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Solar thermal

Fractal Designs Improve Concentrating Solar

Written by , on October 26, 2017

Sandia National Laboratories engineers have developed new fractal-like, concentrating solar power receivers for small- to medium-scale use that are up to 20% more effective at absorbing sunlight than current technology.  Read more »

Inflatable Concentrated Solar System Halves Costs

Written by , on October 14, 2017

An Austrian company, Heliovis, has developed an inflatable cylindrical thermal concentrator which concentrates sunlight onto a central thermal receiver, similarly to a parabolic trough, but at a much lower cost.  Read more »

Concentrated Solar Heat in Developing Countries

Written by , on May 30, 2016

The largest energy demand in many communities is for producing heat, for example for cooking or water sterilization. Using electricity, if available, risks regular blackouts and high costs and wood contributes to deforestation and indoor air pollution.
Using concentrated solar power directly, without the need for expensive and complex components, is ideal for many developing communities energy needs.  Read more »

New Approach Promises Cheaper Solar Thermal Storage

Written by , on November 5, 2015

Engineers at Oregon State University have developed a new approach, using thermochemical storage, in which chemical transformation is used in repeated cycles to hold heat, for the storage of concentrated solar thermal energy which could reduce its cost and make it more practical for wider use.  Read more »

Coating Greatly Improves Efficiency of Solar Hot Water

Written by , on October 30, 2015

Researchers at the Technological Institute of the Lagoon in Mexico have developed a superconducting coating which they say increases the efficiency of solar water heaters by up to 70%. The coating material is a type of paint, classified as an “ink” because of its quick-setting property, that is built up in several layers. The first […]  Read more »

Long Lasting Solar Thermal Material Absorbs 90% of Light

Written by , on November 7, 2014

A new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants can absorb and convert to heat more than 90% of the sunlight falling on it, withstand temperatures of more than 700ºC and survive for many years.  Read more »

New Material Converts Solar Energy to Steam

Written by , on September 10, 2014

A new material structure, developed at MIT, generates steam when simply floated on water and placed in the sun.   Read more »

IBM Cooling Tech to Cut Cost of Solar Power

Written by , on April 24, 2013

Scientists at Airlight Energy have joined IBM and the Swiss universities, ETH Zurich and Interstate University of Applied Sciences, to develop an affordable photovoltaic system that is capable of concentrating sunlight 2,000 times onto hundreds of one centimetre square PC cells – yielding high efficiency at low cost. The system uses a large parabolic dish […]  Read more »

Using Whirlwinds to Drive Wind Turbines

Written by , on March 21, 2013

Mark Simpson and Ari Glezer at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta have developed a new way of driving a wind turbine using the vortex effect which produces whirlwinds and tornados. When there is a temperature difference between hot air close to the ground and cooler air just above it, the hot air rises and […]  Read more »

Solar Powered Internal Combustion Engine

Written by , on November 23, 2012

Missouri inventors Matt Bellue and Ben Cooper have developed way of converting an internal combustion engine to be powered by solar energy. The solar energy is used to heat oil which is injected into the cylinder with a little water. The water boils and the steam drives the cylinder. The oil and water are collected […]  Read more »