Swiss Firm to Use Solar Power for Space Tourism

Financial Tribune:  SolarStratos, a Swiss startup, has unveiled an airplane that uses solar power to lift people to the edge of space and return them gently to earth. The company revealed its “solar plane”, a 28 foot-long aircraft that will be the first manned aircraft entirely powered by solar energy to rise above the stratosphere and bring passengers close to the stars. The solar power airplane has a wingspan of 81.3 feet and weighs 992 pounds. It will take two hours to ascend to the edge of space some 15 miles above the earth. SolarStratos will stay there for 15 minutes before beginning a three-hour descent back to earth.   Cont'd...

Experience meets precision: Columbia Weather Systems

Columbia Weather Systems specializes in industrial-grade weather stations for professional weather monitoring. Their weather stations integrate meteorological sensors and monitoring options that serve weather data in a way that is easy to read and analyze for industries and government agencies around the world. The company has been manufacturing and selling weather stations for over 35 years.

Panasonic Commits To Solar Cell Production With Tesla At New York Plant

Alan Ohnsman for Forbes:  Panasonic will make solar cells with Tesla at a factory under construction in Buffalo, New York, broadening a partnership between the electric-car maker and Japanese electronics giant that goes back nearly a decade. The companies said in a joint statement today that they finalized plans to produce high-efficiency photovoltaic cells at the plant, with initial production scheduled for the second half of 2017. Output of the energy modules, for use in solar panels, Tesla’s planned solar roofs and to charge up Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack battery storage units, is to reach 1 gigawatt by 2019, the companies said. Cont'd...

PVinsights: Solar Panel Continue To Record New Low

Solar panels lead losses in supply chain this week as serious competition added to the mounting price tension in the regional solar markets. Amid the expanded capacity in SEA, top tier Asian solar panel makers can gain access to the US market without high tariff rates and are offering strategic price reductions in order to compete with the western rivals and tier-1 Chinese manufacturers for more market shares. Recently, Hanwha Q-cell has been the dominant player that fuels price competition over major solar markets in EU, Japan and most noticeably in the US. Therefore, as Chinese module makers are also forced to join the price war, solar panel prices in these regions are further driven down by such competition. Moreover, solar panel prices in EU and US are further pressured due to thinning trading ahead of the year-end holiday period.

Twice the Solar Power for Significantly Less Cost

Concentrating Solar Power Now Available for Homes and Businesses

Upcoming Tradeshow, Conference & Exhibition Summary - February - April 2017

Here is a summary of what Tradeshows, Conferences & Exhibitions to look forward to in the coming months.

Instead Of Trump's Wall, Let's Build A Border Of Solar Panels

Homero Aridjis & James Ramey for Huffington Post:  President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly called for Mexico to build a wall between our countries. There is indeed a way that Mexico could create a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, one constructed exclusively on the Mexican side, with substantial benefits for both countries and the planet: a solar border. Sunlight in the northern deserts of Mexico is more intense than in the U.S. Southwest because of the lower latitude and more favorable cloud patterns. And construction and maintenance costs for solar plants in Mexico are substantially lower. Thus, building a long series of such plants all along the Mexican side of the border could power cities on both sides faster and more cheaply than similar arrays built north of the border.   Solar energy is already being generated at lower prices than those of coal. With solar plants along vast stretches of the almost 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border on the Mexican side, a new high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) grid could be set up to transmit energy efficiently from that long, snaking array to population centers along the border. HVDC power lines lose exponentially less energy over long distances than traditional power lines.   Cont'd...

World's first solar panel road opens in Normandy village

Kim Willsher for The Guardian:  France has opened what it claims to be the world’s first solar panel road, in a Normandy village. A 1km (0.6-mile) route in the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche covered with 2,800 sq m of electricity-generating panels, was inaugurated on Thursday by the ecology minister, Ségolène Royal. It cost €5m (£4.2m) to construct and will be used by about 2,000 motorists a day during a two-year test period to establish if it can generate enough energy to power street lighting in the village of 3,400 residents. In 2014, a solar-powered cycle path opened in Krommenie in the Netherlands and, despite teething problems, has generated 3,000kWh of energy – enough to power an average family home for a year. The cost of building the cycle path, however, could have paid for 520,000kWh.   Cont'd...

Three Simple (and Effective) Strategies for Solar Lead Generation

Don't get overwhelmed at the prospect of launching a solar lead generation program: if you focus on the basics, you'll have a great foundation for finding new customers.

Wind across rural and Rust Belt America powers big brands

New analysis reveals how and why the Fortune 500 buy wind energy

PVinsights: Price War Heats Up As Chinese Chase Hanwha Q-Cells

Solar panel price around the world extend the slump over the past few weeks amid simmering intensity over competition of global players and strong dollar. Recently, Hanwha Q-cell has been the dominant player in the price war in major solar markets US, EU and Japan. Particularly in the US, the solar panel price has deteriorated most noticeably amid fierce competition. Such attempts lead by Hanwha Q-cell also forces other major Asian module makers to slashing the prices as well, leading US solar panel price drastically lower and continue to renew the record low level. Meanwhile, solar panel prices in China and India are also trending downwards. In China, even as the demand is relatively solid, solar panel prices are dragged down by depreciation of RMB as well as strategic pricing in efforts to win project tenders. As for India, solar panel prices slump as following the downtrend of the rest of the world regardless of its solid demand growth.

1366 Technologies and Hanwha Q CELLS Achieve 19.6% Efficiency Using Direct Wafer® and Q.ANTUM Cell Technologies

The wafers were produced with 1366's current production furnaces in Bedford, MA and the cell fabrication was completed at Hanwha Q CELLS' Center for Technology Innovation and Quality in Thalheim, Germany.

Batteries Need to Get Big-Like, Enormous-for Solar Power to Shine

Vaclav Smil for IEEE Spectrum:  It would be a lot easier to expand our use of solar and wind energy if we had better ways to store the large quantities of electricity we’d need to cover gaps in the flow of that energy. Even in sunny Los Angeles, a typical house roofed with enough photovoltaic panels to meet its average needs would still face daily shortfalls of up to about 80 percent of the demand in January and daily surpluses of up to 65 percent in May. You can take such a house off the grid only by installing a voluminous and expensive assembly of lithium-ion batteries. But even a small national grid—one handling 10 to 30 gigawatts—could rely entirely on intermittent sources only if it had gigawatt-scale storage capable of working for many hours. Since 2007, more than half of humanity has lived in urban areas, and by 2050 more than 6.3 billion people will live [PDF] in cities, accounting for two-thirds of the global population, with a rising share in megacities of more than 10 million people.   Cont'd...

Q3 2016 Deal Volume Comparison - Lincoln International

There were 20 completed solar energy transactions in Q3 2016, which represents the same number of transactions recorded in Q2 2016.

Through Wind and Rain, Roof Tech Makes a Believer Out of Solarize Financial

Steven Petersen is project director of Solarize Financial, based just outside Charleston, South Carolina. When his business partner introduced him to Roof Tech products, he knew he had found a great solution for his residential customers. "Initially, I thought RT E Mount AIR® couldn't possibly be as strong as railed systems," he admits. "But the first time I used it, it became clear that E Mount AIR is far less intrusive on the roof, and doesn't compromise the integrity of the roof the way railed systems can." In the fall of 2016, Petersen had occasion to appreciate the real strength of E Mount AIR when a major meteorological event affected his region.

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