Author Archives: GP
Solar power in India is cheaper than the grid for the first time and companies like Simpa and Orb are first on the ground in these new markets.
Simpa, founded by development economics PhD and former director of Microsoft Network Strategy Paul Needham, is adding 1,500 new customers in rural India each month and accelerating. They’ve created a lease-to-own model that makes it affordable and viable to a rural market that never existed before. They’ve already created over a Gigawatt-hour of clean power — enough to power over 120,000 people in over 25,000 Indian homes and small businesses.
Orb, headed by Damian Miller, is taking the approach from the small business level. In 2016, the company doubled its output and provided small and medium-sized businesses in a hundred small cities with inexpensive and green solar power, and in 2017 it is opening a new solar panel factory in Bangalore.
Do you have any idea how much energy the sun pours onto this world in just one hour? Enough to power all of humanity for a whole calendar year. Enough to power over 400 quintillion homes!
Just How Do Solar Panels Do Their Job?
A typical solar installation is comprised of a multitude of modules that are aluminum framed. Every module has photovoltaic cells, also known as PV cells. When the sun is shining, each PV cell immediately turns light into electricity. It is the light that matters, as the heat is not used.
PC cells have a top layer of phosphorus-diffused silicon. It carries what are known as free electrons. There is also a thicker layer, a boron-doped bottom that has surface areas free of electrons. Precision manufacturing of such PV cells creates electronic imbalance in between the top and bottom layers. This creates an effect at a molecular level, where photons of light that come into contact with the cell wind up bumping electrons from the semiconductor’s negative layer into the positive layer. That bumping action and activity essential creates an actual electrical current, since the electrons eventually flow into the metal contacts as such. They then flow into a 60-cell module closed loop or circuit through a bottom solid contact layer.
2016 marked a record year for solar energy. As of December 2016, solar power is cheaper than wind and cheaper than fossil fuels. What does that mean for the future of the solar industry, and more specific to our interest, what does that mean for solar generators? The bottom line: now is the time to invest in solar energy including solar generators. As solar generators are beginning to rack up the celebrity endorsements, there is no better time to take advantage of the solar tax credit and invest today. Meanwhile, here are the top four trends to watch in solar power for 2017.
Solar Will Be The Cheapest Power Anywhere
The one thing that sets solar power apart is that fiery ball of gas that shines in the sky … everywhere. Because the sun reaches every part of the planet, solar power can be harnessed anywhere. Moreover, since 2009, solar prices have declined 62 percent, as costs are being cut everywhere in the supply chain. That’s why experts and market analysts are predicting that within the next decade, solar power will become the cheapest form of power globally — even cheaper than coal. That’s exciting for the renewable energy industry, and it only enhances the value of a solar generator as your primary source of off-grid power. Unlike gas generators that require fuel, solar generators harness the power of the sun … which, as mentioned, shines everywhere.
The new program makes clean and renewable solar power an option for electricity customers across the United States, no matter where they live.
Arcadia Power, an online renewable energy company, announced today the first nationwide community solar platform that gives people around the country the opportunity to support solar energy and get savings on their bills – no matter where they live.
This is a huge step forward for the residential solar industry which only caters to a small segment of homeowners in select states. Arcadia Power’s technology platform can connect solar panel production from a remote site directly to a customer’s power bill, and does not require any additional equipment or installation on a customer’s home.
Home Owners, Realtors and Prospective Buyers Can Now Instantly Find Out a Home’s Solar Energy Potential with Sun Number Scores on Zillow
Sun Number’s Rooftop Solar Power Potential Technology Now Featured on Zillow
Sun Number and Zillow® are putting instant analyses of properties’ solar energy potential at the fingertips of home owners, home buyers and real estate agents with a new feature on Zillow that makes the Sun Number rating of a residence just a click away.
Sun Number provides a simple-to-understand analysis of how solar-friendly a building is based on factors such as regional climate, daily sun exposure, foliage coverage from nearby trees and more. The 0-100 score and accompanying details help users understand how much they can benefit from solar power, reducing their utility bills and reliance on fossil fuels in the process.
Today you can be part of Ontario’s growing green energy movement by participating in one of the 3 programs:
MicroFIT/FIT, under which you can benefit from Ontario Government Incentives by installing solar panels, generating electricity, and selling it back to the grid for a guaranteed price;
Net Metering, which allows you to reduce your hydro bill by exporting generated electricity back to the utility grid for a credit against energy consumed;
Go Offgrid, and generate electricity for your own independent consumption. You would charge heavy duty batteries with your solar panels during the day, and run your critical loads in the house whenever it is required.
If you are a homeowner, farmer or small business owner, you have the opportunity to develop a very small or “micro” renewable electricity generation project (10 kilowatts or less in size) on your property. Click on this video to see how it works: http://ontario-solar-installers.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/How-microFIT-solar-program-works1.mp4
Under the microFIT Program you will be paid a guaranteed price for all the electricity your solar array produces for at least 20 years. At the current 2016 Feed-In-Tariff rate of 29.4 cents per kWh, you can expect to make anywhere between $3500 to $4000 a year. With a $30’000 initial investment you are looking at 11%-12% rate of return, and 8-9 years payback period.
Net Metering is another type of renewable energy program in Ontario which allows customers reduce their hydro bill by exporting generated electricity back to the utility grid for a credit against energy consumed.
You are eligible to participate in the program as long as you are generating electricity primarily for your own use; using a renewable energy source (solar, wind, hydro, bio); limiting your solar system size to 500 kW; and conveying generated electricity to your consumption point without reliance on the utility’s distribution system.
How will it be calculated on your hydro bill?
The value of the amount of eligible electricity generated and returned into the Local Utility Company’s grid will be deducted from the value of the amount of electricity you consumed from the system. If the result is positive, you will receive an adjustment on your monthly (or bi-monthly) hydro bill. If the result is negative (meaning you’ve exported more energy than you’ve consumed), you will receive a credit which will be carried over into your next billing period. Important!!! Excess energy credits from previous billing cycles can be carried-over up to a maximum of 10 (ten) months.
OffGrid Solar System
If you are tired of paying your hydro company big bucks, you may wish to install an off grid system (or stand-alone) system. It is a type of solar photovoltaic system that operates autonomously, generates power, and supplies it to electrical loads independently of the local utility company. If you own a cottage or live in a remote area with no electric poles around, installing an offgrid system might also be the only way to bring power to your place.
Here are the main components of a typical OffGrid Solar panels system:
- Solar panels array (strings of solar modules connected in series and/or in parallel)
- PV charge controller (a device that regulates battery bank charge by controlling the charging voltage and/or current)
- Battery bank (a set of batteries connected to each other to provide required voltage and capacity)
- Inverter (a device that converts DC power coming from the solar array to AC power used in-house)
- Loads (a piece(s) of equipment that consumes electricity)
If you are still unsure what type of system would work for you best, get in touch with your local solar panels installers by visiting www.ontario-solar-installers.ca website. You’d be able to find out how much solar panels cost, what’s required to submit an application, get permits and approvals, and receive free quotes for you solar panels installation.