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Solar-Powered Canopy for an Urban Tower

Turns out the Rhône Alpes team from France with the Canopea house won Solar Decathlon Europe held in Madrid.  Their home is actually the top of a conceptual “Nanotower” that the team proposed to bring single-family style living back to the urban core.  The top level acts like a rain forest’s canopy — hence the name — by collecting 95% of all solar energy and 30% of rainwater for the tower.  Canopea was built of a prefab CORE, site-built SKIN, and a SHELL capable of off-site fabrication as well.

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Plug and Play Solar by Go Green Solar

I’ve been watching plug-and-play solar systems like the one offered by SpinRay Energy to see how viable and affordable these can get.  It turns out GoGreenSolar.com just unveiled a similar system called the SunPlug Plug n’ Play Solar Kit.  The kit includes one 235-watt polycrystalline panel, a 120 VAC/60 Hz grid-tie inverter, racking mount, WiFi module for monitoring, and a connector to plug directly into an AC outlet.

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Colored Solar Panels Hit California Market

I really like the dark-blue/black look of solar PV, but I suppose there may be someone that needs a different color, whether for aesthetics, compliance, or branding, etc.  Colored Solar is trying to grab a toehold in this market with red, emerald green, forest green, and polished marble panels.  In terms of panel efficiency, NREL found there is little performance compromised for a 16%+ efficiency colored 225W panel, according to Colored Solar.

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