Quelle est la molécule la plus simple capable de transformer l'énergie solaire en électricité ? Telle est la question que s'est posée une équipe de l'Institut des sciences et technologies moléculaires d'Angers**
Les chercheurs ont montré que des molécules extrêmement simples, produites en peu d'étapes avec de très bons rendements de synthèse, peuvent devenir des alternatives crédibles aux molécules plus complexes et aux polymères utilisés pour la fabrication de cellules solaires organiques. Leurs travaux* ont permis d'obtenir des molécules de faible poids moléculaire ayant un rendement électrique supérieur à 4 %. Ils montrent ainsi que grâce à l'optimisation de molécules simples on pourra passer de la recherche fondamentale à la production industrielle de dispositifs solaires fabriqués à partir de molécules organiques.
Across Japan, technology companies and private investors are racing to install devices that until recently they had little interest in: solar panels. Massive solar parks are popping up as part of a rapid build-up that one developer likened to an "explosion."
The boom was sparked by a little-noted government policy, implemented nearly a year ago, that guaranteed generous payments to anybody selling renewable energy, including solar power. Because of that policy, known as a feed-in tariff, investors and analysts say Japan has become one of the world's fastest-growing users of solar energy. This year alone, Japan is forecasted to install solar panels with the capacity of five to seven modern nuclear reactors.
Production costs for Chinese crystalline-silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic module manufacturers — such as Jinko Solar, Renesola, Trina Solar and Yingli Green Energy — will fall from 50 cents per watt in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 36 cents per watt by the end of 2017
Solar Impulse will be taking off from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (MO) for Washington Dulles (VA) tomorrow Friday June 14th around 4 AM CDT (UTC-5). Piloted by André, it’s expected to be a challenging flight due to high cross and headwinds. Because of this, Solar Impulse will do a pit stop at Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport (OH) in order to change pilots, rest and take-off the following morning with better weather conditions. With Bertrand at the controls, the solar airplane will take-off the next morning, Saturday June 15th around 8 AM EDT (UTC-4) and land in the nation’s capital sometime after midnight EDT (UTC-4).
There’s no sugar-coating what happened last week. Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli, used the occasion of the annual conference of the Canadian Solar Energy Industry Association (CanSIA) to announce that he was canceling feed-in tariffs for large projects. It’s a bitter setback for all renewables advocates in North America, but an even more stinging defeat for those who believe feed-in tariffs are not only the most cost-effective renewable energy policy but also the most egalitarian, allowing all players to participate in the renewable energy-revolution — not just a few multi-national companies.
The success of federal incentives and aggressive renewable portfolio standards that were intended to stimulate domestic solar PV installations in the US is now coming under increased scrutiny at the state level, added Sunsong.
Demand for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in the US is forecast to grow significantly during 2013 and post another record high of 4.3 gigawatts (GW), an increase of almost 20% compared to 2012, according to the latest NPD Solarbuzz North America PV Markets Quarterly. Solar PV demand from the US market now contributes over 12% of annual global demand, compared to just 5% three years ago.
What more can you say about solar photovoltaics (PV)? They basically tick all the boxes – completely clean, cheap, limitless, there’s enough to power the world and, most importantly, they’re bendy – and we are now so close to seeing it do its thing in a big way. In some ways, you could compare it to a promising young athlete (Gareth Bale, perhaps, for the football-minded) – you’re not sure just how good they can become, but they’re already exciting to watch.
Marigot, St. Martin -- Switzerland's MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, the world's largest solar boat, sailed 2,867miles (5,310 kilometers) across the Atlantic Ocean at the average speed of 5.3 knots before reaching Marigot, St. Martin, in the French West Indies; the first-of-its-kind catamaran completed this year's passage across the Atlantic in 22 of days, setting the new world record for the fastest transatlantic crossing made completely under solar power, according to the World
There seems to be a positive weather window opening up this Monday, June 3rd, for Solar Impulse to continue its Across America mission. With Bertrand at the commands, the solar airplane will take-off from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport around 4:30AM CT (UTC-5) to complete the third leg of the journey that will lead it to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (MO). Landing is scheduled after midnight CT (UTC-5).
This tornado-stricken region, characterized by high turbulence and strong winds, has made it quite challenging to find the appropriate conditions to continue the adventure. But things seem to be clearing up and Solar Impulse is excited to discover the symbolic city of St. Louis.
A new 30 MW solar photovoltaic power plant is currently being constructed in Mexico — in La Paz, Baja California Sur. Once completed, the plant will be Latin America’s largest photovoltaic solar power plant, providing enough electricity to power an estimated 160,000 households.
The solar power plant, situated on a large 100-hectare site, will feature about 132,000 modules installed on single-axis trackers once completed — generating about 82 GWh/year and offsetting around 60,000 tons of CO2 emissions.
The global solar photovoltaic (PV) cell market has experienced strong growth in recent years. The market is expected to reach $35,559 million by 2017, with CAGR of 4% over the next five years. The global solar PV cell market comprises two broad categories, crystalline silicon, and thin-film. Thin-film technology is expected to grow faster as compared to crystalline silicon due to several advantages.
The very efficient solar-electric propulsion thruster for spaceships shown in this image is currently under development at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. It uses xenon ions for propulsion, just like an earlier version of this solar-electric propulsion engine that has already been flying on NASA's Dawn mission to the asteroid belt.
The solar thermal technology behind Ivanpah—which is being jointly developed by BrightSource Energy, NRG Energy and Google—uses thousands of mirrors to reflect sunlight. That light is collected in one of Ivanpah’s three solar towers, where the intense heat transforms water into steam. That steam is piped to a turbine that generates electricity. It’s the same basic technology behind a coal or natural gas plant—only the sun provides the heat.
Ivanpah also has the advantage of producing electricity on a much smoother curve than solar PV, which means it can keep generating power later into the day. But Ivanpah, which should go fully online before the end of the year, has something else: sheer beauty.
(Phys.org) —In an approach that could challenge silicon as the predominant photovoltaic cell material, University of Wisconsin-Madison materials engineers have developed an inexpensive solar cell that exploits carbon nanotubes to absorb and convert energy from the sun.
In support of Swiss contributions to scientific research, technological innovation and sustainability, the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York is pleased to welcome the world’s largest solar boat,Switzerland’s MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, to Manhattan. PlanetSolar is in New York City as part of its DeepWater Expedition 2013 tour with scientists on board from the University of Geneva. The catamaran, led by Capitain Gérard d’Aboville, runs exclusively on energy from the sun and eliminates the need for fueled electricity, allowing researchers to collect uncontaminated data along the Gulf Stream with high-tech instruments that track changes in ocean currents and climate. Solar panels cover more than 5,554 square feet of the ship’s surface, visible to the public at North Cove Marina until June 20, 2013.
Pol Bacquet's insight:
"Planet Solar",... the largest solar boat is just arrived in New York!
Amazing coincidence... as "Solar Impulse"... the largest solar plane with Pilot is now in Washington DC and flying in a few days to New York! Both are "Swiss Made" and well renowned as High Precision Technology.... it's in the Genes!
Developers of solar projects on Hokkaido are being forced to review their plans after the Japanese island’s sole utility received applications for large- scale solar plants that would exceed the grid’s capacity.
By the end of March, applications for grid connections totaled 1,568 megawatts for plants of 2 megawatts or larger, according to an April 17 statement from the utility, which said it had capacity for only 400 megawatts.
New dye-sensitized photovoltaic cell developed by scientists at the UW-Madison doubles as solar energy storage system.
For solar energy to be really practical, it is important to find a way to store it effectively. Energy from large solar plants can be stored through pumped hydropower systems, in batteries or even in porous rocks. For small-scale applications, however, batteries seem like the only viable option. Or maybe it is possible to combine a solar cell and a batteryin a single device. A UW-Madison electrical engineer has proposed a design for dye-sensitized solar cells that can at the same time generate power and work as a solar energy storage system.
Apple Inc. now uses only renewable energy sources to power its data centers, the iPhone maker said in an updated report on its environmental policies.
The company’s data centers now run on energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal, instead of coal or other fossil fuels, Apple said on its website. The centers house server computers that store and distribute songs, applications and other content from services such as iTunes, iMessage and iCloud.
(Reuters) - China took aim on Wednesday at exports of the European wines favored by its growing middle class, responding to an EU move to impose anti-dumping duties of Chinese solar panels as tensions rise between two of the world's biggest trade partners.
In a step targeting southern European states such as France and Italy that back duties but largely sparing northern countries such as Germany that oppose them, Beijing launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy inquiry into sales of European wine.
Pol Bacquet's insight:
Fortunately good wines have their price... and should not be part of this controversy
Japan overtakes Germany as the world's largest solar market by revenue.
This is all basically the result of Fukushima, after which Japanese authorities aggressively moved to promote solar. They adopted a feed-in tariff that rewarded utilities for transitioning power supplies toward solar.
Japan’s solar installations surged by a stunning 270 percent (in gigawatts (GW)) in the first quarter of 2013, positioning the country to surpass Germany to become the world’s largest photovoltaics (PV) market in terms of revenue this year.
Pol Bacquet's insight:
Japan was the Pioneer and Biggest Solar market a few years ago.... and now is Back as the Leader!
Where are the most promising solar PV markets in Latin America? It depends on a combination of factors, from solar insolation to electricity costs and PV market maturity, and political factors including the effectiveness of existing policies, what is required for new generation, and various economic and investment risks. ClearSky Advisors' Mark Bissegger takes a closer look at the best solar countries in Latin America, winnowing the list down to five. Brazil is by far the largest electricity market in the region and has some of the highest electricity rates, as well as support from net metering, tax incentives, and a goal of 27 gigawatts (GW) by 2020, or 16 percent of installed capacity.
A Low-cost high-concentration photovoltaic thermal (HCPVT) system developed by IBM and partners. The system uses mirrors to concentrate the sun 2000 times.
The system is built on trackers that are made from low-cost molded concrete for the ‘lowest base cost possible’. A parabolic dish made from mirrors is mounted on the tracking system, which reflects the sun’s rays onto several microchannel liquid-cooled receivers that contain hundreds of triple-junction PV cells, which amount to 25 kW of capacity.
Beneath the cells, a liquid composed of antifreeze and corrosion deterrent is piped mere centimetres behind the cells to absorb heat, which is enough to also drive a water desalination process.
The coolant maintains the cells at almost the same temperature for a solar concentration of 2000 times, and can keep them at safe temperatures up.
It is clear from the results of 2012 and the forecast for the coming years that Europe’s leading role in the PV market is coming to an end. In 2011, Europe accounted for 74% of the world’s new PV installations; in 2012 this number was around 55%. In 2013 it is almost certain that the majority of new PV capacity in the world will be installed outside of Europe. Part of the reason for the decline in Europe’s numbers is a natural cooling down period after very strong growth in the previous two years. To be sure, there are still markets in Europe which have strong and still-untapped potential and room for significant PV growth. But this will occur at a more stable – and sustainable – rate than it has in the last few years. Going forward, the driving forces will be in countries like China, the USA, Japan and India. The PV market is becoming truly global.
Los Angeles is moving forward with two major new projects that will offer California’s sprawling metropolis a combined 350 MW of solar power utilizing a combination of feed-in-tariff (FiT) and request for proposal (RFP) pricing systems as it transitions from coal power to green energy.