Solar energy is taking an interesting new twist in the shape of a cone with V3Solar's Spin Cell. Instead of harvesting only the spillover of electrons, the V3 releases them as it rotates, resulting in generating over twenty times more electricity than a flat panel with the same area. You can visit their site to see exactly how the process works. The good news is that the company has teamed with Nectar Design to complete their design and will soon supply 800,000 units for a solar farm in Australia. V3Solar should have their Spin Cells available to the public in 2013.
A large renewable energy company in Australia has released a video that helps those who want to convert to solar power. Energy Matter's Director James Walter explains the differences between manufacturers and gives details about the technology. And while we know this is a commercial, EM does prove that not all solar panels are created equal. The site has other helpful videos and guides to help you turn green, no matter where you live.
Previously we told you about the trend of solar power becoming less expensive and evidence of this is everywhere, including this Solar Power Kit from Sunforce, now less than half of its original price. You get 60 watts of free, clean energy from a panel that is not only waterproof, it is portable so it can be used with RVs or boats, on camping trips or located on the sunniest spot near your home. A built-in blocking diode prevents accidental night battery discharge and the kit comes with every thing you need to get the solar party started.
GE has built a better mousetrap solar system that they claim reduces the $6.50 per watt cost to a mere $3.00. Charlie Korman of the NY Global Research Center says that solar panel arrays are currently high-voltage systems that involve using equipment to switch it to a 120 volt current. Their solution is to create panels with socket ready AC current. This means the system needs only a standard installation kit, takes half a day to construct (as opposed to 2 days) and uses 60% fewer components.
A prototype has been constructed by the team and GE plans to build a new plant near Denver, CO to manufacture the new panels. This means that more jobs will open up for those who specialize in research and those seeking manufacturing employment. Kudos to GE for investing in the clean energy despite setbacks and bankruptcies of other solar companies.
Working in tandem with Panasonic, Northern California's Infineon Raceway has taken a further step in going green by installing 1,652 solar panels that can generate 353 kilowatts of power and save about 34,000 barrels of oil over the next 30 years. Infineon has made other environmental moves. They installed a new energy-saving, dual-sided LED video board, have an admirable recycling program and invested in 3,000 sheep in 2008 to trim the track and grounds.
Team Obama announced last October that they intended to install solar panels and a hot water heater on the roof of the White House by the first day of summer, but sadly the project has not been completed. While the Energy Department claims that they are working on it, a feat this large probably entails more than a minor installation.
A lot of fuss is being made about the missed deadline but we figure that the administration has been busy with other matters, i.e. fighting terrorists and readying the White House for Will and Kate. Perhaps they could be part of the newly approved $1.4 billion dollar Project Amp, with solar panels to be installed on buildings nationwide. Not only will this contribute electricity to power grids, it should create about a thousand jobs.
The Cincinnati Zoo recently unveiled their newly installed 4 acre solar system that should produce 1.56 megawatts of electricity, enough to cover about 20% annually of the zoo's need. The $11 million canopy has 6,400 solar panels on more than 100 metal arrays. Standing 15 to 18 feet high, they cover about 800 of the 1,000 parking spaces at the zoo's main entrance.
(Congrats to the zoo on their recent addition, a baby giraffe named Zuri!)
As part of Prez Obama's push to make the White House Residence greener, there will soon be solar panels on the roof. The Department of Energy announced last week that a solar water heater will also be installed as a way of not only leading by example, but also as a way of getting the word out to the public. As we mentioned previously, Jimmy Carter originally had the idea, only to have them removed by Ronald Reagan when he took office.
It would seem that the NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL and MLS have decided that green is in and has asked the Natural Resources Defense Council to develop and distribute a solar development guide suggesting stadium add-ons to help them. Those that have already done their bit for the overall good include the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles (it seems that Nokia took the hint as well,) the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix and several MLB fields and parks.
SunRun, a major player in the home solar market, and builders Toll Brothers, recently cut the ribbon on their new Preserve community, located in Vista Del Verde, Yorba Linda, CA. While we are not all that crazy about the name if someone who is retired wants to move there, we are jazzed that one of the options is to sign up for solar power for $0.00, as opposed to investing up to $30,000 for a system.
The service will run about $42.00 a month, which should lower power bills by $50 - $100 per month, depending on how much is used. It is no surprise that of those who have already purchased a home, 90% have opted for the solar deal. The panels have been integrated into roof tiles on the residences.
There are several models to choose from in the upscale community that has access to the Black Gold Golf Club, two parks, and walking and equestrian trails. Housing is priced at around $600,000 for 2,160 - 2,450 sq. ft. for up to 4 bedrooms that also features energy-saving devices like tankless water heaters with on demand hot water, dual pane low E Max Glass and Energy Star Appliances.
The Japanese company Shimizu has a curious idea to energize the planet. They want to build a 6,800 mile long solar belt that would be the length of the Moon's equator. After converting it there, the power will be beamed back to Earth and turned into laser and microwave power. They figure that they can create energy 24/7 and will use robots to maintain the facility.
XsunX has teamed with makers of hard disc drives Intevac to produce CIGS thin-film solar cells. The result is a 5 x 5" wafer that is about 1/100th of the thickness of a conventional cell and will save about 75% in costs. CEO of XsunX Tom Djokovich says of the unlikely alliance, "We are taking proven science and manufacturing methods and combining these to produce a product that reduces the structure defects caused by large-area processing techniques."
Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology's pet project, Solar Ivy, is a system made with polyethylene leaves, plastic organic photovoltaics and stainless steel mesh to hold it all together. Each leaf produces about a half watt of power and leaves can be replaced if they malfunction. SMIT seems to have gotten it together as they seem anxious to get some backing and sell their systems. We have to admit we certainly like the design and flexibility.
The Marine Corps has gone green with their Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy System. It utilizes stackable 1600W panel arrays and deep cycle batteries to reduce the fuel needed for generators and resupplying fuel in remote locations. GREENS supplies a continuous output of 300W up to 1000W of power. Tested at the Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, California, it supplied 85% of the energy needed.