Elon Musk says SolarCity will build a “solar roof” for your house

Solar panel on a red roof reflecting the sun and the cloudless blue sky What if your entire roof was made up entirely of dedicated solar power cells? No, not adorned with the current kind of solar panels you’ve likely seen on the existing roofs of a few neighbour houses – an entire roof actually made up of solar gathering material, rather than add-ons that install after the fact. That’s the vision described by Elon Musk in Solar City’s… Read More Syndicated from TechCrunch

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Chernobyl could soon find a second life as a giant solar farm

Chernobyl could soon find a second life as a giant solar farm:

The Ukrainian government has announced a plan to turn the area surrounding Chernobyl – the site of one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in history – into a solar energy farm, by constructing a series of solar panels inside the exclusion zone.

Not only would this plan – which is currently seeking investment – allow the country to use a giant chunk of radioactive land that’s unfit for human settlement, it would also provide a cheaper source of reusable energy that might decrease the country’s reliance on Russia.

“The Chernobyl site has really good potential for renewable energy,” Ukraine’s environment minister Ostap Semerak said in an interview in London. “We already have high-voltage transmission lines that were previously used for the nuclear stations, the land is very cheap and we have many people trained to work at power plants.”

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Hanergy to build solar-powered electric cars

Hanergy Solar Vehicles It used to be that only car companies could build cars. But this is the twenty-first century, when seemingly anyone can build a car or four, including a Chinese solar power company. Hanergy Holding Group, which manufactures thin-film solar panels, has created a Solar Vehicle Business Division that debuted four solar-powered prototypes in Beijing. In a world where anyone can come up with an… Read More Syndicated from TechCrunch

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Solar Impulse completes historic round-the-world trip

Solar Impulse completes historic round-the-world trip:

The Solar Impulse has become the first aircraft to circle the globe powered by the sun, after landing in Abu Dhabi on the last leg of its journey.

Bertrand Piccard piloted the plane for a final time, steering it safely from the Egyptian capital Cairo to the UAE.

He has been taking turns at the controls with Swiss compatriot Andre Borschberg.

It brings to an end an epic, 17-leg voyage that began in Abu Dhabi on 9 March last year.

The journey took in four continents, three seas and two oceans.

The longest leg, a 8,924km (5,545-mile) flight from Nagoya in Japan to Hawaii, US, lasted nearly 118 hours and saw Mr Borschberg break the world record for longest uninterrupted solo flight.

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Nanomaterials could double efficiency of solar cells by converting waste heat into usable energy


MIT-Solar-Thermal-1_0 An experimental solar cell created by MIT researchers could massively increase the amount of power generated by a given area of panels, while simultaneously reducing the amount of waste heat. Even better, it sounds super cool when scientists talk about it: “with our own unoptimized geometry, we in fact could break the Shockley-Queisser limit.” Read More Syndicated from TechCrunch

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