Solar-Powered Battery Woven into Fabric Overcomes Hurdle for Wearable Electronics

Though some people already seem inseparable from their smartphones, even more convenient, wearable, solar-powered electronics could be on the way soon, woven into clothing fibers or incorporated into watchbands. This novel battery development, which could usher in a new era of “wearable electronics,” is the topic of a paper in the ACS journal Nano Letters. Taek-Soo Kim, Jung-Yong Lee, Jang Wook Choi and colleagues explain that electronic textiles have the potential to integrate smartphone functions into clothes, eyeglasses, watches and materials…

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Books: "The Solar House" – by Anthony Denzer

Tony Denzer recently wrote to see if we were interested in writing something about his new book, “The Solar House – Pioneering Sustainable Design.” We are glad we came across this pertinent work, especially for those wanting to know more about the history of solar. As Denzer aptly points out, “Few people are aware of the influential experimental solar houses which were constructed during the previous four decades, beginning with the work of masters of twentieth-century architecture such as Richard…

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Next Generation Solar Window Will Make Electricity

I received an email from a representative for New Energy Technologies about the company’s upcoming solar window product release: “A working SolarWindow prototype will be publicly unveiled within the upcoming calendar quarter, 2014. I would of course like to engage your interest in coming to an event most likely in New York City, where you see SolarWindow up close and personal. “The news today is that SolarWindow is now the subject of 42 US and International patent filings. The technology…

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Guest Post: Solar Panels and You – Do They Really Make a Difference?

This guest post about solar panels has been written by Kurt Dowdle at Hayden Homes. Thanks much for adding your perspective. If you ever want to jump into an argument so heated it could turn into a bar fight, start talking about solar energy. If you want to skip the brawl however, just go to the Internet and be amazed at the diversity of opinion between seeming equally intelligent sources. Is it only about money? Not surprisingly, most of the…

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NRG Energy Installs 49th Solar Frame to Complete Levi’s Stadium Suite Tower Roof

Solar installation will help 49ers meet net zero energy performance during home games NRG Energy, Inc. and the San Francisco 49ers today announced a construction milestone – the completion of phase one of the solar installation at Levi’s Stadium, the future home of the 49ers. This significant step will help Levi’s Stadium to become the first stadium that is home to an NFL team to have sustainability and LEED certification standards incorporated into its design and architecture The 49 solar frames…

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Low-priced plastic photovoltaics

Article in ‘The Journal of Chemical Physics’ describes new approach to making cheaper, more efficient solar panel using plastic photovoltaics Photovoltaic devices, which tap the power of the sun and convert it to electricity, offer a green — and potentially unlimited — alternative to fossil fuel use. So why haven’t solar technologies been more widely adopted? Quite simply, “they’re too expensive,” says Ji-Seon Kim, a senior lecturer in experimental solid-state physics at Imperial College London, who, along with her colleagues,…

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600 Companies to Demonstrate the Latest Solar Energy Products this Week at Solar Power International in Chicago

Premier business-to-business solar energy event to draw 12,000 professionals Solar Power International 2013 (SPI ‘13), the solar energy industry’s most powerful, comprehensive educational conference and product exhibition, opens this week at Chicago’s McCormick Place. Exhibits are open October 22 – 24. Approximately 600 exhibiting companies and nearly 12,000 solar professionals from around the world are expected at SPI ‘13. The event will also feature nearly 60 concurrent sessions and Quick Talks and more than 60 educational sessions on the exhibit floor. Speakers include industry luminaries, business and technical…

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NREL Sets New World Record with Two-Junction Solar Cell

Our thanks to Mathias Maehlum from Energy Informative for providing GBE readers with a third informative article, “NREL Sets New World Record with Two-Junction Solar Cell.” Scientist Myles Steiner has announced that The Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has set a new world record at 31.1% for a two-junction solar cell. The research team at NREL beat Alta Devices` previous record by 0.3%. The new solar cell consists of a layer of gallium indium phosphide on a gallium arsenide cell. Bilayer anti-reflective coating sits on the…

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Zero-Down Solar Leasing for New Homes

Our thanks to Mathias Maehlum from Energy Informative for providing GBE readers with a second informative articles on solar energy leasing. His next article “NREL Sets New World Record with Two-Junction Solar Cell,” will be published this weekend. The solar PV market has been though a lot of changes in the last couple of years. Since Solarcity introduced the model of zero-down solar leasing back in 2006 many solar providers (including SunRun, Sungevity, SunPower and Real Goods Solar) have followed suit. Third-party-ownership has become the…

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First Solar to Build 250MW Power Plant in California for NextEra Energy Resources

First Solar, Inc. announced today it has entered into an agreement to construct a 250 megawatt (MW)AC solar power plant in Riverside County, California, for a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. The McCoy Solar Energy Project will be located on approximately 2,300 acres of mostly public land provided by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approximately 13 miles northwest of Blythe, California. Under the agreement, First Solar will provide Engineering, Procurement and Construction services, using First Solar’s cadmium telluride (CdTe)…

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IKEA To Begin A New Rooftop Solar Project

IKEA now wants to install another rooftop solar power plant in Massachusetts. IKEA has been on a roll recently, and has been installing solar systems for many stores across the United States, China, and the United Kingdom as part of its 100% clean energy initiative. They even intend to start selling solar panels in the U.K. IKEA partnered with Gehrlicher Solar America Corp for this new project. Construction of the project will commence next spring, and should be completed by next…

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What are Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)?

Our thanks to Mathias Maehlum from Energy Informative for providing GBE readers with a series of informative articles on solar energy technologies like BIPV. His next two articles, “Zero-Down Solar Leasing for New Homes,” and “NREL Sets New World Record with Two-Junction Solar Cell,” will be published this week. Some homeowners are turned off by how solar panels affect the appearances of their homes. Building-integrated photovoltaics – basically solar panels incorporated into the construction of new buildings – can eliminate the negative visual impact…

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2-Year Review Of Solar Water Heater

I have been using a solar thermal water heater for nearly two years, and am now ready to share my experience with it. First: solar thermal water heaters (often just called solar water heaters) operate by absorbing sunlight into insulated (by vacuum) glass tubes where it turns into heat. That heat accumulates in the water until it becomes adequately hot. The hot water is stored in a tank. Apart from that, the heater was said to be equipped with a…

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Future of Distributed Solar & Solar Investment Tax Credit Among Hot Industry Topics at Solar Power International

Solar professionals will gather at largest solar energy show to address issues critical to industry’s continued success and growth trajectory Solar Power International 2013 (SPI ‘13), North America’s premier business-to-business event for professionals in solar energy, will provide a platform for discussion of a wide variety of trends, new product introductions, and critical issues as the industry marks a record-breaking quarter. The show takes place in Chicago from October 21 – 24 at McCormick Place and is expected to draw…

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Books: Introduction to Solar Energy’s 6000-Year History by John Perlin

Thanks to John Perlin for providing GBE with this intro to his book on the history of solar energy. We published information about this book on October 4, concluding that we would provide an introduction from Perlin today for the book.I believe anybody who is interested in the subject will find this to be book well worth the read. Many believe that solar energy is a late twentieth-century phenomenon. Let It Shine: The 6000 Year-Story of Solar Energy will change…

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“Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy”

BOOKS WORTH READING: For anybody who believes in the principles of sustainability, smart renewable energy in design and practice, “Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy” by John Perlin is book that’s a treasure to read and share. To get an idea, read the UCSB press release that came out last month prior to a Perlin book signing event. Perlin was kind enough to send a copy of the introduction to his book, which we will publish in…

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NREL Releases Roadmap to Reducing Solar PV ‘Soft Costs’ by 2020

The Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently issued a new report, “Non-Hardware (‘Soft’) Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential and Small Commercial Solar Photovoltaics, 2013,”PDF funded by DOE’s SunShot Initiative and written by NREL and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The report builds off NREL’s ongoing soft-cost benchmarking analysis and charts a path to achieve SunShot soft-cost targets of $0.65/W for residential systems and $0.44/W for commercial systems by 2020. Non-hardware costs — also referred to as soft, balance of…

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A Way To Reduce The Cost Of Solar Group Purchases

The cost of going solar can be reduced significantly by pooling multiple residents’ money to purchase everyone’s’ solar panels at once to enjoy quantity discounts, due to the large quantity of solar panels purchased. However, is it possible to reduce the cost even further? Yes. The cost of installing rooftop solar panels is extremely high, even higher than the cost of the solar panels. One approach to lowering contractor fees, is to make contractors compete with each other. If you…

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