Solar Energy - Power from the Sun

Sun Power
Photovoltaics is the conversion of sunlight into electricity using semiconducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect, a phenomenon studied in physics, photochemistry, and electrochemistrySolar Panel is designed to absorb the sun's rays as a source of energy for generating electricity or heating. Cities that are Fully Powered by the Sun.

Organic - Full Spectrum - Photosynthesis - Portable Solar and Battery

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Solar Power System


Photovoltaic System is a power system designed to supply usable solar power by means of Photovoltaics. It consists of an arrangement of several components, including Solar Panels to absorb and convert sunlight into electricity, a solar inverter to change the electric current from DC to AC, as well as mounting, cabling, and other electrical accessories to set up a working system. It may also use a solar tracking system to improve the system's overall performance and include an integrated battery solution, as prices for storage devices are expected to decline. Strictly speaking, a solar array only encompasses the ensemble of Solar Panels, the visible part of the PV system, and does not include all the other hardware, often summarized as balance of system (BOS). Moreover, PV systems convert light directly into electricity and shouldn't be confused with other technologies, such as Concentrated Solar Power or Solar Thermal, used for heating and cooling. Electrical Knowledge.

When buying a Solar System it is extremely important to purchase and install a high quality solar system. There are many low quality solar systems on the market that are terribly inefficient and also fail after a couple of years, so please beware. Resources and Suppliers of Solar Energy.

Solar Calculator (how much sun do you get?) - Batteries (energy storage) - Series or Parallel - Heat (Solar Heat, Radiant and Thermal Energy).

Charge Controller limits the rate at which electric current is added to or drawn from electric batteries. It prevents overcharging and may protect against overvoltage, which can reduce battery performance or lifespan, and may pose a safety risk. It may also prevent completely draining ("deep discharging") a battery, or perform controlled discharges, depending on the battery technology, to protect battery life. The terms "charge controller" or "charge regulator" may refer to either a stand-alone device, or to control circuitry integrated within a battery pack, battery-powered device, or battery charger.

Maximum Power Point Tracking is a technique used commonly with wind turbines and photovoltaic (PV) solar systems to maximize power extraction under all conditions.

Solar Inverter is a type of electrical converter which converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network. It is a critical balance of system (BOS)–component in a photovoltaic system, allowing the use of ordinary AC-powered equipment. Solar power inverters have special functions adapted for use with photovoltaic arrays, including maximum power point tracking and anti-islanding protection. Power Inverter is an electronic device or circuitry that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). (pure sine wave inverter).

Grid-Tie Inverter is designed to take a DC supply (such as a solar panel) and feed power into an AC power grid. It matches the voltage, frequency and phase of the AC supply and only provides power if power is present on the utility connection. Regular Inverter just takes a DC supply and generates an independent AC supply, e.g. provides local AC power from a battery bank.

Hybrid Off-Grid Inverter combines both functions - it can power a live AC grid, selling power to the utility, but it can also charge a battery bank, and take power from the bank to generate AC, to provide local power during a utility outage and also to take advantage of variable tariffs.

Stand-Alone Power System is an off-the-grid electricity system for locations that are not fitted with an electricity distribution system. Typical SAPS include one or more methods of electricity generation, energy storage, and regulation.

Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Power System is an electricity generating solar PV power system that is connected to the utility grid. A grid-connected PV system consists of solar panels, one or several inverters, a power conditioning unit and grid connection equipment. They range from small residential and commercial rooftop systems to large utility-scale solar power stations. Unlike stand-alone power systems, a grid-connected system rarely includes an integrated battery solution, as they are still very expensive. When conditions are right, the grid-connected PV system supplies the excess power, beyond consumption by the connected load, to the utility grid.

Peer-to-Peer 'Free Trade' in Excess Energy. People who generate their own power through solar panels and wind turbines may soon be able to decide where to distribute their excess energy, rather than back to the national grid.

Battery Management System is any electronic system that manages a rechargeable battery (cell or battery pack), such as by protecting the battery from operating outside its safe operating area, monitoring its state, calculating secondary data, reporting that data, controlling its environment, authenticating it and / or balancing it. A battery pack built together with a battery management system with an external communication data bus is a smart battery pack. A smart battery pack must be charged by a smart battery charger.

Shunt is a device which creates a low-resistance path for electric current, to allow it to pass around another point in the circuit. The origin of the term is in the verb 'to shunt' meaning to turn away or follow a different path.

Soft Start Circuit prevents the sudden current flow in the circuit during the start. It slows down the rate of rising output voltage by minimizing the excess current flow during the start. It is useful to protect the devices or electronic components from the damage caused by instantaneous high input current.

Motor Soft Starter is a device used with AC electrical motors to temporarily reduce the load and torque in the powertrain and electric current surge of the motor during start-up. This reduces the mechanical stress on the motor and shaft, as well as the electrodynamic stresses on the attached power cables and electrical distribution network, extending the lifespan of the system.

Circuit Breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by excess current from an overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to interrupt current flow after a fault is detected. Unlike a fuse, which operates once and then must be replaced, a circuit breaker can be reset (either manually or automatically) to resume normal operation. Fuses and circuit breakers are designed to interrupt the power to a circuit when the current flow exceeds safe levels. Fuses contain a narrow strip of metal which is designed to melt (safely) when the current exceeds the rated value, thereby interrupting the power to the circuit.

Service Disconnect or Electrical Disconnects are switches that isolate all wiring in a home or other building from the source of power, typically the utility power service. This is the first disconnect device after the utility meter. This disconnect may be a special breaker switch housed in an exterior box enclosure, or it may simply be the main circuit breaker on the home's main service panel.

Disconnector or isolator switch is used to ensure that an electrical circuit is completely de-energized for service or maintenance. They are only used for breaking the circuit and are often found in electrical distribution and industrial applications, where machinery must have its source of driving power removed for adjustment or repair. Disconnectors can be manual or motor operated and may be paired with an earthing switch to ground the portion that has been isolated from the system for ensuring the safety of equipment and the personnel working on it.

Bypass Switch is a hardware device that provides a fail-safe access port for an in-line active security appliance such as an intrusion prevention system (IPS), next generation firewall (NGFW), etc. Active, in-line security appliances are single points of failure in live computer networks because if the appliance loses power, experiences a software failure, or is taken off-line for updates or upgrades, traffic can no longer flow through the critical link. The bypass switch or bypass tap removes this point of failure by automatically 'switching traffic via bypass mode' to keep the critical network link up. Bypass eliminates the need to upgrade the main service panel in solar energy system installations. The Bypass switch allows an inverter system to be “bypassed”, usually when there is a problem with the inverter.

Electrical Wiring is an electrical installation of cabling and associated devices such as switches, distribution boards, sockets and light fittings in a structure. Wiring is subject to safety standards for design and installation. Allowable wire and cable types and sizes are specified according to the circuit operating voltage and electric current capability, with further restrictions on the environmental conditions, such as ambient temperature range, moisture levels, and exposure to sunlight and chemicals.

Home Wiring including Electrical wiring for lighting and power distribution, permanently installed and portable appliances, telephone, heating or ventilation system control, and increasingly for home theatre and computer networks.

Electrical Enclosure is a cabinet for electrical or electronic equipment to mount switches, knobs and displays and to prevent electrical shock to equipment users and protect the contents from the environment. The enclosure is the only part of the equipment which is seen by users. It may be designed not only for its utilitarian requirements, but also to be pleasing to the eye. Regulations may dictate the features and performance of enclosures for electrical equipment in hazardous areas, such as petrochemical plants or coal mines. Electronic packaging may place many demands on an enclosure for heat dissipation, radio frequency interference and electrostatic discharge protection, as well as functional, esthetic and commercial constraints.

Cable Grommet is a tube or ring through which an electrical cable passes. They are usually made of rubber or metal. A grommet can be used in furniture to protect wires, cables or cords for computer equipment or other electronic equipment in homes or offices. At the same time, they are used decoratively to embellish the furniture and can be bought in a large variety of sizes, colors and finishes. The grommets usually consist of two pieces: A liner that goes into the hole of the furniture and a cap with a hole (often adjustable in size) for the cables to go through. When there is no need to use them they can be blanked either by turning one piece 90° against the other or by inserting an extra plastic piece designed to fit that purpose.

Cable Entry System are used for routing electrical cables, corrugated conduits or pneumatic and hydraulic hoses into switch cabinets, electrical enclosures, control panels and machines or in large heavy-duty vehicles, rolling stock and ships. Possible requirements can be high ingress protection rates or integrated strain relief.

Electrical Conduit is a tube used to protect and route electrical wiring in a building or structure. Electrical conduit may be made of metal, plastic, fiber, or fired clay. Most conduit is rigid, but flexible conduit is used for some purposes.

Cable Management refers to management of electrical or optical cable in a cabinet or an installation. The term is used for products, workmanship or planning. Cables can easily become tangled, making them difficult to work with, sometimes resulting in devices accidentally becoming unplugged as one attempts to move a cable. Such cases are known as "cable spaghetti", any kind of problem diagnosis and future updates to such enclosures could be very difficult.

Cable Harness is an assembly of electrical cables or wires which transmit signals or electrical power. The cables are bound together by straps, cable ties, cable lacing, sleeves, electrical tape, conduit, a weave of extruded string, or a combination thereof.


Solar Cells


Solar Cell is an electrical device that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect, which is a physical and chemical phenomenon. It is a form of photoelectric cell, defined as a device whose electrical characteristics, such as current, voltage, or resistance, vary when exposed to light. Individual solar cell devices can be combined to form modules, otherwise known as solar panels. In basic terms a single junction silicon solar cell can produce a maximum open-circuit voltage of approximately 0.5 to 0.6 volts. Solar cells are described as being photovoltaic, irrespective of whether the source is sunlight or an artificial light. They are used as a photodetector (for example infrared detectors), detecting light or other electromagnetic radiation near the visible range, or measuring light intensity. The operation of a photovoltaic (PV) cell requires three basic attributes: The absorption of light, generating either electron-hole pairs or excitons. The separation of charge carriers of opposite types. The separate extraction of those carriers to an external circuit. In contrast, a solar thermal collector supplies heat by absorbing sunlight, for the purpose of either direct heating or indirect electrical power generation from heat. A "photoelectrolytic cell" (photoelectrochemical cell), on the other hand, refers either to a type of photovoltaic cell (like that developed by Edmond Becquerel and modern dye-sensitized solar cells), or to a device that splits water directly into hydrogen and oxygen using only solar illumination.

Perovskite Solar Cell is a type of solar cell which includes a perovskite structured compound, most commonly a hybrid organic-inorganic lead or tin halide-based material, as the light-harvesting active layer. Perovskite materials such as methylammonium lead halides are cheap to produce and simple to manufacture. Solar cell efficiencies of devices using these materials have increased from 3.8% in 2009 to 22.1% in early 2016, making this the fastest-advancing solar technology to date. With the potential of achieving even higher efficiencies and the very low production costs, perovskite solar cells have become commercially attractive, with start-up companies already promising modules on the market by 2017.

Silicon-Perovskite Solar Cells achieve record Efficiency of 25.2%.

Six-junction solar cell sets two world records for efficiency of nearly 50%.

Perovskite solar cell design could outperform existing commercial technologies.

Perovskite is a calcium titanium oxide mineral composed of calcium titanate, with the chemical formula CaTiO3.

Perovskite Structure is any material with the same type of crystal structure as calcium titanium oxide (CaTiO3), known as the perovskite structure, or XIIA2+VIB4+X2−3 with the oxygen in the face centers. Perovskites take their name from the mineral, which was first discovered in the Ural mountains of Russia by Gustav Rose in 1839 and is named after Russian mineralogist L. A. Perovski (1792–1856).

Perovskite cells have a love-hate-relationship with the sun. The light they need to generate electricity, also impairs the quality of the cells, limiting efficiency and stability over time. Research now sheds new light on the causes of this degradation.

Perovskite and organic solar cells rocketed into space. The solar cells withstood the extreme conditions in space, producing power from direct sunlight and reflective light from the Earth's surface. The work sets the foundation for future near-Earth application as well as potential deep space missions.

First glimpse of polarons forming in a promising next-gen energy material. Polarons affect a material's behavior, and may even be the reason that solar cells made with lead hybrid perovskites achieve extraordinarily high efficiencies in the lab. Now scientists have used an X-ray free-electron laser to directly see and measure the formation of these ephemeral atomic lattice distortions for the first time. Polarons are fleeting distortions in a material's atomic lattice that form around a moving electron in a few trillionths of a second, then quickly disappear. As ephemeral as they are, they affect a material's behavior, and may even be the reason that solar cells made with lead hybrid perovskites achieve extraordinarily high efficiencies in the lab. Polaron is a quasiparticle used in condensed matter physics to understand the interactions between electrons and atoms in a solid material.

Printable solar cells just got a little closer.
Major advance in solar cells made from cheap, easy-to-use perovskite
Polaron Perovskite Solar Cell infrared radiation is converted into electrical energy.
The Power of Perovskite technology forecast to replace the classic photovoltaic cells.
Record stability for Perovskite Solar Cells, efficiency over 20%.
Double perovskites in environmentally friendly lead-free perovskites solar cells.

Multi-Junction Solar Cell are solar cells with multiple p–n junctions made of different semiconductor materials. Each material's p-n junction will produce electric current in response to different wavelengths of light. The use of multiple semiconducting materials allows the absorbance of a broader range of wavelengths, improving the cell's sunlight to electrical energy conversion efficiency. Traditional single-junction cells have a maximum theoretical efficiency of 33.16%. Theoretically, an infinite number of junctions would have a limiting efficiency of 86.8% under highly concentrated sunlight. Currently, the best lab examples of traditional crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells have efficiencies between 20% and 25%, while lab examples of multi-junction cells have demonstrated performance over 46% under Concentrated Sunlight. Commercial examples of tandem cells are widely available at 30% under one-sun illumination, and improve to around 40% under concentrated sunlight. However, this efficiency is gained at the cost of increased complexity and manufacturing price. To date, their higher price and higher price-to-performance ratio have limited their use to special roles, notably in aerospace where their high power-to-weight ratio is desirable. In terrestrial applications, these solar cells are emerging in concentrator photovoltaics (CPV), with a growing number of installations around the world. Tandem fabrication techniques have been used to improve the performance of existing designs. In particular, the technique can be applied to lower cost thin-film solar cells using amorphous silicon, as opposed to conventional crystalline silicon, to produce a cell with about 10% efficiency that is lightweight and flexible. This approach has been used by several commercial vendors, but these products are currently limited to certain niche roles, like roofing materials. Multijunction Photovoltaic Cell (wiki).

Fraunhofer Solar Panels 44.7% efficient - Sharp Solar Panels 37.9% efficient

P-n Junction is a boundary or interface between two types of semiconductor materials, p-type and n-type, inside a single crystal of semiconductor. The "p" (positive) side contains an excess of holes, while the "n" (negative) side contains an excess of electrons in the outer shells of the electrically neutral atoms there. This allows electrical current to pass through the junction only in one direction. The p-n junction is created by doping, for example by ion implantation, diffusion of dopants, or by epitaxy (growing a layer of crystal doped with one type of dopant on top of a layer of crystal doped with another type of dopant). If two separate pieces of material were used, this would introduce a grain boundary between the semiconductors that would severely inhibit its utility by scattering the electrons and holes. p–n junctions are elementary "building blocks" of semiconductor electronic devices such as diodes, transistors, solar cells, LEDs, and integrated circuits; they are the active sites where the electronic action of the device takes place. For example, a common type of transistor, the bipolar junction transistor, consists of two p–n junctions in series, in the form n–p–n or p–n–p; while a diode can be made from a single p-n junction. A Schottky junction is a special case of a p–n junction, where metal serves the role of the p-type semiconductor.

Cutting through noise for better Solar Cells. Physicists used cross-correlation noise spectroscopy to measure miniscule fluctuations in electrical current flowing between materials inside silicon solar cells. The researchers identified crucial electrical noise signals that are completely invisible to conventional noise-measuring methods. They were also able to pinpoint the likely physical processes causing the noise, which often results in a loss of energy and lower efficiency. The technique is an important new tool to improve material interfaces for a better solar cell. The study analyzed silicon heterojunction solar cells or HSCs, a high-end type of single-material solar cell and currently the most efficient of its kind on the market -- 26.7% of light that hits the cell is converted into electricity. In contrast, the cells that make up solar panels on a residential house range between 15% and 20% efficiency. In an HSC, electricity generation starts when individual particles of light called photons are absorbed by the photo-active layer made of crystalline silicon and creates pairs of negatively charged electrons and positively charged holes, which are charges caused by missing electrons. Electrons and holes are then pulled in opposite directions by an electrical field created by two selective contacts made of hydrogenated amorphous silicon modified with impurities. This process produces current that we use as electricity. The problem is that the selective electrode and photo-active silicon do not match together perfectly, creating defects that trap electrons. To eliminate these defects in research-grade solar cells like the ones in the study, the scientists place between them an ultrathin layer of pure amorphous silicon. Finally, all of these five layers are sandwiched between two layers of transparent conducting material, known as ITO, and gold electrodes. The efficiency of HSCs depends on how well the different layers are connected together. A slight mismatch between two layers can make it difficult for the electrons to get where they need to go -- a problem that will produce a noise signal.

Heterojunction Solar Cells are made of silicon wafers using passivated contacts for both polarities based on i/n and i/p stacks of thin-film silicon alloys, such as amorphous silicon (a-Si:H), nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) or silicon oxide (nc-SiOx:H).

Make a Solar Cell (youtube)

Flexo-Photovoltaic Effect squeeze more power out of solar cells by physically deforming each of the crystals in the semiconductors used by photovoltaic cells. Non-centrosymmetric structure. Thermodynamic limit of the power conversion efficiency, so-called Shockley-Queisser Limit, can be overcome.

Centrosymmetry. In crystallography, a point group which contains an inversion center as one of its symmetry elements is centrosymmetric. In such a point group, for every point (x, y, z) in the unit cell there is an indistinguishable point (-x, -y, -z). Such point groups are also said to have inversion symmetry. Point reflection is a similar term used in geometry. Crystals with an inversion center cannot display certain properties, such as the piezoelectric effect.

Researchers advance solar material production by developing a more efficient, safer, and cost-effective way to produce cadmium telluride (CdTe) material for solar cells or other applications.

Cadmium Telluride is a stable crystalline compound formed from cadmium and tellurium. It is mainly used as the semiconducting material in cadmium telluride photovoltaics and an infrared optical window. It is usually sandwiched with cadmium sulfide to form a p-n junction solar PV cell. Typically, CdTe PV cells use a n-i-p structure.

New ‘Double-Glazed’ solar power device using Gas rather than Vacuum to collect electricity. An international scientific collaboration has successfully integrated a sub-micron thin, nanophotonic silicon film into a crystalline solar cell for the first time. The addition of nanophotonic structures can strongly improve light absorption.

Third-Generation Photovoltaic Cell are solar cells that are potentially able to overcome the Shockley–Queisser limit of 31–41% power efficiency for single bandgap solar cells. This includes a range of alternatives to cells made of semiconducting p-n junctions ("first generation") and thin film cells ("second generation"). Common third-generation systems include multi-layer ("tandem") cells made of amorphous silicon or gallium arsenide, while more theoretical developments include frequency conversion, (IE changing the frequencies of light that the cell cannot use to light frequencies that the cell can use - thus producing more power), hot-carrier effects and other multiple-carrier ejection techniques. Emerging photovoltaics include: Copper zinc tin sulfide solar cell (CZTS), and derivates CZTSe and CZTSSe. Dye-sensitized solar cell, also known as "Grätzel cell". Organic solar cell. Perovskite solar cell. Polymer solar cell. Quantum dot solar cell. Especially the achievements in the research of perovskite cells have received tremendous attention in the public, as their research efficiencies recently soared above 20 percent. They also offer a wide spectrum of low-cost applications. In addition, another emerging technology, concentrator photovoltaics (CPV), uses high-efficient, multi-junction solar cells in combination with optical lenses and a tracking system.

Low-Cost Solar Power

Carbon Nanotubes in Photovoltaics Organic photovoltaic devices (OPVs) are fabricated from thin films of organic semiconductors, such as polymers and small-molecule compounds, and are typically on the order of 100 nm thick. Because polymer based OPVs can be made using a coating process such as spin coating or inkjet printing, they are an attractive option for inexpensively covering large areas as well as flexible plastic surfaces. A promising low cost alternative to conventional solar cells made of crystalline silicon, there is a large amount of research being dedicated throughout industry and academia towards developing OPVs and increasing their power conversion efficiency.

Nanocrystal Solar Cell are solar cells based on a substrate with a coating of nano-crystals. The nanocrystals are typically based on silicon, CdTe or CIGS and the substrates are generally silicon or various organic conductors. Quantum dot solar cells are a variant of this approach, but take advantage of quantum mechanical effects to extract further performance. Dye-sensitized solar cells are another related approach, but in this case the nano-structuring is part of the substrate.

NREL, University of Washington Scientists Elevate Quantum Dot Solar Cell World Record to 13.4 Percent

Photonic Crystal is a periodic optical nanostructure that affects the motion of photons in much the same way that ionic lattices affect electrons in solids. Photonic crystals occur in nature in the form of structural coloration—and, in different forms, promise to be useful in a range of applications.

Mono vs Poly vs Flexible Solar Panel + Series vs Parallel Wiring (youtube) - Wiring

Monocrystalline Silicon is the base material for silicon chips used in virtually all electronic equipment today. Mono-Si also serves as a photovoltaic, light-absorbing material in the manufacture of solar cells. (higher quality, more efficient).

Polycrystalline Silicon is a high purity, polycrystalline form of silicon, used as a raw material by the solar photovoltaic and electronics industry.

Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene is a fluorine-based plastic. It was designed to have high corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature range. ETFE is a polymer and its source-based name is poly(ethene-co-tetrafluoroethene). ETFE has a relatively high melting temperature, excellent chemical, electrical and high-energy radiation resistance properties. When burned, ETFE releases hydrofluoric acid.

Ultra-broadband light trapping using nanotextured decoupled graphene multilayers optoelectronics, and spectroscopy Ultrasensitive optical absorption in graphene based on bound states in the continuum Graphene-based material that traps electromagnetic waves, produce energy from not just sunlight, but any device that emits microwave or radio waves. Convert electromagnetism into usable electricity.

Highly efficient wet-processed solar cells with molecules in the same orientation. Researchers document a new method for controlling the orientation of conducting molecules in organic solar cells that results in the enhanced light adsorption and performance of the cells.

Solar Cell Efficiency by UNSW

Solar panels for yeast cell biofactories. Scientists presents a highly adaptable solution to creating yeast biohybrids with enhanced metabolism driven by light energy.

Chemists manipulate the quantum states of gold nanoclusters. Researchers have found a way to control the lifetime of the quantum states of gold nanoclusters by three orders of magnitude, which could lead to improvements in solar cell and photocatalysis technologies.

Caffeine gives Solar Cells an Energy Boost. Caffeine in coffee is an alkaloid compound containing molecular structures that
could interact with the precursors of perovskite materials -- compounds with a particular crystal structure that form the light-harvesting layer in a class of solar cells.

Nontoxic Solar Cells. Engineers discover lead-free perovskite semiconductor for solar cells using data analytics, supercomputers. A team of engineers at Washington University in St. Louis has found what they believe is a more stable, less toxic semiconductor for solar applications using a novel double perovskite oxide discovered through data analytics and quantum-mechanical calculations. New semiconductor made up of potassium, barium, tellurium, bismuth and oxygen (KBaTeBiO6). The lead-free double perovskite oxide was one of an initial 30,000 potential bismuth-based oxides. Of those 30,000, only about 25 were known compounds. Solar panel installations are on the rise in the U.S., with more than 2 million new installations in early 2019.

Discovery unlocks 'hot' electrons for more efficient energy use. Highly energetic, "hot" electrons have the potential to help solar panels more efficiently harvest light energy. But up until now, scientists haven't been able to measure the energies of those electrons, limiting their use. Researchers have now demonstrated how a technique using a scanning tunneling microscope integrated with lasers and other optical components reveals the energy distribution of hot electrons.

Bending an organic semiconductor can boost electrical flow. Slightly bending semiconductors made of organic materials can roughly double the speed of electricity flowing through them and could benefit next-generation electronics such as sensors and solar cells, according to new research.

Strain Engineering refers to a general strategy employed in semiconductor manufacturing to enhance device performance. Performance benefits are achieved by modulating strain in the transistor channel, which enhances electron mobility (or hole mobility) and thereby conductivity through the channel.

Agrivoltaic is co-developing the same area of land for both solar photovoltaic power as well as for agriculture. The coexistence of solar panels and crops implies a sharing of light between these two types of production. This technique was originally conceived by Adolf Goetzberger and Armin Zastrow in 1981. The word 'agrivoltaic' was coined in 2011. The solar panels of agrivoltaics remove light and space from the crops, but they also affect crops and land they cover in more ways. Two possible effects are water and heat. In experiments testing evaporation levels under solar panels for shade resistant crops cucumbers and lettuce watered by irrigation in a California desert, a 14-29% savings in evaporation was found. Agrivoltaics could be used for crops or areas where water efficiency is imperative. A study was done on the heat of the land, air and crops under solar panels for a growing season. It was found that while the air beneath the panels stayed consistent, the land and plants had lower temperatures recorded.

Light Saturation Point. More light generally equates to higher levels of photosynthesis. However as the light intensity increases, the photosynthetic rate eventually reaches a maximum point. This point where the light intensity does not increase the photosynthesis rate is called the light saturation point.



Calculate How Many Solar Panels you Need


Sun Hours Chart of U.S. Take your 1,000 kWh/mo and divide that by 30 to get your kWh/day. 1,000 / 30 = 33.3 kWh/day. Then you divide this by the number of solar hours per day your area gets. Let's say 5. 33.3 / 5 = 6.67 kW. Last you need to adjust for real world inefficiencies. A good rule of thumb is to suppose approximately 75% - 80% inefficiencies. So increase your system a little. 6.67 kW / 0.75 = 8.9 kW.

Solar Time (Solar Hours) s a calculation of the passage of time based on the Sun's position in the sky. The fundamental unit of solar time is the day. Two types of solar time are apparent solar time (sundial time) and mean solar time (clock time).
Solar Estimate

Sunshine Recorder

Net Metering allows consumers who generate some or all of their own electricity to use that electricity anytime, instead of when it is generated. This is particularly important with wind and solar, which are non-dispatchable. Monthly net metering allows consumers to use solar power generated during the day at night, or wind from a windy day later in the month. Annual net metering rolls over a net kilowatt credit to the following month, allowing solar power that was generated in July to be used in December, or wind power from March in August.

Average Solar Panel Size is 18 Square Feet, or a little less than 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 Feet.
Depending on the quality of the solar panel, A 20kW Solar Kit requires up to 1,400 square feet of space, assuming at least 5 sun hours per day, and knowing that only 78% of the solar system’s rated power is actually delivered to the source. First you find out how many sun hours you have on the average where you live, and then you have measured how much energy you need to run the necessary energy efficient appliances that you have, like a refrigerator, water heater, stove, computers, and lights. Then you can calculate how many solar panels you need to install based on your energy needs and the average sunlight you receive in a day, the size and efficiency of the solar panels will vary depending on the manufacturer.

Lighting the path to renewable energy with new method for studying solar power. Scientists use a quantity called the power spectrum to study fluctuations in solar photovoltaic power output – the energy that is generated when sunlight is converted to electricity. Scientists can use the power spectrum to quantify the magnitude of fluctuations in the power generated by individual solar plants across the planet. However, there is no standard against which to compare these distinct values across plants because the readings vary based on features like cloud coverage and dust in the air.


Solar Calculations


Annual U.S. Solar PV Installations from 2000-2014 A megawatt (MW, one million watts) is a unit of electric capacity or electric load. A MW is equal to 1,000 kilowatts. A megawatt of solar capacity is typically enough to power 200 average U.S. homes. One kilowatt-hour is 3.6 megajoules.

Calculator - Calculator

Net Metering State

In 2010, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 11,496 kWh a year, an average of 958 Kilowatt Hours (kWh) per month. Tennessee had the highest annual consumption - 16,716 kWh. 
New Jersey. Maine is the lowest at 6,252 kWh. 

Cost of electricity by source (wiki) - Web Math.

Solar panels on a rooftop in cool, foggy San Francisco produce only one percent less electricity than one in nearby Sacramento, where it’s sunny and hot. Solar Myths.

2,500 square-foot home with 32 solar panels installed on the roof will generate around 11.5 kilowatts of electricity.

Community Energy tell your electrical power supplier that you want your electricity from renewable sources. Web Enrollment.

Despite strong support for renewable-energy development at the state and local levels, many consumers still face local ordinances or homeowner association rules that prohibit, restrict or drastically increase the cost of installing a solar-energy system. Meanwhile, owners of existing systems face potential challenges when trees or new structures on neighboring properties shade their systems. Solar access laws, which may be implemented at both the state and local levels, are designed to protect a consumer’s right to install and operate a solar-energy system on a home or business, and to maintain access to sunlight.

Solar Policy Guide
Rules prevent solar panels in many states with abundant sunlight
Solar Access Law in the United States

Solar Easement is a right, expressed as an easement, restriction, covenant, or condition contained in any deed, contract, or other written instrument executed by or on behalf of any landowner for the purpose of assuring adequate access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems.

Solar Access is the ability of one property to continue to receive sunlight across property lines without obstruction from another’s property (buildings, foliage or other impediment). Solar access is calculated using a sun path diagram. Sun is the source of our vision and energy. Its movements inform our perception of time and space. Access to sun is essential to energy conservation and to the quality of our lives. Solar access is differentiated from solar rights or solar easement, which is specifically meant for direct sunlight for solar energy systems, whereas solar access is a right to sunlight upon certain building façades regardless of the presence of active or passive solar energy systems.

Grid Parity occurs when an alternative energy source can generate power at a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) that is less than or equal to the price of purchasing power from the electricity grid. The term is most commonly used when discussing renewable energy sources, notably solar power and wind power. Grid parity depends upon whether you are calculating from the point of view of a utility or of a retail consumer.

But of course we have to use energy wisely without waste and abuse. When they say that a solar farm will produce enough energy for 250,00 homes, that is an incomplete sentence of little meaning. What kind of homes are you talking about? Do the people living in these homes understand energy usage? How much energy does a home really need without being wasteful? How much corruption, waste and abuse was used in making this solar farm?

Insolation is the power per unit area received from the Sun in the form of electromagnetic radiation in the wavelength range of the measuring instrument. Irradiance may be measured in space or at the Earth's surface after atmospheric absorption and scattering. It is measured perpendicular to the incoming sunlight. Total solar irradiance (TSI), is a measure of the solar power over all wavelengths per unit area incident on the Earth's upper atmosphere. The solar constant is a conventional measure of mean TSI at a distance of one astronomical Unit (AU). Irradiance is a function of distance from the Sun, the solar cycle, and cross-cycle changes. Irradiance on Earth is also measured perpendicular to the incoming sunlight. Insolation is the power received on Earth per unit area on a horizontal surface. It depends on the height of the Sun above the horizon.

Sunshine Duration is a climatological indicator, measuring duration of sunshine in given period (usually, a day or a year) for a given location on Earth, typically expressed as an averaged value over several years. It is a general indicator of cloudiness of a location, and thus differs from insolation, which measures the total energy delivered by sunlight over a given period. Sunshine duration is usually expressed in hours per year, or in (average) hours per day. The first measure indicates the general sunniness of a location compared with other places, while the latter allows for comparison of sunshine in various seasons in the same location. Another often-used measure is percentage ratio of recorded bright sunshine duration and daylight duration in the observed period. An important use of sunshine duration data is to characterize the climate of sites, especially of health resorts. This also takes into account the psychological effect of strong solar light on human well-being. It is often used to promote tourist destinations. Sun Hours Per Day.

http://www.energymatters.com.au/images/misc/zero-solar-bill.gif My Energy Use: In my current situation I use about 9 kwh's of energy a day just for myself, that's around 275 kwh's a month on average. I use energy for an electric stove for 2 meals a day, toaster 2 times a day, Single Cup Coffee maker 3 times a day, 2 monitors with 2 computers on 12 hours a day, router and telephone, refrigerator, hot water heater, microwave oven 2 times day, radio, clock, and having 2 LED lights on for about 14 hours a day. (1,000 square foot apartment) I'm paying around 7 cents per kilowatt-hour. $1.68 a day, with taxes and fees, around $65.00 a month. Most of my appliances are not energy efficient appliances. So I could be using even less energy.

A 4 kilowatts Solar Panel System produces 4,000 watts of DC direct current power. That's 300 to 750 kilowatt hours (kWh) of alternating current (AC) power per month, which could be plenty of energy for 2 people. A 4-kW Solar Kit requires up to 300 square feet of space and at least 5 sun hours per day for 16 panels of high performance 60-cell polycrystalline PV modules. One solar panel is 65 inches by 39 inches. You have an average 12 year lifespan for the inverter, and about a 50 year lifespan for the Solar Panels, which will still be 75 % effective after 50 years. The Solar Kit system whole system is almost 100% recyclable, and easily upgradable. The average price for a 4kW Solar Kit is around $7,000.00 without installation. A 14 kWh Tesla Powerwall Battery Pack cost $6,500 with installation and supporting hardware. So a complete system is around $14,000.00, which is like buying all your energy needs for the next 25 years, for less then half the price. For a Free Quote contact Solar City. And if I can sell my extra energy back to the grid, then it would take me around 12 years to pay off a $14,000.00 complete system. Eversource in Ct. will pay you once a year at 3.4 cents per kwh for energy given back to the grid, which could make the whole system pratically free, especially when you're not producing any more CO2, or creating more pollution, or wasting valuable time, energy, resources and people. And you will not have to be dependent anymore. And you're also creating jobs in America. The main goal is to give everyone 0% interest loans, because this is an investment in our future. Governments need to secure zero interest loans and stop trying to profit from good decisions, like they did with school loans. This way the cost of a solar panel system will not exceeded someone's current energy bill. Thus the major incentives would be uninterrupted power, zero pollution and reduced CO2 contamination. No cost upfront. And in about 15 years after the loan has been paid, people will never have another energy bill again. The Future looks bright, very bright.

I would have a Smart Home setup to have total control over energy use and also monitor everything in the home.

16 W bulb (on 10 hours) – 4.8 kWh/month (57.6 kWh/year) LED's would use less energy
100 W bulb (on 10 hours) – 30 kWh/month (360 kWh/year) LED's would use less energy
Refrigerator – 36.7 kWh/month (440 kWh/year) There are more efficient ones
Dishwasher – 41 kWh/month (492 kWh/year) There are more efficient ones
Clothes Washer – 24.9 kWh/month (299 kWh/year) There are more efficient ones
Electric Clothes Dryer – 74.7 kWh/month (896 kWh/year) There are more efficient ones
Stove & Oven (self-cleaning) – 61.25 kWh/month (735 kWh/year) There are more efficient ones

Kilowatt Hour is a unit of energy equivalent to one kilowatt (1 kW) of power sustained for one hour.
Kilowatt Hours (kWh) is a derived unit of energy equal to 3.6 megajoules. If the energy is being transmitted or used at a constant rate (power) over a period of time, the total energy in kilowatt-hours is the power in kilowatts multiplied by the time in hours. The kilowatt-hour is commonly used as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities.

Watt Hour is a measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of one watt for one hour.
1 watt hour = 0.001 Kilowatt Hour
A 300-Watt item used for 5 minutes per day will consume 25-Watt Hours per day.

Plasma TV uses 330 watts / LCD TV uses 213 watts - LCD Monitor 80-150 watts
Laptop 60-250 watts - Laptop Computer 40-120 / Microwave 500-1500 watts / Toaster 1,100 watts
15 cu. ft. Chest freezer uses 1080 watt-hours /day
20 cu. ft. Refrigerator (AC) uses 1411 watt-hours/day

In 2006, the average install cost for a Solar Panel was about $14 a watt. As of 2012 it's about $4 a watt. In 2006, about 30,000 U.S. households had solar panels. This number jumped to 400,000 in 2013. Solar Energy is only .05 percent of the country's total energy.  Average Solar Panel Size is 18 Square Feet, or a little less than 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 Feet.

A Gigawatt of power provides enough energy for about 700,000 homes. Efficiency.

The average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 11,496 kWh a year, an average of 958 Kilowatt Hours (kWh) per month. A 100-Watt bulb burning for 10 hours uses 1 kilowatt hour. People in the U.S. pay about 12 cents per kilowatt-hour on average.

Renewable Energy Statistics

Info-Graph below provided by Land Art Generator

Solar Power Land Use Needed worldwide Using only solar panels, the world needs approximately 191,817 square miles of land, or about the area of Spain, to power the planet. (The Sahara Desert is 3.5 million square miles List of Deserts by Area)  The Average household uses approximately 18,000 kWh per year, which doesn't mean that's how much electricity people need, or, how much more energy efficient appliances can be. So the average household might need around 42 solar panels, but that all depends on the quality and the size of the solar panel, because they are getting smaller and they are getting more efficient as more advancements are made.

Many people wonder if solar panels are worth the investment, of course they are. They actually start paying for themselves immediately. Once you correctly calculate the current cost for your energy, whether it's oil, natural gas or coal. And once you correctly calculate all the side effects from your current energy supplier, like pollution, poison, CO2 emissions, waste, time, people, resources and so on, you can easily see in a side by side comparison that Solar panels are the best investment for you and the planet. Think about all the mining of coal, then the processing, then building of power stations, then building power lines, and then the millions of people who have to manage and maintain the infrastructure, which creates even more waste, more pollution, more wasted time and so on. So you can easily see that solar energy is the least expensive energy provider that we have so far, and also has the least amount of pollution, and you don't need all that wasted infrastructure that you are currently dependent on. Freedom.

Solar energy helped avoid between 3,000 and 12,700 premature deaths in the US between 2007 and 2015. Fossil fuels produce large amounts of pollutants like carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, which are responsible for ill-health and negative climate effects. The researchers found that the US saved between $35 billion and $220 billion in that period because of avoided deaths, fewer sick days, and climate-change mitigation.

Solar Power by Country (wiki)
Photovoltaics Companies (wiki)
List of largest Power Stations in the World (wiki)
Renewable Energy Milestones

In 2013 there was a 47 percent jump in the number of home solar installations in the U.S., and by the end of the year more than 400,000 American homes had solar power.

Solar Market Report 2014

Most solar panels are certified to withstand winds of up to 2,400 pascals, equivalent to approximately 140 mile-per-hour (MPH) winds. Additionally, the typical aluminum and glass casings that hold solar cells and constitute a solar panel are highly waterproof, even during extreme rain. Typically tested by manufacturers to ensure that they can survive hurricanes.


Portable Solar Energy - Backup Battery Power


Portable Solar EnergyEmergency Power System is an independent source of electrical power that supports important electrical systems on loss of normal power supply. A standby power system may include a standby generator, batteries and other apparatus. Emergency power systems are installed to protect life and property from the consequences of loss of primary electric power supply. It is a type of continual power system.

Uninterruptible Power Supply is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source or mains power fails. A UPS differs from an auxiliary or emergency power system or standby generator in that it will provide near-instantaneous protection from input power interruptions, by supplying energy stored in batteries, supercapacitors, or flywheels. The on-battery run-time of most uninterruptible power sources is relatively short (only a few minutes) but sufficient to start a standby power source or properly shut down the protected equipment. It is a type of continual power system.

Backup Battery provides power to a system when the primary source of power is unavailable. Backup batteries range from small single cells to retain clock time and date in computers, up to large battery room facilities that power uninterruptible power supply systems for large data centers. Small backup batteries may be primary cells; rechargeable backup batteries are kept charged by the prime power supply.

Portable Solar Power
Portable Solar Power
Solar Paper, thin, light solar charger
The Kodiak - Solar System In A Box
Omnicharge: Portable Power Bank
Kalipak Portable Solar Power System
Solarbook
Legion Solar 2 - Energy Made Simple

PocketPower solar charger fits in your pocket.

Micro-Scale Bio-Solar Cell that generates a higher power density for longer than any existing cell of its kind. A microfluidic lab-on-a-chip system that generates its own power is essential for stand-alone, independent, self-sustainable point-of-care diagnostic devices to work in limited-resource and remote regions. Miniaturized biological solar cells (or micro-BSCs) can be the most suitable power source for those applications because the technique resembles the earth’s natural ecosystem. Micro-BSCs can continuously generate electricity from microbial photosynthetic and respiratory activities over day-night cycles, offering a clean and renewable power source with self-sustaining potential.

Yolk Station efficient small solar panel can charge your smartphone in about 2.5 hours on a sunny day. That’s about the same as a wall charger.

Kogalla Solar Storage Bank is the first portable solar array with integrated storage. Powerful, lightweight and compact.

SOLARTAB C - The World's Quickest Solar Charger with the most versatile and efficient solar charger ever, USB-C or USB.

SunRaiden Solar Inverter Charger - Kickstarter.

EF ECOFLOW River 370 Portable Power Station, 370Wh Solar Generator 500W Backup Power Supply with 110V/300W AC Outlets, DC Outputs and USB PD Ports for CPAP Outdoor Camping Emergency.

RIVER: Your Mobile Power Station & Solar Generator. Smartest Portable Power for All Devices. Holds Charge 1 Year. (2) AC, (4) USB Fast-Charge, & more.

PLUG - Battery Pack is a High capacity battery pack with two AC wall outlets and solar charging. 40% OFF MSRP through 9.21.

Kalisaya Power - SunnyBAG LEAF+ 6 Watt flexible solar system with less than 200 grams + 6000mAh power bank.

PowerPlant: Electricity-on-demand, wherever you go.

Generators
Portable Solar Power
Mophie Cellphone Charging
Solar Backup Generator Plug N Play Kit
Solman Solar Products
RV Solar Shop
Solar Station
100W Starter Solar Panel Kit (amazon)
Solar e Cube 1500 (amazon)
mPower Solar Generator
LightSaver Max: Powerfilm

Sunport uses real solar energy from certified solar farms.

Charging Tools - Batteries (all about batteries)

Portable Smartflower' Petals-Shaped Solar Panel Array Follows The Sun - Austrian Company GmbH.

DIY Inergy Kodiak Solar Generator (youtube) - Parts list: Case, Power Meter, Inverter, PureSine, Version, 30A plug, 15A plugs x2, Solar socket, Batt socket, Grey plug, Charger Lipo Cells, Cable xt60 pigtails x2, Power Socket, 24v relays, Kapton Tape, Hole Punch, Eyelet set kit x2 (TOTAL 817.52).


Solar Power Generator


Solar Power Generator Using parts easily available from your local stores, you can make a small solar power generator for $250 to $300. Great for power failures and life outside the power grid. Power your computer, modem, vcr, tv, cameras, lights, or DC appliances anywhere you go. Use in cabins, boats, tents, archaeological digs, or while travelling throughout the third world. Have one in the office store room in case of power failures in your high-rise. I keep mine in my bedroom where it powers my CD player, turntable, lights, modem, laptop, and (ahem) a back massager. I run a line out the window to an 8" x 24" panel on the roof. Living Off The Grid With NO POWER BILL EVER (youtube).

1. Buy yourself a small solar panel. For about $100 you should be able to get one rated at 12 volts or better (look for 16 volts) at an RV or marine supplies store.

2. Buy yourself a Battery. Get any size deep cycle 12 volt lead/acid battery. You need the deep cycle battery for continuous use. The kind in your car is a cranking battery--just for starting an engine. Look for bargains, it should cost about $50-60.

3. Get a battery box to put it in for $10. (This is good for covering up the exposed terminals in case there are children about If you going to install the system in a pump shed, cabin, or boat, skip this.)

3. Buy a 12 volt DC meter. Radio Shack has them for about $25.

4. Buy a DC input. I like the triple inlet model which you can find at a car parts store in the cigarette lighter parts section for about $10. This is enough to power DC appliances, and there are many commercially available, like fans, one-pint water boilers, lights, hair dryers, baby bottle warmers, and vacuum cleaners. Many cassette players, answering machines, and other electrical appliances are DC already and with the right cable will run straight off the box.

5. But if you want to run AC appliances, you will have to invest in an inverter. This will convert the stored DC power in the battery into AC power for most of your household appliances. I bought a 115 volt 140 watt inverter made by Power-to-Go at Pep Boys for $50. More powerful inverters are available by mail. Count up the number of watts you'll be using (e.g., a small color television(=60 watts) with a VCR(=22 watts), you'll need 82 watts).

6. Use a drill to attach the meter and DC input to the top of the box.

7. Use insulated wire to attach the meter to the wingnut terminals on the battery. Connect the negative (-) pole first. Only handle one wire at a time. Connect the DC inlet to the battery in the same way. Connect the solar panel to the battery in the same way.

8. Close the lid (I use a bungee cord to keep it tight). Put the solar panel in the sun. It takes 5-8 hours to charge a dead battery; 1-3 hours to top off a weak one. It will run radios, fans, and small wattage lights all night, or give you about 5 hours of continuous use at 115 volt AC, or about an hour boiling water. This system may be added on to with larger panels, inverters, and batteries.



Organic Solar Power


Bacteria Solar Harvesting Organic Solar Cell is a type of photovoltaic that uses organic electronics, a branch of electronics that deals with conductive organic polymers or small organic molecules, for light absorption and charge transport to produce electricity from sunlight by the photovoltaic effect. An example of an organic photovoltaic is the polymer solar cell. Organic solar cells can be flexible, transparent, and light-weight, and can be manufactured in arbitrary shapes or colors. Full Sectrum.

Organic Solar Cell Consortium
Transparent Photovoltaic

Luminescent Solar Concentrator (wiki)
Wysips Clear Solar Cell Display

Organic Solar Cells reach Record Efficiency, Benchmark for Commercialization.

High-Performance Non-Fullerene Organic Solar Cells. New method that can solve issues associated with the thickness of the photoactive layers in OSCs. Non-fullerene polymer solar cells exhibit high performance and are easy to commercialize.

Food Additive Key to Environmentally Friendly, Efficient, Plastic Solar Cells Plastic solar cells, or organic photovoltaics are popular because they are lightweight, flexible, transparent and inexpensive to manufacture, making them useful in multiple applications. o-methylanisole (o-MA) as the solvent. O-MA is a commonly used flavoring agent in foods, and is nontoxic to humans. Researchers from North Carolina State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have created an efficient, semi-printed plastic solar cell without the use of environmentally hazardous halogen solvents. These solar cells can be manufactured at room temperature, which has implications for large-scale commercial production.

Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Perovskite Solar Cells (PSCs) sets a new world-record efficiency performance of 22.1 % in small cells and 19.7 percent in 1-square-centimeter cells.

Dual-Layer Solar Cell sets record for efficiently generating power. A perovskite-CIGS solar cell developed by UCLA Samueli researchers converts 22.4 percent of incoming energy from the sun, a record for this type of cell.

Biological Material Boosts Solar Cell Performance. Next-generation solar cells that mimic photosynthesis with biological material may give new meaning to the term 'green technology.' Adding the protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR) to perovskite solar cells boosted the efficiency of the devices in a series of laboratory tests, according to an international team of researchers. The most efficient perovskite solar cells can convert 22 to 23 percent of sunlight to electricity. The researchers found that adding the bR protein to perovskite solar cells improved the devices' efficiency from 14.5 to 17 percent.

Watching Atoms Move in Hybrid Perovskite Crystals Reveals Clues to Improving Solar Cells

Spectrum (electromagnetic)

Ames Laboratory scientists are able to “see” light-to-energy transfer in new solar cell materials

Materials International Space Station Experiment is a series of experiments mounted externally on the International Space Station (ISS) that investigates the effects of long-term exposure of materials to the harsh space environment. NASA.

Space-Based Solar Power is the concept of collecting solar power in outer space and distributing it to Earth.

New blended solar cells yield high power conversion efficiencies. Researchers have blended together various polymer and molecular semiconductors as photo-absorbers to create a solar cell with increased power efficiencies and electricity generation. These types of solar cells, known as organic photovoltaics (OPV), are devices that generate electricity when light is incident upon their photo-absorbers. The efficiency of a solar cell is determined by comparing how much electricity is generated to how much light is incident upon the cell. This is referred to as "photon harvest," or how many particles of light are converted into electrical current. The more efficient the solar cell, the more cost effective and pragmatic the cell is for commercial use.



Photosynthesis


Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy that can later be released to fuel the organisms' activities (energy transformation). This chemical energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules, such as sugars, which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water in most cases, Oxygen is also released as a waste product. Most plants, most Algae and Cyanobacteria perform photosynthesis; such organisms are called photoautotrophs. Photosynthesis is largely responsible for producing and maintaining the oxygen content of the Earth's atmosphere, and supplies all of the organic compounds and most of the energy necessary for life on Earth. (Splits a water molecule into Hydrogen and Oxygen - Fusion) - Photosynthetic Water Splitting - In photosynthesis, water splitting donates electrons to the electron transport chain in photosystem II, which is the first protein complex in the light-dependent reactions of oxygenic photosynthesis. It is located in the thylakoid membrane of plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. Within the photosystem, enzymes capture photons of light to energize electrons that are then transferred through a variety of coenzymes and cofactors to reduce plastoquinone to plastoquinol. The energized electrons are replaced by oxidizing water to form hydrogen ions and molecular oxygen. By replenishing lost electrons with electrons from the splitting of water, photosystem II provides the electrons for all of photosynthesis to occur. The hydrogen ions (protons) generated by the oxidation of water help to create a proton gradient that is used by ATP synthase to generate ATP. The energized electrons transferred to plastoquinone are ultimately used to reduce NADP+ to NADPH or are used in cyclic photophosphorylation. Plants carry out photosynthesis by converting photons of light striking their chromophores into another form of energy known as an exciton. An exciton is an energetic state of a molecule, or closely coupled group of molecules after they are excited by light absorption. A bound state of an electron and an electron hole which are attracted to each other by the electrostatic Coulomb force. (A photon takes all possible paths simultaneously). 1 mole of photon = 1 gram of biomass or 0.5 gram of yield. Full Spectrum Solar Cells - Carbon Capture.

Photosynthesis Info-Graph (image) - What Is Photosynthesis? (youtube)

Photocatalysis is the acceleration of a photoreaction in the presence of a catalyst. In catalysed photolysis, light is absorbed by an adsorbed substrate. In photogenerated catalysis, the photocatalytic activity (PCA) depends on the ability of the catalyst to create electron–hole pairs, which generate free radicals (e.g. hydroxyl radicals: •OH) able to undergo secondary reactions. Its practical application was made possible by the discovery of water electrolysis by means of titanium dioxide.

Phototransistor is a device that is able to sense light levels and alter the current flowing between emitter and collector according to the level of light it receives.

Phototropism is the growth of an organism in response to a light stimulus. Phototropism is most often observed in plants, but can also occur in other organisms such as fungi. The cells on the plant that are farthest from the light have a chemical called auxin that reacts when phototropism occurs. This causes the plant to have elongated cells on the furthest side from the light. Phototropism is one of the many plant tropisms or movements which respond to external stimuli. Growth towards a light source is called positive phototropism, while growth away from light is called negative phototropism (skototropism). Most plant shoots exhibit positive phototropism, and rearrange their chloroplasts in the leaves to maximize photosynthetic energy and promote growth. Some vine shoot tips exhibit negative phototropism, which allows them to grow towards dark, solid objects and climb them. The combination of phototropism and gravitropism allow plants to grow in the correct direction. Hibernation.

Photodiode is a semiconductor device that converts light into an electrical current. The current is generated when photons are absorbed in the photodiode. Photodiodes may contain optical filters, built-in lenses, and may have large or small surface areas. Photodiodes usually have a slower response time as their surface area increases. The common, traditional solar cell used to generate electric solar power is a large area photodiode.

Photodissociation is a chemical reaction in which a chemical compound is broken down by photons. It is defined as the interaction of one or more photons with one target molecule. Photodissociation is not limited to visible light. Any photon with sufficient energy can affect the chemical bonds of a chemical compound. Since a photon's energy is inversely proportional to its wavelength, electromagnetic waves with the energy of visible light or higher, such as ultraviolet light, x-rays and gamma rays are usually involved in such reactions.

Photochemistry is the branch of chemistry concerned with the chemical effects of light. Generally, this term is used to describe a chemical reaction caused by absorption of ultraviolet (wavelength from 100 to 400 nm), visible light (400–750 nm) or infrared radiation (750–2500 nm).

Photo-Respiration refers to a process in plant metabolism where the enzyme RuBisCO oxygenates RuBP, causing some of the energy produced by photosynthesis to be wasted. The desired reaction is the addition of carbon dioxide to RuBP (carboxylation), a key step in the Calvin–Benson cycle, however approximately 25% of reactions by RuBisCO instead add oxygen to RuBP (oxygenation), creating a product that cannot be used within the Calvin–Benson cycle. This process reduces the efficiency of photosynthesis, potentially reducing photosynthetic output by 25% in C3 plants. Photorespiration involves a complex network of enzyme reactions that exchange metabolites between chloroplasts, leaf peroxisomes and mitochondria. The oxygenation reaction of RuBisCO is a wasteful process because 3-phosphoglycerate is created at a reduced rate and higher metabolic cost compared with RuBP carboxylase activity. While photorespiratory carbon cycling results in the formation of G3P eventually, there is still a net loss of carbon (around 25% of carbon fixed by photosynthesis is re-released as CO2) and nitrogen, as ammonia. Ammonia must be detoxified at a substantial cost to the cell. Photorespiration also incurs a direct cost of one ATP and one NAD(P)H. While it is common to refer to the entire process as photorespiration, technically the term refers only to the metabolic network which acts to rescue the products of the oxygenation reaction (phosphoglycolate).

Scientists Boost Crop Production by 47% by Speeding up Photorespiration. Undergrad-led study suggests environment modifications could maximize productivity.

Photosynthetic hacks can boost crop yield, conserve water. Scientists have resolved two major photosynthetic bottlenecks to boost plant productivity by 27 percent in real-world field conditions, according to a new study. This photosynthetic hack has also been shown to conserve water.

Photosynthetic Efficiency is the fraction of light energy converted into chemical energy during photosynthesis in plants and algae.

The ability to model and build molecular circuits for gathering light energy and moving it around in a controlled fashion, opens the door for the design and development of a variety of nano-scale devices that are powered and controlled by light. The effectiveness of biological systems and nanomachines in capturing light and transporting energy is owing to the highly ordered nanoscale architecture of photoactive molecules. Li-Fi.

New Light on Photosynthesis (ASU)

X-Rays Captures Images of Photosynthesis in Action.

Study sheds X-Ray Light on mysteries of Photosynthesis.

C4 Photosynthesis. Most plants use C3 photosynthesis, which is more common but not as efficient as C4. The researchers uncovered clues as to how C4 crops are able to express key enzymes in specialized cells that increase photosynthetic efficiency.

C3 Carbon Fixation is the most common of three metabolic pathways for carbon fixation in photosynthesis, along with C4 and CAM. This process converts carbon dioxide and ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP, a 5-carbon sugar) into two molecules of 3-phosphoglycerate through the following reaction: CO2 + H2O + RuBP → (2) 3-phosphoglycerate. This reaction occurs in all plants as the first step of the Calvin–Benson cycle. (In C4 and CAM plants, carbon dioxide is drawn out of malate and into this reaction rather than directly from the air.) Plants that survive solely on C3 fixation (C3 plants) tend to thrive in areas where sunlight intensity is moderate, temperatures are moderate, carbon dioxide concentrations are around 200 ppm or higher, and groundwater is plentiful. The C3 plants, originating during Mesozoic and Paleozoic eras, predate the C4 plants and still represent approximately 95% of Earth's plant biomass, including important food crops such as rice, wheat, soybeans and barley. C3 plants cannot grow in very hot areas because RuBisCO incorporates more oxygen into RuBP as temperatures increase. This leads to photorespiration (also known as the oxidative photosynthetic carbon cycle, or C2 photosynthesis), which leads to a net loss of carbon and nitrogen from the plant and can therefore limit growth. C3 plants lose up to 97% of the water taken up through their roots by transpiration. In dry areas, C3 plants shut their stomata to reduce water loss, but this stops CO2 from entering the leaves and therefore reduces the concentration of CO2 in the leaves. This lowers the CO2:O2 ratio and therefore also increases photorespiration. C4 and CAM plants have adaptations that allow them to survive in hot and dry areas, and they can therefore out-compete C3 plants in these areas. The isotopic signature of C3 plants shows higher degree of 13C depletion than the C4 plants, due to variation in fractionation of carbon isotopes in oxygenic photosynthesis across plant types. Scientists have designed new metabolism pathways which reduces the losses to photorespiration, by more efficiently metabolizing the toxic glycolate produced. This resulted in over 40% increase in biomass production in their model organism (the tobacco plant) in their test conditions. The scientists are optimistic that this optimization can also be implemented in other C3 crops like wheat.

Carbon Fixation is the process by which inorganic carbon (particularly in the form of carbon dioxide) is converted to organic compounds by living organisms. The organic compounds are then used to store energy and as building blocks for other important biomolecules. The most prominent example of carbon fixation is photosynthesis; another form known as chemosynthesis can take place in the absence of sunlight. Organisms that grow by fixing carbon are called autotrophs, which include photoautotrophs (which use sunlight), and lithoautotrophs (which use inorganic oxidation). Heterotrophs are not themselves capable of carbon fixation but are able to grow by consuming the carbon fixed by autotrophs. "Fixed carbon", "reduced carbon", and "organic carbon" may all be used interchangeably to refer to various organic compounds.

Chlorophylls A and B are two pigments were soaking up most of the sunlight -- the violets, indigos, blues, green, yellows and oranges.

Scientists Tweak Photosynthesis to Boost Crop Yield by boosting levels of three proteins involved in photosynthesis.

The Origins of Photosynthesis in a Sun-Loving Bacteria. Chlorophyll is the pigment that makes plants green. In plants, chlorophyll captures the sun's energy and uses it to make sugars out of carbon dioxide from the air and water. Oxygenic photosynthesis in higher plants, green algae and cyanobacteria make use of Photosystem I (PSI), which is a Type I RC, and Photosystem II (PSII), which is a Type II RC. These work together to extract electrons from water to ferredoxin and finally reduce an energy carrier NADP+ to NADPH. In contrast, anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria, such as Heliobacterium modesticaldum, use a single RC to drive a cyclic electron transfer (ET) pathway that creates a proton-motive force across the membrane, which is used to drive energy production and metabolism by ATP synthesis. The reaction centers enclose these participants like a cage to efficiently capture all the available energy and photons of light by bringing all the elements together in the same vicinity. Reaction centers (RC) come in two main flavors of cofactors: iron (Type I) or quinone (Type II). Heliobacteria have the simplest known reaction center and use unique chlorophylls.

Photosynthesis may originated 3.6 billion years ago. The earliest oxygen-producing microbes may not have been cyanobacteria, which are a phylum of bacteria that obtain their energy through photosynthesis, and are the only photosynthetic prokaryotes able to produce oxygen.

Photosynthesis could be as old as life itself. Photosynthesis, which converts sunlight into energy, can come in two forms: one that produces oxygen, and one that doesn't. The oxygen-producing form is usually assumed to have evolved later, particularly with the emergence of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, around 2.5 billion years ago. The new research finds that enzymes capable of performing the key process in oxygenic photosynthesis -- splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen -- could actually have been present in some of the earliest bacteria. The earliest evidence for life on Earth is over 3.4 billion years old and some studies have suggested that the earliest life could well be older than 4.0 billion years old.

Research sheds light on how Plants Breathe. For guard cells to work effectively, First, the level of water or turgor pressure inside the cell, secondly the elasticity of the cell wall, thirdly it's kidney shaped geometry that converts pressure into shape changes.

Photosynthesis uses PC645 protein vibrations as 'traffic signals', controlling the transformation of sunshine into useful energy. PC645 controls where energy goes by tuning the vibrations of pigments to enhance energy transport along specific routes.

New Molecular Blueprint Advances our Understanding of Photosynthesis. The protein complex targeted by the researchers, called NADH dehydrogenase-like complex (NDH), is known to help regulate the phase of photosynthesis where the energy of sunlight is captured and stored in two types of cellular energy molecules, which are later utilized to power the conversion of carbon dioxide into sugar. Past investigations revealed that NDH reshuffles the energized electrons moving among other protein complexes in the chloroplast in a way that ensures the correct ratio of each energy molecule is produced. Furthermore, NDH of cyanobacteria performs several additional roles including increasing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) available for sugar production by linking CO2 uptake with electron transfer.

Guard Cell are specialized cells in the epidermis of leaves, stems and other organs that are used to control gas exchange. They are produced in pairs with a gap between them that forms a stomatal pore. The stomatal pores are largest when water is freely available and the guard cells turgid, and closed when water availability is critically low and the guard cells become flaccid. Photosynthesis depends on the diffusion of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air through the stomata into the mesophyll tissues. Oxygen (O2), produced as a byproduct of photosynthesis, exits the plant via the stomata. When the stomata are open, water is lost by evaporation and must be replaced via the transpiration stream, with water taken up by the roots. Plants must balance the amount of CO2 absorbed from the air with the water loss through the stomatal pores, and this is achieved by both active and passive control of guard cell turgor and stomatal pore size.

Photosynthetic protein structure that harvests and traps infrared light.

Scientists discover first organism with chlorophyll genes that doesn't photosynthesize. The peculiar organism is dubbed 'corallicolid' because it is found in 70 per cent of corals around the world and may provide clues as to how to protect coral reefs in the future.

Scientists have solved a critical part of the mystery of photosynthesis, focusing on the initial, ultrafast events through which photosynthetic proteins capture light and use it to initiate a series of electron transfer reactions.

Primary Production is the synthesis of organic compounds from atmospheric or aqueous carbon dioxide. It principally occurs through the process of photosynthesis, which uses light as its source of energy, but it also occurs through chemosynthesis, which uses the oxidation or reduction of inorganic chemical compounds as its source of energy. Almost all life on Earth relies directly or indirectly on primary production. The organisms responsible for primary production are known as primary producers or autotrophs, and form the base of the food chain. In terrestrial ecoregions, these are mainly plants, while in aquatic ecoregions algae predominate in this role. Ecologists distinguish primary production as either net or gross, the former accounting for losses to processes such as cellular respiration, the latter not.

Primary Producer converts an abiotic source of energy (e.g. light) into energy stored in organic compounds, which can be used by other organisms (e.g. heterotrophs). The primary producers can convert the energy in the light (phototroph and photoautotroph) or the energy in inorganic chemical compounds (chemolithotrophs) to build organic molecules, which is usually accumulated in the form of biomass and will be used as carbon and energy source by other organisms (e.g. heterotrophs and mixotrophs). The photoautotrophs are the main primary producers, converting the energy of the light into chemical energy through photosynthesis, ultimately building organic molecules from carbon dioxide, an inorganic carbon source. Examples of chemolithotrophs are some archaea and bacteria (unicellular organisms) that produce biomass from the oxidation of inorganic chemical compounds, these organisms are called chemoautotrophs, and are frequently found in hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean. Primary producers are at the lowest trophic level, and are the reasons why Earth is sustainable for life to this day.

Why are plants green? When sunlight shining on a leaf changes rapidly, plants must protect themselves from the ensuing sudden surges of solar energy. To cope with these changes, photosynthetic organisms have developed numerous tactics. Light harvesting is the collection of solar energy by protein-bound chlorophyll molecules. In photosynthesis -- the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water -- light energy harvesting begins with sunlight absorption. By absorbing only very specific colors of light, photosynthetic organisms may automatically protect themselves against sudden changes -- or 'noise' -- in solar energy, resulting in remarkably efficient power conversion.


Artificial Photosynthesis


Advance in Artificial Photosynthesis combining biocompatible light-capturing nanowire arrays with select bacterial populations.

Enhanced energy transport in genetically engineered excitonic networks.

Artificial Photosynthesis gets big boost from new Catalyst. The new catalyst is made of nickel, iron, cobalt and phosphorus, all elements that are low-cost and pose few safety hazards. It can be synthesized at room temperature using relatively inexpensive equipment, and remained stable as long as 100 hours.

Artificial Photosynthesis is a chemical process that replicates the natural process of photosynthesis, a process that converts sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen. The term, artificial photosynthesis, is commonly used to refer to any scheme for capturing and storing the energy from sunlight in the chemical bonds of a fuel (a solar fuel). Photocatalytic Water Splitting converts water into hydrogen ions and oxygen, and is a main research area in artificial photosynthesis. Light-driven carbon dioxide reduction is another studied process, that replicates natural carbon fixation.

Artificial photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide into liquefiable fuels. Chemists have successfully produced fuels using water, carbon dioxide and visible light through artificial photosynthesis. By converting carbon dioxide into more complex molecules like propane, green energy technology is now one step closer to using excess carbon dioxide to store solar energy -- in the form of chemical bonds -- for use when the sun is not shining and in times of peak demand.

Perovskite Solar Cell (organic)

Harvesting light like nature does. Synthesizing a new class of bio-inspired, light-capturing nano materials. The researchers created an altered protein-like structure, called a peptoid, and attached a precise silicate-based cage-like structure (abbreviated POSS) to one end of it. They then found that, under the right conditions, they could induce these molecules to self-assemble into perfectly shaped crystals of 2D nanosheets. This created another layer of cell-membrane-like complexity similar to that seen in natural hierarchical structures while retaining the high stability and enhanced mechanical properties of the individual molecules.

From Leaf to Tree: Large-Scale Artificial Photosynthesis.

The leaves of some begonias, their chloroplasts have evolved a nanoscale light-trapping structure to help them survive in the darkness of the forest floor. Chloroplast main role is to conduct photosynthesis, where the photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll captures the energy from sunlight and converts it and stores it in the energy-storage molecules ATP and NADPH while freeing oxygen from water. They then use the ATP and NADPH to make organic molecules from carbon dioxide in a process known as the Calvin cycle. Chloroplasts carry out a number of other functions, including fatty acid synthesis, much amino acid synthesis, and the immune response in plants. The number of chloroplasts per cell varies from 1 in algae up to 100 in plants like Arabidopsis and wheat. Chemical Synthesis.

Fernando Uribe-Romo on Synthetic Photosynthesis artificial leaf bionic leaf (youtube) University of Central Florida, chemist Fernando Uribe-Romo has developed a synthetic crystalline molecule that can trap carbon dioxide (CO2) and convert the energy from sunlight into organic compounds that can be used as fuels. Technology could one day be used on roofs of residences, removing CO2 from the air while powering the home.

Bionic Leaf Turns Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel (youtube) - A cross-disciplinary team at Harvard University has created a system that uses solar energy to split water molecules and hydrogen-eating bacteria to produce liquid fuels. The system can convert solar energy to biomass with 10 percent efficiency, far above the one percent seen in the fastest-growing plants.

Artificial Bio-Inspired Leaf would be at least 10 times more efficient than natural leaves at converting carbon dioxide to fuel.

Artificial leaf successfully produces clean gas. The new technology was inspired by the way plants use photosynthesis to turn carbon dioxide into glucose and oxygen. The artificial leaf mimics this process – with the help of a cheap red powder called cuprous oxide – and produces methanol and oxygen. The methanol can be collected and used as fuel by heating the solution so the water evaporates, according to the paper published in Nature Energy. uses only sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, and which could eventually be used to develop a sustainable liquid fuel alternative to petrol.

Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene.
Copper Catalyst Yields High Efficiency CO2-to-Fuels Conversion.
Mixed Anion compounds with 'Fluorine' works as new Photocatalytic Material.

Tethered chem combos could revolutionize Artificial Photosynthesis. Scientists have doubled the efficiency of a chemical combo that captures light and splits water molecules so the building blocks can be used to produce hydrogen fuel. Their approach provides a platform for developing revolutionary improvements in so-called artificial photosynthesis -- a lab-based mimic of the natural process aimed at generating clean energy from sunlight.

Eco-Friendly Nanoparticles for Artificial Photosynthesis. Researchers have developed a nanoparticle type for novel use in artificial photosynthesis by adding zinc sulfide on the surface of indium-based quantum dots. These quantum dots produce clean hydrogen fuel from water and sunlight -- a sustainable source of energy. They introduce new eco-friendly and powerful materials to solar photocatalysis.

Scientists pioneer a new way to turn Sunlight into Fuel. A new study used semi-artificial photosynthesis to explore new ways to produce and store solar energy. They used natural sunlight to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen using a mixture of biological components and human-made technologies.

Bias-free photoelectrochemical water splitting with photosystem II on a dye-sensitized photoanode wired to hydrogenase

Scientists Design Molecular System for Artificial Photosynthesis. System is designed to mimic key functions of the photosynthetic center in green plants to convert solar energy into chemical energy stored by hydrogen fuel.

A new material has been created based on gold and black phosphorus to produce clean hydrogen fuel using the full spectrum of sunlight.

Water splitting–biosynthetic system with CO2 reduction efficiencies exceeding photosynthesis. Photosynthesis fixes CO2 from the air by using sunlight. Industrial mimics of photosynthesis seek to convert CO2 directly into biomass, fuels, or other useful products.

Images of photosynthetic protein complex splitting water. In a new article presents high-resolution images of photosystem II, the protein complex that splits water into hydrogen ions and oxygen during photosynthesis. The images will help researchers better understand this complex mechanism, possibly opening up the door to developing cheap and efficient solar fuel devices.

Photosynthetic reaction centre proteins are main protein components of photosynthetic reaction centres of bacteria and plants. The photosynthetic apparatus in non-oxygenic bacteria consists of light-harvesting protein-pigment complexes LH1 and LH2, which use carotenoid and bacteriochlorophyll as primary donors. LH1 acts as the energy collection hub, temporarily storing it before its transfer to the photosynthetic reaction centre (RC). Electrons are transferred from the primary donor via an intermediate acceptor (bacteriophaeophytin) to the primary acceptor (quinine Qa), and finally to the secondary acceptor (quinone Qb), resulting in the formation of ubiquinol QbH2. RC uses the excitation energy to shuffle electrons across the membrane, transferring them via ubiquinol to the cytochrome bc1 complex in order to establish a proton gradient across the membrane, which is used by ATP synthetase to form ATP.

Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth 40%. Crops engineered with a photorespiratory shortcut are 40 percent more productive in real-world agronomic conditions. Photosynthesis uses the enzyme Rubisco -- the planet's most abundant protein. Rubisco grabs oxygen instead of carbon dioxide about 20 percent of the time, resulting in a plant-toxic compound that must be recycled through the process of photorespiration. Photorespiration normally takes a complicated route through three compartments in the plant cell. Scientists engineered alternate pathways to reroute the process, drastically shortening the trip and saving enough resources to boost plant growth by 40 percent. This is the first time that an engineered photorespiration fix has been tested in real-world agronomic conditions.

Photosynthetic Reaction Centre is a complex of several proteins, pigments and other co-factors that together execute the primary energy conversion reactions of photosynthesis. Molecular excitations, either originating directly from sunlight or transferred as excitation energy via light-harvesting antenna systems, give rise to electron transfer reactions along the path of a series of protein-bound co-factors. These co-factors are light-absorbing molecules (also named chromophores or pigments) such as chlorophyll and phaeophytin, as well as quinones. The energy of the photon is used to excite an electron of a pigment. The free energy created is then used to reduce a chain of nearby electron acceptors, which have subsequently higher redox-potentials. These electron transfer steps are the initial phase of a series of energy conversion reactions, ultimately resulting in the conversion of the energy of photons to the storage of that energy by the production of chemical bonds.

Solar Paint that can absorb water vapour and split it to generate hydrogen -- the cleanest source of energy. Unlike silica gel, the new material, synthetic molybdenum-sulphide, also acts as a semi-conductor and catalyses the splitting of water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.

Japanese scientists have now developed a fully integrated microfluidic device that produces hydrogen fuel and converts it into electrical energy based on photocatalysis. They designed a photocatalytic microgenerator of hydrogen fuel, combined with a micro fuel cell, all set up on a microfluidic chip. This microfluidic power generator is based on sunlight and can provide continuously power supply to other miniaturized devices at room temperature and at atmospheric pressure.

Photovoltaic Thermal Hybrid Solar Collector are systems that convert solar radiation into thermal and electrical energy. These systems combine a solar cell, which converts sunlight into electricity, with a solar thermal collector, which captures the remaining energy and removes waste heat from the PV module.

Luminescent Solar Concentrator is a device for concentrating radiation, solar radiation in particular, to produce electricity. Luminescent solar concentrators operate on the principle of collecting radiation over a large area, converting it by luminescence (commonly specifically by fluorescence) and directing the generated radiation into a relatively small output target.

Cyborg bacteria outperform plants when turning sunlight into useful compounds. Bioreactor loaded with bacteria decorated with cadmium sulfide, light-absorbing nanocrystals (middle) to convert light, water and carbon dioxide into useful chemicals.

Uncovering how Plants see Blue Light. Plants can perceive and react to light across a wide spectrum. New research shows how plants can respond to blue light in particular by revealing the structure of cryptochrome-2, the molecule that reacts to blue light. Rearrangement leads to gene activation. This rearrangement process, called photo-induced oligomerization, is also very intriguing because certain elements within the protein undergo changes when exposed to blue light. Our molecular structure suggests that these light-induced changes release transcriptional regulators that control expression of specific genes in plants. Indoor Growing.

Butterfly Wing Inspires Photovoltaics: Light Absorption Can Be Enhanced by Up to 200 Percent. Sunlight reflected by solar cells is lost as unused energy. The wings of the butterfly Pachliopta aristolochiae are drilled by nanostructures (nanoholes) that help absorbing light over a wide spectrum far better than smooth surfaces. Researchers have now succeeded in transferring these nanostructures to solar cells and, thus, enhancing their light absorption rate by up to 200 percent.


Full Spectrum Solar Power


Solar Spectrum Full Spectrum Photovoltaics - Full Spectrum Solar Cell

New solar cell is more efficient, costs less than its counterparts Layers of new photovoltaic cell harvest more of sun’s energy for efficiencies above 40 percent. Photosynthesis.

Scientists Design Solar Cell That Captures Nearly All Solar Spectrum Energy.

Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Grätzel Cell titanium oxide, graphite, iodine. Electromagnetic Spectrum.

Solaronix - 3-D Nano Cone-Based Solar
Nano Solar - Full Spectrum Solar - Organic

Solar Cells Get Boost with Integration of Water-Splitting Catalyst onto Semiconductor.

Multi-Junction Solar Cell are solar cells with multiple p–n junctions made of different semiconductor materials. Each material's p-n junction will produce electric current in response to different wavelengths of light. The use of multiple semiconducting materials allows the absorbance of a broader range of wavelengths, improving the cell's sunlight to electrical energy conversion efficiency. Traditional single-junction cells have a maximum theoretical efficiency of 33.16%. Theoretically, an infinite number of junctions would have a limiting efficiency of 86.8% under highly concentrated sunlight. Currently, the best lab examples of traditional crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells have efficiencies between 20% and 25%, while lab examples of multi-junction cells have demonstrated performance over 46% under concentrated sunlight. Commercial examples of tandem cells are widely available at 30% under one-sun illumination, and improve to around 40% under concentrated sunlight. However, this efficiency is gained at the cost of increased complexity and manufacturing price. To date, their higher price and higher price-to-performance ratio have limited their use to special roles, notably in aerospace where their high power-to-weight ratio is desirable. In terrestrial applications, these solar cells are emerging in concentrator photovoltaics (CPV), with a growing number of installations around the world. Tandem fabrication techniques have been used to improve the performance of existing designs. In particular, the technique can be applied to lower cost thin-film solar cells using amorphous silicon, as opposed to conventional crystalline silicon, to produce a cell with about 10% efficiency that is lightweight and flexible. This approach has been used by several commercial vendors, but these products are currently limited to certain niche roles, like roofing materials.

Researchers create Multi-Junction Solar Cells from off-the-shelf components. Multi-junction, or stacked, solar cells are currently the most efficient cells on the market, converting up to 45% of the solar energy they absorb into electricity. The cells are constructed by stacking semiconductors with varying bandgaps on top of one another, thereby allowing the cell to absorb differing wavelengths of solar radiation. However, these cells are much more expensive to produce than less efficient thin solar films.you cannot merely stack different solar cells on top of each other -- the different materials are structurally incompatible, and so charges cannot pass through them to be collected. To solve that problem in current multi-junction solar cells heavily doped metals are used to create a tunnel junction between the various layers -- adding significant expense and complexity to the multi-junction solar cell's creation. Bedair and his team developed a simpler approach, utilizing intermetallic bonding to bond solar cells made of different materials. In a proof-of-concept, the team stacked an off-the-shelf gallium arsenide solar cell on top of a silicon solar cell. "In multi-junction solar cells the tunnel junction enables electric connectivity by acting as a metal-to-metal connection," Bedair says. "In our system, indium serves as a shortcut to that. The existing metal contacts of the individual cells are covered with indium films. The indium films bond to themselves easily at room temperature under low pressure. The result is a solar cell made of two different materials that is mechanically stacked and electrically connected.

Maximum Power Point Tracking is a technique used commonly with wind turbines and photovoltaic (PV) solar systems to maximize power extraction under all conditions.

New Fabrication Technique Leads to Broader Sunlight Absorption in Plastic Solar Cells.

Energy Transformation is the process of changing one form of energy to another form of energy. In physics, the term energy describes the capacity to produce certain changes within any system, without regard to limitations in transformation imposed.

The photon, the particle of light, the sunlight, the quantum of light captured by a chlorophyll molecule, is delivered to what's called the reaction center, where it can be turned into chemical energy. And it doesn't just follow one route; it follows multiple pathways at once, to optimize the most efficient way of reaching the reaction center without dissipating as waste heat.

Light-Harvesting Polymers: Ultrafast Energy Transfer in Polystyrene-Based Arrays of p-Conjugated Chromophores.

Microscopic FLUENCE rake doubles efficiency of low-cost solar cells.

Nanowire–Bacteria Hybrids for Unassisted Solar Carbon Dioxide Fixation to Value-Added Chemicals.

"Bionic leaf" uses bacteria to convert solar energy into liquid fuel Harvard scientists have created a system that could speed adoption of solar-generated fuels as a power source.

Deforming solar cells could be clue to Improved Efficiency. Through physical force or induced during the fabrication process, can prevent photo-excited carriers from recombining, leading to an enhanced solar energy conversion efficiency. The team of scientists used an epitaxial thin film of BiFeO3 grown on LaAlO3 substrate to determine the impact of inhomogenous deformation on the film's ability to convert light into electricity by examining how its strain gradient affects its ability to separate photo-excited carriers. Most commercial solar cells are formed of two layers creating at their boundary a junction between two kinds of semiconductors, p-type with positive charge carriers (electron vacancies) and n-type with negative charge carriers (electrons). When light is absorbed, the junction of the two semiconductors sustains an internal field splitting the photo-excited carriers in opposite directions, generating a current and voltage across the junction. Without such junctions the energy cannot be harvested and the photo-excited carriers will simply quickly recombine eliminating any electrical charge. They found that the strain gradient can help prevent recombination by separating the light-excited electron-holes, enhancing the conversion efficiency of the solar cells. The BiFeO3/LaAlO3 film also exhibited some interesting photoelectric effects, such as persistent photoconductivity (improved electrical conductivity). It has potential applications in UV light sensors, actuators and transducers.

Prototype Shows How Tiny Photodetectors Can Double Their Efficiency. UC Riverside research invokes quantum mechanical processes that occur when two atomically thin materials are stacked together. Tiny devices convert light into electrons, whose subsequent movement generates an electronic signal. Within atoms, electrons live in states that determine their energy level. When electrons move from one state to another, they either acquire or lose energy. Above a certain energy level, electrons can move freely. An electron moving into a lower energy state can transfer enough energy to knock loose another electron.

Harvesting Renewable Energy from the Sun and Outer Space at the Same Time. Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that heat from the sun and coldness from outer space can be collected simultaneously with a single device. Radiative cooling technology reflects copious amounts of infrared light, providing an air conditioning alternative that doesn't emit greenhouse gases. It may also help improve solar cell efficiency, which decreases the hotter solar cells become. a device combining radiative cooling with solar absorption technology. The device consists of a germanium solar absorber on top of a radiative cooler with silicon nitride, silicon, and aluminum layers enclosed in a vacuum to minimize unwanted heat loss. Both the solar absorber and the atmosphere are transparent in the mid-infrared range of 8-13 microns, offering a channel for infrared radiation from the radiative cooler to pass through to outer space. The team demonstrated that the combined device can simultaneously provide 24C in solar heating and 29C in radiative cooling, with the solar absorber improving the radiative cooler's performance by blocking heat from the sun.

Special nanotubes could improve solar power and imaging technology. Photovoltaic solar panels make use of a certain arrangement of materials called a p-n junction. This is where two different kinds of materials (p-type and n-type) are attached, which alone do not generate a current in the presence of light, but when placed together, do. P-n junction-based photovoltaics have improved in efficiency over the 80 years or so since their discovery. However, they are getting close to their theoretical limits due in part to their need for the arrangement of multiple materials. WS2 nanotubes do not rely on a junction between materials to gain the photovoltaic effect. When exposed to light, they generate a current throughout their entire structure or bulk. This is called the bulk photovoltaic effect (BPVE) and it occurs as the WS2 nanotube is not symmetrical if you were to reverse it. If it were symmetrical, the current induced would not have a preferred direction and thus would not flow. So other symmetrical nanotubes -- such as the famous carbon nanotubes -- don't exhibit BPVE despite being great electrical conductors. The current-inducing nanotube is made from rolled-up sheets of a special semiconductor material based on tungsten disulfide (WS2). The sheets do not induce a current in the presence of light unless rolled into tubes. This is an emergent behavior, one not intrinsic to the material until it's modified. What is interesting is how it differs from existing photovoltaic materials.

Method for collecting two electrons from each photon could break through theoretical solar-cell efficiency limit and a dramatic increase in solar cell output. The key was in a thin intermediate layer. “It turns out this tiny, tiny strip of material at the interface between these two systems [the silicon solar cell and the tetracene layer with its excitonic properties] ended up defining everything. The layer is only a few atoms thick, or just 8 angstroms (ten-billionths of a meter), but it acted as a “nice bridge” for the excited states that finally made it possible for the single high-energy photons to trigger the release of two electrons inside the silicon cell. That produces a doubling of the amount of energy produced by a given amount of sunlight in the blue and green part of the spectrum. Overall, that could produce an increase in the power produced by the solar cell — from a theoretical maximum of 29.1 percent, up to a maximum of about 35 percent.

Tetracene can Increase the Efficiency of Solar Cells. Tetracene is a four-ring polynuclear (i.e., polycyclic) aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH). It is the second member of the “acene” family of linearly arranged PAHs that begins with anthracene and continues to pentacene, hexacene, and beyond. The bright orange molecule is also known as naphthacene, 2,3-benzanthracene, and benz[b]anthracene. Not much was done with tetracene until 2007, when researchers discovered that it is a semiconductor that was useful in organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). This year, electrical engineer Marc A. Baldo at MIT (Cambridge, MA) and colleagues there and at Princeton University (NJ) incorporated it into silicon solar cells (SSCs). The maximum efficiency (conversion of sunlight into useful electricity) of single-layer SSCs is currently 29%. When the researchers added the semiconductor tetracene to SSCs, the cells’ efficiency increased to 35%. Through a complex process involving the emission of excitons from tetracene, the SSCs’ wavelength range widened, making the cells more efficient.

Double-Sided Solar Panels. Solar panels capture sunlight and convert it to electricity only from the side facing the sky. If the dark underside of a solar panel could also convert sunlight reflected off the ground, even more electricity might be generated.
A new thermodynamic formula reveals that the bifacial cells making up double-sided panels generate on average 15% to 20% more sunlight to electricity than the monofacial cells of today's one-sided solar panels, taking into consideration different terrain such as grass, sand, concrete and dirt. New rules illuminate how objects absorb and emit light.

Crystal arrangement results in 1,000x more power from ferroelectric solar cells. German researchers developed a lattice arrangement of three different layers of ferroelectric crystals that created a powerful photovoltaic effect.



Windows and Solar Panel in One


Windows become transparent solar panels with added nanoparticles. Ordinary glass panels can act as solar panels when a layer of nanoparticles is sandwiched between two panes. This could help us take advantage of solar energy in cities where space for solar panels may be limited.

Solar Power Windows (youtube)

Fully Transparent Solar Cell
Transparent solar technology can be applied to Windows
KAIST Team Develops Semi-Transparent Solar Cells with Thermal Mirror Capability

Window Films

Anti-Fogging: Water-Repellent Nanotextures Found to Have Excellent Anti-Fogging Abilities. Cone-shaped nanotextures could prevent fog condensation on surfaces in humid environments, including for power generation and transportation applications.

Non-Reflective Glass. By texturing glass surfaces with nanosized features, scientists almost completely eliminated surface reflections Anti-Reflective Coating (wiki)

Smart windows that go from clear to dark in under a minute. Dynamic Windows with Neutral Color, High Contrast, and Excellent Durability Using Reversible Metal Electrodeposition.

Titanium Dioxide is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium, chemical formula TiO2. When used as a pigment, it is called titanium white, Pigment White 6 (PW6), or CI 77891. Generally it is sourced from ilmenite, rutile and anatase. It has a wide range of applications, from paint to sunscreen to food coloring. When used as a food coloring, it has E number E171. World production in 2014 exceeded 9 million metric tons.

Reactive Oxygen Species are chemically reactive chemical species containing oxygen. Examples include peroxides, superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and singlet oxygen.

Flexible Thin Film Solar Panels

Electroplating is a process that uses electric current to reduce dissolved metal cations so that they form a thin coherent metal coating on an electrode. The term is also used for electrical oxidation of anions onto a solid substrate, as in the formation silver chloride on silver wire to make silver/silver-chloride electrodes. Electroplating is primarily used to change the surface properties of an object (e.g. abrasion and wear resistance, corrosion protection, lubricity, aesthetic qualities, etc.), but may also be used to build up thickness on undersized parts or to form objects by electroforming.

Co-Solvents in Polymer Solar Cell

Concentrated Photovoltaics uses lenses and curved mirrors to focus sunlight onto small, but highly efficient, multi-junction (MJ) solar cells.

IBM Solar Collector Magnifier

Spherical Solar Concentrating System

Solar Glass Square Blocks with Intelligent Optics from Build Solar

Research lays groundwork for ultra-thin, energy efficient photodetector on glass. Photosensors or photodetectors convert light energy into electrical signals to complete tasks such as opening automatic sliding doors and automatically adjusting a cell phone's screen brightness in different lighting conditions.

Solar Duck - Offshore Floating Solar Panels.

Solar-Powered Paint. Researchers have developed a paint which can absorb sunlight and produce hydrogen. The paint is able to absorb water vapor in the air because it contains a substance like the silica gel packs that are used to keep moisture out of items like medicines and electronics. The material is called synthetic molybdenum-sulphide and it goes a step beyond just being an excellent sponge for moisture, it also acts as a semi-conductor and catalyses the split of water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen.



Solar Heat - Radiant Heat - Thermal Energy


Solar Heat Solar Energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture and artificial photosynthesis.

Solar Irradiance is the power per unit area received from the Sun in the form of electromagnetic radiation in the wavelength range of the measuring instrument. Irradiance may be measured in space or at the Earth's surface after atmospheric absorption and scattering. It is measured perpendicular to the incoming Sunlight. Total solar irradiance (TSI), is a measure of the solar power over all wavelengths per unit area incident on the Earth's upper atmosphere. The solar constant is a conventional measure of mean TSI at a distance of one astronomical Unit (AU). Irradiance is a function of distance from the Sun, the solar cycle, and cross-cycle changes. Irradiance on Earth is also measured perpendicular to the incoming sunlight. Insolation is the power received on Earth per unit area on a horizontal surface. It depends on the height of the Sun above the horizon and the cloud cover. Thermal Electric Generators.

Solar Thermal Energy is a form of energy and a technology for harnessing solar energy to generate thermal energy or electrical energy for use in industry, and in the residential and commercial sectors. Heat Sink (conductance).

Radiant Energy is the energy of electromagnetic and gravitational radiation. As energy, its SI unit is the joule (J). The quantity of radiant energy may be calculated by integrating radiant flux (or power) with respect to time. The symbol Qe is often used throughout literature to denote radiant energy ("e" for "energetic", to avoid confusion with photometric quantities). In branches of physics other than radiometry, electromagnetic energy is referred to using E or W. The term is used particularly when electromagnetic radiation is emitted by a source into the surrounding environment. This radiation may be visible or invisible to the human eye.

Radiant Intensity is the radiant flux emitted, reflected, transmitted or received, per unit solid angle, and spectral intensity is the radiant intensity per unit frequency or wavelength, depending on whether the spectrum is taken as a function of frequency or of wavelength. These are directional quantities. The SI unit of radiant intensity is the watt per steradian (W/sr), while that of spectral intensity in frequency is the watt per steradian per hertz (W·sr−1·Hz−1) and that of spectral intensity in wavelength is the watt per steradian per metre (W·sr−1·m−1)—commonly the watt per steradian per nanometre (W·sr−1·nm−1). Radiant intensity is distinct from irradiance and radiant exitance, which are often called intensity in branches of physics other than radiometry. In radio-frequency engineering, radiant intensity is sometimes called radiation intensity.

Radiant Flux is the radiant energy emitted, reflected, transmitted or received, per unit time, and spectral flux or spectral power is the radiant flux per unit frequency or wavelength, depending on whether the spectrum is taken as a function of frequency or of wavelength. The SI unit of radiant flux is the watt (W), that is the joule per second (J/s) in SI base units, while that of spectral flux in frequency is the watt per hertz (W/Hz) and that of spectral flux in wavelength is the watt per metre (W/m)—commonly the watt per nanometre (W/nm).

Radiative Forcing is the difference between insolation (sunlight) absorbed by the Earth and energy radiated back to space. The influences that cause changes to the Earth's climate system altering Earth's radiative equilibrium, forcing temperatures to rise or fall, are called climate forcings. Positive radiative forcing means Earth receives more incoming energy from sunlight than it radiates to space. This net gain of energy will cause warming. Conversely, negative radiative forcing means that Earth loses more energy to space than it receives from the sun, which produces cooling. Typically, radiative forcing is quantified at the tropopause or at the top of the atmosphere (often accounting for rapid adjustments in temperature) in units of watts per square meter of the Earth's surface. Positive forcing (incoming energy exceeding outgoing energy) warms the system, while negative forcing (outgoing energy exceeding incoming energy) cools it. Causes of radiative forcing include changes in insolation and the concentrations of radiatively active gases, commonly known as greenhouse gases, and aerosols.

Irradiance is the radiant flux (power) received by a surface per unit area. The SI unit of irradiance is the watt per square metre (W·m-2). The CGS unit erg per square centimetre per second (erg·cm−2·s−1) is often used in astronomy. Irradiance is often called intensity because it has the same physical dimensions, but this term is avoided in radiometry where such usage leads to confusion with radiant intensity. Spectral irradiance is the irradiance of a surface per unit frequency or wavelength, depending on whether the spectrum is taken as a function of frequency or of wavelength. The two forms have different dimensions: spectral irradiance of a frequency spectrum is measured in watts per square metre per hertz (W·m−2·Hz−1), while spectral irradiance of a wavelength spectrum is measured in watts per square metre per metre (W·m−3), or more commonly watts per square metre per nanometre (W·m−2·nm−1).

Radiant Energy = Joule
Radiant Flux = energy over time (joules per second)
1 Joule per second = 1 watt
Radiant Flux Density = Irradiance
Irradiance = watts per square meter (Wm-2)

Solar Maximum is a regular period of greatest Sun activity during the 11-year solar cycle. During solar maximum, large numbers of sunspots appear, and the solar irradiance output grows by about 0.07%. The increased energy output of solar maxima can impact Earth's global climate, and recent studies have shown some correlation with regional weather patterns. At solar maximum, the Sun's magnetic field lines are the most distorted due to the magnetic field on the solar equator rotating at a slightly faster pace than at the solar poles.[citation needed] On average, the solar cycle takes about 11 years to go from one solar maximum to the next, with duration observed varying from 9 to 14 years. Space Weather.

Solar Minimum is the period of least solar activity in the 11 year solar cycle of the Sun. During this time, sunspot and solar flare activity diminishes, and often does not occur for days at a time. The date of the minimum is described by a smoothed average over 12 months of sunspot activity, so identifying the date of the solar minimum usually can only happen 6 months after the minimum takes place. Solar minima are not generally correlated with changes in climate but recent studies have shown a correlation with regional weather patterns. Solar minimum is contrasted with the solar maximum, where there may be hundreds of sunspots.

Solar Cooking Food - Food Dryers (preserve food) - Global Warming

Solar Thermal Collector collects heat by absorbing sunlight. A collector is a device for capturing solar radiation. Solar radiation is energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation from the infrared (long) to the ultraviolet (short) wavelengths. The quantity of solar energy striking the Earth's surface (solar constant) averages about 1,000 watts per square meter under clear skies, depending upon weather conditions, location and orientation.

Paving the Way for a Non-Electric Battery to Store Solar Energy. New polymer AzoPMA that is stunningly effective at absorbing and releasing heat. The plastic-like material could be the key to the development of a high-efficiency “thermal battery”. holds a record-setting 200 times as much thermal energy as water. Its molecules toggle between two shapes, or conformations. When AzoPMA is exposed to sunlight, its molecules adopt their high-energy form. Then, when slightly warmed or activated by another trigger, the molecules revert to their low-energy form and the stored heat comes gushing out. Materials chemists have been trying for years to make a new type of battery that can store solar or other light-sourced energy in chemical bonds rather than electrons, one that will release the energy on demand as heat instead of electricity–addressing the need for long-term, stable, efficient storage of solar power. Batteries.

Thermal Battery is a physical structure used for the purpose of storing and releasing thermal energy—see also thermal energy storage. Such a thermal battery (a.k.a. TBat) allows energy available at one time to be temporarily stored and then released at another time. The basic principles involved in a thermal battery occur at the atomic level of matter, with energy being added to or taken from either a solid mass or a liquid volume which causes the substance's temperature to change. Some thermal batteries also involve causing a substance to transition thermally through a phase transition which causes even more energy to be stored and released due to the delta enthalpy of fusion or delta enthalpy of vaporization.

Thermal Energy Storage is achieved with widely differing technologies. Depending on the specific technology, it allows excess thermal energy to be stored and used hours, days, or months later, at scales ranging from individual process, building, multiuser-building, district, town, or region. Usage examples are the balancing of energy demand between daytime and nighttime, storing summer heat for winter heating, or winter cold for summer air conditioning (Seasonal thermal energy storage). Storage media include water or ice-slush tanks, masses of native earth or bedrock accessed with heat exchangers by means of boreholes, deep aquifers contained between impermeable strata; shallow, lined pits filled with gravel and water and insulated at the top, as well as eutectic solutions and phase-change materials.

Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage is the storage of heat or cold for periods of up to several months. The thermal energy can be collected whenever it is available and be used whenever needed, such as in the opposing season. For example, heat from solar collectors or waste heat from air conditioning equipment can be gathered in hot months for space heating use when needed, including during winter months.

Thermal Efficiency is a dimensionless performance measure of a device that uses thermal energy, such as an internal combustion engine, a steam turbine or a steam engine, a boiler, furnace, or a refrigerator for example. For a heat engine, thermal efficiency is the fraction of the energy added by heat (primary energy) that is converted to net work output (secondary energy). In the case of a refrigeration or heat pump cycle, thermal efficiency is the ratio of net heat output for heating, or removal for cooling, to energy input (the coefficient of performance).

Solar Furnace is a structure that uses concentrated solar power to produce high temperatures, usually for industry. Parabolic mirrors or heliostats concentrate light (Insolation) onto a focal point. The temperature at the focal point may reach 3,500 °C (6,330 °F), and this heat can be used to generate electricity, melt steel, make hydrogen fuel or nanomaterials.

Solar Thermal Power Stations list of the largest facilities generating electricity through the use of solar thermal power, specifically concentrated solar power, ranging from 392 MW to 0.25 MW.

Geo-Thermal Energy Storage - Passive

Solar Heating - Solar Heater

Solar Water Heating is the conversion of sunlight into heat for water heating using a solar thermal collector. A variety of configurations is available at varying cost to provide solutions in different climates and latitudes. SWHs are widely used for residential and some industrial applications. Batch Water Heater is both a thermal storage tank and a solar collector in one in which the water is heated and stored a batch at a time.

Solar Hot Water for Home - Solar Hot Water - Pools

Water Purification (filters)

SunampPV is a system which uses excess electricity from a Solar PV array to heat hot water without the need for an immersion heater tank.

Solar Panels Plus - Solar Direct

Solar Collector - Solar Roofs - Home Power

Solar Balloon (youtube)

Solar Ovens for Cooking Food

Solar-Powered Generator of both Heat Energy and Electrical Energy.

Masdar and MIT Researchers develop device that makes Steam from Sunlight

New material, manufacturing process use sun's heat for cheaper renewable electricity. Using ceramic-metal plates for heat transfer at higher temperatures and at elevated pressures. Storing solar energy or heat energy as heat can already be cheaper than storing energy via batteries.

Study shows promising material can store solar energy for months or years. Researchers studying a crystalline material have discovered it has properties that allow it to capture energy from the sun. The energy can be stored for several months at room temperature, and it can be released on demand in the form of heat. With further development, these kinds of materials could offer exciting potential as a way of capturing solar energy during the summer months, and storing it for use in winter -- where less solar energy is available. The material is based on a type of 'metal-organic framework' (MOF). These consist of a network of metal ions linked by carbon-based molecules to form 3-D structures. A key property of MOFs is that they are porous, meaning that they can form composite materials by hosting other small molecules within their structures. The MOF pores were loaded with molecules of azobenzene -- a compound that strongly absorbs light. These molecules act as photoswitches, which are a type of 'molecular machine' that can change shape when an external stimulus, such as light or heat, is applied. In tests, the researchers exposed the material to UV light, which causes the azobenzene molecules to change shape to a strained configuration inside the MOF pores. This process stores the energy in a similar way to the potential energy of a bent spring. Importantly, the narrow MOF pores trap the azobenzene molecules in their strained shape, meaning that the potential energy can be stored for long periods of time at room temperature. The energy is released again when external heat is applied as a trigger to 'switch' its state, and this release can be very quick -- a bit like a spring snapping back straight. This provides a heat boost which could be used to warm other materials of devices. Further tests showed the material was able to store the energy for at least four months. This is an exciting aspect of the discovery as many light-responsive materials switch back within hours or a few days. The long duration of the stored energy opens up possibilities for cross-seasonal storage. The concept of storing solar energy in photoswitches has been studied before, but most previous examples have required the photoswitches to be in a liquid. Because the MOF composite is a solid, and not a liquid fuel, it is chemically stable and easily contained. This makes it much easier to develop into coatings or standalone devices.



Heat Energy


Heat is a form of Energy and the amount of energy flowing from one body of matter to another spontaneously due to their Temperature difference, or by any means other than through work or the transfer of matter. The transfer can be by contact between the source and the destination body, as in conduction; or by radiation between remote bodies; or by way of an intermediate fluid body, as in convective circulation; or by a combination of these. In thermodynamics, heat is often contrasted with work: heat applies to individual particles (such as atoms or molecules), work applies to objects (or a system as a whole). Heat involves stochastic (or random) motion equally distributed among all degrees of freedom, while work is directional, confined to a specific degrees of freedom.

What does Heat do to Molecules? - Thermal Conductivity - Heat Capacity

Heat can be converted into energy, so why are we wasting Heat?

Capture Heat and turn it into Electricity. The discovery is based on tiny particles called paramagnons -- bits that are not quite magnets, but that carry some magnetic flux. This is important, because magnets, when heated, lose their magnetic force and become what is called paramagnetic. A flux of magnetism -- what scientists call "spins" -- creates a type of energy called magnon-drag thermoelectricity, something that, until this discovery, could not be used to collect energy at room temperature.

Hot is used to describe physical heat that has a high or higher than desirable temperature or giving off heat or feeling or causing a sensation of heat or burning. Producing a burning sensation on the taste nerves.

Thermocouple is an electrical device consisting of two different conductors forming electrical junctions at differing temperatures. A thermocouple produces a temperature-dependent voltage as a result of the thermoelectric effect, and this voltage can be interpreted to measure temperature. Thermocouples are a widely used type of temperature sensor.

Body Temperature - Heat Shock

Thermography are examples of infrared imaging science, which is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the generation, collection, duplication, analysis, modification, and visualization of images, including imaging things that the human eye cannot detect.

Infrared Thermometer is a thermometer which infers temperature from a portion of the thermal radiation sometimes called blackbody radiation emitted by the object being measured. They are sometimes called laser thermometers as a laser is used to help aim the thermometer, or non-contact thermometers or temperature guns, to describe the device's ability to measure temperature from a distance. By knowing the amount of infrared energy emitted by the object and its emissivity, the object's temperature can often be determined. Infrared thermometers are a subset of devices known as "thermal radiation thermometers". Fluke 62 MAX Compact Infrared Thermometer (10: 1) Min Temperature (° F) -22 , Max Temperature (° F) 932 , Min Temperature (° C) -30 , Max Temperature (° C) 500. Infrared Spectroscopy involves the interaction of infrared radiation with matter. How does a Infrared Thermometer work? Infrared thermometers work based on a phenomenon called Black Body Radiation. Anything at a temperature above absolute zero has molecules inside of it moving around. The higher the temperature, the faster the molecules move. As they move, the molecules emit infrared radiation--a type of electromagnetic radiation below the visible spectrum of light. As they get hotter, they emit more infrared, and even start to emit visible light. That is why heated metal can glow red or even white. Infrared thermometers detect and measure this radiation. Infrared light works like visible light--it can be focused, reflected or absorbed. Infrared thermometers usually use a lens to focus infrared light from one object onto a detector called a thermopile. The thermopile absorbs the infrared radiation and turns it into heat. The more infrared energy, the hotter the thermopile gets. This heat is turned into electricity. The electricity is sent to a detector, which uses it to determine the temperature of whatever the thermometer is pointed at. The more electricity, the hotter the object is.

Thermographic Camera is a device that forms an image using infrared radiation, similar to a common camera that forms an image using visible light. Instead of the 400–700 nanometre range of the visible light camera, infrared cameras operate in wavelengths as long as 14,000 nm (14 µm). Their use is called thermography. (also called an infrared camera or thermal imaging camera). Infrared Spectroscopy (spectrums).

Thin, large-area device converts infrared light into images. An infrared imager developed by engineers could be used to see through smog and fog; easily locate blood vessels on a patient; and see through silicon wafers to inspect the quality of electronic boards. It is also slim, compact and less costly to fabricate than similar technologies. The imager detects a part of the infrared spectrum called shortwave infrared light (wavelengths from 1000 to 1400 nanometers), which is right outside of the visible spectrum (400 to 700 nanometers). Shortwave infrared imaging is not to be confused with thermal imaging, which detects much longer infrared wavelengths given off by the body.

Thermal Radiation is electromagnetic radiation generated by the thermal motion of charged particles in matter. All matter with a temperature greater than absolute zero emits thermal radiation. When the temperature of a body is greater than absolute zero, inter-atomic collisions cause the kinetic energy of the atoms or molecules to change. This results in charge-acceleration and/or dipole oscillation which produces electromagnetic radiation, and the wide spectrum of radiation reflects the wide spectrum of energies and accelerations that occur even at a single temperature. Examples of thermal radiation include the visible light and infrared light emitted by an incandescent light bulb, the infrared radiation emitted by animals that is detectable with an infrared camera, and the cosmic microwave background radiation. Thermal radiation is different from thermal convection and thermal conduction—a person near a raging bonfire feels radiant heating from the fire, even if the surrounding air is very cold. Sunlight is part of thermal radiation generated by the hot plasma of the Sun. The Earth also emits thermal radiation, but at a much lower intensity and different spectral distribution (infrared rather than visible) because it is cooler. The Earth's absorption of solar radiation, followed by its outgoing thermal radiation are the two most important processes that determine the temperature and climate of the Earth. If a radiation-emitting object meets the physical characteristics of a black body in thermodynamic equilibrium, the radiation is called blackbody radiation. Planck's law describes the spectrum of blackbody radiation, which depends only on the object's temperature. Wien's displacement law determines the most likely frequency of the emitted radiation, and the Stefan–Boltzmann law gives the radiant intensity. New Photo-Detector could improve Night Vision, Thermal Sensing and Medical Imaging.

Joule Heating also known as ohmic heating and resistive heating, is the process by which the passage of an electric current through a conductor produces heat. Joule's first law, also known as the Joule–Lenz law, states that the power of heating generated by an electrical conductor is proportional to the product of its resistance and the square of the current. Joule heating affects the whole electric conductor, unlike the Peltier effect which transfers heat from one electrical junction to another.

Thermoelectric Effect - Kinetic Energy Types

Thermal Energy refers to the internal energy present in a system due to its temperature.

Thermal Insulation is the reduction of heat transfer (the transfer of thermal energy between objects of differing temperature) between objects in thermal contact or in range of radiative influence. Thermal insulation can be achieved with specially engineered methods or processes, as well as with suitable object shapes and materials. Heat flow is an inevitable consequence of contact between objects of differing temperature. Thermal insulation provides a region of insulation in which thermal conduction is reduced or thermal radiation is reflected rather than absorbed by the lower-temperature body. The insulating capability of a material is measured with thermal conductivity (k). Low thermal conductivity is equivalent to high insulating capability (R-value). In thermal engineering, other important properties of insulating materials are product density (ρ) and specific heat capacity. Superconductivity.

Engineers turn plastic insulator into heat conductor. Technique could prevent overheating of laptops, mobile phones, and other electronics. Plastics are excellent insulators, meaning they can efficiently trap heat. Engineers at MIT has developed a polymer thermal conductor -- a plastic material that, however counter intuitively, works as a heat conductor, dissipating heat rather than insulating it. The new polymers, which are lightweight and flexible, can conduct 10 times as much heat as most commercially used polymers. Polymers are both electrically and thermally insulating.

Thermal Management in electronics. All electronic devices and circuitry generate excess heat and thus require thermal management to improve reliability and prevent premature failure. The amount of heat output is equal to the power input, if there are no other energy interactions. There are several techniques for cooling including various styles of heat sinks, thermoelectric coolers, forced air systems and fans, heat pipes, and others. In cases of extreme low environmental temperatures, it may actually be necessary to heat the electronic components to achieve satisfactory operation.

Engineers develop world's most efficient semiconductor for thermal management. New material draws heat away from hotspots much faster than current materials.

Exotic form of insulating material with a metallic surface that could enable more efficient electronics or even quantum computing. The researchers developed a new method for analyzing existing chemical compounds that relies on the mathematical properties like symmetry that govern the repeating patterns seen in everyday wallpaper.

Heat Sink is a passive heat exchanger that transfers the heat generated by an electronic or a mechanical device to a fluid medium, often air or a liquid coolant, where it is dissipated away from the device, thereby allowing regulation of the device's temperature at optimal levels. In computers, heat sinks are used to cool central processing units or graphics processors. Heat sinks are used with high-power semiconductor devices such as power transistors and optoelectronics such as lasers and light emitting diodes (LEDs), where the heat dissipation ability of the component itself is insufficient to moderate its temperature. A heat sink is designed to maximize its surface area in contact with the cooling medium surrounding it, such as the air. Air velocity, choice of material, protrusion design and surface treatment are factors that affect the performance of a heat sink. Heat sink attachment methods and thermal interface materials also affect the die temperature of the integrated circuit. Thermal adhesive or thermal grease improve the heat sink's performance by filling air gaps between the heat sink and the heat spreader on the device. A heat sink is usually made out of copper or aluminium. Copper is used because it has many desirable properties for thermally efficient and durable heat exchangers. First and foremost, copper is an excellent conductor of heat. This means that copper's high Thermal Conductivity allows heat to pass through it quickly. Aluminium heat sinks are used as a low-cost, lightweight alternative to copper heat sinks, and have a lower thermal conductivity than copper.

Thermal Break is an element of low thermal conductivity placed in an assembly to reduce or prevent the flow of thermal energy between conductive materials. The opposite of a thermal barrier is a thermal bridge.

Thermal Bridge is an area or component of an object which has higher thermal conductivity than the surrounding materials, creating a path of least resistance for heat transfer. Thermal bridges result in an overall reduction in thermal resistance of the object. The term is frequently discussed in the context of a building's thermal envelope where thermal bridges result in heat transfer into or out of conditioned space. Thermal Break.

Conduction is the transfer of heat (internal energy) by microscopic collisions of particles and movement of electrons within a body. The microscopically colliding objects, that include molecules, atoms, and electrons, transfer disorganized microscopic kinetic and potential energy, jointly known as internal energy. Conduction takes place in all phases of matter, such as solids, liquids, gases and plasmas. The rate at which energy is conducted as heat between two bodies is a function of the temperature difference (temperature gradient) between the two bodies and the properties of the conductive medium through which the heat is transferred. Thermal conduction was originally called diffusion. Heat spontaneously flows from a hotter to a colder body. For example, heat is conducted from the hotplate of an electric stove to the bottom of a saucepan in contact with it. In the absence of an external driving energy source to the contrary, within a body or between bodies, temperature differences decay over time, and thermal equilibrium is approached, temperature becoming more uniform.

Heat Pipe is a heat-transfer device that combines the principles of both thermal conductivity and phase transition to efficiently manage the transfer of heat between two solid interfaces. At the hot interface of a heat pipe a liquid in contact with a thermally conductive solid surface turns into a vapor by absorbing heat from that surface. Heat Sink. The vapor then travels along the heat pipe to the cold interface and condenses back into a liquid – releasing the latent heat. The liquid then returns to the hot interface through either capillary action, centrifugal force, or gravity, and the cycle repeats. Due to the very high heat transfer coefficients for boiling and condensation, heat pipes are highly effective thermal conductors. The effective thermal conductivity varies with heat pipe length, and can approach 100 kW/(mK) for long heat pipes, in comparison with approximately 0.4 kW/(mK) for copper.

Heat Exchanger is a device used to transfer heat between a solid object and a fluid, or between two or more fluids. The fluids may be separated by a solid wall to prevent mixing or they may be in direct contact. They are widely used in space heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, power stations, chemical plants, petrochemical plants, petroleum refineries, natural-gas processing, and sewage treatment. The classic example of a heat exchanger is found in an internal combustion engine in which a circulating fluid known as engine coolant flows through radiator coils and air flows past the coils, which cools the coolant and heats the incoming air. Another example is the heat sink, which is a passive heat exchanger that transfers the heat generated by an electronic or a mechanical device to a fluid medium, often air or a liquid coolant. Copper in Heat Exchangers (wiki).

Heat Transfer is a discipline of thermal engineering that concerns the generation, use, conversion, and exchange of thermal energy (heat) between physical systems. Heat transfer is classified into various mechanisms, such as thermal conduction, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and transfer of energy by phase changes. Engineers also consider the transfer of mass of differing chemical species, either cold or hot, to achieve heat transfer. While these mechanisms have distinct characteristics, they often occur simultaneously in the same system. Insulation.

Heat shield just 10 atoms thick to protect electronic devices.

Thermal Reservoir is a thermodynamic system with a heat capacity that is large enough that when it is in thermal contact with another system of interest or its environment, its temperature remains effectively constant. It is an effectively infinite pool of thermal energy at a given, constant temperature. The temperature of the reservoir does not change when heat is added or extracted because of the infinite heat capacity. As it can act as a source and sink of heat, it is often also referred to as a heat reservoir or heat bath.

Exergy of a system is the maximum useful work possible during a process that brings the system into equilibrium with a heat reservoir.

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the Heat. Researchers made the first observations of waves of atomic rearrangements, known as phasons, propagating supersonically through a vibrating crystal lattice -- a discovery that may dramatically improve heat transport in insulators and enable new strategies for heat management in future electronics devices.

Non-toxic filamentous virus helps quickly dissipate heat generated by electronic devices

Fan is a powered machine used to create flow within a fluid, typically a gas such as air, like with Wind. A fan consists of a rotating arrangement of vanes or blades which act on the air. The rotating assembly of blades and hub is known as an impeller, a rotor, or a runner. Usually, it is contained within some form of housing or case. This may direct the airflow or increase safety by preventing objects from contacting the fan blades. Most fans are powered by electric motors, but other sources of power may be used, including hydraulic motors, hand cranks, internal combustion engines, and solar power. Wind Chill.

Convection is the movement of groups of molecules within fluids such as gases and liquids, including molten rock (rheid). Convection takes place through advection, diffusion or both. Convection cannot take place in most solids because neither bulk current flows nor significant diffusion of matter can take place. Diffusion of heat takes place in rigid solids, but that is called heat conduction. Convection, however, can take place in soft solids or mixtures where solid particles can move past each other. Thermal convection can be demonstrated by placing a heat source (e.g. a Bunsen burner) at the side of a glass full of a liquid, and observing the changes in temperature in the glass caused by the warmer ghost fluid circulating into cooler areas.

Advection is the transport of a substance by bulk motion. The properties of that substance are carried with it. Generally the majority of the advected substance is a fluid. The properties that are carried with the advected substance are conserved properties such as energy.

Heating Element converts electricity into heat through the process of resistive or Joule heating. Electric current passing through the element encounters resistance, resulting in heating of the element. Unlike the Peltier effect, this process is independent of the direction of current flow. Electric frying pans go up to 400 degrees.

Thermodynamics (chemistry)

Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator is an electrical generator that uses an array of thermocouples to convert the heat released by the decay of a suitable radioactive material into electricity by the Seebeck effect. This generator has no moving parts. Radio Generator.

Thermoelectric Generator is a solid state device that converts heat (temperature differences) directly into electrical energy through a phenomenon called the Seebeck effect (a form of thermoelectric effect). Seebeck effect is the conversion of heat directly into electricity at the junction of different types of wire.

Decay Heat is the heat released as a result of radioactive decay. This heat is produced as an effect of radiation on materials: the energy of the alpha, beta or gamma radiation is converted into the thermal movement of atoms. Decay heat occurs naturally from decay of long-lived radioisotopes that are primordially present from the Earth's formation. In nuclear reactor engineering, decay heat continues to be generated after the reactor has been shut down (see SCRAM), and nuclear chain reactions have been suspended. The decay of the short-lived radioisotopes created in fission continues at high power, for a time after shut down. The major source of heat production in a newly shut down reactor is due to the beta decay of new radioactive elements recently produced from fission fragments in the fission process.

Fire Activated Battery Charger. Point Source Power - Flame Stower

Solar Lighting and Heating

Lightweight, Wearable Tech Efficiently Converts Body Heat to Electricity

Thermal Energy Storage is excess thermal energy to be collected for later use, hours, days or many months later.

Summer Heat gathered in rooftop solar collectors could be stored in soil or rocks and used for heating homes in winter. 

Geo-Thermal

Rankine Cycle is a model that is used to predict the performance of steam turbine systems. The Rankine cycle is an idealized thermodynamic cycle of a heat engine that converts heat into mechanical work.

Draper Point is the approximate temperature above which almost all solid materials visibly glow as a result of blackbody radiation. It was established at 977 °F (525 °C, 798 K) by John William Draper in 1847.

Heat Engine is a system that converts heat or thermal energy—and chemical energy—to mechanical energy, which can then be used to do mechanical work.

Thermodynamic Cycle consists of a linked sequence of thermodynamic processes that involve transfer of heat and work into and out of the system, while varying pressure, temperature, and other state variables within the system, and that eventually returns the system to its initial state.


Concentrated Sunlight


Concentrated Solar Power Solar Power Tower also known as 'central tower' power plants or 'heliostat' power plants or power towers, is a type of solar furnace using a tower to receive the focused sunlight. It uses an array of flat, movable mirrors (called heliostats) to focus the sun's rays upon a collector tower (the target). Concentrated solar thermal is seen as one viable solution for renewable, pollution-free energy.

Solar Reserve - Powers 75,000 Nevada homes.

Concentrated Solar Power systems generate solar power by using mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight, or solar thermal energy, onto a small area. Electricity is generated when the concentrated light is converted to heat, which drives a heat engine (usually a steam turbine) connected to an electrical power generator or powers a thermochemical reaction (experimental as of 2013).[Heat storage in molten salts allows some solar thermal plants to continue to generate after sunset and adds value to such systems when compared to photovoltaic panels.

Solar Power Plants Mojave Desert (wiki)
Stirling Energy Systems (wiki)
Tessera Solar
Parabolic Reflector (solar ovens)

High Efficient Solar Water Heating Achieved with Nanoparticles of transition metal nitrides and carbides absorb sunlight very efficiently, Solar Heat Utilization Based on Plasmon Resonance of Ceramic Materials.

A Concentrating Photovoltaic System with embedded Microtracking can produce over 50 percent more energy per day than standard silicon solar cells. Arrays of plastic lenslets and a novel translational tracking system to concentrate light over 400 times onto microscale, ultra-high efficiency photovoltaic cells.

Falling Particle Receiver (youtube) - The world's first continuously recirculating high-temperature Falling Particle Receiver for Concentrated Solar Energy was constructed and tested at Sandia National Laboratories. This technology enables clean, renewable energy and electricity on demand with cheap, efficient storage at costs comparable with fossil-fuel-based plants.


Create Fuel using the Sun


Solar Chemical refers to a number of possible processes that harness solar energy by absorbing sunlight in a chemical reaction. The idea is conceptually similar to photosynthesis in plants, which converts solar energy into the chemical bonds of glucose molecules, but without using living organisms, which is why it is also called artificial photosynthesis.

Cerium Oxide

Solar Fuel is a fuel produced from sunlight through artificial photosynthesis or (experimental as of 2013) a thermochemical reaction.

Solar Energy Fuels (pdf)
Solar Synthesis Gas (pdf)
Bionic Leaf turns Sunlight into Liquid Fuel

Crystallography is the experimental science of determining the arrangement of atoms in the crystalline solids. Hydrogen Storage.

Steam Engine

Step by Step: How I Built A Solar Generator For Less Than $300 (youtube)

Augustin Mouchot (7 April 1825 – 4 October 1911) was a 19th-century French inventor of the earliest solar-powered engine, converting solar energy into mechanical steam power.



Natural Lighting using the Sun


Solar Light Tubes Light Tube or light pipes are physical structures used for transporting or distributing natural or artificial light for the purpose of illumination, and are examples of optical waveguides. In their application to daylighting, they are also often called tubular daylighting devices, sun pipes, sun scopes, or daylight pipes.

Solar Light Tubes for Home Lighting. Sola Tube

Lucy: Light Indoor Spaces With Real Sunshine, reflects sunlight into your home. Solar powered and portable.

Rawlemon Solar Devices

LED's (lights that use very little energy)

Outdoor Solar Lights

AC Window Blinds


“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” — Thomas Alva Edison, 1931.

If the Sun were a God this God would be saying..."Why don't you appreciate the love that I give you everyday. I send you free energy everyday and you don't use it, why? Plants, trees and many other life forms on Earth use my energy, so why don't humans?"



Solar Energy News and Resources


Solar Shingles also called photovoltaic shingles, are solar panels or solar modules designed to look like and function as conventional roofing materials, such as asphalt shingle or slate, while also producing electricity. Solar shingles are a type of solar energy solution known as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). 5 million new roofs are installed in the U.S. every year.

Solar City - Solar Kits (portable) - Solar System Info - Clean Energy Campaign

Solar Farm in Les-mees France The photo on the right is 112,780 solar modules covering an area around 500 acres, or 0.78 square miles of land, receiving horizontal solar irradiation that supplies 1,556 kWh/m² a year that produces 100 megawatts of clean power, which could power 36,000 homes, depending on how much energy those homes consume or how energy efficient they are?

Monocrystalline 24v System.

Cities that are Fully Powered by the Sun so far.

Vote Solar
Green for All
Tax Credits for Clean Energy
Federal Tax Credits
Renewable Energy Certificate
Cities Producing Clean Energy
Project Sunroof
Grid Alternatives
Community Energy
Solar Power Cooperative

Community Solar Farm is a solar power installation that accepts capital from and provides output credit and tax benefits to individual and other investors. In some systems you buy individual solar panels which are installed in the farm after your purchase. In others you purchase kW capacity or kWh of production. The farm's power output is credited to investors in proportion to their investment, with adjustments to reflect ongoing changes in capacity, technology, costs and electricity rates. Companies, cooperatives, governments or non-profits operate the farms. Centralizing the location of solar systems has advantages over residential installations that include: Trees, roof size and/or configuration, adjacent buildings, the immediate microclimate and/or other factors which may reduce power output. Building codes, zoning restrictions, homeowner association rules and aesthetic concerns. Lack of skills and commitment to install and maintain solar systems. Expanding participation to include renters and others who are not residential property owners.

Solar Gardens - My Sun Share

Solar Estimate - Batteries

Investing in Solar - Sun Farmer

Topaz Solar Farm is a 550-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power station in San Luis Obispo County, California. Construction on the project began in November 2011 and ended in November 2014. It is one of the world's largest solar farms. The $2.5 billion project includes 9 million CdTe photovoltaic modules based on thin-film technology, manufactured by U.S. company First Solar.

First Solar is an American photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer of rigid thin film modules, or solar panels, and a provider of utility-scale PV power plants and supporting services that include finance, construction, maintenance and end-of-life panel recycling. First Solar uses cadmium telluride (CdTe) as a semiconductor to produce CdTe-panels, that are competing successfully with conventional crystalline silicon technology. In 2009, First Solar became the first solar panel manufacturing company to lower its manufacturing cost to $1 per watt and produced CdTe-panels with an efficiency of about 14 percent at a reported cost of 59 cents per watt in 2013.

First Solar - Solar Clover

Solar Power in France is the 7th biggest producer of PV electricity in the world (wiki)

Solar Powered Train Solar-Powered Train. The Byron Bay 100% Solar Powered Train is a not-for-profit passenger rail service in Byron Bay, New South Wales. It operates on a three-kilometre section of the disused Casino-Murwillumbah line. Operations commenced in December 2017. A 1949 built 600 class railcar was converted to solar power for use on the service. The train is super efficient, requiring 8.33 watt-hours per passenger kilometer, even with frequent stop–starting. With a 6.5 kW rooftop solar array and a lithium-ion battery on board, in peak solar hours, the train is effectively 100% self-powered. The train has a 77 kWh lithium-ion battery running at 410 volts. The dual electric motors are US-sourced Parker GVM series permanent magnet AC units, running at 220 kW and producing several hundred Nm of torque. The batteries are fed by a 6.5 kW peak rooftop carriage-top solar PV array, using flexible SunMan eArche panels that conform to the original roof shape of the carriages. In peak sunshine hours, the onboard panels can effectively provide enough energy for the train’s duty cycle! The train runs a simple 3 km route (taking just under 10 minutes) between North Beach station and Byron Beach station, and then back again, typically completing the cycle once per hour. With the help of gentle acceleration, modest cruising speeds, and a bit of regenerative braking, the total energy used for the 6 km round trip is only 5 kWh! In peak sunshine, the panels can in principle collect 6.5 kWh of energy per hour, covering the train’s energy requirements over the same time period. Bear in mind that this 2-carriage train weighs 77,000 kg and has space for 100 passengers. The 5 kWh per 6 km cycle works out to a remarkably efficient 8.66 Wh of energy per passenger kilometer! For context, the current hypermiling record for the Tesla Model 3 is right around 75 Wh per km, for a theoretical 15 Wh per passenger kilometer (assuming 5 passengers could endure such a feat). That record required steadily cruising the Tesla Model 3 at just under 40 km/h — which is also around the top speed that the train reaches on its 3km run. Whilst for the Tesla that record required continuous cruising (of almost 1000 km!), the train achieves the same efficiency even with starting and stopping every 3 km! The speeds are modest, the route is almost perfectly flat and straight, and trains have very low rolling resistance! The terminus at North Beach station also has a solar PV array on its roof, with 30 kW peak power. In theory, the train’s 77 kWh battery holds enough energy for 15 runs of 3km each, but at either end of the day, and in the winter months, when train needs a recharge, dual 22 kW 3-phase AC chargers do the job. The overall system generated an excess of 60 MWh of energy in the first year of operation, which was exported to the grid. That’s equivalent to the power requirements of around 17 average Australian 3-bedroom homes (the video mentions 12 homes, but the train’s website says 17 — take your pick). World's First Solar Train - Byron Bay Railroad Company | Fully Charged (youtube).

Electric Cruise Ship powered by electricity generated on board by diesel-powered generators. Naval vessels have, of course, used electric power as a mean of propulsion since the invention of submarines, but it has stayed mostly under water until the last 10 years. The entire ship—not just its propulsion system—can function with only two of the four main generators on line. Each unit generates 11.5 MW at 6.6-kV alternating current. Two electric motors provide the ship's propulsion. The motors are synchronous and run to match the frequency of the supply current. Each motor consumes 14 MW with a voltage of 2.3 kV, so the system requires transformers, as the figure shows. Once the electricity has been transformed to the correct voltage, it becomes the input to the propulsion converters, two for each motor. Each 12-pulse-type converter again divides into two six-pulse-type converters for redundancy purposes. By controlling the inductance in the converters, the ship engineers can control the speed of each motor. With no inductance, the motor stops; it reaches the maximum 145 rotations per minute when the inductance is 21.75 Hz. Each converter comprises an NB (network bridge) and an MB (machine bridge) connected together on the dc side through a dc link reactor. The windings of the two converters for each motor are displaced by 30° to provide the shaft with a smooth angular momentum. The NB converts the fixed-frequency ac power into dc power with variable voltage and current and carries out the firing of the thyristor electromagnetically. The firing angle of the thyristors varies the bridge dc output current. The NB output passes into the MB through an external link reactor to provide adaptation between the two bridges and smoothing of the current in the dc link. The circuitry in the MB connects the thyristors in the reverse direction of those in the NB to provide inversion. The firing of the thyristors generates an ac output whose frequency relates to the required motor speed. A fully digitally controlled diode bridge provides the motor excitation. The motors have a 90° phase difference to smooth the control curve. Hurtigruten MS Roald Amundsen, the world's first hybrid powered cruise ship.

Electric Airplanes - Airbus E-FanAlpha Electro 2-seat Electric Airplane is perfect for one hour flying lesson with one hour plus reserve of battery life. $100,000.00. NASA's X-57 Hybrid Electric Research Plane.

South Korea has installed Solar Panels in the Middle of the Highway that is used as a Bicycle Path. Cyclists are protected from the sun and are also isolated from traffic, and at the same time the country can produce clean energy.

SolaRoad is the world's first bike path made from solar panels, and is a prototype project testing the feasibility of various proposals for smart highways. Roads made of Solar Panels.

The Thrilling Potential for Off-Grid Solar Energy: Amar Inamdar 2017 (video and text)

Energy Independent Towns

Space-Based Solar Power is the concept of collecting solar power in outer space and distributing it to Earth. Potential advantages of collecting solar energy in space include a higher collection rate and a longer collection period due to the lack of a diffusing atmosphere, and the possibility of placing a solar collector in an orbiting location where there is no night. A considerable fraction of incoming solar energy (55–60%) is lost on its way through the Earth's atmosphere by the effects of reflection and absorption. Space-based solar power systems convert sunlight to microwaves outside the atmosphere, avoiding these losses and the downtime due to the Earth's rotation, but at great cost due to the expense of launching material into orbit. SBSP is considered a form of sustainable or green energy, renewable energy, and is occasionally considered among climate engineering proposals. It is attractive to those seeking large-scale solutions to anthropogenic climate change or fossil fuel depletion (such as peak oil).

Floating Solar Farm - Floating Solar Power Plants. Benefits include reduced shading, reduced civil works, reduced grid interconnection costs, reduced water evaporation, improved water quality, and reduced algal blooming. The potential for further growth in floating solar photovoltaic power generation is significant. World’s largest floating solar farms being built in Singapore (youtube).


Solar Power Information

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Solar Daily News
Solar Energy Industries Assoc.
Graphene Photovoltaics
Qbotix Solbot Slides Panels
Solar System (high quality)
Spectrolab XJT Prime 30.7%

Green Jobs - Here Comes the Sun (youtube)



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