TAG: Solar cells

Like To Bike?

Like To Bike?

If a 2-wheeled ride is your thing, these practical pathways may be of interest. The following trails with a kick are giving an update to the old school bike path. First, from Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans, this lustrously presented lane is located in Nuenen, Netherlands. Called the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Bicycle Path, it offers a lane of entertaining space just begging to be trekked on. The illuminated track is a nod to the world famous painting, The Starry Night from artist Vincent van Gogh, who reportedly resided in the area during the years of 1883 to 1885. The pattern looks neat during the daytime, but… read more

Space Based Solar Power

Solar power from space

Humans are resting their hope of finding alternative energy generation models on solar and wind power generation. But what if science could find some way to harness the power of the sleepless sun? This is not just a twist in a science fiction novel, as researchers are making good progress towards harnessing space based solar power. It all began when Isaac Asimov wrote of solar power being collected from space and transmitted to the planet with the help of microwaves. This concept was later extended by Peter Glaser in 1968 and he detailed the basic idea of creating a solar satellite which incorporated… read more

The Future of Our Roads

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In the future our roads will be smarter and more useful because they be made with solar panels. At least that is what the company Solar Roadways has planned for our highways. The company has a prototype which is far different from the solar panels which we use on rooftops. It is not only strong enough to support the load of vehicles but can also generate a billion Kilowatt hours of power which is more than any country can produce in a year. These panels are brilliantly engineered into three layers: a road surface which is transparent enough to allow the sun’s rays to… read more

Supercharging Solar

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For many decades, researchers have investigated various methods to double the power output of solar cells by making use of “hot electrons”. Recently researchers at Boston College have provided new experimental evidence that this theory will work. The team built solar cells that get a power boost from high-energy photons. This boost, the researchers say, is the result of extracting hot electrons which are normally wasted in typical solar cells. The results are a step forward for solar cells that break conventional efficiency limits. Because of the way ordinary solar cells work they can, in theory, convert at most about 35%… read more

3D Graphene Could Boost Thin Film Solar

3D Honeycombed Graphene Could Boost Thin Film Solar

Dye-sensitized solar cells are one of the up-and-coming renewable energy technologies, due to their flexibility, ease of production, and relatively low cost. But one of the materials essential to their manufacture, even if only in small amounts, is platinum, which currently costs as much as $1500 per ounce. But a recent breakthrough by a scientist at Michigan Technological University could replace the need for platinum in dye-sensitized solar cells by using a structure made from a plentiful and inexpensive material. Professor Yun Hang Hu and his team developed a way to inexpensively synthesize a new 3D version of graphene (a… read more

Dirt Cheap Solar Cells Could Be Coming

Dirt Cheap Solar Cells Could Be Coming

With today’s solar panels typically retailing for around $.75 USD, it’s no wonder that home solar power systems aren’t more widespread, as it takes a considerable investment to install a home-scale solar array. But if you can imagine a world where access to solar power could be as cheap as $.10 to .20 USD per watt, it’s simple to see that installing solar power systems for buildings and homes would become more of the norm, enabling owners to not only save money, but to be somewhat self-sufficient in their energy systems. And that day could be coming, as a new… read more

Researchers Double Efficiency of See-Through Solar Film

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A new breakthrough for a novel solar film from researchers at UCLA could be a big step toward see-through solar cells for building and vehicle windows, smartphone screens, and other surfaces. The researchers have developed a two-layer solar film composed of thin polymer solar cells, and the newest iteration of the film is said to hit double the efficiency as the last version. The new film allows for harvesting of energy from a wider range of the solar spectrum, while also reducing energy loss between the two cells by the use of a layer of proprietary material. “Using two solar… read more

Forget Boring Streetlamps

Forget Boring Streetlamps

Nepenthes. This word is taken from a potion in Greek mysticism that is said to have made the person who consumes the enchanted beverage to completely forget their worries. This is what designer Dan Corson named his streetlight installations, and they are giving ordinary streetlamps a conscious. The name also comes from a type of carnivorous plant which although striking, it is unusual too. Nepenthes are a tropical variety that are referred to as pitcher plants due to their distinctive shape, which Corson stated inspired the model of the design. They have cups that gather rainwater and collect insects, which are… read more

If You Like Butterflies…

If You Like Butterflies…

Then you will appreciate knowing they are being accessed for some scientific inspiration. The nature born wing technology of the butterfly has actually been studied – and replicated – for use in human designs with elements of biomimicry. In 2009, a group of researchers found that scales on the wings actually act as onboard solar collectors, productively collecting light. Imitating the scales as a model they successfully advanced the way solar cells that are sensitive to dye were able to gather and store light. The wings of the Swallowtail butterfly were examined due to interest in how their fairly flat… read more

Weird Solar Science

Weird Solar Science

A few years back a sort of strange solar nanotechnology was being tossed about. A new kind of way to use solar cells that doesn’t involve a regular panel display was being looked at to recharge batteries. Researchers at Shanghai, China’s Donghua University and a company in Potsdam, Germany called the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, examined how to power up batteries inside implanted objects with photovoltaic cells. They found that this can actually be done by concentrating a specialized infrared laser beam through the skin. By implementing uncommon upconverting nanophosphors from the earth that can soak in… read more