I didn’t know the Guiness Book awards solar cell efficiencies lately. This story I read on Cleantechnica tells how SunPower, “the most popular solar panels company in California,” got into the Guinness Book for providing people with “the most efficient commercially available photovoltaic modules on the market.”
Special planes equipped with a special laser system called Lidar flew over New York last year and scanned all the potential rooftops out of more than one million on which solar panels could be installed to properly produce power, NYTimes reports.
According to a recent report made by tue World Bank, over one million homes from Bangladesh are powered by solar energy, being the fastest expansion of solar use in the world.
SolarCity, the company founded by Elon Musk (who also created Tesla Motors, Paypal) has just received $280 million from Google. The investment is one of the largest in solar power worldwide, and aims to help 7,000 to 9,000 homeowners in the 10 states where SolarCity operates install solar panels onto their rooftops.
A new device that harvests energy from raindrops, winds or sunlight has been invented at the Institute for Materials Research and Innovation at the University of Bolton, UK. Elias Siores led a team who created a special polymer with piezoelectric and photosensitive properties.
As we’ve mentioned in a previous article, General Electric is thinking of expanding its presence worldwide. Their plans now include a 530 megawatt hybrid power plant in Turkey.
China is currently an important leader in the solar energy production market, but it plans to double its solar energy output from 5GW to 10GW. According to a report made by Ernst & Young a few days ago, China is the most attractive country in the world for renewable energy investors. This could be the reason why it is preparing to double its solar capacity.
Weighing about 170kg, the vehicle has the ability to reach a top speed of 45 km per hour. “We want to generate excitement about solar cars. This is a zero footprint, zero emissions car that can sustain itself with no battery,” said Denis Lefrancois, general manager, Sustainable Media Group, a joint venture of Globe Events and Lootah International.
The city of Antwerp is going to open Europe’s first solar-powered railway tunnel built on the line between Paris and Amsterdam. The 2.1 miles-long tunnel will get its clean energy from 50,000 solar panels installed on top of it. The electricity will be used to power the 186 mph trains as they pass underneath, as well as the additional infrastructure.
Smart Solar International, the innovative solar panel will be adopted especially in tsunami-hit areas along the northern Pacific coast. For the beginning, the device will be launched in Japan in August and by the end of 2014 it will be spread in Asia and the Middle East.
The University of California-Davis wants to start the construction of United States’ largest zero-net energy community. According to the officials, the UC Davis West Village will be equipped with a 4-megawatt, high efficiency SunPower solar power system and with a great number of innovative energy-efficient technologies.
In order to decrease their carbon footprint and to raise the public awareness that they’re actually doing something for the environment besides producing electric cars, Renault has decided to install a 60 MW solar array on its centers in several locations from France.
While the green technology might still be a new thing for many, something our mind needs to get adjusted with, some other people already understood that this is their future. Or at least that’s what students from 2 high schools in New York proved last week at the Union Square Greenmarket, when they showed up with a couple of green solar powered ovens.
Brilliant ideas usually don’t need years of hard labor, or at least so it happens most of the time. For example, by implementing a switching trick to a DC to AC current converter used in solar panels, Heribert Schmidt, an electrical engineer (with a doctorate), from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems has managed to halve inverter losses, bringing the efficiency to 98 percent.
There are towns in the UK which dream of sustaining themselves out of their own production of electricity. Wadebridge in Cornwall is one of them: 10 solar systems installed, 100 more to go! The town has already begun the 2015 race, meaning 15,000 MWh each year. If they manage that, then they become eligible for feed-in tariffs: profitable contracts that buy the clean energy and add it up to the grid at a good price.
Besides being very pricey, solar power plants simply discourage by the fact that the sun is not always there when you need it: what happens if you need to switch on the light in your kitchen to drink water at 2 A.M. in the morning? Or on a cloudy day, for that matter?… Thanks to SolarReserve and the Obama administration funding it you may never have to go through that.