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Summary:

The good thing about the Solar Power International show is that every year it’s packed with companies showing off the latest solar tech advances, like prototypes of cutting edge thin film material and lightening quick robots that can stack solar panels. That’s also the difficult part: […]

SolarPower09ObamaAppliedThe good thing about the Solar Power International show is that every year it’s packed with companies showing off the latest solar tech advances, like prototypes of cutting edge thin film material and lightening quick robots that can stack solar panels. That’s also the difficult part: the massive three-room show floor is stuffed wall-to-wall with solar goods, making for tired feet and a whole lot of stuff to look at in a day (like this cut-out Obama prop in front of a sizable solar panel). But I spent Tuesday strolling the expo floor looking for the most interesting solar technology I could find.

Here’s what I saw:

Kyocera was showing off its solar roof for the 2010 Prius.
SolarPower09.Kyocera3

SolarPower09.Kyocera2

Akeena Solar was marketing its rooftop solar panel gear, the Andalay system, as the solar system that installers want to install. “Get untrained,” was the company’s motto and they tried to show attendees how simple the system was to set up.
SolarPower09.Andalay2

Enphase Energy makes a microinverter that converts direct current (DC) flowing out of panels into the alternating current (AC) used by the electric grid. Enphase told us back in June that it was planning to work with solar panel makers to embed the microinverter directly into the panel itself. Below are shots of Enphase’s microinverter, embedded in a panel (directly below) and separate (second down).
SolarPower09.Enphase1
SolarPower2009.Enphase2

Here’s a thin film solar prototype via SoloPower, a startup based in San Jose, Calif, which is slowing trying to move into commercial production. The prototype was at the 3M booth.
SolarPower09.SoloPower1

Like at last year’s show, the solar robots were in full effect!

SolarPower09.KamaxSolar1

SolarPower09.KuracRobot1

SolarPower09.RobotAdept

SolarPower09.FarucRobot2

Concentrating solar systems from Morgan Solar, Soliant, Sopogy and SolFocus (in that order):

SolarPower09.MorganSolar4

SolarPower09.MorganSolar5

SolarPower09.Soliant

SolarPower09.Sopogy1

SolarPower09.SolFocus2

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