Posts by author:

John Rodriguez

A quick guide to better battery cost comparisons

May 30, 2016
Thumbnail image for A quick guide to better battery cost comparisons

When it comes to choosing batteries for home or commercial energy storage, it can be difficult to sift through the multitude of options to find the IDEAL battery for your application. The options range from different operating voltages, amp-hour (Ah) storage capacities, sizes, weights, brands and – to make things even more complicated – different […]

Read the full article →

ElectrIQ residential battery units bring smarts to the table

April 14, 2016
Thumbnail image for ElectrIQ residential battery units bring smarts to the table

Palo Alto startup ElectrIQ Power is set to release a modular, all-in-one 10kWh battery storage energy management system in Q4 2016. They are looking for strategic partners in Australia. The system features: (i) an integrated DC-to-AC string inverter; (ii) maximum power point tracking for connected PV systems; (iii) comprehensive microsecond energy metering; and (iv) wifi capabilities to enable wireless […]

Read the full article →

Honey, I shrunk the inverter! Winners of Google competition push limits of inverter size

April 7, 2016
Thumbnail image for Honey, I shrunk the inverter! Winners of Google competition push limits of inverter size

The CE+T Power ‘Red Electrical Devils’, winners of the Google ‘Little Box Challenge’, have created a 2kW inverter the same size as a takeaway coffee cup. The winners of the Little Box Challenge were announced on the last month at the ARPA‑E Energy Innovation Summit, where the Red Electrical Devils were presented with the one […]

Read the full article →

Going with the flow: An introduction to redox flow batteries

August 19, 2015
Thumbnail image for Going with the flow: An introduction to redox flow batteries

Renewable energy technologies – solar PV in particular – are on the cusp of changing the energy landscape. In combination with the right load profile and in the right settings, solar‑powered electricity has reached a point where it is more cost‑efficient than combustion generators. But to make that next big step we need to find […]

Read the full article →

Reposit Power brings (solar-plus-storage) power to the people

July 31, 2015
Thumbnail image for Reposit Power brings (solar-plus-storage) power to the people

Reposit Power has created a software package which allows PV and battery owners to trade generated electricity directly onto the wholesale electricity market. The software is designed to support and improve the operation of the grid by selling electricity back to the grid at times of stress, when demand is extremely high. In the process, […]

Read the full article →

PV Magazine’s 50 ‘array changing’ technologies sure to excite the solar enthusiast

July 23, 2015
Thumbnail image for PV Magazine’s 50 ‘array changing’ technologies sure to excite the solar enthusiast

PV Magazine has released a report outlining the 50 top ‘array changing technologies’ featured at this year’s Intersolar Europe exhibition and conference. The ‘downstream’ technologies were picked based on their ‘ability to make a major impact on solar arrays today and in the future’ by ‘driving power outputs up and LCOE down’. A complete list […]

Read the full article →

Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary nabs record low PV tender below 4c/kWh

July 21, 2015
Thumbnail image for Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary nabs record low PV tender below 4c/kWh

NV Energy (Nevada) and Austin Energy (Texas) last week agreed to two separate record-low solar farm PPAs below 4c/kWh. As the lower rate of the two PPA rates, NV Energy has agreed to pay 3.87c/kWh for a 100MW project developed by First Solar. NV Energy is also owned by Berkshire Hathaway, a company founded by […]

Read the full article →

Solar Impulse 2 sets record, flies emissions-free across the Pacific

July 20, 2015
Thumbnail image for Solar Impulse 2 sets record, flies emissions-free across the Pacific

The Solar Impulse 2 (SI2) solar powered-aircraft has just set a new distance record for emissions‑free flight by flying non-stop from Nagoya (Japan) to Hawaii. The voyage took all of 4 days, 21 hours and 52 minutes over a total distance of 7,212km and was the longest, most arduous leg of the team’s emissions‑free round‑the‑world […]

Read the full article →

Hot water storage helps maximise PV electricity use

June 18, 2015
Thumbnail image for Hot water storage helps maximise PV electricity use

Storing solar energy in the form of hot water is an effective and low-cost way of maximising the use of generated excess PV electricity. Australia’s net-metering arrangements and despicably low feed-in-tariffs typically mean that the large amounts of excess PV electricity generated during the middle of the day – when residential demand is close to […]

Read the full article →

UNSW adds fast chargers, Tesla Model S and BMW i3 to EV arsenal

June 17, 2015
Thumbnail image for UNSW adds fast chargers, Tesla Model S and BMW i3 to EV arsenal

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has recently installed two additional electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers at the Kensington campus. The charging station, which sits behind the Tyree Energy Technologies Building (TETB) research hub, is the second EV charging station to be installed on site. The new ChargePoint and ABB fast charging units have […]

Read the full article →

Tesla Energy launch shakes up the energy industry

May 11, 2015
Thumbnail image for Tesla Energy launch shakes up the energy industry

The recent launch of Tesla Energy and the Powerwall lithium battery banks have triggered much excitement in the energy industry. The news has renewable energy supporters optimistic about a speedy transition towards a low carbon economy. The company has release three separate units: (i) a 7kWh daily-use unit ideally partnered with solar PV systems; (ii) […]

Read the full article →

Bifacial solar cells – the two sides of the story

May 5, 2015
Thumbnail image for Bifacial solar cells – the two sides of the story

Bifacial solar modules are making a comeback, of sorts, as the PV industry looks to squeeze more out of current solar cell technology. On the heels of Sunpreme revealing their 500W bifacial modules and MegaCell’s manufacture of 18% efficient polycrystalline bifacial cells, bifacial PV looks to work its way towards a larger share of the […]

Read the full article →

2015 International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics released

May 4, 2015
Thumbnail image for 2015 International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics released

The 2015 International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was released last week and is now available for download on the ITRPV website. The report contains insights from leading PV industry manufacturers and organisations, providing a snapshot of where the PV industry is right now and the direction in which it will likely head towards in […]

Read the full article →

Solar PV improvements changing naysayers’ stance

April 15, 2015
Thumbnail image for Solar PV improvements changing naysayers’ stance

Those keeping a close eye on the solar market would likely agree that this is a time of change, perhaps even a time of hope. PV technology has matured to a point where electricity retailers around the world are being compelled to engage constructively with pro-PV groups. Early-adopting utilities are finally recognising PV as another […]

Read the full article →

177 GW of solar installed worldwide: IEA 2014 snapshot report

April 14, 2015
Thumbnail image for 177 GW of solar installed worldwide: IEA 2014 snapshot report

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released their ‘2014 Snapshot of Global PV Markets’ report. The published figures state that, as of the end of 2014, there is now a cumulative total of 177 gigawatts (GW) of PV capacity installed worldwide. In 2014 alone there was at least 38.7 GW of PV installed*. Highlights from the report […]

Read the full article →

Metal plating as a pathway to cheaper high-efficiency solar cells

March 27, 2015
Thumbnail image for Metal plating as a pathway to cheaper high-efficiency solar cells

The first instalment of this series outlined the technology developments which have kept screen printed solar cells on top of global PV sales. Despite its dominant position amongst most PV manufacturers, the classic screen printed cell looks set to be replaced by PERC cells within the coming decade. Past that, recent world records set by […]

Read the full article →

Owning solar panels in ‘the cloud’

March 17, 2015
Cloud Solar

  Cloud Solar is offering a new twist on the ‘traditional’ community solar model. Much like previous community-owned programs, the initiative offers ownership of individual panels within a larger solar farm. However, rather than using electricity bill credits as compensation, the revenue generated by panels is paid directly to investors, adding another degree of freedom […]

Read the full article →

IEA outlines position with energy storage roadmap

March 16, 2015
IEA energy storage roadmap

The International Energy Agency has released their inaugural energy storage roadmap. A logical addition to their various renewable energy roadmaps, the report aims to project the role energy storage technologies will have in future energy markets. It highlights the value of energy storage technologies – particularly batteries – not only for resolving intermittency issues inherent […]

Read the full article →

PERC solar cells steadily gaining steam in PV manufacturing

February 17, 2015
Thumbnail image for PERC solar cells steadily gaining steam in PV manufacturing

The Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) structure offers a 1% efficiency boost (absolute) and improves the current state-of-the-art by integrating a high-efficiency rear surface design. The PERC design has steadily gained traction in recent years and is compatible with common screen printing techniques, making for a relatively smooth transition for manufacturers such as JA […]

Read the full article →

Quiet innovations keeping screen printed solar cells on top

February 9, 2015
Printed solar cells

For all the well-deserved hype surrounding advanced solar cell designs, the screen printed (SP) solar cell remains the industry standard. Accounting for approximately 90% of worldwide production in 2014, its robust design has stood the test of time and, since its inception in the 1970s, has ballooned towards current module efficiencies approaching 18%. It has […]

Read the full article →

The untapped potential of Australia’s capital cities

January 28, 2015
Australian solar resources

In the first part of this series, we outlined the enormous potential for Australia to become a solar energy exporter for the southeast Asia region. In fact, we are so blessed with solar energy that we receive enough to feed our domestic electricity demand more than a thousand times over. There are however significant challenges […]

Read the full article →