Archives for posts with tag: Solar

Consumers heading down to their local Best Buy for a new laptop or microwave will now be able to pick up solar panels as well. Best Buy and SolarCity have announced a new partnership to sell off-the-shelf photovoltaic systems in 60 Best Buy stores in Arizona, California, Hawaii, New York, and Oregon. To give the new program an exuberant kick off, SolarCity is giving every customer a $100 Best Buy gift card when they sign up for solar service through Best Buy before Earth Day on 22 April, 2014.

Green Halo - Best Buy Now Sells Solar PanelsThe San Mateo solar company hopes this new partnership will reach homeowners too wary or intimidated by installing solar panels on their homes. The initiative is an expansion of a pilot program the two companies carried out last year at Best Buy stores in California and New York. Previously, the company also teamed up with the Home Depot and Honda to provide affordable solar panels.

Despite these efforts, a recent SolarCity survey of U.S. homeowners detailed that only 45 percent of residents thinks that solar power is more affordable than it was three years ago. SolarCity has a long history of experimental strategies to reach more consumers. Before this new program, the company provided systems for free in exchange for long term contracts, or financing installations through investment institutions like pensions and hedge funds.

If you would like to get in on the deal, you can sign up here for a free consultation to discuss a plan. SolarCity promises to install photovoltaic panels for free with no up front costs. As long as the customer is enrolled they will receive green, renewable energy at a lower price than they currently spend on electricity.

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Ford has unveiled plans for a prototype solar-powered hybrid car.

The Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept has a solar panel system on the roof which tracks the position of the sun. The company said it can draw power equal to a four-hour battery charge.

ford solar powered car 2

The concept car will be on display at CES in Las Vegas before testing begins to see if production is feasible.

Fully charged the car could travel for up to 21 miles powered just on electricity.

The solar panel roof will have a special solar concentrator lens similar to a magnifying glass. The Fresnal lens will follow the movement of the sun from east to west and direct sunlight to the
solar cells which project researchers say boosts the impact of sunlight by a factor of eight.

‘Charging socket’

Ford claim that a day’s worth of sunlight will produce the same performance from the Solar Energi Concept as is given by their conventional plug-in hybrid car. Both vehicles would have the same range of 620 miles.

The concept car – which was developed from a collaboration between Ford, the Georgia Institute of Technology and SunPower Corp, a solar power company – will still have a conventional electrical charging socket so its charge can be topped up from the power grid.

ford solar powered car

But Ford claim that by using the solar power system drivers will not be dependent on the grid to use the car.

Research from the company suggests that in future the sun could

power up to 75% of all trips made by an average user in a solar hybrid vehicle.

However, it may be a while before solar panel cars are a common sight on the road, said Damion Smy from Car Magazine.

“What Ford has done here is clever use of solar technology, as it assists battery charging.

“Solar power could be used to run ancillaries, such as air-conditioning, but the limited capability for solar panels means that we won’t see them used as the main power source anytime soon,” he said.

Another car manufacturer reported to be unveiling new technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is Audi. They will be showcasing cars which use the Android operating system, which is normally found on smartphones and tablets, at the event which starts on the 7 January.


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The Sun Isn’t Just Good for Tourists

Mexico is not the first country people usually think of when talking of clean energy, but it has ambitious plans to generate 35% of its energy from clean sources by 2026. That would be up from less than 15% now, which is mostly hydro, with wind and solar only providing only ±1.5%. These renewable sources would need to grow a lot, and in such a sunny country, solar power makes a lot of sense.

first solar

First Solar Inc. (FSLR) of the U.S. has bought its first projects in Mexico, while more than a dozen other developers including Germany’s Saferay GmbH and Spain’s Grupotec Tecnologia Solar SL own licenses there. Local investor Gauss Energia opened Latin America’s largest photovoltaic plant in the country last month.

The project “will open the way for the development of the photovoltaic sector,” Gauss Chief Executive Officer Hector Olea said in an e-mail. “There have been multiple announcements but very little real development work so far even though the regulatory system is sound and conducive to bankable projects.”

mexicans installing solar panel

While Mexico doesn’t subsidize solar, it has net-metering, and high energy costs in many regions where solar is competitive (in good part because the country gets so much sun). With some incentives for solar, which would only be fair considering how government-favored the oil industry has been over the years, we could potentially see a big solar boom in Mexico.

Content provided by Michael Graham Richard

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