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New transparent solar cells can be used on windows, smartphone screens

New transparent solar cells can be used on windows, smartphone screens | Reducing your annual heating bills | Scoop.it

Named a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and developed by researchers in Michigan State University in the US, this material can be used to cover anything that has a flat, clear surface. Transparent solar cell technology has been attempted before, but the energy the cells produced was poor and the materials they were made out of were highly coloured.

"No one wants to sit behind coloured glass,” said one of the researchers behind the technology, chemical engineer Richard Lunt, in a press release. "It makes for a very colourful environment, like working in a disco. We take an approach where we actually make the luminescent active layer itself transparent.”

The new transparent solar cells are made from tiny organic molecules that absorb invisible wavelengths of sunlight such as ultraviolet and near infrared light. This invisble light is then guided to the edge of the solar panel, where thin strips of photovoltaic solar cells pick it up and convert it into energy. "Because the materials do not absorb or emit light in the visible spectrum, they look exceptionally transparent to the human eye," Lunt said.

Not only are they transparent, these solar cells are also flexible. The researchers are now working on scaling the technology up for commercial applications such as window coverings for residential and office buildings, smartphone and tablet screens, electronic signs, and car windows.

"It opens a lot of area to deploy solar energy in a non-intrusive way,” said Lunt. "It can be used on tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader. Ultimately we want to make solar harvesting surfaces that you do not even know are there."

 

 

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Via S. Diez de Medina Ph.D., Marc Kneepkens
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ECOtality Bankruptcy: Blink EV Charging Network Changes Hands but Can’t Shake Its Bad Reputation : Greentech Media

ECOtality Bankruptcy: Blink EV Charging Network Changes Hands but Can’t Shake Its Bad Reputation : Greentech Media | Reducing your annual heating bills | Scoop.it

ustomers of bankrupt ECOtality have very low regard for EV chargers under new ownership.


Via Sass Peress
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The future of Solar?

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Sass Peress's curator insight, October 13, 2013 10:49 PM

Penny-stock companies like Car Charging will not increase consumer confidence. To do so will require that either the car companies (like Tesla and Nissan are doing) or utilities, own the car charging networks.

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Cutting edge green technology on show at The Renewables Event 2013 - Process & Control Today

Cutting edge green technology on show at The Renewables Event 2013 Process & Control Today Other exhiitor highlights not to be missed include friendly energy specialists Specflue, the UK's exclusive distributor of the Italian MCZ biomass and pellet...
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World’s First Vertical Forest Gets Introduced in Italy

World’s First Vertical Forest Gets Introduced in Italy | Reducing your annual heating bills | Scoop.it

The Bosco Verticale is a system that optimizes, recuperates, and produces energy. Covered in plant life, the building aids in balancing the microclimate and in filtering the dust particles contained in the urban environment. Milan is one of the most polluted cities in Europe. The diversity of the plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, producing oxygen and protect the building from radiation and acoustic pollution. This not only improves the quality of living spaces, but gives way to dramatic energy savings year round.

Each apartment in the building will have a balcony planted with trees that are able to respond to the city’s weather — shade will be provided within the summer, while also filtering city pollution; and in the winter the bare trees will allow sunlight to permeate through the spaces. Plant irrigation will be supported through the filtering and reuse of the greywater produced by the building. Additionally, Aeolian and photovoltaic energy systems will further promote the tower’s self-sufficiency.

The design of the Bosco Verticale is a response to both urban sprawl and the disappearance of nature from our lives and on the landscape. The architect notes that if the units were to be constructed unstacked as stand-alone units across a single surface, the project would require 50,000 square meters of land, and 10,000 square meters of woodland. Bosco Verticale is the first offer in his proposed BioMilano, which envisions a green belt created around the city to incorporate 60 abandoned farms on the outskirts of the city to be revitalized for community use.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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A perfect way to live in a forest! 

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Pamela D Lloyd's curator insight, October 22, 2013 10:38 PM

I greatly appreciate the efforts of so many architects to examine ways that we can make our cities more ecologically sound. Plus, so often, the proposed solutions offer greater natural beauty to previously sterile cityscapes.

 

I can't help wondering, though, how the plants on the many scattered balconies on these apartment buildings will be maintained and cared for. I'm sure that however well-meaning the various occupants of the apartments might be, that few of them will be entirely up to the task.

Sieg Holle's curator insight, October 25, 2013 10:43 AM

excellent use of space   for  new vitality -renewal

Chris Vilcsak's curator insight, March 29, 2014 9:49 PM

Now THAT's a green building...

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The plug-and-play solar panel

The plug-and-play solar panel | Reducing your annual heating bills | Scoop.it
The BBC's Richard Taylor looks at a new solar charging chip which allows panels to plug into and power a device directly, without the need for a battery.
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The future of Solar? 

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