5 Hot Topics To Watch For At Solar Power International

The solar industry will take over the LA Convention Center via the Solar Power International (SPI) event this week to showcase the latest technologies and discuss regulatory and financing trends. Here are five hot topics that you will no doubt hear about during the show:

Cogenra’s Hybrid Solar: Mirrors, Silicon & Heat

Cogenra has developed a concentrating PV system with a heat harvester to produce electricity and heat water. The company is one of a growing number of hybrid system developers vying for generous incentives from states such as California.

PVT Solar Bags Cash to Peddle Electric-Heat Combo

PVT Solar, which is developing a way to capture heat from a solar-panel rooftop system for heating water and homes, has raised a series B round of $13.7 million and also brought in a new CEO, Vikas Desai, the company plans to announce Tuesday.

Hulu Surpassed 140M Streams in Sept.

Hulu generated more than 142 million streams in September, as the premium content site continues its steady climb up the Nielsen VideoCensus rankings of the top brands on the web.

Khosla’s PVT Solar Taps Wasted Heat

The New York Times new blog Green Inc. just launched and already features a nice profile of a stealthy solar startup PVT Solar, which is backed by cleantech investor Vinod Khosla. The two-year-old Berkeley-based company is working on turning the wasted heat of standard solar systems into valuable heat for inside the home or to heat hot water.

Details are very scare, and the company does not have a web site up with any descriptions, but the PVT is reportedly testing an electronic system to move the heat around the home where it’s needed the most, and part of the system could use stones underneath the panels to absorb the heat.

An increasing number of startups are using the smarter systems of the infotech world to boost the efficiency of solar systems. Enphase Energy uses distributed inverters and a monitoring system to tell which panels aren’t performing as well. Fat Spaniel similarly enables renewable power generators to monitor solar systems, but through software and services. We don’t know much about PVT’s plans, but we’ll look into it more.

Could Bungee Labs Undercut EC2 Pricing?

Bungee Labs is changing the landscape of utility computing and SaaS billing options by offering pricing based on compute time, bandwidth and the number of times an application communicates back with its host server only when the program is actually in use. And the cost to startups could be less than that of using Amazon Web services.

Using Amazon’s EC2 computing service results in charges to the end user whenever the application up and running, whether they’re using it or not, because the program is still drawing on the EC2 compute power. Unless a startup wants to force customers to quit the program whenever they’re not using it, some measure of compute power is still necessary.

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Mac OS X Leopard: Your Favorite Feature Poll

Apple (AAPL) will release its new operating system upgrade, code named Leopard on October 26. The $129 upgrade is packed with 300 features, including some new ones. My personal favorite, and the only real reason to upgrade is the new Apple Mail client. What is that one good reason to upgrade (if you upgrade) to Leopard? Take our poll below the fold.