This absolutely has to be the silliest endorsement for solar power we have ever seen. There are forces trying out there trying to get President Obama to turn the White House completely green with solar panels but that just hasn't happened yet. We know he wanted to do that eventually but certainly he has had other, more important things on his mind the last four years. Here's hoping Bo's own inaugural party given by Rooftop Revolution will be the hint his owner needs.
Visit the site that planned and provided the party for the First Dog last week. While you are there you can sign a petition to help get those panels up on the White House roof.
It looks like some U.S. solar companies are finally getting it right. California's Sungevity has secured $40 million in venture funding in addition to $85 million for financing residence installation. The company joins SolarCity and other companies that continue to make a profit, helping to improve the energy's somewhat spotty reputation. Potential customers can lease equipment with the results of reducing dependence on foreign oil, easing the planet's carbon footprint and, best of all, costing nothing upfront while saving money in the long run.
We have to admit that the company's Solar 101 video is pretty convincing. Contact Sungevity to get a free iQuote and find out more.
Solar energy is taking an interesting new twist in the shape of a cone with V3Solar's Spin Cell. Instead of harvesting only the spillover of electrons, the V3 releases them as it rotates, resulting in generating over twenty times more electricity than a flat panel with the same area. You can visit their site to see exactly how the process works. The good news is that the company has teamed with Nectar Design to complete their design and will soon supply 800,000 units for a solar farm in Australia. V3Solar should have their Spin Cells available to the public in 2013.
While the power has been restored to most of the 600 million in India who were affected by the outage, there are those who feel that power grid failure may occur again due to too much demand and not enough supply. So it is no surprise that the country is looking to increase alternate power sources.
Solar power is often used in remote regions, as shown in this video from SunEdison. They recently built a 15 kilowatt plant in central India's Meerwada village with enough power to serve 70 houses. Hopefully solar power will become more widespread in time, including in congested urban centers.
A large renewable energy company in Australia has released a video that helps those who want to convert to solar power. Energy Matter's Director James Walter explains the differences between manufacturers and gives details about the technology. And while we know this is a commercial, EM does prove that not all solar panels are created equal. The site has other helpful videos and guides to help you turn green, no matter where you live.
The Israeli company BSolar has perfected bifacial solar cells that they say produces up to 30% KWH per KWp in a standard application and up to 50% in vertical ones. Because they are made with standard equipment, the double-sided monocrystalline silicon cells can be feasible for the mass market. They are made with boron instead of aluminum which increases the cell's efficiency when the backside of the cell absorbs reflective light. Boron is more expensive to use but is also more resistant to breakage.
Pres. Barack visited Boulder City, Nevada to tour Sempra Generation's Copper Mountain Solar Facility last Wednesday. He spoke briefly and admired both the system and Hoover Dam, commenting that "This city has always been about the future." While some believed the move to be political and were disgruntled that tourists would be denied road access, the mayor saw it as a way to bring attention to the growing industry.
While the area already houses 700,000 solar panels, Mayor Roger Tobler says that in the next 3 - 5 years, there will be the potential for 1,500 to 3,000 new jobs. As the area has had its share of economic problems the past few years, an increase of revenue and extra employment should give them a welcome boost.
Most solar cells need to be aimed towards the sun for maximum efficiency but Kyosemi's spherical micro cell arrays can collect energy from every angle. Sphelar cells are only 1 - 2 mm across and can be even be mounted on curved surfaces. Designed for outside use, because of their shape they work earlier in the morning and later in the evening than flat cells.
When we first saw this story we wondered what the fuss was about. It seems that GE invested $100 million in a 127 megawatt solar farm near Arlington, AZ, whose population is a mere 194. Another one built was serviceable to Desert Center, CA a town of only 204. It seems that the farms are almost as large as the cities that they support.
So what is the big whoop? The two Sonora Desert projects together generate more than half the power produced by a single unit of the nearby Palo Verde nuclear power plant. It should provide hundreds of new construction jobs and displace 515,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas, the equivalent of taking about 98,000 cars off the road.
What looked like a no-go solar project is now back on with a private equity loan. This should be just the boost the flailing industry needs as Solar City will place power systems on 120,000 homes on military bases. They got the funding for the project dubbed SolarStrong from Bank of America Merrill Lynch after failing to acquire a loan from the DOA, partially due to stricter restrictions placed post Solyndra. Although the total amount was lessened by 40,000 homes, the project will create at least 300 megawatts of power and thousands of jobs during installation.
GE has built a better mousetrap solar system that they claim reduces the $6.50 per watt cost to a mere $3.00. Charlie Korman of the NY Global Research Center says that solar panel arrays are currently high-voltage systems that involve using equipment to switch it to a 120 volt current. Their solution is to create panels with socket ready AC current. This means the system needs only a standard installation kit, takes half a day to construct (as opposed to 2 days) and uses 60% fewer components.
A prototype has been constructed by the team and GE plans to build a new plant near Denver, CO to manufacture the new panels. This means that more jobs will open up for those who specialize in research and those seeking manufacturing employment. Kudos to GE for investing in the clean energy despite setbacks and bankruptcies of other solar companies.
Constellation Energy took on the Denver International Airport to make the facility the largest in the US to support solar power. The total amount is 8 megawatts supplied by 19,000 photovoltaic panels which will release more than 5,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The entire project encompasses 7 acres and cost a cool 13 million to complete. Constellation has been busy of late, having gotten contracts to build systems for GM in Baltimore, a Toys 'R Us distribution center in Flanders, NJ and the Sacramento Municipal Utility Distrct.
Toys 'R Us claims that it will soon have the largest solar system in North America. Located atop their distribution center in Flanders, NJ, the roof spans about 32 acres and about 20 of those will be covered in panels. The Constellation Energy project should be completed by the end of summer and will provide about 72% of the building's electricity.
Talk about being creative. Tom Moloughney of Chester, NJ actually powers up his all-electric Mini Cooper via his residential solar system. He drives 62 miles round trip to his restaurant Nauna's Bella Casa in Montclair and figures that he saves about $5,000 a year. Moloughney, concerned about our foreign oil dependence, was allowed to participate in a BMW pilot program that included 612 Mini Es.
After he realized that the electricity he used came from coal and gas-fired power plants, as well as from nuclear sources, he came up with this solution. By the way, his license plate reads "EF-OPEC." Check out his journey via the link.