THURSDAY 24 JULY, 2014 |
Build A Better (Smaller) Inverter - Win A Million Bucks
Google wants to see the size of inverters shrink - and will award a million
dollars to the person or team that comes up with the best design.
An inverter in a grid
connected solar power system
is the largish box separate from the solar
panels that takes the DC current produced by the modules and converts it to AC;
suitable for use in the home or for exporting to the mains grid.†
In an off-grid
, the solar inverter performs a similar function, but converts
the DC power from a bank of deep
Google's "Little Box
" isn't looking for slightly smaller inverters, but a unit
that is around the size of a notebook computer - a reduction of more than 10 X
in volume of standard solar inverters today.
are already available, these are module level electronics and rated to up to
just a few hundred watts. Competition participants will need to develop a kW-scale inverter with
a power density of at least 50 Watts per cubic inch.
"We expect that the innovations inspired by this prize will have wide applicability across these areas, increasing efficiency, driving down costs, and opening up new uses cases that we canít imagine today. It also doesnít hurt that many of these improvements could make our data centers run more safely and efficiently."
Interested parties need register their team by September 30, 2014. By July next year, a technical approach and testing application must be completed. In October 2015, 18 finalists will be selected and the winner will be announced in January
Google will not require any IP (intellectual property) or licenses to be granted
to it, except a non-exclusive license that it says will be used only for the purpose of testing the inverter and publicizing the prize.
The company says it may also choose to make public "some or all of the teamsí high-level technical approach documents".
All Solar Inverters Are Equal
Vs Power Optimizers
Spotlight On Solar Mounting Systems At Clean Energy Week
Good quality and properly installed mounting frames are a crucial part of a
solar power system; but this critical element is sometimes not given the
attention it deserves.
The new CEC best practice mounting system framing list was launched at a Clean
Energy Week event on Wednesday.†
The list will help installers choose a framing system that has "clear install instructions and has a valid engineering certificate that includes a declaration from the engineer. This will reduce the use of non-compliant framing
systems," says the CEC.
One of the concerns regarding some mounting systems brought into Australia is
the lack of clear detail for installers. Some installation manuals are also
incomplete; leaving installers to "wing it" in certain scenarios - a less than ideal
situation when a substantial investment and consumer safety are involved. While
imported systems may have been signed off by a structural engineer; that
engineer may not be based or trained in Australia.
One of the mounting systems on the CEC's best practice list is the Australian
designed and manufactured SunLock
Robust, fast to install and compliant with relevant standards including
AS/NZS1170.2:2011/Amdt 2:2012; the engineering and compliance certificates that
accompany the highly detailed installation manual are supplied by Australian registered structural engineers.
The SunLock continuous professional development (CPD) course has also been accredited by the Clean Energy Council.
For installers, the SunLock system provides a strong, economical and easy to work with
product to help ensure the job is done right.†For the end-consumer, it
offers peace of mind.
Given the concerns
associated with some imported mounted systems, consumers should be asking
a prospective installer "what brand of mounting system will you be
using?" - and doing their own due diligence on the product identified.
information about the SunLock range can be viewed on the SunLock web
SunLock is available for purchase from Apollo Energy
(retail). SunLock is part of the Energy Matters group of companies.
News for Wednesday 23 July, 2014
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