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  • Spread @1:57AM, 2017-02-12
    Tags: , , , solar power,   

    Flecks of “solar glitter” can make almost anything solar powered 

    A solar technology invented years ago at Sandia National Laboratories has gotten a step closer to being on the market and that should make you pretty excited. The technology — miniature, flexible solar cells called “solar glitter” that can be integrated into objects of any shape or size — could change the way we approach solar energy generation.

    Read the rest from TreeHugger

  • Titus Toledo @2:36AM, 2014-05-28
    Tags: , solar power,   

    Solar Roadways to a greener future 

    Solar Roadways are solar panels that you can drive, park, and walk on. It is a modular paving system of solar panels that can withstand the heaviest of trucks (250,000 pounds).

    These Solar Road Panels can be installed on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, playgrounds… literally any surface under the sun. They pay for themselves primarily through the generation of electricity, which can power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots.

    A nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole (http://solarroadways.com/numbers.shtml). They have many other features as well, including: heating elements to stay snow/ice free, LEDs to make road lines and signage, and attached Cable Corridor to store and treat stormwater and provide a “home” for power and data cables. EVs will be able to charge with energy from the sun (instead of fossil fuels) from parking lots and driveways and after a roadway system is in place, mutual induction technology will allow for charging while driving.

    Support Solar Roadways and the campaign to make it happen at Indiegogo

  • Spread @12:44AM, 2014-01-15
    Tags: , solar power   

    A New Way to Store the Sun's Energy 

    Researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill have built a system that converts the sun’s energy not into electricity but into hydrogen fuel. The system then stores this fuel for later use. Chemist Tom Meyer at UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences led the research. He said in a press release on January 14, 2014 that it’s not practical to talk about powering a planet with energy stored in batteries. It’s more reasonable, he said, to store energy in the chemical bonds of molecules. He said: “And that’s what we did — we found an answer through chemistry.”

    Meyer and colleagues at UNC and North Carolina State University used a technique known as a dye-sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cell, or DSPEC, to generate hydrogen fuel by using the sun’s energy to split water into its component parts. After the split, hydrogen is sequestered and stored, while the byproduct, oxygen, is released into the air. But, Meyer said: “splitting water is extremely difficult to do. You need to take four electrons away from two water molecules, transfer them somewhere else, and make hydrogen, and, once you have done that, keep the hydrogen and oxygen separated.”

    Meyer’s design has two basic components: a molecule and a nanoparticle. The molecule absorbs sunlight and then kick starts a catalyst to rip electrons away from water. A film of nanoparticles then shuttles the electrons away to make the hydrogen fuel.

    The team says the infrastructure to install their new sunlight-to-fuel converters is in sight, based on existing technology.

    Via EarthSky.org


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