Solar Cells Integrated Into Building Materials

Solar Cells Integrated Into Building Materials 

 The solar system shown here (darker panels) integrates thin-film solar modules directly into a metal roof.

In an effort to promote the adoption of solar technology, United Solar Ovonic of Auburn Hills, MI, has teamed with a major roofing company to create a metal roof system that generates electricity from sunlight. The partnership offers seven different prefabricated systems, ranging in capacity from 3 to 120 kilowatts. Tests show that the solar roof panels are rugged and can withstand winds in excess of 160 miles per hour.

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Mini-Windmills Could Soon Be On Roofs Across Europe And US

Mini-Windmills Could Soon Be On Roofs Across Europe And US 
 Mini-Windmills

They are small and look more like art than innovation. But the mini-windmills built by a British company could soon be on roofs across Europe and the US — if German energy giant RWE has its way.

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Solar Concentrator Is A Flying Power Plant

Solar Concentrator Is A Flying Power Plant 

Cool Earth’s Solar Balloon 

Cool Earth’s inflated solar concentrators may be the lightest power plants around. Looking like a biggie version of those shiny helium balloons you might see at someone’s birthday party, the concentrators weigh just 20 pounds and, tethered to lightweight aluminum towers, seem to float 20 feet off the ground gathering solar energy. Able to withstand winds up to 125 mph, the 8-foot-wide Mylar balloons are reflective on one side, and each one has its own lightweight tether.

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