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concentrated solar power at the consumer level

Typically concentrated solar power has been a viable option for utility scale projects, there there are more companies moving into the space on a daily basis, even Big Blue (I.B.M.) has decided to play in the concentrated photovoltacis (solar power) sandbox to offer concentrated solar power products at the consumer level. So why is there so much buzz around this sector of solar power? First we have to understand what concentrated solar power is…. What is concentrated photovoltacis (CPV)? With the use of mirrors or reflective material, concentrating the sun’s light onto the surface area of solar cells to significantly raise the output of the solar cells, thus producing more electricity per square foot of solar panels. Concentrated Solar Power is forcing light into a solar cell, similar to forced induction (turbo) for a car. How does this help you? Concentrated Solar Power can lower the upfront cost of going solar. Solar Panels are expensive because solar panels are made up of an element called silicon which is in high demand at this point of time. Concentrated solar power uses less silicon in each panel, therefore lowering the overall cost of a system significantly while increasing the output per square foot. Although this sounds great, there are some issues before this technology hits the mainstream market. Heat decreases the performance of solar panels, therefore concentrating solar power could have some efficiency issues in the long run, also the lifetime of concentrated solar panels maybe limited compared to traditional solar panels. On the bright side there is a lot of innovation going on in this sector, IBM are the masters of cooling silicon (they have experience cooling computer processors which are also made of silicon)…so as the technology develops I can see CPV catching on in the mainstream...

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FedEx continues to reduce bottom line with Solar Power

When I was at the Earth Day Festival on Sunday, it was interesting to see FedEx’s booth promoting their use of Solar Power. Today on the Official Earth Day, FedEx Freight has completed the installation of a solar-electric system in Whittier, California and is nearly completed with a similar solar power operation at its Fontana, CA location. Both systems are designed to reduce the peak time usage FedEx faces when operating their business in California. The 282 kW system in Whittier is capable of producing over 414,000 kWh of electricity each year. The CEO claims that they did it for the environment, although consumer research proves the majority of people / organizations who buy solar power do it for the financial benefits before the consider what the system does for the environment. Obviously producing 40% of the facilities annual needs from solar power is only going to increase the value of FedEx’s stock price. FedEx purchased BP Solar Panels (which we do feature on our shop, hint hint*) for their installation. It seems like all these corporations are sprinting to get their solar electric systems up and running before December, 31 2008, the last day a tax paying entity can receive the 30% Federal Tax Credit form the government. By the way, Happy Earth Day!! From the entire

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