Cleantech Roundup: Tigo Energy, Blue Bird, Mitrex, and more

Cleantech roundup


Another week, another bunch of announcements! To stay up to date on what’s new, check out this latest cleantech product roundup:

Optimizer for 700 W modules

Tigo Energy Inc., a California-based provider of solar module-level power electronics (MLPE) solutions, announced a new version of its TS4-A-O optimizer with an increased rated module power of up to 700 W.

Image: Tigo Energy

Tigo said the IEC-certified optimizer has one of the highest per-module wattages among commercially available optimizers on the market, enabling it to work with the newest PV solutions, including high-efficiency and bifacial modules. The company said that the product retains the same form factor as the previous-generation TS4-A-O, and works with the same equipment that installers are familiar with. More info available here.

Mini cell manufacturing

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Taiwan University have developed a new manufacturing process for mini perovskite solar modules that is claimed to overcome key bottlenecks in large-scale production.

Image: Los Alamos National Laboratory

“The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from a solar module includes power conversion efficiency, module lifetime, and the production cost,” research co-author Leeyih Wang told pv magazine. “We think our study has provided a solution for all three factors, as the high-efficiency demonstration and greatly extended lifetime from our module can contribute to lower the LCOE.” More info available here.

Rapid shutdown inverters

APsmart announced a new Photovoltaic Rapid Shutdown System (PVRSS) certification to the UL 1741 standard with several new inverters from Growatt.

Altogether, six Growatt inverter models, ranging from 3 kW to 6 kW, were tested by CSA and certified for use with APsmart’s photovoltaic rapid shutdown equipment. Among them is Growatt’s new single-phase hybrid inverter for both new and retrofit solar. Currently, the APsmart rapid shutdown solution is compatible with more than 120 inverter models from 11 brands. More info available here.

Solar-powered SUV

California-based electric vehicle startup Humble Motors revealed its concept SUV named the Humble One. Instead of a glass roof, the Humble One has more than 80 square feet of PV cells. The company said this generates enough electrical power to increase driving range by nearly 60 miles a day. The company said the Humble One has more than $20 million in pre-orders. More info available here.

Image: Humble Motors

EV home charger coverage

HomeServe, a provider of home repair warranties, and utility CenterPoint Energy partnered to enable CenterPoint’s electric vehicle-owning residential customers in Texas to buy coverage for their home EV charging systems.

The new product builds on an existing HomeServe repair service plan that covers problems with CenterPoint customers’ interior electric wiring. Starting a $8.99 a month, the no-deductible coverage will provide up to $500 in reimbursement for a Level 2 home EV charger that stops working due to normal wear and tear. More info available here.

BIPV roofs

Canadian solar manufacturer Mitrex said it is bringing its solar roof panels to market. The company said its building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology extends a home’s energy generating potential, allowing nearly all sun-touched rooftop surfaces to generate electricity.

Image: Mitrex

The solar roof panels can be installed on both new and existing homes. Mitrex’s products can also mimic the appearance of asphalt and slate shingles, with various colors and patterns available. The company said its frameless panels are designed to allow for more surface area coverage and are made with high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells. More information available here.

Free solar training

Racking manufacturer GameChange Solar partnered with Workrise, a Texas-based workforce management provider, to support free, hands-on training for students interested in joining the renewable energy industry.

Image: GameChange

The two-day training course will be offered by Lone Star College in Houston, with both online and in-person classes. Students will learn the basics of installing utility-scale solar racking and modular equipment, as well as earn OSHA 10 certification. As part of the course, students will learn about GameChange Solar’s single-axis Genius Tracker system. The course will continue through the spring. More info available here.

Home storage for city program

Electriq Power, a home energy storage, management, and monitoring company, said that Parlier Home Solar selected it to develop and finance the City of Parlier, California’s, new Home Solar and Energy Efficiency Program. Electriq’s energy storage product, the PowerPod 2, will be used by the program.

Through the program’s power purchase agreement, virtually all of Parlier’s more than 4,000 homeowners will have access to a solar power system equipped with an Electriq PowerPod storage system. The Electriq PowerPod 2 comes standard with a cloud-based power management system. More info available here.

Bus-to-grid charging

Bus manufacturer Blue Bird Corp. delivered what it said is the first commercially operational DC fast-charge vehicle-to-grid (V2G)-capable school bus in North America. Powered by a Cummins PowerDrive EV system and using technology from Nuvve Holding Corp., the bus is one of two Blue Bird Type C electric buses to be delivered to two Illinois school districts.

Image: Blue Bird

Nuvve’s V2G platform allows the bus batteries to store energy and sell it to the grid when demand calls for it. The Nuvve V2G system can also be used to supply energy to the school and charge the buses during non-peak hours to reduce peak-consumption energy costs. Nuvve is installing its V2G DC charging stations at each site. More info available here.

IBM-supported digital platform

IBM and Raise Green, an investment marketplace for clean energy projects, developed a software solution using Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud, intended to empower people who want to start their own community solar energy businesses. This latest Beta test rollout of the Originator Engine follows an initial launch announced last year.

The Originator Engine combines multiple database standards, allows companies to create filings for the Securities and Exchange Commission, and offers investment opportunities through the Raise Green Investor Marketplace. The Originator Engine is designed to automate the process of creating and completing legal and financial documents by converting them into streamlined templates. More info available here.

Stackable storage solution

Blue Planet Energy launched Blue Ion HI, an energy storage offering for homes, businesses, and community resilience projects. Built on Blue Planet Energy’s Blue Ion technology, the stackable system is designed for streamlined installation.

Image: Blue Planet Energy

Its racking system allows installers to place and stack the lithium ferrous phosphate (LFP) battery modules, and to expand capacity in units of 8, 12, or 16 kWh as customers’ energy needs evolve, without system overhauling or additional accessories. The battery cells and modules are certified to safety standards in accordance with UL 9540A. More info available here.

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