You’ve heard the expression “you’re only as smart as the company you keep,” well the same could be said for the solar panels you put on your roof.When their job was simply to generate electricity for your home – or to send it to the grid, if your home had no use for the electricity – they didn’t need to be terribly clever. But with battery storage becoming an affordable – and economically sensible – option for more and more solar households, it becomes more complicated.
Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH) announced today that it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with EnergyAustralia to provide its world-leading microinverter-based solar photovoltaic (PV) system to Australian customers. Currently Enphase is exclusively featured as the only microinverter and monitoring platform in EnergyAustralia’s Next Generation Solar product suite
“The Enphase System provides customers with a simple, reliable and safe solar solution,” said Gavin Lewis, product and sales manager, EnergyAustralia. “It is extremely flexible and designed to increase the energy generation for each roof, thereby maximising savings on the customer’s energy bill.”
The solar panels Konrad Kuisle installed on the roof of his barn and milking shed have been a steady source of income for the Bavarian dairy farmer.
“I installed the panels because, on the one side, I support renewable energy. But I also get something out of it,” says Mr Kuisle, who calculates the power he feeds into Germany’s electricity grid generates up to 15 per cent of his annual turnover.
If you’ve ever seen an episode of The Jetsons, you’ve no doubt longed for some of the space-age home tech enjoyed by George and his family. Push-button meal dispensers? A car that folds into a briefcase? Rosie the robot-maid? Yes, please.
Alas, much of that stuff remains science fiction, at least for the moment, but there are plenty of high-tech tools available right now that can help turn your house into a smart-home. And you don’t have to be president of Spacely Sprockets to afford it. In fact, if you already own a smartphone, you’re halfway there. Let’s take a look at some of the surprisingly affordable ways to raise your roof’s IQ.
Bryan Hannegan is picturing the home of the future. In his imagination, it’s not in outer space, or shaped like a giant geodesic dome. This home talks to itself, and to what’s around it.
“The dishwasher could talk to the electric vehicle in the garage, it could talk to the solar PV system on the roof,” said Hannegan, a scientist at National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.
Fluent Home has begun a partnership with Sunrun, one of the nation’s top solar energy providers. This partnership will bring the best of the home security and solar energy worlds together under one roof for California residents.
Graham Wood, President of Fluent Home, explains the motivation for expanding into the solar market: “We’ve seen incredible growth in the solar industry in just a few short years and we wanted to bring the benefits of solar energy to our customers. Partnering with Sunrun and creating the “Fluent Solar” division allows us to combine our expertise in the home with the glowing reputation of Sunrun’s products and services to consumers across North America.”
Dominion Virginia Power (DVP) and Old Dominion University (ODU) have dedicated a new solar installation on the roof of ODU’s Student Recreation Center — the first installation of its kind in the Hampton Roads area. ODU was one of the first participants in the DVP’s Solar Partnership Program under which Dominion builds and operates solar facilities on leased rooftops.
Sometimes we learn in rather interesting ways. Well, to give credit where credit is due, I bumped into Rollerblading glimpse of the future credit Roller-blading in the Google parking lot led to early awareness that something was up when it came to Google and PHEVs, as solar panels were going up over parking spots with plugs hanging from the roof structures.
Dominion Virginia Power (DVP) is installing the largest rooftop solar system in Virginia — more than 2,000 solar panels on the roof of Canon Virginia Inc.’s Industrial Resource Technologies facility in Gloucester. The project is part of Dominion’s Solar Partnership Program, in which Dominion leases rooftop or ground space at commercial, industrial or public facilities for installation of solar panels.
A smart grid is more of an adjustable concept than a well-defined system, so a smart grid could take many forms. Engineers with Spain’s CENER, that country’s renewable energy laboratory, is experimenting with what a smart grid might do in a 300 m2 building on the CENER facility near Pamplona. A dedicated staff there is working with power from a 20 kW wind turbine and about 25 kW peak from photovoltaic solar panels on the roof. Inside, about 100 kWh of lead acid and a 200 kWh redox flow battery store power, along with 0.5 kWh in several Maxwell supercapacitors. Control hardware and algorithms make best use of the power so that a diesel generator powers up as little as possible.