Archive for Fun

A new dimension for solar energy

Intensive research around the world has focused on improving the performance of solar photovoltaic cells and bringing down their cost. But very little attention has been paid to the best ways of arranging those cells, which are typically placed flat on a rooftop or other surface, or sometimes attached to motorized structures that keep the cells pointed toward the sun as it crosses the sky.
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Now, a team of MIT researchers has come up with a very different approach: building cubes or towers that extend the solar cells upward in three-dimensional configurations. Amazingly, the results from the structures they’ve tested show power output ranging from double to more than 20 times that of fixed flat panels with the same base area.For more on this please click here

Soldiers get solar training before heading to war

For the first time, U.S. Army soldiers are receiving specialized training on how to use generators with solar-power capability before heading to Afghanistan. The Army says these generators save lives by reducing the amount of fuel that needs to be trucked to troops over dangerous roadways. For more about this please click here.

2012 Tennessee Valley Solar Solutions Conference – Make Your Reservations Now

The 2012 Tennessee Valley Solar Solutions Conference (TVSSC) will take place April 10-11, 2012, at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis.

Last summer’s TVSSC in Nashville drew more than 500 participants and, six weeks from the start of the 2012 Conference, more than 270 people have already registered.

The program is loaded with great topics and features world-class speakers Julia Hamm (President and CEO, Solar Power Electric Association) and Rhone Resch (President and CEO, Solar Energy Industries Association).

Register here for the conference. Registration will close on March 23, or when conference capacity of 500 participants is reached.
Hotel reservations can be made at the Downtown Marriott Hotel in Memphis.

The 2012 Tennessee Valley Solar Solutions Conference is once again being presented by the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Solar Institute.

“Seed Pod” Sculpture Blooms at Night with Solar Energy

Solar Lights Sculpture

“Seed Pod,” Chattanooga’s first solar-powered sculpture, will be on exhibit for 18 months in Renaissance Park. The sculpture was created by Birmingham, Ala., artist Deedee Morrison and is part of Public Art Chattanooga’s 2012 Biennial Sculpture Exhibition. (Photo: Staff)

A new solar-powered sculpture installed Wednesday near the wetlands in Renaissance Park artistically demonstrates how solar power works by illuminating laser-cut sheets of metal designed to replicate a seed pod coming out of a dormant state to form new life.

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DIY Solar Panels Made Out Of Grass Clippings

After years of tweaking by other scientists, researchers at MIT have figured out how to chemically stabilize plant-derived photosystem-I (PS-I), the structures inside plant cells that perform photosynthesis, on a substrate that creates electric current when exposed to light–all using readily available materials.

Full Article and Video

Solar Decathlon moves to Irvine, CA for 2013

Last week, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the international event, which challenges 20 university teams from around the world to build asolar-powered home and compete in 10 events, will take place at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif., in 2013.

Since the first event in 2002 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., it has been held in the nation’s capital. And it has spawned sister events in Europe and China.

The new location is on former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, which Irvine is turning into sustainable parkland, according to the DOE.

The teams will build their homes on the runway, which will make it easier for teams to set up their homes and won’t damage the land—as the competition had done to the National Mall, since the homes were built on grassy land.

Full Article

Solar Power is making Science possible in Developing Countries

An innovative project led by a chemistry academic at the University of Southampton is using solar generators to provide IT resources and ‘hands-on’ science for students in developing countries. To read more about this please follow this link: Solar Powered Science

Google Science Fair Opens Today


The annual Google Science Fair opens today, calling anyone and everyone 13 to 18 years old to push the edges of our knowledge and help pave the way to the future. Just like a school science fair, entrants submit their idea, perform their experiments and then present the results to be judged. What sets this event apart is the worldwide participation, world-renowned judges, and life-changing prizes.

Full Article

Solar-Powered Wireless Keyboard Is a Sunny Delight

Two solar panels at the top of the keyboard work to keep the internal battery charged, even in low indoor ambient light.

Article

Mapping Solar Grid Parity

Here is a great interactive map that shows when Metropolitan areas in the US will achieve grid parity.

Mapping Solar Grid Parity