Transparent solar panels will turn windows into green energy collectors

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A team of researchers from Michigan State University managed to develop a fully transparent solar panels – a breakthrough that could lead to countless applications in architecture, as well as other fields such as mobile electronics or the automotive industry. Previous attempts to create such a device have been made, but results were never satisfying enough, with low efficiency and poor material quality.

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These Origami solar panels generate electricity for apartments

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Solgami wants to help people living in cities.

A new design of solar panel could help apartment dwellers harvest electricity from their windows without prohibitive installation costs. Solgami, designed by Australian architect Ben Berwick, is a window blind that generates power while bouncing more light into the room using a folded origami design.

“It’s a bit of a reconnection to the natural setting,” Berwick, who founded architecture firm Prevalent, told Fast Company* this weekend. “It’s making your apartment a better place to be.”

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Tesla proposes microgrids with solar and batteries to power Greek islands

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Tesla has met with the Greek government to propose ways to modernize the electric grid of the country’s many islands in the Mediterranean sea with microgrids and renewable energy to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

Several Greek islands are relatively remote and rely heavily on fossil fuels to power their electric grid.

Over the years, Tesla has acquired some experience in building microgrids to power remote islands using solar panels and its energy storage systems, like the Powerpack.

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The world’s largest floating solar plant is finally online

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This massive power plant is taking energy to a whole new level.

The world’s largest floating solar power plant is now online in China. Built by Sungrow, a supplier of PV inverter systems, the 40MW plant is now afloat in water four to 10 meters deep, and successfully linked to Huainan, China’s grid. The placement was chosen in large part because the area was previously the location of coal mining operations; and, as a result, the water there is now mineralized and mostly useless. The lake itself was only formed after years of mining operations, the surrounding land collapsed and created a cavity that was filled with rainwater.

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Scientists develop liquid fuel that can store the Sun’s energy for up to 18 years

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No matter how abundant or renewable, solar power has a thorn in its side. There is still no cheap and efficient long-term storage for the energy that it generates.

The solar industry has been snagged on this branch for a while, but in the past year alone, a series of four papers has ushered in an intriguing new solution.

Scientists in Sweden have developed a specialised fluid, called a solar thermal fuel, that can store energy from the sun for well over a decade.

“A solar thermal fuel is like a rechargeable battery, but instead of electricity, you put sunlight in and get heat out, triggered on demand,” Jeffrey Grossman, an engineer works with these materials at MIT explained to NBC News.

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The future of construction may be concrete that generates its own electricity

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We need buildings in which to live, but crafting those buildings is making it harder to live on this planet. As much as 10% of global carbon emissions come from the production of concrete. One ton of CO2 is generated by making one ton of cement, which is made from limestone and a few other things heated to an extremely high temperature.

But what if concrete could generate its own energy? The era of photovoltaic concrete may be getting closer. Photovoltaics, which work by converting light to energy via semiconducting, are starting to migrate from solar panels into the building materials themselves.

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Utilities have a problem: the public wants 100% renewable energy, and quick

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The industry is groping for ways to talk the public down.

Renewable energy is hot. It has incredible momentum, not only in terms of deployment and costs but in terms of public opinion and cultural cachet. To put it simply: Everyone loves renewable energy. It’s cleaner, it’s high-tech, it’s new jobs, it’s the future.

And so more and more big energy customers are demanding the full meal deal: 100 percent renewable energy.

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Power worth less than zero spreads as green energy floods the grid

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Wind and solar farms are glutting networks more frequently, prompting a market signal for coal plants to shut off.

Bright and breezy days are becoming a deeper nightmare for utilities struggling to earn a return on traditional power plants.

With wind and solar farms sprouting up in more areas — and their power getting priority to feed into the grid in many places — the amount of electricity being generated is outstripping demand during certain hours of the day.

The result: power prices are slipping to zero or even below more often in more jurisdictions. That’s adding to headaches for generators from NRG Energy Inc. in California to RWE AG in Germany and Origin Energy Ltd. in Australia. Once confined to a curiosity for a few hours over windy Christmas holidays, sub-zero cost of electricity is becoming a reality for hundreds of hours in many markets, upending the economics of the business in the process.

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Amazing solar panel device is now open source

Anyone who has wanted to generate their own energy and filter their own water can now do so with an amazing open source device.

Speaking on stage at Inspirefest 2018, Chinese-Canadian mechanical and electrical engineer Eden Full Goh described what inspired her to develop a cheap, easy-to-build solar panel device called the SunSaluter.

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These living solar cells make energy, even in bad weather

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When it comes to generating energy from sunlight, unusual solutions have been shown to make the process more efficient.

Now, a team of researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) has demonstrated how solar cells made of living organisms can generate energy even with limited sunlight. Known as “biogenic” solar cells, these cells could offer an alternative to synthetic cells currently used in conventional solar panels, providing an energy source despite bad weather. A paper detailing the research was published this month in the journal Small.

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Florida’s ‘city of the future’ is first solar-powered town in America

Developers hope Babcock Ranch will become America’s first self-sustaining city; Phil Keating reports on the progress.Video

America’s first solar community coming to life in Florida

Developers hope Babcock Ranch will become America’s first self-sustaining city; Phil Keating reports on the progress.

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Pioneering ‘liquid air’ project can help store excess electricity

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A pioneering project in north-west England will turn air into liquid for energy storage to help electricity grids cope with a growing amount of wind and solar power.

The world’s first full-scale “liquid air” plant is based on a technology that advocates say is cheaper and able to provide power for longer periods than lithium-ion batteries.

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