Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Limoneira Company Grows a New Solar Orchard - Harvests Energy from the Sun

SANTA PAULA, CA-(eSolarEnergyNews)--Limoneira  announced today that it would begin using solar energy at Porterville Ranch, part of the Company’s northern California operations. In 2008, Limoneira unveiled its first solar facility at its headquarters in Santa Paula to provide energy for its packing operations. The following year, additional solar capacity was added at the Company’s northern farming operations at Ducor Ranch.

Harold Edwards, Limoneira’s CEO, said, “Clean solar energy is positive for our Company, the communities in which we operate and for our planet. These projects are the right thing to do, and they’ve been successful.”

Limoneira is generating clean energy and capturing savings too. As energy costs continue to rise, the Company has locked in their electrical rates. The projects reduce their electrical costs from Southern California Edison by approximately 70%.

Mark Palamountain, Senior Director of Agricultural Operations, said that, “Limoneira’s solar facilities are capable of producing 3,900 megawatt hours annually or 97,500 MW over a 25-year period which equates to a reduction of 64,000 tons of CO2 emissions.”

Edwards said that, “Like its predecessors, we expect a good return from this new solar project. We’ll continue to evaluate projects that make sense for us.”

Technology has been advancing rapidly, and the project located at the Company’s Porterville Ranch, about 50 miles north of Bakersfield, California, is expected to deliver 385,000 KW yearly.
Limoneira’s Porterville Ranch is 669 acres with 650 acres of agricultural plantings consisting of approximately 145 acres of lemons, 376 acres of Navel oranges, 27 acres of Valencia oranges, and 102 acres of specialty citrus and other crops.

Limoneira’s sustainability efforts are extensive. In addition to solar energy, the Company has sustainable projects for green waste recycling, water, integrated pest management and work force housing a comprehensive overview can be found on the Company’s website.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

Toyota to Offer Solar Panels Again on Prius

When Toyota introduced the 2010 Prius years ago, the automaker offered an optional solar panel on the roof of the car. The idea to power your electric vehicle from direct sunlight is understandably appealing, but the system was actually only able to power the climate control inside the system and not the battery pack to power the vehicle.

While solar is great as a source of energy and something we follow diligently here, it requires a great deal of space to make it worthwhile for transportation applications. Toyota has said that it didn’t connect the previous $2000 Prius Solar Panel option directly to the engine because it caused radio interference with the car’s stereo. In reality, not much power would have been gained. The previous panels were 50watts or about a 6th of a solid 3’x5′ solar panel.

Now the Japanese automaker is bringing back the feature in the new 2017 Prius Plug-In, now renamed the ‘Prius Prime’, and it will reportedly be able to charge your battery pack to contribute to the vehicle’s electric range. Looking at the size, I’d guess it is at least 3-5 times bigger/more powerful than the previous Kyocera solar panel but even then, will it have a meaningful impact on driving/range?

Read the rest

Monday, June 13, 2016

Ubiquitous Energy’s Truly Transparent Solar Technology Demonstrated Globally in BMW Brand Stores

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Ubiquitous Energy, Inc., leader in transparent solar technology, is pleased to announce that its ClearView PowerTM technology is being demonstrated in BMW Brand Stores around the world this summer as part of BMW’s “i Exhibition.” The ClearView Power transparent photovoltaic coating is being displayed on 6-inch glass panels produced in Ubiquitous Energy’s Silicon Valley pilot production facility. The demonstrations will provide BMW customers and partners a glimpse of the new material that will allow windows to generate electricity.

The ClearView Power demonstration units were rolled out in the BMW Brand Store in Paris in mid-April. In the coming months, there will also be exhibits in Munich, Brussels, London, Shanghai, and Seoul where ClearView Power prototypes will be on display. “We’re delighted that BMW chose Ubiquitous Energy to participate in this global tour for innovative new technologies,” said Ubiquitous Energy CEO, Miles Barr. “The automotive industry has shown great interest in using our lightweight, transparent solar materials in next-generation vehicles.”

The BMW i Exhibition is taking place in BMW Brand Stores and BMW Driving Centers around the world and invites visitors to enter new holistic experiences. In order to achieve this goal, BMW partners with brands, artists, and startup companies to connect previously unfamiliar worlds and explore new dimensions. BMW invites these partners to jointly make use of the experiential formats as a platform to present both BMW and the partners in an unprecedented context.

SolarMax Technology Develops All-in-One, Fully Integrated Energy Storage System

RIVERSIDE, CA.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--While some of the industry’s largest solar companies have generated years of buzz over the promise of battery back-up power for the home, SolarMax Technology has become the first to develop and deliver an integrated, all-in-one-solution – all under one roof. The groundbreaking FLEX™ energy storage system hits the U.S. market this month.

Launch timing for the Riverside, California-based company couldn’t be better, particularly in states with a high propensity for power blackouts. In California, for example, more than 500 outages occur statewide each year. Annual report data from the state’s Public Utilities Commission shows that millions of utility customers were affected by power outages in 2014, the most recent year reported. With the onset of summer and triple digit heat in some places – and predicted power outages in regions like north LA County, where natural gas leaks have diminished generation capacity – that vulnerability figures to increase.

The 5kWh solution, designed by Li-Max Energy, provides battery stored power to keep key household appliances and other devices operating when the grid goes down. Unlike other offerings on the market, the FLEX™ requires no additional components or labor assembly by the customer. The two main wall-mounted components are fully integrated within the system. The integrated system design saves consumers thousands compared to existing “ala carte” solutions that require the purchase of separate component parts in order to achieve comparable functionality.

The lithium-ion powered battery packs plenty of electricity when fully charged – enough, in fact, to continuously power a laptop computer, two light bulbs, a flat-screen television and refrigerator for up to 8 hours. Customers can configure the FLEX™ to supply power to whatever circuits within the home that correspond to their most important needs.

SolarMax will focus its marketing efforts on existing solar customers, homeowners considering the value proposition of converting to solar, and even non-solar customers who simply want a reliable, ready source of power when blackouts occur. The latter group can purchase the FLEX™ through a product bundle that includes two SolarMax-branded photovoltaic panels.

“We believe there’s tremendous market potential, based on the pent-up demand and anticipation for a viable battery back-up system,” says SolarMax CEO David Hsu. “We avoided the speculative discussions and instead kept our efforts focused on the R&D and product development initiatives necessary to bring a fully integrated solution to the customer. The all-in-one design of the FLEX™ proves that we made the right decision.”

As exclusive worldwide distributor, SolarMax will market the integrated system through a network of distributors, dealers, utilities and retailers. Customers can also purchase the FLEX™ directly from the company.