Solar

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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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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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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Leaos Solar electric bicycle has integrated solar panels

Leaos Solar electric bicycle has integrated solar panels

Getting around by bike rather than car or bus has its advantages, but not everyone wants to be stuck pedaling for endless miles. That's where electric bicycles come into play, making it easier to travel long distances and traverse up steep hills. The downside to electric bikes are their range limitations -- you'll only get so far before you need to charge the bike or go back to pedaling. The Leaos Solar electric bike could solve that issue, at least for those in sunny locations, due to its built-in solar panels.

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Apple’s new California solar farm will turn their stores, campus green

Apple’s new California solar farm will turn their stores, campus green

In an attempt to go completely green with their operations in California, Apple is building a solar farm in Monterrey County. The $850 million project will span 1,300 acres, and feed enough power to the grid to offset everything Apple does in California. Their 50-plus retail stores, new campus, existing offices, and data center in Newark — all offset by this solar farm. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the new solar farm today as he spoke at Goldman Sachs Technology conference, and called it Apple’s ‘most ambitious project ever’.

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Desolenator uses the sun to make salt water and contaminated water drinkable

Desolenator uses the sun to make salt water and contaminated water drinkable

In most of the developed countries around the world, we take for granted that we will always have clean drinking water. All we need to do is turn on the faucet to get a drink. In developing countries, getting water is a struggle. A new device called the Desolenator promises to make it cheap and easy for people in places without a clean supply of water to make their own drinkable water.

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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 Page chargers want you to dig out that old day planner

Solar Page chargers want you to dig out that old day planner

Back in the days before smartphones were common if you needed a way to keep your day organized you had two choices, a PDA or a day planner. Both the PDA and the day planner were killed off by modern smartphones with their ability to keep track of your day, access the web, and make phone calls. If you still have your old day planner lying around somewhere a new product called Solar Page will be shown off at CES this month you might be interested in.

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