Hardware Brief: 26.5¢/W modules, new silicon carbide inverters, dual axis tracker 4 year ROI, drones!!


There are many large fields of oil land, if we can figure out how to turn that into oil+solar land, we’ll move our machine further along. Maybe one day we can capture the carbon and turn it into graphene and fuel and plastics! “Our exploration services focus on our ability to locate ferrous objects using aerial magnetometer technology. These systems allow us to conduct surveys that are too large or inaccessible for ground-based methods and too costly or impractical for manned aeromagnetic surveys. Drone magnetic surveying is all we do.” Source – Drone Magnetic Survey Company

Beginning of commercial and industrial solar career was at Beghelli, and they had a high concentration pv dual axis tracker. It was beautiful. I’ve installed a residential dual axis tracker in a pure offgrid situation, much love. This is a really interesting use case. “Due to its cost-benefit, the Mechatron tracker enables a return on investment of fewer than four years. The total cost of this project was $368,000 compared to an equivalent carport canopy system at $733,300 — an overwhelming 49% capital investment reduction. The energy savings of the Mechatron system, along with the 30% federal investment tax credit for solar installations, and a 5-year MACRS accelerated asset depreciation, results in a rapid 3.5 years ROI for the Kahala Carport investment versus an average seven to nine-year ROI for fixed-tilt canopies.” Source – Mechatron (article gives a few more finance numbers in addition to our copy-paste above)

Silicon Carbide – I think this will make inverters smaller, lighter, and cheaper – plus easier to install because lighter, lowering system costs. “KACO new energy GmbH has extended its range of string inverters for 1,500 Volt projects by five devices. The blueplanet 87.0 TL3 and blueplanet 92.0 TL3 are suitable for solar power plants on commercial and industrial roofs. Since 1,500 Volt technology is an emerging trend in the solar roof sector, both inverters are also suitable for solar modules with 1,000 Volts. The blueplanet 92.0 TL3 features a nominal AC voltage of 400 Volts: It can therefore be connected to the low-voltage distribution system without a transformer. New inverters with 110, 137 and 150 kilowatts of output are available to planners and builders of large, utility-scale solar power plants.” Source – Kaco

Multi-crystalline modules as low as 21¢/Wdc – if you’re in the USA buying this product, that means 26.5¢/W before shipping China. That 40′ shipping container might hold up to 675 72-cell modules, 330W each in a container – 220,750 watts total – that costs about $4,000 to get from China to LA, and then $1,500 for shipping to western cities- we’ve got an extra 2.5¢/Wdc for shipping – totalling 29¢/Wdc delivered.


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