Posts Tagged ‘solar cells’

US Scientists develop Solar Panels to harness Solar Energy underwater

Made by high-quality gallium indium phosphide (GaInP) cells, which have a higher efficiency under low light conditions, new solar panels developed by Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Electronics Science and Technology Division can be used to power sensors or autonomous research devices designed to monitor ocean environments.

Solar Impulse, a sun-powered plane, heading to Africa

The experimental sun-powered Solar Impulse airplane departed from the Swiss airfield of Payerne last night piloted by Andre Borschberg, on its first attempted intercontinental flight from Switzerland to Morocco.

Solar Impulse is expected to land in Madrid before heading to Morocco without using any fuel. Once in Morocco, where it’s said the launch of construction on the largest ever solar thermal plant it’s likely to start coinciding with the end of the trip, Solar Impulse will be hosted by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), whose mission is to develop the Moroccan solar energy plan, to provide the country with a competitive industrial profile in the renewables sector.


Solar Energy in 3D

A group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new structure consisting in cubes or towers that extend solar cells upward in 3D configurations. Once tested, the researchers discovered that the solar cells in these new structures output more than twenty times the power they produce in a fix roof, even in cloudy days.

The biggest boosts in power were seen in the situations where improvements are most needed: 3D structures, the team reports, can gather slanting sunlight better than can flat panels in locations far from the equator, in winter months and on cloudier days. The new findings, based on both computer modeling and outdoor testing of real modules, have been published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.


Michael Grätzel, one of dye-sensitized solar cells creators, awarded in 2012 Albert Einstein World Award

The World Cultural Council will award in the 2012 Albert Einstein World Award of Science to Professor Michael Grätzel – Director of the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, and also one of the developers of the last version of the dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) – “for his outstanding accomplishments to the welfare of mankind and the health of the planet, solving arguably one of the most important technical problems relating to energy and sustainability that we face today.”


72 hours flight in a solar energy driven aircraft simulator

Swiss pilot André Borschberg completed last Friday a 72 hours flight simulation that started in Dübendorf (Switzerland) on Tuesday 21st February.

The project was launched by Solar Impulse and this is one of the trials before the round-the-world solar energy powered flight, now under construction and scheduled for 2014. The solar powered aircraft simulator was tested and evaluated throughout the flight by the Solar Impulse team. The pilot, also co-founder and CEO of Solar Impulse, took 32 naps of 20 minutes each during the 72 hours he spent inside the cockpit. Once outside the cabin, he explained in a press conference that the simulation “demonstrated that our concept of flying single-handed for several days in a row is viable.”