As renewable energy resources gain popularity and widespread applications, one company may provide the key innovation to take solar to the next level.
The ‘smart palm’ solar trees are nothing but tree shaped solar panels that are capable of generating close to 7.2 kWh per day of energy. The photovoltaic panels (with a leaf like shape) are capable of generating enough power to remain independent of the grid.
Researchers have wired four perovskite solar cells in series to enhance the voltage and directly photo-charged lithium batteries with 7.8 percent efficiency -- the most efficient reported to date, the researchers believe.
Consumers aren't embracing electric cars and trucks, partly due to the dearth of charging stations required to keep them moving. Even the conservation-minded are hesitant to go electric in some states because, studies show, if fossil fuels generate the electricity, the car is no greener than one powered with an efficient gasoline.
A South African startup is combining recycled plastic with solar power to give underprivileged school children a stylish schoolbag that also supplies them with light to study by.
The company has developed Repurpose Schoolbags to provide children with backpacks that double as a source of light for children in places where electricity is lacking. The bags include solar-powered lamps that can charge during daylight hours, as well as reflector patches that will help keep kids safe when walking along roads—which in some poorer regions of South Africa have no pedestrian sidewalks—to and from school.
The price of solar makes it a real option for the people of Kentucky.
I live in the working class neighborhood of Schnitzelburg in Louisville. In 2008, only one home in my neighborhood was powered by solar panels, owned by a dentist with a huge heart and a grave concern for the externalized costs of our collective fossil fuel addiction. Solar was expensive then.
Combining photovoltaics and concentrating solar power may enable the integration of low-cost thermal energy storage for the renewables-driven grid of the future.
The world's first solar power plant was designed by American engineer Frank Shuman and commissioned in 1913 in Maadi, Egypt. This plant used five parabolic trough collectors (PTCs), each 62m long and 4m wide, to concentrate the sun's rays on a boiler tube that supplied a 75kW atmospheric steam engine coupled to a water pump capable of lifting 22m3 of water per minute.
Electricity cost is now coupled to the ever-decreasing price of technology. It’s profoundly disruptive to other electricity-generating technologies and businesses. And it’s good news for both people and the planet.
Let’s look at some data. Here are cost of solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) signed in the US over the last several years. PPAs are contracts to sell electricity, in this case from solar photovoltaic plants, at a pre-determined price. Most utility-scale solar installations happen with a PPA.
In the US, the price embedded in solar PPAs has dropped over the last 7-8 years from around $200 / MWh (or 20 cents / kwh) to a low of around $40 / MWh (or 4 cents per kwh).
Humanity is in a horse race against catastrophe. The bad news is all around us from loss of species to global warming, social fragmentation, and growing inequality. The good news is that we’re in the race. And we just might be winning.
Sustainability is the new mantra that has taken the construction industry by storm. Energy modeling services are widely used in order to analyze and validate energy efficient building design solutions.
In a new pilot program, a California utility is paying drivers of BMW electric cars to delay charging their vehicles when the power grid is under pressure. One hundred owners of BMW AG’s i3 hatchback receive $1,000 upfront to participate in Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s 18-month trial, which starts this week and is confined to the San Francisco Bay Area. Peter Berman, a 70-year-old, semi-retired Los Altos psychologist, was selected from about 400 applicants.
Having each panel put out more energy could significantly slash the cost of solar installations.
Researchers at the University of California Riverside think they've developed a technology that achieves just that and could lead to much less expensive solar power in the future.
The scientists have developed a coating for solar panels that allows them to use the infrared portion of the light spectrum that usually passes right through solar cells without being converted into electricity, essentially wasted energy. They say the new material effectively reshapes the solar spectrum so that it better matches the photovoltaic materials in the solar cells. The infrared portion is then absorbed and used, boosting the conversion efficiency by at least 30 percent.
Industries like aviation, hotel and hospitality, residential, healthcare and retail, seek sustainable building designs. However, what architects and engineers need to understand is that occupant comfort should not be compromised. Energy efficient building design is the latest buzzword. A lot of research is being carried out to get better hold of the entire concept.
AT AN AIRFIELD somewhere in the UK, there’s a drone with the wingspan of a Boeing 737. And it belongs to Facebook.
This enormous unmanned aerial vehicle is called Aquila—a nod to the eagle who carried Zeus’s thunder bolts in Greek mythology—and it’s part of Facebook’s rather ambitious effort to deliver Internet access to the more than 4 billion people on earth who don’t already have it. The idea is that Aquila will circle in the stratosphere, above the weather, wirelessly beaming Internet signals to base stations in underdeveloped areas of countries like Nigeria and India.
Green aviation innovation is alive both at major industry players as well as smaller firms that have moved into this sector of research and development.
Today, we wanted to recognize a collection of innovators who are making strides forward in the race to develop cleaner jet fuels and greener modes of transportation. In the coming years, many of our readers may be airborne on planes operating on no fossil fuel whatsoever, or if they do, it’s likely produced from a biomass feedstock that does not require dipping into the world’s oil reserves.
Solar energy in the United States has seen immense momentum throughout the years. When the Solar Energy Industries Association released its annual report in 2008, it concluded that U.S. solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity reached a total of 1.183 gigawatts — a stellar achievement at the time.
Early adopters of rooftop solar and electric cars are finding a new obsession in energy storage as the first generation of consumer-friendly batteries capable of supporting household circuits comes to market.
Two new solar powered windows are on their way out of the laboratory and into the marketplace, making buildings more self-sustaining and eco-friendly.
Solar powered windows that generate electricity without spoiling the view? That’s the stuff of science fiction, right? Not anymore. Two groups of researchers — one in the US and another in Italy — have created functioning prototypes for solar powered windows that look clear but harvest electricity from the sunlight passing through them.
A l'occasion de son déplacement en Isère sur le thème de la transition énergétique, le Président de la République François Hollande, a annoncé le doublement de la puissance autorisée pour l'appel d'offres photovoltaïque « CRE3 », soit 400 MW supplémentaires concentrés sur le déploiement d'installations au sol.
Lancé en septembre 2014 par la ministre de l'Ecologie, le troisième appel d'offres pour des installations photovoltaïques au sol ou sur toiture de grande taille (plus de 250 kWc) portait sur une capacité de 400 MW.
The DoE and numerous organizations and governments globally are focused on driving down the cost of solar convinced that lower costs will drive higher deployment. The cost of manufacturing modules and soft costs are in focus as is driving down LCOE.
Switching costs are more difficult to address, however, they are a crucial piece of the residential PV deployment puzzle.
The term “switching costs” refers to the effort or expense or inconvenience or all three required to switch from one product or service to another. The more expensive the cost of the switch in terms of money and inconvenience and the more habits and routines that must change to make the switch the higher the switching costs.
Tigo announces collaboration with Renewable Energy Services in the designing of Bakken Hale's solar-battery powered, off-grid PV system in Hawaii.
This solar-battery system is on the privately owned residence called Bakken Hale. It is equipped with 176kW ground mounted PV modules powered by Tigo and capable of generating 350MWh per year from the sun.
Solar-concentrating photovoltaic systems can produce nearly 50 percent more power by mimicking the V-shaped wing Cabbage white butterfly formation certain butterflies exhibit before take-off, say researchers at the University of Exeter.
A subsidiary of India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp, is planning to raise $100 million to fund expansion in the country’s rapidly growing renewable energy market.
Hero Future Energies has announced plans to raise $100 million to fund project development in the solar and wind energy sectors, according to one of India’s leading business dailies, The Economic Times. Hero Future Energies, which has an operational renewable energy capacity of 260 MW across 10 states in India, is planning to expand this portfolio to 1 GW over the next few years, and is also looking to divest equity stakes to raise funds.
The humble butterfly could hold the key to unlocking new techniques to make solar energy cheaper and more efficient, pioneering new research has shown.
A team of experts from the University of Exeter has examined new techniques for generating photovoltaic (PV) energy - or ways in which to convert light into power.
They showed that by mimicking the v-shaped posture adopted by Cabbage White butterflies to heat up their flight muscles before take-off, the amount of power produced by solar panels can increase by almost 50 per cent.
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