solar energy

  • Sharp Sets New Record For Solar Cell Efficiency

    If there’s something solar energy as a technology needs, then it’s better and cheaper solar cells. And now Sharp has apparently made a step forward regarding the first factor: the company says it has developed a solar cell that has the world’s highest efficiency of 42.1%, breaking the record of Spectrolab of the US. Read More

  • Solar industry creating jobs, not just juice

    It appears that there may be a recession proof industry after all. The Solar Energies Industry Association just released their annual report, and while coal and oil are “suffering”, solar is a growth industry. Read More

  • Thin, flexible "solar threads" to turn fabrics into power generators

    A Tokyo-based venture called ideal Star [JP] has developed a new method that makes it possible to produce solar cells in the form of flexible and thin threads. The company is supported by a total of six Japanese universities and the government. The current prototype cell is 5cm long and just 0.8mm in diameter. ideal Star says the core consists of polymer material and is surrounded by an… Read More

  • Sharp to bring solar-powered cell phone to China (and possibly elsewhere, too)


    Sharp, the biggest (in terms of market share) of all eight major Japanese cell phone makers, has been talking about internationalizing its phone business for quite some time now. It makes sense, as the domestic market is shrinking and as Sharp only sold 20% of all their cell phones outside Japan (1.6 million units) last fiscal. Read More

  • Panasonic ready to pump $1.1 billion into solar energy business

    There’s a reason why Panasonic paid $4.4 billion in this economic downturn to acquire former rival Sanyo, and the reason is that Panasonic wants to go as “green” as possible in the future. Sanyo isn’t only the world’s leading maker of lithium ion batteries, but also the (now former) company behind the eneloop brand, which consists of a range of eco-friendly… Read More

  • Sharp develops efficient solar cells for use in outer space

    Earlier this year, we reported twice about Japan’s serious plans to go to outer space to generate solar energy and then beam it back to Mother Earth. And today, Sharp has shown the first solar cell that’s not only bendable (we’ve seen that before) but that also withstands conditions in space. In addition, the company says those cells boast a record-high solar efficiency of 36%. Read More

  • Sanyo develops solar cell that's thinner than hair

    Sanyo is in the news today, and again it’s about the company’s green tech power. The company today announced [JP] it will do everything to become Japan’s top player in the domestic solar industry by 2012 and eventually one of the top three solar companies on a global level. At the same time, the Nikkei reports [registration required, paid subscription] that Sanyo has succeeded… Read More

  • Sharp to release world's most efficient solar cell

    Sharp Japan announced today it has developed a solar cell with the world’s highest conversion efficiency [press release in English]. The new product features an conversion efficiency of 35.8%, while Sharp only achieved 31.5% with the previous model. The latest model is a compound solar cell, in which two or more elements form photo-absorption layers (see the graphic below). Read More

  • Japanese company sells carports with solar panel roofs

    Solar energy is being used in a number of applications already, but carports are something new. Japan-based Sankyo Tateyama Aluminium has begun selling carports [JP] with solar power generation systems installed on their tops. The main idea is to attract both customers who aren’t able to install solar panels in their homes and those who need to boost the amount of solar energy in… Read More

  • They now use solar technology to propel satellites

    Japan is getting more active in the solar energy field in recent months, and now, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has revealed a plan under which solar photons will be used to propel satellites in outer space [JP, PDF]. The aim is to make satellites in general more energy-efficient. Read More

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