Category Archives: Solar-Technology

Sun Towards High Noon: Explaining How Solar Power Is Transforming Our Energy Future

By Roy L Hales

Peter F. Varadi’s first book1 described the birth of the solar industry and its’ growth up until 2013. He recruited a team of internationally recognized contributors for the sequel.2 SUN TOWARDS HIGH NOON: SOLAR POWER TRANSFORMING OUR ENERGY FUTURE guides us through the industry today.

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  1. Peter F. Varadi, SUN ABOVE THE HORIZON; THE METEORIC RISE OF THE SOLAR INDUSTRY, Pan Stanford, 2014
  2. 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

Portable Electric Can Power Almost Anything

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMPortable 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.

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A More Efficient Solar Cell

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The 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.

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SolarWorld’s New Mono-PERC Bifacial Modules

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMThey 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.

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WTO Ruled In Favour Of The US

The ECOreport looks at how the WTO ruled in favour of the US in a solar dispute with India

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMIn 2010 , India required developers of certain solar photovoltaic (“PV”) projects through its National Solar Mission (NSM) to use domestically manufactured solar modules. This restriction was subsequently expanded to include solar cells. This led to a 90% drop in U.S. solar exports to India.  The US Trade Representative appealed to the World Trade Organization (WTO),  whose member states are required to treat imports equally as domestic products. The WTO ruled in favour of the US in a solar dispute with India
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The Solar Industry Is More Transparent

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The Silicon Valley Toxic Coalition’s (SVTC) sixth annual solar scorecard shows a marked improvement over last year. Most companies are scoring higher. The solar industry is more transparent.

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How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMThough many believe the lifetime of a solar panel is twenty-five years, a number of older models have exceeded this. When Kyocera tested a 30-year-old module, last year, they discovered it was still operating at 90.4% of capacity. There are 37-year-old Arco Solar (now SolarWorld USA) panels in operation. So How long do solar panels Last?

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SolarWorld’s Largest Contract

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMWhile a 65 megawatt deal is not a North American first, it is a huge deal in Oregon. There are only 100 megawatts of capacity in the entire state. This is also SolarWorld’s largest contract to date.

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SolarWorld Endorses Rail-free PV Racking

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1An installation was made in New Jersey last week and another system shipped off to San Diego. SolarWorld Endorses Rail-free PV racking made by Quick Mount PV, from Walnut Creek, California, and  distributes it through-out the United States.

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Sunvault’s Hybrid Solar Energy Storage Device

Startup SunVault has an interesting technology under its hat, SunVault’s hybrid solar energy storage device.

Originally Published on Renewable Energy World

By Roy L Hales, Contributor

Supercapacitors have been compared to the flash from an old camera. They give an immediate burst of energy, which is then gone. A number of companies have combined supercapacitors with batteries for applications that require immediate response and sustained capacity. Startup SunVault Energy has developed a graphene hybrid device that is both a supercapacitor and battery storage. It is modular in design, meaning it can be shaped to power.

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