Greece migrants cellphones

Solar power is providing a lifeline of hope to migrants in Greece

By on June 19, 2016 at 12:00 PM.

Solar power is providing a lifeline of hope to migrants in Greece

No blog post is going to do justice to the difficulties of being a migrant, crossing the Mediterranean, and finding yourself in an impossible position in Greece.

One thing that makes the journey a little easier is cellphones, and by extension access to resources abroad, and family and friends at home. But staying charged up when you’re in refugee camps is presumably difficult, which is something that one team of students is trying to remedy. More →

No Comments
Renewable Energy Sources List

Groundbreaking ‘bionic leaf’ converts sunlight and water into liquid fuel

By on June 7, 2016 at 9:08 AM.

Groundbreaking ‘bionic leaf’ converts sunlight and water into liquid fuel

We recently told you about an exciting development at MIT, where researchers discovered a way to double the amount of energy generated by solar cells. The breakthrough involves reconfiguring solar panels, adding an additional layer to their structure that reflects sunlight to a second solar cell at the optimal wavelength for peak efficiency. It’s an intriguing project that could have far reaching implications, but efficiency is just one of several barriers preventing solar energy from being utilized more widely.

Now, another barrier may be on the brink of toppling as a new research is developing a way to convert sunlight and water into liquid fuel. More →

No Comments
Solar Panels

Breakthrough tech could double the amount of energy generated by solar cells

By on May 25, 2016 at 8:10 AM.

Breakthrough tech could double the amount of energy generated by solar cells

Solar power has always seemed on its surface to be the perfect solution to the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. After all, sunlight is free and abundantly available. The problem has always been efficiency, since solar panels generate power far less efficiently than other options. In fact, it takes about 40 square meters of solar panels to generate enough energy to power just one American home for a day, based on average use.

Progress is slowly being made in labs around the world, though you might not know it by looking at the recent performance of solar stocks. But now, a breakthrough in the way solar energy is collected could double the amount of power generated by solar panels without dramatically increasing cost. More →

No Comments
Cochin International Airport Solar Power

An entire airport pays nothing for electricity thanks to solar power

By on March 19, 2016 at 9:15 AM.

An entire airport pays nothing for electricity thanks to solar power

Day by day, solar power is becoming a more viable source of energy for homes and businesses. If you need further proof of this, look no further than the Cochin International Airport in India that is now entirely powered by solar energy and pays nothing for electricity. The airport last year installed a solar power system with a 12-megawatt peak (MWp) capacity that added to its previous installation that had a capacity of 1.1 MWp, thus giving it enough solar energy to run the entire airport. More →

No Comments
Noor Concentrated Solar Power Complex

The world’s largest solar plant will soon deliver enough power for over 1 million homes

By on February 8, 2016 at 9:55 PM.

The world’s largest solar plant will soon deliver enough power for over 1 million homes

Solar power obviously isn’t the solution for every place on Earth, but for regions that largely consist of arid deserts it can deliver a lot of juice. Such is the case with the Noor Concentrated Solar Power that just switched on in Morocco and that is projected to produce enough power to meet the needs of 1.1 million people by 2018. More →

No Comments
MIT Solar Cells Made From Used Car Batteries

MIT researchers have figured out how to make solar cells with old car batteries

By on December 24, 2015 at 7:30 AM.

MIT researchers have figured out how to make solar cells with old car batteries

Here’s a clever technological breakthrough that could help the environment in two ways. MIT announced this week that some of its researchers have figured out a way to make solar cells using parts from discarded car batteries that would otherwise have simply gone to waste. Essentially, the researchers have figured out how to extract lead from old car batteries and use it as a component in solar cells that they say are just as efficient as solar cells produced with “high-purity, commercially available starting materials.” More →

No Comments
Solar Power For Homes Pros And Cons

Hooking Your Home Up with Solar Power? Here are the Essential Questions You Need to Answer

By on July 6, 2015 at 9:45 PM.

Hooking Your Home Up with Solar Power? Here are the Essential Questions You Need to Answer

Solar power is primed to make a big impact on the home energy market in the coming years, although that doesn’t mean everyone should rush out right now and get panels installed on their roofs. The Federal Trade Commission has put together a handy guide for prospective solar power system buyers that lists some key questions they’ll need to answer before they take the plunge. Below we’ll go over some of the essential issues you need to think through before making a big investment in home solar power. More →

No Comments
Solar Vs. Coal Power

Rooftop solar power is making coal obsolete in Australia

By on July 9, 2014 at 4:38 PM.

Rooftop solar power is making coal obsolete in Australia

Rooftop solar panels are becoming such a powerful factor in the energy market that they now can push the price of electricity to negative territory in the sunniest regions of the world. This is possible because powering down fossil fuel energy generators during peak solar power periods would be more expensive than paying customers to use the electricity. More →

No Comments

Apple in talks to power North Carolina data center site with solar farm

By on October 26, 2011 at 2:30 PM.

Apple in talks to power North Carolina data center site with solar farm

Apple’s massive billion-dollar North Carolina data center, which received a failing rating in a Greenpeace report earlier this year, may soon be powered by a solar farm. The Charlotte Observer recently uncovered permit plans from North Carolina’s Catawba County that show Apple’s intentions to adjust the terrain on a 171-acre plot across from its data center. The plans are titled “Project Dolphin Solar Farm A Expanded” but they do not discuss the solar farm itself. Instead, they detail roads, erosion control and a strategy to avoid disturbing local streams and the local environment with construction work. Apple has yet to apply for a building permit for the site, but more information will likely be revealed if it does. This is not Apple’s first foray into eco-friendly power; its facilities in Austin, Texas; Sacramento, California; and Cork, Ireland already run on 100% renewable energy. The Cupertino-based company currently relies on coal and nuclear power from Duke Energy to run its North Carolina data center. More →

24 Comments

Ralph Lauren introduces solar-powered backpack

By on April 10, 2011 at 12:37 PM.

Ralph Lauren introduces solar-powered backpack

We’ll be honest, we didn’t quite expect Ralph Lauren to be the company to introduce a useful solar-powered backpack to power our gadgets while on the move. The Ralph Lauren RLX backpack offers a pretty large solar panel built in to the back of the backpack, one that the company says can charge a phone in around two hours. The backpack itself is water-resistant, with a decent amount of pockets and storage space, and generates a 3.45 watt current which is enough for most any mobile device or handset. It’s available in two colors, black and orange, is made in Italy, and will run you a steep $795. More →

30 Comments

T-Mobile tests cell site powered by the sun

By on September 24, 2010 at 8:34 AM.

T-Mobile tests cell site powered by the sun

GigaOM is reporting that T-Mobile is testing a completely solar-powered cell phone tower here in the States. The single tower — located in Chalfont, PA — generates enough power to keep the site off the grid and, at times, feed power back into the country’s aging electrical system. Pike Research estimates that 4.5% of all cellular stations worldwide will use solar or wind energy by 2014. The report indicates that although the tower does cost 2 to 3 times more than the standard, grid-powered equivalent, savings in the long run — in electricity, tax benefits, and initial setup costs — could very well make up for the difference over the life of the tower. Hit the read link for the full report. More →

22 Comments