You don’t really have to be an accredited scientist to prove the world that you actually can do scientific experiments. All you need is passion, knowledge and a little financial effort. That’s how a team of San Diego engineering students succeeded doing an experiment that involved sending a balloon, solar panels, cockroaches and anti-freeze Cucujus beetles into near-space.
Keeping the land clear for useful projects is vital to some countries that have limited space and that have to manage it as tightly as possible.
If those countries will want to rely on solar power in the future, they’ll have to find solutions for managing their solar fields and the land is just not proper for that in some cases. But water bodies are.
Solar panels are usually mounted in series, to sum up their voltages, and the resulting power is sent to a large inverter, which transforms the DC voltage into AC. One big issue with this scheme is that if shade falls on one panel, or it gets dirty, the inverter lowers the current of all the other panels, and causing power losses through inefficiency.
High efficiency solar cells are for the moment only available to space applications, because of their prohibitive costs. The Eindhoven University of Technology from The Netherlands, with a EUR 1.2 million help from the Dutch government wants to develop ultra-efficient solar cells that are also cheap. They envision their cells having a 65% efficiency, something even the satellites would envy.