The ECOreport publishes a story from North of the Arctic Circle, world’s first solar hydroponic trailer used in sub zero temperatures
By Terri Steele
An innovative village of native Alaskans is joining PHIUS energy professionals and Next Generation Energy in celebrating the Summer Solstice – and the days drenched in 24 hours of sunlight it heralds in the Land of the Midnight Sun — by shedding light on the first off-grid photovoltaic (PV) solar water heating solution to heat water, channel stored energy into radiant heating and hydroponically grow fresh vegetables in sub-zero temperatures NORTH of the Arctic Circle.
Wolfgang Palz, Editor of the Pan San Series on Renewable Energy; Michael Eckhart, Managing Director & Global Head of Environmental Finance at Citigroup; Dr Allan Hoffman, a former senior analyst at the US Department of Energy; Paula Mints, founder & Chief Market Research Analyst of SPV Market Research; Bill Rever, co founder Advanced Silicon Group; John Wohlgemuth, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Frank Wouters, former Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency ↩
In 1981, an article by Prof. Adolf Goetzberger titled “Potatoes under the Collector” was published in the German magazine “Sonnenenergie”. The article proposed a particularly favorable setup for solar energy systems in combination with agricultural land use. After smoldering on the backburner for a couple of years, the concept of agrophotovoltaics (APV), that is, the dual usage of land for crop and electricity production, was again taken up by researchers at Fraunhofer ISE in 2011. Now the scientists at Fraunhofer ISE together with their partners in the project “APV-Resola” are reaping the benefits from Goetzberger’s original article: On September 18, 2016 an operating APV pilot system – the largest research project of its kind in Germany – was inaugurated on location at Lake Constance. On this occasion the project was also presented with a prize from the “Germany – Land of Ideas” initiative.
The ECOreport looks at a new solar plus battery system that can replace traditional gas and diesel generators, Portable Electric can power almost anything
By Roy L Hales
Portable Electric came out of Vancouver’s 2015 Great Climate Race. This is a “walk and run race,” with 2 kilometre and 10 kilometre events, through the city’s iconic Stanley Park. The event raises funds and awareness for local community solar-energy projects. In similar outdoor events through-out North America, the associated venues are powered by portable gas and diesel generators. Having previously installed solar plus battery systems in Africa, the Great Climate Race’s power co-ordinator knew how to resolve this apparent contradiction. After the race, Mark Rabin founded a new company to continue providing solar plus battery power to outdoor events throughout Western Canada. Portable Electric can power almost anything from music festivals, to emergency situations or film sets.
“What you do makes a difference. It’s up to you to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”- Jane Goodall
By Terri Steele
Building a better mousetrap isn’t easy. Nor is qualifying for a new category for solar water heating. In truth, ICC-SRCC testing for a solar PV water heating system did not exist prior to the introduction of Sun Bandit.
On July 4, 2013, Sun Bandit parent Next Generation Energy launched an ‘all hands on deck’ effort to identify and clear the many hurdles inhibiting widespread solar water heating adoption – and to achieve the certification and street cred to bring their innovation Sun Bandit to market.
The ECOreport looks at reports of a more efficient solar cell
By Roy L Hales
The electricity produced by current PV solar installations is not adequate for Germany’s targeted energy transformation. Photovoltaic power will have to have to go through a ten-old increase over the next 15 years. This may be possible using a high performance alternative that uses Laser-Fired Contact (LFC) technology. Ralf Preu and Jan Nekarda were awarded the 2016 Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize for their role as initiators and drivers in the development of a more efficient solar cell.
The ECOreport published a guest article, What does the Future Hold for Thin Film Solar Panels?
by Sven Lindström, CEO, Midsummer
The photovoltaic market continues to grow with impressive speed. Large scale silicon solar parks have been all the fashion until now but thin film panels are becoming increasingly popular and will dominate the small scale off-grid market and the booming building integrated PV segment.
The ECOreport looks at SolarWorld’s Mono-PERC bifacial modules
By Roy L Hales
They allegedly generate up to 25% more energy than standard mono-facial modules of the same nominal wattages. Ben Santarris, Head of corporate communications for SolarWorld Americas, said he is not aware of anything like this product on the market. (He checked before phoning me back to confirm that. ) They have been tried out in a small test field in Germany and a commercial installation in Japan. Now SolarWorld’s Mono-PERC bifacial modules are here.
With Nevada rolling back net metering and solar company stock prices falling, one might think the solar industry is in big trouble. In fact, a recent New York Times article stated that SolarCity and other residential solar companies face a cloudy future. The article implies that the solar business model is based largely on subsidies (federal, state, and local), and therefore highly exposed to regulatory changes. Yet we believe the opposite is true: the solar industry will continue to have sustained and significant growth despite SolarCity stock woes and net metering policy changes. And here are ten reasons why: