Author Archives: daniel

number crunch: solar thermal vs. PV

 The calculations presented here depend on a large number of factors and may not apply to your case.  If you have numbers that differ from these, please let us know so other readers can benefit from your experience. —— Solar … Continue reading

Posted in renewable heat incentive, renooble, solar hot water, solar PV | Tagged | 2 Comments

the skinny on solar hot water

In 2004, the average UK household energy bill was £522. Last year, it was £1334.That’s a jump of over 150% in under a decade (1, 2). If you’ve started your attack on these numbers, then you know that insulation and smart usage are … Continue reading

Posted in renewable heat incentive, renooble, RHI, solar hot water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

making electricity out of sand: a short history of solar PV technology

To wrap up the series on solar PV, here’s a rundown of the science, brought to you by Alvaro. See this article if you’re looking for a practical introduction to solar PV.   In 1839, at age 19, a French physicist … Continue reading

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Partial shading is worse than it sounds.

This post addresses a problem specific to solar PV modules that use string_inverters, which are the most common kinds of inverters. For an introduction to solar PV technology, see my previous post.   Every manufacturer will tell you to avoid obstructions … Continue reading

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solar PV ABC's

There’s a lot of jargon out there. Let’s clear things up with some definitions. First off, you have to call it “Solar PV” because there are other kinds of solar power, like solar thermal and CSP. Generally, these other technologies … Continue reading

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status update: solar PV

the state of the market In case you missed it, the solar photovoltaics industry was this past decade’s hottest drama. Here’s a quick summary: ground-breaking innovations, shortage of raw materials, dubious intellectual property practices, oversupply, sub-cost dumping, bankruptcies, international lawsuits, … Continue reading

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2 Useful Maps

First off: Happy Noo Year! We’ve got some graphics to share, brought to you by our friend Sachin Navalkar. The first one combines wind speed and population density data, giving a more complete, more realistic image of where in the … Continue reading

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The Skinny on Small Wind

Summary: Wind is volatile. The conditions for effective wind harvesting greatly favor rural areas. Turbulence can be a problem for building-mounted turbines. Height above the ground makes a big difference. Feed-in Tariffs keep small wind economically viable in the UK. A … Continue reading

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