The newest in an incredibly vast collection of patents filed for and held by Apple is an update to a previously held patent for solar panels. These solar panels were previously filed for patent to include touch-friendly pieces of equipment, but not displays as such. In this update, Apple’s newest next-generation ware may very well be the solar-powered iPhone.
Plugging in an electric car to recharge often happens in the dark confines of a garage, but BMW wants to brings its u3 and i8 EV range into the light with a new BMW i Solar Carport Concept. Mounting translucent solar panels on top of a bamboo frame - the wood picked for its rapid regrowth - the carport could be entirely off-grid, BMW claims, though you'd obviously need to get enough sun.
More than 300,000 individually computer-controlled mirrors. Three 459 foot tall towers topped with solar boilers at 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. 392 megawatts of Power. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System has gone live, a huge solar power plant built by BrightSource with backing from Google, NRG, and others, set to provide clean energy to 140,000 homes. For all its advanced technology, though, Ivanpah may be more important as a gateway to even more advanced solar energy projects.
A massive solar energy generation project has been underway in the California desert. The project was the building of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generation system that includes three different units generating a massive amount of electricity. Combined, the three units at the Ivanpah plant generate 392 megawatt of power.
Batteries are a distraction: the best way to store excess solar energy for nighttime use is using it to create "solar fuels" that rely on energy-dense chemistry, one research team has concluded. The prototype takes a cue from plants and uses a new type of solar cell that relies on the sun's energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The latter is released, but the former can be stored and then later used for power, including potential in fuel-cell cars. Best of all, the system requires no external power source in order to work its hydrogen-generating magic.
We've seen plenty of wearables with solar panels built into them, but how about the most obvious wearable: sunglasses? That's exactly what these Ray-Ban "Shama" concept sunglasses are. The temples (arms) of the sunglasses capture sunlight throughout the day, and you plug them into your iPhone when the sun goes down.
Though they've made clear that the decision to sell solar panels to the masses on a market-by-market basis, the results are already clear: IKEA is aiming to make solar energy mainstream. If there's one company that can take this green push to the market in a way that's not-quite-cheap but certainly not overpriced, it's IKEA. And here with the IKEA Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard speaking on the subject with the AP this week, "It's the right time to go for the consumers."
Laptop battery life is something that we all can't seem to be happy with. No matter how long the battery is able to last, there are always times when we curse into the wind when we get that dreaded battery warning while on the road. However, a new Ubuntu laptop looks to solve those problems by coming with a solar panel attached to keep the battery juiced up without a power cord.
Apple is working on a new, huge solar panel farm to power its Reno data center, aiming to pump out up to 20 megawatts of energy with a complex magnifying system that will boost the natural power of the sun by up to seven times. The solar farm, which Apple will build in partnership with NV Energy, will use magnifying lenses to increase the intensity of the sunlight onto each panel, based on SunPower technology; any spare power will be fed into the general grid.
If you're out and about for the whole day and are relying on your smartphone for a handful of tasks, you may discover that the battery won't last you the whole day, and what's a person to do when their phone dies and you're nowhere near an outlet? AT&T is looking to solve this problem with solar-powered charging stations planted all throughout the city.
There's are a variety of alternative sources of energy out there that break away from the traditional, environment-dampening methods used, some of them better tailored to certain locations than others. Solar power is one such source, and Australia is a prime location for such technology, offering many bright and sunny days. One of the biggest problems with solar power has been its cost, which may be changing in the near future thanks to a machine that prints a solar cell every 2 seconds.