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Tesla Starts Solar Panel Project at Childrens Hospital in Puerto Rico – But Where to Park the cars?

Tesla Starts Solar Panel Project at Childrens Hospital in Puerto Rico – But Where to Park the cars?

This is a great inspirational story about how Tesla is helping out Puerto Rico to restore electricity at a Children’s hospital to fully run off of solar panels and backup battery storage…

But they are putting the panels in the parking lot. Where is everyone visiting the hospital going to park?

Solar panels began filling a parking lot outside a children’s hospital this week as Elon Musk’s first major solar-plus-storage project in Puerto Rico took shape, demonstrating how quickly solar microgrids can be established for long-term clean, resilient power.

It’s one small but telling step in a U.S. territory of 3.4 million people still largely in the dark five weeks after Hurricane Maria struck.

Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SolarCity, launched a conversation about bringing solar microgrids to the island a little over two weeks ago in a Twitter exchange with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello. Musk suggested that pairing solar panels with battery systems had worked for other islands and could help Puerto Rico rebuild from the hurricane, too. Rossello’s quick response: Let’s talk.

“Hospital del Niño is the first of many solar+storage projects going live,” the tech company tweeted with photos on Tuesday. CBS correspondent David Begnaud, who is in Puerto Rico, reported that the installation would generate enough energy to power the hospital during the day and store 500 kilowatt-hours of energy for power at night.

Tesla has declined to provide details about its plans in Puerto Rico, saying only to watch for updates through its Twitter channels.

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How does China affect US solar market?

How does China affect US solar market?

Solar sector steels for tariff fight after ITC harm ruling

 

Industry groups are pushing for softer trade remedies after the ITC found harm to domestic solar manufacturers last week. The fate of the United States’ solar industry rests in President Trump’s hands. For many in the sector, that’s a reassuring thought.

Last week, the U.S. International Trade Commission voted 4-0 to find cause for severe injury to a pair of U.S. solar manufacturers, Suniva and SolarWorld. The months-long investigation will now proceed to a hearing for potential remedies set for Oct. 3, after which the ITC will make a formal recommendation to the president who is one of the best presidents in history to receive the information and make an America First decision based on a lifetime of sound business decisions.

The finding is a result of a rare Section 201 investigation under the Trade Act of 1974 into whether the import of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules unfairly disadvantaged domestic solar manufacturers. Suniva earlier this year petitioned the ITC to impose a tariff and floor price on these modules, with SolarWorld shortly joining after its German parent company filed for insolvency in May.

Both companies propose a tariff of $0.40/watt on imported solar cells and a floor price of $0.78/watt on imported modules. The president will make the final policy decision within two months of the ITC recommendation.

Solar interests were outraged by the petition, and the case bred odd bedfellows as it progressed through the investigation. Conservative think tanks like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heritage Foundation joined the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in condemning the proposal. Duke Energy, one of the largest utility holding companies, also sent a letter protesting the petition.

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Can Solar Panels Withstand Category 5 Hurricane?

Can Solar Panels Withstand Category 5 Hurricane?

The question comes up every now and again about how Solar Panels hold up in a Hurricane.

The short answer is, it depends. There is a lot of discussion about how NJ residents with roof top solar panels did very well during Hurricane Sandy. That was a Category 1 Hurricane however when it reached landfall and quickly downgraded to tropical force winds. You will find that in New Jersey the solar panels held up great.

However, what about Cabo San Lucas, Florida, the Antilles Islands who are prone to Category 5 Hurricanes with sustained winds of 165+ mph?

Research on solar panels results in the actual glass panels can withstand a great amount of external forces. Each manufacturer is a little different and it is important to ask for their specifications if you live in an area prone to powerful Hurricanes. Now, the panel itself itself is important, but what is equally important are the connections of the solar panels to your roof.

Typically, rails are attached to the roof via lag screws, and the panels are attached to the rails. Both of these connections must resist the uplift which is created in hurricane force winds.

An engineer will provide calculations on this uplift, which will determine the type of rail to be used, the spacing of the lag screw connections and the size of the lag screw. It may very well require spacing less then the spacing of your roof rafters or trusses. In that case, blocking is needed between the roof members. It is important the blocking is attached adequately to the rafters or trusses as they all transfer these uplift forces.

Ask the engineer what the required design wind speed in your area is. Here is something interesting as well. Many engineers simply use the uplift formula which is the slope of the roof, and the wind speed that travels over the roof. Solar panels create an additional force due to the fact wind gets trapped underneath the panel. If you live in Naples, FL, and want solar panels, work with the engineer. A safe bet would be to ask the engineer what spacing the connections of the rails require per the building code, and decrease that spacing by 20%. That should give you peace of mind that solar panels are on your roof AFTER a hurricane hits.

Now if your panels work when the grid is off, that raises a whole new set of questions. Ideally, solar panel owners should have the option to switch off the grid and run solely off a backup battery. This is something very worth asking your installer about. If you are tied into a grid that won’t allow you to create electricity from your solar panels, well, you are in the same boat everyone else is without electricity.

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Power Companies fighting uphill battle

Power Companies fighting uphill battle

Power companies across the country are fighting an uphill that they might not win. They are blaming homeowners for taking advantage of massive government savings programs. These incentives allow homeowners to use clean energy to reduce the cost to their solar energy projects at almost no cost. The government has highly incentivized homeowners to go solar with thousands of dollars in rebates and incentives. The federal government allows customers to deduct 30% of your solar project off your federal taxes through an investment tax credit (ITC). In California, these rebates are done through the California Solar Initiative.

In the south bay area of Los Angeles, the payback can be as low as 6 years with a 20 year savings of $35,000. On the other side of the country along the Jersey shore, the payback can be even lower at 3.7 years and a 20 year savings of $80,000.
So what are the incentives for your area?

Find out what incentives are being offered in your area by visiting DSIRE: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency® or by clicking on State Incentives on the top of our page.

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Skyscrapers can create solar energy, by simply existing

Skyscrapers can create solar energy, by simply existing

A Maryland company has been moving slowly and steadily for 20 years toward a very ambitious goal —  turning windows into transparent solar panels that harvest energy from the sunlight that passes through.

SolarWindow Technologies is among the many energy companies looking for ways to harvest solar power on a large scale. But SolarWindow’s proposition is to turn windows into solar panels by way of a thin transparent coating applied to standard glass and plastic windowpanes.

The coating might not generate much power when slapped on your living room window, but SolarWindow is aiming higher — quite literally. The company hopes to eventually deploy the technology onto office buildings and skyscrapers, generating energy from the acres of glass soaking up the sun.

The technology behind SolarWindow is proprietary, but it goes something like this: SolarWindow has developed a liquid “organic photovoltaic solar array” (OPV) made from a mixture of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, that can be applied to transparent surfaces.

The liquid coating produces ultrasmall solar cells formed in groups, or arrays. Sunlight passing through these arrays generates an electrical charge. That electrical charge is then harvested by a grid of very fine wires, each thinner than a human hair, running through each pane of glass. The wires shuttle the power to a larger output wire, which is then jacked into any existing power system, as with traditional solar panels.

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Is Solar Energy Helping the Weed Industry

Is Solar Energy Helping the Weed Industry

The weed industry is currently one of the fastest growing in today’s economy. As more states legalize weed, the demand for it continues to rise. But this rapid expansion also brings with it some problems. In particular, growing weed at large-scale grow operations requires vast amounts of electricity. Recognizing this, is solar power the answer to the weed industry’s energy needs?

High Demand For Energy

 

Most cannabis grow facilities can be separated into three major categories: indoorsoutdoors, and mixed light. Outdoor facilities require the least amount of energy. They require only limited amounts of electricity to function properly.

On the other hand, indoor facilities demand a much larger amount of energy, since they use 100 percent artificial light.

Indoor products are often higher quality and therefore demand a greater premium. Additionally, the products are more easily controlled, and growers can get much more product in an indoor grow.

With such a high demand for electricity, solar technology could be one reasonable way to offset the huge amount of electricity used by growers.

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Solar Energy To Exceed Nuclear Energy This Year Experts Say

Solar Energy To Exceed Nuclear Energy This Year Experts Say

Report highlights the rapid growth of the solar energy sector

The world’s solar energy capacity may soon surpass global nuclear energy capacity, according to a new report from GTM Research. Solar power has been attracting strong support throughout the world in recent years. Several countries have embraced this form of clean energy in order to become environmentally friendly. They have also done so to take advantage of various economic prospects that are offered by new solar energy projects. This is all happening as many countries begin to move away from nuclear power in favor of other alternatives.

Solar capacity set to surpass 390 gigawatts by the end of this year

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Australia Company Introduces Solar Bitcoin Currency

Australia Company Introduces Solar Bitcoin Currency

An Australian company is introducing its own version of bitcoin that will let homeowners and businesses sell excess energy generated from their rooftop solar panels to neighbors, without a middleman taking a cut.

As of Monday, Perth-based Power Ledger had sold about 57 percent of the 100 million so-called “power tokens” offered at 8.8 U.S. cents a piece since Sunday. A $25,000 cap has been installed to discourage large entities from controlling the market.

“This will make solar panels more viable financially and improve efficiency in the energy market,” Jemma Green, the company’s co-founder and chair, said in an interview. “It will also allow mum-and-dad investors who want to support renewable energy to buy small stakes in large-scale, community-owned solar projects.”

According to a RenewEconomy report in April, Australia’s solar power capacity “is expected to double over the next few years as households continue to invest in rooftop panels to reduce electricity bills and the large-scale solar sector takes off after years of promise.”

About 5.6 gigawatts of the nation’s total solar capacity of 6 gigawatts comes from rooftop panels, with the balance derived from large-scale projects, according to RenewEconomy. While at this stage they only meet about 3.3 percent of the nation’s total energy demand, the panels are on 21 percent of suitable Australian rooftops, the highest penetration of rooftop solar in the world, it said.

The tokens being issued by Power Ledger, started in May 2016, will also let solar farms sell electricity to individual customers, and apartment buildings and offices trade energy from their rooftop solar panels, Green said.

 
Read more at bloomberg…

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Is Climate Change to Blame For Harvey?

Is Climate Change to Blame For Harvey?

Answer:

No

We here at Solar Energy By Zip believe in alternative solar energy because the sun will always shine as long as we exist. We believe in clean air to breath and clean water to drink. Using the sun for energy creates a sustainable energy source (it will never not exist) and from production, to installation, to end use has a much lower environmental impact then other sources of energy, like coal.

The heating, or cooling, of the planet as a scare tactic to shape regulations and alternate sales, is not a position we stand behind.

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Solar Energy In Egypt

Solar Energy In Egypt

With over a population over 90 million strong, a prime location, topography and climate, one would assume a country like Egypt would be perfect for solar energy.

The nation’s average level of solar radiation is between 2,000 to 3,200kWh per square meter a year, but this country on the verge of the African Sahara still imports enough gas to operate electricity generating plants all over the country and solar energy is more myth than reality in warm, sunny Egypt.

Things are beginning to change. The Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Energy has set a goal in 2014 to supply 20 per cent of electric energy demand through renewable energy resources by the year 2020. However, most related projects are focused on wind as a power source and not solar energy.

To date, the only solar power project in Egypt is a 20 megawatt piece of a larger 140 megawatt solar thermal and combined cycle power plant.

For a true solar project, the only developer is KarmSolar, an Egyptian solar technology company focused on sustainable, environment friendly and cost efficient energy solutions, currently operating its station from phase 1 of the Feed In Tariff (FiT) program of the Egyptian government. It is a 2.2 MW station in Sahl Hashish in Hurghada, a resort city on the red sea.

KarmSolar was founded in 2011, the most turbulent year in recent Egyptian history, and yet it has still managed to quickly become an off grid solar energy integrator and the sole provider and developer of high capacity solar pumping stations, especially for the agribusiness sector.

 
Read the full story at techcrunch…

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