Archive for February, 2009

Batteries May Soon Begin to Become Obsolete!
Unconventional energy conversion systems are under development that tap the Zero Point Field, a never previously commercialized, renewable, abundant source of energy. These revolutionary new energy conversion devices are inherently cost-competitive. They can eventually power and make practical cars, trucks and buses that need no engines, banks of batteries, or any variety of fuel or battery recharge.
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

Wind Power Generators

Wind Power Generators

We all need power that is not an option. However, there is an option that comes into play with how we receive our power. There are currently some great ways one can power their generator that is not only environmentally safe but economically sound and sustainable. These are important aspects to consider, especially when it comes to one’s power source which is called Wind power generators. This is what gives wind powered generators a great advantage over other generators. Because the wind produces kinetic energy to produce electricity, there is no bi-product produced, which means no pollution. There is no fuel to purchase and maintain, just some wind to move a wind turbine. Wind powered generators can produce quite a large amount of energy as well, up to 3,000 watts and more. They are great for remote areas like cabins, remote camping, sail boats, vacation homes, and other applications as well. Wind powered generators will be harder to come across than normal fuel generators but there are many useful applications for them including charging batteries and powering small appliances and tools. Many remote farms and electrical facilities have wind farms that are used to harness power in areas of high wind. Because wind generators are more useful in areas where there is more wind being generated, there are many factors to consider before purchasing or building a wind generator.

In Wind power generators there are many pros and cons to consider when it comes to wind generators, but the benefits definitely out weigh the is-advantages. Let’s start with the cons.
Among various Wind power generators and their advantages the first thing is that wind is a natural occurrence that cannot be controlled. Therefore, the amount of wind and energy produced will vary from day to day. This means that another source of energy needs to be turned on when wind power goes down and this is usually a fossil fuel based station. Turbines also often stand out because they have to be placed in high areas or take up large areas of land in wind farms. There have also been complaints with some wind generators on noise and the possible effect on television reception. There are also reports including the so called “wind turbine syndrome” which causes people living near wind farms to have headaches and other illnesses because of the vibration and low-frequency noise. More aerodynamic designs and technology will eventually minimize this problem. Wind turbines also affect animals in many ways including killing of birds and bats. Extensive research is done before wind farms are placed but more information needs to be procured on the effects on animal’s long term.

Now when we get to the many advantages of Wind power generators, with the most beneficial being the conservation of the environment. A wonderful benefit of wind powered generators is that they are environmentally friendly. They do not produce gases or other by-products like other generators do, that poison the environment and anybody that happens to be nearby. There are enough pollutants in today’s society, so choosing a wind powered generator is an environmentally sound choice. Another benefit is that wind energy is harnessed free of charge. Of course you must invest in a generator, but imagine how much money you will save over the years by not paying for electricity? There are also great incentives like tax breaks and lower utility bills that increase these savings. The next factor is that wind is a renewable energy source that will not run out like other sources like oil and coal.

Visit the original post at: Wind Power News

Operations and Maintenance Special

Operations and Maintenance Special

A key distinction needs to be made between performance monitoring and condition monitoring.

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What’s New for Solar Electricity in Obama’s Economic Stimulus Bill?

After Obama signed the stimulus bill last week, the renewable energy media was buzzing. Every reporter wanted to weigh-in on how the 1200 page bill would affect cleantech industries like solar and wind.

But, what homeowners want to know is how the bill will help them.

Especially for those who have been looking into home solar electricity for awhile, many homeowners were hoping that the new administration would bring increased solar rebates from the federal government. No such luck with this bill.

So what’s in it, anyway?

There are two main provisions for solar electricity:

1. Cash grant

At the end of last year, as part of the “bailout” plan of 2008, Congress extended the federal solar rebate for 8 years. Under this law, both businesses and homeowners can receive a 30% rebate for the cost of the system in the form of a federal tax credit. Previously homeowners’ rebates were capped at $2,000.

With the new economic stimulus bill passed last week, businesses – but not homeowners – can choose to receive this rebate in the form of a cash grant instead of a tax credit. Homeowners must still take the rebate as a tax credit. So, they must owe enough in taxes to be able to make full use of this government money.

2. Municipal solar financing

There are a few cities, like Berkeley, CA, which have developed programs where homeowners can finance solar electric systems through their property taxes.  Previously it was unclear if homeowners who financed solar in this way were eligible to receive the government rebate. The new economic stimulus bill clarifies that homeowners who go solar with this kind of municipal financing can receive the federal solar tax credit.

So what does all this mean for the solar industry?

The municipal solar financing provision isn’t a big change, but rather just a clarification, and will only affect the relatively small number of people who live in cities with municipal solar financing programs.

The cash grant could be helpful to solar developers who are struggling to raise tax equity, which is what solar businesses need to be able to use the federal tax credit. Unfortunately, though, the cash grant program will likely take several months to get up and running, especially because many Treasury Department positions remain empty. Plus, businesses who rely on the cash grant could stumble in 2010 when the program expires. It’s also a better for a business to use the tax credit instead of the cash grant because it also lets them use a financial tool called accelerated depreciation, which is quite valuable.

Although this economic stimulus bill likely won’t be a game-changer for home solar electricity, solar is still one of the safest places homeowners can put their money in this economy. Call us at 877 SUN MOJO and we’ll tell you more!

Visit the original post at: Solar Power News

Stock Market Crash–25 year look–Chart
clipped from efhutton.blogspot.comI want to issue a major note of caution here. The formation above could be signaling a market capitulation. Think about it like flushing a toilet. You know what goes down the toilet=, but then the bowl fills right back up. My guess is, if flushed it will be a great…

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Solar Silicon Maker Timminco Annouces Earnings Report
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Feb. 27, 2009) – Timminco Limited (“Timminco”) (TSX:TIM) announced today it will host a conference call on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm ET to discuss its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2008. Timminco will report its fourth quarter and year end financial results via news release on Tuesday, March 17, at approximately 4:30 pm ET.

To access the conference call by telephone, dial 416-644-3417 or 1-800-732-9303. Please connect approximately 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the call to ensure participation. The conference call will be archived for replay until Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at midnight. To access the archived conference call, dial 416-640-1917 or 1-877-289-8525 and enter the reservation number 21297430#.

A live audio webcast of the conference call will be also available at www.timminco.com. Please connect at least 15 minutes prior to the conference call to ensure adequate time for any software download that may be required to join the webcast. The webcast will be available for replay at www.timminco.com following the live presentation.

ABOUT TIMMINCO

Timminco is a leader in the production of low cost solar grade silicon for the rapidly growing solar photovoltaic energy industry. Using its proprietary, patent pending technology, Timminco purifies silicon metal into solar grade silicon (also known as upgraded metallurgical silicon) for use in the manufacture of solar cells. Timminco also produces silicon metal, magnesium extrusions and other specialty metals for use in a broad range of industrial applications serving the aluminum, chemical, pharmaceutical, electronics and automotive industries.

Visit the original post at: Solar Power News

German Wacker Chemie To Build Billion Dollar Solar Plant in Tennessee

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Wacker Chemie AG, a German chemical company, announced Thursday that it will build a $1 billion plant with 500 jobs in southeastern Tennessee to produce hyperpure polycrystalline silicon, a product used to make solar panels and semiconductors.

Company executives, Gov. Phil Bredesen and economic development officials said the company has purchased a 550-acre site about 30 miles northeast of Chattanooga.

Wacker Chemie President and CEO Rudolph Staudigl declined to give a timetable for the start of production, saying that will be driven partly by demand for the product. He said construction will take at least two or three years. Staudigl declined to discuss wages but said workers will be “well paid” and will need special training.

Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber said his office has been talking to Wacker Chemie executives and competing for the project since 2005.

Staudigl declined to identify any other states that competed for the plant.

Kisber said the state’s incentives package for the company will be worth between $75 million and $100 million and will include tax credits and help with infrastructure and job training… read the rest

Visit the original post at: Solar Power News

Rise & Shine: February 27, 2009

Rise & Shine: February 27, 2009

The Rise & Shine is your daily source for all solar-industry news. Brought to you by Sweet Solar Home and the Experts at SunRun.

CALIFORNIA NEWS

California Solar Startups Might Get Help in Unlikely Places
Smaller developers are having trouble securing capital in the economic downturn and the utilities are now eligible for a federal 30 percent investment tax credit under a law passed by Congress late last year.

SMA America Employs the Sun at Corporate Headquarters
SMA America has installed a carport solar power system at its U.S. headquarters in Rocklin, CA. The new array is designed to serve as a demonstration system for SMA’s popular Solar Academy while off-setting a portion of the facility’s energy usage.

NATIONAL NEWS

Cash for Solar Doesn’t Apply to Residential Projects

Residential installations won’t benefit from the cash-payment provision. But they will still get the 30 percent tax credit.

New Solar Company Invites You to See What is Under Their Roof
In addition to technical support, training classes will focus on the business of solar energy, sales and marketing, and product training. Specialized workshops offered through the Earthsponse 360 program will provide continuing education towards earning the NABCEP certification.

FPL Breaks Ground on 25MW Photovoltaic Project
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has broken ground on FPL’s DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, which will bring commercial-scale solar photovoltaic power to Florida for the very first time.

NM Joining Other States in Promoting Green Jobs
Among those potential jobs are solar- and wind-energy system designers and installers, sales people and contractors skilled in retrofitting homes for energy-efficiency.

Georgia: Strapped for Renewables or a Solar Goldmine?
If approved, the rule now moving through the House would require utilities to get 6 percent of their energy from renewables by 2012 and 25 percent by 2025.

SolarPower Restoration Systems Signs Purchase Agreement with SBM Solar
SolarPower Restoration Systems plans to purchase SBM Solar modules over a two-year period starting this April.

UTILITY INDUSTRY & REGULATORY NEWS

Green Transmission Superhighway Needed for Renewable Energy to Reach Full Potential
The American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association have released a white paper detailing current inadequacies of the U.S. electric transmission infrastructure and offering policy solutions to address them.

FINANCIAL NEWS & MARKETS

Akeena Solar Announces Fourth Quarter and Year End 2008 Results
Fourth quarter revenue grew to $10.9 million, led by strong residential installation revenue which increased 23% over last year to $8.4 million.

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Obama Budget Proposes Shift to Green Energy
The budget calls for ‘’significant increases” in cutting-edge research into renewable energy, including solar, wind and geothermal sources.

Obama 2010 Budget Highlights by Agency
The Energy Department’s spending plan would pay for “significant increases in basic research” into developing clean and renewable energy including solar.

TECHNOLOGY

University of Alberta and NINT Researchers Make Solar Energy Breakthrough
They have engineered an approach that is leading to improved performance of plastic solar cells (hybrid organic solar cells).

Solar Collector Coating Formulated to Absorb and Retain Heat
A selective black silicone-based heat resistant coating that is easy to apply to solar panels and withstands weather and repeated thermal cycling is being introduced by Dampney Company, Inc. of Everett, Massachusetts.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Q&A: Ontario’s Green Energy Plan
Three years after launching North America’s first feed-in tariff, Ontario lawmakers this week presented a souped-up green energy plan that promises 50,000 ?green jobs? within three years.

DuPont Doubles Capacity for Solamet Due to PV Solar Growth
DuPont Microcircuit Materials has announced it recently doubled production capacity and made key quality improvements at its European Electronic Materials Manufacturing Facility in Bristol, U.K.

Enfinity Receives 50 million Euro Investment from Waterland
Renewable energy project developer, Enfinity Management has been granted a significant 50 million Euro capital increase by investment company, Waterland.

Feed-in Tariffs
In November last year the 2008 Energy Act introduced powers which will allow the UK Government to create feed-in tariffs for small scale low carbon electricity.

Oerlikon Solar and Tokyo Electron Partner to Market Thin Film Manufacturing Plants
Tokyo Electron (TEL), a supplier of innovative semiconductor production equipment, has announced a strategic cooperation with Oerlikon Solar, a supplier of thin film silicon photovoltaic production equipment.

China Sunergy Closes 20W Solar Cell Deal
China Sunergy will use the multi-silicon wafers purchased from the firm to produce multi-silicon solar cells.

Are you in California and interested in solar for your home? Call us at 877.SUN.MOJO or visit our website to learn more.

Visit the original post at: Solar Power News

Party for a Solar Powered New York turns out a great crowd, over 70 letters!

On Tuesday (February 24) Solar One celebrated its second Party for a Solar Powered New York at Southpaw in Park Slope. The new monthly meetup aims to create a time and place where New Yorkers come to have all their solar power questions answered by professionals, get plugged in to local solar activism, enjoy great music and conversation and make new friends.

Drawing close to 150 guests, the party was a huge success. Nearly half of those attending sat down and wrote letters to their state legislators in support of I Heart PV’s current legislative goal: the creation of an Empire State Solar Initiative to dramatically boost solar adoption in New York over the next ten years.

Popular Science reported on the event for their online magazine. Check it out here!

Some pics of what happened:

The Solar Powered Racer Contest: (t) contestants endeavor to complete their solar powered racers before the 9:45 deadline. (l) It’s a tie! The winners: Team Protype 3 (front) and (r) Etan Marciano and Miguel Baliente. (Photo: Pauline Augustine, Trent Wolbe)

(l) Marciano and Baliente’s winning “Brownstone” design. (c) Test driving the finalists. (r) Huge honorable mention goes to Josh Goldworm’s multi-gear racer. It was the fastest PV racer ever built at a Solar One program . . . and over the years there have been thousands)! If the contest was based on speed, Josh’s design would have won hands down. (Photo: Trent Wolbe)

The I Heart PV Letter Writing Lounge: (l) Over 70 letters written in support of the Empire State Solar Initiative to 27 different state legislators. (Photo: Pauline Augustine)

“Ask a Solar Installer:”(l) Staff from Solar Energy Systems and Rob Ashmore of Aeon Solar answer questions and assess guests’ rooftops with google earth. (r) Designer Elliott Montgomery facilitates a creative brainstorming session to gather ideas for I Heart PV’s upcoming spring project: a mobile, solar powered education unit and radio broadcasting station. . . . yes, we’re serious. (Photo: Pauline Augustine).

Visit the original post at: Solar Power News

Renault kicks hybrids and hydrogen to the curb

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While it’s sister company, Nissan, may still be chasing after hybrids and dreaming of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCV), reports say that Renault has had enough. It’s dropped the duo and has decided it wants to go steady with electric vehicles. Company COO Patrick Pelata has let it be known that all its research and development resources will be be strictly focused on battery-powered locomotion and that they hope to have a third of the Renault line-up electric in 10 years.

In the near term, the French automaker will focus on three particular models equipped with batteries from NEC to give them all over 100 miles of range. They include an electric version of the Kangoo, a sedan to fulfill its Better Place commitment in Israel but also with European availability as well as a smaller 5-seat hatchback. Renault is also said to still be flirting with a battery lease and swap model.

[Source: Autocar]

Renault kicks hybrids and hydrogen to the curb originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Fri, 27 Feb 2009 17:49:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Holland Fuel Cell Farm Tractor Wins Gold Medal

NH2 Fuel Cell TractorAt the SIMA Innovation Awards 2009, New Holland Agriculture has pulled away from the pack winning both gold and silver medals. The gold metal was won not only for the fuel cell tractor, but for the concept of an entire farm that creates its own hydrogen using wind, solar or biomass and feeds the tractor with this hydrogen.

The silver medal was won for the development of the EasyDrive continuously variable chain transmission. The “energy independent farm” concept will be attractive to  many farmers. For instance, hydrogen fuel can be created on location and will not need to be transported in from the closest major city with a hydrogen fueling station on hand.

Fuel cell tractors can be refueled at one centralized location on the farm with hydrogen made from either water or biomass, using the power of wind turbines or solar energy also installed on the farm. This kind of self sufficiency goes straight to the heart of farmers worldwide.

Quick refueling times and the replacement of diesel smoke with clean energy are two key advantages in going with hydrogen. Also, hydrogen fueled tractors have a longer range than those powered by batteries alone.

I talked about the New Holland NH2 hydrogen fuel cell tractor a couple of weeks ago when it made its first appearance in Turin, Italy. Now, its wracking up gold medals and people inside and outside the agricultural community are starting to take notice about how this new technology could lead to “clean farms” everywhere.

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Nissan tests the hydrogen-powered FCV in extreme weather

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Those of you living in cold places might be concerned, with reason, about the performance of certain vehicles in winter. Nissan announced that the X-Trail FCV is currently being tested in facilities near Hokkaido, Japan. Tests started last year and now it was time for tests in cold weather. The current model uses an all-new fuel cell, which is claimed to produce 40 percent more power than the previous unit, 130 kW against 90 kW, while being 25 percent smaller. The cell also reduces the amount of platinum it needs by half. Nissan is currently showing the technology at FC Expo 2009 in Tokyo, one of the world’s largest fuel-cell exhibitions, this weekend.

[Source: Nissan]

Nissan tests the hydrogen-powered FCV in extreme weather originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Fri, 27 Feb 2009 09:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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LDK reduces electricity to make silicon by 2/3
The energy efficiency improvements are about the only good news coming out of the China-based solar wafer manufacturer these days.

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SAGE plans global expansion of nanotech windows
Minnesota firm raises $20 million and plans $120 million to grow its production line and R&D.

Visit the original post at: Energy News