solar panels

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!


Scientists Using A Virus To Improve Solar Panel Technology

Solar panels have been around for decades, but they haven’t changed too much in terms of efficiency. Now, scientists at MIT have discovered that by combining a modified virus with nanotechnology, they can improve solar panel efficiency by about a third.


How Do Photovoltaic Solar Cells Work?

When you think renewable energy, chances are your mind fills with the image of solar photovoltaic cells adorning rooftops. But how do they work? How do the bluey-grey panels convert sunlight into electricity? We’re glad you asked…


Inexpensive Solar Power Comes To Lego Mindstorms NXT

For $US90 Dexter Industries will sell you a solar panel that provides enough juice to power an NXT control brick and one servo. Surely, Lego Mindstorms Mars missions aren’t far behind.


Inventor Of Photosynthesis-Based Solar Cells Wins Millennium Tech Prize

A Switzerland-based chemist who invented solar cells that mimic photosynthesis is the winner of a million-dollar technology prize announced Wednesday. Michael Gratzel invented low-cost solar cells that can be turned into electricity-generating windows, mobile solar panels and other devices.


Scanning New York City With Lasers From 1000m

Last week, in the early hours of the morning, a crew methodically swept over New York City in a laser-equipped Shrike Commander aircraft. They were busy creating the most accurate, detailed 3D map of the city to date.