Tag Archive for: photovoltaic

The Gamma prototype solar-electric vehicle made its public debut at the Fully Charged Live 2022 expo in San Diego

We’ve been following an automotive startup’s journey to get its three-wheeled solar-electric vehicle on the road for more than 15 years, and now the latest teardrop-shaped Aptera prototype has made its public debut in San Diego.

The eye-catching Gamma prototype comes from the latest incarnation of Aptera Motors, which began as Accelerated Composites in the early noughties before running out of funds in 2011 and relaunching a few years back.

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Source: New Atlas

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The 48-level building features a “solar skin” facade, from which it will generate energy for 20 percent of its base electrical requirements.

A $1 billion development at 435 Bourke Street has been approved by the Victoria’s planning department.

Designed by Bates Smart, the 48-level building will feature a “solar skin” facade, from which it will generate energy for 20 percent of its base electrical requirements.

To be made from vertical glass photovoltaic panels, the solar skin is designed to capture sunlight and convert the energy into electricity. The innovative skin can also let natural light in, providing the same thermal and insulation capacities as architectural glass.

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Source: Architecture AU

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2021 was a “breakout year” for photovoltaics combined with storage projects, which accounted for 67 of the 74 hybrid projects added in the US

Driven by falling battery prices and the growth of variable renewable generation, hybrid and co-located energy projects — mainly solar combined with battery storage — are surging across the United States.

There were 298 hybrid projects in the United States totaling 35.9 GW of generating capacity with 3.2 GW/8.1 GWh of storage by the end of last year, according to the report. Nearly half the projects were solar with storage with the rest a mixture of wind, fossil-fuel generation, nuclear generation and other resources in various configurations.

Some 74 hybrid projects started operating last year, up 32% from 2020 and totaling 6.1 GW, a 21% increase from the previous year, according to the report, which covers projects larger than 1 MW. Many of the projects involved adding batteries to existing generating facilities in California and Florida, the researchers said.

Also, there were 70% more hybrid plants in interconnection queues at the end of last year compared to 2020, the LBNL researchers said.

 

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Source: Utility Dive

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Palen Solar Project is another major step forward in the administration’s efforts to lower costs for families, create a clean energy future.

The Department of the Interior today announced that the Palen Solar Project, a 457-megawatt photovoltaic facility in Riverside County, California, has reached full power operation. The project — which will supply enough energy to power approximately 116,000 homes and includes 50 megawatts of battery storage — represents another major step forward in the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to lower costs for families and create a clean energy, carbon-free future.

“Bringing another solar project to full operation on our public lands will accelerate our nation’s transition to a clean energy economy by unlocking renewable resources, creating jobs, lowering costs, and boosting local economies,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “The Interior Department will continue to advance the sustainable development of clean energy in order to help meet the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035.”

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Source: US Department of the Interior

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Since 2007, annual installations of pv power generation have grown from 22GW to about 240GW expected this year with a compound rate of 34.5%

Two key findings from BP Plc’s annual deep dive on global energy statistics are that renewable electricity has grown at an extraordinary clip in the past two decades, and it still has very far to go. Solar and wind have expanded by orders of magnitude and now make up more than 10% of global electricity; that also means that these two technologies need to scale up market share by several factors — as the electricity system as a whole grows too — in order to decarbonize power substantially.

Of the two, solar is the smaller contributor, but with the faster growth rate. And what a growth rate it is. Since 2007, annual installations of photovoltaic power generation have grown from 22 gigawatts to about 240 gigawatts expected this year. That’s a compound rate of 34.5%, meaning it takes barely more than two years for annual installations to double, on average.

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Source: Bloomberg

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With a futuristic bee farm within the photovoltaic park, beekeeping increases crop output by increasing the degree of pollination.

A place where bees, crops, animals, and photovoltaic panels coexist and thrive may very well be feasible.

In fact, modern solar technology combined with traditional techniques has improved the bee population and honey production in the Spanish town of Carmona, according to an initial report by Endesa.

In the town, roughly two and a half million bees coexist with sheep and aromatic plants in the middle of a solar facility. Run by the Endesa energy company, the project is called Solar Apiary and is a brilliant example of agrivoltaics, the simultaneous utilization of land for both solar power and agriculture.

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Source: Interesting Engineering

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Researchers at Xidian University ran a successful test of the “world’s first full-link and full-system solar power plant” on June 5

Researchers at China’s Xidian University are claiming to have completed testing and inspection of a ground array that could pave the way to space-based solar power—a concept long heralded as a potential solution to our energy woes.

Researchers at Xidian University ran a successful test of the “world’s first full-link and full-system solar power plant” on June 5, according to a translated statement published today by the university. The plant is a 246-foot-tall (75-meter) steel structure located on Xidian University’s southern campus, and it’s equipped with with five different subsystems meant to foster the eventual development of space-based solar power arrays.

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Source: Gizmodo

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Solar power is expected to account for 10% of global power generation by 2030, and much of that power is likely to be harvested in desert areas, where sunlight is abundant. But the accumulation of dust on solar panels or mirrors can reduce the output of photovoltaic panels by as much as 30% in just one month.

The regular cleaning that solar panels require currently is estimated to use about 10 billion gallons of water per year—enough to supply drinking water for up to 2 million people. Water cleaning also makes up about 10% of the operating costs of solar installations since water typically has to be trucked in from a distance and must be very pure to avoid leaving deposits on the surfaces. But waterless cleaning methods are less effective and labor-intensive and tend to scratch the panels, which also reduces their efficiency.

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Source: MIT Technology Review

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An artist’s rendering of a crewed Martian biomanufactory powered by photovoltaics and capable of synthesizing food and pharmaceuticals, manufacturing biopolymers and recycling biological waste. (Artwork credit: Davian Ho)

The high efficiency, light weight and flexibility of the latest solar cell technology means photovoltaics could provide all the power needed for an extended mission to Mars, or even a permanent settlement there, according to a new analysis by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley.

Most scientists and engineers who’ve thought about the logistics of living on the surface of the Red Planet have assumed that nuclear power is the best alternative, in large part because of its reliability and 24/7 operation. In the past decade, miniaturized Kilopower nuclear fission reactors have advanced to the point where NASA considers them to be a safe, efficient and plentiful source of energy and key to future robotic and human exploration.

Solar power, on the other hand, must be stored for use at night, which on Mars lasts about the same length of time as on Earth. And on Mars, solar panels’ power production can be reduced by the omnipresent red dust that covers everything. NASA’s nearly 15-year-old Opportunity rover, powered by solar panels, stopped working after a massive dust storm on Mars in 2019.

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Source: Berkeley News

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Concentrated solar-thermal power harnesses the sun's energy without photovoltaic panels, using mirrors to concentrate the sun's rays.

When you think of solar energy, you probably picture the photovoltaic panels that capture sunlight to be converted to electricity. But there are other ways to harness the sun’s power. One method attracting growing interest is called concentrated solar-thermal power, or CSP, which uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate the sun’s energy.

CSP has been held back by technical challenges and a shortage of funding and government incentives compared with other sources of renewable energy. But as the sense of urgency about replacing fossil fuels continues to grow, spurring demand for carbon-free energy, a number of increasingly well-funded entities are trying to improve the technology. Proponents say the heat that CSP systems produce and their storage capacity offer advantages over other renewables for generating grid-scale electricity and fueling various industrial processes.

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Source: The Wall Street Journal

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