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  #101  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 2:48 AM
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A new dimension for solar energy


March 26, 2012

By Kimberly Allen

Read More: http://web.mit.edu/press/2012/three-...ar-energy.html

Quote:
Intensive research around the world has focused on improving the performance of solar photovoltaic cells and bringing down their cost. But very little attention has been paid to the best ways of arranging those cells, which are typically placed flat on a rooftop or other surface, or sometimes attached to motorized structures that keep the cells pointed toward the sun as it crosses the sky. Now, a team of MIT researchers has come up with a very different approach: building cubes or towers that extend the solar cells upward in three-dimensional configurations. Amazingly, the results from the structures they’ve tested show power output ranging from double to more than 20 times that of fixed flat panels with the same base area.

The biggest boosts in power were seen in the situations where improvements are most needed: in locations far from the equator, in winter months and on cloudier days. The new findings, based on both computer modeling and outdoor testing of real modules, have been published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science. “I think this concept could become an important part of the future of photovoltaics,” says the paper’s senior author, Jeffrey Grossman, the Carl Richard Soderberg Career Development Associate Professor of Power Engineering at MIT. The MIT team initially used a computer algorithm to explore an enormous variety of possible configurations, and developed analytic software that can test any given configuration under a whole range of latitudes, seasons and weather. Then, to confirm their model’s predictions, they built and tested three different arrangements of solar cells on the roof of an MIT laboratory building for several weeks.

.....
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  #102  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 5:15 AM
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
A new dimension for solar energy


March 26, 2012

By Kimberly Allen

Read More: http://web.mit.edu/press/2012/three-...ar-energy.html
^This is what Solyndra was doing... manufacturing solar cells in 3-D shapes is very expensive and frankly unnecessary. In 2008 solar modules were over $4/watt now it is under $1/watt. In two years it will be at or near $0.5/watt. And it will keep falling..

Solar is the only energy source in the world that gets cheaper every year.
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  #103  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 4:40 PM
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Satellite proposed to send solar power to Earth


April 11, 2012

By Bob Yirka

Read More: http://phys.org/news/2012-04-satelli...wer-earth.html

Quote:
Mankins idea is a bio-mimetic approach, meaning it’s based on the way something in nature goes about handling a similar situation. In this case, it appears that something is the common flower, which uses its petals to collect solar energy. Mankins idea is to build petals out of an array of many small mirrors that would direct sunlight to solar cells. The energy created by the solar cells would then be converted to microwaves which would be broadcast or beamed back to a receiving station on Earth, where electricity (perhaps as much as tens of thousands of megawatts) would be generated from the energy in the microwaves.

To make the project feasible, the mirrors and solar cells would be small and lightweight so that they could be easily transported into space using conventional transport vehicles. And because it would be component based, construction costs would be much lower than other proposed ideas. The project called Solar Power Satellite via Arbitrarily Large PHased Array (SPS-ALPHA) would make use of thin filmed mirrors to reduce weight which would be curved to take maximum advantage of the sunlight it receives. Also, the satellite would sit far enough away from planet Earth so that it would never be in the dark, allowing for a constant stream of microwaves.

.....








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  #104  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2012, 5:17 PM
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National Renewable Energy Lab
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  #105  
Old Posted May 12, 2012, 7:51 PM
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Solar Installers Offer Deals, Gaining Converts


May 9, 2012

By DIANE CARDWELL

Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/bu...imes&seid=auto

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HOLMDEL, N.J. — Jay Nuzzi, a New Jersey state trooper, had put off installing solar panels on his home here for years, deterred by the $70,000 it could cost. Then on a trip to Home Depot, he stumbled across a booth for Roof Diagnostics, which offered him a solar system at a price he couldn’t refuse: free.

Mr. Nuzzi had to sign a 20-year contract to buy electricity generated by the roof panels, which he would not own. But the rates were well below what he was paying to the local utility. “It’s no cost to the homeowner — how do you turn it down?” Mr. Nuzzi said on a recent overcast morning as a crew attached 41 shiny black modules to his roof. “It was a no-brainer.”

Similar deals are being struck with tens of thousands of homeowners and businesses across the country. Installers, often working through big-box chains like Home Depot or Lowe’s, are taking advantage of hefty tax breaks, creative financing techniques and a glut of cheap, Chinese-made panels to make solar power accessible to the mass market for the first time. The number of residential and commercial installations more than doubled over the last two years to 213,957, according to Greentech Media, a research firm.

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  #106  
Old Posted May 30, 2012, 9:28 PM
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Los Angeles gives go-ahead on expanded solar program


05.24.2012

Read More: http://archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=6061

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Sunshine is obviously an abundant resource in Los Angeles, but it’s been woefully underutilized. Compared to other major U.S. utilities, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) ranks last in solar capacity per capita and still gets 45 percent of its energy from coal. In April, LA City Council approved a measure that paves the way for a 10-megawatt demonstration program—enough to power 10,000 households—that reimburses residents for the solar energy they produce.

The program prioritizes building types with large rooftops such as condominiums, parking structures, and warehouses that yield more solar power for less cost and create another source of revenue, a plus particularly in low-income neighborhoods. “We have to make sure there’s a good geographic distribution and different types of buildings,” said Mary Leslie of the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC), a leading advocate of the program. “Solar programs have tended to cluster in affluent areas. We want to disabuse that.”

The program also helps LADWP determine an optimal amount that residents will be reimbursed for creating solar energy through a bidding process. The demo is just the tip of the iceberg. LA rooftops have the potential to generate as much as 5.5 gigawatts of energy, enough to offset the needs of half a million LA households, according to a study by the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA. LADWP plans to add 65 megawatts to the program later this year. An additional 75 megawatts is expected by 2016, for a total of 150 megawatts, enough to power 34,000 homes.

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  #107  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2012, 8:25 PM
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'PowerCloth 1G': Utah researchers develop ultra-light, flexible and foldable solar panel fabric
July 8, 2012



Exotic Solar LLC, a Salt Lake City based renewable energy start-up company, announced that they have developed a technique to manufacture cheap, flexible and foldable solar panel fabric that can be integrated with our day to day attire to make them a power source. Their patent pending technique converts brittle and fragile solar cells into flexible solar panels.

http://phys.org/news/2012-07-powercl...-flexible.html
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  #108  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2012, 5:33 PM
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Transparent solar cells let windows generate electricity


July 24, 2012

By Deborah Netburn

Read More: http://www.latimes.com/business/tech...&dlvrit=104530

Quote:
.....

Scientists at UCLA have invented a thin, transparent solar cell that can turn the energy of the sun into electricity, while still allowing visible light to stream through it.

- The transparent solar cell is made out of a plastic that absorbs invisible infared light while letting most visible light pass through. Additionally, even the metal that carries the charge out of the cell is transparent. In collaboration with Paul S. Weiss, director of CNSI, Yang was able to install a silver nano wire that served as the conductive metal that is essentially invisible. The result? A solar panel that is 70% transparent to the human eye.

- There is a catch, of course: Transparent solar cells are not nearly as efficient as opaque ones. Yang said that by solving the visibility problem, 30% of a cell's energy-absorbing capability had to be sacrificed. The good news is that the process is very economical, and the material can be fabricated as a liquid that can be sprayed on a surface, much in the same way that car factories spray paint onto automobiles.

.....



A piece of clear glass, left, is compared to a transparent solar cell, right, developed by UCLA professor Yang Yang and his team. (Courtesy of UCLA / July 24, 2012)

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  #109  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2012, 5:50 PM
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Self-assembled photosystem-I biophotovoltaics on nanostructured TiO2 and ZnO

Read More: http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/1202...srep00234.html

Quote:
The abundant pigment-protein membrane complex photosystem-I (PS-I) is at the heart of the Earth’s energy cycle. It is the central molecule in the “Z-scheme” of photosynthesis, converting sunlight into the chemical energy of life. Commandeering this intricately organized photosynthetic nanocircuitry and re-wiring it to produce electricity carries the promise of inexpensive and environmentally friendly solar power.

We here report that dry PS-I stabilized by surfactant peptides functioned as both the light-harvester and charge separator in solar cells self-assembled on nanostructured semiconductors. Contrary to previous attempts at biophotovoltaics requiring elaborate surface chemistries, thin film deposition, and illumination concentrated into narrow wavelength ranges the devices described here are straightforward and inexpensive to fabricate and perform well under standard sunlight yielding open circuit photovoltage of 0.5 V, fill factor of 71%, electrical power density of 81 µW/cm2 and photocurrent density of 362 µA/cm2, over four orders of magnitude higher than any photosystem-based biophotovoltaic to date.

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  #110  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2012, 2:11 AM
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http://cambridgema.gov/solar/

With a click, the Cambridge Solar Tool shows Cambridge residents, businesses, and property owners how much electricity can be produced on their rooftops from solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, how the financial investment will pay off, and how much pollution will be reduced.





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  #111  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2012, 3:17 PM
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So how is Ontario doing?

Ontario seems to be facing some challenges on its green energy technology plan."Ontario loses WTO ruling on green energy policies" say some reports. If Canada loses the case, it brings a lot of challenges for the manufacturers in Ontario. read more in: www.solaredon.wordpress.com


Last edited by SolaredON; Oct 17, 2012 at 3:19 PM. Reason: added img
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  #112  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 1:58 AM
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Nature inspires research to convert solar into liquid fuel

Read More: http://phys.org/news/2012-10-nature-...quid-fuel.html

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The development would offer many benefits, including the ability to store chemicals until needed - current solar power technology has difficulties in this area. In the laboratory, a new technology mimics photosynthesis, the process used by plants, by combining sunlight and water in such a way that promises storable fuels.

- Inspired by photosynthesis, in which oxygen and carbohydrates are produced from water and carbon dioxide, the newly developed technology emulates this process using man-made materials. According to Associate Professor Tachibana, it remains a challenge to construct a device capable of producing molecular fuels like hydrogen at a scale and cost able to compete with fossil fuels. The key to improving efficiency will be in the development of new "nano-materials" (microscopically small components), along with efficient control of charge transfer reaction processes, and improvement to the structure of devices.

.....
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  #113  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2012, 4:00 AM
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California Valley solar plants: Grassland to green energy

Read more: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2012/10...ylink=misearch

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California Valley — The dramatic transformation of California Valley from arid grassland to the world’s largest photovoltaic power generation center is well under way.

When the two large-scale commercial solar plants under construction north of the Carrizo Plain National Monument are complete, they will produce 800 megawatts of electricity — enough to power about 260,000 homes.

“You are witnessing an energy revolution in the making,” Howard Wenger, president of SunPower, told about 100 people on a tour this week.

.....


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  #114  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2012, 6:51 PM
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Nature | News
Sahara solar plan loses its shine
Siemens’ decision to pull out of DESERTEC reignites doubts.

Devin Powell
31 October 2012

Dimming prospects for solar energy have caught up with a massive renewable-energy project planned for the Sahara Desert. By 2050, according to its backers, DESERTEC, a network of solar plants and other renewable sources scattered across North Africa and the Middle East, could generate more than 125 gigawatts of power that could be used locally or delivered to Europe through high-voltage direct-current cables beneath the Mediterranean Sea. But one of its major backers, Siemens, based in Munich, Germany, now says that it will leave Dii, the consortium trying to advance DESERTEC, by the end of the year.

“We see our part in Dii as done,” says spokesman Torsten Wolf of Siemens, one of 13 founding partners of the consortium, which is also based in Munich.

Siemens also said that it will pull out of the solar-energy business altogether. Its decision was made in response to falling government subsidies for solar energy and a collapse in the price of solar equipment. But to DESERTEC’S critics, Siemens’ exit also adds to doubts about the plan, which is expected to cost hundreds of billions of dollars. “DESERTEC is an ambitious attempt to do every­thing at once,” says Jenny Chase, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Zurich, Switzerland. “I think it’s something that will be achieved organically, bit by bit, which will probably be cheaper, easier and achieve the same results.”
http://www.nature.com/news/sahara-so...-shine-1.11684
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  #115  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2012, 2:55 AM
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I thought that solar panels are ~20% efficiency now. 20 times more efficient that 20% efficient would be 400%, which would be impossible, as you can't create energy, only convert it. So that makes no sense.
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  #116  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2012, 5:59 PM
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Stanford Report, October 31, 2012
Stanford scientists build the first all-carbon solar cell
Researchers have developed a solar cell made entirely of carbon, an inexpensive substitute for the pricey materials used in conventional solar panels.

By Mark Shwartz

Stanford University scientists have built the first solar cell made entirely of carbon, a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic devices today. The results are published in today's online edition of the journal ACS Nano.

"Carbon has the potential to deliver high performance at a low cost," said study senior author Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a working solar cell that has all of the components made of carbon. This study builds on previous work done in our lab."

Unlike rigid silicon solar panels that adorn many rooftops, Stanford's thin film prototype is made of carbon materials that can be coated from solution. "Perhaps in the future we can look at alternative markets where flexible carbon solar cells are coated on the surface of buildings, on windows or on cars to generate electricity," Bao said.

The coating technique also has the potential to reduce manufacturing costs, said Stanford graduate student Michael Vosgueritchian, co-lead author of the study with postdoctoral researcher Marc Ramuz.

"Processing silicon-based solar cells requires a lot of steps," Vosgueritchian explained. "But our entire device can be built using simple coating methods that don't require expensive tools and machines."
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/o...ll-103112.html

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Funneling the sun’s energy
MIT engineers propose a new way of harnessing photons for electricity, with the potential for capturing a wider spectrum of solar energy.

David L. Chandler, MIT News Office
November 25, 2012

The quest to harness a broader spectrum of sunlight’s energy to produce electricity has taken a radically new turn, with the proposal of a “solar energy funnel” that takes advantage of materials under elastic strain.

“We’re trying to use elastic strains to produce unprecedented properties,” says Ju Li, an MIT professor and corresponding author of a paper describing the new solar-funnel concept that was published this week in the journal Nature Photonics.

In this case, the “funnel” is a metaphor: Electrons and their counterparts, holes — which are split off from atoms by the energy of photons — are driven to the center of the structure by electronic forces, not by gravity as in a household funnel. And yet, as it happens, the material actually does assume the shape of a funnel: It is a stretched sheet of vanishingly thin material, poked down at its center by a microscopic needle that indents the surface and produces a curved, funnel-like shape.

The pressure exerted by the needle imparts elastic strain, which increases toward the sheet’s center. The varying strain changes the atomic structure just enough to “tune” different sections to different wavelengths of light — including not just visible light, but also some of the invisible spectrum, which accounts for much of sunlight’s energy.
http://www.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/f...ergy-1125.html
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  #117  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2012, 5:43 AM
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  #118  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2012, 6:51 AM
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^ The innovation there has to happen on the water oil seperation process. I don't think it could be as efficient as a heat exchanger, turbine process, but the question is whether the capital costs would offset the loss of efficiency over time.

Interesting project!
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  #119  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2012, 6:24 PM
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Solar Startup Silevo Scales Up, Even as Others Shut Down
The company thinks its novel solar technology can take on competitors in China.

By Kevin Bullis on December 5, 2012

The global solar panel industry is struggling—major manufacturers have posted continued losses this quarter, mainly due to a saturated market that’s left them unable to charge enough for their panels. But one startup, Fremont, California-based Silevo, is bucking the trend of plant closures and bankruptcies by planning to build a new factory next year.

Silevo says the 200-megawatt factory will let it make solar panels at costs similar to those made by solar-panel manufacturers in China, even though those manufacturers have far larger, 1,000-megawatt factories and the economies of scale that go with that.

Silevo has one key advantage—its solar panels produce significantly more power than conventional solar panels do. They generate roughly 30 percent more power than conventional ones, and hold up better at high temperatures, which could further increase their electricity production. The combination of low-cost manufacturing and high efficiency is why the company now has an order backlog of 270 megawatts, says Chris Beitel, Silevo’s vice president of business development. The company currently produces solar panels at a small 32-megawatt factory in China, and says it hopes to close financing for the new plant early next year.

In the push to make solar competitive with fossil fuels, some startups are developing novel types of solar cells that promise higher efficiencies but also require new manufacturing methods.
http://www.technologyreview.com/news...ers-shut-down/
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  #120  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2012, 6:30 PM
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