Browsing the "photovoltaic" Tag

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Smart Surface Technologies Could Save DC $5 Billion

A recent study says that smart surface technologies could save Washington, D.C. $5 billion over 40 years. The report,  Achieving Urban Resilience: Washington, D.C., authored by Capital E, documents and quantifies the large-scale environmental, health and economic benefits that smart surface technologies could provide. “How cities manage the sunlight and rain that falls on them […]

January 4th

Top Solar Energy Stories Of The Week

Here are this week’s top solar energy stories, thanks to Zach Shahan from CleanTechnica. [repostus jump=4 hash=6e579efeeb28b44cf1dc918596185c01 title=Top+Solar+Energy+Stories+Of+The+Week host=Clean+Technica short=1Hp2H snip=Solar+energy+is+our+most+popular+category+here+on+CleanTechnica.+It%E2%80%99s+also+the+category+in+which+we%E2%80%99ve+published+the+greatest+number+of+articles+%E2%80%94+thousands+of+the.+We+don%E2%80%99t+obsessively+cover+solar+project+or+solar+company+news%2C+but+we+try+to%26hellip%3B thumb=6257855]

July 5th

Solar Tech Improvements; Solar Project News; Solar Manufacturing News… (Solar Energy News Roundup)

Thanks to Zach Shahan from Clean Technica for providing us with the latest news roundup on solar energy. Photo: Axiraa [repostus hash=da762f308ed6439f6188315b581b1f8d title=Solar+Tech+Improvements%3B+Solar+Project+News%3B+Solar+Manufacturing+News%26%238230%3B+%28Solar+Energy+News+Roundup%29 host=Clean+Technica short=1flCO snip=%C2%A0Other+than+the+solar+energy+news+we%E2%80%99ve+already+posted+on%2C+here%E2%80%99s+some+more+solar+energy+news+from+the+last+week+or+so+from+around+the+cleantech+interwebs%3A+Solar+Technology+News+Solar+nanowire+array+may+increase+percentage+of+sun%E2%80%99s+frequencies+available+for+energy+conversion.+Changing+the+concentration%26hellip%3B jump=3]

June 25th

Built to Order Homes Now Come With Solar Systems

One of America’s leading homebuilding companies announced Monday that they will include solar power systems as a standard feature in select communities throughout Central Florida. The KB Home Built to Order homes allow home-buyers to pick and choose from seven house designs and modify multipurpose rooms to suit their needs. KB Home is now including […]

January 24th

Largest Manhattan Solar Array Completed

Deutsche Bank announced Monday the completion and operation of it new 122.4kW solar photovoltaic system installed atop its Americas headquarters at 60 Wall Street, New York. The array is expected to decrease carbon emissions by 100 metric tonnes per year.

January 24th

New McLaren Production Centre Takes Cue From Hobbits

The Hobbits of The Shire knew what they were doing when they started to build their houses into the sides of hills: not only is it a beautiful sight, but it keeps heating and cooling to a minimum. Seems like the Foster + Partners have taken a leaf out of the Shire building codes for […]

November 18th

New Blind Mimics Tree Leaves and Stores Energy

Imagine coming home from a long day at work on a summers’ day. You left that morning and ensured the blinds were down so you didn’t come home to a roasting-oven. You walk in the door and the sun is down outside, but inside, there’s a warm gentle light. Welcome to a house with the […]

November 17th

No Money Down Solar

That’s an intriguing lede to an article. Many of you may be suspicious that I’m going to be talking about CitizenRE and their alleged "free solar energy" offer, but this isn’t about that program. (And if you aren’t familiar with CitizenRE, I recommend that you take a look at the three-part series from Mike Taylor that discusses the program starting here.) Instead, I’m refering to an intriguing point that is made in an article titled "10 MORE Things to Know Before Buying a Solar Electric System" by Bruce Karney from It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, but rather a simple fact of finance for people in regions where they are currently paying high rates for their electricity. If you are paying more than 20 cents per kilowatt hour, this may be applicable to you.

The article skips many of the basic things that many people considering solar are already well aware of, such as that a solar PV system needs to be installed on a south or southwest facing (for installations in the northern hemisphere); those are covered in his preceeding article. Both articles provide good information, and are highly recommended reading, especially if you are seriously considering buying a solar PV system.

However, the most intriguing item to me in the article was the line "You can buy a solar system for no money down." For many homeowners with concerns about the costs and cash flow, PV panels are seen as a pricey addition that they just can’t afford to pay for right now. But that’s not necessarily the case. As Karney explains,

August 6th

Weekend Review: The Renewable Energy Handbook and Smart Power

William H. Kemp, The Renewable Energy Handbook (2005) and $mart Power (2004): Aztext Press

Wiliam Kemp has written two books on renewable power and off-grid systems for homes, $mart Power (2004) and The Renewable Energy Handbook (2005). (Smart Power actually uses a dollar sign for the S in the title.) These two books are largely a first and second edition of the same text, with the second edition being expanded with several new chapters and additional information.

Both of Kemp's books are comprehensive volumes. He addresses a range of alternate power generating options. There are chapters on photovoltaic (PV), wind, biomass, and micro hydro. More than just discussing the technical aspects of the generating systems, he also covers efficiency, interconection, "Heating and Cooling with Renewable Energy," "Living with Renewable Energy," and the other issues surrounding having a home with renewable systems. He also has a section about making biodiesel and another section about eco-pools (naturally-, rather than chemically-filtered swimming pool systems) and solar heated pools and hot tubs.

The Renewable Energy Handbook and $mart Power both go into some depth about renewable energy systems. Kemp shows all aspects of the various systems, dealing with hardware installation, electrical connection, and the range of what is necessary to install any of the systems he discusses. While I would not rely solely on these books for direction about installing a PV system or a wind turbine, it does provide a greater depth of information. A homeowner can get a better sense of the scope of work required for installing a renewable system, and have a better idea about what is involved, and whether or not it is something they want to take on.

May 19th