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Solar Sunflower Made By IBM Can Power Several Homes

Solar power is going through a major transition now due to much lower costs. Because attention has been focused on the greater affordability, perhaps there has been less emphasis on the fact that solar technology continues to advance. IBM and Airlight Energy have partnered to create a solar sunflower for sale in 2017. It can […]

September 29th

Yingli Makes Advancements In Monocrystalline Ingot Formation

Yingli Solar* is the largest solar module manufacture in the world. Based in China, it often receives blanket criticisms of Chinese companies, such as people claiming that Chinese companies don’t innovate. To assume that the multi-billion-dollar leader of the extremely fast-growing and fast-changing solar energy market is not innovating seems naive at best, and downright prejudiced or conniving […]

August 15th

First Solar Makes World’s Most Efficient Thin-Film Solar PV Cell, Again

First Solar, the world’s largest manufacturer of thin-film solar photovoltaic cells and modules, has bettered its record of producing the most efficient solar cell. The US-based company recently announced that a cell manufactured at its Ohio manufacturing factory and research & development center achieved an efficiency of 21%, the highest on record by a non-concentrating […]

August 7th

Thin-Silicon Solar Startup Solexel Gets $31 Million

Milpitas, California-based thin-silicon solar company Solexel has obtained a round D funding of $31 million. The company now has secured just over $200 million in venture capital funding. The latest round is for helping it go into commercial production. The official press release says, “Investors in Solexel include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Technology Partners, […]

August 2nd

From Selenium to Silicon and Beyond: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the First Solar Cell Capable of Converting Enough Sunlight Directly into Electricity for Practical Power

By John Perlin, author of Let It Shine* The solar cell had its birth in 1873, as bars of selenium. When two British scientists, William Grylls Adams and Richard Evans Day, in 1876 exposed the bars to candlelight they discovered something totally new: that light, not heat, could directly generate electricity in certain materials such as selenium. Adams […]

April 20th

Panasonic HIT Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record

Panasonic has a long history of breaking solar efficiency records. The company recently announced that it has broken an efficiency record again. Its HIT solar cell has achieved a conversion efficiency of 25.6%, a new world record and “a major increase over the previous world record for crystalline silicon-based solar cells,” as Panasonic notes. Notably, that […]

April 19th

Concepts In Photovoltaic Technology

Since the first solar cell was produced by Bell Labs in the 1950s, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has been gradually evolving. The work resulted in the development of a compound which is formed of semiconductor elements found in the periodic table and the synthesis of an organic solar cell. Broadly, photovoltaic technologies are now classified as: crystalline silicon solar cells, […]

March 31st

Advantages of Solar Energy > Insanity

Originally published on Cost of Solar. The second definition of “insanity” in Google is, “Extreme foolishness or irrationality.” Unfortunately, that definition actually applies to more of what we do and don’t do than we probably want to admit. With extreme insanity, a key thing those of us observing the insanity from the outside tend to […]

March 21st

Renewable Energy Sources — 1 Important Chart

Originally published on Cost of Solar. Where does the energy we need, animals need, and plants need come from? Largely, it just comes from the sun. Plants use solar energy to grow and develop, and animals and humans then get that energy from plants. It’s an amazing thing that we generally don’t give much thought […]

March 20th

ARPA-E Supports 12 Unique Solar Projects With $30 Million

US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz this week announced $30 million of support for 12 more unique, hybrid solar projects through the ARPA-E program. Actually, it’s through a program within that program — the Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) program, “which is aimed at developing new hybrid solar energy converters and hybrid energy storage systems that […]

February 7th