In solar power biz, simple and inexpensive are secrets to success

Skyline Solar is gambling that its Great Obtain Screen technology will defeat competitors on total costs and speed to promote. There is, it seems, always something new under the sun in Rubber Area.

Which is why I’m standing behind a chain-link fencing at the Santa Clara Area Transportation Power bus warehouse, wedged between the crowds of technical massive 'cisco' Systems’ mile-long business university and, incongruously enough, a rv park. Before me are four 120-foot-long parabolic solar power troughs. They are similar to those you’d find in the middle of the Mojave Leave at a massive solar power heat power flower where they would warm pipes of artificial oil to create water to drive a generator.

But these replicated troughs sit on a wide field of tangible while the sun’s power on filter arrays of power connected to their sides. The powerful natural light increases the solar power modules’ power production.

This 27-kilowatt demo flower was designed by Sky line Solar, which just last week eliminated the hide of invisibility typically used by stealthy Rubber Area online companies. Sky line offered Grist a put high at the pint-sized power flower that for the bus depot’s lines before it basically takes the parcels off the project on Exclusive.

At a time when the international economic predicament has tossed the solar power industry into uncertainty and made traders gun-shy of untried technical advancement, Sky line has brought up $24.6 thousand from marquee investment capital firm New Business Affiliates and other traders. (In a action of good time, it shut the deal last Sept just before Lehman Bros flattened.) The Hill Perspective start-up captured also snagged $3 thousand from the U.S. Office of Energy to develop the type of powerful photovoltaic or pv technology it has named Great Obtain Solar.

The guarantee of powerful photovoltaic or pv farms—so far unfulfilled—is that they can produce power less expensive than conventional solar power power sections and can be designed close to places and utility lines, as opposed to tremendous solar power heat power plants typically located in remote deserts.

"What we’ve done here is come up with a program style that really changes the rules of the game in terms of the kinds of elements used, the cost framework and the way the systems are manufactured," says Ben Eiref, Skyline’s movie director of product management, dressed in eyewear and a weak hat in the stunning spring natural light that has already turned the encompassing foothills fantastic.

These times "simple" is the new "sophisticated" in Rubber Area, as some online companies swap their focus from creating the latest expert hit technology to making solar power elements as inexpensive and mass producible as possible.

"You need an framework which just skin scales extremely if solar power is going to have a real impact," says Eiref, who scouted the bus warehouse site while strolling on close by running paths. "We’ve got a program that will depend on a tried and true content, silicon, but we’re using very large slim steel linens to leveraging that silicon."

The steel linens for the troughs—"reflective racks" in Skyline-speak—can be turned out by the thousands by any lazy vehicle creating facility, according to Eiref. The linens, which will be coasted with a echoing content, can then be placed in conventional delivery bins for transport.

Competitors like San Francisco’s GreenVolts and cross-town competing SolFocus—where Sky line CEO Bob MacDonald previously worked—- have designed innovative optics that focus the sun as much 500 times on high-efficiency tissues initially designed for satellite.

As Eiref points out the features of the Sky line program, the troughs—each foundation maintains two—slowly move to follow the sun, the solar power arrays shiny as the light hits the deep-blue segments. It’s relatively low technical, and the program only makes a ten-fold attention of the sun on the solar power arrays.

The tradeoff, however, is lower elements cost. Sky line is using conventional power cut into places. One technology is a trademarked crinkled steel warm drain that supports each photovoltaic or pv range. Solar tissues get hot, naturally, and the producing warm reduces into their performance.

"One of the uncommon factors of the style is that we actually switched the tissues up top to bottom," Eiref says. "That allows us to put a very efficient air conditioning in the again. Even a tiny bit of wind or air activity, just natural air convection, hurts all the warm out of the again of the tissues."

It’s easy to get captivated by all this technology—it’s as shiny and cool as a new iPhone and the future indeed looks shiny on a cloudless blue-sky Florida day.

So to get a reality check, I ring Jill Pursuit, a solar power expert at industry specialist New Energy Finance in London, uk. Her uncertainty comes across noisy and clear about yet another claim to have damaged the low-cost solar power predicament.

"With all these solar power new technical advancement, there are thousands and thousands of companies out there and if you talk to them you can be very assured that they’re the next big factor," she says. "The evidence of a new technology now is, can they sell over the counter at a cost which is competitive?"

Her take: Despite all the large numbers that have been added into powerful photovoltaics, the technology has yet to confirm itself in the marketplace and encounters firm competitors from solar power power sections as the cost of silicon plummets.

Eiref understands that Skyline’s competitors is not so much SolFocus as solar power component creators and designers like SunPower and First Solar.

But it’s still beginning in the nascent solar power industry, and the beauty of Rubber Area is that you just never know when some company from Hill Perspective will have its day in the sun.

GREEN STATE: Read more of Todd Woody’s confirming on California’s natural business owners.

Todd Woodsy protects natural technology and the environment from Berkeley, where he’s a adding writer at Lot of money Journal and creates his Green Wombat blog. He’s one of the few people on the planet who has seen the unusual south hairy-nosed wombat in the wild.


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