Solar

Google expands its Sunroof estimates to more US territories

Google expands its Sunroof estimates to more US territories

This month, the focus is placed heavily once more is on climate change and the environment in general. Considering their reliance, as well as adverse effects, on the environment, tech companies have rallied around efforts to use or at least promote more responsible use of resources. At the start of the UN Climate Change Conference last week, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and a whole host of other Silicon Valley luminaries announced a new Breakthrough Energy Coalition. Now Google is making its own very small contribution by making its Project Sunroof available to more states in the US.

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Morocco will be home to world’s largest concentrated solar farm

Morocco will be home to world’s largest concentrated solar farm

Morocco will soon be home to the world’s largest solar farm, according to a new report. The city of Ouarzazate is in the pipeline to get four mega solar plants, all of them linked together into a single complex. This will operate alongside both wind and hydro energy farms, as well, the sum total of which is expected to produce half or more of the nation’s electricity needs by 2020. If all goes as planned, there might be enough electricity left over to export into Europe.

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Panasonic eneloop solar storage provides light, charges phones

Panasonic eneloop solar storage provides light, charges phones

Given the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, it might be too easy to presume that every place in the world has a constant and reliable supply of electricity. The fact, however, is that one out of every five people in the world actually lives without enjoying the conveniences, not to mention the essential benefits, of electricity. Almost ironically, these same areas do have working cellular networks. Panasonic "eneloop solar storage" tries to hit two birds with one stone, gathering enough solar power to give light as well as charge mobile devices.

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Apple steps up its clean energy programs in China

Apple steps up its clean energy programs in China

True to the promise it made last May, Apple has launched several programs that will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its operations in China. But rather than just keeping the benefits to itself, it is moving to apply its environmental achievements to a wider range, including its own manufacturing partners in the country. And to prove that it isn't all just words, Apple announced that it has finally completed the construction of its 40-megawatt solar project in Sichuan Province which can power all of Apple's offices and stores in China and more.

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GM to put solar panels at its transmission factory generating 800-kilowatts

GM to put solar panels at its transmission factory generating 800-kilowatts

GM has announced that it plans to go green at its Warren Transmission plant and will install a large solar panel array near the facility. GM is teaming with DTE to install the solar array and it will be the largest solar installation that GM has in Michigan. The solar panels installed will be able to generate 800-kilowatts of power.

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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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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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Ecoxgear unveils power banks and speaker for the outdoors

Ecoxgear unveils power banks and speaker for the outdoors

People who are outside a lot often struggle to keep their devices charged and working. A company called Ecoxgear has unveiled some new devices aimed specifically at the outdoors types who want devices that can survive the outdoors and help their gadgets keep working. The new products are the Sol Jam, EcoCarbon, EcoPebble Powerbank, and the EcoCharge external battery.

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Solar Impulse battery problems ground plan until 2016

Solar Impulse battery problems ground plan until 2016

The Solar Impulse team, the people behind the solar-powered aircraft of the same name that's attempting to complete a journey around the globe, has revealed that the plane has suffered significant battery problems after its latest leg and will not be able to resume its journey until 2016. The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft landed in Hawaii on July 3rd after successfully completing a non-stop, 5-day flight from Japan, setting a world record in the process. Unfortunately the flight caused "irreversible damage" to the plane's batteries.

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Solar Paper is a paper-thin solar charger

Solar Paper is a paper-thin solar charger

Small solar chargers for your gadgets are nothing new, but the most modern batches are only vaguely similar to the first chargers on the market. Solar Paper is perhaps the best example of this -- it is a solar charger ranging from 2.5 watts to 10 watts, and it is thin enough to slip between the pages of a book, hence its name. The charger features a USB port for charging USB devices, and is scarcely larger than a dollar bill.

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Solar Impulse 2 has flown above the Pacific for 80 hours non-stop

Solar Impulse 2 has flown above the Pacific for 80 hours non-stop

Earlier this week we talked a bit about the record setting aircraft called Solar Impulse 2. The plane had become grounded in Japan after weather over the Pacific wasn’t favorable for the flight to Hawaii to continue. After sitting grounded for a while, the aircraft was finally able to take off again on its record setting journey. Currently Solar Impulse 2 has been flying above the Pacific for 80 hours on its way to Hawaii.

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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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