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Solar Power

— Science

Solar-powered hydrogen generation using two of the most abundant elements on Earth

By - June 23, 2015 1 Picture

One potential clean energy future requires an economical, efficient, and relatively simple way to generate copious amounts of hydrogen for use in fuel-cells and hydrogen-powered vehicles. Often achieved by using electricity to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, the ideal method would be to mine hydrogen from water using electricity generated directly from sunlight without the addition of any external power source. Hematite – the mineral form of iron – used in conjunction with silicon has shown some promise in this area, but low conversion efficiencies have slowed research. Now scientists have discovered a way to make great improvements, giving hope to using two of the most abundant elements on earth to efficiently produce hydrogen.

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Battery juices itself up using light

It's now fairly common to hear about batteries being used to store power generated by solar cells. A group of Indian scientists, however, have eliminated the middleman. They've created a battery that incorporates a titanium nitride-based photoanode in place of a conventional anode, allowing the battery to charge itself using solar or artificial light.

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— Environment

Construction finishes on two floating mega-solar plants in Japan

By - April 23, 2015 3 Pictures
Construction has been completed on two enormous floating solar power plants located in the Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Japan. According to The Kyocera Corporation and the Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation, who partnered up to build the instillations, the combined output of the solar plants will be around 3,300 megawatt hours (MWh) per year, and provide electricity to an estimated 920 households. Read More
— Architecture

El Refugio Inteligente combines energy efficiency with smartphone-control

By - January 7, 2015 29 Pictures
Spanish green building firm NOEM recently completed a prefabricated house called El Refugio Inteligente (The Smart Shelter), that more than lives up to its name. Designed and built in just nine weeks and assembled on-site in approximately 10 days, the solar-powered house features a combination of smartphone-configured amenities and sustainable design that help reduce overall energy usage. Read More
— Environment

New method could lead to cheap, spray-on solar power for flexible surfaces

By - December 7, 2014 2 Pictures
Spray-on cells hold considerable promise for reducing the manufacturing costs of solar power. Within this field, colloidal quantum dots (CQD) have also been the focus of a number if research efforts, as they have the potential to soak up a wider range of the solar spectrum. Scientists at the University of Toronto have been aboard the quantum dot train for some time now and their latest breakthrough involves a new method for spraying solar cells onto flexible surfaces, a development that could one day see them coat anything from bicycle helmets to outdoor furniture. Read More
— Environment

Tulip solar power system gets its first commercial application

By - December 4, 2014 3 Pictures
For five years now, a Tulip concentrating solar power plant has been operating at a kibbutz in Israel. In January 2012, a second one sprouted in Spain. While both plants have been successfully pumping out electricity ever since, they were also both built as research and development exercises. Soon, however, the world's first commercial Tulip plant will be built for a paying client, in Ethiopia. Read More
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