In the search for more efficient solar cells, UCLA researchers have developed a new transparent solar cell that points towards the age when windows could become small solar energy farms without blocking the view. They have developed a new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC) that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light (not visible light), (more…)
Discovering new materials to make cheaper and more efficient solar cells is the holy grail of the photovoltaic solar industry and recent news indicate that some significant steps in that direction are being taken.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (more…)
Planning a solar PV power plant to make them efficient is a complex task, but German researchers have developed a software that makes conceptual design simpler.
Researchers at the Fraunhoger Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM in Kaiserslautern, in conjunction with Siemens Energy Photovoltaics, have a (more…)
Germany has installed enough photovoltaics such that coal-fired power plants are beginning to become unprofitable. This is driven by a combination factors, e.g., that coal isn’t asked to provide power at the peak of the day, when both the sun and the price of electricity are at their zenith. Of course, most of us cheer when coal runs into trouble, but issues like this (more…)
As more reliable data are released over last year’s photovoltaics installations figures, the picture of solar market’s growth is getting clearer. The latest information gathered from the World’s top markets have been summarized by EPIA (the European Photovoltaic Industry Association) in their (more…)
Anyone who follows news on new solar technology is probably aware that conversion efficiency, that is, the amount of solar light, that actually becomes electricity, is the top challenge for this industry. Currently the top conversion rate is around 18% which means there’s definitely room for much more efficiency.
Solar energy has been around for decades, but its popularity has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Solar power is popping up in more and more conversations, in news articles and on the Web. The popularity of renewable energy is reminiscent of the dot-com boom of the late 1990s.
The major difference between the dot-com and renewable energy booms is that there’s a lot more value spread across the renewable energy field. There are fewer “flash in the pan” operators, if you will. That doesn’t mean that the solar sector doesn’t have its share of flakes, but it just doesn’t have as many.
What strategies for picking a solar energy installer will help you weed through the pretenders and find the right one? First, there are many installers out there who are starting out. They may not have a huge body of work, but they are very well educated on the science and design of solar. These installers are not to be discounted. (more…)
There is a lot of buzz going on these days about the role solar will play in the current clean tech revolution occurring around the world. Many people find solar interesting but don’t know how it works, why it is gaining so much popularity and how they can get involved. Below are some of the resources I have used to make the world of solar easier to understand.
First question to answer: What is solar? For this you should read the wiki description of solar power.
Now that you understand some of the history of solar power, you may want to understand one of the most common ways that solar power is converted into electricity, for this you should read about photovoltaics or PV.
The “locavore” movement is big, especially in California. With the bounty of food found locally in the Bay Area, living off the land — and sea — is not only possible, but also a delicious exercise.
But there’s another, less obvious, revolution brewing here in the Bay Area: the “locavolt” movement. In response to high gasoline and natural gas prices, global warming and an increasingly unstable, scary world, people are looking to generate power right in their own homes and neighborhoods with free energy from nature.
Technology advances in computers, telecommunications, generators, inverters, and even cars, are all giving the locavolt new tools to harness renewable energy and lead a fairly normal life.
Within the next few years, plug-in hybrid cars in California will be able to serve as a mini-power generator for your home and store renewable energy from your solar photovoltaics system or your small wind turbine. Plug-in hybrids may also help balance out a smarter electricity grid capable of easily sending power back and forth between generators and consumers, much like we send and receive e-mails on the Internet today.