THE SUN STREET JOURNAL.

8 Amazing Uses of Solar Energy

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Many of the benefits of solar energy can be seen in our daily lives. Solar panels convert sunlight directly to electricity, which can power a home or business. They also harness the heat from the sun to provide hot water or heat an entire business or building during the winter. The sun's energy can also be used to heat or cool large buildings, which will reduce our monthly electricity bill. And, of course, the different uses of solar energy is completely free.

The Different Uses of Solar Energy

The energy that the Sun gives off is converted by plants to create sugars and starches, and it is used by humans to heat water and electricity. But, solar energy is not available everywhere, so it is important to understand the different uses of solar energy. For example, we can use it to heat our houses and operate electrical appliances. And, if we use it for transportation, we can power buses and subways using PV energy.

PV energy is also used to power transportation. For example, PV energy can power buses, trains, subways, and airplanes. It can also be used to power spacecraft, and to make electricity in outer space. So, solar transportation is becoming a more common form of solar energy. But, the main benefit is in its use for heating water and electricity.

1. Key Challenges to Solar Electricity

There are two types of solar power systems – photovoltaics and concentrated solar power. Both use the sun’s energy to produce electricity. Photovoltaics use sunlight directly to create electricity, while concentrated solar power systems use lenses, mirrors, and solar tracking systems to focus sunlight. However, both are effective for producing clean electricity, and are a viable alternative to fossil fuels. These two types are best for homes, small businesses, and remote locations.

There are several key challenges to solar electricity, primarily related to its intermittent nature. First, the amount of solar electricity is variable. The amount produced varies with weather conditions and location. It also requires an array of complex controls to manage its production. Second, solar power can be inefficient. Because it is intermittent, it poses unique challenges for electric utilities. In the summer, utilities must match solar generation with peak cooling demand. Additionally, during winter, when solar electricity is not as reliable, solar power displaces other forms of generation and lowers capacity factors.

Third, solar electricity is intermittent and variable. Because of the day-night cycle and weather patterns, solar electricity poses special challenges for electric utilities. During summer and winter peak periods, utilities must match the solar supply to their daytime cooling requirements. During these periods, the energy produced by solar power must displace other sources of generation and increase the load on their grids. This means a high level of uncertainty for utility companies.

2. Solar Water Heating For Your Home

Solar water heating is a form of heating water through sunlight using a solar thermal collector. There are many types of solar water heating systems available, and each type has its own benefits and costs. Different models are suitable for different latitudes and climates. These systems are widely used for residential applications and some industrial ones. This article will explore some of the benefits of solar water heaters and how they can benefit your home.

Passive solar water heating systems are low maintenance and do not require any maintenance. Active systems require routine service, and you should refer to the owner’s manual for proper care. Simple solar water heating systems will need maintenance every three to five years. For more complex systems, consult a solar contractor or an installer. Some systems will need parts replaced after ten years. For more information, visit the solar energy website. Here’s a quick overview of the different types of systems.

The most basic type of solar water heating unit is an integral collector storage system (ICS). It works in climates with non-freezing temperatures. An ICS system consists of a black tank with a series of smaller copper tubes fastened to a roof. The increased surface area of the copper tubing makes it absorbs more heat than other materials and therefore loses less heat than conventional water heaters. An ICS system is typically used to pre-heat water for conventional heaters.

3. Solar Ventilation and its Benefits

Solar ventilation uses solar energy to heat and cool the air inside a building. The technology uses a ventilated collector. This type of system is highly efficient and low cost. The cost of using solar ventilation is competitive with other heating sources, including propane, electricity, and natural gas. The financial viability of installing a solar ventilation system depends on the needs of the building and the availability of solar resources in the area.

The preheat collectors are most efficient in industrial buildings, which need a large amount of ventilation air. They also look great with metal siding and can be used in visitor centers and recreation areas. Lastly, solar ventilation systems do not require any electrical input and have no running costs. The system is cost-effective, and it can cover areas ranging from 25 to 140 square meters. This system works by removing humidity and odors in the air and blowing fresh air into the building when the sun shines.

Solar ventilation preheat technology is particularly efficient in industrial buildings, where there is a need for lots of ventilation air. It can also be used in recreational areas, as it is compatible with metal siding. It can cost around $100 per square meter, but it can pay for itself in energy savings. In addition to industrial buildings, solar ventilators can be installed in buildings that require large amounts of ventilation air. If you have an industrial space, solar roof ventilation may be the best choice for you.

4. Solar Heating as One of the Uses of Solar Energy

Solar heating systems use heat energy from the sun’s rays to warm water. This fluid is then passed through a domestic hot water unit. As the fluid inside the cylinder cools, the collector switches to a second circuit, which supports additional heating of the water. So, solar heat is the best way to warm your home during the coldest winter months. The main benefit of using solar energy for heating is its cost-effectiveness, especially compared to traditional heating methods.

The basic system for solar heating involves a combination cylinder and a domestic hot water unit. The water in the cylinder is heated by the fluid via the lower heat exchanger. As the temperature drops, the second circuit turns on to support the additional heating of the water. This is a more efficient system than an old one but it is still a great way to save on energy costs. It also makes a home more environmentally-friendly.

5. How Does Solar Lighting Work?

Solar lighting is a new concept that has gained popularity in recent years of being one of the uses of solar energy. It is a clean alternative energy source that provides light in a variety of applications. A solar lamp, also known as a solar lantern, consists of a LED lamp, solar panels, a battery, a charge controller, and an inverter. Using solar energy, the lamp produces its own power. The LED light is used to illuminate a space and is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Solar lighting is easy to install and requires no wiring, making it a great choice for outdoor and indoor lighting. There are different types of solar lights, including outdoor solar string lights, which can be hung in arbors, trees, shrubs, and even archways. There are also different kinds of solar deck lights, which are mounted on walls, steps, and patios. These solar-powered lights are an eco-friendly way to create intimate lighting without creating a tripping hazard. 

Solar lighting systems work by capturing sunlight and guiding it through optical fibers. These systems consist of large mirrored dishes that are adjusted to direct sunlight onto 127 optical fibers. The optical fibers are then conducted into a single chord and then connected to a hybrid light fixture. These fixtures connect to diffuser rods to give off a variety of light. With a single system, eight hybrid light fixtures can be powered by one solar collector.

solar lights

6. Portable Solar Panels

A portable solar panel is one of the easiest ways to generate electricity on the road, but it requires some additional devices to work. These devices include a battery, charge controller, and inverter. The amount of energy produced by a portable solar panel depends on its size and exposure to sunlight. The best solar conditions are found in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Utah. For people who need a larger amount of power, they should consider buying a smaller panel with a metal frame.

Some portable solar panels can be hooked up directly to your mobile device. Others can be connected to small appliances to power them while the sun is shining. The direct sunlight method is not always reliable and may result in inconsistent charging. For this reason, it is important to choose a portable solar panel with strong panels that will capture the energy and store it in a battery. Considering the weight of the portable solar panel, it is important to consider the weight of the device.

If you’re looking for a portable solar panel that can power a smartphone, tablet, or even a laptop computer, it is recommended to purchase one with a 10-amp battery charger controller. This type of controller is necessary for a portable solar panel to provide enough power for your device. Besides that, some portable solar panels have kickstand-like legs that can be positioned at varying angles. You should also consider how much weight the device is since some models can be quite heavy.

7. Solar Transportation Could Revolutionize Transportation

The advent of solar-powered transportation has revolutionized the transportation industry. A Solar Impulse 2 plane completed the first solar-powered flight around the world, with over 17,000 solar cells on the wings. Now, another company, Airbus, is developing a solar-powered aircraft that will eventually reach commercial service. Earlier this year, Solar Impulse successfully flew across the Pacific Ocean. A future version of this plane is expected to carry passengers from one end of the world to the other in just over twenty-five days.

The Solar Transportation team is developing technologies to move solar-generated electricity long distances. Scientists believe that by the end of the year, they can replace internal combustion engines. In the meantime, they will be able to use renewable energy resources to power the world. This means that the solar industry will be able to serve more customers and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. The company’s goal is to develop 1,000 solutions to help transport power from one end of the planet to the other.

Solar Energy has been gaining popularity in recent years, and it is no surprise that it has caught the attention of many industries. And the transportation industry is no exception.

 In 2013, Adelaide, Australia, introduced the world’s first solar-powered bus. The city council wanted to reduce carbon emissions, and 30% of its carbon emissions came from the city’s transportation sector. To promote solar-powered buses, the city’s city council was concerned with reducing its carbon emissions.

8. A BRIGHT SOLAR POWER FUTURE

A solar powered future is a possible future for mankind, but how can we get there? The IEA’s vision for 2050 calls for cutting carbon emissions by 50%, with solar energy providing about half of the energy. This would cut annual emissions to below 40 gigatons. However, even if we could achieve this goal, we’d still be leaving the world with a huge carbon footprint, which will have dire consequences for the climate and the environment.

In his book, Taming the Sun, Dr. Varun Sivaram paints two contrasting visions for the world. In the first, the society is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, causing dramatic effects on air pollution and climate change. In the second, society is able to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and air pollution by transitioning to carbon-free sources of energy. If this is a realistic goal, a Solar-Powered Future is a real possibility.

This book aims to change how the world views renewable energy. While many of us have a more optimistic view of the future, we must be realistic. We can’t predict the energy needs of tomorrow until we know how much solar energy will be needed in the future. The reliance on fossil fuels will result in a very bad future for humans and the planet. Therefore, we must be very careful in our choice of energy sources. A Solar-Powered Future will save the world. Begin your journey to a brighter future and see how much solar can impact your life!

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Enphase Energy

An American NASDAQ-listed energy technology company headquartered in Fremont, California. Enphase designs and manufactures software-driven home energy solutions that span solar generation, home energy storage and web-based monitoring and control. Enphase has shipped about thirty million solar microinverters, primarily into the residential and commercial markets in North America. Microinverters convert the direct current power from the solar panel (DC) directly into grid-compatible alternating current (AC) for use or export. Enphase was the first company to successfully commercialize the microinverter on a wide scale, and remains the market leader in their production.

History

Enphase Energy pioneered the concept of a microinverter. The basic idea behind a microinverter is to convert, manage and monitor energy per panel, rather than the entire array of panels. This reduces the size of the inverter that can be placed on the back of the panel, producing an “AC panel”. Such a system can be connected directly to the grid, or to each other to produce larger arrays. This contrasts with the traditional central inverter approach, where many panels are connected together in series on the DC-side and then run en-masse to a single larger inverter.

In the aftermath of the 2001 Telecoms crash, Martin Fornage of Cerent Corporation was looking for new projects. When he saw the low performance of the string inverter for the solar array on his ranch, he partnered with another Cerent engineer, Raghu Belur, and they formed PVI Solutions. The two tapped Paul Nahi to be CEO at the end of 2006, and Fornage, Belur and Nahi formed Enphase Energy, Inc. in early 2007. Thereafter, the first prototype microinverter was developed. With approximately $6 million in private equity by 2008, Enphase released its first product, the M175, to moderate success. Their 2nd generation product, 2009’s M190, was far more successful, with sales of about 400,000 units in 2009 and early 2010. Enphase quickly grew to 13% market share for residential systems by mid-2010, aiming for 20% by year-end.

They shipped their 500,000th inverter in early 2011, and their one millionth in September of the same year. The 3rd generation M215 was released in the summer of 2011, and had sold over a million of all models in 2011, bringing their installed base to 1.55 million inverters and 34.4% market share. A 4th generation, the M250, was released in 2013.

As of 2012, their inverters captured 53.5% market share for residential installations in the US, which represents 72% of the entire world micro-inverter market. This makes them the sixth largest inverter manufacturer, of any kind, worldwide.

In 2012 and 2013, Enphase experienced increasing pricing pressure due to rapidly falling prices in the inverter market. Market leaders faced market share erosion in the face of newer companies, most of them from the far east. However, in 2019, Enphase remains the leading supplier of solar microinverters globally.

Products

All Enphase microinverters are completely self contained power converters. In the case of a rooftop PV inverter, the unit will convert DC from a single solar panel into grid-compliant AC power, following the maximum power point of the panel. Since the “S” series microinverters (e.g. S280) all Enphase microinverters have been both Advanced Grid Function and Bidirectional power capable. This allows a microinverter to produce power in the DC-AC direction, for solar applications, or in the DC-AC and AC-DC directions, for battery use. The microinverter(s) in the Enphase battery products are exactly the same units as installed on the roof, with only software settings changed.

Legacy Products

The M175 was their first product, released in 2008. It was designed to output 175 Watts of AC power, but is capable of up to 5% over that. The M175 was packaged in a relatively large cast aluminum box, similar to the boxes used on cable tv amplifiers seen on telephone poles. Wiring was passed through the case using compression fittings and the inverters connected to each other using a twist-lock connection. A limited number of M210 models, based on the same generation system, were also available for a limited time.

Due to a high level of failures the M175 was recalled and replaced by the M190 in 2009. The M190 offers a slightly higher power rating of 190 Watts (peaking to 199). The system was packaged in a much smaller case, this time filled with epoxy potting material to handle heat dissipation, and built-in cable connections replacing the earlier compression fittings. The system was otherwise similar, using the same connectors and cabling as the M175, and the two designs could be mixed in a string. Like its predecessor the M175 the M190 has also been plagued by a high failure rate.

Around the same time the company also released the D380, which was essentially two M190’s in a single larger case. For small inverters like the M190, the case and its assembly represented a significant portion of the total cost of production, so by placing two in a single box that cost is spread out. The D380 also introduced a new inter-inverter cabling system based on a “drop cable” system. This placed a single connector on a short cable on the inverter, and used a separate cable with either one or three connectors on it. Arrays were constructed by linking together up to three D380s with a single drop cable, and then connecting them to other drop cables using larger twist-fit connectors.

In 2011 the entire lineup was replaced with the 3rd generation M215, combining the features of the M190 and D380 while improving reliability. Like the M190, the M215 was a single inverter, now in a much smaller box. Like the D380, the M215 used a trunk cabling system with short connector cables on the inverters. However, instead of one or three-drop cable, the M215’s Engage system, used a long roll of cables with connectors spliced into it. The installer cuts the Engage cable to the required length, and then caps the open ends that result.

In 2013 the M250 was released, offering a new grounding system (Integrated Ground – IG) that eliminates the otherwise NEC – required external grounding conductor, increased reliability, and increased efficiency (96.5%), along with a rating bump to 250W. Whereas previous models were all named after the maximum power rating, the M250 actually refers to its peak power. Using the same convention the M190 would be called the M199. The M250 is otherwise identical to the earlier M215 (which also was upgraded with IG) and compatible with the same Engage cabling system.

All Enphase models use power line communications to pass monitoring data between the inverters and the Envoy communications gateway. The Envoy stores daily performance data for up to a year, and, when available, allows Enphase’s Enlighten web service to download data approximately every 15 minutes. Customers and installers can review the data on the Enlighten web site.

Current Products

In 2015 the company launched its fifth generation of products. The S230 and S280 microinverters have the highest efficiency for module-level power electronics at 97%, offer advanced grid functionality like reactive power control, and comply with regulatory requirements like Electric Rule 21 in California and Rule 14H in Hawaii. The next-gen Envoy-S offers revenue-grade metering of solar production, consumption monitoring, and integrated Wi-Fi. The company also moved into home energy storage with its Storage System featuring an AC Battery, a modular, 1.2kWh lithium-iron phosphate offering aimed at residential users that is part of a Home Energy Solution. The Home Energy Solution launched in Australia in mid-2016.

2017 began the introduction of the new IQ architecture, which uses a new cabling system. Two conductors, down from four, are integrated and compliant with electrical codes due to the use of GFCI, no need for a neutral and no conductive materials in the enclosure. The initial products were the IQ6 and IQ6+, followed in 2018 by the IQ7. In 2019 the IQ8 series will enable continuous power production during grid outages during daytime without the need for batteries.

Q Cells

Hanwha Q Cells (commonly known as simply Q CELLS) is a major manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, after being founded in 1999 in Talheim, Germany, where the company still has its engineering offices. Q Cells now operates as a subsidiary of Hanwha Solutions, an energy and petrochemical company.

Q Cells has manufacturing facilities in China, Malaysia, South Korea, and the United States. The company was the sixth-largest producer of solar cells in 2019, with shipments totaling 7.3 gigawatts.

History

In 1999, Anton Milner, Reiner Lemoine, Holger Feist, and Paul Grunow established Q Cells in an area of Thalheim, a part of former East Germany that had seen 50,000 people lose their jobs after German reunification. On 23 July 2001, the company produced its first working polycrystalline solar cell on its new production line in Thalheim. Q Cells would grow to become one of the world’s largest solar cell manufacturers, employing Over 2,000 people and encouraging other companies to open facilities in the surrounding area, which would come to be known as “Solar Valley.”

The company went public on 5 October 5, 2005, listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. High share prices during the initial public offering poured money into the company and made the founders wealthy. Lemoine died in 2006, and shortly thereafter, Fest and Grunow left the company to go back into research. Only Milner remained and served as the company’s CEO.

In 2005, Q-Cells established the CdTe PV manufacturer Calyxo. In November 2007, Q-Cells agreed a deal with Solar Fields, which intellectual property and assets were merged into Calyxo’s newly established subsidiary Calyxo USA. In 2011, Solar Fields took over Calyxo.

In 2008, Q-Cells acquired 17.9% stake in Renewable Energy Corporation. This stake was sold in 2009. At the same year, Q-Cells’ subsidiary Sontor merged with a thin-film company Solarfilm.

In June 2009, the company acquired Solibro, a joint venture it had established in 2006. Solibro manufactured thin-film solar cells based on copper-indium-gallium-diselenide. These modules were marketed until the sale of Solibro to Hanergy in 2012.

Q Cells was hit hard by the Great Recession in late 2008, with share prices slipping from over 80 euros to under 20. In response, the company laid off 500 employees. Milner resigned as CEO in early 2010, and by the end of the year, the company’s finances appeared to stabilize. Just a few months later, in 2011, the global solar cell market crashed, with production overcapacity driving prices extremely low. Q-Cells saw sales slide by around 1 billion euros, ran a loss of 846 million euros and on 3 April 2011, the company filed for bankruptcy.

In August 2012, the Hanwha Group, a large South Korean business conglomerate, agreed to acquire Q Cells, saying that it presented synergy opportunities. In 2010, Hanwha had purchased a 49.99% share in Chinese manufacturer Solarfun which had been renamed Hanwha SolarOne. SolarOne had been producing solar cells for Q Cells under contract.

hanwha q cells manufacturing facility
Q Cells manufacturing plant in Dalton, Georgia, United States

Due to high costs, production in Germany ceased in 2015, with Hanwha moving the work to its SolarOne facilities in China and newly opened manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and South Korea. In 2019, Q Cells opened another manufacturing facility in the United States.

In recent years, Hanwha has since worked to simplify the structure of units, merging SolarOne into Q Cells in December 2014, merging Q Cells and the company’s Advanced Materials (petrochemicals) group in 2018, Q Cells & Advanced Materials acquired a solar company operated by the Hanwha Chemicals group in 2019, and in 2020 Hanwha Q Cells & Advanced Materials merged with Hanwha Chemical to form the Hanwha Solutions group.

Operations

Q Cells develops and produces mono– and polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and solar panels. It produces and installs PV systems for commercial, industrial, and residential applications and provides EPC services for large-scale solar power plants.

The company’s engineering offices are located at the original headquarters in Thalheim, German. In the United States that have a production facility in Dalton, Georgia in the United States.

LG Chem

Often referred to as LG Chemical, is the largest Korean chemical company and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. It was the 10th largest chemical company in the world by sales in 2017. It was first established as the Lucky Chemical Industrial Corporation, which manufactured cosmetics. It is now solely a business-to-business company (consumer products division was spun off into LG Household & Health Care).

The company has eight factories in South Korea and a network of 29 business locations in 15 countries. The Financial Times reported on April 2, 2017, that LG Chem would be expanding battery production in China. At the time, China accounted for one-third of the company’s total sales. In April 2019, LG Chem sued rival SK Innovation for allegedly stealing trade secrets for manufacturing electric vehicle batteries.

Business and product areas

LG Chem has three main business areas:

  • Basic materials and chemicals
  • Information technology and electronics materials
  • Energy solutions

Basic materials and chemicals

LG Chem is a supplier of petrochemicals ranging from basic distillates to specialty polymers. For example, it is a large producer of common plastics such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene-acrylonitrile resin (SAN), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It also produces raw materials and liquids, including plasticizers, specialty additives, alcohols, polyolefins, acrylic acid, synthetic rubber, styrenics, performance polymers, engineering plastics, elastomers, conductive resins, and other chemicals.

Information technology and electronics materials

LG Chem supplies display and optical films, polarizers, printed circuit materials, and toners. It also supplies LCD polarizers, which are multi-layer sheets of film applied to the top and bottom surfaces of TFT-LCD panels to transmit the light from the backlight unit through the panel, and 3D FPR (film-type patterned retarder) film, which enables three-dimensional viewing.

Energy solutions

LG Chem completed development and began mass production of Korea’s first lithium-ion batteries back in 1999. At the end of 2011, LG Chem was the world’s third-largest maker with an annual production capacity of 1 billion cells. It is also a supplier of automotive battery for electric vehicles, such as the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Volt and Renault ZOE.

LG Chem Michigan is a wholly owned subsidiary of LG Chem based in Holland, Michigan which operates a plant to manufacture advanced battery cells for electric vehicles in Holland, Michigan. The US$303 million Holland plant received 50% of its funding from U.S. Department of Energy matching stimulus funds, and started manufacturing battery systems in 2013. The plant can produce enough cells per year to build between 50,000 and 200,000 battery packs for electric cars and hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt by General Motors, the Ford Focus Electric, and upcoming plug-in electric vehicles from other carmakers. Its research and development arm, called LG Chem Power, is based in nearby Troy, Michigan. LG Chem Power and LG Chem Michigan were originally one company called Compact Power, Inc.

Both the Chevrolet Volt and the Ford Focus Electric initially used cells manufactured in Korea by parent LG Chem and then later switched to cells produced in LG Chem Michigan’s Holland plant once it opened.

In September 2020, LG Chem unveiled its plan to publicly list its energy division under the name of LG Energy Solution by December.

Tesla

Is an American electric vehicle and clean energy company based in AustinTexasUnited States. Tesla designs and manufactures electric cars, battery energy storage from home to grid-scale, solar panels and solar roof tiles, and related products and services. Tesla is one of the world’s most valuable companies and remains the most valuable automaker in the world with a market cap of nearly $1 trillion. The company had the most sales of battery electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles, capturing 16% of the plug-in market (which includes plug-in hybrids) and 23% of the battery-electric (purely electric) market. Through its subsidiary Tesla Energy, the company develops and is a major installer of photovoltaic systems in the United States. Tesla Energy is also one of the largest global suppliers of battery energy storage systems, with 3 gigawatt-hours (GWh) installed in 2020.

Founded in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning as Tesla Motors, the company’s name is a tribute to inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla. In February 2004, via a US$6.5 million investment, X.com co-founder Elon Musk became the largest shareholder of the company and its chairman. He has served as CEO since 2008. According to Musk, the purpose of Tesla is to help expedite the move to sustainable transport and energy, obtained through electric vehicles and solar power. Tesla began production of its first car model, the Roadster, in 2009. This was followed by the Tesla Model S sedan in 2012, the Tesla Model X SUV in 2015, the Tesla Model 3 sedan in 2017, and the Tesla Model Y crossover in 2020. The Tesla Model 3 is the all-time best-selling plug-in electric car worldwide, and, in June 2021, became the first electric car to sell 1 million units globally. Tesla’s global vehicle sales were 499,550 units in 2020, a 35.8% increase over the previous year. In October 2021, Tesla’s market capitalization reached US$1 trillion, the sixth company to do so in U.S. history.

Tesla has been the subject of several lawsuits and controversies arising from statements and acts of CEO Elon Musk and from allegations of creative accounting, whistleblower retaliation, worker rights violations, and unresolved and dangerous technical problems with their products. In September 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered Tesla to submit data pertaining to all sold US vehicles equipped with Autopilot.

Tesla Energy products

Tesla subsidiary Tesla Energy develops, builds, sells and installs solar energy generation systems and battery energy storage products (as well as related products and services) to residential, commercial and industrial customers.

The subsidiary was created by the merger of Tesla’s existing battery energy storage products division with SolarCity, a solar energy company that Tesla acquired in 2016.

Tesla Energy’s generation products include solar panels (built by other companies for Tesla), the Tesla Solar Roof (a solar shingle system) and the Tesla Solar Inverter. Other products include the Powerwall (a home energy storage device) and the Powerpack and Megapack, which are large-scale energy storage systems.

In 2020, the company deployed solar energy systems capable of generating 205 megawatts (ranked third in U.S. residential solar installations) and deployed 3 gigawatt-hours of battery energy storage products.

Tesla Energy Software

Tesla has developed a software ecosystem to support its energy hardware products. Autobidder, Powerhub, Opticaster, Microgrid Controller and Virtual Machine Mode are the products that Tesla offers.

Solaredge

SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. is an Israel-headquartered provider of power optimizersolar inverter and monitoring systems for photovoltaic arrays. These products aim to increase energy output through module-level Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT). Established in 2006, the company has offices in the United States, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Israel. It is incorporated in Delaware.

History

SolarEdge was established in 2006 by Guy Sella, first CEO and Chairman, Lior Handelsman, VP of Product Strategy & Business Development, Yoav Galin, VP of R&D, Meir Adest, VP of Core Technologies and Amir Fishelov, Chief Software Architect.

The company is venture capital backed and investors include GE Energy Financial Services, Norwest Venture PartnersLightspeed Venture Partners, ORR Partners, Genesis Partners, Walden International, Vertex Ventures Israel, JP Asia Capital and Opus Capital Ventures.

At the end of 2009, the company started mass production of its products by electronic manufacturing services provider Flextronics International Ltd.

In 2010, the company shipped an estimated 250,000 power optimizers and 12,000 inverters – amounting to a total generation of 50 megawatts and 70% of the power optimizers market.

In March 2015, SolarEdge had an initial public offering of 7,000,000 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $18.00 per share, raising $126 million. The shares began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “SEDG.” Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank acted as joint book-running managers for the offering.

Following a battle with cancer, founder Guy Sella died in 2019. Former Global Sales VP Zvi Lando, was appointed acting CEO.

Tesla SolarEdge Partnership

SolarEdge was established in 2006 by Guy Sella, first CEO and Chairman, Lior Handelsman, VP of Product Strategy & Business Development, Yoav Galin, VP of R&D, Meir Adest, VP of Core Technologies and Amir Fishelov, Chief Software Architect.

The company is venture capital backed and investors include GE Energy Financial Services, Norwest Venture PartnersLightspeed Venture Partners, ORR Partners, Genesis Partners, Walden International, Vertex Ventures Israel, JP Asia Capital and Opus Capital Ventures.

At the end of 2009, the company started mass production of its products by electronic manufacturing services provider Flextronics International Ltd.

In 2010, the company shipped an estimated 250,000 power optimizers and 12,000 inverters – amounting to a total generation of 50 megawatts and 70% of the power optimizers market.

In March 2015, SolarEdge had an initial public offering of 7,000,000 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $18.00 per share, raising $126 million. The shares began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “SEDG.” Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank acted as joint book-running managers for the offering.

Following a battle with cancer, founder Guy Sella died in 2019. Former Global Sales VP Zvi Lando, was appointed acting CEO.

Schneider Electric Partnership

In October 2020, SolarEdge has partnered with Schneider Electric. This alliance is planned to provide a cohesive electricity environment for installers and device owners, while also accelerating solar installation experience across the region.

Introduction of Square D Energy Center

The Square D Energy Center is operated by Schneider Electric’s Wiser technology, along with Solaredge’s Energy Hub Inverter with Prism Technology, for home automation and electronic energy storage.

Background

Traditional PV systems are typically characterized by a centralized inverter or string inverter architecture*. In this topology the inverter performs MPPT for large quantities of solar panels as a whole. Since the solar panels are connected in series to form strings, the same current must flow through all the modules, so the solar inverter continuously adjusts the electric current in the system to find the average optimal working point of all the modules. As a result, potential power may be lost whenever a mismatch exists between modules.

*Panel mismatch is unavoidable in many cases, due to panel manufacturing tolerance, partial shading, uneven soiling, or uneven tilt angle. In addition, power may also be lost due to slow tracking of dynamic weather conditions caused by moving clouds, and on extremely hot or cold days when the system DC voltage may exceed the inverter’s permissible input voltage range*. These factors cause small losses in yearly yields, but they are present. Other drawbacks of traditional PV systems include:

  • System design is constrained by the need to match all strings’ length and orientation
  • Monitoring visibility and fault detection are limited to the inverter (or in some cases, to the string level)
  • High DC voltage is present as long as the sun is up, posing a possible risk of electrocution to installers, maintenance personnel and firefighters*

These drawbacks, however, can be mitigated by newer string inverters with advanced electronics and features such as dual, shade-tolerant and improved MPPT.

Acquisitions

In October 2018, SolarEdge announced agreements to acquire a major stake in Kokam, a South Korean provider of Lithium-ion battery cells, batteries and energy storage solutions.

In January 2019 SolarEdge announced the acquisition of a majority stake in SMRE – an italian EV/Powertrain manufacturer. SMRE has since been renamed to SOLAREDGE e-MOBILITY SpA.

Silfab Solar

Silfab Solar is a world-class manufacturer of solar panels, offering unparalleled performance and reliability for North American consumers. They have been recognized as one the largest module manufacturers in America with their process being specifically designed to meet our needs here at home!
As an organization that balances production between original equipment makers (OEM) partners like themselves; they make sure there’s always enough supply on hand so you can get your hands dirty installing or maintaining these beautiful energy generating devices today – without worry about running out anytime soon

Details

  • Company website: https://www.silfabsolar.com
  • Made in: Canada and North America
  • Product lines: Solar Panels
  • Warranty:  30 Year Linear Performance and 25 Year Limited Product Warranty
  • Company Type: Privately Held as Silfab Solar, Inc.
  • Year Founded: 2010 with Headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario (Canada)