Sunday, November 17, 2013

String vs Micro-inverters... I found a pretty good comparison.

Aussie Made Solar has a pretty good pro/con size-up of the micro-inverters (usually one per panel) and traditional string inverters (just one for the whole shebang.)

The biggest difference to me is the lifespan. The micro-inverters should last as long as the panels (25 years) while the string inverters are considered a success if they last 20% of that. But that is just one of the issues - they do a good job of thinking out several issues including the crew size.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

Oh, uparmoring the conduits for the highvoltage DC runs is also an expense that does not jump out until, well... it jumps out.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Securitizing Solar Backed Assets. Nice to see the rates are so reasonable

SolarCity announced some good news on their efforts to rap up parts of their business, sell them off as Securities and roll the money forward.

Street Insider has the story. They frame it as good news for SunPower and I suppose it is. Beating the rate you expected by 2% over a 13 year period is a pretty strong indication that your credit is good. So Congrats to SolarCity. I'm going to let them off the hook on predicting because it is a new market and until a match is found, it is just guess-work...

I'm foggy on how those instruments wrap up at the end. Who owns what. The security holders have their money back with the interest. I guess the contract for Power Purchase is still in play so the income still flows to SolarCity and there is no more debt to service... Maybe they can do it again?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Meyer Berger - Welcome to the Thunder Dome!

check 'em out:

A new flat panel hybrid from the Swiss company Meyer Berger.

One of the selling points is that they are made in Thune (Switzerland.)  In one of the press releases they are promoting its use as a geothermal probe recharge method. Smart. That would mean lower temps which means more electric production but the pumping cost are non trivial: 50 to 100 liters per hour (per panel) to keep it down to 80c. Obviously lower temps would require more pumping. The fittings are 10 mm diameter.

They reference vacuum technology but I do not see where it is folded into the design looking at the PDF cited above. It is patented but the patent may not be held by them? I could not find it.

Some more digging is in order I suppose.