Category Archives: Solar Panels

New Combination of Materials for Efficient Solar Cells

An international team of scientists have come together to build solar cells with high efficiency using a new blend of materials. The materials used allow the cells to convert sunlight into electrical energy without the addition of dopants. The design, termed DASH, uses molybdenum oxide and lithium fluoride. Doing away with doping Most of the solar cells use silicon wafers in the crystalline form. The wafer, along with the layers of materials deposited on it are doped or injected with special Read more [...]

Solar Deployment Component Selection

The market for renewable energy is in turmoil right now, mainly because of lower utility costs, a desire for energy independence, incentivized solar installations, and low-cost batteries. Homeowners are now trending towards storing energy from solar cells rather than selling it back to the grid. However, that requires selecting storage components wisely. Although 2016 was the cutoff year for the current solar energy tax incentives, there has been a successful bid to the Congress to extend the Read more [...]

Raspberry Pi for the Solar Plant Monitoring System

In an effort to go green, solar energy is proving to be the forerunner. Collecting energy from the sun requires photovoltaic cells that convert the solar energy directly into the usable electrical form. Even computers are getting smaller and using less energy than before. As a result, several companies are building commercial products based on SBCs or Single Board Computers such as the hackable Raspberry Pi, or the RBPi. For example, Storm Energy is a Germany-based firm designing the SunSniffer Read more [...]

Transparent Harvester of Solar Energy

Common belief is anything that harvests solar energy must be non-transparent. Popular logic is if sunlight is allowed to pass freely through the collector, it cannot lead to energy production. Although this may be partly true for the visible spectrum of light from the sun, it must also be considered that the sun gives out radiations beyond the band of light visible to the human eye. Therefore, even see-through solar concentrators can successfully harvest energy from sunlight. Now, a team of Michigan Read more [...]

High Efficiency Hybrid Solar Cells

Normally, a modern silicon solar cell exhibits a maximum theoretical efficiency of about 33.7 percent. A majority of the sunlight falling on the solar cell – more than 66 percent – is not converted to electricity and is simply wasted in heating up the cell. Now, a new type of solar cells may be able to boost this efficiency to 95 percent or more. The University of Cambridge Cavendish Laboratories is researching on a new type of high-efficiency hybrid solar cell. The UK researchers are using Read more [...]

Can a Solar Cell Store Its Own Power?

Can a Solar Cell Store Its Own Power? Researchers at Ohio State University have invented a device that looks like a solar cell but has the ability to store the power it generates. The patent-pending device is the world's first solar battery. On October 3, 2014, the researchers reported in the journal – Nature Communication – that they have succeeded in combining a solar cell and a battery into a single hybrid device. The innovation is a special solar panel in the form of a mesh that allows Read more [...]

Energy Harvesting – How & Why

What Is Energy Harvesting - Why Is It Needed? The process of extracting small quantities of energy from one or more natural, inexhaustible sources, accumulation and storage for subsequent use at an affordable cost is called Energy Harvesting. Specially developed electronic devices that enable this task are termed Energy Harvesting Devices. The world is facing acute energy crisis and global warming, stemming from rapid depletion of the traditional sources of energy such as oil, coal, fossil Read more [...]

How about a solar energy bikini for this summer?

We thought we'd seen just about everything powered by solar panels or solar film until we came across this bikini. Made by Solarcoterie, this bathing suit is made of photovoltaic film strips sewn together in series with conductive thread! With a USB connection you could be laying on the beach and powering your iPod at the same time. The suit is constructed of 1" x 4" solar strips which terminate in a 5V regulator and a female USB connector - perfect for powering your iPod. The down side is that Read more [...]

Solar Energy – a beginner’s look

Solar energy is an exciting field for both scientific study and home and office use, representing the modern drive to find clean, sustainable ways to power everyday life while protecting the planet for generations to come. Solar energy is created by the sun, which plays host to constant explosions of heat and energy. This energy radiates light that eventually reaches Earth, where water, land, and the clouds in the atmosphere absorb a portion. This light manifests as heat and helps to regulate Read more [...]

Solar energy can help sell your home

Anyone who is trying to sell a house knows that some improvements like adding a new bathroom or a complete kitchen renovation may increase the value of a home however most people might not consider that an investment in solar panels or other renewable energy sources may be another positive investment in their home. According to a study that was recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), solar photovoltaic (PV) panels added on average between 3 percent and 4 percent Read more [...]