TAG: Solar panels

The electree Grows Power and Visual Appeal

The electree Grows Power and Visual Appeal

What do you get when you cross the natural form of a tree with artful technology? A prototype for a solar design that looks like no other, called electree. Surfacing as a project on Kickstarter a while back, this design features both aesthetics and necessity. Adding sunlight to this digital tree won’t make it grow, but it will charge gadgets. Resembling a sculpture of a bonsai tree with many mirrored branches, the electree is a solar charger with interesting appeal. It charges smartphones as well as other devices, and the sample creation has some promising features. The tree absorbs sunlight through its… read more

Traffic Lights With Energy Saving Designs

Solar powered lights are on the rise, and traffic lights are increasingly switching to LED and solar designs. New strategies in operating traffic and pedestrian routes offer energy efficiency and dependability. Many transportation departments have already made the switch to LED (Light Emitting Diodes) traffic lighting. LED lights, compared to the previously used versions, are more energy efficient and economical. One group of researchers set out to solve the issue of wasted and unwanted light from streetlights. They designed a suggested solution that forces the light to shine only where it is intended. Many streetlights still get their glow from… read more

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

Solar Panels Finally Giving Back

Solar panels on a building

Solar panels aren’t usually the type of thing you’d worry about sucking energy. After all, they’re supposed to be harnessing natural energy from the sun and putting it to good use towards whatever it’s connected to. Yet, until roughly 2010, solar panels used more electricity than they put out. This is due largely in part to the extraordinary speed in which the solar industry has grown. We’re finally seeing progress on the energy-usage front, but it’s been a slow and steady campaign. Luckily, analysts believe we’ll put back that used energy by the year 2020, so all is well. Manufacturing… 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

Solar Airplane Set for Fuel-Free Flight Across U.S.

Solar Impulse 2013

The team behind last year’s successful intercontinental solar airplane flight, are planning to fly across the United States beginning in May, powered solely by the sun. The team behind the Solar Impulse project, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, have seen successful flights from Spain to Morrocco in 2012 with their solar plane, proving the viability of both the concept of solar flight, as well as the design of their aircraft. The team plans to launch the Solar Impulse Across America 2013 by taking off from San Francisco in early May, and flying across the country to New York City over… read more

Low-Tech Solar Panel Rotator Boosts Output 40%

Eden Full SunSaluter

In order to get the most amount of energy from solar panels, they need to stay facing the sun as it moves through the sky. Most of the time, they are mounted at a fixed angle and orientation so that they will have good exposure for part of the day and most of the year, because adding a solar tracker with a motor isn’t affordable or feasible. When small solar panel setups are the only power source that people have, such as in the developing world, getting the most electricity out of them every day is really important. But short… 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

Quantum Dot Solar Cells

220px-Sargent_Group_quantum_dot_solar_cell

More than one hundred of  the world’s first solar cells with EQE (External quantum efficiency)  were created recently showing significantly greater efficiency than regular solar cells. These enhanced solar cells generate 40% more power for every photon which falls on the solar cell. This achievement was possible with the help of Multiple Excitation Generation (MEG). MEG works by splitting and using a greater portion of the energy in the higher energy photons. The test results showed MEG produced an EQU value of 114 % for 4 eV photons. “Since current solar cell technology is still too expensive to completely compete with non-renewable… 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