I had heard about printable solar cells before, but now, a team of researchers from the Chemnitz University of Technology in Germany have developed a method that makes it possible to print solar cells on ordinary paper, possibly opening a way of saying goodbye to those bulky pieces of silicon …
Others may not brag with it, but some parts of the New South Wales (NSW) in Australia can say they’ve achieved grid …
Agriculture has always relied on sunlight and water, that’s a known fact since the birth of civilization. A project initiated in Upper Egypt uses sunlight to extract water from arid land, seeking to replace diesel generators that have traditionally been used.
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.”
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.
As you may already know, solar panels are great, but they have one big drawback: if as little as one shadow covers one of the cells, the entire power output slumps. Not to mention that if one of the cells themselves brakes down, the whole system crashes. To hear of such sensitivity in a technology of the future is rather disappointing, but TenKsolar can take up the challenge and solve these issues.
Several large data centers have opted for solar roofs this April, in an attempt to reduce their internal electricity consumption. It seems logical that they should do so, given the kind of roofs that they have. What so far didn’t really make economic sense, right now seems to be the right thing to do.
Infrared light makes up the most part of the light spectrum, but the glitch in today’s solar panels is that they can’t really harvest it for direct electricity generation, because of the long wavelengths involved. Thus, a standard solar panel misses about 75% of the incoming energy, and some of them, concentrated solar cells, need cooling to prevent damage to the silicon substrate that favors the energy conversion.
IBM is seemingly more and more concerned about green technologies, and now invests in a project that can solve the problem of cooling solar cells that would otherwise be hard to use because of the high temperatures they’re exposed to (120°C), aka concentrated photovoltaics.
A new record for concentrated photovoltaics efficiency has been broken by Solar Junction, the same company that announced a 41.4% efficiency in February. The new score is 43.5% and their multi-junction solar cells can be produced right away.