Solar Panel

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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The Eiffel Tower just installed wind turbines for renewable energy

The Eiffel Tower just installed wind turbines for renewable energy

Paris just made a bold step in reducing its carbon footprint. A New York design company, UGE, just installed a pair of wind turbines in the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous historic landmarks in the world, and now it's capable of harnessing clean energy. The quiet twin turbines are nestled above the second level of the tower. Their brushed metal matches the rest of the tower, and they don't obstruct the architecture.

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Flexible solar panels are both functional and decorative

Flexible solar panels are both functional and decorative

While scientists and engineers are still racing to make solar panels more efficient and feasible, some are trying to make the technology more attractive. Literally. Researchers from the VTT Technical Centre of Finland have developed a process that creates solar panels that are not only flexible but also organic and recyclable and can be used on things like windows, walls, machines, and other surfaces that can turn any structure, furniture, or even works of art into light-powered sources of energy for small devices and sensors.

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Solar bike lane produces enough power for three homes

Solar bike lane produces enough power for three homes

The world's first solar bike lane has been installed in The Netherlands and it is capable of producing an impressive amount of power. In fact, the bike lane produces enough green electricity to power three homes and it's the world's first bike lane capable of doing so. Krommenie, a city about 25 kilometers from Amsterdam, is where the bike lane was installed.

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London phone booths converted into solar-powered charging stations

London phone booths converted into solar-powered charging stations

It's the question of our age: what to do with all those unused pay phone booths now that almost everyone has their own cell phone? Well, two entrepreneurs in London may have found the perfect solution, and it's eco-friendly to boot! Six of the city's iconic red telephone boxes have been painted bright green and transformed into charging stations with solar panels on their roofs.

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Transparent solar panels could revolutionize cities & tablets

Transparent solar panels could revolutionize cities & tablets

Transparent solar cells that could one day mean your home, office, or even car windows are generating electricity have been developed, as well as opening the door to phones and tablets that create their own power. The research, led by a team at Michigan State University, has come up with a transparent luminescent solar concentrator which looks clear to the eye but can still harvest energy from wavelengths of light invisible to humans.

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Sharp solar cells can reach 60 percent efficiency

Sharp solar cells can reach 60 percent efficiency

Solar power is perhaps the most well-known alternative source for power, but because of cost and the puzzles of physics itself, it is still quite far from becoming a completely sustainable and practical replacement. Sharp, however, may be on the breakthrough of creating solar cells that are twice as efficient as currently existing cells, at least in theory.

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Robots employed as first fully automated solar panel cleaners

Robots employed as first fully automated solar panel cleaners

We may not yet have achieved our Jetsons utopia, but advancements in robotics have happened at a clipped rate over the years, and slowly robotic devices have worked their way into many industries, taking over tasks that would be difficult or needlessly wasteful if performed by adults. One such task is keeping a field of solar panels in the desert clean, something Ecoppia E4 robots are doing at one Israeli solar field.

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MIT improves solar panel performance using hot carbon nanotubes

MIT improves solar panel performance using hot carbon nanotubes

A lot of research is being carried out around the world using carbon nanotubes for various needs. Recently a group of researchers at MIT has been using hot carbon nanotubes to help improve the performance of solar panels. The more solar energy that solar panels can convert into usable electricity, the more useful they become as an alternative energy producer.

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