Solar News
N. Idaho company gets $750K for solar parking lot
July 21st, 2011

A northern Idaho company that aims to transform U.S. highways into a vast, energy-producing network is getting $750,000 from the federal government for the next phase of its project: a solar parking lot.

Solar Roadways of Sagle announced Wednesday that it won a Small Business Innovation Research grant for the project from the Federal Highway Administration.

With the money, company founders Scott and Julie Brusaw aim to create a prototype parking lot for testing, but their real dream is for a road system built of 12-foot-by-12-foot solar panels rather than traditional asphalt.

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Sulphur Breakthrough Significantly Boosts Lithium Battery Capacity
July 5th, 2011

Lithium batteries have become the portable powerhouses of modern society. If you own a phone, mp3 player or laptop, you will already own a lithium battery. More than likely, you will have several.

But good as they are, lithium batteries are not up to the demanding task of powering the next generation of electric vehicles. They just don’t have enough juice or the ability to release it quickly over and over again.

The problem lies with the cathodes in these batteries. The specific capacities of the anode materials in lithium batteries are 370 mAh/g for graphite and 4200 mAh/g for silicon. By contrast, the cathode specific capacities are 170 mAh/g for LiFePO4 and only 150mAh/g for layered oxides.

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Set Sail With Solar Boats
June 30th, 2011

Growing up in Maine near the coast, I did my share of boating. I wasn’t especially adept at tying knots or figuring out where I was from the stars, but one thing I did know for certain was that there was something wrong with boat designs; they were boring horseshoe shaped flotillas. Luckily, for those of us like me (I like to say I’ve a good eye for cool things), Turkish designers Hakan Gürsu and Sözüm Dogan of Designnobis have designed this concept “sailboat”.

At 105 feet long, it’s not a tiny ship by any means, and it looks more X-Wing than schooner, but that’s what helps make it so awe-inspiring. The coolest part of the concept is that it’s a zero-emission craft that doesn’t burn any kind of fuel: It runs entirely on energy harnessed from the sun and wind. The two sails are also solar panels and are controlled by an onboard computer that tracks the sun and wind for maximum power.

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When Will Solar Go Mainstream?
June 28th, 2011

How much of the electricity in the U.S. comes from rooftop solar panels and solar power plants? If you guessed less than one-tenth of a percent, you’d be right.

A solar industry veteran from a leading solar panel manufacturer described a not-so-scientific method of assessing solar power penetration. He called it a “rooftop survey via neighborhood stroll” and even when performed in his sunny California neighborhood, yielded only the occasional sighting,

Why hasn’t solar caught on in the U.S.?

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Rooftops, Empty Lots or the Desert: Where Will the Future of Solar Lie?
June 28th, 2011

Since Edison’s day, we have largely been generating electricity the same way; with massive, centralized power plants.

Along the way, utilities have become enormous entities with thousands of employees and billions of dollars in revenue. Many of them are public companies that pay generous and reliable dividends, making them a favorite investment for grandmothers everywhere.

But the model now faces two distinct challenges. First, a majority of scientists, policy leaders, the public and business executives and others have come to the conclusion that greenhouse gases need to be reduced.

Second, power plants aren’t cheap and can take years to build.

Besides producing clean energy and a fairly reliable rate, solar panels sport another unique attribute, say advocates: modularity. Solar power plants range in size from the 250 megawatt California Solar Valley Ranch slated for Central California to a 3 kilowatt system on a 1,500 square foot house.

A solar charger for a cell phone is a power plant too, if you think about it. The size of your solar plant depends on your budget and the real estate on hand.

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ASTALDI Construction Corp. Goes Solar
ASTALDI Construction Goes Solar ASTALDI Construction Corporation recently added
a building-integrated, rooftop solar energy system to its corporate office building in Davie, Florida...
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PROINSO becomes PV CYCLE point for the collection and
recycling of modules in Europe. The 965 companies in its network of qualified installers and other companies working with the Spanish multinational, can send all types of photovoltaic modules...
Read Full Article

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