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Articles on Technological Breakthroughs
in Solar Power
- Last Weekend, Half of Germany Was Running on Solar Power
May 28, 2012 - treehugger.com
That's right—half of all of Germany was powered by electricity generated by solar plants. That's incredible. It was also world record-breaking. Germany is pretty much singlehandedly proving that solar can be a major, reliable source of power—even in countries that aren't all that sunny.
- Nicaraguan government to develop country's first PV project
April 18, 2012 - James Williams - pv-tech.org
Nicaragua’s Ministry of Energy and Mines has started construction on a 1.38MW project in the west of the country. The solar farm, located 12km from the city of Diriamba, will be partly funded by the Japanese, with an investment of US$12 million. According to Nicaraguan newspaper El Nuavo Diario, the PV installation will become the largest in Central America.
- World's largest solar thermal plant online
April 11, 2012 - upi.com
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, April 11 (UPI) -- The world's largest solar thermal plant has gone into full operation in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh after a six-month trial, officials said.
- Germany's RWE utility looks to expand investments into solar PV plants
April 11, 2012 - Syanne Olson - pv-tech.org
RWE is supposedly looking to invest in solar power plants, citing solar module prices as one of its key determining factors. According to Bloomberg, up until now Germany’s second-biggest utility, which owns a stake in Spain’s Andasol 3 solar thermal power plant, has distanced itself from investing in PV generation because of what it considered too high of a cost for the technology. However, now that prices for solar modules are considerably lower than in the past, the utility is taking a second look.
- 'Nanotrees' could deliver clean fuel
Mar 21, 2012 - upi.com
U.S. engineers say a forest of tiny "nanowire trees" can cleanly capture solar energy without using fossil fuels and harvest it for hydrogen fuel generation.
- Suntech’s Pluto technology achieves world-record 20.3% efficiency
Mar 15, 2012 - Sile Mc Mahon - pv-tech.org
Suntech has logged another world record for its Pluto cell technology with a SERIS-verified 20.3% cell efficiency.
- Largest-ever OPV module created at NREL’s labs
Mar 1, 2012 - Sile Mc Mahon - pv-tech.org
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has, in collaboration with New Energy Technologies, produced its largest-area OPV module ever at 170cm2. The companies’ engineers have worked together on developing New Energy’s SolarWindow technology that allows the generation of electricity on see-through glass windows.
- New FiT to increase China's solar capacity by 1.5GW, according to iSuppli report
Sep 12, 2011 - Chris Whitmore - pv-tech.org
The Chinese government's new feed-in-tariff (FiT) has the potential to increase solar installations in the country by 1.5GW in the next 18 months, according to a new IHS iSuppli report.
- Green Jobs Are Real: German and American Solar Industry Both Employ More People Than U.S. Steel Production
Aug 9, 2011 - Stephen Lacy - renewableenergyworld.com
Washington, D.C., United States – With roughly 93,500 direct and indirect jobs, the American solar industry now employs about 9,200 more workers than the U.S. steel production sector, according to 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics. The American steel industry has historically been a symbol of the country's industrial might and economic prosperity. But today, the solar industry has the potential to overtake that image as we build a new, clean-energy economy.
- Can North Africa Light Up Europe With Concentrated Solar Power?
Jul 21, 2011 - Lisa Friedman - nytimes.com
HAMBURG, Germany -- Twenty-five years after Gerhard Knies conceived of powering Europe with the Sahara Desert's sun, the North Africa Solar project has grown into something considerably more than a mere mirage, but it's still less than a reality.
- Google invests US$280 million in SolarCity solar rooftop fund
Jul 21, 2011 - Chris Whitmore - pv-tech.org
Google has made its biggest investment in renewable energy to date by creating a US$280 million fund with SolarCity. The money will be dedicated to projects in the residential solar market and takes the internet giant’s green spending to US$680 million.
- Utilities Developing More Solar Projects
Jul 20, 2011 - Steve Leone - renewableenergyworld.com
The 2010 SEPA Utility Solar Rankings report shows huge growth in utility ownership of solar projects.
- The Rise of Concentrating Solar Thermal Power
ul 14, 2011 - Ucilia Wang, Contributor - renewableenergyworld.com
With big government help, a solar thermal power (CSP) technology boom seems to be coming in the United States. Regulators have issued permits for about a dozen power plant projects and construction is underway for a few. But the three main challenges for building a project – permits, finance and technology -- remain big concerns for technology and project developers.
- Roll-to-roll flexible solar thin-film with 10% efficiency
Jul 2, 2011 - renewableenergyfocus.com
The Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) has developed a roll-to-roll system depositing CIGS solar thin-film on a 25 µm thin polymer film with a 10% efficiency.
- DOE Offers Loan Guarantee for Solar Generation Project in Nevada
Jun 29, 2011 - apps1.eere.energy.gov
DOE announced on May 19 its offer of a conditional commitment for a $737 million loan guarantee to support a 110-megawatt concentrating solar power (CSP) tower facility in Nevada. The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, sponsored by SolarReserve, LLC, will be the first of its kind in the United States and the tallest molten salt tower in the world. It is located on 2,250 acres leased from the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management. The company estimates the project will create 600 construction jobs and 45 operations jobs.
- Huge Growth Expected for North American Solar Industry
Jun 29, 2011 - Eicke R. Weber, PhD - renewableenergyworld.com
Washington, DC-- President Obama recently stated in his 2011 State of the Union Address: "Instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's." Shortly thereafter DOE secretary Chu launched the SunShot initiative, geared at research to drive down the costs of solar PV aggressively.
Maps Help Foster Sustainable Cities
Dec 16, 2010 - Stephan Graff - RenewableEnergyWorld.com
Cities across the U.S. are creating solar maps to help residents learn
more about installing solar.
Secret Ingredients Inside IBM's New Solar Cell
Feb 19, 2010 - Michael Kanellos - greentechmedia
In the solar business, it's a code word for 'headache.' One of the major hurdles
facing manufacturers of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) and copper indium
selenide (CIS) solar cells lay in orchestrating those active ingredients to form
uniform, consistent crystals in an evenly spaced manner so mass manufacturing
K.R. Sridhar's 'magic box' ready for prime time?
Feb 19, 2010 - Paul Keegan - CNN
The Bloom Energy CEO is finally unveiling his entry in the fuel-cell arena
after years of playing it close to the vest.
Energy Achieves Major 'Transparency' Breakthrough in Development of
Capable of Generating Electricity
Jan 04, 2010 - Business Wire
Energy Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: NENE), currently developing MotionPower(TM)
technologies for generating electricity from the kinetic energy of moving
and SolarWindow(TM) technologies capable of generating electricity on glass
windows, today announced that researchers have overcome a significant scientific
in creating the first-of-its-kind see-thru solar glass by replacing a visibility-blocking
solid metal component with environmentally-friendly, non-metallic, transparent
panel reaches record 20.4% total-area efficiency
Oct 26, 2009 - Sile
Mc Mahon - PV-tech.org
A solar module prototype developed by SunPower
has clocked a 20.4% efficiency in tests, confirmed by the National Renewable
Lab (NREL). The 333W full-sized solar panel consists of 96 third-generation cells
with a total panel area of 1.6m2. The prototype was funded the U.S. Department
of Energy (DOE) under its Solar America Initiative (SAI), which was awarded to
SunPower approximately two years ago.
Solar tops 14% CIGS cell efficiency, averages 10.5%-plus on modules; signs
Oct 22, 2009 - Tom Cheyney - PV-tech.org
National Renewable Energy Laboratory has validated conversion efficiencies of
14.1% for flexible copper-indium-gallium-(di)selenide (CIGS) solar-cell materials
produced on Ascent Solar’s 1.5MW commercial pilot line in Littleton, CO.
The company’s internal testing shows active-area peak efficiencies for
its full-size monolithically integrated CIGS-on-polyimide modules reaching 11.7%,
with median efficiencies on the line averaging between 10.5 and 11%-plus, according
to president/CEO Farhad Moghadam.
at UNSW claim record 43% conversion efficiency
Aug 26, 2009 - PV-tech.org
Solar cell researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney,
Australia, claim the highest efficiency for solar power ever recorded, announcing
a new world record of 43% of sunlight converted into electricity at the research
solar cells to be printed like newspaper, painted on rooftops
25, 2009 - Science Daily
Solar cells could soon be produced more cheaply
using nanoparticle “inks” that allow them to be printed like newspaper
or painted onto the sides of buildings or rooftops to absorb electricity-producing
sees big solar cost breakthrough
Feb 27, 2009 - McClatchy-Tribune
Regional News - Ed Taylor The Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.
the Tempe-based producer of photovoltaic solar panels, said this week it has
a major breakthrough by reducing the cost of manufacturing its modules to less
than $1 per watt.
Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record at 40.8 Percent
Aug 13, 2008
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable
Energy Laboratory (NREL) have set a world record in solar cell efficiency with
a photovoltaic device that converts 40.8 percent of the light that hits it into
electricity. This is the highest confirmed efficiency of any photovoltaic device
makes solar energy breakthrough
Jul 31, 2008 - Christine McConville
- McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology say they've discovered a new way to store solar energy so that
non-polluting power can heat homes even when the sun isn't shining.
Chinese Researchers make Breakthrough in Renewable Energy Materials
May 29, 2008 - Xinhua
A group of Australian and Chinese researchers
made a ground-breaking discovery which could revolutionize solar energy.
Breakthrough - Solar Now Cheaper than Coal
Nov 23, 2007 - Jessica
Hunt - Celsias
Their mission: to deliver cost-efficient solar electricity.
The Nanosolar company was founded in 2002 and is working to build the world’s
largest solar cell factory in California and the world’s largest panel-assembly
factory in Germany. They have successfully created a solar coating that is the
most cost-efficient solar energy source ever. Their PowerSheet cells contrast
the current solar technology systems by reducing the cost of production from
a watt to a mere 30 cents per watt. This makes, for the first time in history,
solar power cheaper than burning coal.
Quantum Effect Found in Silicon Nanocrystals
July 24, 2007 - Press
Release - National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Materials May Improve Efficiency of Silicon Solar Cells
at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL),
collaborating with Innovalight, Inc., have shown that a new and important effect
called Multiple Exciton Generation (MEG) occurs efficiently in silicon nanocrystals.
MEG results in the formation of more than one electron per absorbed photon.
Sunlight Inside: Mechanical Engineers Create High-tech Solar Panels
May 1, 2007 - Science Daily
Photovoltaic panels have a new design:
concentric circles that focus the sun's rays on miniaturized modules. Having
panels automatically sense sunlight and turn towards it also makes these high-tech
solar cells more efficient.
Cost-Effective Solar Cell Breaks Conversion Records
Dec 8, 2006 -
A tiny solar cell doubles the efficiency
of common photovoltaics' conversion of sunlight to electricity by capturing
from a broader spectrum of light.
Cell Surpasses 40 Percent Efficiency
Jun 12, 2006 - Technology News
DOE announced on December 5th that Spectrolab, Inc. has developed
a new concentrator solar cell with a sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency
of 40.7 percent, a new world record in solar cell efficiency. The new cell uses
a "multi-junction" structure, in which several layers each capture part of the
sunlight passing through the cell. These layers allow the cell to capture more
of the solar spectrum and convert it into electricity. The Spectrolab cell relies
on an optical concentrator to focus sunlight onto the cell.
solar research eclipses rest of the world
Feb 11, 2006 - Willem Steenkamp
- Saturday Argus
In a scientific breakthrough that has stunned the world,
a team of South African scientists has developed a revolutionary new, highly
solar power technology that will enable homes to obtain all their electricity
from the sun. This means high electricity bills and frequent power failures
soon be a thing of the past.
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