Five Myths About Solar Power - And The Real Facts

What we are witnessing is in reality a traditional consolidation phase in a new and fledging industry, with winners and losers, and with the surviving players facing a bright and profitable future.

Solar windows can power buildings

By Lucas Mearian for Computerworld:  Manhattan has approximately 47,000 buildings with around 10.7 million windows, according to a 2013estimate from The New York Times. Now imagine if just 1% -- or 100,700 -- of those windows could generate electricity through transparent photovoltaics. That's the idea behind solar power windows, and at least two companies are hoping to sell the technology to window manufacturers, saying once installed in a building the technology will pay for itself in about a year. "If you look at the glass that's manufactured worldwide today, 2% of it is used for solar panels; 80% of it is used in buildings. That's the opportunity," said Suvi Sharma, CEO of solar panel maker Solaria.  Cont'd...

Key Challenges Google's Project Sunroof May Face

Whether Google's Project Sunroof will be a hit or a miss, only time will tell. Nevertheless, the technology is brilliant and this move from Google could make this firm a leading one in the global solar industry.

Concentrator Photovoltaics: The Next Step Towards Better Solar Power

By Lauren J. Young for IEEE Spectrum:  Today’s concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technologies have shown promising potential for more efficient solar power. The latest systems are said to be capable of handling the power of a hundred suns. Yet prototypes have failed to compete with cheaper flat panel solar systems that dominate the market. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) is determined to push CPV to the next level. On 24 August, at the Clean Energy Summit, U.S. President Barack Obama and Energy Secretary Ernest Monizannounced a program called MOSAIC that will invest $24 million into CPV solar technology development. Why can’t today’s CPV systems compete? The concentrators can only convert direct sunlight into energy, missing out on the large fraction of sunlight diffracted by clouds and the atmosphere. Manufacturing costs of concentrator apparatuses have also prevented CPV from reaching mass production.   Cont'd...

Float Zone Silicon Solar Panels - 60% less expensive and 25% more efficient

By conducting ion implantation with a particle accelerator, Rayton can produce 20 solar panels using 20x less silicon than what is typically used to create just one.

NASA Seeks Proposals for Extreme Environment Solar Arrays

NASA's space technology program is seeking proposals to develop solar array systems for space power in high radiation and low solar energy environments.  In the near future, NASA will need solar cells and arrays for multiple applications in robotic and human space exploration missions. Because these systems were traditionally developed for operation near Earth, there is a need to develop new solar array concepts as NASA considers missions that require exposure to more intense radiation environments and travel ever farther from the sun.  NASA hopes to solicit proposals for the development of promising technologies to increase solar cells that will work under low intensity, low temperature and high radiation environments. Proposals will be accepted from U.S. organizations, including NASA centers and other government agencies, federally funded research and development centers, educational institutions, industry and nonprofit organizations.

Record Levels of Solar Power Production Were Seen on a Global Scale During the Year 2014

This has coincided with the UK oil and gas industries posting record loses in profitability during the same time frame.

The U.S. Just Approved One of the World's Biggest Solar Power Plants

Todd Woody for TakePart.com:  The federal government on Monday green-lit a 485-megawatt solar plant that would generate enough carbon-free electricity to power 180,000 homes when it comes online in the Southern California desert. During the Great Recession, that was nothing unusual about billions of dollars in federal stimulus money fueling big green dreams of carpeting the Mojave Desert with giant solar power plants on government-owned land, a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s efforts to fight climate change. That land, however, often turned out to be home to desert tortoises, blunt-nosed leopard lizards, and other endangered wildlife. Many of those projects went belly-up in part because of fierce opposition from environmental groups. That prompted an effort by the federal government to be “smart from the start” about where it allowed big renewable energy plants to be built. So the Blythe Mesa Solar Project, which was approved Monday, will deploy tens of thousands of solar panels across 3,587 acres of already disturbed or fallow farmland where wheat, alfalfa, and citrus had been grown. No desert tortoises will be harmed.  Cont'd...

Book Discussion - Harness the Sun

For a long time, solar power was viewed as a privilege reserved for the elite. Today there are lots of ways to make solar affordable to homeowners pretty much across the income spectrum.

Indian airport becomes world's first to run entirely on solar energy

ROSE TOUP BUCHANAN for The Independent: An Indian airport has become the world's first to run entirely onsolar energy . Cochin International Airport, in the south of India, inaugurated a massive 45-acre solar plant on Tuesday. The plant, made up of 46,000 panels, will provide between 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity every day (totalling 12 megawatts of power alongside pre-existing solar panels ), according to a release from airport authorities. It has been a long-running project: the airport first installed panels on the roof of its terminal in 2013 and has gradually expanded the initiative. Cont'd...

The Efficient Use of Concentrating Solar Power Technology

Many concentrated solar power plants could be built within the next several years. A single plant can generate 250 megawatts or more, which is enough to power about 90,000 homes.

Corporate Demand for Renewable Energy is Increasing

Multinational corporations want access to global solutions that help them document their commitment to electricity from renewable energy sources.

Pink film 'antenna' can double solar cell efficiency

Megan Treacy for TreeHugger:  When we think of antennas we mainly think of the type that transmit and receive radio waves, letting us listen to radio stations in our car or watch TV in our homes, but in this case the researchers are using the term to describe a new thin film material that captures more of the light spectrum, converting it into wavelengths of light that solar cells can convert into electricity. Many scientists are working on building better solar cells, but researchers at the University of Connecticut wanted to figure out how to boost the efficiency of the technology we already have. Thus, the antenna. As Phys.org reports, Challa V. Kumar, Ph.D and his team "built an antenna that collects those unused blue photons and converts them to lower energy photons that the silicon can then turn into current." "Many groups around the world are working hard to make this kind of antenna, and ours is the first of its kind in the whole world," Kumar said.   Cont'd...

Upcoming Tradeshow, Conference & Exhibition Summary - Sept, Oct, Nov 2015

Here is a summary of what Tradeshows, Conferences & Exhibitions to look forward to in the coming months.

Google Maps can now tell you if it's worth installing solar panels on your roof

By Loren Grush for The Verge:  Google wants to help you harness the power of the sun. A new service called Project Sunroof aims to provide a "treasure map" of solar energy with the help of Google Maps. Sunroof gives homeowners detailed information about how much solar power their roof can generate and how much money they could save on electricity costs by adding solar panels. Sunroof uses data from Google Maps that previously had no practical application. For instance, Sunroof uses Maps’ 3D-modeling to calculate the amount of space a building’s roof has for solar panels. The service also analyzes the positioning of the sun over the course of a year, as well as the type of cloud cover and temperature the neighborhood usually experiences. It even considers the amount of shade cast by nearby objects.   Cont'd...

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Solar & Wind - Featured Product

Easy monitoring with weather sensors from Lufft

Easy monitoring with weather sensors from Lufft

Professional weather sensors form the heart of large solar plants supporting their operation and performance. Lufft was the first manufacturer to combine several sensors in one housing, bringing the largest multiparameter weather sensor family with 19 members into being. Many of them are well-suited for solar site assessment and continuous monitoring. The most commonly used one is the WS600 delivering data on temperature, air pressure, wind, relative humidity and precipitation. Through its open protocol, it can easily be attached to radiation sensors e.g. from Kipp&Zonen. Other models have an integrated Silicon, Second Class or Secondary Standard radiation sensor.