Developers of large-scale, solar power plants BrightSource Energy Inc. closed another $168 million investment, the company announced today — this time from Google corporate. The funds will go towards the completion of the humongous, Ivanpah solar power tower plant in the Mojave Desert now under construction.
Three years ago, Google.org invested $10 million, and took an equity stake in… → Read More
Today, the United States Marine Corps completed its largest solar installation to date — a 1.4 megawatt ground-mounted system — that will generate electricity for Base Camp Pendleton outside of San Diego, Calif. The system was installed atop an inactive landfill.
According to a press statement from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest: the installation should… → Read More
Whenever I overhear conversations on the environment, the common consensus is always, “why don’t they just put solar panels everywhere?” As much as that would be the most optimistic scenario, there have been and still are some serious road blocks to widespread solar panel use: efficiency and cost.
The theory of lowering cost is easy. Increase production efficiency, and panel cost will lower … → Read More
Rental car stalwarts, The Hertz Corporation (Hertz, NYSE:HTZ) revealed plans to install 2.3 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic systems at sixteen locations across the U.S. this year.
As the first piece of their solar initiative, Hertz completed construction of a 235 kilowatt system — that’s about the size of 60 typical U.S. home solar installations — on the rooftop of their Denver… → Read More
Colorado-based Ascent Solar Technologies (NASDAQ: ASTI) — the makers of flexible, thin film modules under the brand name WaveSol — scored a distribution deal with Cyprus-based SW Solarwatt Ltd. the companies announced today.
ReneSola (NYSE: SOL) a major manufacturer of solar products based in Jiashan, China announced this week that its new silicon-based wafer, dubbed the Virtus, boosts multicrystalline solar cell efficiency to 17.5 percent.
Solar is likely to surpass one gigawatt of installed, power-generating capacity this year in the U.S. — that’s enough capacity to power 200,000 homes — according to a report released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GreenTech Media Research.
The researchers believe that photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) installations in the states are on the rise thanks… → Read More
T-Mobile, fresh off some sort of short code carrier controversy, has been experimenting with solar-powered cell towers. The company has installed the tower (well, full cell site) in eastern Pennsylvania. It’s probably done so for two reasons: one, yeah, it could help the company save a bit of money in the longterm, and two, nothing like some good PR. → Read More
Are you a huge nerd? No? Sorry, I guess that solar backpack you’re wearing kind of threw me off. Looks like Playskool meets Transmetropolitan. Not exactly a babe magnet. I’m going to let you in on a secret, big guy: check out these Soular Power bags from Neon Green. If you absolutely must wear a solar panel backpack, it might as well be the coolest one out there, right?
That’s a bit like being… → Read More
A bill has been proposed that might help spread solar power for homes, which is still mighty expensive if you want it to do anything but run a lamp or two.
The bill, proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, would cover up to half the cost of up to ten million solar power system installations.
Whether they’d actually hit that 10 million limit is something of a question, of course… → Read More
Sounds like technology is making a difference in the lives of the victims of the Haitian earthquakes. Several different companies that produce products that use solar power have been sending equipment as part of the aid mission. Among the equipment are lights for hospitals and solar panels to help with water purification. → Read More
Nani Kore (“What’s This?”) is the name of a Japanese TV show that digs up bizarre things and phenomena observed around the world and explains how they work. In the latest show, they presented a house in central Tokyo that proves solar power can be used in a residential setting without those expensive solar panels and cells.
Just take a set of orbs that look like giant light bulbs, install them on… → Read More
My first experience with solar energy was in Cub Scouts, when we made a solar-powered hot dog cooker. Unfortunately, solar technology hasn’t advanced terribly much in the intervening decades. At the consumer level, solar power still isn’t particularly useful for very much outside of a few niche markets. i.Tech has a couple of products that make a real effort to bring usefulness to solar power for… → Read More
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has big plans: It wants to conquer outer space to generate solar energy by 2030. The idea is to collect solar power in space and beam it down to earth, in the form of lasers or microwaves. The so-called Space Solar Power System project is led by big corporations such as Mitsubishi, NEC, Fujitsu und Sharp. → Read More
What a market leader and major dealer in capital does publicly with their money is revealing. One of the things I admire about Microsoft is that through their Labs and Research initiatives, they’ve done a lot of good work in fields only tangentially connected with Microsoft markets.
While the developed nations of the world spend huge amounts of money trying to eek out just a little more efficiency from traditional solar panels made from silicon, an industrious young lad from Nepal has figured out how to use human hair to get 9V of electricity from the sun. The fine articles are a little light (ha!) on the science, but even if there’s some hyperbole in these reports you’ve got… → Read More
The sun jar is a pretty cool item. I mean, it glows, looks cool, and it’s a solar powered light. I actually have one of these I bought for my son to use as a nightlight. We even covered these about a month ago — there’s a site in the UK that sells them from about $33 US, plus shipping.
So you don’t want to spend the money to have one shipped from the UK? Build one yourself. → Read More
Launched earlier this week from Oregon Scientific is the first of many solar powered gadgets under the +ECO line, the Clima Control personal weather station.
It tracks the temperature and humidity in up to four separate locales within your home or outdoors with the help of wireless temperature and humidity sensors. The solar panel located on the back of the +ECO Clima Control juices up in roughly… → Read More
This may sound ridiculous first time you hear it, but Japan is thinking about solar power from panels located in space to mother earth, or to be more exact, the nation of Nippon itself. According to the Nikkei (one of Japan’s biggest newspapers), the government plans to ask local technology companies to participate in the endeavor as early as next month. → Read More
European technology company iUnika has developed what looks to be the worlds first solar powered netbook. Designed to be as light weight and energy efficient as possible, the GYY defintely isn’t a gaming machine, but it could work well for a student or someone lost in the woods. → Read More
Quick version: V-Dimension’s Helius Solar backpack provides portable power and an ample amount of storage to those who are constantly on the move. While it won’t charge your laptop, it will charge your iPhone/iPod, Samsung, Motorola, LG and Nokia devices. And anything with a mini-USB port or adapter, which is just about everything these days.
And thanks to The Gadgeteers for kicking down the… → Read More
This comes from the, “well duh!” file. A UK firm is developing a canopy designed to be mounted over a parking spot with solar cells, so people driving all-electric vehicles can charge while parked. This sounds like a really great idea. Imagine being able to charge up your car while you’re at work. → Read More
I think I can safely say that we all wouldn’t mind getting a little greener in our everyday lives, but one of the most obvious steps — going solar — is simply impractical for people of limited means like myself. By making a solar easier and, if not cheap, then at least cheaper, Veranda Solar is surely only one of many companies that will grow on this new wave of green. These little… → Read More