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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category

May 4, 2020

This Solar Panel-Like Device Can Generate Electricity in the Dark

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

But a new invention could allow us to continue generating renewable energy even in the dark, the New York Times reports. Electrical engineer Aaswath Raman, at the University of California in LA, has come up with a device that can harness energy from a dark night sky to power an LED — hinting at a new frontier in renewable energy.

Power of the Dark Side

Raman’s findings were published in the journal Joule today. His device — made from easy-to-find materials including Styrofoam and off-the-shelf aluminum parts — takes advantage of radiative cooling, the process that allows objects to release heat after the Sun sets.

Apr 26, 2020

Research: A solar window will soon do the same job as a standard rooftop solar panel

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Semi-transparent solar cells that can be incorporated into window glass are a “game-changer” that could transform architecture, urban planning and electricity generation, Australian scientists say in a paper in Nano Energy.

The researchers—led by Professor Jacek Jasieniak from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science (Exciton Science) and Monash University—have succeeded in producing next-gen perovskite solar cells that generate electricity while allowing light to pass through. They are now investigating how the new technology could be built into commercial products with Viridian Glass, Australia’s largest glass manufacturer.

This technology will transform windows into active power generators, potentially revolutionizing . Two square meters of solar , the researchers say, will generate about as much electricity as a standard rooftop solar panel.

Apr 22, 2020

A new dimension for solar energy

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Circa 2012 Now, a team of MIT researchers has come up with a very different approach: building cubes or towers that extend the solar cells upward in three-dimensional configurations. Amazingly, the results from the structures they’ve tested show power output ranging from double to more than 20 times that of fixed flat panels with the same base area.


Innovative 3D designs from an MIT team can more than double the solar power generated from a given area.

Apr 22, 2020

Sunflower: Kansas’ largest solar farm begins operation

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Sunflower Electric Power Corp.

JOHNSON CITY – Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and Lightsource BP have announced that the Johnson Corner Solar Project entered commercial operation on April 7. The $37 million project, which was financed and constructed by Lightsource BP, is located approximately 2 miles southwest of Johnson City in Stanton County.

Lightsource BP, a global leader in the development, financing and management of utility-scale solar energy projects, is the project owner and operator. All the energy from the project is being sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to Sunflower, a nonprofit electric utility providing wholesale generation and transmission services to six member-owners serving in central and western Kansas. The National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) played a key role in helping Sunflower develop this important project for the public power community.

Apr 19, 2020

Six-junction solar cell sets two world records for efficiency

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have fabricated a solar cell with an efficiency of nearly 50%.

The six-junction solar cell now holds the for the highest solar conversion efficiency at 47.1%, which was measured under concentrated illumination. A variation of the same cell also set the efficiency record under one-sun illumination at 39.2%.

“This device really demonstrates the extraordinary potential of multijunction ,” said John Geisz, a principal scientist in the High-Efficiency Crystalline Photovoltaics Group at NREL and lead author of a new paper on the record-setting cell.

Apr 18, 2020

Project in Morocco combines hemp and solar to go totally off grid

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A team of organizations has completed construction of a ground-breaking eco-building in Morocco that combines hemp construction with a high-tech solar energy system for total independence from the electrical grid.

The SUNIMPLANT project, designed as a single-family dwelling, was created as an entrant in the recent “Solar Decathlon” organized by the United States Department of Energy and Morocco’s Centre de recherche en Energie solaire et Energies nouvelles. The biannual international competition challenges teams of students to design and construct solar-powered buildings. The most recent edition was hosted in Ben Guerir, Morocco, the first time the competition has been held on the African continent.

“This ‘space-ship’ is advanced in time and reflects a turn not only in North Africa but in hemp construction, which doesn’t have comparable prototypes anywhere in the world,” said Monika Brümmer, a German architect and natural builder who led the project.

Apr 14, 2020

New scavenger technology allows robots to ‘eat’ metal for energy

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

When electronics need their own power sources, there are two basic options: batteries and harvesters. Batteries store energy internally, but are therefore heavy and have a limited supply. Harvesters, such as solar panels, collect energy from their environments. This gets around some of the downsides of batteries but introduces new ones, in that they can only operate in certain conditions and can’t turn that energy into useful power very quickly.

New research from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is bridging the gap between these two fundamental technologies for the first time in the form of a “metal-air scavenger” that gets the best of both worlds.

This metal-air scavenger works like a battery, in that it provides power by repeatedly breaking and forming a series of chemical bonds. But it also works like a harvester, in that power is supplied by in its environment: specifically, the chemical bonds in metal and air surrounding the metal-air scavenger.

Apr 12, 2020

Algeria and Germany sign agreement to start gigantic Desertec project

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Algeria and Germany have initiated project DESERTEC, a huge solar panel project that feeds European/North African countries with green power.

It was intially something they should have done in 2011.

Anyhow, good 👍

Continue reading “Algeria and Germany sign agreement to start gigantic Desertec project” »

Mar 31, 2020

Sunny prospects for start-up’s clear solar energy windows

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A Redwood City, California-based tech startup has developed a glass window packed with transparent photovoltaic cells that it believes will revolutionize the way solar energy is harnessed.

As companies around the world are increasingly working to expand and improve upon renewable resources, based companies have been working to extract more energy from ever-smaller solar cells. Some resistance to the technology stemmed from the unsightly physical appearance of giant solar units placed on rooftops or vacant fields.

But Ubiquitous Energy Inc. has taken a different approach. Instead of joining competitors in trying to reduce the size of each solar cell, the company instead designed a solar panel of virtually clear glass that allows to pass through unobstructed while tapping into the invisible ranges of the light spectrum.

Mar 30, 2020

Electricity from the coldness of the universe

Posted by in categories: computing, physics, solar power, space, sustainability

The obvious drawback of solar panels is that they require sunlight to generate electricity. Some have observed that for a device on Earth facing space, which has a frigid temperature, the chilling outflow of energy from the device can be harvested using the same kind of optoelectronic physics we have used to harness solar energy. New work, in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, looks to provide a potential path to generating electricity like solar cells but that can power electronics at night. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Energy Harvesting Microwatt to Megawatt 2019–2029.

An international team of scientists has demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to generate a measurable amount of electricity in a diode directly from the coldness of the universe. The infrared semiconductor device faces the sky and uses the temperature difference between Earth and space to produce the electricity.

“The vastness of the universe is a thermodynamic resource,” said Shanhui Fan, an author on the paper. “In terms of optoelectronic physics, there is really this very beautiful symmetry between harvesting incoming radiation and harvesting outgoing radiation.”

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