Alternative Energy

Solar Power News

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

Oct 07, 2015

Solar Energy

SkyPower Announces 500 MW of Solar Energy Projects in Panama

Oct 7, 2015: NEW YORK, NY --(eSolarEnergyNews)--During the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York, SkyPower, the world's largest developer and owner of utility-scale solar projects, made a historic announcement with President Juan Carlos Varela, unveiling its plans to build 500 MW of utility-scale solar energy over the next five years in Panama, representing an investment of US $1 billion. In…

Enphase Energy Unveils Its Home Energy Solution in Australia and New Zealand

Oct 7, 2015: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA--(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Enphase Energy, a global energy technology company, today announced that Australia and New Zealand are the first markets worldwide to receive the Enphase® Home Energy Solution, an integrated solution combining solar generation, energy control, and energy storage. The award-winning Enphase technology is an advanced energy solution that delivers a high…

The Nest home is a solar-powered prefab made from recycled shipping containers

Oct 6, 2015: Students at the Missouri University of Science and Technology refurbished three disused shipping containers to build a house that proves zero-net homes can be affordable and reliable. The Nest Home was inspired by the shape of a bird's nest, and features reclaimed materials and several sustainable systems such as grey water reuse, efficient lighting, a hydroponic garden and solar panels that provide enough energy to power the house and an electric vehicle. The project was designed for this year's Solar Decathlon, which challenges students to design and build solar-powered houses that are cost-effective and energy-efficient.

The amazing affordable NexusHaus generates more energy than it consumes

Oct 6, 2015: NexusHaus is an plus-energy affordable one-story pavilion built by the students from the Technische Universität München (TUM) and the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) for the Solar Decathlon Competition 2015. The prototype is built almost entirely from…

'Greener' way to assemble materials for solar applications

Oct 5, 2015: The efficiency of solar cells depends on precise engineering of polymers that assemble into films 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. Today, formation of that polymer assembly requires solvents that can harm the environment, but scientists have found a 'greener' way to control the assembly of photovoltaic polymers in water using a surfactant -- a detergent-like molecule -- as a template.

Efficiency from larger perovskite solar cells improved

Oct 5, 2015: Perovskite solar cells are cheaper to make than traditional silicon cells and their electricity conversion efficiency is improving rapidly. To be commercially viable, perovskite cells need to scale up from lab size. Researchers report a method for making perovskite cells larger while maintaining efficiency.

Molecular nanoribbons as electronic highways

Oct 5, 2015: Physicists have developed a method to synthesize a unique and novel type of material which resembles a graphene nanoribbon but in molecular form. This material could be important for the further development of organic solar cells.

SolarCity Builds World's Most Efficient Rooftop Solar Panel

Oct 3, 2015: SAN MATEO, CA --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- SolarCity  has built the world's most efficient rooftop solar panel, with a module efficiency exceeding 22 percent.  The new SolarCity panel generates more power per square foot and harvests more energy over a year than any other rooftop panel in production, and will be the highest volume solar panel manufactured in the Western Hemisphere. SolarCity will…

Michigan Breaks Ground on State's Largest Community Solar Project

Oct 3, 2015: ALLENDALE, MI --(eSolarEnergyNews)--  Officials from Consumers Energy and Grand Valley State University celebrated their collaboration to expand renewable energy in Michigan, breaking ground on a new, 17-acre community solar project. "We thank Grand Valley State University for helping us take a Michigan-first approach to a sustainable future for our state," said Dan Malone, Consumers Energy's…

Breakthrough optical rectenna turns light directly into usable electricity

Oct 3, 2015: In the world of technology, devices that combine functions are often the most exciting innovations, because they represent new ways to apply existing technologies, making the most out of previous developments. Check out the world’s first optical part…

Inflatable, portable PhotonGrill cooks your food with nothing but the sun

Oct 2, 2015: Recently launched on Kickstarter, the PhotonGrill is available at a discount for early bird backers and comes with a lightweight carrying case, solar-optimized pan, BBQ tongs, and an air pump. The portable and durable grill weighs only seven pounds and can easily be set up in just three minutes. A pot can also be attached for cooking. An optional add-on module will also transform the PhotonGrill into a highly efficient power generator so that you can charge your electronics with sun-powered electricity...

Graphene as a front contact for silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells

Oct 2, 2015: A team of researchers has developed an elegant process for coating fragile perovskite layers with graphene for the first time. Subsequent measurements show that the graphene layer is an ideal front contact in several respects.

IBM Cognitive Technologies to Help Power Race Car During World Solar Challenge

Oct 2, 2015: YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. and ANN ARBOR, MI --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- IBM Research today announced that it is providing advanced solar forecasting technology to help the University of Michigan (UM) team power its solar car in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, an 1,800-mile (3,000-kilometer) race across the Australian Outback. The UM student team will leverage IBM Research's cognitive computing…

Ambit Energy Now Offering Sunrun Solar Service to Customers

Oct 2, 2015: DALLAS TX--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Ambit Energy, the world’s largest direct seller of energy and a leading national retail energy provider, today announced Sunrun solar service is now available to its new and existing customers in California, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. The partnership between Ambit and Sunrun (NASDAQ: RUN), the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United…

APS Requesting Proposals for New Large-Scale Solar Plant

Oct 2, 2015: PHOENIX, AZ--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Arizona Public Service announced today it is issuing a request for proposals to test the market for new large-scale solar installations in Arizona that could be developed in partnership with large commercial and industrial customers. “This is another important opportunity to extend Arizona’s leadership in solar energy,” said Daniel Froetscher, APS Senior Vice…

Organics energize solar cell research

Oct 2, 2015: Scientists are using a new supercomputer to advance next-generation solar energy technologies by probing the functional interfaces found in organic and hybrid solar cells.

GLANHOF Housing is an energy-efficient, solar-powered zig-zagging complex in Austria

Sep 30, 2015: The complex comprises three structures housing 150 living units organized around a green courtyard. All of the 50 to 75-square-meter subsidized apartments have large balconies overlooking the courtyard. The project was conceived as a residential mix of…

Invisibility cloak might enhance efficiency of solar cells

Sep 30, 2015: Success of the energy turnaround will depend decisively on the extended use of renewable energy sources. However, their efficiency partly is much smaller than that of conventional energy sources. The efficiency of commercially available photovoltaic cells, for instance, is about 20 percent. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have now published an unconventional approach to increasing the efficiency of the panels. Optical invisibility cloaks guide sunlight around objects that cast shadows on the solar panel.

Finding a way to boost efficiency of CIGS solar cells

Sep 28, 2015: Researchers have revealed the structure of the buffer layer in a CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-selenide) solar cell at SPring8, the world's largest third-generation synchrotron radiation facility. They found that the buffer layer was composed of two layers: an upper Zn(OH)2 layer and a lower Zn(S, O) layer. By removing the upper Zn(OH)2 layer, the solar conversion efficiency was doubled.

New research puts us closer to DIY spray-on solar cell technology

Sep 28, 2015: A new study puts us closer to do-it-yourself spray-on solar cell technology—promising third-generation solar cells utilizing a nanocrystal ink deposition that could make traditional expensive silicon-based solar panels a thing of the past.

Elegant solar-powered Shine light delivers 30+ hours of portable LED illumination with just one charge

Sep 27, 2015: A new Kickstarter project is about to make sustainable, renewable electricity available to more people than ever before. The new invention from Voltaic Systems, called Shine, is a personal solar panel/light/USB charger that produces bright LED light and…

Solar roof: New hybrid solar panel roof slashes energy bills

Sep 25, 2015: Scientists have designed a new hybrid roofing system which could halve energy bills in new homes.

Green storage for green energy

Sep 24, 2015: Researchers have demonstrated a safe and affordable battery capable of storing energy from intermittent sources -- like rooftop solar panels -- that is suitable for the home.

Beautiful solar-powered Aiyyer Residence blurs the line between indoor and outdoor living

Sep 24, 2015: The 1,750-square-foot Aiyyer Residence is clad in a rich variety of colors and textures that include red painted box-ribbed metal, gray acid-washed zinc walls, black surfaces, and exterior doors painted bright yellow. Designed for aging in place, the a…

Engineers invent transparent coating that cools solar cells to boost efficiency

Sep 21, 2015: The hotter solar cells become, the less efficient they are at converting sunlight to electricity, a problem that has long vexed the solar industry. Now engineers have developed a transparent overlay that increases efficiency by cooling the cells even in full sunlight.

Greening the electric grid with gas turbines

Sep 21, 2015: Much of the nation's energy policy is premised on the assumption that clean renewable sources like wind and solar will require huge quantities of storage before they can make a significant dent in the greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation. A new study pokes holes in that conventional wisdom. The analysis finds that the supply of wind and solar power could be increased tenfold without additional storage.

Margot Krasojevic’s solar-powered sand turbine hotel aims to stop the spread of the Gobi Desert

Sep 21, 2015: Desertification and dust storm has been the topic of research for many years, prompting designers and scientist across the world to try and find a sustainable solution. One of the most recent proposals involves the planting of the Green Wall of China, a…

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

Sep 17, 2015: It’s hard to believe, but fall is nearly upon us and a new semester will be in full swing sooner than we know it. Where did summer go? If you’re heading off to school, Inhabitat is here to help you hit the books with a lighter footprint – and in this year’s Back to School Contest we’re giving you the chance to win a Voltaic solar-power backpack to keep your phone and other gadgets charged all day!

Skilpod micro houses are zero or plus energy homes you can rent in Belgium

Sep 16, 2015: The 48-square-meter (516 square feet) Skilpod homes are made completely from cross laminated timber and can be customized to produce more energy than it uses. The design can include solar panels, heat pumps, efficient ventilation systems for heat and in…

Solar power study inspired by field of medicine

Sep 16, 2015: Researchers will do an epidemiological, disease control?type study of more than 5 million solar panels at hundreds of power plants around the world to learn how photovoltaic modules degrade under varying conditions. The study’s goal is to drive designs that make modules last longer and have more predictable power output, which can help reduce the cost of clean power and add certainty for renewable energy investors.

Giant solar “tulips” will help Ethiopia become carbon neutral by 2025

Sep 16, 2015: Around the globe, more countries are looking to reduce their carbon emissions by bolstering renewable energy infrastructure, but they can’t do it alone. Nations with eco-friendly initiatives rely on energy and technology companies to help them meet In…

Artificial leaf: New efficiency record for solar hydrogen production is 14 percent

Sep 15, 2015: An international team has succeeded in considerably increasing the efficiency for direct solar water splitting with a tandem solar cell whose surfaces have been selectively modified. The new record value is 14 percent and thus tops the previous record of 12.4 percent, broken now for the first time in 17 years.

VIDEO: How to install Voltaic solar panels on your car

Sep 15, 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…

Building the electron superhighway

Sep 15, 2015: Scientists have invented a new way to view and create what they are calling 'an electron superhighway' in an organic semiconductor. This approach promises to allow electrons to flow faster and farther -- aiding the hunt for flexible electronics, organic solar cells, and other low-cost alternatives to silicon.

New hybrid solar cells generate 5 times more energy by harnessing sunlight and heat at the same time

Sep 14, 2015: Scientists have developed a new hybrid solar cell that harnesses the sun’s light and heat to create more energy than ever before, thanks to the pairing of a photovoltaic cell with polymer films. The resulting hybrid solar cell can produce as much as…

New way to store solar energy could lead to more common solar cell usage

Sep 14, 2015: A relatively inexpensive and simple way to split water into hydrogen and oxygen has been developed using a new electrodeposition method. The findings could lead to a sizable increase in the amount of hydrogen available for fuel usage, scientists say.

Discovery of a highly efficient catalyst eases way to hydrogen economy

Sep 14, 2015: Hydrogen could be the ideal fuel: Whether used to make electricity in a fuel cell or burned to make heat, the only byproduct is water; there is no climate-altering carbon dioxide. Like gasoline, hydrogen could also be used to store energy. Scientists now report a hydrogen-making catalyst containing phosphorus and sulfur -- both common elements -- and cobalt, a metal that is 1,000 times cheaper than platinum.

California’s Stevens Library is the very first net-zero energy library in the US

Sep 14, 2015: The library features several energy-saving strategies including a photovoltaic system which provides all the energy needed in the daily operation of the building. Solar tubes are used to maximize daylighting within the interior spaces, while daylight is…

High-efficiency, high-reliability perovskite solar cells realized by a low-temperature solution process

Sep 11, 2015: Researchers in Japan succeeded in producing highly reproducible and highly stable perovskite solar cells by a low-temperature solution process.

New Solar Financing Available for Non-Profits From BayWa r.e. and EPCC

Sep 10, 2015: SANTA FE, N.M. & MUNICH--(eSolarEnergyNews)--BayWa r.e. introduced new financing for small commercial solar projects, adding to its existing residential solar financing. This addition, via exclusive partnership with Energy Partners Credit Corporation (EPCC), helps fill the underserved small-commercial market segment. The partnership enables BayWa r.e.’s network of contractors to offer solar and…

SolarEdge Announces Leap in Solar Inverters With HD-Wave Technology

Sep 10, 2015: FREMONT, CA.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--SolarEdge, a global leader in PV inverters, power optimizers, and module-level monitoring services, introduces its new HD-Wave inverter technology. Based on its track record of optimized PV solutions, SolarEdge has developed a novel power conversion topology that represents one of the most significant leaps in solar technology in the past 20 years. Inverters are…

Iluméxico is bringing life-changing solar energy to 50,000 rural Mexican homes

Sep 9, 2015: More than 3 million people in Mexico live in remote locations which makes bringing them traditional electricity difficult, expensive, and sometimes impossible. Iluméxico, a Mexican social enterprise, plans to bring solar electricity to 300,000 of these…

Solar Panel Manufacturer Suniva Expands Plant in Georgia

Sep 9, 2015: NORCROSS, GA.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Suniva, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells and modules, today announced that it will be expanding its manufacturing capacity at its headquarters in Norcross, Georgia, expanding its U.S. manufacturing capacity to 400MW and creating up to 500 new jobs in the local community. The expansion will occur on the heels of its…

SunEdison, Dominion Partner on 265 Megawatt, Three Cedars Solar Project in Utah

Sep 9, 2015: BELMONT, CA --(eSolarEnergyNews) SunEdison, the largest global renewable energy development company, and Dominion, one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, today announced a joint venture (JV) for the Three Cedars solar project, a 265 megawatt (MW) DC, or 210 MW AC, solar project in Utah, developed by SunEdison. The announcement marks the expansion of a joint venture…

HydroRevolution Announces A Direct Public Offering To Construct California's First Solar Desalination Plant

Sep 9, 2015: SAN FRANCISCO, CA --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- WaterFX Hydro I, Inc., dba HydroRevolutionSM, a California subsidiary of WaterFX™, today announced the filing of a Direct Public Offering (DPO) for the construction of a solar-powered desalination plant in California's Central Valley. Water produced by the plant is fully committed and will be purchased by local water agencies for deliveries beginning in…

SolarWorld Solar Panels Power Texas Electric Cooperative’s 2.7 MW Solar Farm

Sep 9, 2015: HILLSBORO, OR--(eSolarEnergyNewes)--Final testing is under way at a 2.7-megawatt solar farm in rural North Texas, powered by solar panels from SolarWorld, that is serving as a model for utility cooperatives interested in undertaking solar projects. Owned by CoServ Electric, a 78-year-old utility co-op that serves more than 165,000 members across seven counties, the CoServ Solar Station is…

Inspired by art, lightweight solar cells track the sun

Sep 8, 2015: Solar cells capture up to 40 percent more energy when they can track the sun across the sky, but conventional, motorized trackers are too heavy and bulky for pitched rooftops and vehicle surfaces.

Novel efficient and low-cost semitransparent solar cells

Sep 8, 2015: Scientists have successfully developed efficient and low-cost semitransparent perovskite solar cells with graphene electrodes. The power conversion efficiencies of this novel invention are around 12 percent.

Aspen, Colorado becomes third U.S. city powered totally by renewable energy

Sep 7, 2015: Three is a magic number. And Aspen, Colorado has hit that enchanted numeral by becoming the third city in the U.S. to power itself with 100 percent renewable energy. Aspen Times reports that the city has reached this milestone after more than a decade a…

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.