Solar Power International underway in Orlando, FL

Solar Power International (SPI) is North America’s premier business-to-business event for professionals in solar energy and related fields. Thousands of solar energy industry professionals from 100+ countries attend. One of five attendees comes from outside the United States. More than 900 exhibiting companies from all vertical markets in the solar power spectrum. AltEnergyMag.com has put together a special newspage devoted specifically to news and announcements coming out of this years show . We invite those exhibitors to post PR directly to this newspage here.

Why Solar Power International Matters

The significance of Solar Power International comes not from the number or diversity of its attendees. Rather, this year's conference matters because it comes at a time of rapid innovation and change in the industry. These changes affect so many aspects of the business that players need to constantly update their understanding; to be just a month behind puts you at a competitive disadvantage. What's changed since Dallas? SPI 2011 was held last October in Dallas, Texas. Since that time, the industry landscape has changed drastically, specifically with regard to how projects are getting financed. In any given month, DG Energy Partners sees dozens of MWs of projects seeking financial partners. Regardless of where these projects are located, the underlying trends remain the same; hardware prices have continued to fall, EPC margins have continued to shrink and projects have grown increasingly difficult to complete. And we haven't even mentioned what changes we can expect in 2013.

China Solar Firms Brace for EU Dumping Probe

Chinese solar companies expect the European Commission to announce within days a formal investigation into their alleged dumping of solar panels in Europe, which could result in heavy tariffs being imposed on them next year. The expected move against the companies, whose share prices have tumbled and whose financial outlook is cloudy due to oversupply and falling solar-equipment prices, would come as they are already fighting clean-energy trade battles on several fronts. Also, China and the European Union are at loggerheads over several other trade rows, including a European plan to punish airlines if they don't comply with an emissions-control program—issues that could have the potential to sour China's readiness to help in financially underpinning Europe's debt-laden economies. European solar-panel makers filed a confidential complaint July 25 with the commission, the EU's executive arm, accusing Chinese solar-panel manufacturers of selling products at below-cost prices in Europe.

A Robot to Tilt Solar Panels

The QBotix Tracking System rethinks two-axis tracking in an effort to bring the cost down to what solar project developers pay for single-axis trackers. Instead of having the hardware to adjust the angle on every solar panel, QBotix engineers created a traveling robot equipped with the motor needed to change the angle. Like a small train, the robot drives along a track a few feet off the ground placed along the edge of solar panels and makes adjustments. It’s designed so that one robot can service 200 panels in 40 minutes, the time it takes the sun to move 10 degrees. The track can be a simple loop or navigate turns and hills, according to QBotix CEO and founder Wasiq Bokhari. A magnet on the robot allows it to locate a panel mount, where it can attach its motors to make the adjustments.  

Battery Performance of Microfiber/Nanofiber Lithium Ion Battery Separators

Current stretched porous film battery separators for lithium ion batteries are thin, strong, and provide a good barrier between electrodes, at the cost of having very high internal resistance and low ionic flow due to low porosity and high "dead space" that come from starting with a solid material and trying to impart porosity. This work uses an alternative approach, where linear nanofibers and microfibers are combined in wet laid nonwoven processes to give separators that are strong and thin, but have higher porosity (60-70%) and so have much higher ionic flow.

Smart Cities: Intelligent Transportation and Smart Grid Standards - Part 1

Standards-based solutions were instrumental in the exponential growth of the Internet. For the Smart City, public electrical infrastructure ecosystem to expand, development, application and worker training of interoperability standards is an important strategic foundation from which to grow. This convergence of intelligent transportation systems with the Smart Grid, is allowing the Smart City concept to gain hold in many areas of the US and around the world.

Investing in Solar Energy Industries in the US

As the technology of renewables advances, and as their track records continue to show stable returns, pension funds will continue to increase their investment in renewables, either through direct investment, infrastructure funds or private equity funds.

Advanced Biogas Thermal Mass Flow Meter Boosts Methane Recovery System Operation

The S.P.M. Mill operators initially tried using Oscillator and Vortex technology flow meters. They found that these flow technologies contain moving parts or orifices and were unable to measure flows accurately at the low flow rate demanded by this digester application.

Residential Solar adds to Property Value

On average, a California solar system will pay for itself within five to 10 years, depending on the size of the system. However, if the system is leased and homeowners put little down upfront, the solar system will begin paying for itself on day one, creating instant savings.

Creating a new eCommerce B2B Global Solar and Renewable Energy Marketplace

The iSolar Exchange online marketplace is designed to create a secure site that connects the entire supply, manufacture, and delivery channels for solar and renewable energy products and services - worldwide. That's all we do - that's all we focus on.

3D Solar Technology Improves Efficiency

In current technology about 30% of the light is reflected back into space. We have created a 3-dimentional structure in the silicon that virtually eliminates reflection by causing the light to bounce around within the structure until it is fully absorbed.

RTI International Develops New Low Cost, High Efficiency Solar Technology

Researchers at RTI International have developed a new solar technology that could make solar energy more affordable, and thus speed-up its market adoption. The RTI solar cells are formed from solutions of semiconductor particles, known as colloidal quantum dots, and can have a power conversion efficiency that is competitive to traditional cells at a fraction of the cost. Solar energy has the potential to be a renewable, carbon-neutral source of electricity but the high cost of photovoltaics – the devices that convert sunlight into electricity – has slowed widespread adoption of this resource. The RTI-developed solar cells were created using low-cost materials and processing techniques that reduce the primary costs of photovoltaic production, including materials, capital infrastructure and energy associated with manufacturing. Preliminary analysis of the material costs of the technology show that it can be produced for less than $20 per square meter—as much as 75 percent less than traditional solar cells.

Vestas in Talks With Mitsubishi on Strategic Pact

Vestas Wind Systems A/S said Tuesday that it is in talks with Japanese industrial conglomerate Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. about a strategic tie-up that could secure the long-term future of the financially troubled Danish wind-turbine maker. Vestas, the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines, has been struggling with steep losses and a tight financial situation, prompting speculation in the market of a company sale or a dilutive issuance of new shares. The shares jumped 19% Tuesday after news of the Mitsubishi talks, with analysts saying that the project could help the company navigate its way back to profitability. "No matter what the deal contains, it will surely include an injection of capital to Vestas," Alm. Brand Markets analyst Michael Friis Joergensen said. Vestas fell deep in the red in 2011, when massive overcapacity, excessive costs and budget overruns in the development of a new turbine forced it to issue two profit warnings, helping send the share price lower.

Spherical glass solar energy generator

From DesignBoom.com: German born, barcelona-based architect andré broessel has sent us images of his latest development of a spherical glass solar energy generator. the project uses the advantageous strategy of implementing a ball lens and specific geometrical structure to improve energy efficiency by 35%. in contrast to its traditional photo-voltaic 'dual-axis' counterparts, the device incorporates a fully rotational weatherproof natural optical tracking device that is adequate for functioning on inclined surfaces and curtain walls, empowering any building surface. the new solar generating concept has capabilities that concentrate diffused daylight or moonlight for a more effective site context application. Full Article & Images:

Researchers synthesize inorganic nanocrystals that harvest solar energy

One reason that solar energy has not been widely adopted is because light absorbing materials are not durable. Materials that harvest solar radiation for energy often overheat or degrade over time; this reduces their viability to compete with other renewable energy sources like wind or hydroelectric generators. A new video protocol addresses these issues by presenting a synthesis of two inorganic nanocrystals, each of which is more durable than their organic counterparts. The article, published in Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), focuses on the liquid phase synthesis of two nanocrystals that produce hydrogen gas or an electric charge when exposed to light. "The main advantage of this technique is that it allows for direct, all inorganic coupling of the light absorber and the catalyst," says the leading author Dr. Mikhail Zamkov of Bowling Green State University.

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