Alternative Energy

Solar Power News

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

Sep 05, 2015

Solar Energy

Solar water-splitting technology developed

Sep 4, 2015: Researchers have demonstrated an efficient new way to capture the energy from sunlight and convert it into clean, renewable energy by splitting water molecules. The technology uses sunlight-harvesting gold nanoparticles.

GIVEAWAY: Win a Voltaic solar backpack in Inhabitat’s Back to School Contest (worth $330)!

Sep 3, 2015: GRAND PRIZE: The OffGrid 6W Solar Backpack RUNNER UP PRIZES: The Converter Solar Backpack…

How to curb emissions: Put a price on carbon

Sep 3, 2015: Literally putting a price on carbon pollution and other greenhouse gasses is the best approach for nurturing the rapid growth of renewable energy and reducing emissions. While prospects for a comprehensive carbon price are dim, especially in the US, many other policy approaches can spur the renewables revolution, according to a new policy article.

New bifacial solar module takes advantage of direct and reflected sunlight

Sep 3, 2015: Solar panels work by being pointed at the sun. Everyone knows this. But, in some areas of the earth, a double-sided solar panel is just the thing you need to maximize the sun’s energy. Canada-based Silfab Solar recognized the potential for a two-faced…

Off-grid Fig Tree Residence is a modern solar-powered home in Australia

Sep 2, 2015: Jamison Architects completed a modern and totally energy self-sufficient home in Queensland, Australia. The solar-powered abode, known as the Bach House or as the Fig Tree Residence, is built around a magnificent 100-year-old fig tree that forms the focal point of the design. The off-grid home was built with passive design principles, onsite effluent treatment, rainwater collection, and a PV system that feeds excess energy back to the grid.

Making fuel from light

Sep 2, 2015: Photosynthesis has given life to the planet. While scientists have been studying and mimicking the natural phenomenon in the laboratory for years, understanding how to replicate the chemical process behind it has largely remained a mystery -- until now.

Super solar cells collect higher energy photons 30 times better

Sep 2, 2015: A team of scientists have created solar cells that collect higher energy photons at 30 times the concentration of conventional solar cells, the highest luminescent concentration factor ever recorded.

Potential of disk-shaped small structures, coccoliths, to promote efficient bioenergy production

Sep 2, 2015: Researchers have shown that coccolith disks made of calcium carbonate in Emiliania huxleyi, one of the promising biomass resources, potentially perform roles in reducing and enhancing the light that enters the cell by light scattering. Elucidation of the physiological significance of coccolith formation in E. huxleyi can help promote efficient bioenergy production using microalgae. …

Cost-effective catalyst converts CO2 into natural gas

Sep 1, 2015: A new discovery helps not only to make natural gas from CO2 but also to store renewable energy. Chemists show how this process can be implemented in a cost-effective and controllable way.

Wireless charging and discharging for electric vehicles

Sep 1, 2015: In the future, a wireless charging system will allow electric cars not only to charge their batteries, but also to feed energy back into the power grid, helping to stabilize it. The cost-effective charging system achieves high levels of efficiency across the whole power range, from 400 watts to 3.6 kilowatts, while the car and the charging coil can be up to 20 centimeters apart.

Hot electrons point the way to perfect light absorption

Sep 1, 2015: Physicists study how to achieve perfect absorption of light with the help of rough ultrathin films.

Solar-powered Josey Pavilion beats wicked hot Texas summers without air-conditioning

Aug 31, 2015: One of Texas’ most eco-friendly structures is nestled in an unassuming native prairie landscape near Decatur. Named the Betty and Clint Josey Pavilion, the self-sufficient building promotes sustainable land management through education and demonstration—the 5,400-square-foot open-air pavilion is 100% powered by solar, uses zero air conditioning, harvests rainwater, and treats all wastewater on-site. San Antonio-based firm Lake|Flato Architects designed the award-winning pavilion to meet the standards of the Living Building Challenge, a sustainable building certification system more rigorous than LEED or BREEAM.

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production

Aug 28, 2015: A new solar fuel generation system, or artificial leaf, safely creates fuel from sunlight and water with record-setting efficiency and stability.

INFOGRAPHIC: Solar power on the large and small scale

Aug 27, 2015: The sun has become one of the leading sources of clean and renewable energy in the US. More specifically, during the third quarter of 2014, panels that generate 1,354 MW of solar were installed in various parts of the country, which represents a 41% in…

Semprius Awarded $2.9M from ARPA-E to Develop High Efficiency, Low-Cost CPV-PV Hybrid Solar Technology

Aug 27, 2015: DURHAM, NC.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Semprius, Inc., an innovator in high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) solar modules, was awarded a competitive $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The funding will be used to develop technologies that lower the cost of solar-generated electricity while dramatically increasing system…

Austrian scientists create a cheap, flexible solar cell just 3 micrometers thick

Aug 27, 2015: For several years, the age old mineral perovskite has been something of a holy grail of solar cell efficiency; the mineral is abundant, cheap, lightweight, and highly efficient when it comes to absorbing light. It does however have one major downside; a…

Charging a lithium-ion battery efficiently with a solar cell

Aug 27, 2015: Researchers have wired four perovskite solar cells in series to enhance the voltage and directly photo-charged lithium batteries with 7.8 percent efficiency -- the most efficient reported to date, the researchers believe.

VIDEO: How to install Voltaic solar panels on your car

Aug 25, 2015: In the old days, if you wanted a solar panel, you had to buy one of those giant clunky things that were not only pricey, but also a real pain in the you-know-what to install. But times have changed, thanks to companies like Voltaic Systems who are leading…

Another milestone in hybrid artificial photosynthesis

Aug 25, 2015: Researchers using a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have combined semiconducting nanowires with select microbes to create a system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas.

Universities will now have access to mobile solar generators for free

Aug 24, 2015: DC Solar Freedom in cooperation with DC Solar Distribution is making millions of dollars worth of solar equipment available to colleges and universities across the nation at no cost. The program will provide solar generators, car charging stations and a…

South Africans revolutionize small-scale concentrated solar that’s cheaper than diesel

Aug 24, 2015: Concentrated solar power, or CSP, is a pretty extraordinary technology; it uses an array of mirrors to focus the sun's energy onto a central tower, where the heat is then turned into electricity. There are some estimates that CSP could provide a quarter…

India just unveiled the world’s first 100% solar-powered airport

Aug 23, 2015: Renewable energy has been taken to new heights, as the Cochin International Airport in India has become the world’s first solar-powered airport. Being able to claim the title “absolutely power neutral,” the facility has installed 46,150 solar on a…

This jaw-dropping luxury resort is 100% solar-powered

Aug 22, 2015: 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…

Using sunlight to recharge the cooling system of trailer containers

Aug 20, 2015: A group of scientists has replaced diesel with kinetic energy, saving up to 20 thousand liters of fuel annually, they say, adding that this includes a series of energetically self-sustained boxes for the transport of perishable goods, with a cooling system that replaced the use of diesel with sunlight and kinetic energy.

Gorgeous Pond House is a zero-energy ‘dream house’ retreat in Louisiana

Aug 20, 2015: The Pond House has been a long project in the making. When Holly, who is also a principal of Holly & Smith Architects, and his wife Denise purchased the 15.5-acre plot of land, the couple saw the property as a blank canvas. Formerly a dairy farm, the in…

'Diamonds from the sky' approach turns CO2 into valuable products

Aug 19, 2015: Finding a technology to shift carbon dioxide, the most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas, from a climate change problem to a valuable commodity has long been a dream. Now, a team of chemists says they have developed a technology to economically convert atmospheric CO2 directly into highly valued carbon nanofibers for industrial and consumer products.

Brad Pitt’s Make it Right to unveil their first tiny house in New Orleans

Aug 18, 2015: Make it Right, the non-profit founded by Brad Pitt to provide sustainable housing in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward in the wake of Hurricane Katrina has just announced that they are building their very first tiny house. The non-profit has partnered with to…

Solar-powered Sustainer Homes give you the freedom to live anywhere

Aug 18, 2015: Sustainer Homes was conceived as a solution to the housing crisis faced by younger generations, which struggle with rising rents and exorbitant housing prices. “Independence and sustainability define the home of tomorrow,” write the Sustainer Homes…

Challenge to classic theory of 'organic' solar cells could improve efficiency

Aug 18, 2015: New research findings contradict a fundamental assumption about the functioning of 'organic' solar cells made of low-cost plastics, suggesting a new strategy for creating inexpensive solar technology.

Solar cell efficiency could double with novel 'green' antenna

Aug 18, 2015: The use of solar energy in the US is growing, but panels on rooftops are still a rare sight. They cost thousands of dollars, and homeowners don't recoup costs for years. But scientists may have a solution. Researchers report the development of a unique, 'green' antenna that could potentially double efficiencies of certain solar cells and make them more affordable. These antennas are made with biological and non-toxic materials that are edible in theory, one researcher said.

Solar-powered ShelteR3 is an off-the-grid home built to withstand tornadoes

Aug 17, 2015: Students at Crowder College and Drury University teamed up to design and build an off-the-grid, solar-powered house which could counter storms and tornados. ShelteR3 is based on three terms-respond, recover and resist, and has a structure and cladding a…

Charge transport in hybrid silicon solar cells

Aug 17, 2015: A surprising discovery has been made about hybrid organic/inorganic solar cells. Contrary to expectations, a diode composed of the conductive organic PEDOT:PSS and an n-type silicon absorber material behaves more like a pn junction between two semiconductors than like a metal-semiconductor contact (Schottky diode).

World’s first off-grid Ecocapsule home to hit the market this year, shipping in 2016

Aug 15, 2015: What is the Ecocapsule? It is a smart house powered by solar and wind energy which allows people to extend their off-grid stay almost to a whole year. The Ecocapsule can serve as a micro-house, cottage, pop-up hotel, humanitarian unit or even as for It…

Suniva to Increase U.S. Manufacturing Capacity to Over 400MW

Aug 14, 2015: NORCROSS, GA.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Suniva, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells and modules, today announced that it has initiated expansion of its U.S. manufacturing capacity, bringing its U.S. total to over 400MW. This expansion is facilitated by the acquisition of a 63.13% share of Suniva by leading global integrated clean energy provider, Shunfeng…

Can solar power pull Greece out of debt?

Aug 14, 2015: There are little signs for relief for Greece, as their government agrees to yet more harsh austerity terms in exchange for another bailout international creditors. The debt crisis began in 2009, and as the Greek government struggles to find a living for…

Grove by SIXINCH lets you work, study and play outdoors with solar power-equipped furniture

Aug 13, 2015: GREEN INNOVATION…DELIVERS PRODUCTIVITY, CONNECTIVITY, AND HEALTH BENEFITS WHERE THE SKY IS LITERALLY THE LIMIT. Outdoor living, along with the furnishings and fun that make it possible, is recognized as the hottest trend under the sun. Green have…

What’s Blooming in Stuyvesant Cove? Mid-Summer Edition, Pt. 2

Aug 12, 2015: Summer is flying by, isn’t it? Labor Day is less than a month away, and parents are counting the days until school starts again! But in Stuyvesant Cove Park, the flowers of summer are still blooming, and if you take a walk in the Park……

Microscopic rake doubles efficiency of low-cost solar cells

Aug 12, 2015: Researchers have developed a manufacturing technique that could double the electricity output of inexpensive solar cells by using a microscopic rake when applying light-harvesting polymers.

5-foot-long python hitches ride on Baltimore’s floating Water Wheel

Aug 11, 2015: Baltimore’s Water Wheel picked up an unexpected and alarming visitor last week: a five-foot-long ball python found cozied up on the machine’s solar power inverter. The managers of the Water Wheel—a floating solar- and wind-powered trash collector…

SkyPower and Grupo Uribe Partner to Development Solar Energy in Mexico

Aug 11, 2015: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO --(eSolarEnergyNews)--SkyPower, the largest developer of solar PV energy projects in the world, is pleased to announce the formation of a joint venture with Grupo Uribe, a leading energy company based in Mexico with over 50 years of experience serving households, businesses and industries. The joint venture will form the single largest solar development company in Mexico and…

SunPower and Freedom Solar Bring Clean Energy to Sustainable Food Center in Austin, TX

Aug 11, 2015: AUSTIN, TX --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- SunPower and SunPower Elite Dealer Freedom Solar announced today the completion of a 14 kilowatt solar power system for Austin's Sustainable Food Center at a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Mayor Steve Adler. Sustainable Food Center cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. The…

SolarCity to Offer Service in Vermont

Aug 11, 2015: BURLINGTON, VT --(eSolarEnergyNews)--  SolarCity, America is making its popular solar service available to Vermont homeowners for the first time. SolarCity will make it possible for many Vermont residents to install solar with no upfront cost and pay less for solar electricity than they pay for utility power, even without local incentives. Customers can go solar for as little as $30 per month,…

Lucy is a robotic sunlight reflector that brings light into every dark corner of your house

Aug 10, 2015: Every home has a corner that is so far from the sunlight, it practically feels like perpetual night. But this brilliant little device - dubbed Lucy - is about to bring the sun into every space in your home.

Chemists find new way to do light-driven reactions in solar energy quest

Aug 6, 2015: Chemists have discovered an unexpected way to use plasmonic metal, harvesting the high energy electrons excited by light in plasmon and then using this energy to do chemistry. Plasmon is a collective motion of free electrons in a metal that strongly absorbs and scatters light.

KYOCERA Solar Lights Up Arco Metropolitano, Brazil's Largest Solar-Powered Highway

Aug 6, 2015: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Kyocera Corporation and Kyocera Solar, Inc. announced today that Kyocera is completing Brazil’s largest highway solar-lighting project on the Arco Metropolitano do Rio de Janeiro, a highway project connecting the five main highways crossing Rio de Janeiro. Slightly more than half of the 145-kilometer highway will be lit at night by stand-alone solar…

Standard Solar Updates its Commitment to Innovation in Solar Photovoltaics

Aug 6, 2015: ROCKVILLE, MD.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Standard Solar, today announced significant progress on its second Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) commitment. In 2013, the company committed to partnering with innovative companies to develop and demonstrate new products and technologies that enhance markets, reduce costs, and/or promote new revenue streams for solar photovoltaics (PV). Over the past two years…

How To Repurpose A Volkswagen Bus Into A Solar-Powered Vehicle

Aug 4, 2015: See how one electric vehicle tinkerer turned a 1966 Volkswagen Bus into a completely solar-powered vehicle The post How To Repurpose A Volkswagen Bus Into A Solar-Powered Vehicle appeared first on Sustainablog.

Heating with the sun: Solar active houses put to the test

Aug 4, 2015: Solar-Active-Houses heat themselves using heat collectors and water tanks. However, no one had conducted an objective assessment of how efficiently they do so. Now researchers have put some of these solar houses to the test, and have identified where there was room for improvement and laid the scientific groundwork for this housing concept.

New design brings world's first solar battery to performance milestone

Aug 1, 2015: After debuting the world's first solar air battery last fall, researchers have now reached a new milestone. They report that their patent-pending design -- which combines a solar cell and a battery into a single device -- now achieves a 20 percent energy savings over traditional lithium-iodine batteries.

Butterflies heat up the field of solar research

Jul 31, 2015: The humble butterfly could hold the key to unlocking new techniques to make solar energy cheaper and more efficient, pioneering new research has shown. By mimicking the v-shaped posture adopted by Cabbage White butterflies to heat up their flight muscles before take-off, the amount of power produced by solar panels can increase by almost 50 per cent, scientists say.