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Solar Panels breakthrough or exaggerated claim?

One reason why solar panels are confusing to install is because they put out DC power…that’s why you need an inverter which converts DC into AC power, which is the type of electricity our appliances and devices use. Typically there are losses in energy when converting DC to AC. EOS Renewable Energy Technologies claims that they have developed a breakthrough photovoltaic extraction method called XPX technology that can change the way solar electric systems work. According to the company with XPX technology a solar panel can be developed with an integrated printed circuit board (PCB) device which can not only harvest unstable energy but output the electricity in AC, thus eliminating the need for inverters. A solar panel that you could potentially connect right into grid. The company says XPX technology will allow a solar electric system to produce 10-20% more kWh. Pretty bold claim this company is making, don’t you agree? Directly connecting solar panels to the grid, you would eliminate the DC to AC conversion loss and would reduce the final cost of a system because the solar electric system would be inverterless. Do you think solar panels of the future will produce AC...

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SolarFeeds @ Solar Innovations & Investment

Scott Weitzman of was keeping me updated about some of the interesting information he learned about the solar power industry at the Solar Innovations & Investment conference going on in New York today and tomorrow. According to Scott, many stock analysts are looking bearish on solar stocks. Do you agree with the analysts? The financial markets have also hit the solar business and since prices of solar panels will fall next year, the industry is predicted to make less margins per transaction, possibly squeezing the smaller solar companies out of business. What’s your opinon? Investment bankers think there will be less solar IPOs in the short term because of our current economic conditions. What do you think? With all the doom and gloom, will that stop customers from buying solar power systems next year? I think many people and companies will install solar panels, wind turbines because they will be a safer investment then the stock market itself. Will money from people’s sinking 401ks end up going into a more safe investment, such as clean energy systems on roof...

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Is thin film the future of solar?

Sharp Solar is betting on thin film. The company announced, they’re increasing their thin film production line from 15 megawatts to 160 megawatt capacity annually with the completion of it’s factory in Katsuragi, Japan. Sharp Solar increased the second generation thin film solar panel efficiency rate to 9% and offers a rated output of up to 128 watts per solar panel. Don’t expect to put these solar panels up on your house anytime soon, since the efficiency per solar panel is lower than traditional silicon based solar panels, thin film is better suited for projects with a vast amount of surface area. For example, if you were putting up a solar farm and space was no issue, well thin film would make sense, because you make up the lack of efficiency with space. But if you have a small roof, less surface area to work with, you want a highly efficient solar panel such as the Sanyo HIT solar panel, since it produces more watts per square foot. Until thin film technologies increase their efficiencies significantly the technology will not gain serious traction in the residential market. What do you think? Will the residential solar market see a highly efficient, dollar per watt thin film solar panel anytime...

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SolarWorld makes an offer to buy Opel

SolarWorld, is a leading German solar panel manufacturer made an unsolicited bid to by Opel from General Motors (GM) today, although GM refused the offer and said Opel is not up for sale. GM owns Opel, which is a German automobile brand. According to SolarWorld, they want to take the Opel brand and turn the product line exclusively into full electric and hybrid vehicles. There is room for a great partnership between solar pv panels and electric based cars. Imagine a world in which every home and business has solar panels on top of their roofs and people can charge their cars right from the power of the sun. I think GM should sell the division to SolarWorld, because at this point they are very low on options, plus I think this is the reason GM is in the problem they are in because they are so spread thin from their core business. The management can’t even make the GM brand profitable, I don’t understand why they would want to hold on to brands that they just can’t afford to hold onto right now. As the electric car and hybrids vehicle industry continue to move forward, we are seeing a close relationship developing with the photovoltaic industry. Should GM sell Opel to SolarWorld? What types of opportunities will this create for the...

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More affordable solar panels in 2009?

Generally most consumers don’t go solar because of the high upfront cost, but moving forward in 2009, not only are there more tax credits and other financial incentives for you to reap but the prices of solar panels are predicted to drop because of oversupply. This is great news for you as the consumer because a majority of the cost of a complete solar electric system comes from the solar panels. The solar power industry has been growing at about 40% each year and there has been high demand for limited amount of solar panels which was one reason for the higher cost of solar panels. Now more manufacturing capacity has been deployed, therefore causing the oversupply in the market, thus dropping down the cost per watt. Do you think that more people will adopt solar power for their home or business next year? Do you think the challenges in the financial markets will slow down the growth rate of the solar power...

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