FLABEG Solar U.S. Corp. Opens New Solar Mirror Plant

FLABEG, global leader in high-tech glass and mirror applications, is opening a new production facility for solar mirrors which are used to help generate electricity at large-scale solar power plants. The new 209.00sq.ft manufacturing facility is erected in the Clinton Commerce Park near Pittsburgh International Airport.

The factory will have a annual capacity to deliver parabolic curved mirrors up to 450 MW for PT plants. This production site is therefore equipped to produce tempered solar mirrors in addition to the established monoliths, untempered mirrors.

“Our philosophy has undergone no change, nevertheless we want to be fully prepared for all possible changes in the law,” commenting FLABEG CEO Axel Buchholz on the extended production range. “We expect some federal states will introduce standards for safety glass for Concentrated Solar Power applications. Our core production will remain with untempered solar mirrors.”

Field tests indicate a breakage rate of 0.027% for FLABEG untempered solar mirrors. At such low levels breakage is not an issue.

“As always FLABEG continues to keep abreast oft he changing demands of the market,” says Buchholz. The facility will in future also be home to thinglass applications for Solar Dishes and Concentrated PV and also flat mirrors for Power Tower heliostats and Linear Fresnel power plants.

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Home Owners Find Energy Bill Cuts in Surprising Ways

Again, San Diego Gas & Electric raised its base rates for electricity and natural gas by some $136 million in 2008. We are also expecting successive annual base rate hikes of $44 million in 2010 and an additional $44 million in 2011. For the average residential customer, that translates to a 7% increase in their electricity bills from last year with additional raises in years ahead. While some homeowners are getting into buying expensive solar panels that will pay for themselves in 10 to 30 years, other rate-hike victims are finding energy cuts in surprising ways.

Your Solar Link was started by a LEED accredited professional and designers in an effort to educate local homeowners on the best available solar gadgets on the market.

“As a homeowner, I never thought that those little garden electric lights that are placed along my garden pathway actually can cost me up to $140 a year on my electricity bill? I do not need so much light to light up that trail, but the benefit of using solar pathway lights is enormous”, says Barbara White, who just purchased her first solar pathway lights that cost her only $64.99 for a set of 4.

Your Solar Link started as a hobby but quickly grew into something more. It became a place of contribution by its members and their clients. Your Solar Link doesn’t just sell solar powered products; it plants a TREE for every solar light that is purchased. So not only do you get the benefits of free energy, but you become part of a bigger movement for the future of our planet.

“It’s that simple, replacing your outdoor electric water fountain pump with a solar powered pump will save you around $100 a year. You can find little things around your house that can generate a pretty substantial amount of cash in your pocket by the end of a year: your garage light, your motion sensor lights, your lit home address or lit mailbox, spot lights for your trees, you name it! It adds up every quickly” says Mario Villalobos, one of the founders of Your Solar Link. “I am also surprised that the government, which is so concerned about night sky light pollution, is not interested more in using solar lights. Solar lights are easy to install, cost almost as much as a regular lights and are not as expensive as solar panel systems. Solar lights don’t emit as much light into the atmosphere as conventional electric lights, thus clearing up the sky at night. ”

What’s next for Your Solar Link? “We are in the process of setting up a recycling program for used solar lights. Some of the old solar lights that were sold before us, because of the poor quality, will be thrown out soon. We are looking into figuring out a way to take them apart and to recycle solar lights components,” the Team of Your Solar Link concluded.

For more information on Your Solar Link products visit: http://www.yoursolarlink.com.

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npower Funds Solar Panels For Swimming Centre

Funding from npower means that a swimming pool that is part of a multipurpose centre on the Stackpole Estate in Pembrokeshire has been installed with enough renewable technology to make it the largest collection of solar thermal panels across the National Trust.

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Funding from npower – as part of the National Trust Green Energy Fund – enabled a total of 19 flat-plate solar panels to be installed on the roof of the pool at the Stackpole Centre by local contractor West Wales Solar Heating. The Green Energy Fund project invests in small scale renewable energy generation and other carbon saving projects at Trust sites across Wales and England.

The Welsh produced solar panels now provide free heat to a pool that used to cost thousands of pounds a year to heat. The result is not only lower running costs for the Trust but another important small step towards lowering environmental impact and reducing climate changing carbon emissions

The project, which cost £18,000, will enable the pool’s water to be heated by the power of the sun; supplemented for now with a gas system but with plans to move to a biomass heating system in the near future. The system works by water continually being pumped from the pool into a storage tank where it is heated up by energy created from the solar panels.

Keith Jones, Environmental Practices Advisor for the National Trust in Wales, said: “The National Trust is committed to reducing our own energy footprint and in developing projects that can enable people to learn about adaptation and efficient resource use and saving money. This is the largest solar panel system of its kind within the National Trust, and it is estimated it will produce 58,400Kw every year or the equivalent of almost 160 electric heaters left on for an hour every day of the year (saving over a third of its previous energy consumption).

“As far as we were concerned this was a very simple calculation – an investment equivalent to 18 months’ worth of gas costs to heat the pool and it will have paid for itself in six years. In summer and the warmer days this system will provide most if not all the heat for the pool.”

The solar panels also have a digital display, which will enable members of the public and resident guests using the pool at Stackpole Centre, to see exactly how much energy is being produced by the solar panels during their visit.

Allan Robinson from npower said: “npower is proud to have funded the National Trust’s largest ever solar heating system at Stackpole. In partnership with the National Trust, npower is providing expertise and financial support to help those looking for ways to be more energy efficient and make financial savings along the way.”

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Energy Price Cuts This Year – 12% For Online Customers But 4% For Everyone Else

•Energy price cuts in 2009: 4% or £54 for standard plan customers, but 12% or GBP133 for online customers

•At the beginning of the year, online plans were £170 cheaper than standard plans – today they are £249 a year cheaper

•Best kept secret: despite consistently lower prices only 1.3 million or 5% of households are on online energy plans

•Winter worry: two thirds (65%) of people are worried about the cost of their energy bills as we head into winter

•Affordability concerns: almost two in ten households (19%) are finding it difficult to afford their energy bills

•Cutting back: 57% of households are already cutting back on energy to make bills cheaper while a further 17% are planning to join them.

While the majority of households have seen energy prices drop by 4% or £54 this year, new research from uSwitch.com reveals that households who are on suppliers’ online plans have enjoyed cuts three times this size. Since the beginning of 2009 their prices have been reduced by a healthy 12% or £133, leaving online customers paying £249 less than standard customers.

While the debate about whether suppliers should be cutting prices again in light of lower wholesale costs rumbles on, households on online plans are sitting pretty. They have seen bills drop from £1,123 on the 1st January to £990 today. However, households on standard plans have not fared so well – their prices have dropped from GBP1,293 at the beginning of the year to £1,239 today, barely making a dent in the 42% or GBP381 increase in energy prices seen last year.

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Combined Cycle Performance Analysis Conducts On Site Training

COMBINED CYCLE PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS will conduct power plant training at the customer’s site. The training course PERFORMANCE AWARENESS TRAINING is designed to familiarize the plant Operations and Maintenance staff with plant performance. Custom power plant training is also available upon request.

The company provides consulting to the Combined Cycle power industry. Services include Plant Performance Evaluations, power plant training, and custom power plant consulting.

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Four Suppliers Join in Energy Price Fray Today

Today has officially been the busiest day of the year for energy price cuts with four suppliers announcing changes. The day started with E.ON knocking smaller rival First:Utility off the cheapest supplier spot by cutting its online prices by £19. But in a David and Goliath move, First:Utility hit back, cutting its online prices by £13 from £967 a year to £954 a year on average.

The move sees First:Utility back in place as Britain’s cheapest supplier, although E.ON’s plan is available countrywide while First:Utility’s plan is only available in 12 out of 14 energy regions.

ScottishPower also ventured into the fray, but its move was more cautious. It has cut its gas rates in 5 regions taking the annual bill on its Online Energy Saver 7 plan to £972 from £975.

The final moves of the day are on mainstream rather than online plans. EDF Energy has changed its direct debit discount for standard customers from a fixed annual discount to a 6% discount. This will cut bills for the average customer from £1,147 to £1,118. It is also cutting prices for gas only customers. These moves mean that EDF Energy now offers the cheapest dual fuel standard plan paying by monthly direct debit and is thecheapest gas only supplier.

Will Marples, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Given the amount of speculation and debate about price cuts this week, these moves could be seen as a bit of a peace offering. They don’t have the impact of a full blown price cut, but in the run up to winter they will be welcome. Whether consumers will be completely appeased remains to be seen, but the key thing now is to move to one of these competitive plans to make sure you benefit from lower prices in time for winter.”

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E.ON Now Cheapest Energy Supplier

The online price war has claimed another casualty. E.ON has cut its prices on its FixOnline3 plan, knocking First:Utility off the cheapest supplier spot. The move ends First:Utility’s winning bid to go head-to-head with the big six suppliers on price. At £962 E.ON’s plan undercuts the smaller supplier by £5, but E.ON’s plan is also available countrywide while First:Utility’s plan is only available in 12 out of 14 energy regions.

E.ON’s price cut comes at the same time as it is writing to customers who are coming to the end of a fixed price deal. E.ON is moving them onto a new fixed price plan which costs £1,198 a year. However, customers would be better off moving to the supplier’s more competitive online plan instead, saving £236 in the process. There are no exit penalties to take into account before making the move.

Will Marples, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: “This is great timing for E.ON customers who are coming to the end of their fixed price plan. The supplier has already contacted them with a view to moving them onto a new fixed price deal, but its online plan is now £236 cheaper. I suspect that many customers will be taking this option instead.

“Thankfully there are no exit penalties, so even if you have already been moved onto the fixed price plan it’s not too late to change your mind. All you have to do is let your supplier know.”

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Concentrated Solar Power: No Breakage Issue for Untempered Solar Mirrors

Field tests from the project „Nevada Solar One“ indicate a breakage rate of 0.027% for FLABEG’s solar mirrors: In the course of three years only 50 needed to be replaced from a total 183.400 installed mirrors. This erases the erroneous fact that tempered glass is necessary to mitigate breakage. However, there are no commercially available mirrors for parabolic troughs that are able to match the precision of curvature that FLABEG manufactures.

FLABEG redefines mirror bending precision by achieving FDx≤10 mm (measured by DLR). This is equivalent to a hit rate of 99.95% (focal line d=70mm). With this quality parameter FLABEG has achieved a unique standard of excellence and technical preeminence.

FLABEG’s parabolic mirrors are produced by a special sag-bending process, which results in the highest possible degree of precision. On the other hand, tempered glass can only be press bent, which does not allow to come to the same outstanding precision of bending as the sag bending process can provide.

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