Solar panels – Cheap Solar Panels Sat, 04 Sep 2021 08:24:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Solar panels – Cheap Solar Panels 32 32 Residents find a second artistic life for solar panels | A&E Sat, 04 Sep 2021 08:00:00 +0000

SHERIDAN – Katie Repsis is not a fan of solar panels.

This may be surprising given that his company name – EOL Solar – literally contains the word “solar,” and his company website features a photo of dozens of solar panels. But, once Repsis explains herself, it’s easy to understand her concerns.

“I have never been a big advocate for solar panels because of the waste factor,” Repsis said. “I knew there wasn’t a lot of pressure to retrain them. At the end of their life, they just go to a landfill somewhere. So that’s a great idea in theory, but ultimately they cause a major problem.

The average lifespan of a solar panel is around 25 years, and 78 million tonnes of solar panel-related waste is expected to go to landfill across the country by 2050, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. .

But what if landfill wasn’t the final destination for solar panels? What if they ended their lives in an art gallery instead?

That’s the idea Logan Jenkins of nonprofit Sheridan Circular Wyoming shared with Repsis at a coffee meeting earlier this spring, and the idea was too enticing to refuse.

“When he first mentioned this I thought it was such a cool idea,” Repsis said. “The solar panels are really big and built to last and to be exposed to the elements, so it really felt like a perfect canvas.”

Months later, Jenkins and Repsis already have their first proof of concept panel – a piece created by Sheridan High School art teacher Ashley Cooper hanging from Bighorn Design’s window. And there’s a lot more on the way, according to Jenkins.

Several artists from Sheridan and surrounding Wyoming are starting to work on scale designs for their own solar panel artwork, with EOL and Circular planning to show the pieces at SAGE Community Arts in September 2022.

Jenkins said the panels have several features that make them an ideal canvas for local artists, including a built-in frame and thread on the back. More importantly, any mistakes made on the glass face of the solar panel can be easily changed and corrected, providing a sense of artistic freedom not possible on other canvases.

The panels are also durable, and Jenkins said he expects Cooper’s piece to last outdoors for five years or more in Wyoming weather, without the need for touch-up.

More importantly, reusing the panels as works of art keeps them out of landfill, which is one of the key goals of the Repsis and Jenkins organizations. EOL Solar is a for-profit company dedicated to finding “second life solutions for solar panels,” Repsis said. Likewise, Circular Wyoming is a non-profit organization focused on “Wyoming-designed solutions to global energy waste problems,” according to Jenkins.

The sky really is the limit of the artistic potential of solar panels, Jenkins and Repsis said. The panels could be combined to create a larger-than-life modular mural – Repsis says it is currently in talks with a local company about this very idea – and Repsis thinks the panels could even replace billboards at at some point.

For now, Repsis has said she is just thrilled to contribute to the arts culture of a community she loves – she recently returned to Sheridan from Fort Collins after growing up here – while cutting down on signage waste. solar at the same time.

“I’ve always been an advocate for the arts, and it’s exciting to be a part of that culture here in a truly unique way,” said Repsis. “It’s really exciting to reuse these panels and turn them into works of art. “

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Time for solar ‘boom’ as Lebanon’s fossil fuels run out | Business and Economy News Wed, 01 Sep 2021 10:02:47 +0000

Broummana, Lebanon – Power outages have hit Lebanon in recent weeks as an entire nation is forced to adjust to life without electricity.

Due to the government’s failure to obtain heavy fuel oil for power plants, electricity supplied by the state-owned Electricité du Liban declined to two hours a day and was completely cut off in some parts of the country.

Private diesel generators, which previously covered a three-hour gap in government-supplied electricity, are now responsible for the remaining 22 hours of the day.

The high demand and lack of imports have led to an extreme fuel shortage and fueled a black market selling fuel accumulated at rates that the majority of Lebanon cannot afford. The government cut subsidies on diesel fuel and decided to allow direct importation, hoping to alleviate this shortage, but the only result was a nearly four-fold increase in prices.

Generator subscription fees have skyrocketed, reaching $ 375 on the parallel foreign exchange market, for enough electricity to keep a family home cool on hot summer nights. Those wealthy enough to afford these high fees still face daily blackouts as generator owners try to conserve fuel.

Sometimes there is just no diesel and they are forced to sit sweating in the dark, wondering if the food in their refrigerators has been cold enough to be safe to eat.

“Definitely a boom”

As a result, there has been an explosion of interest in alternative energies, and thousands of people, mostly wealthy, are now turning to solar power to get rid of an unreliable power grid. In a country that experiences around 300 sunny days a year, affluent residents are appropriating the expensive equipment needed to ensure stable off-grid electricity and give them and their families security and peace of mind.

“From a residential perspective, this is definitely a boom,” said Carla Nassab, program manager at the United Nations Development Program, who is working on several alternative energy initiatives across Lebanon.

“But the boom isn’t just residential, it’s everywhere,” she said. “Industries are turning to solar power or whatever provides them with electricity because it is getting too scarce and getting too expensive. “

A worker installs a solar inverter, costing around $ 1,300, at Samer Maatouk in Broummana, Lebanon [Adam Muro/Al Jazeera]

The half-dozen Lebanese alternative energy entrepreneurs interviewed for this article agreed, saying they had never seen this kind of interest in solar energy before.

“I would say it’s historically skyrocketing. That would probably be another understatement. We tripled our team in just two weeks, ”said Bassam Karam, Managing Director of Smart Power. “Now it’s not just a question of cost. It’s a question of “Do you have electricity or not? “”

Karam said Smart Power receives over 500 quote requests per week and they are unable to follow up with everyone.

Solar entrepreneurs told Al Jazeera that their new customers come from all over the country, from all religious sects, with nothing in common other than the ability to pay the high price of their new solar power system in so-called “fresh” dollars. , or U.S. greenbacks imported from outside the country after the banking sector collapsed in 2019.

A new system including photovoltaic solar panels, ion batteries and a solar inverter – to convert DC energy captured by the sun into AC current that can be stored in batteries – costs between $ 4,500 and $ 6,000 and increases from of the.

Spending this amount will give a home enough energy storage to last eight to 10 hours after sundown, and will last more than 10 years before needing servicing. But the initial investment is far beyond what the vast majority of Lebanese can afford.

“We’re only taking fresh dollars,” said a representative from Kypros Solar, who said they’ve sold over 100 systems this summer. “Because we bring all the stuff from the outside [the country], mainly from China and USA, so we pay in dollar costs.

A worker installs wiring that will transfer DC electricity harvested from the sun to a solar inverter [Adam Muro/Al Jazeera]

In Lebanon, as in the rest of the world, demand is so high that it is becoming increasingly difficult to source the necessary components, and customers must expect long lead times, sometimes up to three months, before their system can be installed.

“Instead of getting our products two or three weeks after confirmation, we now have to wait 20 weeks or 25 weeks,” said George Abboud, COO of Earth Technologies.

“So we started sourcing from other companies, not factories. We started dealing with distributors in the Emirates, Jordan and Europe, trying to find as many products as possible, ”Abboud explained, noting that this was eating away at his company’s profit margins.

“Easier to go green”

Despite growing interest, the cost and scarcity of equipment remains a major problem.

“I got the solar panels and the inverter from a company in Milan,” said a man from Bcharré, a mountain town in northern Lebanon, who asked not to be identified. “I still can’t find batteries and it’s very expensive.

To save money, he decided to stock up and install his solar power system himself. He works as a private physics teacher, taking his salary in increasingly depreciated Lebanese pounds. He said that in order to allow his family’s energy independence, he decided to sell the gold he bought when times were better.

In the end, he said, it was an easy decision to invest in alternative energy. “You basically pay the same amount in US dollars each month [for diesel fuel]. This makes it easier to go green or use solar or wind power to be able to maintain your home.

Chawki Lahoud, owner and managing director of CLEnginering, saw the solar boom coming several months ago and stocked up on batteries and solar panels.

Because of this, he said he was able to complete seven or eight projects per week at an average cost of $ 6,500 each. He said he only takes big jobs and refers requests for small systems to colleagues in industry.

“I’m still marketing to the rich,” he said. “These guys, I can assure you, they have [access to fresh dollars.]”

A cache of lead-acid batteries that stores the electricity recovered from the sun in the trunk of solar contractor Chawki Lahoud’s car. Each battery costs $ 400 and they are increasingly difficult to find in Lebanon [Adam Muro/Al Jazeera]

Last week, Lahoud was in Broummana, an affluent village in the mountains above Beirut, installing a 10-panel, eight-battery setup at Samer Maatouk, CFO of a large company he turned down. to name.

“I didn’t ask him for the price, I asked him for the system,” Maatouk said. “Now, if you don’t have electricity, you have no choice. There are no other options. Or you turn off your generator, throw away your food and live as they did in 1850. ”

Across the street, Maatouk’s neighbor Abdullkhalek Mallah said he plans to hire Lahoud’s company for a solar system soon.

“We pay £ 7 million [$4,600] and that’s with cuts every day, ”he said of last month’s diesel generator bills. “The whole system will cost around $ 4,800, but it’s still more efficient than paying the power producers. “

Although this option is only available to the wealthy, UN Nassab said she sees Lebanon’s solar energy boom as a bright spot in an otherwise bleak outlook for Lebanon.

“What happened was a crisis. It’s very sad, ”she told Al Jazeera. “But I think it will change our behavior for the future.

“This is the push that people needed. Before, no one would have seen the advantage other than that it is good for the environment and eases the pressure on Electricité du Liban.

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Maharashtra government calls for solar panels on terraces and roofs of housing companies Sat, 28 Aug 2021 10:18:00 +0000

Harness the power of the sun. This is what the government wants from people. The Maharashtra government urged them to install solar panels on the terraces and roofs of housing companies. Policy is in place and incentives are available, but the response has been poor.

The Covid-19 pandemic has further affected plans to install solar panels on the roofs of housing companies, especially in a city like Mumbai. Energy experts say one of the fundamental reasons for the obstacle is the non-availability of space.

“During the lockdown, the terrace of most residential buildings and towers became a walking space and was used for recreation. There is no guarantee on the duration of the Covid waves. installed, this walking space is occupied. A 1 A kilowatt rooftop solar power plant requires an area of ​​about 10 square meters, “said an electrical expert.

The rooftop solar net metering system has been around for at least 3 years. Additionally, earlier this week, power companies announced that housing companies were eligible for a subsidy of between 20 and 40 percent of the total cost. These companies can also benefit from central financial assistance from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energies (MNRE).

The reason for this subsidy is the poor response of solar panels on the roofs of residential companies. For example, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) company stated that it did not have any residential or housing consumer companies using rooftop solar panels and that there were few commercial facilities using this. program.

“Until now, this program for residential companies has not been overseen by BEST. Only now are we sending messages to consumers urging them to install solar panels on rooftops,” an official said. BEST.

BEST is sending messages to consumers stating: “The Ministry of New and Renewable Energies (MNRE), GOI, has introduced the Phase II Rooftop Solar Program to provide financial assistance for the installation of rooftop solar panels for residential consumers. For more details, please visit our website ‘.

Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML) received a better response with 950 consumers installing rooftop solar panels. As part of AEML’s “Go Green” program, the project cost per kWp for the installation of a photovoltaic solar system on the roof varies from Rs 34,000 to Rs 46,000 depending on the capacity of the plant chosen by the customer.

“Residential customers who opt for a capacity of up to 3 kWp will receive a 40% subsidy, while those who opt between 3 kWp and up to 10 kWp will receive a 20% subsidy and collective housing companies for installations Commons up to 500 kWp (@ 0 kWp per house) will get a 20 percent subsidy on the cost of the project. The cost includes GST and other related costs such as design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning and full maintenance for 5 years, ”the AEML statement read.

When Tata Power, which also supplies electricity to Mumbai, was approached for its views on the project, its spokesperson said TPC would not be able to comment.

Overall, the solar photovoltaic system has a lifespan of almost 25 years once installed. Due to grants awarded under the program, clients will be able to recover their costs within 2-3 years. Sources said that a system with a capacity of 11.05 kWp can mitigate 339 tonnes of CO2 over the life of the system, and is equivalent to planting 548 mature trees over the life of the system.

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Posted on: Saturday Aug 28, 2021 3:48 PM IST ]]> 0 Annick Anctil: Making solar energy even greener | MSU Today Tue, 24 Aug 2021 14:29:41 +0000 This Spartan engineer analyzes how we manufacture, implement and dispose of solar cells to ensure consumers end up with the most durable product.

Michigan State University Annick AnctilThe goal of may seem surprising, even counterintuitive. After all, solar power is sustainable, so by definition it’s green, isn’t it?

“Solar energy is green, but it’s not entirely green,” says Anctil, associate professor at Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “The ultimate goal of this project is to make solar energy even greener. “

It turns out that not all solar panels are created equal, and installing solar panels is not a universal solution. Some signs use limited resources. Others could leach dangerous chemicals into the environment. And some are better suited to certain places than others.

“If you take a solar panel and install it in Michigan, then install the same type in Arizona, they won’t work the same way,” says Anctil. “They won’t have the same environmental benefits.

With the support of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award 2021, Anctil and his team show how different solar panels affect society and the environment. By auditing the lifecycle of different solar technologies – from manufacturing to installation, operation and ultimately disposal – the team strives to educate consumers, businesses and policy makers wishing to make the most of solar energy.

“Education is not just what I do in the classroom. I can work with the public and get all of this information out, ”says Anctil, who works with the Michigan Institute for Energy Innovation and Hemlock Semiconductor of Michigan, the largest producer of silicon in the United States. It helps him connect directly with the people who make and install solar power systems – and who are looking to do so in a more sustainable way.

“I’m a researcher who enjoys working with people and being connected,” she says. “A lot of my research questions are guided by the questions I hear asked. “

As a researcher, Anctil has always been interested in renewable energies. She started studying solar technologies as a graduate student, undertaking projects to increase the efficiency of solar cells. But she realized that when the focus is on making the best solar cell possible, researchers may not be fully aware of the consequences of their choices.

“If you get better performance from the solar cell, but it uses a rare or toxic material, you haven’t necessarily done anything better,” she says. “The solar cell may be working better, but you also created a new problem. “

For example, silicon solar cells are made from sand, which is much rarer than many people realize. Solar cells can also be made using dangerous chemicals. It is therefore also important to understand what happens to solar cells and their end-of-life contents, especially if the panels are not covered by take-back or recycling programs.

This is why Anctil strives to determine the durability of a given solar cell, across the many phases of its life cycle. And MSU has proven to be a place that values ​​this holistic thinking. “At MSU there is a lot of interest in sustainability,” says Anctil. “And it’s not just in one department, it’s across the university.”

Note: Annick Anctil is a faculty member of the College of Engineering.

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California Not Yet To Go Net Solar Energy Measurement Sun, 22 Aug 2021 23:05:38 +0000

Last month we published an article from a remarkable, very useful and effective environmental nonprofit, which basically argued that it is time to downsize (‘reform’) Net Solar Energy Meters (NEMs). in California. We quickly had a big backlash. I had seen this argument made earlier this year and was about to write this article at that time, but never made it. With readers’ comments, it seemed like the time was right.

To get started, let’s briefly explain what measuring net solar energy is. If you have solar panels on your roof in California, those solar panels can generate more or less electricity than the house needs. If they produce more electricity than your home uses in a month, policy requires utilities to pay you for the extra electricity sent into the grid.

There are a few issues that solar power to the grid and net energy metering payments raise. They are the reason why NEM 3.0, a “reformed” version of the policy due to be finalized this year, is a hot topic of debate. The first concern is that a high influx of electricity in the middle of the day has started to exceed consumer demand, so 1) utilities need to find a way to store it for later use, and 2) the value of electricity in the event of overproduction is less than the value of electricity in the event of under-supply. The second concern is that money does not fall from the sky and any policy that requires utilities to pay more for electricity in order to pay relatively wealthy customers who can afford to install solar power systems on their homes. roofs should be covered by an increase in consumer electricity tariffs. – which could be regressive and drive up the electricity bills of the less wealthy.

The proposed changes include reducing NEM tariffs for rooftop solar owners by up to about 75%. Utilities would like to charge owners of solar panels a fee that amounts to a monthly cost of about $ 100 on average. The goal is to encourage people to put solar on their roofs by paying for them but to discourage people who put solar on their roofs by making them pay? Wait what? …

Currently, the average solar home owner in California would have a payback period of 6 to 8 years. This should increase to 10-15 years if the above proposals are accepted. Without a doubt, this would significantly slow the growth of solar energy.

However, note that California law requires that utilities have policies that ensure rooftop solar power is developed “sustainably”. We’re getting into a pretty complicated noodle soup now.

Note: Before anyone in California who owns rooftop solar panels right now or is installing them this year * worries, note that it seems very likely that anyone who already owns solar panels will be grandfathered. and will keep the benefits and policies in place prior to NEM 3.0. (Feel free to use my Tesla Referral Code for $ 100 off if you are considering going solar and are ready to go.)

Naturally, watered-down or weakened NEM incentives wouldn’t make people install as much solar power, which would theoretically slow down the retirement of fossil-fuel power plants and worsen global warming and climate change – and in California’s case. , that would mean more destructive fires. destroying homes and businesses across the state. Without a doubt, it will cost all Californians more if half the state burns to the ground in the next two decades. So what to do?

Additionally, while people who want to slow the growth of rooftop solar power focus on the two concerns I mentioned above, rooftop solar power has many benefits as well: a plus high network security, less pollution (which affects the poor much more than the rich), more resistant grids (useful when, for example, you face a Blackout), and less need for transmission infrastructure (which costs a fortune). This is actually a very complex mathematical problem and the calculations can change significantly at different levels of solar energy market share, different levels of energy storage capacity, different levels of other energies. renewables on the grid, etc.

It doesn’t make sense to me to cripple the solar energy industry at a time when we urgently need to phase out fossil fuel power plants. I would like to see independent, high quality cost analysis and benefits of solar power on rooftops for people of different classes and geographies. For all the additional costs that the public services face by NEM, it seems reasonable to me that they are financed by the state or by a specific fund raised for this purpose. Perhaps the NEM policy could include a system of investing in community solar power installations (even installed on large rooftops) that allow taxpayers without their own roof to benefit in the same way that NEM owners do.

What California, the United States, and the world at large need is a acceleration adoption of renewable energies, not a deceleration. Facilities must to augment, do not be slowed down.

Notably, the policies currently being debated are not expected to be enacted until January 2022, likely to come into effect in the spring of 2022. Knowing what is on the table and knowing that it can take months to install and connect a rooftop solar system to the power grid (especially in a critical time like this) all I can say to any individual is that if you are considering going solar now or later it looks like now is almost certainly the best option financially for you. (Not a tip, but, well, read the above.)

In addition, EnergySage makes a good point for those of us outside of California, which accounts for a huge chunk of US solar power capacity: “The final decision of the CPUC will not only have an impact on California, but on the solar industry as a whole; California is the number one online domino for all things solar, and everything we see here will undoubtedly influence net metering policies in states across the country. “

Without a doubt, if California’s solar energy policy becomes much more hostile to rooftop solar power, other states will follow – and perhaps even more aggressively and with less notice than California.

Now is not the time to slow down the clean energy transition. On the contrary, we are in a race for global warming and climate catastrophe, and every piece of news or report that I have seen on this topic indicates that the clean energy transition is losing the race and that the gap might even widen. We have to find ways to accelerate embracing clean energy, not slowing it down. Go on!

A few days ago, Jeff Parr, Founder and CEO of Solar Technologies in Santa Cruz, wrote: “Today I am concerned that an upcoming decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will seriously undermine my means. sustenance and end the good we do. for the planet, for working class families, for businesses, for everyone – all because utilities aim to end solar growth on California rooftops. “

Indeed. Come on, California!

Jeff also has a strong case that NEM 3.0, as proposed, would do more harm than good to democratize energy and bring more of the benefits of solar power to a larger group of people. He writes:

“NEM is the policy that enables consumer solar power; he made rooftop solar power affordable and accessible in the Golden State. But the state’s largest utilities are pushing to reduce the benefits of rooftop solar power, proposing changes that will make mainstream solar power almost twice as expensive as it is today. hui. Their proposal would ensure that low and middle income families cannot see a reasonable return on their investment.

“Utilities say solar panels can only be bought by the rich, forcing low-income Californians to pay more for traditional energy at the expense of the rich. I can tell you from first hand experience in this industry that this is not true.

“Today, almost half of the owners we work with are working families. Other clients include schools, places of worship, non-profit organizations, multi-family housing, affordable housing and others. Over the past five years, my company has installed solar panels in 19 schools, 15 places of worship, and 20 nonprofits – places where money is better spent helping our community rather than paying government bills. high energy.

Does NEM 3.0 on utilities care about the little guy? Or is NEM 3.0 about utilities slowing the adoption of rooftop solar power so they can make more money just by putting up large power plants, changing more slowly, and reaping more profit?

Also consider all the high paying blue collar solar installation jobs that will be lost if NEM 3.0 suffocates and collapses the rooftop solar industry. Who is it going to hurt?

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Young adults empowered to make positive lifestyle choices with Solar Boot Camp Thu, 12 Aug 2021 10:35:01 +0000

For 27 young adults who barely knew each other, many of whom faced bleak futures, a nascent program came just at the right time to light the way.

Chosen for the first Student ACES Solar Boot Camp, these young adults have been empowered to change course for a promising career – and possibly even transform their lives.

The intense four-week training camp, which ended on July 16, focused not only on solar-powered construction, but also on leadership and essential life skills to help them lift themselves out of poverty and break a generational cycle.

“After hearing from several companies such as FPL, Moss Construction, Garcia Farms, OCI, GameChanger Tech and others talk about the need for good character employees and the growing concern for future leaders, we knew we had to do something. thing, ”said Buck Martinez, president and co-founder of the nonprofit Student ACES. “Character, education and leadership training are what we do best – it’s our DNA.”

ACES’s mission is to inspire and develop high school student athletes to be men and women of honor, character and integrity.

Hailing from economically disadvantaged communities in Palm Beach and Martin counties including Indiantown, Belle Glade, West Palm Beach and Pahokee, the 27 training camp graduates are ready to succeed in Florida’s booming solar industry.

Leo Suarez learns the essentials of solar power generation on-site during a field trip to the first ACES student solar training camp.

The program is the result of a partnership between Student ACES and the state’s solar industry leaders, including Florida Power & Light Co., Moss Construction, Garcia Development, and GameChange Solar. The sessions were held at the Student ACES Center in Belle Glade and at Project Lift in Martin County, which also partnered with the pilot program. Participants also visited an FPL solar power center being built by Moss Construction.

Students, between the ages of 18 and 25, are guaranteed entry-level positions with solar subcontracting companies that are building solar centers across Florida. The Sunshine State ranks second in the country for job creation in solar energy, mainly due to massive solar construction led by the state’s largest utility, FP&L.

Carter Harris, a sports star from Pahokee High School, enjoys her day at Solar Boot Camp.

“Solar is a growing and sustainable field, and these students will be able to have careers with great possibilities in construction,” said Edwin Perkins, president of Moss Construction of Solar. “We are honored to be part of this effort, which is taking place in our own garden, and to donate it to local students. “

“The four week training camp was an inspiration,” Martinez said. “It was truly rewarding to see young men and women from all walks of life come together and develop a close family bond that will last a lifetime. These participants will advance in the industry and eventually become project supervisors throughout the state of Florida. “

Elijah Holland, a former Glades Central football player, talks about the merits of Solar Boot Camp.

Lavince Augustin, resident of Belle Glade and graduate of Glades Central, was one of the 27 chosen. He said his biggest challenge – and his reward – came when he “was forced out of his comfort zone” to lead some of the case studies.

“This project means everything to me,” Augustine said. “It allows me to pursue a career and support my family. I learned a tremendous amount of knowledge about myself and how to handle leadership cases and about my character.