Solar

BMW i Solar Carport Concept powers i8 and home

BMW i Solar Carport Concept powers i8 and home

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.

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Solar Impulse 2 plans to circumvent the globe without fuel in five consecutive days

Solar Impulse 2 plans to circumvent the globe without fuel in five consecutive days

A new solar-powered aircraft is being shown off called the Solar Impulse 2 that plans to make a flight that will take it around the globe. The aircraft was unveiled on April 9 in Switzerland. Pilots of the aircraft's circumnavigation of the Earth using no fuel will be Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard. Solar Impulse 2 will be used to fly around the globe in 2015.

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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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Changers offers redeemable credits for charging gadgets via solar power

Changers offers redeemable credits for charging gadgets via solar power

The market has no lack of solar chargers for small gadgets, such as smartphones and tablets, but they often take longer than a wall charger and are less convenient, needing full sunlight in most cases. Such negatives aren't much incentive for gadget owners to go green, but the startup Changers hopes to change that. Those who use the company's solar charger will earn credits that can be redeemed for goods.

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Solar cell project creates hydrogen fuel and bypasses batteries

Solar cell project creates hydrogen fuel and bypasses batteries

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.

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Luna Ring concept puts solar panels on the moon to power Earth

Luna Ring concept puts solar panels on the moon to power Earth

Solar energy is one method for powering homes and such with renewable resources, something that has seen great strides in past years but that still suffers from various limitations. One Japanese company has a big vision for the technology that would overcome some of these limitations, and it involves putting solar panels on the moon and beaming electricity at the Earth with lasers.

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Apple to build manufacturing facility and solar power grid in Mesa, Arizona

Apple to build manufacturing facility and solar power grid in Mesa, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona is in for a dose of Apple-fueled economic growth, according to an announcement the state's governor made today. Apple will be constructing a new manufacturing plant in the city, and with it will come 1300 new jobs for the construction itself and management, and 700 jobs for manufacturing once it is open. Beyond that, Apple also has some power-harvesting solar ambitions.

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EnerPlex Surfr Samsung Galaxy S4 case has solar and battery power

EnerPlex Surfr Samsung Galaxy S4 case has solar and battery power

If you use the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, and is that a lot of time away from an outlet you may be looking for options that help your device from longer. A company called EnerPlex has unveiled a new case for the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone called the EnerPlex Surfr that has an internal battery and an integrated flexible thin-film solar panel on the back of the case. This is the same company that unveiled the Packr solar backpack earlier this month.

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