Posts Tagged ‘LED’

29 July

Bravo! IKEA, in Being Florida’s Largest Non-Utility Solar Owner!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Some wonderful solar news closer to home, in Florida: the Swedish company and the world’s largest furniture retailer, IKEA, had completed the installation of South Florida’s largest solar array in June of this year. This solar array will be atop the future Miami-Dade IKEA store opening this summer in Sweetwater, FL. Combined with rooftop arrays in Orlando, Tampa, and Sunrise, this fourth solar project will keep IKEA as Florida’s largest non-utility solar owner.  The 416,000 square-feet future IKEA Miami, with 1,500 parking spaces, is being built on 14.6 acres adjacent to the Dolphin Mall, at the intersection of the Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) and Florida’s turnpike, in the city of Sweetwater, FL.

The 178,000 square foot solar array at Sweetwater consists of a 1,178 kW system, built with 4,620 panels, and will produce about 1,738,876 kWh of electricity annually for the store,  equivalent to reducing 1,227 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)-equal to the emissions of 256 cars or providing electricity for 169 homes annually (calculation for clean energy equivalents).  IKEA contracted with REC Solar (a national leader in solar electric system design with installations of more than 350 systems across U.S.). Let’s take a look at the video about IKEA’s Clean Energy/Solar Installations, below:


This installation will represent the 40th solar project for IKEA in the U.S., contributing to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 92% (35 out of 38) of its locations in U.S. and a total generation of 38 MW (translating to powering 90,000 homes). IKEA owns and operates these solar PV systems, rather than through solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement), and has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015 globally.  This investment demonstrates IKEA’s long term commitment to sustainability and confidence in PV technology and industry.  Due to IKEA’s goal of becoming completely energy independent by 2020 (“We want to get to 70% by 2015, and by 2020, we actually want to produce more energy from renewable sources than we/IKEA consume in the total operation“, commented the President of IKEA USA, Mike Ward), IKEA has installed more than 550,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operated about 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada, with 49 more being build in the U.S.

IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material;incorporating energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms.  IKEA has also eliminated plastic bags from the check-out process, phased out the sale of incandescent bulbs, facilitates recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 will sell only LED.  IKEA has also installed EV charging stations at 13 stores, with plans for more locations in the future.

Besides helping to improve our environment, these conservation efforts and  solar investments have enabled IKEA to spend less on energy. This would also mean lower cost and lower prices that will be passed down to consumers. IKEA’s Swedish heritage and respect of nature is not only good for the environment, but also great for business. Bravo! IKEA! We hope more businesses will try to emulate what IKEA has done.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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15 July

GTAT Bringing Merlin To Solar Industry

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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This is an interview with the team (Sr. Vice President/General Manager Dr. Venkatesan Murali, Sr. Director of Marketing Jeff Nestel-Patt, and Vice President of Sales Andrew Barta) from GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) at San Francisco, CA, during InterSolar North America 2014, on July 9, 2014,overlooking the Yerba Buena Gardens on top of Moscone North. Video below:


As the global demand for solar energy continues to grow while the industry is facing downward pricing pressure, reduced subsidies, and solar trade tensions, it becomes increasingly important for PV manufacturers to achieve further cost reductions and improved cell efficiency. GTAT accomplishes this by introducing the innovative metallization & cell interconnect technology (Merlin Advanced Metallization Technology) that transforms the solar module into a less expensive, more efficient panel that is easier to install.

The Merlin Advanced Metallization Technology enables greater performance than the traditional modules by:

  1. Eliminating up to 80% of the expensive silver paste used in the traditional cells and modules, leading to cost reduction.
  2. The same screen printing equipment installed in cell line can be used to print the segmented fingers onto the cell
  3. Flexible grid that eliminates silver bus bars: a plated copper grid is attached to the segmented fingers on the top of the solar cell. The combination of segmented fingers and flexible grid makes it easier to move current off the cell. The flexible grid provides 20 paths/highways for the current to travel along rather than the three bus bars found on the traditional solar cells.
  4. Reducing shading by bus bars and increasing electrical connections on the surface of the cell  lead to increased cell efficiency and increased power output (by 3-5% compared to standard module).
  5. Improving the interconnection between cells by eliminating the need for stringing and tabbing of the old technology, providing highly flexible and durable way to connect cells while eliminating the bus bar tabs of traditional cells. Cells can therefore be connected closer together, allowing a smaller and more flexible module than the conventional module.
  6. The flexible tabs at the end of each grid solve the problem generally associated with breakage of modules during transport resulting from metal fatigue when ribbons break due to dynamic loading conditions during shipping.
  7. GTAT is almost 50% lighter than the conventional modules.
  8. Easier installation results in lower balance of system costs

(Please also refer to this video for visual demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf2E_Uq3Lzw)

GTAT is already working with select customers to implement Merlin, involving custom-made copper meshes soldered on to PV cells instead of bus bars. GTAT will produce and sell customized copper meshes to customers, and expects to reach a production capacity of 100 MW annually by the end of 2014. In early 2015, it will begin to offer a wire attachment tool to customers, which will replace the tabbing stringer. Orders may be taken in last quarter of 2014, so in 2015, solar PV module makers will be able to work with this new technology to replace silver bus bars with a customizable copper mesh, reducing silver usage, increasing power output, and allowing lighter modules to be transported and installed.

GT Advanced Technologies Inc. is a global provider of polysilicon production technology and sapphire and silicon crystalline growth systems and materials for the global solar, LED, and other electronics industries and specialty markets. The company’s products and services accelerate the adoption of new advanced materials that improve performance and lower the cost of manufacturing. For additional information about GT Advanced Technologies, please visit www.gtat.com.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.sunisthefuture.com

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www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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25 May

TRON-The Solar Roadway in Our Future

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Remember my frequent comment about much of our earth’s surface area have not been fully utilized to generate solar power?

Have you ever wondered if our roads, highway, playground, and parking lots were solar, fueling enough energy from the sun to power nearby communities as well as electrical vehicles? Well, Scott and Julie Brusaw of Idaho have and they actually put in the time and sweat to come up with the prototype that entails smart, microprocessing, interlocking hexagonal solar panel units covered with new temperate glass material to meet all load, impact, and traction requirements. These solar panels will generate clean solar energy that will enable the road to pay for itself in time. Every panel has series of  LED lights on its circuit board programmed for its specific purpose and design. Furthermore, roadways composed of such solar panels will be able to maintain few degrees above freezing, preventing problems (such as:poor driving conditions, snow pileups, traffic delays) generally associated with winter driving in Northern states. This is going to completely revolutionize our roadway system! For The Better!  Of course, it will translate into so many jobs!!! Let’s take a look what the prototype looks like and what the future has in store for us….a future resembling some of our current video games such as Tron! I am so excited that I can’t wait to see our future roadway system! I hope you are just as excited about our future solar roadway system as I am.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
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30 March

First U.S. City Requiring Solar (Lancaster, CA).We Need More Mayors Like Mayor Parris!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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I was ecstatic upon reading this news that I’ve decided to take a break from our reporting on Feed-In-Tariff. Below is the reason:

Fantastic news! Talk about leadership and initiative! The California City Council of Lancaster unanimously approved changes to the city’s zoning code that require housing developers to install solar for all of their future new homes. This is the latest piece in what Republican Mayor R. Rex Parris described at the City Council meeting as a plan to make Lancaster, CA, “The solar capital of the universe.”

The official Residential Zones Update of Lancaster now specifies, along with a range of green building provisions, that new single family homes meet minimum solar system requirements in the same way that they must meet minimum parking space requirements. “The purpose of the solar energy standards is to encourage investment in solar energy on all parcels in the city, while providing guidelines for the installation of those systems that are consistent with the architectural and building standards of the city.” It is further intended to “to provide standards and procedures for builders of new homes to install solar energy systems in an effort to achieve greater usage of alternative energy.”

For lots of 7,000 sq ft or more residential homes, they must have a solar system of 1.0-1.5 kw (kilowatts). Rural  residential homes of up to 100,000 sq ft must have a system of at least 1.5 kw.

Besides some simple, commonsense rules for both roof-mounted and ground-mounted system, there are also some interesting issues:

  • A builder’s model home must show the kind of solar system the builder will offer.
  • Builders of subdivisions will be able to aggregate the houses’ requirements. If ten houses in a subdivision each have a one kilowatt requirement, the builder can install a single ten-kilowatt system, two five-kilowatt systems or four 2.5-kilowatt systems.
  • If a housing tract is built in phases, each phase must meet the requirement.
  • Multifamily developments can meet the requirement with a rooftop system or a system on a support or shade structure.
  • Builders “may choose to meet the solar energy generation requirement off-site by providing evidence of purchasing solar energy credits from another solar-generating development located within the city.”

Lancaster, with a population of about 150,000, built approximately 200 new homes in 2012 and on tract to build just as many (or more) in 2013, which translates into 200 more kilowatts of rooftop solar.  “In Lancaster, a solar installer is issued a permit within fifteen minutes,” Mayor Parris said, “but eight miles south in Palmdale, it takes two months.”

Allow me to introduce you to Mayor Lancaster in this next video clip:

Parris’ next targets will be:

  • Requiring all new homes to meet LEED certification standards
  • Requiring grey water systems on all new homes
  • Requiring, when partner BYD’s batteries are certified, battery systems for new homes’ solar systems so they would be energy-independent for up to four days, and
  • Using LED bulbs and batteries so the city’s street lights will be entirely off-grid.

Parris commented, “The salvation of this planet, if it is not already too late, will be from the bottom up, and there is no reason Lancaster can’t be the example for the world.”

Hear! Hear! Mayor Parris! We need more local leaderships and city mayors such as Mayor Parris. Will political leaders in San Francisco, Los Angeles and various other parts of the USA also consider taking this step, doing the right thing for all of our future?

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments or suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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30 May

Art & Function Via Solar Tree

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Dear Readers,

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If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.

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Dear Friends & Readers,

Did you ever read  that Dr. Seuss’ story of the Lorax when you were a kid?  “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for they have no tongues.”–Dr. Seuss (The Lorax)

I suspect when the young Aidan Dwyer (of New York) first read this book, Dr. Seuss‘ words must have made a great deal of impression upon his curious mind.   For he subsequently designed/invented (when he reached age thirteen) the solar tree, a decorative means of producing solar energy using multiple solar panels which form the shape of a tree via assistance of poles.  This design of solar tree can also double as street lights, producing 50% more power than a flat solar power layout during winter and 20% more power during other seasons.

Such ingenious concept was further evolved, now also found around streets of Austria

Solar Tree in Gleisdorf, Austria (Wikimedia Commons)

, or through the lens of the industrial designers Ross Lovegrove and founder of Artemide Ernesto Gismondi,  utilizing the synergy between solar and LED technology, into something that is low in maintenance and yet high in performance and may be totally off-grid and even feed back any excess electricity back into the grid.  Some believes that such an evolved design of solar tree represents more than just a light, but also a humanitarian statement about how to harness the power for free and then give it back to the society. Manufactured by Italian lighting brand Artemide and designed by Ross Lovegrove, the Solar Tree (it was previously located outside of the MAK Museum in Vienna) opened to Londoners on May 24, 2012 at St. John’s Square will remain there until late September.  It is seen in the video clip below:


This (Lovegrove’s) Solar Tree installation has an array of LED lit solar pads held up by 20 green stems.  The Solar Tree contains embedded artificial intelligence that automatically switches the LED lights on after dark and is smart enough to decipher the appropriate light intensity with consideration of the natural light conditions and the battery’s energy level. Lovegrove’s Solar Tree is designed to work with both on and off grid applications;when connected to a grid, the Tree is able to feed back any excess electricity back into the grid. When connected to an off-grid application, the Tree is able to provide lighting for up to three days before its battery runs flat.

Let’s hope the challenges that we face during this time of transition into the renewable energy era will continue to provide us with inspirations for our perceptions of nature, function, and beauty.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

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www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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