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Solar Power

The prototype device utilizes paraffin contained within thin aluminum plates

Although solar panels are active while the sun is shining, they typically don't do much once the sun goes down. This is why some systems incorporate water tanks. The water is heated during the day via the panels, then that stored thermal energy (heat) is used to warm the home at night. While the tanks are effective, they also take up a lot of space, making them difficult to fit into peoples' homes. A newly-developed device, however, stores just as much heat in half the space – using paraffin instead of water.  Read More

Equipped with an array of multi-junction photovoltaic chips, each of the IBM 'sunflowers' ...

Looking rather like a 10-meter (33 ft) tall sunflower, IBM's High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system concentrates the sun’s radiation over 2,000 times on a single point and then transforms 80 percent of that into usable energy. Using a number of liquid-cooled microchannel receivers, each equipped with an array of multi-junction photovoltaic chips, each HCPVT can produce enough power, water, and cooling to supply several homes.  Read More

Solarbox aims to provides a quick and free smartphone battery top up

Though many manufacturers put a lot of emphasis on how their smartphones offer "all-day battery life,” having your handset pass out on you is still a fairly common problem. London-based project Solarbox aims to help keep mobile phone users mobile by re-purposing the iconic red phone boxes for use as free, solar-powered quick charging stations.  Read More

Facebook hopes to begin testing its solar-powered UAVs in 2015, with the ultimate aim of d...

There was an understandable amount of skepticism when Amazon announced its grand plans for delivery drones last year. But if the last twelve months are any indication, Jeff Bezos and his fellow tech heavyweights are actually kinda serious about the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles. Speaking at the Social Good Summit in New York on Monday, engineering director at Facebook Connectivity Lab, Yael Maguire, has further detailed the company's vision of internet-carrying drones, with plans to begin testing in 2015.  Read More

The EnGo charging station at Webster University

Students, faculty and staff at Webster University in St. Louis don't have to worry too much if their mobile gadgets run out of power. Volta, a sustainable technology company, has installed its EnGo Public Charging Station on campus, that can recharge up to 14 mobile devices at a time without taking electricity from the grid. The Webster installation marks EnGo’s public debut in the US. Besides providing an alternative charging point to fall back on, EnGo does so without taking an extra toll on the environment.  Read More

The ACE 1 can use all types of biomass fuels, giving it versatility that other stoves lack

The ACE 1 stove from African Clean Energy combines elements of solar and biomass power to offer an eco-friendly cooking solution that also charges electronic devices. The stove is a cooking/charging solution for connected campers, developing nations and remote, off-grid dwellers.  Read More

The all-new Goal Zero Switch 10 at Outdoor Retailer 2014

A few years ago, Goal Zero introduced the Switch 8, a small back-up battery with a series of modular tips for creating separate devices, like a flashlight. The company has added more power and more function to the Switch, in introducing the all-new Switch 10.  Read More

Combining the high efficiency and low cost of perovskite with the simplicity of spray-on c...

Researchers at the University of Sheffield in the UK have created a spray-on solar cell that uses perovskite as the light-absorbing layer. Although the cell's efficiency is only a modest 11 percent, it can be manufactured very cheaply, paving the way for significant reductions in the cost of large-scale solar panel production.  Read More

WindStream Technologies says it has installed the world's largest wind-solar hybrid genera...

Generating renewable electricity at home or commercial buildings is becoming increasingly viable. WindStream Technologies has installed what it says is the world's largest wind-solar hybrid array on an office roof in Kingston, Jamaica. The array is expected to generate over 106,000 kWh annually.  Read More

Researchers at Princeton University have converted CO2 into formic acid by using an electr...

Rising atmospheric CO2 levels can generally be tackled in three ways: developing alternative energy sources with lower emissions; carbon capture and storage (CCS); and capturing carbon and repurposing it. Researchers at Princeton University are claiming to have developed a technique that ticks two of these three boxes by using solar power to convert CO2 into formic acid.  Read More

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