Rolling Out Smart Inverters

Greater utility familiarity with smart inverters, as well as the further evolution of guiding standards and grid codes, are likely to enable the gradual emergence of optimal electric utility rollout strategies.

5 Reasons a String Inverter Won't Cut It

Knowing the limitations of string inverters may tell you just why the Module Level Power Electronics segment - microinverters - is on the rise.

Small-scale solar power growing in the United States

By Daniel J. Graeber for UPI.com:  Small-scale solar installations in the United States account for about a third of the overall capacity on the grid, a report from the federal government said. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates total U.S. solar-power output in September, the last full month for which data are available, at 3.5 million megawatt hours. Of that, just more than 30 percent came from small-scale solar installations. "Generation from roof-top photovoltaic systems has become an increasingly important part of total solar generation in the United States," EIA AdministratorAdam Sieminski said in an emailed statement. A September report from the Solar Energy Industries Association, with support from green energy market adviser GTM Research, found second quarter residential solar capacity grew 70 percent year-on-year to 473 megawatts.   Cont'd...

Wind Farms

Many of the largest operational onshore wind farms are located in Germany, China and the United States.

Why Solar Power Could Hit a Ceiling

There could be a limit on how much solar power can grow. That’s because the more solar power we add to the grid, the less valuable it becomes. It’s a simple supply-and-demand story: solar reaches peak generation during sunny afternoons, but there’s a limited demand for such additional power during those times. As a result, solar begins to compete with itself, driving down the price that utilities are willing to pay generators. Solar power accounts for less than 1 percent of the world’s electricity generation today, but as more is added to the energy mix, the economics become increasingly unfavorable. Shayle Kann, head of GTM Research, and Varun Sivaram, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, cite recent studies of the grids in Texas and Germany that suggest the value of solar will be cut in half by the time it makes up 15 percent of the energy mix. A study of California’s grid concluded that if solar power were to reach 50 percent of the grid, it would be only a quarter as valuable as it was before any solar had been added. Kann and Sivaram combined the data from those studies to make the comparison below.   Cont'd...

Innovative Engineering in Solar Relays

As the demand for higher kVA capacities of solar inverters keeps expanding, higher switching currents need to be accommodated by relays used in these applications.

German battery maker launches scheme to share solar power

Reporting by Vera Eckert for Reuters:  German battery maker Sonnenbatterie has launched a scheme to connect households with solar panels and other consumers, aiming to better distribute surpluses of the renewable energy and help members to become more independent of conventional suppliers. The start-up company hopes the scheme, called "sonnenCommunity", will boost demand for its batteries which store solar power, allowing owners to use the clean energy even when weather conditions are not favourable. SonnenCommunity takes the storage idea a step further, allowing solar power to be shared among its members. Sonnenbatterie said the scheme would initially target the 1.5 million solar power producers who, if they sign up to the community, will receive a battery storage system with a starting price of 3,599 euros ($3,812). But eventually, the offer will also be open to non-producers, it added. If the idea of battery-powered buildings takes off, it could pose a challenge to traditional utilities such as RWE and E.ON, which still derive the bulk of their power from big centralised power stations running on fossil fuels.   Full Article:

70% of Mongolian nomads now have solar power

by MIHAI ANDREI for ZME Science:  In many the vast steppes of Mongolia, some things have remained unchanged for centuries. But some things have changed, and big time: according to a new report, almost 3 out of 4 Mongolian nomads are now using solar power. Even if your lifestyle is pretty much Medieval, you can still benefit from advanced technology – that’s the reasoning behind a new government initiative that encourages nomads to use solar power. Mongolia is a geographically large but sparsely populated country. Covering over 600,000 square miles, it only has a population of 3 million people. About 1.2 million of Mongolia’s citizens live in the urban capital of Ulaanbaatar, while the remaining population is widely dispersed throughout the country with a large number residing in rural areas. In total, about a quarter of the population consists of nomadic herders. The per capita income in Mongolia at the start of the millennium was about US$470 per year, with income amongst herders even lower.   Cont'd...

RevoluSun Smart Home Offers Solar Storage to Hawaiian Homeowners

Other products include PV hot water, whole house fans, skylights and sun tunnels, home automation and security, EV car charging, among others.

Chasing Efficiency in Solar Energy Sector

In 1977, the cost of solar panels was US$76.67/watt and today, it is just US$0.613/watt

SolarWindow - Transparent Electricity-Generating Coatings

We envision our technology to be part of the next-generation of skyscrapers and commercial buildings, and installed in buildings around the world, providing a source of clean, renewable energy to help meet the world's growing energy demands.

Why Wind Power Has Taken China by Storm

The rapid development of the wind power industry has created a new set of challenges for China to address. Despite this, the GWEC still predicts that China will install an additional 100 GW by the end of 2019, exceeding the country's 200 GW target for 2020 a year ahead of time.

What is a Solar Decathlon?

The Solar Decathlon is the ideal venue to utilize R&D advancements with integrated energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

This Is Generation Wind

A new generation has arrived for wind energy and that realization is being woven into next year's AWEA WINDPOWER 2016 Conference & Exhibition.

Will Solar Energy Plummet if the Investment Tax Credit Fades Away?

Wall Street Journal:  Many supporters say the abrupt end date of the 30% credit represents a “cliff” for the industry. Without the current incentive, they argue, installation of solar-power systems will plummet, and thousands of jobs in the industry will be lost as a result. Others, however, argue that the cliff isn’t as steep as it appears, and that solar will continue to grow even without the 30% credit—albeit not as quickly as before. Amit Ronen, director of the GW Solar Institute and a professor at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy at George Washington University, argues that the end of the 30% credit will send solar off a cliff. John Farrell, director of the Democratic Energy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, says the impact of the tax credit is overstated and the solar market will continue to rise.  Full Article:

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Solar & Wind - Featured Product

Easy monitoring with weather sensors from Lufft

Easy monitoring with weather sensors from Lufft

Professional weather sensors form the heart of large solar plants supporting their operation and performance. Lufft was the first manufacturer to combine several sensors in one housing, bringing the largest multiparameter weather sensor family with 19 members into being. Many of them are well-suited for solar site assessment and continuous monitoring. The most commonly used one is the WS600 delivering data on temperature, air pressure, wind, relative humidity and precipitation. Through its open protocol, it can easily be attached to radiation sensors e.g. from Kipp&Zonen. Other models have an integrated Silicon, Second Class or Secondary Standard radiation sensor.