This page is off-point but I wanted to share with you technological advances and Solar PV design/installation tips I find:
This page discusses a product that enables one to mix-and-match different brands and outputs of solar panels. More on that product here.
The free market I envision enables Joe Six Pack to buy, sell and trade Solar PV panels and easily (plug-and-play) switch them out on his array. These sorts of products are thus needed.
Mainstream Solar PV Tips and Hints:
Grid-tied Do It Yourself Project at $2.29/watt
Analyzing your roof's solar potential
Solar Panel Mounting: Tilt Angle and Airflow Considerations
Monitoring Strings of Solar PV Panels To Weed Out Underperforming Panels
Simple Ground Mount Solar Array
Monitoring Solar Array Performance -- talks about this company's product.
Whether to use single or double-axis trackers
DC optimizers versus Microinterters
NEW PRODUCTS TO CONSIDER:
Windows that double as Solar Panels
From this source:
FUSION is a non-concentrating, customisable optical surface technology for a production cost of less than US$0.01/W.
It comprises micro lens structures that can be integrated directly into the protective polymer or glass cover of a solar PV module, or into a thin polymer film, which is then adhered to a solar PV panel either in the factory or in the field.
The technology can be applied to any type of solar PV panel (silicon, thin-film) with similar effect and low production cost, SolOptics says.
SolOptics is a division of Genie Lens Technologies LLC.
In outdoor tests performed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) at its Golden, Colorado, research campus, FUSION was show to increase the overall energy production of the solar PV modules tested up to 4%, with performance improvements for all irradiance ranges.
The largest improvements, up to 40%, occurred for higher angles of incidence under clear skies. This equates to even greater power output in the afternoon and early evening hours. Furthermore, the addition of FUSION did not raise the panel temperatures.
"The FUSION technology significantly improved the energy yield of the PV modules we tested," says Bill Marion, Section Supervisor and Project Manager of the Performance and Reliability R&D facility at NREL.
Genie Lens CEO Seth Weiss adds: “The PV industry is seeing a meaningful shift away from glass covers on panels and towards lower cost, lighter, highly resilient polymer covers. FUSION can be incorporated into a polymer cover for virtually no additional cost. At the same time, there are millions of panels being manufactured or already deployed in the field that have glass covers. FUSION will improve the efficiency of these panels as well. We do not know of any other efficiency product that can be applied to both new panels and in an after-market context.