in the solar industry, installing a solar power system does not have to be as difficult with the Andalay Solar Panels by Westinghouse Solar. The system by Westinghouse Solar requires the least amount of parts, labor and tools to install compared to any other solar power system on the market. The Andalay Solar system is made up of black Suntech 175 watt solar panels with Enphase M190 Micro Inverters attached directly to the frame of the solar panel. The frame of the Andalay Solar Panels act as the rails and attach directly to the roof with the simple mounting hardware supplied with the system. This is the type of innovation and efficiencies we need to take solar power to the masses, it needs to be more user friendly. Westinghouse Solar is leading the industry in terms of offering a complete solar power solution that any contractor or savvy do it yourselfer can install with ease. Would you rather install an ordinary solar power system or Westinghouse Solar? What do you think of Andalay Solar by...

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Interviewed by SolarDave

We’re working on a unique solar panel project called, Battle of the Solar Panel Brands. A solar panel competition that makes various solar panel brands compete head to head against each other to determine which solar panel will generate the most kWh (kilowatt-hours) in our local area. A few weeks ago, our project caught the attention of SolarDave, a respectable solar blogger. SolarDave thought it would be interesting to his audience to have a conversation with me about the process of installing solar panels on his very first podcast. The purpose of SolarDave’s blog is to take people along for the ride as he is doing lots of research since hes going to install solar panels on his own home in Colorado. I feel there is a lack of information out there for people considering solar panels for their own lifestyles and SolarDave is doing a great job sharing information on his blog with written, video and audio content. SolarDave’s podcast covers the following topics: comparison test with different panels with solar production data collection. Problems with the permitting process. overcoming challenges of digging and trenching installing Enphase micro-inverters Make sure to check out SolarDave’s blog, download the podcast or follow him on twitter hes a great resource for information about solar...

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Battle of the Solar Panel Brands

Have you ever hear of Battle of the Bands? It’s contest in which many bands, usually rock bands but often from a range of different styles, compete for the title of “best band”. The winner is determined by judges, the response of the audience, or a combination. The winning band usually receives a prize in addition to bragging rights. These days there many solar panels flooding the marketplace that it’s becoming more difficult for consumers to make informed decisions, most customers just can’t tell the difference. Why not take different brands of solar panels and make them compete head to head in my backyard? So I called up my friend Dennis Epp, President & CEO of Heritage Solar, a leading solar contractor in Southern California and teamed up to bring to you The Battle of the Solar Panel Brands. Even though solar panels look very similar to each other, not all are created equal. Each make/model of solar panels have their unique characteristics which allow them to produce more or less power in different environments. By adding Enphase Micro Inverters to each solar panel and connecting the system to the internet, we will be able to share live production data with you through our website 365 days a year. But before we can get to the competition we have to build the stage. I got a big backyard with limited shading, therefore we have plently room to install a ProSolar GroundTrac mounting structure to secure the solar panels in a 30 degree pitch facing true south (192 degrees in our case) We’ll be installing the following six solar panels to kick off the competition off: #1 – Sanyo HIP-215NKHA5 #2 – REC REC215AE-US #3 – Sharp ND-U230C1 #4 – Canadian Solar CS6P-230 #5 – SolarWorld SW 230 #6 – Solon P220/6+/01 230Wp Our goal is to get the solar array up and running before January 1st, so we may begin collecting solar panel production data from the first day of the new year. We’re still waiting for the City of West Covina to approve our permit to build GoGreenSolar Labs and hopefully the weather will cooperate with us the rest of this month so we can finish this project as soon as possible. Stay...

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install unisolar pvl laminate on a metal roof

I’ve had a couple people ask me how to install Uni-Solar’s flexible thin film laminate PVL product line on a metal roof. The unique part of Uni-Solar PVL product is it can be bonded directly to a metal roof between the ridges. Traditional solar panels would need racking and mounting components that are not required with a uni-solar PVL installation, therefore installing the laminate reduces balance of system costs. Also these thin film laminates are extremely durable since they are not made of glass like traditional solar panels. I think the uni-solar product line works well when you have a lot of surface area to work with, aesthetics is a major concern in the project, or have a shady/cloudy project since thin film solar panels perform better than crystalline solar panels in those conditions. The video below is a good overview of how these unique thin film solar panels can be installed on a metal roof. What do you think about the uni-solar PVL thin film flexible solar...

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