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DIY Solar. Solar Islands (TM) Solar Cooker. DIY Parabolic Trough Mirror made in 20 minutes Stainless Steel Mirror. Solar Power Revolution - Here Comes The Sun. New solar thermal tower power plant being built that requires only sun and air. Although electrical devices have evolved rapidly over the last few decades, the plants used to generate the electricity that power these devices are still dominated by the use of steam turbines that convert thermal energy, usually from the burning of fossil fuels, into mechanical energy.

New solar thermal tower power plant being built that requires only sun and air

Even newer solar thermal power plants concentrate the sun’s rays to heat water into high-pressure steam to drive a turbine. But with water not always readily available in locations suited to harnessing solar energy, such as deserts, a new type of solar thermal field, tower and research facility is being built in Australia that requires only air and the sun, making it ideal for parts of the world that receive minimal rainfall.

The technology, developed by Australia’s national science agency the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), functions in much the same way as a conventional solar power tower plant. New Graphene 'Wonder Material' Breakthrough Enables Doubling of Solar Panel Efficiency. One of the major reasons that solar panels are facing such hurdles to replace conventional electricity sources is because they are very inefficient.

New Graphene 'Wonder Material' Breakthrough Enables Doubling of Solar Panel Efficiency

The most efficient (and most expensive) panel is currently somewhere around 32 percent efficiency. However, scientists in Switzerland have figured out a way to utilize Graphene in solar panel design, raising its efficiency to an absolutely staggering 60% – a finally feasible amount. A stock photo of Graphene based transistors. @unknown The experiment was conducted by a team from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and no I cannot pronounce that and they were able to convert a single photon into electorns, producing an electric current. “a kind of stop-motion movie of the conversion process”, says Dexter Johnson at IEEE Spectrum. It is all the more exciting because Graphene is an insanely amazing conductor of heat and electricity but uptill now it wasnt very good at absorbing light. How to tap the sun’s energy through heat as well as light. A new approach to harvesting solar energy, developed by MIT researchers, could improve efficiency by using sunlight to heat a high-temperature material whose infrared radiation would then be collected by a conventional photovoltaic cell.

How to tap the sun’s energy through heat as well as light

This technique could also make it easier to store the energy for later use, the researchers say. In this case, adding the extra step improves performance, because it makes it possible to take advantage of wavelengths of light that ordinarily go to waste. The process is described in a paper published this week in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, written by graduate student Andrej Lenert, associate professor of mechanical engineering Evelyn Wang, physics professor Marin Soljačić, principal research scientist Ivan Celanović, and three others. A conventional silicon-based solar cell “doesn’t take advantage of all the photons,” Wang explains. IEA: Solar costs heading to 4c/kWh, rooftop solar “unbeatable” - EnergyPost.euEnergyPost.eu.

Photo Kevin Dooley The traditionally conservative International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts the cost of solar energy will fall to around 4c/kWh in coming decades as the sun becomes the largest source of power generation across the world.

IEA: Solar costs heading to 4c/kWh, rooftop solar “unbeatable” - EnergyPost.euEnergyPost.eu

The latest “Solar Roadmap” published by the IEA on Monday shows that the speed with which solar is reaching “socket parity” has taken the world by surprise, writes Giles Parkinson of Reneweconomy.com.au. The Technology Roadmap: Solar PV 2014 shows that the IEA now expects solar to become the biggest single source of energy by 2050. The IEA has doubled its forecast capacity for solar PV compared to previous forecasts. Rooftop solar, it says, will account for one half of the world’s solar PV installations, because as a distributed energy source the technology is “unbeatable”.

IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven said capital costs were a key element in bringing down the cost of solar technologies. History of underestimating. Blu-ray Discs Can Improve Solar Cell Technology, Scientists Discover New Technology By Accident. Researchers at Northwestern University have accidentally discovered that Blu-ray discs technology could be used to make vastly improved solar cells.

Blu-ray Discs Can Improve Solar Cell Technology, Scientists Discover New Technology By Accident

Blu-ray discs were introduced as a means to store high-definition video content. However, the quasi-random nanostructures found within those discs, could provide solar cells with better conductivity. Researchers were comparing the techniques behind the working of both Blu-ray discs and solar cells, when they realized that quasi-random nanostructures are used by both devices, but with different methods. The discovery was led by researchers Jiaxing Huang and Cheng Sun. They foun that transferring a Blu-ray disc’s strings of binary code, 0s and 1s (embedded as quasi-random nanopatterns of pits and islands), on the polymer cell surface, increased the amount of light absorbed by the cell.

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