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SunBall Solar Appliance kWhs at less than grid costs

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Posted by Greg on October 25, 2005, 1:20 pm
Hi Guys,

My name is Greg Watson and my company Green and Gold Energy is in final
preproduction test stage of a domestic rooftop tracking PV concentrator
of very unconventional design.

The SunBall uses a 500 sun Spectrolab 35% cell to produce 330W peak
from 1m^2 of solar collection area. In Adelaide annual energy
production is 660 AC kWhs.

Heat management is passive using a aluminium hemisphere of 1.8m^2 with
a heat load of 0.03W / cm^2. Thermal efficiency loss for the cell is
-0.04%/deg C. Efficiency loss at 40 deg C is less than 3%. Typical
silicon flat panels derate at -0.55%/deg C, have a heat loading of
about 0.09W / cm^2 and loose about 30% efficiency at 40 deg C.

The generation profile overlaps late afternoon network peak demands as
well as eliminating reactive energy flows (such as from reverse cycle
A/C units) from the connection point. Non tracked flat panels
contribute almost nothing to reducing hot late afternoon peak network

We expect the SunBall to be available in Australia from Feb 2006 and in
the US from mid 2006. Expected US retail price is USD$,100 ex tax or
about USD$.33 / W.

Click below for a lot more info, photos and videos. I welcome your
valued feedback and comments on the SunBall.

All the best,
Greg Watson
Green and Gold Energy
Adelaide, South Australia
+61 408 843 089
Online SunBall discussion group

Posted by William P.N. Smith on October 25, 2005, 4:54 pm

Please let us know when this is actually available, we're awfully
jaded by "Coming Soon!" products which never actually hit the

Actually, it's http://greenandgoldenergy.com.au/  (you need to get your
ISP or DNS server folks to add an entry for the WWW one.

You might point out that it's a tracker, and detail what the
maintenance issues will be.  Given that most panels have a 20-year
warranty, your 5-year warranty isn't very impressive, though it's
understandable given the moving parts.

Don't get me wrong, it looks interesting, but I've seen so many
"interesting" solar power solutions in the last 3 decades that I can
wait for shipping products, with proven reliability.

Posted by Greg on November 4, 2005, 12:21 am
 Hi William,

The address is http://www.greenandgoldenergy.com.au

As far as our release schedule it's all there in plain view on the
"Availability" page.

The tracking motors are sealed brushless gear head motors, sealed
inside the SunBall hemisphere. Their rated run life is 100+ years when
used to drive the SunBall.

Our warranty is 5 years on parts and labour then 20 years prorated on
parts. Given that the SunBall is an appliance and is designed to be
repaired, the 25 year life is conservative. In a flat panel the loss of
one cell, one cell interconnection, one bypass diode, one glass crack,
etc requires the entire flat panel to be thrown away. Not so with the
SunBall as it can be, like any appliance, be repaired.

All the best,
Greg Watson
Green and Gold Energy
Adelaide, South Australia
+61 408 843 089
Online SunBall discussion group

Posted by Solar Guppy on November 4, 2005, 2:46 pm
 I can understand WHY your trying to make your new product seem better than
glass-framed panels but you are not being honest in your comparisons.

Panels that have interconnection failure or bypass diode ( very rare ) are
simple to repair and I have done it a few times. The Teldar is simply peeled
back and you resolder the failed connection. Bypass diodes are located in
the Jbox and are very simple to replace, this is no more work than
"servicing" a appliance. In all of the cases you suggest for comparison,
manufactures warrant the panels from such defects for 25 years, 5X what your
unproven ( time wise / field durability ) product is to offer. I have never
seen or heard of a cell failures in the field with Si technology.

Also for reference,  most conventional solar panel installations are made up
from banks of panels, even if in worst case you have such a failure as you
suggest, Harvest wise its in the order of 1-2 percent when it occurs, that
being a single panel has a failure , which is almost always only partial
thanks to bypass diodes

I have no ill will toward your efforts and if it proves successful could
offer some interesting space savings and tracking abilities. But the solar
field is littered with promises and I would respectfully suggest you stick
to the facts and not make stuff up to promote you new device.


Posted by Christian Kaiser on November 4, 2005, 2:53 pm

To give him credits, he writes:

So the same 25 years if I understand that correctly.


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