solar panels

New Crystal Clear Solar Cells Could Power Your Smartphone One Day

The idea of a completely transparent solar panel has always been a bit of a dream. Such revolutionary technology would mean that we could turn windows into power generators and build phones with self-charging screens. Well, guess what? That dream is becoming a reality.


NASA Is Working On Origami Solar Arrays That Unfurl In Space

The dream? Orbiting solar panels that beam energy down from space. The problem? Solar panels are shaped with maximum surface area to catch as many rays as possible, but wide, flat disks are also not very aerodynamic on the trip into space. The solution is to get clever with geometry.


Go Inside The Factory That Makes The World's Solar Panels

While you’re watching the final game of the World Cup today, keep a keen eye on the advertisements along the sidelines. You’re likely to see the name Yingli Solar: a massive Chinese solar power manufacturer that few soccer fans are likely to know. Climate Desk recently visited Yingli’s sprawling plant, and got a first-hand look at the booming company.


Scientists Swapped A Toxic Chemical In Solar Cells For A Tofu Ingredient

Thin-film solar cells promise to bring flexible, low-profile solar power to all kinds of surfaces. Unfortunately, constructing thin-film panels requires cadmium chloride, a finicky, expensive and toxic material. Now, University of Liverpool scientists have figured out how to make solar cells using magnesium chloride, a compound so innocuous, it’s actually used in the production of tofu.


Why The Future Of A Solar-Powered Life Isn't Here Yet

You’d think that with all the solar farms we’ve been building up and all those solar panels on people’s roofs we would figure out how to use solar power to replace those old smoking power plants of ours. But we can’t yet.


Colour Solar Panels Let Stained Glass Windows Produce Cheap Power

Because solar panels are designed to accumulate as much light from the sun as possible, they’re typically very dark in colour. It makes them more efficient, but also kind of an eyesore, minimising their adoption. So researchers at the University of Michigan have developed what they believe to be the world’s first semi-transparent, coloured solar panels.


A Roomba For Solar Panels That Keeps The Sun Shining Through

It’s easy to live with a few smudges on your smartphone’s display, but for devices like solar panels that are completely dependent on every last drop of light making it through, cleanliness is a top priority. And when you’ve thousands of solar panels in a field drinking in sunlight, cleaning them all manually isn’t an option. That’s when you need to call in the robots, particularly Sinfonia’s new cleaner that excels at squeegeeing at awkward angles.


The Northern Hemisphere May Be Angling Solar Panels The Wrong Way

Conventional wisdom in the northern hemisphere is to face solar panels south so they get the most light all day. Architects and panel installers implement this approach all the time, especially on homes. But a new study indicates that panels facing west may actually get more juice from the sun, and at more convenient times.


Solar Panels: Not Just Big Rectangles On The Roof Anymore

In designing the 28th Street Apartments in South Los Angeles, architects at KoningEizenberg had several underlying missions: to restore an 80-year-old structure, to add a new residential wing, and to modernise the entire complex, making it more sustainable. In sunny LA, adding solar energy was a no-brainer.


Pop Music Makes Experimental Solar Panels Work 50% Harder

Ever notice how you feel more productive while listening to a great song? It’s not just you. Researchers just discovered that a certain type of solar panel works most efficiently when exposed to the acoustic vibrations of pop music. Crank it up!