The ongoing complaint of PV systems is the upfront cost. The solar panels themselves have come down considerably in price in recent years, but the other necessary equipment – batteries, mounting brackets, controllers, and cabling – drive the cost back up into unrealistic territories.
But new products and techniques are making PV more affordable than ever. Improvements in controller technologies, techniques for manufacturing, and applications of solar arrays in the last few months have seen enormous drops in cost to implement a PV system.
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Solar Edge Technologies recently unveiled their newly panted technology known as the next generation Power Optimizer (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk). The new solar energy hardware does not require the addition of interface hardware and works without the need of an inverter. It also takes advantage of your entire roof space, improving the peak efficiency to 99.5%!
To break down this product, it streamlines the process, improving functionality. SolarEdge claims they were able to reduce the amount of parts by 50%, improving the quality and performance of the product drastically (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk). Other improvement that can be expected include new mounting brackets designed for an easier installation process, a sustainable power output, less susceptible to power losses, the ability to upgrade old solar power systems, and increase the peak efficiency rate as well.
SolarEdge will be unveiling the new technology to the public for the first time at the Intersolar Europe trade fair in Munich, Germany. It is the largest event of its kind in the world. They will host a press conference from June 13-14 in Hall C3 at Stand 110 according to http://www.ibtimes.co.uk. SolarEdge will be displaying its expanded product portfolio and services. At the event the Vice President Product Strategy and Business Development, will introduce the next generation power optimizer to all journalists. It has been nominated for the Intersolar Innovation Award.
Reduced Cost of Solar Panels
Twin Creeks recently revealed a new secret weapon to drive the cost of manufacturing solar panels with their Hyperion ion cannon process. Instead of creating silicon panels and slicing them – creating a great deal of wasted product – the Hyperion is able to create PV panels a fraction of the size.
The smaller size translates to a smaller cost. Projections are that Twin Creeks will be able to produce panels at $.40/Watt – that’s about half of what anybody else on the market is able to produce.
A secondary benefit to the smaller size is that the panels themselves are incredibly light and flexible. This results in lower shipping costs and improved space utilization, to name only a few perks.
Most of the time we hear about a complete PV system – panels, batteries, controllers, and cabling. But a new trend is developing where home and business owners are skipping battery systems altogether and opting for to stay plugged into the grid.
They plow the money saved on batteries and other components into more panels. The result is more power, which they pump back into the grid – at a hefty profit.
Take Gary and Debbie, as an example. They built a Stitt Energy home in 2007 and have been enjoying extremely positive results. Since they lived in an area with rare power outages, they decided to choose a grid-tie PV system that didn’t utilize a battery backup.
The numbers to date show they have generated the amount of energy it would take to power 67 houses and reduce the normal carbon foot print generated from this number by 36 trees.
Using the approach that Gary and Debbie did in the above example, new PV technology to generate power, and better systems to manage output, PV systems may very well be closer to mass market than we think.