Posts Tagged ‘solar’

Spray-on films turns any windows to Solar Panel

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

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Photo courtesy of Gizmag

Imagine if all the windows of a building, and perhaps even all its exterior walls, could be put to use as solar collectors. Soon, you may not have to imagine it, as the Norweigan solar power company EnSol has patented a thin film solar cell technology designed to be sprayed on to just such surfaces. Unlike traditional silicon-based solar cells, the film is composed of metal nanoparticles embedded in a transparent composite matrix, and operates on a different principle. EnSol is now developing the product with help from the University of Leicester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

“One of the key advantages is that it is a transparent thin film that can be coated onto window glass so that windows in buildings can also become power generators,” said Chris Binns, Professor of Nanotechnology at Leicester. “Obviously some light has to be absorbed in order to generate power but the windows would just have a slight tinting (though a transmission of only 8-10% is common place for windows in the ‘sun belt’ areas of the world). Conversely the structural material of the building can also be coated with a higher degree of absorption. This could be side panels of the building itself, or even in the form of ‘clip-together’ solar roof tiles.”

Research partners are developing prototype squares of the material, measuring 16 square centimeters each. Ultimately, EnSol hopes to achieve a cell efficiency of at least 20 percent, and have its product ready for the commercial market by 2016.

This development is reminiscent of Sphelar cells – solidified silicon drop-based solar cells recently developed by Kyosemi Corporation. Although the technology is different, they are also intended to be used in solar panels that double as windows.

Courtesy of Gizmag

Assemble your own solar panel

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Since there’s almost any size and shape of solar panel available for purchase from a myriad of vendors across the Internet why would anybody want to go through the hassle of tabbing together their own cells to build a solar panel? Because you can, obviously. This DIY video will run through the basics of chaining together polycrystalline cells and leaves the details like enclosure and such to the user.

courtesy: Make

‘Solar Music Festival’ Replaces Hot Air With Sun, Wind Power

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

solar panels

Activism and music can make for a grating combination. Who wants to hear jet-setters with five houses apiece and LCD screens on the soles of their shoes lecture a crowd on how to live responsibly?

The Solar Music Festival could contain a certain level of such pontification, but in this case there will be more to the sentiments than jargon and hot air. The main festival’s stage runs on wind power from a local cooperative, while a side stage runs on photovoltaic cells.

“The festival is a hotbed of creativity and ideas for a better, more sustainable world,” according to festival co-founder and director Dawn Richardson. “It’s one thing to promote a party, but we want to inspire people to improve their environment for the long term.”

Currently in its tenth year, the Solar Music Festival will feature Steve Earle, Susan Tedeschi, BoDeans, Collective Soul and The Coup this time around. The festival is held in Taos, New Mexico from June 27-29, and will also feature a solar village where people can see alternative energy in action.

Recordings from last year’s festival are available in MP3, FLAC and CD formats for between $10 and $20 per set.

Source: Wired

Photo: Van Mij