Sunpower Corp. ( SPWR) announced today they have smashed installation times to a record two and a half times faster than the competition for Commercial Solar Panel Installations. The Sunpower Helix Roof ST system installs at over "33 panels per hour" according to the company, using an innovative "plug and play" architecture greatly simplifying installation while increasing reliability.
In our numerous years of helping homeowners determine whether a solar electric system is right for them, we've found that a number of questions tend to arise. Like, how much do solar panels cost? What solar rebates, tax credits and other incentives are available in my area? Is my roof good for solar? What should I do before I get solar? And what the heck is a solar renewable energy credit, anyway?
MiaSolé, the Santa Clara, California-based solar panel manufacturer, has come to an agreement with Juwi Solar to sell the German renewable-energy development company 7.5 megawatts (MW) worth of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. One megawatt worth of panels -- enough to power about 200 California homes for an entire year -- was already delivered to Juwi Solar earlier this year.
What better place to test the performance of solar panels than sun-soaked New Mexico?
At the end of 2009, the electronics-manufacturing company Panasonic bought 50.2 percent of Sanyo, its biggest rival in the industry at the time.
Update for 2016: This post is still very timely: Solar panels, mounting hardware, inverter, wiring and conduit, specialized meters: these are the components of all photovoltaic (PV) systems. But it's the solar panels themselves that not only make up the bulk of your solar quote, but whose technology, costs, and applications are the most hotly contested. People ask me all the time what the differences are among panels--here's a thorough but lay-person friendly answer.
Already a dominant player in the business of making wind turbines, General Electric aims to ramp up production of solar panels by early next year. As the FT reports today:
With Memorial Day weekend upon us, it's time to start thinking about beaches. And sun. And backyard BBQs. And everything else that makes summer, summer -- including a proper reading list. (I can hear the groans...). This time last year, I put together a list of five books on an array of topics, including renewable energy, climate change, economic growth and innovation.
Whoa. As of this afternoon, Atlantic City will officially be home to the largest PV panel array in the entire United States. In partnership with Pepco Energy Services, the city's convention center has installed 13,321 panels -- enough to produce an amount of electricity equal to about a quarter of the center's demand. In place for weeks, the system will be commomorated at a ceremony this afternoon. As reported by CNN,
So you know how the electricity created by solar panels comes from the fact that when a photon of light hits the semiconductor material, it displaces an electron, and the movement of the loose electrons is an electric current? (If you don't, we explain it a bit more fully here.) The amount of energy created by a solar panel is therefore limited by the number of electrons it can send skittering about. Researchers have successfully replicated the results of an experiment in which certain semiconductors have yield more than one electron per absorbed photon. Cool, right? If the mad scientists of the world can figure out how to replicate these results reliably and begin using these super-productive semiconductor materials in solar panels, it could mean a bump up to over 40% efficiency (as opposed to the current max, which is around 30% in a lab setting and much less in the real world).