Articles With "solar power" Tag

Stacking Solar Cells Could Vastly Improve Their Efficiency

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Harvesting solar energy is a great way to generate sustainable power, but unfortunately solar cells are far from being as efficient as they might be. Currently, commercially available solar cells can convert about 25 percent of sunlight into electricity, and scientists have been trying to create better solar cells for years. One milestone they have been unsuccessfully trying to reach is 50 percent conversion efficiency of solar cells. However, the start-up company Semprius might be on the right track with the stacking technique of solar cells they recently developed.
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More Environmentally Friendly Solar Cells

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Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a new solar cell that uses tin instead of lead perovskite as a collector of solar energy. This cheap and environmentally-friendly solar cell can therefore be made without any high-tech equipment or hazardous materials.
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Innovative Ways of Using Solar Panels

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Photo: Mineirão stadium in Belo Horizonte

The photovoltaic technology is frequently used to obtain energy these days. Since it was discovered in the 19th century that it is possible to get energy from sunlight, the ways of harnessing solar energy went through many different stages. The first prototype of solar cells was, for example, used to provide the satellite Vanguard I with energy in 1958 and the technology has been used in this area ever since.
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Build Your Own Underground Greenhouse

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Growing food in the colder months of the year is a challenge, and growers in colder climates that want to extend the crop-growing season are always looking for a better way to do so. Greenhouses are a great option, but they cost a lot of money to construct and heat during the colder months. The American sustainable agriculture non-profit organization Benson Institute has come up with a set of easy to follow instructions on how to build a much cheaper alternative, the so-called walipini, which means “place of warmth” in Aymara Indian. The walipini is basically an underground, pit greenhouse in which it possible to grow vegetables all year, even in the coldest regions of the world.

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Solar Cells Might Soon be Made of Paper

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While living in solar powered homes is very sustainable and environmentally friendly, the materials from which most solar PV arrays are constructed are not. Since they are often made from rare natural materials or plastics, researchers are constantly looking for way to improve this flaw and make the whole package more eco-friendly. A team of scientists from the University of Maryland, the South China University of Technology, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have recently developed a type of paper, which is made from wood fibers. This paper is 96 percent transparent and could conceivably one day be used instead of the plastic materials used to construct the solar cells of today. This would make solar cells more eco-friendly as well as much cheaper.

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