New tool determines value of solar photovoltaic power systems

Typically, appraisers develop the value of a property improvement based on comparable properties with similar improvements as well as prevailing market conditions.The tool uses an Excel spreadsheet, tied to real-time lending information and market fluctuations, to determine the worth of a PV system. An appraiser enters such variables as the ZIP code where the system is located, the system size in watts, the derate factor — which takes into account shading and other factors that affect a system’s output — tracking, tilt and azimuth, along with a few other factors, and the spreadsheet returns the value of the system as a function of a pre-determined risk spread.The tool is being embraced by the Appraisal Institute, which is the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.Although the tool is licensed for solar PV installations, it could be used for other large green features in a home that generate income, such as wind turbines.

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New tool determines value of solar photovoltaic power systems

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Metal particle generates new hope for hydrogen energy

Led by Associate Professor Greg Metha, Head of Chemistry, the researchers are exploring how the metal nanoparticles act as highly efficient catalysts in using solar radiation to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. “Efficient and direct production of hydrogen from solar radiation provides a renewable energy source that is the pinnacle of clean energy,” said Associate Professor Greg Metha. “We believe this work will contribute significantly to the global effort to convert solar energy into portable chemical energy.”

Inkjet printing could change the face of solar energy industry

Inkjet printers, a low-cost technology that in recent decades has revolutionized home and small office printing, may soon offer similar benefits for the future of solar energy. Engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a way for the first time to create successful “CIGS” solar devices with inkjet printing, in work that reduces raw material waste by 90 percent and will significantly lower the cost of producing solar energy cells with some very promising compounds.

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