Articles

Grid Wars: The battle for distributed electricity

Rarely has a major industry in the United States reached a crossroad as stark as the one facing today’s electric utilities. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent proposal for regulating carbon emissions from power plants is just one part of a broader trend, as the century-old model of centralized fossil fuel burning electricity generation moves toward obsolescence.  While policy and regulation are accelerating this transition, the fundamental drivers are a...

­­Central Asia’s Largest Off-grid Solar Power System: Bringing electricity & hope to Afghanistan

Central Afghanistan’s Bamyan province is famous for the massive Buddha statues that were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. But here, statues aren’t the only things left broken by the war. It also ravaged Bamyan’s schools and...

GPS Tracking Speeding Installation: At Canada’s largest solar farm

At a solar power project in Cayuga, Ontario, a fleet of skid steer loaders—each equipped with a GPS—is quickly and accurately drilling the more than 100,000 piles that are required. These piles, a significant project component,...



Maximizing Energy Harvest: Through PV inverter innovations

The concept of inverter innovations for solar power encompasses advances in functionality, as well as novel approaches to inverter implementation. Both elements play an important role in maximizing the potential of this critical photovoltaic (PV)...

Safeguarding Solar Energy Applications: With the right circuit protection

Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert the energy of the sun into electrical power, which is then fed directly into the electric grid. Within the balance-of-system (BoS)—which comprises of the components that move the energy through the...

Common Waterproofing Code Violations: For rooftop PV installations

Reliable waterproofing is critically important to the financial performance of a photovoltaic (PV) system. Installers drill dozens of holes to mount the typical rooftop solar array and, when properly waterproofed, this helps ensure the 30-year...

Weighing Costs vs. Performance: Backsheet considerations for solar modules

The composition of photovoltaic backsheets has evolved from the early days of PV module manufacturing that, over time, has resulted in products that offer reliable performance at a more cost-effective price point. Original backsheet constructions...

Modernizing Solar Thermal Standards: Upgraded testing, ratings & certifications

Despite the many advancements in solar energy over the last couple of decades, not everyone is convinced on the merits of this renewable energy source, particularly when it comes to residential solar power and thermal energy. This is especially...

A Solar Revolution by Sea: Marine navigational aids

Despite advances in navigation devices, such as global positioning systems (GPS), depth sounder, and even radar, it seems we aren’t immune to fatal errors. During the day on January 13th, 2012, in calm seas and overcast weather, the 114,137...

Waste Not, Want Not: Intelligent solar monitoring save energy costs

A hungry rat scurries beneath a solar array and chews through the cables. Strong winds scatter debris across the modules. Lightning strikes an inverter, causing it to fail. These things happen. When they do, solar monitoring systems notify the...

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