Fisher Auto Parts goes solar, helping Virginia get on the renewable energy map.

Fisher Auto Parts, one of the largest regional auto parts distribution and marketing organizations in North America, announced today that the installation of a 63.7 kW photovoltaic solar energy system has been completed at their Staunton, VA headquarters.

New process for manufacturing PV cells means cheaper solar power

Phys.org:  A major roadblock to the mass use of solar energy are photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. This is because the cost, inefficiency and negative environmental impact that the manufacturing of these cells outweighs any potential savings provided by the resulting solar energy. If, however, cost could be were minimised, then solar power would be more able to compete with traditional fossil fuel-based methods for generating energy. To overcome this hurdle, the EU-funded SOLNOWAT project has developed an innovative dry process for manufacturing PV solar cells. PV cells are typically created via a wet chemical process that etches away layers of silicon from a crystalline wafer, leaving behind the solar cell. The SOLNOWAT process replaces the expensive and inefficient wet chemical process with the use of atmospheric pressure dry etching technology – a process that cuts costs and speeds up production. Because less silicon is removed during dry etching, the resulting cells are darker, making them very efficient at absorbing light. In fact, they are so efficient that they have been classified as having zero global warming potential.   Cont'd...

NH Research, Inc. Releases 9300 Series High Voltage Battery Test System

NH Research, Inc. (NHR) has released the new 9300 series, a higher-voltage / higher-power version of its popular single-channel 9210 series battery test systems. The 9210 Series provided a 12kW power module operating at 40V, 120V, or 600V and which allowed paralleling with similar systems to increase the power, whereas the new 9300 system provides a 100kW power module with a software-selectable high voltage range (1200VDC / 167A) and high-current range (600VDC / 333A) allowing for efficient testing of single-voltage and double-voltage Electric vehicle (EV) batteries as well as high-voltage Energy Storage Systems (ESS) used in grid-tied applications.

Solect Energy Acquires Northeast Division of Brightergy

Solect acquired Brightergy's Northeast sales and project management operations in addition to some of Brightergy's intellectual property developed around commercial solar lead generation.

NREL Industry Growth Forum Connects Clean Energy Startups and Investors

Annual forum features business presentations from 30 clean energy startups

US Energy Storage Installations Grow 100% in 2016

Mike Munsell for GTM:  "The fourth quarter marked a turning point in the U.S. utility-scale energy storage market reflected by the burst of deployments over an extremely short period from inception to interconnection," said Ravi Manghani, GTM Research's director of energy storage. "California will play a significant role in the future as utilities there continue to contract energy storage under the state's 1.3 gigawatt mandate. While California took over the pole position in 2016 from PJM, the market shift was also transformational in terms of applications -- from short duration ancillary services to longer duration capacity needs." As a result, even though the market stayed roughly flat in megawatts, it grew 100 percent in megawatt-hours.   Cont'd...

Infiniti Research: Denmark Generates Enough Wind Energy in One Day to Power Entire Country

According to Infiniti Research, the cumulative installed wind capacity will reach 791.0 GW by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 12.81%. With many countries testing the limits of what wind and other renewables can provide, renewables such as wind will become more ubiquitous over the coming years.

US wind generation reached 5.5% of the grid in 2016

5 Heartland states now more than 20% wind-powered

US Military Moves Ahead With Renewable Energy Plan

Shoshanna Delventhal for Investopedia:  The Trump administration’s stance on climate change and the environment can be summed up by the chief White House strategist’s recent criticism of government support of green energy as “madness.” Despite a 180-degree shift from Obama administration’s environmental agenda, the Department of Defense, plans to move forward with a decade-long effort to “convert its fuel-hungry operations to renewable power,” senior military officials told Reuters. Yet apart from the controversial debate on climate change and the need for environmental protection, the Department of Defense has a strictly nonpolitical incentive to carry out the transition. Weaning reliance off petroleum means improved safety for U.S. troops and the American public.   Cont'd...

Solar-Log® Now Monitors 11GW, 260,000 Solar PV Plants World-Wide

Over 1 million inverters are now connected to Solar-Log® in over 90 countries, for a total generating power of 11GW. Continuous growth confirms the system's high level of recognition from EPC/installers and PV plant operators.

Innovative tidal technology gets $4.6 million funding

Anmar Frangoul for CNBC:  The European Commission has awarded 4.4 million euros ($4.63 million) in funding to a European tidal energy consortium to demonstrate innovative technology for tidal turbines. The consortium, led by Scotland's Nova Innovation, will use the funding to demo and show a "direct drive power take-off (PTO) solution" for tidal turbines. According to Nova Innovation, this technology could help to cut the lifetime cost of tidal power by 20 percent. The project will be known as TiPA (standing for Tidal turbine Power take-off Accelerator) and run for 36 months. Organizations involved in the project include Siemens, the University of Edinburgh, and Delft Technical University, among others.   Cont'd...

NRDC Report: Replacing Coal with Renewables and Energy Efficiency Can Lead U.S. to Cleaner Energy Future

Adopting cleaner energy and efficiency in our buildings, homes and consumer appliances also will provide more stability to the nation's electric grid. And it will shield Americans from electricity bill spikes from potential natural gas price increases, NRDC's report, "Clean Energy and Efficiency Can Replace Coal for Reliable Modern Electricity Grid," shows.

Natural Power appoints Head of Environment in the US

In response to growing demand for environmental services, Natural Power has announced the appointment of Christine Sutter as Head of Environment in North America. The addition of Crissy will enable Natural Power USA to expand its range of services available to the renewable power industry in North America.

Panasonic's Photovoltaic Module HITTM Adopted for Toyota Motor's New Prius PHV

Newly developed "HITTM Photovoltaic Module for Automobile" generates power and charges the drive and 12 V batteries

PVinsights: Solar Prices Send Bear Signal with Glut Concerns Lingering

Polysilicon price remain on a gradual slide this week. Although polysilicon price in China remain stable this week, price in overseas market has seen continuous decline. In China, since downstream wafer manufacturers currently remain high production utilization rates, solid demand fundamentals help to sustain the prices from falling in the short term. However, the price pressure continues to build up as more production capacities by major Chinese suppliers and new entrants will come on stream in near future. On the other hand, polysilicon in overseas market continue on the descent. With REC ramping up production and Wacker increase the volume in Pacific Asia, the increasing supplies outside of China are one of the reasons to deteriorate polysilicon prices. Moreover, as the downstream prices also see signs of weakening, it also impacts the polysilicon price trend. As the result, overall polysilicon prices drop continuously this week due to sliding prices in overseas market.

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Sierra Instruments, Inc.- InnovaMass. Reinvented.

Sierra Instruments, Inc.- InnovaMass. Reinvented.

Sierra was the first to introduce a combination volumetric vortex and multivariable mass flow meter in 1997. Today, Sierra's completely redesigned InnovaMass® iSeries™ 240i/241i builds on two decades of success measuring five process variables for gas, liquid and steam with one connection. Now, with the latest hyper-fast microprocessors, robust software applications, field diagnostic and adjustment capability, and a new state-of-the-art flow calibration facility, Sierra's vortex iSeries delivers precision, performance, and application flexibility never before possible.