IHS iSuppli Teardown Analysis of Solar Inverter, Identifying the Cost-Reduction Opportunities

In its first-ever dissection of a solar power inverter, IHS has determined the bill of materials (BOM) of a major manufacturer's product, providing a path-setting benchmark for cost reduction in a market expected to undergo rapid price erosion in the coming years.

Massive battery energy storage station kicks off in China

China could be the largest market for grid energy storage technology, and now, according to battery maker BYD and China's State Grid utility, the country's potentially got the world's largest battery energy storage station in Zhangbei, Hebei Province. See photo above of the building with rows (bigger than a football field) of BYD's Iron-Phosphate batteries that make up the 36 MW-hours of energy storage along with what looks like rooftop solar panels. A lot of companies have been trying to break into China's grid energy storage market including lithium ion battery maker A123 Systems , flow battery marker ZBB Energy, and even U.S. power producer Duke Energy. China is expected to embrace grid energy storage, as a way to more reliably install the 100 GW of variable clean power that the country wants.

Solar Energy Industry: 2011 in Review Solar energy is one of the fastest growing industry in the United States.

Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, today published the following review of the U.S. solar energy market in 2011: "In contrast to some of the recent headlines, the solar energy industry is a strong, thriving industry in the United States that is creating jobs and lowering costs for the consumer. In 2011, a number of myths about the solar energy industry circulated nationally. Let's set the record straight. Here are seven truths about this thriving American industry:  

Obama Administration Approves 2 Huge Renewable Energy Projects

Other than the tremendously needed toxic pollution standards announced yesterday, the Obama administration has made three more big announcements this week that should make anyone who values clean air, clean water, and a livable climate happy. A 300-MW solar PV project in Arizona and a 186-MW wind project in California were approved for construction on public lands. Additionally, the "first step" of a major offshore wind transmission line (or ‘superhighway') in the Atlantic Ocean — the one Google has invested in — went forward. Together, the Sonoran Solar Energy Project and the Tule Wind Project will create enough power for nearly 150,000 homes and will create 700 jobs at peak.

Google investing $94 million in Sacramento-area solar plants

Google announced that it's investing $94 million in solar panel farms in the Sacramento area. The money will go toward four photovoltaic, or PV, panel farms built by San Francisco-based Recurrent Energy, owned by tech-giant Sharp, and will help fuel the project alongside funding from investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., said Axel Martinez, Google's assistant treasurer, in a company blog post Tuesday. The investment pushes Google's portfolio of clean energy investments to more than $915 million, $880 million of which has been invested since January, Martinez said. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Recurrent and Google did not disclose how much Kohlberg Kravis Roberts was investing in the project.

Building Integrated Photovoltaics Impacts the Glass and Glazing Industry

Selling PV modules in their product package of glass and fenestration products represent a very significant sales potential increase for glass and glazing subcontractors. On a related matter, many PV modules can be glazed directly into the fenestration products without any modification to either product.

MIT Energy Initiative: With changes, U.S. electric grid can hold up to expected challenges

MIT report shows that with new policies, U.S. electric grid could handle expected influx of electric cars and wind and solar generation.

Solar Infrastructure Codes

Unirac is a strong advocate for developing new codes for solar infrastructure, and has been working closely with the International Code Council Evaluation Service to develop new performance standards for racking and mounting systems. Unirac's new SolarMount (E)volution residential roof mount PV racking system, launched at Solar Power International in October, is currently being evaluated by ICC-ES. Unirac is the first company to apply for an ICC ESR under ICC-ES AC428.

Striking Balance - How the Solar Industry Benefits From the U.S. & China

The solar industry is ready for its moment in the sun: Here at home, we hope fairness prevails so that the investigatory process proceeds without acrimony, political overzealousness or protectionism; at stake are U.S. jobs, U.S. exports, and U.S. consumer benefits for a strategically important U.S industry

Solar Technology Comparison Study
Wastewater Engineering Building - LEED Gold Certified

Both thin film and crystalline solar technologies provide reliable and impressive energy production performance. While it is well known that amorphous silicon modules suffer lower performance loss in high temperatures and low light conditions, this study reveals that the differing mounting requirements of each system more than offset this cell-type difference. As a result, with commonly-used commercial mounting solutions, crystalline modules actually outperform thin film modules in energy production per rated watt.

Solar Cogeneration Technology

Solar cogeneration of electricity and hot water maximizes the economic and environmental value of energy derived from the sun. Cogenra's system produces as much electricity as photovoltaic (PV) technology allows, then captures most of the remaining energy as hot water, in total exploiting over 70% of the energy incident from the sun.

India Embraces Solar Power, Says Price Will Equal Thermal Power in Five Years

The program's goals are nothing if not ambitious, as the government had initially hoped to boost the nation's solar capacity by the equivalent of about 18 nuclear power plants by 2022, a date that's now been brought forward by five years.

Trabant partners with Siemens to develop game changing solar tracker

Sade's idea was to eliminate the need for masts or poles to secure a solar array to concrete foundations. Instead, the tracker would use a ballast pan filled with dirt, gravel or sand.

Small Companies Can Make a Big Difference in Tomorrow

During the conversation, I kept coming back to ‘Why? What was driving this desirable business behavior?' Larry summed it up. "At the end of the day - we work to do as much right as we can for all concerns. By being long-term, we can look at the long-term win-wins for both conserving our resources and with a competitive long-term cost benefit as well.

Scientists report first solar cell producing more electrons in photocurrent than solar photons entering cell

The external quantum efficiency for photocurrent, usually expressed as a percentage, is the number of electrons flowing per second in the external circuit of a solar cell divided by the number of photons per second of a specific energy (or wavelength) that enter the solar cell. None of the solar cells to date exhibit external photocurrent quantum efficiencies above 100 percent at any wavelength in the solar spectrum. The external quantum efficiency reached a peak value of 114 percent. The newly reported work marks a promising step toward developing Next Generation Solar Cells for both solar electricity and solar fuels that will be competitive with, or perhaps less costly than, energy from fossil or nuclear fuels. A paper on the breakthrough appears in the Dec. 16 issue of Science Magazine. Titled "Peak External Photocurrent Quantum Efficiency Exceeding 100 percent via MEG in a Quantum Dot Solar Cell," it is co-authored by NREL scientists Octavi E. Semonin, Joseph M. Luther, Sukgeun Choi, Hsiang-Yu Chen, Jianbo Gao, Arthur J. Nozikand Matthew C. Beard. The research was supported by the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the DOE Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Semonin and Nozik are also affiliated with the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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