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Photovoltaic

Soitec has announced the completion of Italy's largest concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) pla...

Soitec, a specialist in semiconductor materials for the electronic and energy industries, announced that it has completed the construction and grid connection of Italy’s largest concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar power plant. The announcement was made in the context of the Intersolar Europe Trade Show in Munich, which took place this week (June 11-15). The 1.17 megawatt-peak (MWp) solar farm, located in Belpasso in Sicily, will power 300 homes and is expected to prevent the emission of more than 125 tons (113 tonnes) of carbon dioxide per year.  Read More

Scientists have successfully used gallium indium phosphide solar cells to generate electri...

Although solar cells are proving indispensable for powering things such as electronic sensors on dry land, sensors located underwater have typically had to rely on batteries, or electricity piped in from photovoltaic panels situated above the surface. That could be changing, however, as scientists from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have recently developed functioning underwater solar cells.  Read More

Cogenra's cogeneration system produces heat and electricity, increasing efficiency to up t...

The Southern California Gas Company, the largest natural gas distribution company in the U.S., has become the first utility in that country to test Cogenra’s solar cogeneration solution for cooling purposes. The system will provide air conditioning for SoCalGas’s Energy Resource Center (ERC). Until now, the technology has been mainly applied to solar hot water, space heating and electricity.  Read More

It's rare to see a building's form so adapted to maximizing renewable energy potential as ...

It's rare to see a building's form so adapted to maximizing renewable energy potential as is the case with the Endesa Pavilion, Solar House 2.0. Not content with a roof completely covered in photovoltaic panels, the designers at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) led by Rodrigo Rubio have covered the building's south facade with protrusions supporting additional solar panels, which are angled optimally for harvesting energy from the sun.  Read More

Logitech has unveiled a new iPad case with built-in keyboard that's powered by batteries c...

Last April, Logitech partnered with ZAGG to release a rather smart iPad case with built-in physical keyboard. The company has now announced a new book-style case for Apple's tablet where the power for the included Bluetooth keyboard comes from batteries juiced up by built-in photovoltaic panels. The Solar Keyboard Folio won't help an iPad last any longer, though. Fortunately, Wireless NRG has developed a tough extended battery case for the iPad that also packs light-soaking cells on its flap that can keep the protected tablet going for up to ten days. The panels on both cases don't just rely on direct sunlight for power, as they can also take advantage of indoor light too.  Read More

Heliatek has set a world record efficiency with its latest organic solar technology

German solar technology specialist Heliatek has set a new benchmark for the efficiency of organic solar cells. In independent tests, a new world record efficiency of 10.7 percent was achieved for the company's latest tandem organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells ... and 15 percent may be just a few years away.  Read More

Dow Solar is rolling out its new POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles in northern California and cent...

Installing photovoltaic panels is certainly the most common method of generating solar power on a rooftop, and in fact many people might think it’s the only method. There is, however, an alternative – photovoltaic shingles. It makes sense, when you think about it ... why install weatherproof shingles and solar panels separately, if you could get one thing that combined both? Although there aren’t many manufacturers offering such products just yet, this month Dow Solar made its POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles available to consumers in northern California and central Texas.  Read More

University of Sydney researchers have developed a “photochemical upconversion” technique t...

While the overall efficiency of conventional silicon solar cells has continued to improve in recent years, the technology faces a natural theoretical limit at around 33%. This is because the laws of physics prevent the cells from absorbing photons below a certain energy level, meaning that this low-energy light cannot be converted into electricity is simply lost. Now researchers have found a way join two energy-poor red photons to form a single energy-rich yellow photon, allowing the harvesting of this part of the spectrum currently unused by single p-n junction crystalline silicon solar cells, and potentially enabling a record-breaking efficiency of 40%.  Read More

Two small-scale versions of three-dimensional photovoltaic arrays that were tested by MIT ...

While we’ve looked at the development of solar cell technologies that employ nanoscale 3D structures to trap light and increase the amount of solar energy absorbed, MIT researchers have now used 3D on the macro scale to achieve power output that is up to 20 times greater than traditional fixed flat solar panels with the same base area. The approach developed by the researchers involves extending the solar cells upwards in a three-dimensional tower or cube configuration to enable them to better capture the sun's rays when it is lower on the horizon.  Read More

The Lausitz Geierswald Resort features a village consisting of modular floating homes

Within the Lusatian Lake District in Germany, lies the unique Lausitz Geierswald Resort with its collection of floating residences. Designed by the German architectural firm Steeltec37, the floating village includes a collection of modular buildings designed to offer sustainable living and lakeside luxury.  Read More

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