California-based EchoFirst, formerly known as PVT Solar, makes an interesting Echo solar system that I noticed locally on the Solaris homes (Style A/Style B) in Daybreak, Utah. It’s the kind of system that could work wonders for a lot of homes because Echo delivers more than just electricity from photovoltaic panels. Echo captures air from under the panels to provide home heating, home cooling, water heating, and fresh air ventilation.
The small wind market is doing well these days with lots of new companies popping up all the time. Since 2007, Urban Green Energy, one of these newish companies, has been expanding and growing — their vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) has been installed in 48 countries. One of their most recent installations was broadcast to the world last month on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (pictured).
The U.S. market for small wind turbines — those rated 100 kilowatts or less — grew 15% in 2009 with the installation of about 10,000 new units, according to the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Global Market Study in 2010. In the same report, AWEA found that the largest manufacturer of these turbines in terms of kilowatts sold is Arizona-based Southwest Windpower. I had the opportunity to email with the company’s marketing director, Miriam Robbins, and she was kind enough to share what’s new with Southwest Windpower.
Sunnovations, a Virginia-based start-up, is seeing more and more interest in its unique solar thermal technology and just closed a Series A round of financing led by Two Seven Ventures. That technology is explained in the attached images, and it may just make solar water heating a no-brainer for every home in the country. The system is relatively affordable, easy to install, and simple to maintain, according to the company.