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Why home solar works better than solar power plants
May27

Why home solar works better than solar power plants

If you’re thinking about making the switch to clean energy, but are waiting for a community solar farm to pop up in your area or a utility company to construct a massive project that harvests the sun, might want to think again.   But first, let’s talk about Blockbuster. Remember them? That blue and yellow chain of video rental stores that could be found in nearly every suburban neighborhood in the 90s?     Yeah, I barely do, either. And that’s because when the internet changed the way people consumed movies, the behemoth company stubbornly refused to shift its model of distribution.     With the conversion rates of people switching to solar becoming more common across the globe, we’ve begun to notice a similar flub on the part of large scale solar production plants.      While these grand undertakings are exponentially better for the environment than their carbon emitting alternatives, recent problems with such projects prove the energy source is much better suited to be captured by autonomous individuals than in concentrated areas on large tracts of land.   This past March a sector of Ivanpah, one of the world’s largest solar power plants, emphasized this point as it went up in flames.     With nearly 200,000 sets of focused mirrors superheating steam to generate electricity and tons of small moving parts, it was a difficult (and expensive) project to keep running smoothly. Add to this the sprawling 3,500 acres of land it takes to house the plant and you’ve racked up a bill costing nearly 20 cents per a kilowatt hour.   Photovoltaic home solar systems on the other hand are much more scalable, only require rooftops or backyards as necessary real estate and have the advantage of making electricity where it is used–reducing its kilowatt per hour cost down to 6 cents or less.   When it comes to solar, it’s not hard to imagine a future where the outdated energy production models of the 20th century have gone the way of Blockbuster, and the companies that come out on top are the ones that shift their thinking about how the public produces, access and consumes electricity....

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sanyo’s personal solar panel
Aug04

sanyo’s personal solar panel

Sanyo is known for high efficiency solar panels that go on top of homes and businesses. But recently the company has released a over the shelf product in Japan called the Eneloop Portable Solar Generator. The personal solar panel is geared towards people on the go who need to recharge mobile devices. These type of small products are a great way to introduce people to what solar power can do on a larger scale. Do you think we will see more portable solar power generators come onto the market? The Eneloop looks very sleek, I wonder how many watts the solar panel is, does anyone out there have more information about this...

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Sanyo N Series Complete Systems

I wanted to let you know that we now have complete solar electric systems with the brand new Sanyo HIT 215N high efficiency solar panels. The complete solar electric systems with Sanyo HIT 215N solar panels generate even more watts per square foot and cost less than the older Sanyo HIT 200BA19 solar panels which are being phased out. The great aspect of purchasing a complete system versus sourcing all the parts yourself is that these packages are permit-ready and include an installation manual, very useful for people who are installing solar panels for the first time. Residental solar electric systems traditonally require design, drawing out single line diagrams, and buying all the little parts that make up a solar electric system. With pre-package solutions it’s much easier to get started with solar power since every compotent you need comes in a...

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sanyo announces record efficiency

Sanyo is known for manufacturing solar panels that generate the most watts per square foot, the most highly efficient solar panels on the market today. I like to call Sanyo solar panels the “Ferrari of solar panels” since they perform very well due the hybrid composition of their solar cells. Today, Sanyo announced they have broken a its own record for the world’s highest energy conversion efficiency in practical size crystalline solar cells, reaching a efficiency of 23.0% in a laboratory. Now the challenge is for Sanyo to take their research and turn the record breaking high efficiency solar cells into mass production while lowering costs so solar panels become for affordable as well as more efficient. Sanyo has a goal to increase solar cell conversion efficiency by significant advances in lowering the production cost of the photovoltaic system and the reduction in the use of silicon, the materials most solar panels are made out of. When do you think it’s worth paying the premium for Sanyo high efficiency solar panels? What types of projects are high efficiency solar panels a good fit...

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suntech increases solar cell efficiency

Today, Suntech a Chinese solar panel manufacturer released news about their next generation solar cell technology called Pluto which has efficiencies of 19% (monocrystalline) and 17% (polycrystalline). Suntech sent the Pluto based solar cells to Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, which independently tested the the solar cells and verified the efficiency ratings. Currently, suntech solar panels out on the market have solar cells that have efficiencies of 16.5% and 15.5% respectively. It seems like Suntech is trying to catch up with the higher efficiency solar panels such as the Sanyo and SunPower solar panels. Although you have to take into consideration that solar cell efficiency is not the same as solar panel efficiency. Since a group of solar cells make up a solar panel, when solar cells are wired together, they lose efficiency. Currently Sanyo 200w solar panels are 17% efficient at the solar panel level. Also the temperature coefficient (how well the solar panel perform in hot temperatures) determine how many kWh (kilowatt-hours) you will produce per year. Even though Suntech Pluto solar cell technology is getting better, it’s far from being the best on the market. Currently, I would say Sanyo solar panels are the best on the market, since of their high efficiencies at the solar panel level and their better performance in hot weather, they peform very well in real world conditions. These efficiency tests Suntech did in the lab are not going to be as good in the real world. What do you think about Suntech solar...

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