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Directory:Solar

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See News:Solar for items we've posted recently; and PowerPedia:Solar Energy for encyclopedic coverage.


Solar energy technologies cover the various innovations used to harnessing energy from the light/heat of the Sun. It has been used in many traditional technologies for centuries and has come into widespread use where other power supplies are absent, such as in remote locations and in space. Its use is spreading as awareness increases about the environmental costs and limited supply of other power sources such as fossil fuels.

Contents

Intro

Overviews

      "The sun's rays falling upon the earth's surface represent a quantity of energy so enormous that but a small part of it could meet all our demands. By normal incidence the rate is mechanically equivalent to about 95 foot pounds per square foot per second, or nearly 7,300 horsepower per acre of ground. The energy of light rays, constituting about 10% of the total radiation, might be captured by a cold and highly efficient process in photo-electric cells which may become, on this account, of practical importance in the future." -- Nikola Tesla ("Our future motive power"; Everyday Science and Mechanics; Dec. 1931)
  • http://www.enfsolar.com - "Over the last 8 years I have built up a directory of over 17,000 solar companies which I believe helps the industry to grow faster by knowing all their suppliers and customers."
  • Solar > Overviews >
    Here Comes the Sun - Here's a great documentary by a Dutch public service TV station, VPRO, about how the sun could easily provide the planet with sufficient energy, if only we are willing to change and to invest in harvesting that solar energy. "This documentary will leave you feeling totally refreshed and recharged. Show's how fear is striking the hearts of oil producers already." -- Andrew Lee (YouTube / VPRO Backlight; Oct. 21, 2008)
  • A Solar Grand Plan - A massive switch to solar power plants in the Southwest could supply 69% of the U.S.’s electricity by 2050. Excess daytime energy would be stored as compressed air in underground caverns. A new DC power transmission backbone would deliver solar electricity across the country. $420 billion in subsidies would make it cost-competitive. (Scientific American; Jan. 2008)
  • FPL Sees Renewables Soon Competitive With Coal - Power generation from low-carbon energy sources like wind, solar and nuclear should soon become competitive with electricity generated by coal, the cheapest of fossil fuels, the chief executive of FPL Group Inc., which will spend US$1.5 billion aimed at building solar thermal energy in Florida, California or other states. (Reuters; Sept. 27, 2007)

Featured

  • International Automated Systems - Utility scale solar presently in process of being commercially installed for first time; alleged to produce electricity at 3-5 cents per kilowatt-hour. Highly-efficient bladeless turbine has wide range of waste-heat-harnessing applications. Methanol production technique will draw CO2 out of the environment, reversing global warming.
  • Solar Hydrogen Energy Corporation (SHEC) Labs - Has developed a process that will convert landfill and other waste methane into clean hydrogen, using the power of the Sun for the reformation, at a price comparable to traditional hydrogen production methods.
  • Stirling Energy Systems utility solar - 20-year purchase agreement between Southern California Edison and Stirling Energy Systems, Inc. will result in 20,000+ dish array covering 4,500 acres capable of generating 500 MW, at a cost competitive to grid power.
  • Advanced Diamond Solutions amorphous nanostructures - Semiconductor industry company serendipitously developed thermionic solar cells using amorphous diamond nanostructures that offer potential efficiencies of 50% at half the cost of silicon solar cells. Also has good promise as a thermal electric generator.
  • ECS Solar Systems - ECS Solar Energy Systems, Inc. is a state licensed, solar contracting company that specializes in the installation and maintenance of solar hot water, solar pool heating and solar electric systems. We are licensed for both residential and commercial Solar Systems. ECS is 100% owned and operated by Tom and Shirley Lane who have over 27 years experience in installing and servicing solar energy systems.

DIY

Open Source

  • Solar >
    Open Source Solar Turbine - An Open Source Ecology project for doing a community solar thermal concentrator steam turbine, claiming $1 per watt for producing electricity for 50 years for a 60 kW solar system. (Open Farm Tech; Nov. 13, 2008)
  • Solar >
    Fresnel / Peltier DIY Project - An Open Source project which uses a Fresnel lens to focus solar energy on a Peltier cell. A fan is used to blow air across a heat sink on the other side of the cell, creating the necessary temperature gradient for the Peltier cell. (Instructables.com Oct. 3, 2009)

Plans

  • Solar >
    A Solar-powered mobile phone - Add a small solar panel to your cellphone to reduce the "low battery" messages. The objective is to looks great and not get in the way of using the phone normally. (Instructables; Jan. 11, 2009)


  • Solar Mower - The project entails replacing the gasoline engine of a used 22" gas powered mower with a 12 Volt electric motor and battery - along with gauges, circuit breaker/power switch and charging connector. Using 12 Volts keeps the design simple and relatively safe. (Art Tec; June 2005)
  • Closed Loop Ammonia Turbine - The return of Tesla's solar (and other low heat input) design for home and commercial power systems using inexpensive technology discarded last century due to then cheap oil prices.
  • 'Free Energy' Plans by Creative Science and Research - Company sells plans for devices that they say can provide "free power for your home, garage, car or truck". They claim to have heaters, engines, and other devices that are over unity or that require no fuel. A few buyers say the kits do not operate as claimed. Others are satisfied.

Kits

  • SolarBotics - Solarbotics offers robot kits, solar-powered robots, books, electronic components, motors, parts and information on the expanding field of BEAM Robotics.
  • Build and integral passive solar water heater - A snap to build, install, and use. Parts list includes discarded electric water heater tank, a homemade plywood box to house it, a can of black paint, etc. (Mother Earth News; Jan/Feb 1984)

Courses

  • Masters Course for Solar Engineers - The European Solar Engineering School (ESES) in Borlange, Sweden, is accepting applications for its Masters Programs. One-year Masters Program offers courses in "Advanced PV engineering," "Advanced solar thermal engineering," "Applied solar energy" and "Utilization of solar energy." (Renewable Energy Access; Feb. 10, 2006)
  • Solar PV Design and Installation Course - Infinite Solar Inc. (Infinite Solar) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is accepting applications for its solar training courses. Solar PV Installation and Design Class covers fundamentals in design, installation, and evaluation of residential and commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The course curriculum is based on standards set by the IREC.
  • Solar Thermal Design and Installation Course - Infinite Solar Inc. (Infinite Solar) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is accepting applications for its solar thermal training courses. Thermal Design and Installation Course incorporates instructor-led lectures, presentations and hands-on labs, including the use of site-assessment tools in the design of solar thermal systems. Our solar training will prepare you for becoming a professional, successful solar installer.
  • PVO EXPLORE Free Online Course - Infinite Solar Inc. (Infinite Solar Online)is offering a free online solar course for those who wish to learn the basics of solar energy and solar PV technology. After completing this course you will have a better understanding of the opportunities within the photovoltaic energy industry and become more familiar with terminology commonly employed by solar power technicians.
  • Solar Panel Installation Training - CleanEdison (CleanEdison) offers a Solar PV Entry level Boot Camp that thoroughly covers the topics outlined the NABCEP Photovoltaic Entry Level Learning Objectives. This course is designed to introduce solar energy in both theory and application and to immerse students in the key concepts of solar PV design, installation and safety.
  • Solar Energy Training - CleanEdison (CleanEdison) offers a Solar Thermal Entry level Boot Camp that provides real world, hands-on installation techniques, top instructors and state of-the-art training equipment in order to deliver the knowledge and skills needed to start providing solar thermal solutions to clients.
  • Technical Sales Solar Training - CleanEdison (CleanEdison) offers a Solar PV Technical Sales training course that introduces the fundamentals of solar energy, solar photvoltaic technology and markets for new professionals. The course also delves into special topics including communicating with customers, estimating systems and communicating needs to the installer.
  • Advanced Solar Training - CleanEdison (CleanEdison) offers an intensive 5-day Advanced Solar PV training course that thoroughly covers industry standards to PV system design and installation best practices. The advanced Solar PV course is designed to teach individuals how to integrate solar PV installations and provides 40 credit hours towards fulfilling the education requirement necessary to sit for the NABCEP PV Installer Certification Exam.

Solar Technologies

Before we go into detail a nice introduction of ongoing solar energy technology can be found here

Black Silicon

  • Directory:Black_Silicon (directory) - Silicon surfaces rendered black by pits and bumps only nanometers large could in the future help make solar power cells more efficient, enabling a more complete absorption of the sun's rays.

Boosting

Chalcopyrite / CIGS

  • Ink Jet / Solar > Chalcopyrite / CIGS >
    Inkjet Printing Solar Cells - Engineers at Oregon State University (OSU) have developed a process to create 'CIGS' solar cells with inkjet printing technology that allows for precise patterning to reduce raw material waste by 90 percent and significantly lower the cost of producing solar cells with promising, yet expensive compounds. (GizMag; June 28, 2011)

Concentrated Solar

  • Directory:Concentrated Solar Power (Separate page) - Methods of concentrating solar energy to increase conversion efficiency, using mirrors and lenses to focus the sun's rays on photovoltaic cells or heat absorbers.

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Dye Solar Cell

See: Directory:Dye Solar Cells - separate page

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Electrolysis

See also Directory:Electrolysis

Floating

  • Floating Solar Chimney - A variant of the concrete solar tower concept. The floating chimney is a light-weight structure made of a set of lifting balloon rings filled with a lighter than the air gas. Result is projected to be cost-competitive with grid electricity generation.

Fuel

See Directory:Solar Hydrogen

  • Solar / Alt Fuel > Butanol >
    Scientists Turn CO2 Directly Into Fuel Using The Sun - Researchers at UCLA have engineered a bacteria that can eat carbon dioxide and burp out butanol—a liquid fuel that can be substituted into our existing fuel infrastructure without modification. The reaction the team is harnessing is powered directly by energy from sunlight, through photosynthesis. (Dec. 11, 2009)

Hybrids

  • Piezoelectric / Solar / Wind >
    Piezo-Photovoltaic Device Creates Electricity From Wind/Rain/Sun - 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. (Green Optimistic; June 15, 2011)

Heat Pumps

  • SHPEGS - The Solar Heat Pump Electrical Generation System (SHPEGS) utilizes a solar or geothermal powered absorption heat pump to improve the efficiency and location independence of SEGS/CSP solar thermal systems.

Land-Based Solar Power

  • Energy Companies Competing for Desert Land - The Bureau of Land Management has been swamped with applications for solar projects across millions of acres of desert and has seen a 78% increase in applications, now totaling 223. The applicants are all looking to capitalize on desert land in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado, with California leading with 107 applications alone. (EcoGeek; Jan. 12, 2009)
  • Solar Thermal Power in North-Africa: How Much Land to Power the World? - Spiegel Online published a series of pictures titled "Desertec: Strom aus der Wüste" (translation: Desertech: Electricity from the desert). It includes this image of how much land would be needed to power the world, Europe or Germany with solar-thermal power. (TreeHugger; April 28, 2008)
  • How Much Land to Power The Whole World with Solar? - Solar power systems installed in the areas defined by the dark disks could provide a little more than the world's current total primary energy demand (assuming a conversion efficiency of 8 %). That is, all energy currently consumed, including heat, electricity, fossil fuels, etc., would be produced in the form of electricity by solar cells. (TreeHugger; April 4, 2007)

Machines

Direct conversion of solar energy to mechanical motion.

  • Nanotechology >
    Tiny boats made of nanomaterials are powered directly by sunlight - Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are using carbon nanotubes to build small, simple waterborne machines propelled directly by sunlight. In theory, they say, these machines could be scaled up to make energy-generating pumps directly powered by the sun. (MIT Technology Review; April 13, 2009)

Magnesium

  • Featured: Solar / Storage >
    Magnesium Energy Cycle for fossil fuel replacement - Professor Yabe of Tokyo Tech is heading the development of a process that combines magnesium and water to produce high energy steam and hydrogen, which is burned to produce additional high energy steam to power an engine with no harmful emissions. The magnesium oxide by-product is reduced back to magnesium through a solar powered laser process to be reused. (PESWiki; Nov. 10, 2009)

Magnetic

  • Solar / Magnetism >
    Solar power without solar cells: A hidden magnetic effect of light could make it possible - A dramatic and surprising magnetic effect of light discovered by University of Michigan researchers could lead to solar power without traditional semiconductor-based solar cells. At the right intensity, when light is traveling through a material that does not conduct electricity, the light field can generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than previously expected. (PhysOrg; Apr. 14, 2011)

Melanin

  • Solar / Human Powered >
    Could Human Photosynthesis power the future? - Dr. Arturo Solis Herrera has developed a technology that utilizes the properties of melanin – the animal analogue to chlorophyll. His melanin based (polihydroxyindol) photo-cell absorbs a broad spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, and converts it into electricity. He has also developed a pharmaceutical claimed to enhance human "photosynthesis" for increased health. (PESN and BeforeItsNews; May 3, 2011)

Nanotechnology

  • Nanotech / Solar >
    A Nano-Approach to Solar Rivals the Entire Market - A small team of experts at Magnolia Solar have come together to develop a nanostructure-based coatings to replace silicon and thin-film approaches. They are working on a concept that would allow for the full absorption of all light, boasting efficiencies of 15 to 20 percent as low as 50 cents per watt. (EnergyDigital; March 19, 2012)

Paint

See Directory:Solar Paint - separate index page

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Pavement

  • Energy-Generating Solar Roadways - Solar Roadways claims that a series of roads built out of solar panels could supply all of our country's energy needs several times over. The three layer roadways would also contain a revised version of the nation's electric grid and a network of communications cables. (TreeHugger; Aug. 20, 2007)
  • Solar Pavement - Featuring the general concept of pumping water through pipes in pavement to use the black-body absorption of the asphalt to collect solar heat and transmit it to the water.

Photoantennas

Converting photons to electrical current using antennas, see


Photosynthesis Mimicking

See Directory:Solar:Photosynthesis Imitation - separate index

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Photovoltaics

For directories of technologies that convert photons to electrical current, see

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Plastic Solar Cells

See
Directory:Plastic Solar Cells (separate index at PESWiki) - Technologies that use plastic in the process of harnessing solar energy, either as the solar cell itself or as a crucial infrastructure component.

Portable

See also Directory:Emergency Preparedness

  • SkyBuilt aims to be the Dell of renewable energy systems - If you have a unique power need that is off grid, and you want something that can deploy quickly, is rugged, and will last for a long time, SkyBuilt is who you call. The CIA shouldn't be the only one to benefit. (PESN; Oct. 20, 2005)
  • Portable “micro utilities" powered by renewable energy - Ecos LifeLink folds out of a shipping container to meet the demand for off-grid water, energy and communications. It has 16 kW of photovoltaics, an optional wind turbine, a wireless communications control center with a range of 30 miles, and can filter 30 gallons per minute of contaminated ground water. (TreeHugger; Mar. 2, 2007)
  • Solar powered water desalination - Spectra Watermakers' portable Solar Cube is powered by sunlight and wind, and can provide up to 3,500 gallons of clean drinking water per day from polluted water or salt water. It can also provide enough emergency electricity to refrigerate medical supplies or power communications equipment. (Inside Greentech; Mar. 7, 2007)
  • Solar Integrated - Solar Tent provides shelter and also produces up to 6 kW of portable power in remote locations for disaster recovery missions, military applications, and emergency medical care.
  • Independent Energy Systems - Powerwagon XL combines solar PV panels, deep cycle batteries, tracking controller, inverter, and backup generator to make a portable power station that you can tow with your pickup.
  • Caravan Solar Panels - Caravan solar panels usually include a solar controller or regulator, which controls the amount of energy that charges the correctly sized battery bank for the appliances you wish to run. They then draw electricity from the battery bank as you require.
  • SolarOne Solutions - Harvester™ Micro-Utility System -- platform optimized for remote power includes expandable solar array, inverter and deep cycle battery. It is clean & silent, 100% pollution and noise free, and offers easy plug and play set up.
  • SinoStar Lighting - The Duxlite small solar system is a portable solar generator that can generate power from 100W to 500W. Applications include remote homes, solar pumps, solar fans/TVs, yards, car parks, and road sign illumination.
  • Evacuated Tube Thermosiphon Solar Panel - Navitron evacuated tube, thermosiphon solar panels with water resevoir between 85 and 220 liters, no power required. Applications include disaster areas, remote areas, military, eco homes.

Silicon

  • Directory:Silicon - Page addresses the silicon shortage for solar photovoltaics; and solutions, including more efficient use of silicon, alternate silicon manufacturing methods, and alternatives to silicon. (PESWiki)

Storage

  • Solar / Storage / Thermal >
    Thermo-Chemical Solar Energy could be efficient and indefinitely storable - Researchers at MIT are working on a new process in thermo-chemical solar energy that uses a molecular structure reconfiguration to capture energy from the sun, potentially storing it forever. A molecule of fulvalene diruthenium changes its configuration when it absorbs heat, and later releases heat when it snaps back to its original shape. (MIT News; Oct. 26, 2010)
  • The Molten Salt Solution to Storing Solar Energy - The difference between the molten salt and other liquids that are used in this sort of system is that the molten salt retains heat for a long enough time that it can effectively time-shift the stored solar energy from when it is most efficiently generated to when it is most needed. SolarReserve video (TreeHugger; June 30, 2008)


See also Directory:Storage

Thermal

See Concentrating Thermal Systems - separate page

See Directory:Solar Thermal - separate page

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Thin Film

Thin layer metal alloy converts light into energy at a fraction of the cost of silicon. Roll-printed cells are lightweight and flexible. They can be integrated into consumer products like cell phones, tents and roof tiles.

See Directory:Thin Film Solar (separate index at PESWiki)

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Towers

  • Directory: Solar Towers - Resemble an inverted funnel, with a wide, clear skirt to collect air to then turn a turbine in the tower. A 50 kW prototype in Manzaneres, Spain is the basis of several ramp-up designs presently under way, with towers nearly 1 km high.

MSC_Solar_Pyramid_95x95.jpg Image:Solar_Chimney_prototype_95x95.jpg

Traps

Windows

See Directory:Solar_Windows - separate index page.

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Space

Space-Based Solar Power

See: Directory:Space Based Solar Power - separate index page

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Solar Sails

See Directory:Solar Sails - separate index page

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Research and Development

See Directory:Solar Energy Research and Development - separate index page

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Other Companies

Listed Alphabetically

  • Airwater.com.au - Australian company sells solar power units for remote signs (e.g. billboard, traffic lights) as well as for mobile devices such as PDA's, laptops and cell phones. They also sell water-from-air devices.
  • Alpha Solar -- The Complete Renewable Energy Resource - provide cost-effective, state-of-the-art energy products, accessories and complete electric systems for homes, cabins, boats, remote site and back-up power; including solar panels, solar controllers, wind generators, inverters, batteries.
  • American Institute of Renewable Energy -- AIRE is a Renewable Energy Research, Development Training and Technology Company. Committed to develop a highly skilled workforce to bring Integrated Engineering and Advanced Technological Solutions to provide Clean Affordable Renewable Energy to people, communities and countries worldwide.
  • The American Solar Energy Society - ASES is a national organization dedicated to advancing the use of solar energy for the benefit of US citizens and the global environment.
  • Avenir Energie's Geopack for home heating - "For every kW of electrical energy consumed to operate the generator, the [solar] system produces between 3.9 and 5.1 kW of energy to heat the building." (Innovations Report; Feb. 23, 2005)
  • David Allan's Solar Home - integrates seven different forms of collection: trombe wall, solarium convection, photo-voltaic cells, propylene-glycol heat exchange, eutectic salt chamber, berm-insulation, black chimneys for passive solar air-conditioner.
  • Power on the go - Fraunhofer researchers are working on micro power engineering solutions to provide the mobile power needed by modern communications devices. A solar powered cell phone design would require just two hours of sunlight a day to keep the phone operational. (Fraunhofer.de; March 30, 2006)
  • GO Solar Company - Provides information and consumer guides relating to solar energy and its various applications. Online solar catalog.
  • Greenshine Solar Outdoor Lighting - Greenshine New Energy LLC. Specializes in developing and manufacturing customized solar powered lighting systems for a wide range of outdoor lighting applications.
  • Honda FCX Fuel Cell Car Powered by the Sun - Hydrogen produced from a 700 square foot solar array at a custom filling station is capable of supporting 200 miles per week -- the national average. Range 170 miles. Prototypes: $2 mil each. (LA Times; Aug. 29, 2004) [free subscription to access]
  • ICP Solar Introduces Sunsei - Said to deliver 50% more power per square inch than competing solar technologies; perform even under cloudy conditions; available worldwide. (Renewable Energy Access; Nov. 2005)
  • InfiniteEnergy.com.au - Perth, Western Australia based solar power system and solar hot water installers. Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited.
  • Infinite Solar Inc. - Solar energy training school, Infinite Solar, provides innovative solar panel installation training & solar thermal classes giving you the skills to jump start your green career.
  • Jade Mountain - "The world's largest selection of renewable energy products."
  • Kyocera announces 13.8-Megawatt Solar Electric Plant in Salamanca, Spain - One of the largest PV systems in the world will be commissioned September 18. It is comprised of ~ 70,000 Kyocera PV modules on a 36-hectares (89-acres), powering about 5,000 homes in a central distribution model. Kyocera plans to have capacity to produce 500 megawatts of PV modules per year by March 2011. (BusinessWire; Sept. 11, 2007)
  • Lotus Energy - Nepal company designs, manufactures, installs and services a multitude of Solar and Alternative Energy Systems and products.
  • Maine Solar House - The step by step building of a solar house. Solar land, solar plan, solar heat, solar power, solar data. Featured in TIME magazine.
  • Oerlikon expects grid parity by 2010 - Oerlikon Solar has said its facilities will achieve grid parity by 2010 in connection with the opening of the company’s new fully-automated thin-film pilot line at Trübbach, Switzerland. (Video) (Renewable Energy Focus; Sept. 8, 2008)
  • OptiSolar - OptiSolar manufactures photovoltaic (PV) modules and produces power from their own large-scale solar farms.
  • Quality Solar Concepts - Distributor of Alternative Energy Products including solar street lights, solar panels, solar heat and hot water, wind turbines and more
  • RealGoods.com - solar solutions; features JadeMountain catalogue.
  • SatCon - offers diversified and sophisticated power products for the Alternative Energy, Hybrid-Electric Vehicle, Grid Support, High Reliability Electronics and Advanced Power Technology markets.
    • Satcon Introduces 1 Megawatt Photovoltaic Inverter - Satcon (NASDAQ CM: SATC), a leading provider of utility scale distributed power solutions for the renewable energy market, announced that they are taking orders for their PowerGate™Plus 1 megawatt (MW) commercial PV inverter system, designed with advanced features for large scale utility installations. (BusinessWire; Sept, 3, 2008)
  • Solar Depot Grand Opening - New 24,000 sq. ft. headquarters facility for 1979-established systems integrator and wholesale distributor of solar energy equipment, including solar electric power systems, solar thermal hot water and radiant floor heating systems. (SolarAccess News; June 28, 2004) (About Solar Depot) (SolarDepot.com)
  • Solardyne Corporation - direct source for renewable energy equipment and high-efficiency home appliances
  • Solar Century's Complete Solar Roof - The "Complete Solar Roof" integrates solar electric and solar thermal technologies in a tile that is installed like a conventional roofing tile.
  • Solar Energy International - renewable energy education; offering hands-on workshops in solar, wind, and water power and natural building technologies in 11 locations.
  • SolarMarket.com.au - Provides Australians with unbiased and independent advice about making the switch to solar energy. They also provide 3 free quotes from CEC accredited installers too.
  • Solar Panels for Metal Roofs - Integrates crystalline PV solar panes, and thin-film photovoltaic laminates with standing seam metal roofing systems.
  • Special Materials Research and Technology Innovative Antireflective Technology - SPECMAT Inc. is a research-oriented small business with a focus on the room temperature wet chemical growth (RTWCG) of oxides used in microelectronics and photonics (optoelectronics). Low-cost, RTWCG SiOX antireflective coating (ARC) technology increases the efficiency of c-Si, and mc-Si solar cells by up to 30% or more. (Submitted by Orry)
  • 500 Solar Flashlight Give Away - SunNight Solar developed, with the assistance of the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program, supported by NASA, shaped by specific field work on their prototypes in Africa in the harshest conditions by scientists from the US Department of Energy and funded by research grants from the Rockefeller Foundation — they offer the next generation of portable, reliable and environmentally friendly lights for nightly use, for camping and outdoor activities, and a product which should be in every family’s emergency preparedness kit. (Digg; July 21, 2008)


  • Tips for Green Lawn Care - For a slightly less cool, but still extremely green option, there are battery-powered hand mowers like a model from Solaris available with solar charging stations. That's right, you can take your lawn mowing completely off the grid. (Wired How-To Wiki; May 2008)
  • Solar Helium Balloons - Researchers have developed helium balloons coated with solar cells to generate energy. The balloons are expected to overcome surface area issues in cities where large solar cell panels are not feasible. The same cable that brings the helium to the balloon will also carry the electricity to the ground, and your home may require only one or two balloons. (TreeHugger; Jun. 25, 2007)
  • Sea Solar Power Inc. to Tap Sea Temperature Gradient - Those hot ocean waters have a more useful purpose than just generating hurricanes. A reverse refrigeration process generates electricity from the difference in temperature between surface and deep water. (PESN; Jan. 4, 2006)
  • Basic Research Needs for Solar Energy Utilization - 276-page report of the Basic Energy Sciences Workshop on Solar Energy Utilization, held April 18-21, 2005; discusses leading solar advances and how they can bring affordable solar energy conversion. (U.S. Department of Energy)
  • Imagine Energy - Website offers comprehensive education about cutting-edge renewable energy products and services, along with an e-commerce store where visitors can purchase clean energy lifestyle products.
  • Online Courses - Solar Energy International (SEI), a solar energy training and education provider since 1991, is now offering PV Design Online and Solar Home Design courses online, commencing Sept. 6, then Oct. 31, 2005.
  • Solar Powered Retinal Implants - A solar-powered chip that stimulates retinal cells by spraying them with neurotransmitters could restore sight to blind people. Does not cause heating, uses very little power, does not need external batteries. (TreeHugger; Apr. 21, 2006)
  • Solray Solar Energy - The solar turbine offers the possibility of providing base-load power by capturing and storing solar energy as heat in liquid salt. The system will then use this heat to drive a closed-cycle jet engine, producing power on scales from kilowatts to megawatts per installation.
  • Solarsphere - Technology combines elements of both direct intercept dishes and Solar Towers. The design philosophy that focuses on spheres and lightweight, thin film materials presents opportunities for concentrators that are large, cheap and mass producible.
  • Day4 Energy - The Day4 Electrode uses a new method of contacting and interconnecting crystalline silicon PV cells to replace solder-ribbon bonding on the front of the panel, decreasing shading and series resistance to increase power 5 to 10 percent.
    • More-Efficient Solar Cells - Day4 Energy has developed a new electrode that, together with a redesigned solar-cell structure, allows solar panels to absorb more light and operate at a higher voltage. This increases the efficiency of multicrystalline silicon solar panels from an industry standard of about 14 percent to nearly 17 percent. (MIT Technology Review; August 14, 2008)
  • Drake Landing Solar Community - DLSC is heated by a district borehole thermal energy storage system that supplies 90% of each home’s space heating requirements. The solar thermal energy is captured by flat-plate collectors on garage rooftops during the summer months and stored underground for space heating needs during winter months.
  • Solmetric - SunEye™ is a hand held electronic device that allows users to instantly assess total potential solar energy given the shading of a particular site. This allows the solar installer to optimize new systems for maximum production and analyze existing installations to solve problems of under production. (Thanks Daniel Weinreb)
  • Solar Charged Electric Lawnmower - Plans to convert an older non-working gas mower into an electric powered mower by replacing the gas engine with an electric motor that runs from a 12 volt battery that will be charged using a PV solar panel. It will be easier to use, there is no messy dangerous gasoline to deal with, and it eliminates the emissions of an internal combustion mower.
  • New antireflection coatings for solar cells and LEDs - Researchers have developed a new type of nanostructured coating that can virtually eliminate reflections of a wide range of wavelengths to 10 times less than current coatings. It would increase solar cell light absorption by a few percentage points and a 40 percent improvement could be seen in LEDs. (MIT Technology Review; Mar. 06, 2007)

Innovations

See Solar Innovations


Projects

Applications

See Directory:Solar Applications - separate index page

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Resources

Installation and Consulting

See Directory:Solar:Installation and Consultation - moved to a separate page

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Land Resources

  • Interior Dept Designates Solar Energy Zones - Hoping to speed up the development of renewable energy resources on federal lands, the U.S. Interior Department designated about 670,000 acres of land, divided into 24 solar energy zones spread across six western states that could generate nearly 100,000 megawatts of solar electricity. (Planet Ark; July 1, 2009)

Business Opportunities

  • Bhalla Universal Fuel Cell (UFC) - Professor Anil Bhalla from India has a renewable energy concept with a rudimentary prototype that he would like to get patented and developed into market readiness. The technology involves a solar panel and a fuel cell. He believes it will compete price-wise with conventional energy as well as in 24-7 reliability. (PESWiki; Sept. 21, 2007)

Financing

  • Home Solar - SunRun is the nation's leading home solar company, offering solar power services that allow homeowners to switch to solar for little or no cost and simply pay monthly for their electricity. In addition, SunRun takes complete care of the home solar system, including monitoring, maintenance, performance guarantee, insurance, and inverter replacement.
  • Home Depot Selling Solar to Mainstream America - Home Depot has teamed up with BP Solar to provide affordable solar installation service to customers. Financing options available, as well as free, in-home consultations. "Now you can save money on your electric bill, increase your home's value and make the world a cleaner place." (TreeHugger; Oct. 24, 2006)
  • Aelco Solar Leasing - The UK is seeing a new wave of Solar panel Lease schemes. The income you earn each month from the feed-in-tariff and reduced energy bills will not only cover your monthly payments, you will have receive a small income too!
  • (buyer beware) Citizenre Corporation presents solar to residential customers at grid pricing - New company, scheduled to begin installing in Sept. 2007, manufactures, permits, owns, maintains, and operates the residential solar photovoltaic system. Homeowners pay for the electricity generated from these panels at a fixed rate that is at or below their current electricity price, for up to 25 years. (PESWiki; Dec. 20, 2006)
  • Rich Hessler Solar Finance - New company offering solar financing programs for residential, commercial, government, and non-profit installations. Rates and terms are based on qualification of the property owners.

Tools

  • SunMath.com: web-apps for the solar community - SunMath builds web-apps for consumers interested in solar as well as solar professionals. Since SunMath never takes finder's fees, they are 100% unbiased when they do their financial calculations and in their extremely helpful blog posts.
  • Solar > Tools >
    Self-Cleaning Technology from Mars Can Keep Terrestrial Solar Panels Dust Free - In a report at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), scientists described how a self-cleaning coating on the surface of solar cells, based on technology developed for space missions to Mars, could increase the efficiency of producing electricity from sunlight and reduce maintenance costs for large-scale solar installations as well as residential panels. (Solar Daily; Aug. 24, 2010)


  • Global Wind/Solar Map - The global wind/solar map can be viewed at Wind/Solar. 3TIER chose to unveil its global wind map at the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008). (Renewable Energy World; March 3, 2008)
  • Find-solar.org Launches - New site launched with intent to be the pre-eminent online resource linking consumers to solar professionals. Nearly 400 solar energy system installers and other solar pros from around the U.S. are currently listed. (PESN; Oct. 5, 2005) (Find-Solar.org)
  • In the hands of scientists - the power of 10,000 Suns Solar research at Paul Scherrer Institut (Switzerland) takes a leap into the future today with the opening of the High-flux Solar Simulator. With this new instrument scientists will be able to ca... (PhysOrg; Nov. 2005)
  • Photovoltaic Breeder and Hydrogen Production Proposal - Company uses the electricity from PV panels to electrolyse and then crystalize more silicon to make more PV panels. An acre of PV can produce 10.5 acres of new PV per year, about one new acre increase every 35 days.
  • Nanotechnology / Solar / Batteries >
    New nano-material could lead to self-washing windows and solar panels - Researchers from Tel Aviv University have discovered a new nanomaterial that can repel dust and water and could provide a self-cleaning coating for windows or solar panels. The new material is made up of molecules of peptides that “grow” to resemble small forests of grass. The coating also acts as a super-capacitor, thereby possibly providing an energy boost to batteries. (GizMag; December 3, 2009)

Tracking

  • OS / DIY: Solar >
    Solar tracking circuit - Developed as an open source project, this inexpensive device accurately tracks the position of the sun and can be applied to a wide range of solar tracking devices. It uses GaP LEDs as sensors which feed a comparator chip which in turn drives transistors providing simple bi-directional motor control. The device has been used on solar PV, solar cookers, solar concentrators and more. (GreenWatts)

Tidbits

  • Crop plants achieve only 1 to 2 percent efficiency in converting sunlight to usable energy, with sugarcane being an exception at 8%. Source
  • Scientific-grade solar cells are about 15% to 20% efficient with some going as high as 24% Source
  • Solar Stirling engines achieve nearly 30% efficiency at an installation at Sandia National Laboratories. Source (Thanks syukton)

Solar Stores

  • AltE - AltE Store is Making Renewable Do-Able™. You’ll find solar panels, wind turbines, solar thermal solutions and energy efficient products for residential homeowners worldwide. More than just a store, they provide extensive solar education and a community with which to share and learn.


  • Advanced Power & Energy Inc. - The company's goal is to become the Florida leader in Solar and Wind Turbine research, development and installation for home and business use by 2010.
  • DMSolar - USA-based company with headquarter in Florida, is a global leader in solar energy products. dmsolar delivers high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) cells, solar panels and integrated grid-tie systems.
  • SkylineSolar.co.uk - SkyLineSolar is "the UK's first online energy warehouse that covers all sources of renewable energy, including solar, geothermal, wind and hydroelectric power."
  • Wholesale Solar - Family owned, Wholesale Solar is located in Mount Shasta, California. Started as Taos Green Solar, homesteading and raising their kids off-grid in New Mexico, they are currently grid-intertied, still living with the products they sell.

Product Reviews

  • Solar Product Reviews (.com) - Solar Review provides product reviews for solar, hydro, and other renewable energy sources. Features state of the art products and information about the latest in solar products.

Competitions

  • China's solar boom could dim Oregon's efforts - With cheap labor and rapid production, China's promise of solar rooftops at bargain-basement prices casts a shadow over Oregon's ambition of becoming a world leader in alternative energy. (Oregonian; Feb. 21, 2009)
  • The South African Solar Challenge 2008 - An epic, two-week race in solar-powered cars through the length and breadth of South Africa. Teams will have to build their own cars, design their own engineering systems and race those same machines through the most demanding terrain that solar cars have ever seen. Sept. 26 - Oct. 8.


  • Solar Powered Car Directory - Solar powered car racing events continue to gain in popularity the world over judging from the number of world class teams listed. Racing improves the breed and this is no exception. Most of the development of solar racers is undertaken by university teams.
  • Challenges >
    The Frisian Solar Challenge - A sunny variation of the legendary Eleven Cities Skating Race (Elfstedentocht), 48 Dutch and international teams will navigate the Frisian waterways over a distance of almost 200 kilometres, past eleven Frisian cities, in custom-designed and built solar-powered boats from June 22 - June 28, 2008.
  • Solar Challenge Race Concludes in Calgary - U of Michigan takes prize, finishing the 2500-mile course in 54 hours. Fourteen of the twenty entrants completed the race. The last to cross the finish line (Kansas State U) came in 12.5 hours after the winner. (PESN; July 28, 2005)

Patents

Solar Associations

  • Solar Power International 08 - Solar Power International, Oct. 13-16, San Diego, CA, has established itself as the only "must attend" solar event in the US. It is the largest solar conference and expo in the US, currently by a factor of more than 5, and attracts the widest range of professional attendees. The event also educates consumers through a one-night public opening of the expo hall.

Awards

History & Trends

  • Solar >
    Solar Panels Increase Home Value - A study by Berkeley National Labs has found that homes sold in California earned a premium for solar panels. The benefit ranged from $3900 to $6400 per kW of capacity. An earlier study found that proximity to solar or wind power may also raise home values. (Venture Beat; April 22, 2011)
  • Trends / Solar >
    Utility-Scale Solar Soaring in U.S. - There are over 100 utility-scale solar projects in the U.S. totaling 17,000 MW now in the planning stage. 75 percent of Americans, across the political spectrum, support utility-scale solar on public lands. (GreenTechMedia; March 18, 2010)
  • Conventional RE / Trends >
    China Leading Global Race to Make Clean Energy - These efforts to dominate renewable energy technologies raise the prospect that the West may someday trade its dependence on oil from the Mideast for a reliance on solar panels, wind turbines and other gear manufactured in China. But they also provide healthy competition to the West to ramp up their pace. (NYTimes; Jan. 31, 2010) (Also Murcury News)
  • Trends >
    Cheaper Solar Power's Time Has Come - Solar power manufacturers in the US are cutting prices to shift their stock, the government is chipping in with tax credits, and innovative leasing or financing arrangements spreading payments over up to 20 years are being introduced. All of which makes solar power much more affordable than before. (PhysOrg; Sept. 7, 2009)
  • Tesla's Solar Ideas - According to The Electrical Experimenter (1916), in addition to his prolific electrical work, Tesla patented a sun motor. The article also discusses the Shuman-boy's engine and sun boiler installed in Egypt with output of 100 horsepower.
  • General Motors has Solar Rooftops Installed for Free - A growing number of companies, including General Motors, as well as some municipalities, are installing solar roofs on their buildings, without paying for the installation. Instead, the systems is installed and managed by others, who sell them the electricity at competitive electricity rates. (TreeHugger; Oct. 21, 2006) (New York Times)
  • Google Ends Search for Solar Source - The headquarters of Google Inc. will soon become one of the largest solar powered corporate office complexes in the U.S. with a generation capacity of 1.6 megawatts, enough to supply about 30% of projected use at the administrative complex. (TreeHugger; Oct. 17, 2006) (PhysOrg)
  • Asia Shows Solar Power is Not Just for the Rich - Solar power does not require steep subsidies to be able to push aside environment-polluting fossil fuels, says proponents of large sun-powered projects in Laos and Bangladesh. (Reuters; June 27, 2006)
  • World's Largest Solar Photovoltaic System Commissioned - Bavaria Solarpark was dedicated on June 30th. The project is fully constructed and operational with a total of 10 MW of power capacity via 57,600 silicone panels spread over 25 hectares on three solar parks. (Renewable Energy Access; July 11, 2005)

Solar Communities

  • South Korean Solar System Community on Jeju Island a Brilliant Idea - On the roof of each of the 40 houses in Donggwang lies a large beds of solar panels. Even the small, local elementary school runs on free electric energy from the sun. The photovoltaic panels produce enough energy to power the entire area. Amidst cattle and fields, Donggwang is a state-of-the-art renewable energy village. (EcoWorld; May 9, 2008)

Records

Most Efficient

  • Record high performance with new solar cells - Researchers in China and Switzerland, including Michael Grätzel, inventor of the first dye-sensitized solar cell, show that photovoltaic cells composed of titanium dioxide and powerful light-harvesting dyes and showed greater stability at high temperatures than previous formulas, retaining more than 90 percent of their initial output after 1,000 hours in full sunlight soaking at 60 °C. (PhysOrg; Nov. 3, 2008)<br style="clear:right;"
  • More-Powerful Solar Cells - An MIT researcher has found a way efficiently of an important type of silicon solar cells by 27% while keeping costs about the same. The technology is being commercialized by 1366 Technologies, which today announced that it has received its first round of funding at $12.4 million dollars. (MIT Technology Review; Mar. 27, 2008)
  • World record organic solar cell efficiency - Plextronics broke a world record for single layer organic solar cell efficiency with 5.4 percent efficiency for its solar cells, up from last year's record of 5.2 percent. The company believes it can reduce the cost of solar cells to below $1 per watt, a reduction of up to five times that of crystalline silicon-based solar energy systems. (Inside Greentech; Aug. 10, 2007)
  • Solar Cell Efficiency Record of 42.8%; - A consortium has achieved a record-breaking combined solar cell efficiency of 42.8% from sunlight at standard terrestrial conditions. The Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) uses a stationary lateral optical concentrating system that splits solar light into three different energy bins, and eliminates the need for complicated tracking devices. (Green Car Congress; Jul. 28, 2007)
  • Terrestrial Solar Cell Surpasses 40 Percent Efficiency - Using concentrated sunlight, Spectrolab has achieved a new world record, demonstrating the ability of a metamorphic multijunction photovoltaic cell to convert 40.7 percent of the sun's energy into electricity. This technology will dramatically reduce the cost of generating electricity from solar energy. (gizmag; December 7, 2006)

Greatest Vehicle Distances

  • A Solar Race Around the World - In Switzerland, two teams are vying to be the first to circle the globe in a solar powered vehicle--one team in a boat (PlanetSolar), the other in an airplane (Solar Impulse), capable of taking off under its own power and flying all night. (Slashdot; May 12, 2006)

Largest Solar Installations

See Directory:Solar:Largest - Index page created on Feb. 24, 2008 to track who is presently the largest, and whose claims to be the largest in the future are actually the biggest claims.

Image:Kyocera_PV-array_Salamanca_Spain_95x95.jpg Image:NM_300MW_solar_plant_95x95.jpg Image:FedEx_solar_roof.jpg Image:GooglePlex_solar_roofs_95x95.jpg Image:Bavaria10MW_95pxw.jpg

Chargers

See Directory:Solar:Chargers

Featuring:

  • Solio -- Portable Hybrid Solar Charger - Device comes with universal adaptors so it can charge most any existing or future cell phone, iPod, PDA, Blackberry, GPS systems, digital cameras, games. Sturdy and reliable design is good for most any climate. Trees planted to offset manufacturing emissions, making Solio a carbon neutral device.

Controversy

Problems

See Directory:Solar Problems - separate page

Government and Politics

See also Directory:U.S. Government and Energy

  • Oil / Solar > Government and Politics >
    What if solar got the same subsidies as fossil fuels? - US solar subsidies: $1 billion, compared to $72 billion subsidies for fossil fuels over 5 years. If the US gave the same subsidies to solar that it does to fossil fuels, solar would be cheaper than grid power in 100% of the country, rather than 14%. Germany has 6x more solar than US, even though the US gets 3.9x more sun. (PESWiki; June 20, 2012)
  • Solar Industry: No Breakthroughs Needed - In a recent conference in D.C., solar industry leaders agreed that the U.S. federal government has a misplaced emphasis on research into futuristic new technologies, rather than support for scaling up existing ones, pointing out that new technologies will take decades to come to market. One company, First Solar, has already brought the cost of solar power to under $1 per watt. (MIT Technology Review; August 3, 2009)
  • The US Utility-scale Solar Picture - While the pace of installations of distributed solar systems for homes and businesses has steadily risen over the past few years, utilities have mostly stayed out of the picture. However that appears to be changing now as more and more utilities are looking at solar energy as major contributor to their current and future renewable energy portfolios. (Renewable Energy World; Feb. 10, 2009)
  • A Brief History of Energy Boondoggles - In the Mojave Desert near Daggett, Calif. the Department of Energy poured $147 million into Solar One, a plant that concentrated solar energy from 2,000 mirrors onto a 300-foot concrete tower to make steam. It began operating in 1982 and was converted in 1995 to heat 3.4 million pounds of salt to a liquid state. DOE officials called the plant “a resounding success” when partner Southern California Edison shut it down in 1999 for the usual reason: It wasn’t commercially viable. (Forbes; Nov. 24, 2008)
  • Driving on the ‘Solar Highway’ : Oregon Builds USA’s First Roadside Solar Energy Project - Near Tualetin, Oregon, the 104 kilowatt solar PV system will consist of nearly 600 solar panels covering 8,000 square feet at the Interstate 5 and 205 interchange. The project will generate 28% of the electricity needed to power the interchange’s lights and signage. Cost for the installation is $1.3 million, with the solar array expected to come online in December 2008. (TreeHugger; August 11, 2008)

Coverage

In the News

See News:Solar - separate page

Trends

  • Solar / Trends > Zeitgeist >
    U.S. Solar Energy in 2011 - Rhone Resch of the Solar Energy Industries Association writes: "In contrast to some of the recent headlines, the solar energy industry is a strong, thriving industry in the United States that is creating jobs and lowering costs for the consumer. In 2011, a number of myths about the solar energy industry circulated nationally. Let’s set the record straight." (CleanTechnica; December 30, 2011)
  • Solar > PV > Trends >
    A Bad Year for Solar Energy - By virtually any yardstick, 2011 was probably a year the PV solar panel industry may like to forget. First and foremost, of course, there was the Solyndra case, which quickly morphed into a major political issue that will likely be continually revisited during the upcoming U.S. presidential campaign. China's heavily-subsidized solar panel industry may present significant ongoing challenges... (Environmental Leader; December 13, 2011)

News Sources

See also News:Sources

pv magazine - the photovoltaic trade publication which covers news on topics such as thin film and feed-in tariffs and events like intersolar europe - A monthly trade journal for the international photovoltaics (PV) industry. With its independent, technology-focused reporting, it concentrates on covering the latest news, as well as topical technological trends and worldwide market developments.

Solar energy facts- you will learn about the variables that are important to know before purchase

Debt Relief - Financial Debt Help By Professionals

Solar Power Cost - Helps people to decide in putting up solar panel to their homes and for their businesses

  • Solar Power Blog - Hot news and articles related to solar energy. "We try to agitate people to use power of sun in all spheres of their life."

Directories

  • http://www.solarcompanies.com - A national directory of solar energy companies across the US and renewable energy news. In addition to listing solar companies by state and popular cities, we also provide cutting edge news in the solar field, as well as articles on renewable energy and even non-renewable energy for a basis of comparison.
  • PV Upscale - PV Projects, Grid Issues, Urban Planning]
  • Mr. Solar Home Page - Mr. Solar Home Page, information, products and services about every aspect of solar, wind & water power
  • Solar Power Systems - Home Made Energy, information and resources about every aspect of solar power, wind power.
  • Green Planet Solar Energy - This site provides information on the advantages of solar energy and how we can integrate it into our lives and homes.
  • Solar Energy - A visual directory of solar energy websites. (EnergyPlanet.info)
  • RV Solar Panels - LivEcoFriendly, Quality solar products, solar panels and other useful green friendly products and information.
  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency - DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. It lists financial incentives like tax incentives, grants, loans, rebates, industry recruitment, bond programs, and production incentives. It also tracks rules, regulations, & policies.
  • Mr. Solar Energy - - Get ideas to reduce energy consumption, energy saving products, solar energy panels and solar power energy.

Comments

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See also

SOLAR GENERAL:

SOLAR MODALITIES:

SOLAR INFRASTRUCTURE

SOLAR APPLICATIONS:

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- PESWiki home page

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