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Merrit Jacobs

Apr 28, 2015
12:32

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I like your concept but you don't show how this device will interface to the house electrical system or to the power grid and both of these issues are more difficult than building a window based solar collector. I believe to be taken seriously you need to show how your proposed device will interface.

Wyatt Sanders

Apr 28, 2015
02:52

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Hi Mntjacobs, I would have answered this in the description but I reached my word limit for a lot of the questions, and the questions were more aimed at policy, or greenhouse emissions, so I'm glad you asked the question here. Okay, so our solar panels are connected on the Load-side of a service panel. This means they can plug into any power outlet, receptacle, or wall plug and use the existing wiring in your home. This is what allows them to be plug and play, without the need to hire a skilled solar contractor, or get building permits. A microinverter contained in the solar panel converts 24VDC electricity from the solar panel into 120VAC synchronous with the electric utility. They run in parallel and supplement the power the house receives thereby reducing the energy bought or received from the utility, and thereby reducing carbon emissions released in normal electricity production. Here's some more information: http://www.nmsu.edu/~tdi/pdf-resources/IAEI%20Jan-Feb%202013.pdf

Julie Barry

May 11, 2015
03:16

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I think this concept is very promising, and your proposal very well organized and responds to the criteria. Since you submitted it, Tesla has introduced the power wall as I'm sure you know. Can this technology be used with Plug and Play Solar, which would be particularly useful in areas without access to the electrical power grid?

Wyatt Sanders

May 11, 2015
05:36

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Hi Jbarry, Yes our technology and our application can be used in conjunction with the Tesla Power Wall, however that is not our recommended approach. Their batteries primarily use Lithium. Which must be water cooled in its operation to prevent overheating, and explosion. We feel that their application of a lithium battery to carry the full load of a building, and its installation on a wall present a fire hazard. Also it's use of lithium in the production cycle causes us to think that it's cycle is less than sustainable/environmentally friendly. We would recommend a battery system for grid integration that uses a more abundant ion like AHI Saltwater Ion batteries. A company named Aquion already has them in production and for sale comparable to Tesla, they just lack the same marketing fervor Tesla has. The reason we recommend this type of battery is because the ion being used is not a rare earth element like Lithium. Saltwater is also inherently non-flammable, abundant, and biodegradable. Admittedly cost per watt compared to Tesla's battery they are a little more expensive, but they also have some pretty important features. Here's an example: http://www.altestore.com/store/Deep-Cycle-Batteries/Batteries-Saltwater-Technology/Aquion-Energy-S20P-Pre-wired-Battery-Stack-48V/p11629/?gclid=CJ2qucvLusUCFQsTHwodWzAA8w

Cristina Miclea

May 17, 2015
01:17

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Thank you for creating this proposal! We look forward to reading the final version before June 13!

Wyatt Sanders

May 21, 2015
01:38

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Thank you cpmiclea, after reading my proposal do you think there's anything else we should improve or expand upon to improve our proposal? Thanks, Wyatt

Cristina Miclea

May 25, 2015
09:15

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Hi Wyatt, It looks like your proposal is generating some interesting discussions! Keep in mind that judges will not be looking at the information included in the comments section so the more information you can incorporate into the original proposal, the better! Perhaps some parts could be made more concise to free up some space for additional technical details (e.g. interface to electrical system). Building on the above questions, you could expand or prioritise the information that helps clarify the project's feasibility and applicability. Best wishes, Cristina

Vishal Bhavsar

Jun 7, 2015
01:53

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The concept is unique. Yes agree to your point where decentralised projects like these can result in reducing the peak demand. The project has immense potential. Will the work also look at: a. What happens when there are low solar radiation days? b. In days where the demand is not high, the excess electricity will it be stored in battery and than get utilised c. Your product should be under recommendation list of utility companies. They can develop and work on large scale deployment of this project. d. Do look at life cycle cost of this energy source. Solar is still a nascent industry and issue of disposal of this technology is still known? Regards, Vishal

Maryette Haggerty Perrault

Jun 11, 2015
09:22

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insitenrg, thanks for your proposal. I have some questions which I think might be best considered and addressed in your proposal. While I am not an electrical engineer or electrician, I have some concerns about the interface between the solar panel and the typical residential electrical system. The idea that the panel and microinverter can simply be plugged into any power outlet, receptacle, or wall plug seems like it could easily cause system overloads, short circuits, and grid interconnectivity issues. Is the intent that the circuit which the panel output is to be fed into isolated and, in effect 'islanded' (not connected to any other source of power i.e. the grid)? In order to use a diesel generator, even during a blackout, the homeowner must first disconnect entirely from the grid. How is this solar panel any different? What specific circuitry is required in order to have this truly be a plug (into the wall) and play system? How do you plan to educate your consumers? I fear that these panels could easily be installed on the north side of a home, in the shade of an evergreen tree where the solar irradiance is less than optimal. Will the units be available in different dimensions for different size windows? What is the rated kW output of each unit? Thank you!

Stevie Harison

Jun 12, 2015
04:16

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Hello from Indonesia, Good luck for your project proposal. Just review and make it completed before meet deadline tomorrow. Thank you,

Wyatt Sanders

Jun 14, 2015
03:41

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Hi Vishal, a. What happens when there are low solar radiation days? >Then there is less energy produced. That's why we account for 250 Sunny days out of 365 in our proposal. Solar panels can actually still produce energy during overcast days, just maybe about half as much. b. In days where the demand is not high, the excess electricity will it be stored in battery and than get utilised >We can do this but because of regulatory hurdles it costs more to incorporate batteries like you mention, it might cost anywhere from $20,000-$150,000 for us to get something approved like that. c. Your product should be under recommendation list of utility companies. They can develop and work on large scale deployment of this project. >We agree, and we actually want to work with utilities on a leasing program where they can lease solar panels to their customers, the utility makes money from the solar panel lease. And the utility reduces their carbon emissions which can save them in fines. d. Do look at life cycle cost of this energy source. Solar is still a nascent industry and issue of disposal of this technology is still known? >A solar panel is made of metal, plastic, glass, and solar cells. Metal and glass can easily be recycled. Plastic can be somewhat readily recycled. Some organizations have begun recycling solar panels such as PV Cycle: http://www.pvcycle.org/

Wyatt Sanders

Jun 14, 2015
04:34

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Hi Maryette, We employ a similar method of solar panel deployment to other installations. The only thing that the National Electric Code specifies is that the solar panels are connected to a dedicated circuit, to a dedicated breaker in the service panel. This works well, but from our tests it's unnecessary. You can have sources and loads on the same line, and it will not overload the line. I'll give you this example. You have 20 Amps coming from the utility over the breaker, If that circuit pulls more than 20 amps, it will trip the breaker. So you're using a 15 Amp load on the circuit, and you plug in solar panels that produce 10 Amps. Only 5 Amps are actually being supplied by the utility. 10 Amps are being supplied from your solar panels. There is no overloading here because it is a 20 Amp line, and breaker, but still only 15 Amps of capacity are being used on the line. If the energy can be used locally on the line, it will. Electricity always follows the path of least resistance. You need to understand that our solar panels + Microinverters are running in parallel with the utility. They are supplementing utility power. We are not replacing the utility (Not off-grid). When you plug the microinverter in, it actually waits for 5 minutes connected to the electricity from the utility. It "listens" for the frequency from the utility and it synchronizes, and begins outputting power in parallel with the utility. These are completely unlike a diesel generator. A generator is Asynchronous, a microinverter is Synchronous. Microinverters are grid-tied, on-grid connected systems. We've added a new picture to our proposal to better explain it. Microinverters must also meet UL1741, which specifies that if the primary-mover/utility/power company goes offline because of a grid outage, or powerline failure that the microinverter will disconnect and cease outputting electricity so as to not energize the line, and to prevent injury to line-men from the utility when they attempt to re-establish service. (Anti-islanding) We plan to educate our consumers by some friendlier videos, and graphics. A lot of the things you mentioned are things that the public needs to be aware of, the issue really comes in because there's a lot of technical things in play that are hard to communicate and convey to someone who's a potential consumer. To answer your final questions we plan to scale up from our minimum viable product to larger sizes that have larger outputs. Our smallest model is for a 2'x3' window (Smallest standard window), it will produce 125Watts, or 0.125kW, admittedly this isn't a tremendous amount of energy, but when combined with the insulating properties I expect the net energy effect on the home to be closer to 300 Watts, conserved/generated. Multiply that by the number of sunlight hours in the day (~5) and you get around 0.625kWh (solar only), to 1.5kWh (solar+energy efficiency) of net energy conserved/produced in a day. When we scale up to 3'x6' windows, etc. We can expect closer to 450 Watts of net energy conservation. We also hope to educate our consumers of best practices when installing our products so they can get the most benefit from them.

Chad Knutsen

Jul 10, 2015
03:04

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One idea, this may be another interesting forum for your project! http://www.quirky.com/ I would very much like to incorporate some of the ideas you've presented into my 3D Printed Hempcrete house designs. ( http://tinyurl.com/hempstone) You've developed something very cool. I look forward to watching your project progress! Chad K