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Photovoltaic

Outdoors

Powertraveller's modular charger powers up by crank, sun, wind and water

Powertraveller adds an ultra-versatile portable charger to its gadget charger line. Not only does the new Powermonkey Expedition include standards like a clamshell solar panel, AC adapter and crank charger, it complements them with a portable wind/river turbine. Carry the kit on your adventures and simply connect the generator component that's most suitable for the current conditions. Read More

Science

Nanomaterial thermophotovoltaic system increases efficiency and portability of solar power

It’s not a new idea to improve upon traditional solar cells by first converting light into heat, then reemitting the energy at specific wavelengths optimally tuned to the requirements of the solar cell, but this method has suffered from low efficiencies. However, new research at MIT using nanoscale materials finally shows how thermophotovoltaics could become competitive with their traditional cousins, and grant benefits such as storing solar energy in the form of heat to postpone conversion into electricity.Read More

Automotive

Ford's C-MAX Solar Energi Concept sports rooftop solar panels

A plug-in hybrid car sounds like an excellent way of squaring the circle between the green cred of an electric car and the range and reliability of one that runs on petrol, but what if you live somewhere that’s a bit off the grid? Ford’s answer is its C-Max Solar Energi Concept, which makes its debut at CES next week. The car uses a combination of high-efficiency solar panels and a separate frame roofed with a Fresnel lens to concentrate sunlight on the panels to give it a proper charge without using the engine or plugging into the electrical mains.Read More

Environment

RUB researchers make bio-based solar cell breakthrough

Researchers at Ruhr-Universitat Bochum have created a bio-based solar cell capable of generating a continuous electrical current of several nanowatts per sq cm. The new approach avoids damage to the tapped photosynthetic cells, an issue that has plagued previous attempts to harness nature's "power plant."Read More

Good Thinking Feature

How solar cells are taking over sea, sky and space

Solar technology has evolved beyond just your grandpa's big, bulky photovoltaic panels on the roof. Advances in flexible, hyper-efficient and nano-scale materials of late has made it possible for solar cells to begin popping up in all kinds of shapes and places you might not expect. Here's a quick rundown of some surprising spots where solar technology dwells – be sure to flip through the gallery to get a full grasp on the scale of the increasingly solar-powered landscape. Read More

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