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Monthly Archive: March 2012

Combining Solar PV and Greenhouses

Written by , on March 27, 2012

The Spanish greenhouse supply company, ULMA Agricola, is testing a solar photovoltaic system which it has developed for greenhouses. The system allows electricity to be generated without the crops being affected by over-shading. A lens-based system diverts the sun’s rays by different angles depending on the season of the year. During winter, the critical factor […]  Read more »

Spray-on Solar Cells for Windows

Written by , on March 22, 2012

Dr Mark Bissett, from Flinders University in South Australia, has developed a solar cell using transparent carbon nanotubes that can be sprayed onto windows. The solar cell is created by taking two sheets of electrically conductive glass and sandwiching a layer of functionalised single-walled carbon nanotubes between the glass sheets. The nanotube cells can be […]  Read more »

Turning Offshore Wind Farms into Real Farms

Written by , on March 20, 2012

A Dutch company, Ecofys, is investigating the possibilities of integrating seaweed cultivation into offshore wind farms.  The project is financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Ecofys and several partners are creating a test module for seaweed cultivation in an offshore environment. The test module consists of nets a few metres […]  Read more »

Easy System Converts Pushbikes to Electric

Written by , on March 15, 2012

DK City, a Taiwanese company, has come up with a kit which converts a standard bike to electric by simply changing a wheel and clipping a wireless console to the handle bar. The kits come in eight colours and two sizes but, unfortunately, are quite expensive at $US 1,170.  Read more »

Ultra-thin Silicon Technology Could Dramatically Reduce Solar PV Cost

Written by , on March 15, 2012

A Californian company, Twin Creeks Technologies, has developed a technology which it claims could halve the cost of pphotovoltaic cells and make solar pv technology price competitive with fossil fuels. Currently, most photovoltaic cells are made by slicing blocks of silicon into 200 micron thick wafers. Electrodes are attached and the silicon wafers are covered […]  Read more »

Energy Sources You May Not Have Thought Of

Written by , on March 14, 2012

Brazillian designer, João Lammoglia has come up with a couple of renewable energy sources that we hadn’t thought of: The Aire converts the energy of the user’s breathing into electrical energy. Inside the device, small wind turbines produce the electricity which is transferred through a cable to charge a electronic device. The Doormate converts the […]  Read more »

Electric Cars Could Refuel Like Petrol Cars

Written by , on March 12, 2012

A New York-based company, Eos Energy Storage, is developing a system that refills an electric vehicle’s battery in a way similar to the way petrol cars are refueled at service stations. Eos Energy Storage says that it can make a zinc-air battery in which the used electrolyte can be pumped out and a new electrolyte […]  Read more »

White Roofs Shown to Reduce Temperatures

Written by , on March 10, 2012

A study lead by Columbia University scientist, Stuart Gaffin, with the assistance of NASA, has found that white roof coating reduced peak rooftop temperatures New York in summer by an average of 23.6 C°. The study looked at how different white roofing materials performed “in the field” over multiple years. The study tested three different […]  Read more »

Spherical Solar Cells Don’t Need to Point at the Sun

Written by , on March 7, 2012

A Japanese company, Kyosemi Corporation, has developed a micro spherical solar cell which elimates the need for solar panels to be pointed at the sun to operate most effectively. Normal flat solar cells work at optimal efficiency only when they pointing directly at the sun. Unless they are mounted on motorized tracking systems, which consume […]  Read more »

Battery Breakthrough Could Eliminate Range Anxiety

Written by , on March 7, 2012

Envia Systems, a Californian company with prototyping and production facilities in China, has developed a lithium-ion battery with roughly twice as much energy per gram as present batteries. Envia Systems found that by including manganese in a mix of materials for the cathode better energy densities could be achieved. The team then boosted the performance […]  Read more »