Solar Panel

Department of Energy launches podcast ‘Direct Current’

Department of Energy launches podcast ‘Direct Current’

Podcasts are popular again, and high-quality offerings are springing up all over the place. Newest among them is a series from the Department of Energy, which has announced (and published) its first-ever podcast. The podcast series is called ‘Direct Current,’ and it concerns itself with everything electricity. The team behind it includes a few people from the Office of Public Affairs, among others.

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San Francisco is first big US city to require solar panels on new buildings

San Francisco is first big US city to require solar panels on new buildings

San Francisco has become the first major city in the United States that will require solar panels to be included on newly constructed buildings. The legislation comes from Supervisor Scott Wiener, and it was just recently passed without opposition by the Board of Supervisors, Wiener announced this week. Under the legislation, new buildings will need to put their roof space to good use by installing solar panels, helping ease the city’s energy burden while being better for the environment.

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Chinese researchers develop solar cell that can charge in rain

Chinese researchers develop solar cell that can charge in rain

We are always in the search alternative sources of energy, mostly from renewable resources. In practice, that usually translates to solar and wind power, mostly the former. But while the sun is almost always available, at least during the day, it can sometimes be hidden for hours under a torrent of rain. To get past at least that situation, a group of researchers from the Ocean University of China and Yunnan Normal University are developing a new time of solar cell that can generate electricity even without the sun. At least as long as there is rain.

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Ring Solar Panel for Stick Up Cam eliminates charging hassle

Ring Solar Panel for Stick Up Cam eliminates charging hassle

Ring, the company behind the Ring Stick Up Cam and Video Doorbell, has introduced the new Ring Solar Panel for powering the aforementioned camera. The solar panel serves an obvious purpose — it keeps the camera powered up, removing the need to manually recharge (assuming you get adequate levels of sunlight). The Ring Solar Panel is described as a self-install device, which can be put up within three minutes wherever your camera may be located.

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Heliatek organic photovoltaic panels set new record for efficiency

Heliatek organic photovoltaic panels set new record for efficiency

Solar panels hold much promise for creating power from the free energy that the Sun releases each day. The catch is that solar panels are very inefficient at converting solar energy into electricity. Research is constantly being conducted into making solar panels more efficient at the conversion process and a research team from Heliatek has set a new record for organic solar panel efficiency.

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Elon Musk’s SolarCity announces world’s most efficient solar panels

Elon Musk’s SolarCity announces world’s most efficient solar panels

SolarCity, the residential solar panel installer co-founded by Elon Musk, has said that it has developed the world's most efficient rooftop solar panel, achieving an efficiency of just over 22%. The company says that this means the panel is capable of generating more power per square foot and harvesting more energy per year than any other rooftop panel. Limited production is set to start this month, but the plan is to start building 360 watt panels at SolarCity's new 1-gigawatt plant opening in New York next year.

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Researchers make new cooling material to boost solar efficiency

Researchers make new cooling material to boost solar efficiency

Solar cells are less efficient when they’re hot, which poses an obvious problem — solar cells sit in direct sunlight and get incredibly hot as a result. Solar researchers have spent years trying to develop a solution to this problem, and Stanford is perhaps at the top of the list when it comes to new developments. Latest among its efforts is a new thin material that can be laid over traditional solar cells to reduce heat exposure.

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Hybrid solar cell makes electricity from light and heat more efficiently

Hybrid solar cell makes electricity from light and heat more efficiently

If we can learn to harness all of it, the sun puts out all the power we could possibly need here on Earth. The problem is that current solar panels aren't very efficient and are able to produce only small amounts of electricity typically. Scientists have now created a new type of hybrid solar-energy system that is able to harness the full spectrum of the sun's radiation much more efficiently than similar solar panels.

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University of Michigan solar cells inspired by Japanese kirigami

University of Michigan solar cells inspired by Japanese kirigami

Researchers at the University of Michigan have created a new type of solar cell that draws inspiration from an ancient Japanese art form known as kirigami. Kirigami is the art of paper cutting. These new solar panels are able to track the sun without requiring conventional motorized trackers. Those conventional trackers are too bulky for use in some instances.

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Google Project Sunroof takes guesswork out of solar switch

Google Project Sunroof takes guesswork out of solar switch

Google is hoping to encourage more homeowners to fit rooftop solar panels, launching Project Sunroof to do the math on just how much could be saved. The system relies on the same aerial imagery that Google already delivers in Google Earth, figuring out rooftop area and then taking into account factors like what angle the sunlight will hit it, whether it's in the shade of nearby buildings or trees, and even what the weather might be like in your area.

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How GM’s giving old batteries a second charge

How GM’s giving old batteries a second charge

General Motors is one of the auto makers working to reuse old electric car batteries, and in its case it is doing so with Chevrolet Volt batteries with one of its IT buildings. Using a handful of old Volt batteries from the model’s first generation, General Motors is powering an administration building in conjunction with wind and solar energy. This is due to the remaining capacities of the batteries after they stop being useful for the Chevy Volt electric cars.

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Black Silicon solar cell efficiency pushed to 22.1%

Black Silicon solar cell efficiency pushed to 22.1%

The sun puts out all the clean and free electricity that we could ever need and the big problem in harnessing it is the low efficiency of solar panels today. Much of the solar energy that hits solar panels in use today isn’t turned into electricity. Researchers are constantly working to improve solar panel efficiency and recently researchers from Aalto University and Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya have set a new record for the most efficient solar panel.

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