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UCLA developing the next high efficiency solar cell?

The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science is working on a polymer based solar cell that claims to be highly efficient compared to what’s out on the market today. The special aspect of polymer based solar cells is they can bring solar everywhere, meaning solar panels that people could hang on the wall, similar to hanging a poster on the wall. If solar technology could become that easy to deploy, you would see solar cells integrated into virtually every product that requires power. The UCLA research team discovered manipulating the silicon atom for a carbon atom in the polymer solar cell greatly improved the conversion of light into electricity, also known as the photovoltaic effect. The team has reached a 5.6% efficiency, which is great for these low cost solar cells. Traditional silicon based solar cells have an efficiency of over 20%, so these polymer based solar cells have a long way to go before they become as efficient as traditional silicon solar cells. The research team’s goal is to get their low cost, flexible solar cell to an efficiency to over 10%….do you think its possible? How long do you think it will take before solar cells are very common in our daily...

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The Sunweb Solar Cell offers 2% higher output

Solland Solar, a solar cell manufacturer based in The Netherlands has developed a unique looking photovoltaic cell called the Sunweb. Not only does the new technology look cool but the Sunweb solar cell concentrates the generated electricity to the back of the cell, resulting in a 2% higher output per cell. The Sunweb solar cell was developed in conjunction with the Energy Research Center of The Netherlands. Typically, with traditional solar cells, a bus bar on the front of each solar cell result in a smaller surface area to collect sunlight. Although with the SunWeb the bus bars are located on the back of the cell allowing more surface area to generate electricity. Commercial production of the SunWeb solar cell will begin in 2009. We’re seeing more developments down to the cell level in increasing efficiency of a solar power system, every time the industry makes developments to increase the efficiency solar becomes a more attractive solution for the mainstream public. Even though the Sunweb only increases output by 2%, every small gain is a step in the right direction. What do you...

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Fast Solar Powered Speedboat!

The dutch have created a solar powered speedboat that can glide across water at 30 knots. Sure, there are other boats that are much faster….but they also require huge amounts of gas. This speed boat is exclusively powered by the sun and is quieter than traditional gas consuming boats. The body of the boat is made up of lightweight carbon fiber. The boat has great balance of power and weight to make it glide through the water at blazing speeds. The 10 meter vessel, Czeers MK1 is made up of photovoltaic cells, which is basically one large solar panel with seats and a lightweight engine flying across the water. Now only if we could run cars like this, that would be sweet, never have to pay for...

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