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tag: Solar energy

Scientists mimic essence of plants' energy storage system

With Daniel Nocera's and Matthew Kanan's new catalyst, homeowners could use their solar panels during the day to power their home, while also using the energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen for storage. At night, the stored hydrogen and oxygen could be recombined using a fuel cell to generate power while the solar panels are inactive.

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Konarka’s roll-to-roll photo-reactive materials

Konarka’s proprietary photo-reactive materials can be printed or coated inexpensively onto flexible substrates using roll-to-roll manufacturing, similar to the way newspaper is printed on large rolls of paper. Konarka’s roll-to-roll process simplifies manufacturing scale up and has significantly lower capital and labor costs than previous generations of solar cells.  The process is non-toxic and environmentally friendly, and because it’s conducted at low temperatures, is less energy intensive than 1st or 2nd generation technologies.  Another significant advantage is that it can be produced using existing coating and printing equipment, and thus does not require construction of a new facility.  The simplicity and modularity of the process means that finally, solar material can be manufactured and used virtually anywhere in the world where there is demand for power.

Konarka has the in-house ability to produce material for use by our technical team and application partners for prototype testing and development, and is building additional US-based capacity.  For larger scale production, we have established licensing agreements with manufacturers in Europe, and will seek additional partners in the US and Asia.  see read more  here


[via Doedelsdorfer]

Sharp Provides Photovoltaic Panels for Winery's

OAKVILLE & HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., MAY 29, 2008– Napa Valley wine producer Far Niente has gone live with its ‘Floatovoltaic™’ solar array. The Floatovoltaic installation, developed by Thompson Technology Industries, Inc. (TTI), creatively couples solar power with water, saving valuable vineyard acreage from being sacrificed for land-mounted arrays; this innovative solar system was installed by SPG Solar, using solar panels from Sharp, a world leader in solar electricity. Far Niente’s Floatovoltaic system involved securing nearly 1,000 Sharp solar panels on pontoons, then floating the pontoons on the winery’s vineyard irrigation pond.  Combined with a section of another 1,300 panels located on land adjacent to the pond, the array is generating 400 kWs at peak output, significantly offsetting the winery’s annual power usage and provide a net-zero energy bill.


“Napa Valley is making tremendous strides in its efforts to achieve sustainability,” said Ron Kenedi, vice president of Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group, the U.S. solar arm of Sharp.  “By adopting clean, reliable and renewable solar power, Far Niente is making a commitment to the long term sustainability of this magnificent region.”  Read more

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Solar Panels at Lower-Than-Usual Cost

As a result, by using a new process that effectively "prints" photovoltaic material onto an aluminum backing, the company says they can profitably sell the solar panels for "less than $1 a watt" or, as The Times points out, the price at which solar energy becomes less expensive than coal.

PRINT SOLAR CELLS WITH AN INKJET PRINTER Konarkatech a Massachusetts company backed by Silicon Valley venture money said  that it has successfully conducted the first-ever demonstration of manufacturing solar cells by inkjet printing. Spun out of the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2001, Konarka and its power plastics technology has been one of the most well-funded startups in the area. The company has secured a total of $105 million in private financing from a number of investors, including Menlo Park venture firms.

Researchers think pink to produce 'green' solar energy

Scientists here have developed new dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) that get their pink color from a mixture of red dye and white metal oxide powder in materials that capture light.
Currently, the best of these new pink materials convert light to electricity with only half the efficiency of commercially-available silicon-based solar cells -- but they do so at only one quarter of the cost, said Yiying Wu.


EM-NANO 2007

EM-NANO 2007, a symposium featuring organic and inorganic electronic materials and related nanotechnologies. This conference is intended to have a strong strategy providing a forum for discussing all related subjects on organic and inorganic materials and nanotechnologies for electronics.

Main Topics

A. Organic Materials and Devices for Electronics
Organic materials and device application in the following fields (but not limited):
(1) Fabrication and characterization of organic thin films
(2) Electrical and optical properties of organic thin films and materials
(3) Organic devices
(4) Organic-inorganic composites and hybrid systems
(5) Evaluation techniques

B. Inorganic Materials and Devices for Electronics
Inorganic materials and device application in the following fields (but not limited):
(6) Fabrication and characterization of inorganic thin films
(7) Electrical, optical and magnetic properties of inorganic thin films and materials
(8) Inorganic devices
(9) Evaluation techniques

C. Nanotechnologies for Electronics
Nanotechnologies related to electronics in the following fields (but not limited):
(10) Electrical measurement techniques
(11) Optical measurement techniques
(12) Magnetic measurement techniques
(13) Near-field nanotechnologies
(14) Nano-processing and characterization technologies

D. Nanocarbon and Related Materials
(15) Nanocarbons and related nano-materials

Korean researchers build cheaper, better solar cell

A team of Korean researchers has developed a cutting-edge solar cell that might help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

The discovery could make Korea a leader in the alternative energy industry as the research team plans to double the cell's efficiency and commercialize the technology by 2012.

The team's leader, Lee Kwang-hee of the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, said on Thursday, "Together with Prof. Alan Heeger at the University of California Santa Barbara, we have developed a plastic solar cell with 6.5 percent efficiency. That level of efficiency is sufficiently high for commercial products." The discovery was explained in the July 13 issue of Science, one of the world's most prestigious academic journals.

Existing solar cells that use silicon semiconductors cost US$2.30 to generate one watt of electricity, which is three to 10 times higher than the production cost of thermal or hydro power. The new plastic solar cell costs just ten cents per watt.

"The efficiency of converting solar power to electricity should be at least seven percent for commercialization. Many foreign researchers even failed to develop solar cells with more than five percent efficiency," Prof. Lee said.

"We're going to improve the efficiency up to 15 percent, and we're in talks to join hands with domestic electronics companies to market the solar cell by 2012," he said.

Around the world with solar powered taxi

On 3. July, we will take off for a tour around the world in a solar powered vehicle. We want to visit scientists, politicians and all those people who care about global warming. We will reoprt daily, how people are trying to stop global warming in the different countries of this world, and we want to show that solutions are available and everybody can be part of the solution. For this, for the first time in history, we are driving a car, powered by solar energy, around the whole world. Without making pollution. Without producing CO2. But with joy of life, humor and the spirit of pioneers.


New solar cells

via Technologyreview

Ultraefficient Photovoltaics
A solar cell more than twice as efficient as typical rooftop solar panels has been developed by Spectrolab.

NREL National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Heliotube: The low cost of Concentrating PV in the familiar form of a flat solar panel Soliant

Delivers renewable electricity to complement your existing electric services. Sunedison.