Wednesday, September 30, 2009
But companies are now offering alternatives to these fixed installations, in the less conspicuous form of shingles, tiles and other building materials that have photovoltaic cells sealed within them.
“The new materials are part of the building itself, not an addition, and they are taking photovoltaics to the next level — an aesthetic one,” said Alfonso Velosa III, a research director at Gartner and co-author of a coming report on the market for the new field, called building-integrated photovoltaics.
Companies are creating solar tiles and shingles in colors and shapes that fit in, for example, with the terra cotta tile roofing popular in the Southwest, or with the gray shingles of coastal saltbox cottages.
More at the New York Time
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Video and more data at PC Watch
Will be available in English at Conics.net
Its cell area is 2 x 2cm. Fraunhofer ISE said that it is possible to mass-produce the solar cell, which is one of the most efficient crystalline silicon solar cells and could rival Sanyo and other companies' products.
Crystalline silicon solar cells based on n-type semiconductor substrates have a higher resistance to impurities than those based on p-type semiconductor substrates. Therefore, it is theoretically easier to enhance the energy conversion efficiency of the former solar cells.
However, most of the crystalline silicon solar cells developed so far are based on p-type semiconductor substrates. Specifically, they are made by forming a thin n-type semiconductor layer on a thick p-type semiconductor.
More at Tech-On
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Also available at conics.net
Thursday, September 24, 2009
If processed in mass quantities, the wet moon dirt might provide resources - drinking water and rocket fuel - for future moon-dwellers, scientists say. The water comes and goes during the lunar day. It's not a lot of water. If you took a two-liter soda bottle of lunar dirt, there would probably be a medicine dropperful of water in it, said University of Maryland astronomer Jessica Sunshine, one of the scientists who discovered the water. Another way to think of it is if you want a drink of water, it would take a baseball diamond's worth of dirt, said team leader Carle Pieters of Brown University.
"It's sort of just sticking on the surface," Sunshine said. The discovery, with three studies bring published in the journal Science on Thursday and a NASA briefing, could refocus interest in the moon. The appeal of the moon waned after astronauts visited 40 years ago and called it "magnificent desolation."
Much more at Physorg
More at Pocketables.
Sanyo Electric realized the thinness while lowering conversion efficiency by only 0.2% (See related article). The company has not yet decided when it will start volume production of the cell.
"We can now reduce the amount of silicon used for HIT solar cells," the company said. "Silicon accounts for half the cost of those cells. So, we paved the way for lower-cost HIT solar cells."
Lower cost high efficiency solar sells are always good news.
Much More at Tech On
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Much More at Science Daily
Monday, September 14, 2009
The key to the discovery lies in the way in which the algae, Cladophora, produce a unique type of cellulose with a very large surface area (approximately 80 square meters of surface area per gram of material).
By coating this algal cellulose material with a thin layer of a well-known, conductive polymer, called polypyrrole (PPy), the team has “succeeded in producing a battery that weighs almost nothing and that has set new charge-time and capacity records for polymer-cellulose-based [non-metallic] batteries,” according to Gustav Nyström, a doctoral student in nanotechnology and one of the main researchers.
More at Gas 2.0
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Grant Ryan, launched his YikeBike at the Eurobike international trade show in Germany last night.
The "mini-farthing" is being marketed as the world's smallest electric bike and can be folded down into a bag the size of the front wheel.
At total 10kg bike was designed for flat city trips of up to 9km, with a top speed of 20kmh, and takes only about 20 minutes to charge to 80 per cent power.
more at YikeBike.com