Some interesting things have recently happened in the world of solar power: Evergreen
have gone bankrupt, panel cost has gone sub $1.00/watt, and China has vastly increased production capacities. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus
on Nov 17, 2011 -
Most of the talk about renewable energy is aimed at electricity production. However, most of the energy we need is heat, which solar panels and wind turbines cannot produce efficiently. To power industrial processes like the making of chemicals, the smelting of metals or the production of microchips, we need a renewable source of thermal energy. Direct use of solar energy can be the solution, and it creates the possibility to produce renewable energy plants using only renewable energy plants, paving the way for a truly sustainable industrial civilization. [more inside]
posted by Bangaioh
on Jul 30, 2011 -
Around one year ago
we saw some of the recent events in solar power. At that time solar panels topped out at a peak efficiency of around 290W for a 1.99 x 0.99 meter 72-cell module, with a lone rare and expensive 315W module
that was used to build team Germany's solar decathlon winning house
. Since then prices have dropped a lot, and China is advancing in commodity tech. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus
on Mar 3, 2011 -
Have you ever thought about putting solar panels on your roof? Would you like to know how much power you can generate and what it would cost. RoofRay
is a fun site that will calculate it for you and then let you know how much it would cost and how many years you'd need to recoup your investment. You enter an address into a version of Google Maps, and then draw where you want to put the array on your preferably southern facing roof.
posted by willnot
on Aug 14, 2008 -
How Africa's desert sun can bring Europe power.
A £5bn solar power demonstration project called Desertec
is being developed by Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC
) that would send solar energy northward from African deserts. The goal is in 30 years to provide a significant fraction of Europe's electricity needs.
posted by stbalbach
on Dec 13, 2007 -
(text and video). "The rays of sunlight reflected by a field of 600 huge mirrors are so intense they illuminate the water vapour and dust hanging in the air."
posted by stbalbach
on May 3, 2007 -
Mike Strizki lives in the nation's first solar-hydrogen house.
"The technology this civil engineer has been able to string together – solar panels, a hydrogen fuel cell, storage tanks, and a piece of equipment called an electrolyzer – provides electricity to his home year-round, even on the cloudiest of winter days.
Mr. Strizki's monthly utility bill is zero – he's off the power grid – and his system creates no carbon-dioxide emissions. Neither does the fuel-cell car parked in his garage, which runs off the hydrogen his system creates."
posted by mr_crash_davis
on Mar 16, 2007 -
A kilometre-high solar tower,
to be built in the Australian outback by EnviroMission Ltd
, will become the world's tallest structure when completed in 2006. Designed by Jorg Schlaich of Schlaich Bergermann und Partner
, the solar tower (or solar chimney) operates like a hydroelectric power plant, but uses hot air instead of water
, and it could provide enough electricity for 200,000 homes. Time calls it one of the best inventions of 2002
, and I think it's one of the most ingenious ideas I've ever heard. Another solar chimney project was planned in Rajasthan, India
, but I haven't found any information on its current status.
posted by homunculus
on Jan 6, 2003 -
Let the sun do your cooking for you!
Not just a great way to save electricity, gas, or charcoal... (particularly if you live in California *grin*) it's delicious too! We built the Solar Funnel Cooker
just for the halibut (groan) - cooked it in white wine with shredded zucchini and carrots - and it was the most tender, tasty fish I've ever eaten.
posted by thunder
on Jun 28, 2001 -