's Most-read Stories of 2009  

Posted by Big Gav

Another "best of" for 2009 - this time from REW -'s Most-read Stories of 2009.

With sales slumping, many companies used 2009 as a year to focus on improving technology and cutting manufacturing costs. Our most read-stories of the year indicate that this was a hot topic for companies and readers alike.

In Burning Issues: An Update on the Wood Pellet Market, which was first published in our UK print edition, Renewable Energy World magazine, Christiane Egger and Christine Oehlinger explained how burning wood pellets for heat and power is becoming common across central and northern Europe. While not a solely technology-focused piece, the authors describe the entire wood pellet market in Europe and detail how pellets are manufactured and describe the various technologies that use pellets as a source of renewable heat and power.

Readers are always hungry to learn about cutting-edge technologies and this feature, The Next Solar Frontier: Distributed Inverter Architecture, gave them exactly what the needed to know in the distributed inverter space. Written by contributing writer, Justin Moresco, this story looked at one of the most talked-about technology topics of the year: how to harvest the most electricity from a solar panel in the simplest, most elegant way.

On that same topic of technology that harvests more energy from a solar panel, we brought you Solar Trackers: Facing the Sun, by UK Associate Editor, David Appleyard. In his piece, Appleyard explained how tracking systems that adjust the position of PV modules to follow the sun can boost yields from solar installations by 40% or more. This article showed what trackers are available and who is building them.

Our Dutch Wind Technology expert Eize de Vries was on the scene checking out new wind turbine technologies this year. In Wind Turbine Technology Gets Bigger and Better, he traveled to the Hannover Messe, an industry technology fair that boasted more than 6,000 exhibitors and 210,000 visitors. From the fair, he brought us insights into many of the newest wind turbine technology trends to watch out for as companies in this space continue to create more massive and more efficient turbines.

Readers were also interested in BIPV, another hot topic in 2009 and something we expect to see much more of in the coming years. In February, we brought you Jennifer Kho’s story, Energy Conversion Devices' Turnaround: Is BIPV Finally Ready To Take Off? In this article, Kho detailed how ECD Ovonics emerged as a leader in the building-integrated photovoltaic market.

Biofuels also proved to be something readers were interested in hearing about, with algae-based biofuels stealing the show. In Blooming Biofuel: How Algae Could Provide the Solution, Jeffrey Decker showed us how interest is growing exponentially in this field. He wrote about the handful of companies that are planning to make the leap from research to commercial production of algae-based fuels in the near future.


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