The weekend read: A new test for trackers

The benefits of deploying bifacial solar panels on single-axis trackers are touted like snake oil these days, with promises of anywhere from 5 to 50% gains in energy output compared with a monofacial panel. Unfortunately, the field data that might delineate the actual energy gain of a bifacial panel on a tracker are hard to acquire, and the data that are available typically describe small-scale tests under tightly defined conditions.

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The weekend read: On track for quality improvement

China continues to grow in importance as a key source of components for solar trackers produced by the world’s leading tracker companies, in part since improvements in Chinese quality control have advanced significantly over the last few years.

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The weekend read: Tracker market is adapting to bifacial module technology

Solar tracker makers are bringing specially designed models to the market in order to embrace the coming wave of bifacial panels. While bifacial panels may capture up to 10% more light than monofacial panels, single-axis trackers typically add 25% to that bifacial gain, resulting in a roughly estimated 12.5% gain from the two technologies combined, compared with fixed installs using monofacial panels.

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NADB considers loan for Mexico’s largest PV plant, Puerto Libertad

If the loan is approved, it could close by the end of the month.

Rapper Akon lights up Africa with solar

Akon, the platinum-selling rapper, is lighting up Africa with solar lighting and other products thanks to a reported $1 billion credit line with Chinese manufacturers and a skill for celebrity networking.

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Over 128,000 California homes go solar in 2016

New data from state California Solar Initiative (CSI) program Go Solar California reports that over the first 10 months of 2016, a total of 128,485 Californian families went solar, according to California Citisuns, the solar consumer advocacy based in Sacramento. The total suggests a 2016 total of over 154,000 new solar homes in the state.

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Unmanned Mayflower solar trimaran aims to cross Atlantic

The Mayflower Autoship is being developed to sail under solar power from Plymouth, Devon to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 2020 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims journey aboard the original Mayflower in 1620. This would be the first Atlantic crossing by an unmanned solar vessel.

Array Technologies to roll out tracker services unit

Albuquerque-based Array plans to roll out a new services division to accompany its growing tracker business.

Mercedes-Benz enters the U.S. energy storage market

Move over Elon. Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas has entered the wide-open U.S. EV+storage market, cherry-picking former sonnen USA CEO Boris von Bormann to lead the charge.

ESNA Names First Storage Winners for 2016

Energy Storage North America (ESNA) has awarded several winners in its Innovation Award series during the organization’s annual conference this week in San Diego.

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