Call (888) 338-0183 or click here for solar pricing


How Spinach Could Boost the Output of Solar Panels in the Future
Sep14

How Spinach Could Boost the Output of Solar Panels in the Future

Yep you read correctly, spinach is no longer just for Popeye.  Researches have discovered that solar cells can benefit from this leafy green vegetable that traditionally is being used to grow cartoon muscle.  It`s been four decades since researchers isolated a protein found in spinach called Photosystem 1 (PS1).  It was found to absorb almost all sunlight it is exposed to – close to 100% – or about four to five times more than what a typical solar panel on today`s market is capable of. Unfortunately, spinach does not generate any electricity in sunlight. Instead, it uses the sun`s energy for photosynthesis. However, this is not the first time that scientists have mimicked natural evolution to improve technology.  Thinking that we might one day be able to apply this protein in future solar cells to improve efficiency rates is really not that crazy. A small research team at Vanderbilt University has now brought this concept a giant step closer to reality.  They found that by doping silicon with a positive charge, they could successfully apply PS1 to a conventional solar cell.  This “biohybrid” solar cell produces 1 milliamp of current per square centimeter at 0.3 volts, which is almost three times better than any biohybrid cell to this date. “This combination produces current levels almost 1,000 times higher than we were able to achieve by depositing the protein on various types of metals.  It also produces a modest increase in voltage,” explains Davide Cliffel, associate professor of chemistry and part of the research team. “If we can continue on our current trajectory of increasing voltage and current levels, we could reach the range of mature solar conversion technologies in three years.” stated Kane Jennings, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at VU. Vanderbilt University is currently looking into to patenting their process. Source: Phys.org _________________ Guest Post by Mathias Aarre Maehlum.  Mathias is doing a Masters in Energy and Environmental Engineering. In his spare time he writes about solar power and other sources of renewable energy at his blog Energy...

Read More
SMA to Release Microinverter
Aug23

SMA to Release Microinverter

We are drawing near the long-anticipated release of SMA’s first ever mircoinverter: the SMA Sunny Boy 240-US.     SMA Sunny Boy 240-US, 240 Watt Grid-Tie Micro Inverter   SMA is a German manufactuer of photovoltaic inverters that was founded in 1981 and currently holds 40% of the market for solar inverters.  SMA has consistently produced top-quality inverters for commercial and residential applications, distinguishing itself as a trustworthy brand.  Though SMA has reigned supreme in the central inverter market, microinverter manufacturers are now proving to be notable competition.    The introduction of M175 microinverters by Enphase in 2008 offered the general public an alternative to central inverters.  Like central inverters, microinverters convert the DC electricity produced by solar panels to usable AC electricity.  Microinverters, however, attach behind individual panels in the array, so each module can operate independently.  Because of this, microinverters maximize the power produced by the individual modules, which is beneficial for systems that could be subject to shading.     Enphase M215     Microinverters, such as the Enphase M215, have gained much traction in the last several years, particularly for residential systems in the United States.  Even though SMA is still the leading manufacturer of photovoltaic inverters, the popularity of products like the Enphase M215 has incrementally chipped away at SMA’s would-be customer base.  Enphase estimates that  there have been around 40,000 installations with their microinverters.   The popularity of microinverters for residential systems has provided SMA an opportunity to capitalize on their reputable name.  To address the needs of prospective customers, SMA is embracing this opportunity by creating a microinverter that will soon be offered to the public.   At the Intersolar North America (ISNA) conference, SMA showcased their expanded product line, which includes the SMA Sunny Boy 240-US.  Though SMA will continue to sell central inverters, they recommend the Sunny Boy 240-US for systems of 2 KW or less that are subject to complicated shading conditions or have multiple orientations.  According to SMA’s website:   “SMA’s Sunny Boy micro inverter system enhances design flexibility for installers in the U.S. and across the globe. It features simple installation, an innovative communications platform and superior reliability, and is especially applicable for residential systems and systems with complex shadowing situations. Among the Sunny Boy micro inverter system’s ground-breaking innovations is its ability to monitor via the Sunny Portal with  the existing Sunny Boy inverter line, making string/micro hybrid installations a reality.  Hybrid installations have the potential to minimize installation costs while maximizing energy harvest.”   Customers with SMA Sunny Boy Micro Inverters can also use the Sunny Boy 240 Power Gateway, which allows for internet-based analytics on the...

Read More
Pure Sine Wave Inverters vs. Modified Sine Wave Inverters
Jun19

Pure Sine Wave Inverters vs. Modified Sine Wave Inverters

True Sine Wave or Modified Sine Wave?Because the AC electricity from the electric grid is in the form of sine wave, the inverters we use aim to produce a current that is as close to sine wave as possible.  While modified sine wave inverters present an inexpensive alternative, there is no comparison to the clean, undistorted sine wave provided by pure sine wave inverters.   Pure Sine Wave Inverter    A pure sine wave inverter, also known as a true sine wave inverter, produces a clean, undistorted electrical output.  Depending on the manufacturer of the product, pure sine inverters have a perfect sine wave output that’s in phase with the AC grid of the utility company.  Because of the sinusoidal form, pure sine wave inverters are used for grid-tie solar systems and work for virtually any AC load.  Cotek SK3000-148, 3000 Watt 48V Pure Sine Wave Inverter Because they produce no harmonic distortions in the frequency, pure sine wave inverters allow any electronic device to function well without overheating or creating an irritating “buzz” sound.  Though pure sine wave inverters are undoubtedly the best and most versatile kind of inverter, they are more expensive than modified sine wave inverters.   Pure sine wave inverters are necessary for highly sensitive products such as digital clocks, audio equipment, and video-game consoles.  As a general rule of thumb, if you’re powering any electronics, you’ll probably want to stick with a pure sine wave inverter.  The image below displays the difference between a pure sine wave and a modified sine wave.   Modified Sine Wave Inverters   The cheaper alternative to a pure sine wave inverter is a modified sine wave inverter.  A modified sine inverter converts DC electricity to a nonsinusoidal AC wave that is “modified,” or distorted.   When an inverter produces modified sine wave, the voltage output (represented in the Y axis of the image) essentially jumps from zero volts to positive, where it plateaus and drops back to zero, to negative voltage, and then back to zero again. This is signified in the image by the squared edges seen in the modified sine wave, which is contrasted by the smooth oscillation of a voltage that is produced by a pure sine wave inverter.  The modified sine wave is a stepped waveform that is designed to mimic a true sine wave.  Because it is not a clean form of energy, modified sine wave does generate a certain kind of interference called harmonic distortion (though not as much as a square wave). Modified sine wave inverters can work for the majority of low-end appliances, but take caution when using them for your...

Read More
Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline?
Jun01

Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline?

Most solar modules used today are either polycrystalline or monocrystalline, otherwise known as mono and poly. So what is the difference between poly and mono? For the sake of brevity, the difference between the two is that monocrystalline is composed of a single crystal of silicon, while polycrystalline is composed of many crystals.  Generally speaking, mono solar panels are more efficient but poly solar panels are a better use of your money. Monocrystalline Monocrystalline, which is also called mono or single crystalline, is the older of the two technologies and has been around since 1955.  Monocrystalline is still used to manufacture photovoltaic cells today and is arguably the most efficient material available. A monocrystalline solar cell is composed of a single crystal of silicon, a purity that can be identified by a dark, even coloring.  Extensive filtration is required to purify the silicon so it can be used for monocrystalline solar cells.   A single monocrystalline silicon seed crystal is slowly pulled from the high-heat molten silicon.  As it’s drawn upwards, the silicon cools and solidifies as a single ingot.  This cylindrical ingot is then sliced into thin pieces that are then cut into the cell shapes you see on a monocrystalline solar panel. Monocrystalline solar panel panels will typically have higher efficiency rates (15-20%), converting energy particularly well in low-light and lab conditions.  Mono panels will generally have higher nameplate ratings than poly.  Because monocrystalline solar cells usually have higher efficiency, these solar panels will make good use of limited roof space. The biggest draw-back is cost.  Mono solar panels come at a premium so unless you’re particularly limited on roof space, they’re not the best use of your money. Pros: • High efficiency • Good for limited space • Performs well in low-light conditions Cons: • High Cost • Sensitive to soiling and shade • More silicon is wasted in the manufacturing process Polycrystalline Polycrystalline, which is also called poly or multicrystalline, has been used since 1981.  Until recently, polycrystalline solar panels were easily identified by their solar cells that have a textured look resembling a granite countertop or shattered glass.  Most poly solar panels just have a dark blue color now. Polycrystalline cells are composed of multiple silicon crystals, which is a cheaper way to manufacture solar modules.  Polycrystalline cells are commonly made with a cast of molten silicon.  When these cells are being created, they cool faster, creating smaller crystals.  Just remember that poly means many because it has many crystals.  Because poly solar panels are easier to produce, they’re less expensive – making them the ideal choice for most people.   Though monocrystalline is still...

Read More

motion-activated led Security Light by RAB

Presenting the RAB LED LFLOOD 18W with STL360, a motion-activated security light for your home or office. Ideal to complete your home security system, the RAB LStealthworks as a deterrent against crime.  This security light is perfect to protect your garage, back yard, side yard, barn, or any area that needs security lighting on a regular basis.  The RAB LStealth is also convenient to have at your front porch for those times you spend outside in the evenings. The RAB LStealth’s finish is offered in your choice of bronze or white to match style of your home or office building. One thing that sets this security sensor apart from the rest is the range of motion that it detects.  The RAB LStealth tracks movement not only in front, but in a full 180 degrees that extends sixty feet.  On top of that, the RAB LStealth’s sensor also picks up any motion underneath it in 360 degrees.  There is no sneaking past the RAB LStealth!  Upon activation of this high-powered sensor, the RAB Stealth’s LED light extends a brilliant fan of over 1600 Lumens, covering an area that would normally require two standard floodlights to produce.  This LED light comes in color temperatures of 3000k, 4000k, or 5000k to match your personal taste.  By using this LED technology, you will also be conserving energy.  This highly efficacious security light consumes only 18 Watts, helping you chip away at the cost of your monthly electric bill. To save even more energy, the RAB LStealth also comes with an evening timer mode. This allows you to set your RAB LStealth to work for a designated amount of time in the evening.  Forgotten are the days of constantly replacing incandescent lamps for your security lights.  This LED is packed with an impressive lifespan of 50,000 hours.  The RAB LStealth is sturdy and built to withstand intense weather conditions; its minimum working temperature is -40 degrees Celsius! The manufacturers of this dependable product stand behind the RAB LStealthwith a ten-year warranty. The RAB LStealthprovides exceptional performance for commercial or residential use. Where can you use the RAB LED LFLOOD 18W with STL360?...

Read More
Page 4 of 20« Newest...23456...1020...Oldest »