Until quite recently, most people thought of solar panels as expensive and impractical. However, thanks to several significant tax breaks and advances in solar technology, solar power is no longer the sole possession of the elite. More and more people are opting for the clean, environmentally-friendly energy offered by solar panels for the home. If Read the full article…
Wysips, the abbreviation for “What you see is photovoltaic surface,” is a transparent layer that can be used to generate power and charge the battery of the device in which it lies. One idea French solar energy experts at SunPartner have is to use Wysips as a battery charger for mobile phones. The see-through material, composed of micro-lenses and photovoltaic materials, can be installed beneath the screen of mobiles, built into add-on chargers, used in building windows, and in the future may even power watches, tablets, and laptops.
The Solar Impulse plane has successfully landed at Washington D.C.‘s Dulles Airport after making its cross-country journey from San Francisco. The plane does not have the normal jet engines, nor does it use an ounce of fuel. Rather, the Solar Impulse plane is powered solely by the sun. This single-passenger aircraft is part of an experimental project designed to highlight the possibilities for solar energy in the U.S. and worldwide.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) took the side of U.S. solar manufacturers agreeing that Chinese solar cell makers have been benefitting from illegal government subsidies and selling products at below fair market value, thus harming U.S. solar makers. As a result of the decision by the ITC, Chinese companies will now face tariffs set by the U.S. Commerce Department.
Researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington, working alongside Louisiana Tech University assistant professor Long Que, have created a hybrid nanomaterial that converts both light and heat into electricity. Previously, certain nanomaterials could be used to convert light into electricity and others to convert thermal energy into electricity but there have not before been nanomaterials that could do both. By combining the electricity generated by light with some thermoelectricity, the hybrid nanomaterial could improve performance and efficiency over materials that only do one or the other. This development offers great potential for energy production and for the future of solar cell technology.
The entrance of third generation solar cells, such as dye sensitized solar cells (“DSSCs”), is expected to open up new possibilities in the solar market. DSSCs will provide added functionalities like lower weight, flexibility, and semi-transparency, and the use of low cost materials and simple manufacturing processes mean lowered overall costs. Developers of DSSCs believe that these benefits will allow for the use of photovoltaics in ways in which conventional cells do not allow for. However, there are some performance limitations that need to be resolved, namely in relation to lifetime and efficiency. DSSC developers now must identify niche market segments where the pros of these solar cells outweigh the limitations.