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An Overview of Sierra Nevada’s Brewery and Solar Renewery

Sierra Nevada Brewery is famous for producing a range of delicious full-flavored beers that satisfy almost every palate. With its roots in beautiful Northern California, Sierra Nevada takes the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” seriously, and has proven itself as an environmentally sustainable enterprise that is always searching for new ways to lower its carbon footprint.

Located in the mountains of western North Carolina, Sierra Nevada’s new Mills River, N.C. brewery recently added 2,030 KD320 Kyocera solar modules to the rooftop of its packaging center and warehouse, installed by Sundance Power Systems, Inc., of Asheville, N.C. The system will produce 650kW of DC power.

That 650kW is the first phase of the solar energy project at the North Carolina brewery site. As construction continues, additional solar installations will cover the parking lot, bringing total solar energy production potential to 710 kilowatts of DC power—enough electricity to power dozens of average American homes.

Brewing is energy-intensive; it takes a lot of resources to heat, chill and transfer large amounts of liquids. Sierra Nevada is mindful of using resources wisely to minimize its burden on the environment. Kyocera and Sundance Power Systems say “Cheers!” to Sierra Nevada for enhancing its sustainability through the renewable energy of the sun.

More details to come Fall 2014. To view a video, go HERE.

Kyocera Solar reduces cost and increases efficiency with new 1000-volt modules

Kyocera Solar Inc. is now offering new 1000-volt solar photovoltaic (PV) modules designed to significantly reduce labor and materials costs while simultaneously increasing overall system efficiency.

The US electrical code was only recently amended to allow 1000-volt solar modules, following a similar development in Europe that enables wider use of high-efficiency 1000-volt inverters.

By specifying a 1000V system instead of the previous 600V standard, installers can reduce total system costs by a substantial amount — up to 20%, according to Kyocera engineers, depending on the individual project.

The cost reduction is achieved in several ways:

  1. Because 1000V PV systems incorporate more modules per string, materials and labor costs are minimized by reducing the total number of strings and combiners the system requires. 
  2. String cable used for 1000V modules is thinner and uses less copper, making it less expensive to purchase and install. 
  3. 1000V inverters are likewise smaller and less expensive to install than their 600V counterparts.

A more long-term advantage of the 1000V system is its ability to minimize resistive losses, also known as “voltage drop” — which is typically about 0.75% lower in a 1000V system than in a comparable system of 600V. This increase in efficiency results in significant energy retention over the 20+ year lifespan of a system.

To read more, click HERE