Tag Archives for " solar technology "

Solar Lanterns: Everything You Need To Know

solar lanterns

Whether you’re in your yard or exploring the outdoors at night, light your way using the sun!

We know that we can harness energy from the sun to power our homes. But what about using solar power in other environments? As solar energy becomes a more widely used resource, its uses have expanded. I’ve seen solar-powered water heaters and even solar powered street lights! Today we are going to look at the ease and convenience of solar powered lights, specifically solar lanterns.

Solar lanterns are an economical, convenient way to brighten an area, whether you are camping in the wilderness or just going out in the backyard. We’ll go over some pros and cons, and recommend a few quality solar lanterns for your outdoor needs.

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Taking a Closer Look at a Solar Panel Diagram

solar panel diagram

We break down a solar panel to find out what’s inside

On first glance, solar panels are pretty simple pieces of technology. Sunlight hits them and they produce electricity, then flows out of a wire to whatever you want to power. Done. There’s no motors and no moving parts (electrons are the only moving object in a solar panel). However, when you take a closer look at a solar panel diagram, you’ll see they are actually incredibly complex.

Today, let’s break down what exactly composes a solar panel so that we can learn a little more about this wonder of the modern world.Continue reading

What New Solar Technology Developments Will We See in 2018?

new-solar-technology

We delve into six new solar technologies set to take off

The solar industry is young and enthusiastic. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of companies and universities actively researching, developing, and testing new solar technology and new products every day. Some are tweaking our existing silicon solar panels to make them more attractive or more efficient. Others are devising entirely new ways to produce electricity with sunlight.

When you think about it, all this innovation makes sense. We often naturally group the solar industry with companies that provide electricity (i.e. utilities) but really solar is a technology, not a service. Instead, we should be boxing solar companies together with other technology companies, like Apple, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic. (Actually, LG and Panasonic make solar panels!)

And, as with any company in the technology industry, solar manufacturers and researchers are always trying to create the next great product that is cheaper, more beautiful, easier to install, or produces more energy.Continue reading

How Much Do Solar Windows Cost? Are They Worth It?

solar-windows-cost

Can solar windows be a viable alternative to solar panels?

You might have heard talk that solar windows are going to be the next big thing in solar. I mean, how cool would it be to look out your window and know that they’re producing electricity while you do it? While there are one or two companies actually manufacturing solar windows, many questions remain: are they really a viable option? Can you install them on your home? How much do solar windows cost?

If you’re ready to hop on this bandwagon, don’t jump quite yet. Currently, solar windows are still in the nascent stages. Only a handful of companies are actually manufacturing them and, while they are certainly super-cool, they’re still miles away from being commercially viable.Continue reading

Air Pollution: The Impact of Fossil Fuels vs Solar

air-pollution

Solar does contribute to air pollution, but its emission-free electricity production negates the manufacturing process

Pollution has been around in one shape or another for as long as humans have been walking upright and building fires. Although those early campfires were unlikely to cause any real air pollution or lasting threat to the health of the planet, things have only gotten worse.

If we take a look back through history, people have long recognized air pollution as a serious threat that can shorten the lives of people around the world because they are breathing in harmful chemicals and particulates.

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Why You Won’t See the New Prius Solar Roof in the US

prius solar roof

Your questions answered about the Prius Prime’s solar roof

Earlier this year, Panasonic (the same company that manufactures Tesla’s latest low-profile, roof-mounted solar panels) made a pretty exciting announcement. The company developed a new type of PV module specifically meant for the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime. Toyota debuted the new car at the New York Auto Show in March 2017. That’s right – there is now a Prius solar roof option for this popular vehicle.

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In Brooklyn, You Can Now Sell Solar Power to Your Neighbors

In Brooklyn you can now sell solar power to your neighbors

Buying local – selling and sourcing energy right where you live

Brooklyn start-up company LO3 Energy has teamed up with industrial giant Siemens to offer Brooklyn residents a local option on their energy menu. It’s called the Brooklyn Microgrid, and it offers solar energy sent directly from the solar panel of your neighbor’s rooftop installation to your home. You can now sell solar power to your neighbors!

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Perovskite Solar Cells: Review of the Technology and Benefits

Perovskite-solar-cell-review

Let’s review the progress made with perovskite solar cells since they were introduced in 2009

Perovskite solar cells – funny name, serious tech. They’re kind of the ‘it’ thing in solar technology right now. Think N’Sync back in 1998 when they all had those terrible haircuts or 1980s Guns N Roses when they all had… those terrible haircuts.

Not to be too dramatic, but perovskite cells really could bring a huge change to the solar industry, and by extension our entire electricity infrastructure, forever. Despite being quite a new technology, they’re naturally cheap and easy to make, and are already as efficient as our ubiquitous crystalline silicon panels (the ones on our rooftops).

Unlike crystalline silicon panels, however, perovskite solar cells can be attached to both rigid and bendable surfaces, making them more versatile than the hard, heavy panels commonly used today.Continue reading

What is a Solar Tracker?

solar-tracker

Some solar installations act like sunflowers, turning to face the sun

Most of us picture a fixed rooftop installation when we think of solar panels – but did you know that there are solar panels that don’t sit still as they soak up the sun? Some photovoltaic systems are connected to something called a solar tracker, which powers ground-mounted solar panels to slowly change position so that they continuously face the sun.

Solar trackers can use a number of methods and mechanics to function, but all of them are meant to do one thing: increase energy output by moving solar panels so that they receive as much direct sunlight as possible. Some manufacturers boast that their trackers can increase energy production as much as a 45% over a fixed roof system.Continue reading

The Enphase Microinverter: Reviews and Company Information

enphase-microinverter-reviews

What is the future of Enphase, and are their products as good as many say they are?

Enphase is the preeminent manufacturer of microinverters in the US. Their products are unique, high-quality, and fill a niche in the solar industry. However, the company has been troubled by quarterly net losses and falling stock prices since 2015. What are real customers saying about the products?Continue reading

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