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Australia’s increasing PV power

by EcoGeneration — July/August 2009

Australia’s PV power market grew substantially in 2008, bringing Australia’s total installed capacity to 104.5 MW. The figures come from a key report into Australia’s photovoltaic (PV) power market – National Survey Report of PV Power Applications in Australia 2008, prepared by Dr Muriel Watt on behalf of the Australian PV Association (APVA) and published in May this year. The report found an 80 per cent increase in total megawatts (MW) of installed PV above 2007 levels, with 22.02 MW of PV installed from 1 January to 31 December last year. (more…)

Satellites to beam solar power from space

Cutting out the interfering clouds by rising above them
By J Mark Lytle, Tokyo /Via Nikkei, June 28, 2009

Solar power is an undeniably great idea, but it soon runs into trouble when clouds roll in to block the Sun’s rays. Which is why we could soon be looking at moving the panels into space way beyond the pesky old atmosphere.  The plan is already in motion in Japan, where the government is soliciting for firms to build the hardware required to get giant solar panels into orbit.

Ready by 2030
By next month, the goal is to have the necessary partners in place for the real planning to begin, with a goal of supplying solar power from space by 2030. For the scheme to work, the various parties involved will have to not just get the solar satellites into space, but also beam the power down to Earth in the form of microwaves.

Beam me down
Initial testing will focus on short-range wireless power transmission, building slowly to reach the 36,000km needed to bridge the gap between geostationary satellites and ground stations.

The history of solar power

July 5th, 2009 by kalyan89 in PV-General, Solar Energy - general

Source: Prairie Business Magazine, July 01, 2009

The first solar motor was invented in 1861 by Auguste Mouchout, a steam engine powered entirely by the sun. Because the engine was expensive and England’s coal was cheap, enthusiasm for the invention quickly lost steam.  In 1876, William Grylls Adams discovered that light shining on selenium shed electrons, which created electricity. Albert Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in physics for research on the photoelectric effect, which is central to the generation of electricity through solar cells. (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…)

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 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…)

Economics of solar energy

June 28th, 2009 by kalyan89 in PV-General, R&D reports, Solar Energy - general

by Peter Lorenz, Thomas Seitz , Dickon Pinner

Solar energy is becoming more economically attractive as technologies improve and the cost of electricity generated by fossil fuels rises. By 2020, hundreds of billions of dollars of investment capital will probably boost global solar-generating capacity 20 to 40 times higher than its current level.  New era for solar power is approaching. Long derided as uneconomic, it is gaining power as technologies improve and cost of traditional energy sources rises. Within three to seven years, unsubsidised solar power could cost no more to end customers in many markets, such as California or Italy, than electricity generated by fossil fuels or by renewable alternatives to solar. Solar power faces challenges that are common in emerging sectors. Several technologies are competing to win the lowest-cost laurels, and it’s not yet clear which is going to win. (more…)

National Semiconductor, West Holdings to Promote SolarMagic Power Optimizers in Japan

Nikkei Electronics Asia, Jun 24, 2009
Source: TechOn

National Semiconductor Corp announced that West Holdings has become its first Japanese photovoltaic (PV) business partner. In addition, the company announced that it has started shipping its SolarMagic power optimizers in Japan. West Holdings is Japan’s leading company in environment-compatible home remodeling and improvement businesses such as photovoltaic systems, all-electric home appliances and house insulation services. West Holdings began selling SolarMagic power optimizers on June 22 through House Care, one of its member companies. (more…)

Windows coated with world’s tiniest solar cells


Hawaiian Electric reaches milestone 50,000 solar installations

Source: Honolulu, June 9, 2009

A Honolulu resident became the 50,000th customer of Hawaiian Electric’s residential Solar Water Heating Rebate program announced Keith Block, director of the Oahu utility’s Customer Efficiency Programs. “It’s a significant milestone for the solar industry and for Hawaii as a state,” said Block, who has been involved in the utility’s rebate program since it debuted in 1996 on Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii Island. The 50,000 systems installed under the utilities’ programs combined with previously installed solar systems brings the total statewide to more than 80,000, making Hawaii a national leader with an estimated one out of three single-family homes equipped with solar water heating. (more…)

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