Hardware brief: 48 hour PE stamps, 23% flexible cells, monoPERC pricing down, 73% less aluminum, more!

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Once a residential solar power system gets within a reasonable price-payback period, homeowners begin to consider aesthetics as the number one issue. And reality is, even if the payback is great, some buyers will still stay out due to curbside appeal of their largest savings account. “Viridian Solar has granted Unirac an exclusive license to manufacture, market and sell the Clearline fusion roof-integrated solar technology in the US and Latin American markets. Roof integrated panels sit lower to the roofline, without brackets and racking on show, to look like an intended part of the roof. The roof covering can be easily maintained or replaced without the cost of dismantling a solar installation. Problems associated with bird infestation are avoided. Installation times of less than 1 hour per kilowatt-peak are easily attainable. Our patented connection method means that panels are simply pushed together to create a weather-tight and secure fixing.” – Source – Viridian – two pdfs: Clearline Fusion Brochure and Clearline Fusion Installation Guide

 

Most often we chat about module, single axis tracker and inverter innovation – because those are the cool, shiny things. Innovation comes from many places: “Surveyors who use the IMGING platform for site surveys can now order full plan sets, including engineering and electrical stamps from Loveland Innovations. Plan sets will be delivered following an IMGING survey, within 48 hours of ordering them. The IMGING platform uses patented flight capabilities to automatically capture aerial data, such as roof and horizon imagery. IMGING is available as a standalone Apple® iOS app used alongside a DJI™ Phantom™ 4 Pro or DJI Mavic™  2 Pro or as a complete, ready-to-fly site surveying kit ordered directly from Loveland Innovations. Each IMGING kit includes access to training for FAA certifications as well as drone hardware, accessories, and app access.” Source – Loveland Innovations

 

Ecolibrium MetalX Racking

I’ve never used a railless racking system, seems a great idea if the forces needed to offer structural support exist – “MetalX delivers the lowest cost per watt with 73 percent less aluminum, no long rails, fewer attachments, shortened install time, and small components to fit 30-50mm modules. The simplified racking solution works on corrugated, standing seam and R-panel roofs. Three small components make up MetalX racking: the roof mount, universal XClamps secure modules ranging from 30-50 millimeters, and preassembled Couplings join modules structurally and electrically to create continuous structure and integrated bonding. Utilizing EcoX Universal technology, the No. 1 Rail-Less Racking System, no rails are needed and 300kW of racking fit on a single pallet.” Source – Ecolibrium Solar

And some hardware research: As of yet, the large majority of solar product are the solid frame, glass bound solar panels – but at 23% efficiency – there’s got to be some great use cases arising for flexible solar: “USA-based MiaSolé Hi-Tech Corp and European Solliance Solar Research have established a new world record power conversion efficiency of 23% on a flexible solar cell. The solar cell combines two thin-film solar cell technologies into a tandem solar cell stack: a top flexible semi-transparent perovskite solar cell with a bottom flexible copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) cell.” Source – MiaSole

Chinese manufacturers expressed dismay with the change in policy on bifacial modules, monoPERC module pricing still falling – suggestion of slow demand in China, cell prices and silicon were flat.