Solar Power

Solar Impulse plane forced to land in Japan, ending flight across Pacific

Solar Impulse plane forced to land in Japan, ending flight across Pacific

The Solar Impulse 2 plane, a project that aims to have an aircraft powered only by solar energy fly around the world, was forced to cut short the Pacific Ocean leg of its journey due to bad weather. 36 hours after taking off from Nanjing, China, the aircraft, with only Swiss pilot André Borschberg on board, made an unexpected landing in the city of Nagoya, in central Japan. The Solar Impulse was supposed to go all the way to Hawaii, flying 120 hours non-stop, and in turn set a new world record for the longest flight of a solo aircraft.

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Three steps to swiftly understanding Tesla Energy

Three steps to swiftly understanding Tesla Energy

Tesla Energy was introduced yesterday, bringing about the possibility of a non-fossil fuel grid of energy across the United States and eventually across the planet. "Tesla is not just an automotive company," said Tesla Motors' introduction to Tesla Energy, "it’s an energy innovation company. Tesla Energy is a critical step in this mission to enable zero emission power generation." Tesla Energy is "a suite of batteries" that'll go in businesses, homes, and utilities, "fostering a clean energy ecosystem and helping wean the world off fossil fuels."

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Tesla Energy Powerwall batteries want to supercharge solar

Tesla Energy Powerwall batteries want to supercharge solar

Tesla has revealed Tesla Energy, its ambitious plan to make sustainable electricity more practical by putting rechargeable batteries into homes and businesses. Announced at Tesla Motor's Hawthorne facility today, Tesla Energy consists of a wall-mounted lithium-ion battery that can operate in multiple ways, including as a backup for power-outages, as a way to "stockpile" power when traditional energy suppliers are offering lower rates, or - most interestingly - store surplus solar energy, such as for use during the night.

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Solar powered electric vehicle charging stations launch in SF

Solar powered electric vehicle charging stations launch in SF

Electric vehicle owners in San Francisco now have a new option to charge their rides thanks to some good old solar power. Making it even better than charging from your home power outlet is that it's completely free. Thanks to company Envision Solar, three Electric Vehicle Autonomous Renewable Chargers have been installed in San Francisco, allowing completely off-the-grid charging. The solar powered units each generate 3.3 kilowatts of electricity, and are connected to a lithium-ion battery pack capable of storing 22.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

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JAXA beams solar energy from space to Earth with accuracy

JAXA beams solar energy from space to Earth with accuracy

The problem with gathering solar energy here on Earth via solar panels is that a lot of the energy that the sun produces doesn't make it through the atmosphere to the solar panels. Scientists have been working to design a method that would allow the solar panels to be in space where they have unfettered access to solar energy and then beam the power back to Earth for use.

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Solar Impulse 2 launches its first solar-powered flight around the world

Solar Impulse 2 launches its first solar-powered flight around the world

André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard are going around the globe again. They first flew across America in their solar-powered plane two years ago. This time, they are flying an improved design, the Solar Impulse 2, around the world. They are taking off from Abu Dhabi today and fly around the world. It was initially supposed to launch in February, but was delayed due to strong winds and bad weather. The flights will total at over 500 hours and is to be divided up into multiple legs.

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Kyocera to reveal smartphone with solar charging at MWC 2015

Kyocera to reveal smartphone with solar charging at MWC 2015

One of the most pressing problems smartphone users have these days is the battery life. We've seen a lot of addons, tricks, and gimmicks that aim to extend our smartphone's active use. Manufacturers are also trying to either cram bigger and bigger batteries or include battery saving modes in their devices. Kyocera is attacking the problem from a slightly different angle. At MWC next week, it will reveal a prototype smartphone that, besides being rugged, also include solar charging capabilities at almost no extra cost.

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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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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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New solar cell is its own battery

New solar cell is its own battery

Solar power is an important part of our future, but in many ways it is still too expensive. The Ohio State University has helped lessen that issue with a new device it created -- a solar cell that serves as its own battery, doing so using a type of panel design that introduces air into the "breathing" battery.

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