Soltec achieves 16.2% Bifacial Gain, Ohio State makes a potassium battery breakthrough: pvMB 9/18/19


Soltec SF7 Bifacial solar tracker attains Bifacial Gain of over 16.2% –Soltec has prepared a white paper that presents the results obtained from September of 2018 to June of 2019 at Soltec’s Bifacial Tracker Evaluation Center (BiTEC) in Livermore, California… BiTEC studied the bifacial gain of PV modules deployed in the two most common tracker configurations in the market today: one-in-portrait (1P) and two-in-portrait (2P). Initial results show that individual modules deployed in SF7 Bifacial tracker in 2P configuration exhibit a Bifacial Gain that is 2.1% higher than that of the same modules in 1P configuration. Besides that, this document shows that bifacial modules mounted un SF7 Bifacial solar trackers provide 16.2% more Bifacial Gain under high albedo conditions (around 58%) and 10.1% under medium albedo conditions (29%).” Source: Alt Energy Mag


Ohio State makes potassium battery breakthrough – Researchers have built a more efficient, more reliable potassium-oxygen battery… In a study published this month in the journal Batteries and Supercaps, researchers from The Ohio State University detailed their findings centering around the construction of the battery’s cathode, which stores the energy produced by a chemical reaction in a metal-oxygen or metal-air battery… Potassium-oxygen batteries have been a potential alternative for energy storage since they were invented in 2013… As teams tried to create a potassium-oxygen battery that could be a viable storage solution, they kept running into a roadblock: The battery degraded with each charge, never lasting longer than five or 10 charging cycles—far from enough to make the battery a cost-effective solution for storing power… Paul Gilmore, a doctoral candidate in Sundaresan’s lab, began incorporating polymers into the cathode to see if he might be able to protect the anode from oxygen. If he could find a way to do that, he thought, it would give potassium-oxygen batteries a shot at longer lives. It turned out he was right: The team realized that swelling in the polymer played a vital role in its performance. Source: Ohio State University


Michigan agreement paves the way for 7 school districts to buy electric buses – The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Fuel Transformation Program has been signed, meaning that seven state school districts will be receiving funding to use electric buses. Ann Arbor, Gaylord, Kalamazoo, Oxford, Roseville, Three Rivers and Zeeland school districts will receive a total of $4.2 million, which will be used to pay for up to 70 percent of the costs associated with buying 17 zero-emission buses, as well as Level 2 and DC Fast Charging stations. Source: Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy


Extensible Energy launches virtual battery – “Extensible Energy™ has released DemandEx™, an inexpensive “virtual battery” for reducing demand charges and increasing ROI for commercial solar projects. The award-winning SaaS solution is easily integrated into new or existing commercial solar systems and can be used to decrease the cost and size of energy storage. DemandEx uses proprietary AI algorithms to analyze real-time solar production, weather data, utility rates, and building usage patterns. It then dynamically controls the building’s flexible loads for optimized demand charge and Time-Of-Use (TOU) savings. After a one-day installation, the software automatically anticipates and prevents peak demand spikes, delivering 30% savings on the demand charge portion of the utility bill.” Source: Extensible Energy


Protests in New Orleans over attempt to gut net metering – Prior to the gutting of net metering in Louisiana, citizens came out in drives to protest the assault on solar in the state. While unsuccessful, the protest shows that not only are utilities not acting in the best interests of their customers, but state regulatory bodies are going against the ideals held by the citizens they were created to represent and protect. With a strong citizen base of support, there is a glimmer of hope for the Louisiana solar industry. Source: Fox 8

UCal Berkeley partners with Envision Solar for on-campus EV chargers – Two units! That’s right a whole two Ev chargers are headed to the campus of the University of California Berkeley, thanks to a purchase agreement between the school and Envision Solar. While two units doesn’t sound like a lot, they pair represent the potential to charge 6 vehicles at once – no small feat. The charger uses p tracking technology in order to generate up to 25 percent more electricity than a fixed array. Source: Envision Solar

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