TAG: Solar energy

Affordable Solar Options

Affordable Solar Options

The sun’s rays have long been utilized for energy. Though they pay for themselves in the long run, the upfront costs of installing solar panels can be steep. If you want the optimal effects of solar energy but cannot afford to solarize your whole home or business, there are other options that will produce sustainable power without as steep of a price tag. Financing and tax incentives are usually available for renewable energy installations. Instead of splurging for an entire line, you can also purchase individual panels and add to your solar collection when you have the opportunity. If you… read more

Anticipation Builds for the World Solar Challenge

tokai_challenger

The World Solar Challenge is a competition that tests the skills of both solar and non-solar electric powered cars. Taking place every other year, participants from around the globe partake in a race, with a 3000-kilometer route descending from Australia’s northern territory to its southern city of Adelaide. Beyond the excitement this event fosters, the route serves as a fertile testing ground where these energy-efficient trailblazers can endure real to life driving conditions. This year’s race will mark the introduction of four separate vehicle classes for which a car may qualify. Different classes will be evaluated on their speed, external… read more

Buffett Takes On Solar

Buffett Takes On Solar

Most of the time, solar energy and solar power are surrounded by competing interests, and competing sources of investment. As a result, many believe the government, be it state or federal, bears some responsibility in easing the financial burden of building or installing solar panels. On the other hand, many believe government has no place in funding solar projects unless it is on federal property. This dichotomy in beliefs exists both at the watercooler in the office, and also on Capitol Hill. Bypassing the differences in ideology, Warren Buffet is privately funding the world’s largest photovoltaic solar project. Obviously Warren… read more

Making Solar Cheaper

Cost of Solar

Recently a California-based company named Alta Devices announced the news that it had achieved a record for the efficiency of an individual solar cell. Alta Devices have broken their own previous record of 23.5% and the new efficiency levels of 27.6% has been verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Alta Devices makes solar panels using gallium arsenide. Gallium arsenide is a more efficient material than the silicon-based cells which are currently more prevalent. To keep prices down the company uses remarkably small amounts of gallium and arsenic. This is done by creating layers of gallium arsenide only a micron thick. The development… read more

Pear Energy Simplifies Switching to Clean Energy in the U.S.

Buffett Takes On Solar

For residents of the United States, switching to clean energy for household energy use doesn’t have to mean putting up a solar PV array or wind turbine. Instead, users can simply choose Pear Energy to handle their energy needs, thereby supporting clean and renewable energy in the U.S.. When switching to Pear Energy, customers don’t need to get anything installed at their location, and their local utility continues to provide the electricity to the house, but Pear buys clean solar and wind power for them with their money. Pear customers get a side-by-side comparison of energy costs on each month’s… read more

Solar Panel Maintenance

Solar Panel Maintenance

There is a tendency to hear a lot about the installation of solar panels, but not so much about the required maintenance. Any type of system placed in the home will likely involve some sort of upkeep. Solar energy systems are efficient choices and do not have to be constantly watched over, however general cleaning is a necessity. Making sure the panels are free of dust and debris as needed is important for the best sunlight reception and energy yield, but also to make them last longer and help keep them scratch free. Periodically hosing them off with water and… read more

Rooftop Solar Could Power All Households in Australia

Using the Power of the Sun

If every household in Australia had rooftop solar panels, it could supply 134% of the country’s residential needs, according to figures calculated by a solar energy company. The calculations, which used government data, showed that not only could the residential needs be met by such an initiative, but that it would also feed excess electricity into the grid and lower energy costs across the country. According to Energy Matters, installing solar on every roof would not only generate plenty of jobs, but the price for electricity could go down to just 7 cents per kWh, which is in stark contrast… read more

Solar Industry On The Rise

Solar On The Up

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released data late last year which showed 684 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity was installed in the quarter ending October 2012, 44 percent more than in the third quarter of 2011. During the first three quarters of the year, the solar industry added 1,992 megawatts of solar power, compared with 885 megawatts for all of 2011. This increase brings installed photovoltaic capacity to 5.9 gigawatts, which could power slightly under one million average American homes, according to SEIA. The surge in solar installations, and thus capacity, is attributed to not only lower costs of… read more

New Solar Chip Converts Both Light and Heat

PETE solar chip

A new and improved version of a solar semiconductor chip developed at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES) converts both light and heat into electricity, and is claimed to be 100 times more efficient than the previous iteration. The solar device, based on the photon-enhanced thermionic emission (PETE) process, can use the entire spectrum of sunlight for energy production, including those wavelengths that generate heat (which are usually considered ‘waste’ heat) Current photovoltaic technology uses only a small portion of the spectrum of sunlight that hits the cells, and they get less efficient at higher temperatures. The… read more

Solar Energy to Reach Grid Parity in 2014

Solar Power in 2013

Strong demand for solar photovoltaic installations, increased margins, and the achievement of grid parity in certain key markets leads Deutsche Bank analysts to forecast solar energy as sustainable, rather than subsidized, by the end of next year. In order for solar power to really shine in our energy systems, the cost of installing and operating PV systems has to come down to a point where it is sustainable – that is, a point at which it is no longer necessary to be subsidized. Grid parity, which is the point at which the cost for producing electricity from an alternative source… read more