There are many barriers for property owners who are considering adding commercial solar capabilities to their buildings. Barriers may include installation cost, installation time, debt financing, and structural integrity of the roof. To help combat these obstacles, solar installation providers are trying to find the best ways to reduce hurdles and make commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) more appealing.
For instance, a few companies around the globe are rolling out re-deployable solar “pods,” modular systems that can be set up in a fraction of the time compared to traditional solar installs.
One such company is Scatec Solar, a Norwegian developer specializing in emerging markets. Scatec has designed a 200-kilowatt (kW) containerized solar PV system. Crews can install about one megawatt (MW) per week in this fashion. According to Scatec, the most cost-effective lease contract would have a power-purchase agreement period around 10 years. However, for higher rates, this could be shortened to as little as two years. Once the period is up, the panels can be removed and deployed elsewhere.
Another example involves the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which has announced funding for an Australian startup, Solpod. As part of their re-deployable solar strategy, Solpod will run a trial of re-deployable systems at 25 sites for a total of 2.5 MW. Additionally, Solpod’s racking system is fixed to the roof with an industrial-strength adhesive, eliminating the need to make rooftop penetrations or to install heavy ballast blocks on the roof.
Potentially, this design could sway a concerned building owner’s perspective, especially if the roof needs replaced in a few years or if they plan to move locations. Solpod’s product can even be chartered for a period to match a business’ lease, if renting their space.
So what does this mean for the future of solar? Simply put,
these modular, re-deployable solar systems could be a groundbreaking install
method for commercial properties everywhere.
Quickly catch up on the latest solar industry news…
Bifacial Solar Panels:
In January 2018, the Trump Administration introduced new trade tariffs targeted against China. The tariffs started at 30% and are set to step down by 5% every year until they expire in 2022. In June, the U.S. removed the 25% tariff on bifacial solar panels, as there is no major U.S. manufacturer producing them; therefore, there is no industry to protect. Four months later, the Trump Administration announced that effective October 28, 2018, the exemption would be rescinded.
In the latest twist, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has successfully won a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the withdrawal of the Section 201 import tariffs exemption on the importation of bifacial solar modules. TheTROis effective for 14 days through Nov. 21 unless the court rules on the matter earlier.
SunPower announced onNovember 11 that it plans to spin off its manufacturing business with a nearly $300 million investment by China’s Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor. The move would effectively split the company into two: one part focused on overseas solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing, the other focused on distributing and installing solar panels and energy storage.
Ultimately, the partnership with Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor to manufacture modules will form a new company, Maxeon Solar, that will be headquartered in Singapore. You can read more about this development here.
PV Patent Infringement:
Hanwha Q Cells attempted to shut competitors out of the U.S. market by filing a complaint in March that Longi Solar, Jinko Solar, and REC Group were all infringing on a patent filed in 2008. It now appears that all three companies will emerge victorious, as the case is now stayed with a judgment of non-infringement expected in the coming weeks, according to a filing from the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Hanwha does have a few avenues to challenge the outcome, and the company
stated in an email that it plans to “immediately appeal” the
determination to commissioners once possible.
What is the most valuable resource in the world? If you said time, I can’t argue with that… However, if you said a commodity like gold, coal, or even oil, you may be shocked to learn that not even these precious natural resources compare to the inherent value of a certain intangible object. I’m talking about data — more specifically, the data that allows us to make mission-critical decisions about building health.
We live in a period known as “The Digital Revolution,” where
the once groundbreaking mechanical inventions of the 20th century have
been enhanced by the digitization of computer software and automated control
systems. Bookkeeping now consists of populating Microsoft Excel worksheets,
medical records are now analyzed by computers, and checks can now be deposited
with a smartphone camera. These advances in technology have, without a doubt,
made our lives easier. However, many of us are overlooking the most valuable
byproduct of using these machines, which is the collected data itself.
The practice of interrelating computing devices for the sake of transferring data over a digital network is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). This shared system of information allows us to collect data using multiple machines to ultimately assist humans in making better decisions.
Melink Corporation has always strived to be ahead of the curve when it comes to modernizing its products for better data acquisition.
For instance, our Intelli-Hood® kitchen ventilation system was the first of its kind back in the early 1990s. Our engineers have since continued to evolve its firmware to better integrate with building automation systems so that building owners can more closely monitor energy consumption. Users can log in to a cloud-based portal to extract real-time data to better manage their utilities. Thirty years after its inception, Melink continues to lead the industry by advancing green energy building solutions.
In February 2019, Melink Corporation pushed the envelope for how building owners keep their workspaces healthy by launching a new product that is the first of its kind. Much like how a smartwatch can closely monitor your physical health, PositiV™ is a device that monitors your building’s health.
About the size of a thermostat, PositiV ™ houses a variety of sensors to detect temperature, relative humidity, CO2 levels, and building pressure. This data is collected and transferred to our online portal where users can view the live data and trend it over time. For facilities managers who operate a network of buildings across multiple cities and states, PositiV™ allows them access critical data that can both justify costly HVAC improvements and warn against sick building syndrome. How is this possible? Melink’s software developers have implemented machine-learning algorithms and data visualization tools to harness the full potential of this invaluable building health data. After all, data means almost nothing if it’s not thoroughly analyzed and effectively interpreted.
Similar to how doctors check blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body temperature to diagnose a patient, PositiV™ can connect seemingly unrelated data sets to draw conclusions about building health.
Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.
Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.
Analytics cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.
Preference cookies enable a website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.
Unclassified cookies are cookies that we are in the process of classifying, together with the providers of individual cookies.
Cookies are small text files that can be used by websites to make a user's experience more efficient. The law states that we can store cookies on your device if they are strictly necessary for the operation of this site. For all other types of cookies we need your permission. This site uses different types of cookies. Some cookies are placed by third party services that appear on our pages.