Friday, January 6, 2012

Advancements in Solar Energy Technology

About generating energy through solar panels almost everyone knows. Generating solar power is mostly used in remote areas, but its becoming popular in rural areas also. Solar energy technology is progressing by leaps and bounds. It’s getting better and better.

Here is some latest advancement in this field:

1 – MIT Researchers Print a Solar Cell on Paper

The idea of clean and green fuel is great but it has certain disadvantages. First it’s so much expensive, second their power conversion rate is quite low. Final disadvantage is that you need storage space to save all the power, which is converted by a clean and green technology. The MIT researchers had developed solar cells printed on paper. This technology will take years to be in market for commercial use, but it is an interesting development.

2 – Solar Greenhouse to Produce Food and Electricity

It seems amazing that a greenhouse produce solar power and food. This unique has been done in Italy. Renewable energy companies Solar ReFeelCeRSAA and solar panel manufacturer Solyndra are the companies are responsible for this project. This solar power greenhouse is being built at CeRSAA’s Albenga, Italy. Basic purpose of this project is to attain production of both food and electricity. The research team is also experimenting to validate the crop growth benefits of Solyndra’s technology by taking help of independent testing by a leading agricultural institution.

3 – Affordable Solar Power with Purple Pokeberries

Researchers at Wake Forest University's Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials are experimenting to attain source of clean and green power through pokeberries because pokeberries can be helpful in making of affordable solar power. Scientists of Nanotech Center had extracted the red dye from pokeberries to paint their efficient and low-cost fiber-based solar cells. The dye had given the desirable results. The dye acted as an absorber and helped the cells minute fibers to capture more sunlight for converting it into power.

4 – Ontario Solar Power could match US Nuclear Power

Queen's University Applied Sustainability Research Group located in Kingston, Canada had came out with two studies, which claim solar power in southeastern Ontario can be created in great quantity.  It’s said that southeastern Ontario has the potential to produce almost as much power as all the nuclear reactors in the United States.

5 – Carbon – based Solar Cells

Solar panels are usually made of silicon. Silicon is not cheap that’s why it raise the costs which makes it expensive for the people who want to use solar energy. Scientists made solar panels with another substance ruthenium which is cheaper than silicon. But ruthenium is a rare metal and its same rare as platinum. So it can’t be used on a mass level production. While carbon is cheap and widely available also, the graphene a form of carbon is having ability to absorb wide range of light frequencies.

6 – World’s Largest Solar Boat

PlanetSolar is world’s largest solar boat and it’s prepared for a world tour. Features of this boat are:

  • 60 ton weight
  • 470 square meter are covered by 38,000 solar cells
  • 103.Kw electricity it generates

18 million euro was spent to make this environment friendly boat. All 38,000 photovoltaic cells were provided by the SunPower Corporation. The solar panels installed on this boat are having pretty decent conversion rate of 22%.


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