Alternative Energy

Solar Power News

The latest solar power news from our solar energy and photovoltaic news sources.

Feb 08, 2016

Solar Energy

Heliatek Sets New Organic Photovoltaic World Record Efficiency of 13.2%

Feb 8, 2016: DRESDEN, GERMANY --(eSolarEnergyNews)--Heliatek R&D teams reached a record conversion efficiency of 13.2% for an OPV multi-junction cell, setting a new world record for the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity using organic photovoltaic cells. The measurement was independently confirmed by Fraunhofer CSP. Thanks to the excellent low light and high temperature behavior of the organic…

Constellation and Henderson-Hopkins Complete Construction of 178-Kilowatt Solar Generation Project

Feb 8, 2016: BALTIMORE, MD--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Constellation and Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School (Henderson-Hopkins), a K-8 Baltimore City public school operated by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, today announced the completion of a 178-kilowatt (DC) solar generation project The project is the second and largest solar generation project to be unveiled at a Baltimore…

The 50th Superbowl at Levi’s Stadium will be a net-zero energy game

Feb 6, 2016: The Superbowl and sustainable aren't two words you would normally find in a sentence, but the San Francisco 49ers and HNTB Corporation have done their level best to change that with the 68,500-seat Levi's Stadium. Solar-powered and crowned with a green roof, the first new NFL stadium to achieve LEED Gold certification produces sufficient power to ensure that game days will be net-zero energy. Scott Capstack, Director of Design at HTNB, told Inhabitat that the design philosophy behind Levi's Stadium...

Morocco switches on phase one of the world’s largest solar plant

Feb 5, 2016: In the Saharan desert, Morocco has been building what will ultimately become the world's largest solar plant -- the Noor Concentrated Solar Power complex, near the city of Ouarzazate. When finished in 2018, it will be the size of the country's capital city and generate 580MW, enough power to serve 1.1 million people. Now, the first phase of the plant is finally ready for activation. The king of Morocco reportedly switched on the plant at 2pm on February 4th. Noor 1, the first section...

Legend Solar Achieves 400% Growth in 2015

Feb 5, 2016: ST. GEORGE, UT--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Legend Solar today announced its revenue and company milestones for 2015—growing revenue from $3.7 to $18.3 million, a more than 400 percent increase year over year. The St. George, Utah, company expanded to Northern Utah, serving all areas of the Wasatch Front. Legend Solar also achieved Master Dealer status with SunPower. The company is the fastest-growing…

World’s largest waste-to-energy plant in China will be topped with green roofs and photovoltaics

Feb 4, 2016: http://vimeo.com/154018831 Located on the mountainous outskirts of Shenzhen, the Waste-to-Energy Plant will be housed inside a single circular structure that comprises all the auxiliary buildings and industrial facilities. The plant’s simplified and compact form helps minimize its building footprint and the amount of site excavation required. To further reduce the plant’s environmental impact, two-thirds of the 66,000-square-meter roof will be covered with solar panels, while the remaining...

Uganda to launch its first solar-powered bus this month

Feb 4, 2016: What better place to harness the power of the sun than right at the equator? The east African nation of Uganda will launch its first completely solar-powered bus this month, named the Kayoola. The test drive was successful, leaving the country eager for cleaner public transit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qcHuwfYG1c The Kayoola, developed by Kiira Motors Corporation, is powered by two batteries collection solar energy from panels installed on the roof. Its range is 80 kilometers...

Host-guest nanowires for efficient water splitting and solar energy storage

Feb 3, 2016: California is committed to 33 percent energy from renewable resources by 2020. With that deadline fast approaching, researchers across the state are busy exploring options. Solar energy is attractive but for widespread adoption, it requires transformation into a storable form. This week researchers report that nanowires made from multiple metal oxides could put solar ahead in this race.

PSEG Solar Source Acquires 25.9 MW Solar Project from Ecoplexus

Feb 3, 2016: NEWARK, N.J.--(eSolarEnergyNews)-- PSEG Solar Source today announced it has acquired a 25.9 MW-dc solar energy facility from Ecoplexus for an investment of more than $40 million. The facility, to be called the PSEG Meadows Solar Energy Center, is located in Martin County, North Carolina about 80 miles east of Raleigh. The PSEG Meadows Solar Energy Center has a 15-year power purchase agreement…

INFOGRAPHIC: Ending our fossil fuel addiction by 2050

Feb 2, 2016: The world is totally hooked on fossil fuels, and this fatal addiction has us living on borrowed time, facing climate change that threatens to wipe out life on this planet. But while we remain dangerously over-reliant on fossil-fuel power right now, it isn't too late to make a change. If we take steps in the right direction we can beat our addiction. To safeguard the future, we must spark an energy revolution and if we do, we could end our fossil fuel addiction by 2050. This infographic shows how...

Canadian Solar Secures JPY4.7 billion Syndicated Loan from Mizuho Bank

Feb 2, 2016: GUELPH, ONTARIO, CANADA --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Canadian Solar today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Canadian Solar Japan K.K. has entered into a syndicated loan agreement, pursuant to which Mizuho Bank, Ltd. ("Mizuho Bank"), acting as the Book-runner, has agreed to provide a total of JPY4.7 billion ($39.5 million) to Canadian Solar Japan K.K to support its working capital and business…

JinkoSolar Donates 57 Kilowatts to Everybody Solar

Feb 2, 2016: SAN FRANCISCO, CA --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- JinkoSolar today announced that it has donated 57 kilowatts (kW) to Everybody Solar, a U.S. non-profit organization working to provide solar to local charities. JinkoSolar's donation of 212 of its high-efficiency PV modules will help Everybody Solar provide solar energy systems to 3 non-profits in the U.S.: the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) in…

France to pave 1,000 kilometers of road with solar panels

Feb 1, 2016: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZNJhcNq9q4 Although France isn’t the first country to pave roads with solar panels—the Netherlands installed the world’s first solar panel-paved bicycle path in 2014—their plans for 1,000 kilometers of solarized roads are the most ambitious. According to France’s Agency of Environment and Energy Management, four meters (13 feet) of solarized road is enough to power one household’s energy needs, not including heating, while one kilometer (3,281 feet)...

Futuristic ‘Next Tokyo’ eco city is designed to withstand climate change

Feb 1, 2016: The proposal includes coastal defense infrastructure that acts as a buffer, as well as island housing clusters that can accommodate a half-million of people seeking to leave high-risk coastal areas and reduce commute times. Hexagonal water-filled rings would allow sharing of resources such as freshwater reservoirs, public beach harbors and urban farming plots, while faceted breakwater bars and additional operable floodgates providing additional defense. The scheme would serve as a transit hub, with...

Zero-carbon housing development welcomes its first families in North Ireland

Feb 1, 2016: Funded by the Department of Social Development, Killynure Green will comprise 65 high quality, zero-carbon homes when complete. The 39 first phase units, which recently welcomed their first families, are arranged in a series of clusters surrounded by greenery, ranging from private to communal spaces, including public wildflower meadows and a central playground. To take advantage of passive solar heating, the homes are outfitted with large south-facing facades that open up to enclosed winter gardens. Related:...

Philadelphia chef transforms electric utility vehicle into green food truck

Feb 1, 2016: When Greg Alden Steele decided to start a food truck, he wanted to do more than just serve healthy, delicious meals. He also wanted to build a business with a low carbon footprint, something in line with his dedication to environmentalist principles. So he had custom electric vehicle fabricated to help him start his business. The Philly Greens food truck began life as a Polaris GEM electric utility vehicle, with a custom body crafted at a local shop. It uses no propane, has no grill,...

Rotating homes follow the sun, produce 5 times the energy they use

Jan 29, 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5ow9gfX38U&feature=youtu.be "The sunflower effect is created by combining two motions: the rotation of the building itself, of 180° throughout the day, and the rotation of the photovoltaic roofing hood, to ensure an inclination of 90º of this surface relative to the sun's position (angle that optimizes PV production)," according to the group's website. Silva says the combined rotation of the building and roof produces 25,000 kWh/year of electricity or five times...

The world’s first 100% solar-powered five-star resort has opened

Jan 29, 2016: The world's first 5-star resort to be completely powered by solar proves that luxury does not have to be sacrificed in the name of sustainability. Finolhu Villas, a jaw-dropping over-water resort on Kaafu Atoll in The Maldives, was designed by Yuji to a…

California Public Utilities Commission Expands Solar Net Metering

Jan 29, 2016: SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(eSolarEnergyNews)--A diverse coalition of consumer, environmental, faith, agricultural, environmental justice, and business organizations joined together to applaud the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) decision to preserve net metering, a critical solar policy that gives the state’s energy consumers the opportunity to generate their own energy with solar power.

SolarWorld Partners with sonnen to Launch Energy Storage Solutions

Jan 29, 2016: HILLSBORO, OR--(eSolarEnergyNews)--SolarWorld, the largest U.S. crystalline-silicon solar manufacturer for more than 40 years, today announced that it is broadening its role in the smart energy-storage business in the U.S. market, signaling its resolve to empower customers with a storage option as part of complete energy-management systems. SolarWorld is partnering with sonnen Inc., which today…

Brilliant self-filling water bottle pulls moisture from the air while you hike or bike

Jan 28, 2016: As bikers enjoy the wonderful mid-summer weather, it is essential, for good times and good health, that they stay hydrated. In the heat of it all, even the most conscious cycler can forget to refill their water bottle, putting them in a precarious to a…

SOM debuts “world’s largest 3D-printed polymer building” designed for off-grid living

Jan 28, 2016: Each segment of the corridor-like structure is created separately using 3D-printing technology, and then assembled wherever needed, without requiring any additional framing or supports. SOM’s design team worked alongside U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory for this off-grid masterpiece. The claims it’s the world's largest 3D-printed polymer structure, and they’re probably right. The shelter is a prototype made for the Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE), an...

Breakthrough enables ultra-fast transport of electrical charges in polymers

Jan 28, 2016: For the first time, researchers have shown that a very efficient vertical charge transport in semiconducting polymers is possible by controlled chain and crystallite orientation. These pioneering results enhance charge transport in polymers by more than 1,000 times, have implications for organic opto-electronic devices.

Breakthrough enables ultra fast transport of electrical charges in polymers

Jan 28, 2016: A research team at Umeå University in Sweden has showed, for the first time, that a very efficient vertical charge transport in semiconducting polymers is possible by controlled chain and crystallite orientation. These pioneering results, which enhance charge transport in polymers by more than 1,000 times, have implications for organic opto-electronic devices.

Simplifying solar cells with a new mix of materials

Jan 28, 2016: An international research team has simplified the steps to create highly efficient silicon solar cells by applying a new mix of materials to a standard design. Arrays of solar cells are used in solar panels to convert sunlight to electricity.

Vattenfall adding solar to UK wind farm for a “mega” hybrid renewable energy park

Jan 27, 2016: What’s better than using a form of renewable energy to produce electricity? Combining two forms, of course. Swedish energy company Vattenfall is moving forward with plans to add a solar farm to their existing wind power operations at one site in the United Kingdom. The hybrid renewable energy park is an experiment to maximize energy generation for the amount of land being used, all while trimming costs. Could hybrid solar and wind farms be the next big renewable energy trend? Vattenfall...

HyperSolar Reports Breakthrough to Drive Down Cost of Hydrogen Production Process

Jan 27, 2016: SANTA BARBARA, CA--(eSolarEnergyNews) - HyperSolar, the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen using sunlight and any source of water, today announced that it recently developed an inexpensive photocatalyst that will improve overall performance. Test results indicate that this low cost catalyst will reduce overall voltage requirements, significantly increase…

JinkoSolar Signs One Gigawatt Supply Agreement with sPower

Jan 27, 2016: SHANGHAI, CHINA --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- JinkoSolar today announced that it has entered into an agreement to supply up to one gigawatt of solar PV modules to sPower, a leading US independent power producer company. This agreement is JinkoSolar's largest contract in the United States to date. JinkoSolar will supply over three million of its high efficiency solar PV modules to sPower for use in…

New fluorescent nanomaterials whose inspiration was taken from plant antenna systems

Jan 26, 2016: One of the biggest temptations facing a scientist is to try and reproduce natural phenomena which are so fascinating given their effectiveness and perfection. Scientists have now designed a set of fluorescent nanomaterials which have taken their inspiration from the antenna systems of plants. These new multifunctional materials aim to imitate the photosynthetic organisms of plants. These microorganisms consist of thousands of chlorophyll molecules embedded in a protein matrix, which provides them with a specific orientation/arrangement and intermolecular distance.

SolarCity, BofA Merrill Lynch, KeyBank, and Silicon Valley Bank Create $160 Million Financing Facility for Residential Solar Projects

Jan 26, 2016: SAN MATEO, CA--(eSolarEnergyNews)--  SolarCity closed a $160 million five-year term facility on Friday, January 22. BofA Merrill Lynch acted as Mandated Lead Arranger and Sole Bookrunner, and KeyBank and Silicon Valley Bank acted as Joint Lead Arrangers on the transaction. The facility is secured by a portfolio of high quality, long-term customer systems. The financing allows SolarCity to recycle…

Giant Clams Offer Clues to Improve Solar Cells, Color Displays

Jan 22, 2016: WASHINGTON--(eSolarEnergyNewsa)--Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara have discovered that some species of giant clams produce their white coloration much like the displays used in televisions and smartphones do – by combining red, green and blue light.The new findings, published in The Optical Society’s high impact journal Optica, could help improve solar cell efficiency…

First Solar and Southern California Edison Sign Agreements for 500MW of Solar Projects

Jan 22, 2016: TEMPE, AZ -(eSolarEnergyNews)--First Solar and Southern California Edison  have announced the signing of Power Purchase Agreements for the off-take of electricity generated by four solar projects totaling 500 megawatts (MW)AC of capacity. The deals establish SCE as the largest single off-taker of energy from First Solar projects in the world.The PPAs are for power generated by four projects in…

SolarWorld to Supply 10.5 Megawatts of Solar Panels for System in Lakeview Oregon

Jan 22, 2016: HILLSBORO, OR.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--SolarWorld, the largest U.S. crystalline silicon solar manufacturer for more than 40 years, will supply 10.5 megawatts (DC) of 72-cell solar panels to power a project located near Lakeview, Oregon, in the state’s south-central high-desert outback.Working with project developer Obsidian Renewables, SolarWorld will provide solar technology to go into an 8 MW (AC)…

Watching electrons cool in 30 quadrillionths of a second

Jan 19, 2016: Scientists have developed a new way of seeing electrons cool off in an extremely short time period.

Drivers for low-priced solar photovoltaic systems in the United States

Jan 19, 2016: The price of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed on homes and small businesses spans a wide range, and researchers have published a new study that reveals the key market and system drivers for low-priced PV systems.

Defects could improve solar cells, researchers theorize

Jan 19, 2016: Scientists are studying what may seem paradoxical -- certain defects in silicon solar cells may actually improve their performance. The findings run counter to conventional wisdom, according to a new paper they have published on the topic.

New method for converting solar energy into electrical power using photo-bioelectrochemical cells

Jan 19, 2016: A new paradigm for the development of photo-bioelectrochemical cells has been developed.

Solar-powered Bush House exemplifies chic eco-friendly living in the Australian outback

Jan 19, 2016: Built for minimal maintenance, the 168-square-meter Bush Home was constructed with prefab steel frames and clad in zincalume steel and large windows. The galvanized steel framing, which is also used in the interior, will develop a mottled patina over time. A large single-pitched roof with large overhanging eaves protects the home from unwanted solar heat gain. The home is arranged in a simple rectangular plan bisected by a thick rammed-earth wall that separates the interior into its two main...

Cheaper solar cells with 20.2 percent efficiency

Jan 18, 2016: A solar-panel material that can cut down on photovoltaic costs while achieving competitive power-conversion efficiency of 20.2 percent has been created by researchers.

Coming soon: solar-powered, self-warming clothing

Jan 17, 2016:   Researchers from MIT have developed an innovative solar-powered polymer film that absorbs light and releases it in the form of heat on demand. One possible use for the material? Self-warming clothing for cold evenings and the chilly winter months. READ MORE >…

Tim Peake becomes the first British astronaut to go on a spacewalk

Jan 15, 2016: Major Tim Peake will make history today when he steps out of the International Space Station and becomes the first British astronaut to go on a spacewalk. Peake will venture out with NASA’s Colonel Tim Kopra on a carefully choreographed spacewalk to repair a broken power unit. The two will wear pressurized suits, sip water from pouches, and flex their bladders of steel during the repair mission outside the space station, which is scheduled to last for six and a half hours with no bathroom breaks. The...

Green Building in Cold Climates: Inhabitat Interview with Bernat and Kate of Maison Durable Portneuf

Jan 14, 2016: We've seen many examples of how well green buildings can work in temperate and warm climates, but what about the harsher conditions that can lash homes in rural Quebec? Inhabitat recently had the opportunity to interview Bernat Ferragut and Kate Alvo of Maison…

High-quality mono-silicon crystal grown at low cost for solar cells

Jan 13, 2016: A joint research team in Japan has developed a “single-seed cast method,” a new casting method making it possible to grow high-quality mono silicon at low cost. New casting method may facilitate the return of a market-competitive solar cell industry.

Major advance reveals how charge forms in key radiation-absorbing layer within solar cells

Jan 13, 2016: Researchers demonstrate in a new study the precise mechanism by which sunlight generates electrical charge within cutting-edge solar cell film, yielding potential benefits for solar power industry.

Delta V is the first hybrid-energy independent smart phone

Jan 12, 2016: Delta V Energy Independent Smartphone Concept ‘Delta V’ is an energy-independent smartphone concept based on solar enegy, piezoelectricity and triboelectricity. The project was developed by Niki D. Chania (Neda Design), a mechanical engineer & industrial designer, during her studies at AKTO Art & Design School in Athens. The Phone ‘Delta V’ is the first hybrid-energy independent mobile phone due to 3 different ways of charging directly on the cell phone’s housing: via a...

High-flying solar balloon farms could harness the sun’s energy miles above the clouds

Jan 11, 2016: Harnessing the sun’s energy for use here on Earth is a fairly easy thing to do in areas where a lot of sunlight hits the ground (or rooftop, as it were). New developments in solar power technology are working to maximize energy conversion, from capturing as much sunlight as possible to increasing the amount of energy converted. But no solar panel on Earth can do what NextPV is hoping to achieve. The research group is aiming to capture solar energy in the one place where the sun is shining virtually...

A nanophotonic comeback for incandescent bulbs?

Jan 11, 2016: Traditional light bulbs, thought to be well on their way to oblivion, may receive a reprieve thanks to a technological breakthrough.

X-rays reveal details of plastic solar cell production

Jan 8, 2016: Plastic solar cells are light, easy to install, and readily produced using a printer. Nevertheless, the processes that take place on the molecular scale during the production of organic solar cells are not yet entirely clear. Researchers have now managed to observe these processes in real time. Their findings could help to improve the efficiency of organic solar cells.

Visualizing atoms of perovskite crystals

Jan 8, 2016: Researchers conduct the first atomic resolution study of perovskites used in next generation solar cells.

Optimum band gap for hybrid silicon/perovskite tandem solar cell

Jan 8, 2016: Tandem solar cells based on silicon and perovskites have raised high hopes for future high efficiency solar modules. A team has now shown that an ultimate efficiency of 30 percent should be attainable with such tandem cells. They discovered a structurally stable perovskite composition with its band gap tuned to an optimum value of 1.75 eV.