Hanergy’s thin solar panels break multiple world records for efficiency

February 12, 2018 by  
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The China-based international energy corporation Hanergy was recently lauded for its newest solar production module, the highest efficiency single-junction solar module ever created. Hanergy’s US-based subsidiary Alta Devices produced a module, with a 25.1 percent conversion efficiency, capable of powering drones, electric vehicles and sensors that were once out of reach for solar power. Solar modules from subsidiaries Solibro and MiaSole have also broken efficiency records – double glass CIGS solar modules at 18.72 percent and sputtering CIGS solar modules on flexible substrate at 17.88 percent. “As we move toward a world of autonomous machines, developing sources of power that can be replenished without interruption is increasingly important,” Alta Devices Chief Marketing Officer Rich Kapusta told PR Newswire . “Each time our technology achieves a new world record, it has been designed with a clear focus on this goal.” The ultra-efficient, thin, flexible solar panels from Hanergy are possible as a result of gallium arsenide (GaAs), a semiconductor that is moisture and UV radiation resistant. The panels are constructed by growing a thin layer of GaAs on top of a single crystal GaAs wafer using a process known as metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). The thin layer is then peeled off the wafer to produce a flexible, lightweight solar cell. These thin solar panels can then be applied in a variety of situations, including as part of a solar-charging backpack featured above. Related: Solar record-breaking China aims for 50GW installed in 2017 The GaAs modules produced by Hanergy achieve efficiency up to two times that of traditional flexible solar cells and have broken conversion efficiency records four times since 2010. They currently hold the world record for the highest conversion efficiency rate (in a laboratory setting) of 28.8 percent. Hanergy has collaborated with European automakers to apply their ultra-efficient solar modules in panoramic vehicle roofs, seamlessly integrating solar power with style. Their modules are also well-suited for drone applications because of their light weight and flexibility that does not affect a drone’s aerodynamic profile. Via PR Newswire and China Daily Images via Miasole and Hanergy (1)

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Hanergy’s thin solar panels break multiple world records for efficiency

Queen of England bans plastic bottles and straws at royal estates

February 12, 2018 by  
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Plastic doesn’t seem to have the royal stamp of approval any more. Queen Elizabeth II recently banned plastic straws and bottles on royal estates with the goal of reducing plastic use. The Independent and The Telegraph quoted a Buckingham Palace spokesperson as saying “there’s a strong desire to tackle this issue” of plastic among the royal household. Some people think the Queen has taken an interest in the plastic problem after working on a conservation documentary with broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough , who recently discussed the particular dilemma of ocean plastic in Blue Planet II – a heartrending clip from the show revealed a mother pilot whale who carried around her dead baby likely poisoned by plastic. Friends of the Earth campaigner Julian Kirby told The Telegraph, “Blue Planet’s reach now extends to the Royal households and shows how much momentum is building behind the war on plastic pollution .” The Queen is tackling plastic use in multiple ways. Buckingham Palace spoke of new waste plans, including measures to phase out straws in public cafes and ban them completely in staff dining rooms. Takeaway food products from Royal Collection cafes will now have to have biodegradable or compostable packaging. Internal caterers at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse will only be able to utilize china glasses and plates, as well as recyclable paper cups, per The Telegraph. Related: Over 200 nations commit to ending ocean plastic waste The Telegraph reported Buckingham Palace is going through a 10-year, £369 million – or around $510 million – refurbishment with a goal of improving energy efficiency in the royal residence. Electrical cabling and heating systems that haven’t been updated since just after World War II will be replaced. Solar panels will line the roof and an anaerobic digestion unit will create biogas from waste. Buckingham Palace has a web page devoted to the environment , which says the royal household “is working hard across operations in the Royal Palaces and Estates to reduce its impact on the environment, using everything from energy efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lighting to hydro-electricity generating plants to ensure efficient running of its sites.” Via The Independent and The Telegraph Images via Depositphotos and PublicDomainPictures.net

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Queen of England bans plastic bottles and straws at royal estates

Audi’s new solar-roofed car expected by the end of 2017

August 24, 2017 by  
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The idea of a solar-powered car has been floating around for years, with many little-known companies promising to bring the concept to life. But now it may finally happen. Audi recently announced that it’s working on a solar-powered vehicle prototype that they expect to complete by the end of 2017. Audi has teamed up with Alta Devices, a division of the Chinese solar-cell specialist, Hanergy, to develop thin-film solar cells that can be integrated into a panoramic glass roof. The solar cells would then power the vehicle’s electrical systems, like the air-conditioning system or seat heaters, which would improve the range of an electric vehicle . The idea of solar-powered accessories isn’t entirely new: both Toyota and Nissan have also used the technology. Related: Sono Motors unveils the $18,000 SION solar-powered car The bigger news is that the two companies hope to improve the technology, so that the solar energy could directly charge an electric car’s battery. Audi hasn’t given a timetable for that capability, but the new solar cells have an efficiency of more than 25 percent. Audi also says the solar cells, which will be produced in California by Alta Devices , perform well in low light and high temperature conditions. “The range of electric cars plays a decisive role for our customers. Together with Hanergy, we plan to install innovative solar technology in our electric cars that will extend their range and is also sustainable,” stated Audi Board of Management Member for Procurement Dr. Bernd Martens. + Audi Images @Audi

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Audi’s new solar-roofed car expected by the end of 2017

These cyborg bacteria are better at photosynthesis than plants

August 24, 2017 by  
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Could cyborg bacteria generate clean power in the future? Researchers at UC Berkeley covered bacteria with small semiconductors that function like solar panels in order to see how much of the sun’s energy they could capture. The cyborg bacteria have a solar efficiency of 80% – which is four times greater than commercial solar panels and six times greater than the chlorophyll plants use in photosynthesis . Researchers in Peidong Yang’s laboratory gave the nonphotosynthetic bacterium Moorella thermoacetica cadmium, and the bacteria’s natural defense allowed it to produce cadmium sulfide crystals which accrued on the outside of their bodies and essentially acted as mini solar panels. The bacteria normally can produce acetic acid – which can be used for fuel, plastics, or pharmaceuticals – with carbon dioxide (CO2). But using their tiny solar panels, they were able to create acetic acid more efficiently with CO2, light, and water. Related: Cambridge scientists use light and plants to make cheap, clean hydrogen Kelsey Sakimoto of Harvard University , a past member of Yang’s group, told the BBC, “It’s shamefully simple, we’ve harnessed a natural ability of these bacteria that had never been looked at through this lens…You grow them in their liquid broth and you just add small aliquots of cadmium solution and you wait a couple of days and out pops these photosynthetic organisms. It’s all very simple, mix-in-a-pot chemistry .” Artificial photosynthesis techniques can be expensive, but big vats of liquid, in which the bacteria can be kept in sunlight, are really all that’s needed for this new process, so it could work well even in rural areas or developing countries . The self-replicating, self-regenerating bacteria offer a zero-waste technology, according to UC Berkeley. Sakimoto and Yang presented the research at the recent meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C. Via the BBC , The Verge , and the University of California, Berkeley Images via planetMitch aunger on Unsplash and Kelsey K. Sakimoto

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These cyborg bacteria are better at photosynthesis than plants

Alta Devices Unveils the World’s Lightest, Most Efficient Solar Power Chargers

January 4, 2013 by  
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Alta Devices are known for their innovative solar power solutions – and they’ve broken new ground once again with their new line of photovoltaics , which are touted as the lightest and most efficient charging mats on the market. Developed for military use, the mats are slightly larger than a piece of paper and weigh in at only 4-ounces – so they can provide plenty of energy for a soldier in the field without the bulk of older technology. Read the rest of Alta Devices Unveils the World’s Lightest, Most Efficient Solar Power Chargers Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Alta Devices , Alta Devices Solar Power Mat , Alta Devices technology , Lightest Solar Power Mat , military solar power , portable energy , portable solar power , renewable energy , world’s lightest solar mat , world’s most efficient solar mat

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Alta Devices Unveils the World’s Lightest, Most Efficient Solar Power Chargers

House Passes First Stage of Hurricane Sandy Relief Package

January 4, 2013 by  
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After a tumultuous week of finger-pointing and blame-gaming, the House of Representatives voted on and passed the first stage of the Hurricane Sandy relief package today. The legislation will allow for $9.7 billion to cover insurance claims for homes that were damaged in the superstorm. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: congress , environmental destruction , John Boehner , New Jersey Sandy relief , nyc hurricane sandy , NYC Sandy relief package , Part Stage of Sandy Relief Package Passes in the House , Representative Michael Grimm , Representative Peter King , Sandy aid bill , sandy relief

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House Passes First Stage of Hurricane Sandy Relief Package

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