Posts Tagged ‘solar’

Artificial Leaf

Monday, March 28th, 2011

The artificial leaf could be one of the most important inventions of this decade.  No, this wasn’t the first time someone has invented such a thing, but it was the first time someone perfected the technology and is on the cusp of making it widely available.  Meet Daniel Nocera, Ph.D. read more »

Solar Energy Telescope

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

There has been a lot of research into making solar panels more efficient collecting the sun’s energy.  However, Roger Angel and researchers at the University of Arizona are tackling the problem of solar energy collection from a different angle.  The goal is to make solar energy as affordable as energy from fossil fuels at a $1/watt installed. read more »

Solar Hot Water Heating Not Just For Roofs

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Eliosolar has taken the idea of a solar hot water heater to the next level.  Traditionally when people think of solar hot water heaters, they are thought to solely exist on roofs, but Eliosolar has designed them so they look like awnings, fences, guardrails, canopies, and a myriad of other accents on a house.  They combined the idea of shading the house from the sun and collecting the sun’s heat to make hot water. read more »

Solar Powered Toothbrush…No Toothpaste Needed

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Now that we don’t need soap for our dishes and we also don’t need to replace our razors nearly as often, a similar technology has come to toothbrushes.  Actually, the technology has been around for about 15 years.

Dr. Kunio Komiyama and his colleague Dr. Gerry Uswak are testing 120 Canadian teenagers willing to brush with the solar powered toothbrush and go to the dentist more frequently to document the effectiveness of the toothbrush.

Fifteen years ago, the first model introduced a titanium dioxide rod embedded in the neck of the brush just below the nylon bristles.  Light activates a wet rod thereby releasing electrons which react with acid in your mouth.  This helps to break down plaque without the use of toothpaste. read more »

Solar Window Produces Electricity and Sticks Tongue Out at HOA’s

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

It is almost universally agreed that renewable energy is the future whether it is solar, wind, wave, or bio energy.  However it seems that many home owner associations are opposed to solar panels on roofs and/or wind turbines in back yards.  There are some innovative thinkers out there that have a solution.  At Taipei’s International Optoelectronics Week, the Chin Hua solar window was making electricity from what seemed to be a regular window albeit a slightly foggy window. read more »

Compressed Air Energy Storage Catching On

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Last year we brought you news about Pacific Gas & Electric using compressed air energy storage to solve energy needs.  Now it seems Southwest Solar Technologies is taking it a step further.  Instead of just using wind turbines, it will combine, wind, solar, and other renewable energy resources to make renewable energy grid ready.

If you are not familiar with the technology, it basically uses off peak and surplus energy to power giant compressors that will fill salt caverns with air.  When power is at a greater demand than what is being produced, or in the case of solar, the renewable energy is not available, it will use the air pressure in the caverns to power the generators to produce electricity.

Traditional power plants like a 110 MW plant in McIntosh, Alabama have used this technology successfully for 16 years.  It seems the transition to a renewable source would be the next logical evolution in renewable energy.

via eere.energy.govinhabitatswsolartech.com

MIT Professor Changing the Solar Game

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Nocera fuel cellMIT Professor Daniel Nocera thinks that the incremental gains made in solar output are not the answer to cheap solar energy.  He thinks the answer is water.  Last year Nocera and other MIT colleagues wrote a technical paper describing a closed-loop energy system. read more »

New Solar Panels Don’t Need Direct Sunlight

Friday, September 18th, 2009

GreenSun Solar Panels

In North America, one of the problems in harnessing solar energy is the fact that there needs to be a slightly south facing roof in direct sunlight for the solar panels to produce an optimum amount of energy.  This might no longer be the case. read more »

Nanotech Film Could Boost Solar Efficiency

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

nanostructure filmChemical Engineers at Oregon State University have come up w/ a way to deposit a “nanostructure film” on a multitude of surfaces.  The film will essentially make solar cells less reflective and able to absorb more photons for conversion of light to energy.  This new technology will enable solar cells to perform better at a lower price.  What makes this technology even more convenient is that it can be applied on site in a dispenser’s office.  No special manufacturing process is needed. read more »

Teenager Invents $40 Solar Panel Made From Human Hair

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Milan KarkiWhen you go to get your locks chopped, we just see all the hair that should be thrown away.  Milan Karki, 18, who comes from a  village in rural Nepal, saw an opportunity.  He discovered that hair could be used to conduct electricity, and now thinks he could revolutionize the solar industry. read more »