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The New ElectroLighter™ Sparks Excitement!
Sep08

The New ElectroLighter™ Sparks Excitement!

The creators of the world’s most powerful portable solar charger, SunJack, just released the ElectroLighter™ – a USB rechargeable flameless fire-starter. Placentia, CA (PRWEB) August 18, 2016   Since Carl Auer Von Welsback first patented ferrocerium in 1903, not much has changed in the way of handheld lighters–until today. SunJack’s latest product release of its ElectroLighter™ is the next evolution of handheld fire starting devices. The ElectroLighter™ is wind resistant, waterproof and, like all of SunJack’s products, can be fueled entirely by the sun. “We decided to add the ElectroLighter™ to our product line because the ability to create fire is essential to human life.” says Harold Tan, CMO. “Our products appeal to campers, disaster preppers, and developing communities, and they can all benefit from an effective, renewable fire-starter in their arsenal.” This lighter is the stuff of sci-fi fantasies–emitting a high-pitched laser hum as an electrical current arcs across a dual cross-heat-X-beam. The ElectroLighter™ is USB charged and can power up in less than an hour directly from any SunJack Panel, PowerBank, or USB power source with an output of 5 Volts-DC and current above 300mAh. A fully charged ElectroLighter™ can last up to 80 presses. When the ElectroLighter™ is fully charged, a built in intelligent circuit indicator lights up and turns off charging to save its battery life. The SunJack solar panel can fully charge the ElectroLighter™ from the sun’s energy–making the ElectroLighter™ and its SunJack accessories ideal for travel, outdoor adventures and emergency usage. The ElectroLighter™ is compact and slim, easily fitting in the palm of your hand or in your pocket measuring in at 4.75″ x 3.75″ x 1.25″ (12cm x 9.5cm x 3.2cm) and, like all of SunJack’s products comes with a no hassle one year warranty. Pursuing its mission to provide renewable energy independence to people around the world, SunJack launched in 2014 after a successful Kickstarter campaign, and donates solar and lighting solutions to people in developing countries in addition to powering first-world luxuries. The ElectroLighter™ retails for $29 from SunJack.com, Amazon.com, and various retailers across the nation. ABOUT SUNJACK GIGAWATT INC. DBA SUNJACK, develops solutions to help people stay powered. Since 2006, GigaWatt Inc has been distributing and installing solar for residential, commercial, and government customers. In 2014 SunJack was launched on Kickstarter to continue spreading the power of solar across the globe. For further information about SUNJACK and its products, please visit http://www.sunjack.com or call us at (888)...

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Nevada legislator pulls plug on solar incentives
Aug18

Nevada legislator pulls plug on solar incentives

  The Nevada Supreme court dealt its state solar industry a blow Aug. 4 after denying a ballot measure to halt recent rate hikes for solar users. Previous to the court’s denial, the chances for the measure to pass had looked promising, with it gathering more than double the number of needed signatures to place a referendum on the November ballot. According to FoxNews, until this year net-metering subsidies for Nevada’s 17,000 homeowners using solar totalled an annual $16 million. A state commission subsequently decided that since the state was a approaching a cap on the number of net metering participants, it would allow the Nevada Power and Utilities Commission to enact new rates for rooftop solar customers. Last spring the state legislature voted accept the PUC rates and end subsidies, nearly tripling fixed monthly fees for solar customers from $12.75 to $38.51. “What started as a legislative policy to kickstart the industry, now 18 years later, it’s time for that industry to stand on its own two feet,” Fox News quoted Paul Thomsen, chairman of Nevada’s Public Utility Commission. If there is a silver lining, however, it’s that Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has requested that next year’s bill “grandfather” existing customers back to their old rates. NV Energy took similar steps, pursuing an effort to do the same through the PUC. In other words, those Nevada citizens that seized the opportunity to convert their homes to solar before the subsidies were ended, will still get to enjoy the low, fixed energy rates promised to them by the state. As for the fate of the Nevada homeowners that weren’t quick enough to secure the grandfathered rates in time, advocates are looking to take a more long term approach to winning back subsidies by going through the state...

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The difference between Power Optimizers and Microinverters
Aug05

The difference between Power Optimizers and Microinverters

A report by GMT revealed that more than half of residential solar PV installations have either a power optimizer or microinverter installed. But when it comes to deciding which Module Level Power Electronic to enhance your dwelling with, the difference between the two can seem as nuanced a choice as Coke vs Pepsi.   Grouped into the category of Module Level Power Electronics, both solutions aim to overcome the deficiencies found with the traditional central inverter systems, which can suffer massive power losses when one panel in the chain is shaded or malfunctions. Additionally, both claim to improve the power yield of solar modules by up to 25%.   So let’s break it down:   With a traditional inverter system, PV panels are wired together like a string of christmas lights, collecting energy from the sun and dumping it into a central inverter system, which then converts the DC electricity to AC. While this might sound simple enough, if a panel in this system experiences any issues, the entire energy output of the system is dragged down.   To avoid this energy loss, microinverters such as the Enphase 215W or the APS YC500A, are installed on each (or every other) panel, decentralizing the conversion of DC to AC from a single point to smart web of panels   Optimizers, such as the SolarEdge 3kW SE3000A-US-U, are similar to microinverters in that they are also located on each (or every other) panel. Instead of converting the energy at each panel, however, an optimizer “conditions” the DC electricity before sending it to a central inverter, mitigating the energy loss that might occur on individual panels, which can drag a whole system down. The benefits of optimizers is that since don’t convert the DC to AC on each panel, they include less parts than microinverters and are considered easier to install and scale. Conversely, since optimizers feed the DC electricity into a central inverter, if that inverter goes down the entire system can fail, whereas a failure with microinverters only affects one module.   Ultimately, the deciding factor on which MLPE to go with depends on the specifics of one’s home. Optimizers are good for harsher weather environments and micro-inverters are good for a home with panels that need more independent control....

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Burbank residents can make bank on extended rebates
Jul07

Burbank residents can make bank on extended rebates

In an effort to inspire solar savvy residents to generate more power during afternoon hours, the city of Burbank, CA has rolled out a new solar rebate program that lasts until July 31 and gives money to homeowners if they point their panels westward. In the Northern Hemisphere, south facing panels produce 10% more electricity than their west facing counterparts. As the sun sets in the evening, however, west facing solar arrays are able to milk the last of the sun’s rays and produce more electricity during the critical hours of 4-7pm, when Burbank’s energy consumption is at its peak. This graph illustrates the difference of solar energy production on March 31, 2016: To qualify for the Burbank’s rebate program in California, a home’s panels need to fall within the span of 200-270 degrees and have a minimum tilt of 5 degrees. If you’re a solar homeowner or considering becoming one in California, the city allows rebates for portions of systems that meet its requirements. You can go to this link to find out how much money the city will give you. Like the majority of rebate programs, this one is open only for a short time, until the end of the month or when funding is exhausted. You can start the rebate process by emailing Burbank’s Solar Support program manager, Alfred Antoun...

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World’s Oldest Solar Power Plant
Jun27

World’s Oldest Solar Power Plant

When it comes to having the “world’s oldest”…well, anything, California doesn’t hold many distinctions.     Somewhere hidden in the state’s White Mountains there’s a 5,068 year old tree that’s the world’s oldest bristlecone pine.   and somewhere in Downey there’s the world’s oldest McDonald’s. But conifers and Big Macs aside, California also has the distinction for housing the world’s first and oldest solar power plant, which was built way back in 1985. Owned and built by NextEra Energy Resources, the 354 MW facility houses nine operational solar plants, with the newest being completed in 1990. It facility covers 1,600 acres and houses nearly a million parabolic mirrors. According to NextEra, it can power over 230,000 homes during peak energy production. The plants, which are referred to as Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS), use panels that are different than the more commonly used photovoltaic ones, which transfer and store energy into batteries. Instead, the SEGS use mirrors that are 94% reflective (compared to typical mirrors with a 70% reflection rate) to direct the sun to heat a synthetic oil called Therminol. The focused light is nearly 80 times more powerful than normal sunlight. The heated oil then super-heats water, producing steam to power a turbine. The plant is estimated to displace about 3,800 tons of pollution per a year, which, when added up over the decades is a savings of about 60,000 tons of waste. So next time you’re driving through the Mojave desert and want to make a historical pit stop, check out the oldest solar fields in the world. And be sure to bring your sunglasses!...

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