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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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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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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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How to cash in on the IRS’ Investment Tax Credit
Mar24

How to cash in on the IRS’ Investment Tax Credit

Anticipating that the solar-plus-storage market could experience the same type of expansion the PV market did in the last decade, the IRS recently updated an eligibility ruling for a 30 percent Investment Tax Credit (ITC) on renewable energy storage.   The updated rule, passed before the start of 2016, extends the 30 percent ITC until 2021 and aims to clear up some of the confusion with regards to when solar energy storage qualifies for the tax credit.   “The federal government does not want to incentivize people to arbitrage energy from the grid,” Senior Consultant at the Engineering consultant firm DNV-GL Mike Kleinberg explains. “You cannot charge from the grid in the evening and then discharge during the day to supplement your PV — and also qualify for the ITC, because you’re not then really charging from renewable energy.”   In order to accomplish this, the IRS dictated that in order to be eligible for the ITC, taxpayers must not draw more than 25 percent of stored electricity from the grid. Additionally, if they draw more than 25 percent of power from the grid during the first year of applying for the credit, they will not be allowed to collect any portion of the energy tax credit in later years even if the system improves and complies.   In order to prevent batteries charging more than 25 percent from the grid, homeowners have taken to installing inverters on both their PV systems and their AC/DC power systems, linking them to a site master controller that monitors when and how fast storage units charge.   While the updated 2015 rule might seem more strict than the original one set forth two years earlier (which was much more vague about solar battery two-way grid charging) it also expands its definition of what constitutes “storage technology”, allowing for greater flexibility when applying for the credit.   For example, smart water heaters or ceramic heaters that know the weather and draw 25 percent or less from the grid would qualify....

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