Cleaning Solar Panels Often Not Worth the Cost

If you believe cleaning your solar panels makes a lot of sense economically, read this study from UC San Diego. Don’t hire someone to wash your dirty solar panels. That’s the conclusion of a study recently conducted by a team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego. Their findings were published in the July 25 online issue of Solar Energy. Researchers found panels that hadn’t been cleaned, or rained on, for 145 days during a summer drought in California,…

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Stained Glass Windows Capture Solar Energy

No, I’m not talking about letting sunlight into the room. These windows actually generate electricity! They are being installed in the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon, Saskatechewan, and they are connected to the local electricity grid. Solar panels are usually connected to the local electricity grid to supply the grid with electricity using net metering. It is done by solar panel owners to offset their energy usage. In this case, it powers the Cathedral, and leftover power is…

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First Solar to Deliver 155MW of Solar Power Projects for AGL Energy

First Solar announced yesterday that AGL Energy Limited (AGL) has achieved financial close for two utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. First Solar has executed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts to supply the projects with its advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules and provide EPC services. In addition, First Solar will provide maintenance support for a period of five years once the solar farms are operational.

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Solectria Renewables to Power the Largest College Solar Installation in North America

Patricia C. Donohue, MCCC President, said the solar farm moves MCCC forward on many fronts. “The solar farm will save critical dollars and enable us to restore to our budget many cuts in programs and services we have made over the past two years. It also helps us fulfill our sustainability goals. We have committed to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality.”

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On Rooftops, There Is A Growing Rival For Utility Companies

People have been installing solar panels on their rooftops to avoid paying utility companies for electricity. Utility companies are not pleased with that, and, for every person that does that (a full solar installation), that is one less paying customer for utility companies. According to NBC News: “Alarmed by what they say has become an existential threat to their business, utility companies are moving to roll back government incentives aimed at promoting solar energy and other renewable sources of power.…

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Lawrence Livermore Engineering Team Breakthrough in Solar Energy Research

The LLNL Materials Engineering Division (MED) research team has made breakthroughs experimenting with black metals. These nanostructured metals are designed to have low reflectivity and high absorption of visible and infrared light. The MED research team recently published their black metals research results in a cover-page article in the May issue of Applied Physics Letters titled “Plasmonic Black Metals in Resonant Nanocavities.

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China Gives Small-Scale Solar a Subsidy Boost

Small-scale solar is getting a big boost in China thanks to a new subsidy for distributed solar projects below 6 MW. The new solar subsidy works out to CNY0.42/kWh — or US$0.07/kWh — according to local press reports. The new subsidy is part of a larger push by the Chinese government — one aiming for increased installation rates with regard to small-scale solar PV. Other aspects of the push include exemption from grid connection costs for small-scale solar PV, waived…

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Transparent Solar Film — Efficiency Of Novel Solar Cell Doubled By Researchers At UCLA

A novel, transparent, two-layer solar film — possessing an impressive solar conversion efficiency of 7.3% — has been created by researchers at the University of California–Los Angeles. The solar film can be placed on windows, buildings, sunroofs, electronics displays, etc; harvesting energy while still at the same time allowing light to pass through and visibility/transparency to be maintained. The new solar film is essentially an improved form of the “breakthrough photovoltaic cell design” that the same researchers unveiled last year…

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Finally! An Integrated Solar Power Supply

Bosch has decided to step up to the plate and construct an integrated solar power supply system called the BPT-S 5 Hybrid. Almost everything is integrated into it. The company integrated an inverter, Saft lithium-ion batteries, and an energy management system (charge controller) into a single unit which is certified and safety tested  for domestic installations. This system was launched in 2012, but has now been fully commercialized. It is being sold in Germany’s residential photovoltaic (PV) market. This reminds me of…

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Thai Government Announces FiT Rates For Further 1,000 MW Of Solar PV

The government of Thailand has announced plans to spur another 1,000 megawatts (MW) — or 1 gigawatt (GW) — of solar photovoltaic projects in the country. Feed-in Tariff (FiT) rates will be offered for 200 MW of rooftop solar and 800 MW of community-owned ground mounts. Systems will be guaranteed the new FiT payments for a 25-year period, instead of the previous 10 years. The approval for the new plans were announced by Thailand’s National Energy Policy Commission (NEPC) on…

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US polysilicon anti dumping duties China

China Imposes Anti-Dumping Duties On US Polysilicon Manufacturers

The solar energy trade war between China and the US continues to grow — China will now be imposing anti-dumping import tariffs of up to 57% on solar-grade polysilicon from the US and South Korea, according to a recent announcement from China’s Ministry of Commerce. The import tariffs — which will not affect European polysilicon producers — are scheduled to go into effect on July 24th. The new tariffs are generally being interpreted as a direct reaction to the decision…

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Mexico Aims to Cut Emissions, Boost Afforable Housing Via Eco House Program

Having passed a national climate change law in 2012, the Mexican government is turning to an innovative green home loan program to reduce energy consumption and lower the housing sector’s direct and indirect contributions to carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Eco House program offers new home buyers housing with energy and emissions-saving features, such as roof insulation and solar water heating, at the same cost as conventionally built affordable housing.

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Solar panel installation

Rooftop Solar Takes Off In California As Costs Decline

California is known for alternative energy enthusiasm and dedication to energy usage reductions. As part of that, back in 2007, the state launched a $3.3 billion effort to install 3,000 MW of new solar capacity over the next decade. California is one of the US states in which the use of solar energy is encouraged most, and this encouragement (because of the California Solar Initiative) has been so successful that a record-breaking 391 MW of solar panels were installed in California…

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New Record Efficiency For Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

A new efficiency record for dye-sensitized solar cells has been achieved by researchers at EPFL in Switzerland — the new record of 15% has now been achieved thanks to a new fabrication process created by the researchers. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are a very promising type of solar cell — largely as a result of their relatively low cost, transparency, and relatively high power conversion efficiencies under cloudy and artificial light conditions. Until this new breakthrough, though, they had fallen…

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NRG Solar Achieves Commercial Operation of Two Solar PV Projects in California

NRG Energy, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary NRG Solar, today announced that two of the solar photovoltaic facilities the company acquired from Recurrent Energy earlier this year have reached commercial operation. The two California based solar PV facilities, totaling 40 megawatts (AC), deliver electricity to Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E).

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Solar News & Wind News (Electric Slavery, Insanity In Congress…)

Weekly solar and wind energy news comes to GBE from Zach Shahan at CleanTechnica. [repostus jump=4 hash=d3d75294282f5922549e82bea9dca4c1 title=Solar+News+%26%23038%3B+Wind+News+%28Electric+Slavery%2C+Insanity+In+Congress%26%238230%3B%29 host=Clean+Technica short=1HLe7 snip=Naturally%2C+be+sure+to+check+out+the+hottest+solar+energy+news+and+wind+energy+news+of+the+past+week+%E2%80%94+the+stories+we+already+covered.+But+for+even+a+bit+more%2C+check+out+the+21+solar+and+wind+energy+stories+below.+Solar+Energy+%2B+Wind+Energy+Congress%26hellip%3B thumb=6344828]

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Ascent Solar to Build Chinese Manufacturing Plant with Joint Venture Funding from the Suqian Government

Colorado-based Ascent Solar Technologies, a manufacturer of flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules, announced today the signing of an agreement for the establishment of a joint venture with the Government of the Municipal City of Suqian in Jiangsu Province, China. The agreement covers a three-phase project over the next six years.

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