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Toyota Tries to Keep Wraps Under Solar Car

Source: Environmental, June 22, 2009

Toyota reportedly is developing a car that would be charged solely by solar, reports the Associated Press. The futuristic car is years away from market, however, the report notes. From a story originally published in the Nikkei newspaper and not verified by Toyota, the automaker’s solar car would get some of its power from solar cells on the vehicle, and the rest from solar panels on the rooftop of the home where the car is parked. (more…)

Northern firms of Malaysia embrace solar

By David Tan, George Town, July 4, 2009
Source: The Star Online

Companies in the northern region are now making strategic moves to enter into the solar power business, as the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) has identified solar power sector as a new source of growth for the economy.  Three public-listed companies in Penang, P. I.E. Industrial Bhd, Ire-Tex Corp Bhd, and Pentamaster Corp Bhd, have recently invested to tap into the growing market demand for solar products in the country and in the world.  The global revenue from solar panels (known also as photovoltaic panels) is expected to rise to US$17.8bil in 2010, up 38.2% from 2009. Revenue will rise by another 11.1% in 2011 and by 29.1% in 2012, according to US-based market research company, iSuppli Corp. (more…)

First space-to-earth solar power station targeted for Oct. 2010

Source: July 4, 2009

Sir Charles Shults of Xenotech Research describes their current projects, including assisting deployment of an orbital solar power station; ramping up for manufacturing of an affordable, modular 500W Solar Pod for purchase within six months; and designing a residential wind turbine expected to be 1/3 the cost of others.

Last Monday, I interviewed Sir Charles Shults III of Xenotech Research which has several projects under way:   1) moving near the New Mexico space port to expedite development of an orbital solar power project for deployment in Oct. 2010;   2) ramping up for manufacturing of an affordable, modular 500W Solar Pod for purchase within six months; 3) designing a residential wind turbine expected to be 1/3 the cost of others.  (more…)

AxunTek set to upgrade CIGS thin-film solar cell production

Taipei, By Deborah Kuo /3 July 2009
Source: Central News Agency /eTaiwanNews

AxunTek Solar Energy, the first company in Taiwan to have developed cutting-edge CIGS thin-film technology for green energy, is set to upgrade and expand its production of CIGS thin-film solar cells and related products in a new plant, company officials said Friday.  The Export Processing Zone Administration (EPZA) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs gave the green light that day to a new investment plan proposed by AxunTek to build a manufacturing plant at an EPZ in the southernmost county of Pingtung for expanded research and production of CIGS thin-film solar cells. Under the plan, AxunTek will invest NT$6.99 billion (US$212.43 million) for the expansion of CIGS thin-film solar cell research and production, according to the EPZA. (more…)

Charting a Path to Low-Cost Solar

Panelists discuss whether crystalline silicon, upgraded metallurgical silicon or thin film will reach the lowest costs.
by: Jennifer Kho
From GreenTech Media, July 16, 2008

The solar industry can potentially reduce costs 40 percent over the next five years as the silicon shortage ends, according to Graham Stevens, an associate director at Navigant Consulting.  At the Intersolar North America conference in San Francisco this week, panelists discussed different ways to reduce those costs.  For example, Roy Johnson, CEO of Calisolar, said that the cost of producing upgraded metallurgical-grade silicon, also known as UMG silicon, can potentially be one-sixth that of making polysilicon. The company plans to make cells from 100 percent UMG silicon, which Johnson said is three orders of magnitude less pure than polysilicon, and is aiming for efficiencies of 16 percent to 17 percent. (more…)

Solar co. Nextlight lands 230-MW deal with PG&E

by Camille Ricketts, June 8, 2009

NextLight Renewable Power, a solar company developing 2,100 Californian acres into what will be the AV Solar Ranch — a $1 billion solar array producing 230 megawatts — has landed a power purchasing contract with Pacific Gas & Electric. The plant will break ground next year in Antelope Valley, Calif., and is expected to be fully operational by 2013. The project could ultimately generate 592 gigawatt-hours of electricity a year for up to 90,000 PG&E households in northern and central California. (more…)

Semprius absorbs $6M for cheaper, printed solar cells

by Camille Ricketts, June 10, 2009

Semprius is one of a few companies focused on thin, printed solar modules — a relatively new technology that could save a tremendous amount of solar cell waste if widely implemented. The modules are considered “printed” because they consist only of a very thin layer of active solar cells stripped off the top of a normal solar wafer. Based in Durham, N.C., the company has raised $6.4 million in a second round of funding to continue developing this design. (more…)

Signet Solar applies for federal funds to fuel thin-film strategy

by Camille Ricketts, June 25, 2009

Signet Solar, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based maker of thin-film solar panels, has applied for federal loan guarantees in addition to capital-raising efforts to aggressively expand its operations in the United States in the next three years.  The company’s plan is to install four production lines with the capacity to manufacture 65 to 80 megawatts-worth of solar panels a year in New Mexico. Each of these lines is predicted to cost $200 million to build and is dependent on technology acquired from Applied Materials. Construction will begin this year in hopes of ramping up panel production by 2011. Signet says it filed its application to the Department of Energy in February and is in talks with several private backers for the project already. (more…)

Transparent plastic solar cells fitted into windows

by Martin LaMonica, May 17, 2009
Source: Crave /

Solar company Konarka has developed a transparent solar cell that it hopes will be built onto electricity-generating windows.  The Lowell, Mass.-based company on Tuesday said it has reached an agreement with Arch Aluminum & Glass to use Konarka’s plastic solar cells in building materials, including windows. A transparent solar cell Konarka hopes will be fitted into power-generating windows. Under its Arch Active Solar Glass development, the company has built prototypes of windows with the solar cells between two panes of glass. The photovoltaic cells can be tinted different colors. (more…)

Solar panels take on roof tile shape for aesthetics

by Candace Lombardi, Jun 27, 2009

Will a better aesthetic tempt more people into going solar? SRS Energy is betting on it.  The company has partnered with US Tile, a leading manufacturer of Spanish, slate, and shake roof tiles, to design solar panels with the exact same shapes as their clay counterparts. The result is solar tiles that can be seamlessly integrated with the terra-cotta tiles on your roof. Instead of the solar panels being on your roof, your solar panels are the roof. Instead of consumers going solar as aftermarket adaptation, the Philadelphia-based company hopes that solar will become part of the architecture and building of residences and commercial properties. (more…)

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