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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category: Page 90

Oct 15, 2015

Efficiency Of Solar-Powered Electrolysis Doubled

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Researchers have reached an all time solar-to-hydrogen efficiency high of 24 percent.


Having reached a solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of more than 24 percent, it may soon be feasible to harness the sun to split water.

| October 13, 2015 | In the Lab.

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Oct 8, 2015

Panasonic has made the world’s most efficient rooftop solar panel

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, solar power, sustainability, transportation

At the end of last week, solar technology company SolarCity, which was co-founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, made headlines when it announced it had developed the most efficient rooftop solar panel to date, with a module-level efficiency of 22.04 percent. Now, just a few days later, Panasonic has one-upped them by announcing a rooftop panel prototype that’s nearly half a percent more efficient.

“Sorry Elon, I’mma let you finish…” and, well, you know how that pun goes. What’s cool about Panasonic’s record-breaking prototype is that it was mass-produced, and able to convert 22.5 percent of sunlight into electrical energy straight off the production line, which means it’ll be easily commercialised and presumably relatively cheap for consumers.

Right about now you’re probably wondering why this is a big deal, when researchers have already managed to convert the Sun’s rays into electricity with more than 40 percent efficiency, and just last year Panasonic themselves announced they’d made a solar cell with 25.6 percent efficiency.

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Oct 4, 2015

Elon Musk and SolarCity unveil ‘world’s most efficient’ solar panel

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, solar power, sustainability

SolarCity is ready to start mass-producing these more efficient panels.

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Oct 4, 2015

$0.55 per watt from SolarCity’s record-breaking new solar panel

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A new solar panel technology from SolarCity is the most efficient rooftop solar ever released. Can it finally push solar to mass adoption?

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Oct 1, 2015

Graphene nanoribbons as electronic highways

Posted by in categories: materials, physics, solar power, sustainability

Physicists have developed a method to synthesise a unique and novel type of material which resembles a graphene nanoribbon but in molecular form. This material could be important for the further development of organic solar cells.

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Sep 26, 2015

The Future is Clear

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

Transparent solar panels!


Imagine a city that’s actually a vast solar energy harvesting system. A team of Michigan State University researchers has developed a technology that can turn transparent surfaces, from building windows to cell phones, into solar collecting surfaces – without obstructing the view.

Sep 23, 2015

Transparent coating keeps solar cells cool and efficient throughout the day

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

Stanford engineers have developed a transparent silicon overlay that can increase the efficiency of solar cells by keeping them cool. The cover collects and then radiates heat directly into space, without interfering with incoming photons. According to a local HVAC Spokane, WA company, “If mass-produced, the development could be used to cool down any device in the open air for instance, to complement air conditioning in cars.”

After a full day in the sun, solar cells in California can approach temperatures of 80° C (175° F), even in winter months. Excessive heat can pose problems because, while the cells need sunlight to harvest energy, they also lose efficiency as they heat up. A standard silicon cell, for example, will drop from 20 to 19 percent efficiency by heating up just 10° C (18° F) or so.

Laptops address the overheating problem with the help of carefully engineered fans and heat sinks, but for solar panels and other devices that work in the open air, space itself could serve as heat sink par excellence. The coolness of space, approaching absolute zero, would negate the need for elaborate and expensive heat dissipation contraptions if only we had a way to access it from the ground.

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Sep 21, 2015

Gigantic Energy-Generating Waterfall Skyscraper Could Power the 2016 Rio Olympics

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The Solar City Tower, designed by RAFAA, includes a bank of solar panels as well as pumped water storage to create energy during both the day and night for use in the Olympic Village.

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Sep 21, 2015

Open Source ‘Solar Pocket Factory’ Can 3D Print a Solar Panel Every 15 Seconds

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, computing, electronics, mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein, two young inventors based in the Philippines, are taking their passion for clean free energy and developing a way to make it accessible and cheap for everyone. These guys are working restlessly to provide a product that could be used by practically anyone to make homemade solar panels.

The factory is small enough to fit on a desktop and efficient enough to produce 300k to one million panels per year, up to one every 15 seconds. By cutting out much of the labor intensive process, which represents 50% of the total cost, this machine can dramatically reduce the price of solar. Their pocket solar panel producer can change the way the world views electricity. Image credit: YouTube/SciFri

Continue reading “Open Source ‘Solar Pocket Factory’ Can 3D Print a Solar Panel Every 15 Seconds” »

Sep 20, 2015

Solar panels as inexpensive as paint?

Posted by in categories: engineering, materials, solar power, sustainability

Fortunately, that is changing because researchers such as Qiaoqiang Gan, University at Buffalo assistant professor of electrical engineering, are helping develop a new generation of photovoltaic cells that produce more power and cost less to manufacture than what’s available today.

One of the more promising efforts, which Gan is working on, involves the use of plasmonic-enhanced organic photovoltaic materials. These devices don’t match traditional solar cells in terms of energy production but they are less expensive and — because they are made (or processed) in liquid form — can be applied to a greater variety of surfaces.

Gan detailed the progress of plasmonic-enhanced organic photovoltaic materials in the May 7 edition of the journal Advanced Materials. Co-authors include Filbert J. Bartoli, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Lehigh University, and Zakya Kafafi of the National Science Foundation.

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