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News:2009:Solar

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Solar News

For most recent solar news, go to News:Solar

As of Aug. 27, 2009, we began compiling all solar news stories into one place, then archiving the older content as it gets too long.

2010

2009

  • Solar > Applications >
    Photovoltaic Eye Implant Could Give Sight To the Blind - Researchers at Stanford University recently announced that they have developed a new artificial retina implant that uses photovoltaic power and could help the blind see. Miniature photovoltaic cells are used to provide power to the chip as well as to transmit data through the eye to the brain. (Inhabitiat; Dec. 29, 2009)
  • Solar > Research and Development >
    Hot Electrons Could Double Solar Power - Researchers at Boston College have provided new experimental evidence that solar cell output can be double vi the use of "hot electrons." Ordinary solar cells can, in theory, convert at most about 35 percent of the energy in sunlight into electricity, wasting the rest as heat. Making use of hot electrons could result in efficiencies as high as 67 percent. (MIT Technology Review; Dec. 18, 2009)
  • 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)
  • Solar > Concentrated / Storage >
    Solar power generation around the clock - SolarReserve is developing a solar power system that can store seven hours' worth of solar energy by focusing mirrors onto millions of gallons of molten salt, allowing the plant to provide electricity 24 hours a day. The 150-megawatt plant will include 4.4 million gallons of molten salt. (PhysOrg; Nov. 5, 2009)
  • Solar > PV / Nanotechnology >
    3-D photovoltaic systems go where the sun don’t shine - Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a new type of three-dimensional PV system using optical fiber that promises solar generators that are foldable, concealed and mobile, meaning they could be hidden from view and leave rooftops panel-free. Sunlight entering the optical fiber passes into the nanowires, where it interacts with the dye molecules to produce electrical current. (GizMag; Nov. 2, 2009)
  • Solar Thermal / Building / ZPE / Methane >
    A few free energy developments in Romania - A Russian news agency reports on several interesting systems being developed, including an efficient solar water heating design, a composite building materials having strength and a high R value, a magnetic fertilizer, and a system that allegedly loads methane molecules with the vacuum zero point energy increasing the methane’s heating power by 40 percent. (Financiarul; Oct. 30, 2009)
  • Solar > PV >
    Color matters: GreenSun Energy colored solar technology - Researchers in Israel have come up with a cell that uses only 20% of the silicon in a standard cell yet yields similar amounts of electricity to a regular silicon cell, by diffusing any light that falls on its surface and sending it off to photovoltaic collector strips on each of its sides. And it doesn't even need bright sunlight to operate. (GizMag; Sept. 24, 2009)
  • Solar > Largest >
    Solar Powered Supertower to Eclipse the Burj Dubai? - Santa Monica building designer Tommy Landau is proposing a super-tall 224 story skyscraper to be located in Abu Dhabi. While the building is years away from being built, Landau is convinced that by that time technology will be advanced enough to coat the building in solar cells and power it completely with the sun. (Inhabitat; Sept. 17, 2009)
  • Solar > PV >
    More Efficient, and Cheaper, Solar Cells - Three improvements by 1366 Technologies of Massachusetts could bring the cost of solar down to about 15-16 cents/kw-h, by cost-effectively improving light trapping and collection. Videos explain how this is done, including how incoming light reflects off grooves in a silver band and is redirected along a glass cover. (MIT Technology Review; September 14, 2009)
  • Solar > PV >
    SolarMagic Power Optimizer - The power of the solar array is only as strong as the weakest-performing panel, such as from shade from sources like trees, chimneys, power lines or bird droppings. SolarMagic power optimizers by National Semiconductor maximize the energy potential of each individual panel so as much as 50% of the lost energy can be reclaimed. (Engineering TV; September 8, 2009)
  • Top 100: Solar > Thin Film > First Solar >
    Chinese solar plant expected to be the biggest - Arizona company, First Solar, which makes more solar cells than any other company, said it struck a tentative 10-year deal to build a 25-square mile solar plant in China's vast desert north of the Great Wall, generating 2 gigawatts of electricity -- enough to power 3 million homes. (Salt Lake Tribune; Sept. 8, 2009)
  • Solar / 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)
  • Solar > Applications >
    Solar Roadways Awarded DOT Contract to Pave Roads with Solar Cells - In a first step toward turning highways into energy-generating solar panels, the Idaho-based startup Solar Roadways has recently received a $100,000 grant from the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The company will use the money to build a prototype of its Solar Road Panel, made from solar cells and glass, that is meant to replace petroleum-based asphalt on roads and in parking lots. (PhysOrg; Sept. 7, 2009)
  • Solar > Thermal / Clean Coal >
    Mixing Solar with Coal to Cut Costs - The project by Abengoa Solar and Colorado's largest utility, Xcel Energy, will involve building an array of parabolic mirrors designed to concentrate heat from the sun, and use that heat to help make the steam that drives the coal plant's turbines and generators, making electricity, cutting the cost of solar and reducing plant emissions. (MIT Technology Review; Sept. 4, 2009)
  • Featured / OS: Solar > Cooking >
    Satellite Dish Solar Cooker - When you finally get sick of mainstream media, don't ditch your dish, convert it to a solar cooker and let it pay you back with free cooking power of the sun. These are also available commercially. A collection of instructional videos. (PESWiki; August 31, 2009)
  • Directory:Solar#Paint >
    Plan to turn rooftops, walls and windows into cheap solar cells - Cheaper solar cells – roughly one-tenth the cost of current day prices – could be available within three to five years thanks to a manufacturing procedure that uses nanoparticle ‘inks’ to print them like newspaper or to spray-paint them onto the sides of buildings or rooftops. Even windows could become solar cells thanks to the semi-transparent inks. (GizMag; August 25, 2009)
  • Solar Hydrogen >
    How a Solar-Hydrogen Economy Could Supply the World's Energy Needs - In an invited opinion piece to be published in the Proceedings of the IEEE, Professor Abbott at the University of Adelaide in Australia, argues that a solar-hydrogen economy is more sustainable and provides a vastly higher total power output potential than any other alternative and should be the final goal of current energy policy. (PhysOrg; Aug. 24, 2009)
  • Thin Film >
    Not your average solar panel: The SRS solar roof tile - The Solé Power Tile system is the first building-integrated photovoltaic roofing product designed to blend in with curved roof tiles and is offered exclusively as an upgrade option to customers of US Tile. The triple-junction amorphous silicon thin-film technology incorporated within the Solé Power Tile is manufactured by United Solar Ovonic. (GizMag; August 23, 2009)
  • Plastic >
    Plastics That Convert Light To Electricity - A research team at the University of Washington has found a way to make images of tiny bubbles and channels, roughly 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, inside plastic solar cells. These bubbles and channels form within the polymers as they are being created in a baking process, called annealing, that is used to improve the materials' performance. (Sceince Daily; Aug. 5, 2009)

2006 - 2008

See News:2006-2008:Solar - going back in time

See also

SOLAR GENERAL:

SOLAR MODALITIES:

SOLAR INFRASTRUCTURE

SOLAR APPLICATIONS:

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