Solar Panel

Hybrid solar cell makes electricity from light and heat more efficiently

Hybrid solar cell makes electricity from light and heat more efficiently

If we can learn to harness all of it, the sun puts out all the power we could possibly need here on Earth. The problem is that current solar panels aren't very efficient and are able to produce only small amounts of electricity typically. Scientists have now created a new type of hybrid solar-energy system that is able to harness the full spectrum of the sun's radiation much more efficiently than similar solar panels.

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University of Michigan solar cells inspired by Japanese kirigami

University of Michigan solar cells inspired by Japanese kirigami

Researchers at the University of Michigan have created a new type of solar cell that draws inspiration from an ancient Japanese art form known as kirigami. Kirigami is the art of paper cutting. These new solar panels are able to track the sun without requiring conventional motorized trackers. Those conventional trackers are too bulky for use in some instances.

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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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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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Black Silicon solar cell efficiency pushed to 22.1%

Black Silicon solar cell efficiency pushed to 22.1%

The sun puts out all the clean and free electricity that we could ever need and the big problem in harnessing it is the low efficiency of solar panels today. Much of the solar energy that hits solar panels in use today isn’t turned into electricity. Researchers are constantly working to improve solar panel efficiency and recently researchers from Aalto University and Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya have set a new record for the most efficient solar panel.

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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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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 bike lane produces enough power for three homes

Solar bike lane produces enough power for three homes

The world's first solar bike lane has been installed in The Netherlands and it is capable of producing an impressive amount of power. In fact, the bike lane produces enough green electricity to power three homes and it's the world's first bike lane capable of doing so. Krommenie, a city about 25 kilometers from Amsterdam, is where the bike lane was installed.

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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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Transparent solar panels could revolutionize cities & tablets

Transparent solar panels could revolutionize cities & tablets

Transparent solar cells that could one day mean your home, office, or even car windows are generating electricity have been developed, as well as opening the door to phones and tablets that create their own power. The research, led by a team at Michigan State University, has come up with a transparent luminescent solar concentrator which looks clear to the eye but can still harvest energy from wavelengths of light invisible to humans.

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Sharp solar cells can reach 60 percent efficiency

Sharp solar cells can reach 60 percent efficiency

Solar power is perhaps the most well-known alternative source for power, but because of cost and the puzzles of physics itself, it is still quite far from becoming a completely sustainable and practical replacement. Sharp, however, may be on the breakthrough of creating solar cells that are twice as efficient as currently existing cells, at least in theory.

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Aston Martin bringing AC to race cars via solar power

Aston Martin bringing AC to race cars via solar power

Aston Martin is planning to keep its drivers cool using a novel idea: solar panels. The company revealed its plans this week, saying it is an effort to be more green, and, more importantly, to improve performance by taking the load off the race cars' engines.

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