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Proposed space-based "suntower," one of many examples of solar innovation

The Golden Age of Solar Innovation

From efforts that mimic nature like leaves and trees, to arrays that float on water or in space, there has been a wide range of solar energy innovations in 2016.  From tiny solar applications of nanotechnologies to massive space-based arrays, the growth of solar power is being fueled by market forces, including increasing efficiency and decreasing cost. The number of…

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Researchers Richard Lunt and Yimu Zhao test cutting edge transparent solar cells at their Michigan State University lab

EarthTalk: Beyond Traditional PV Solar Panels

EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: What’s the latest in cutting-edge, hyper-efficient solar cells? Are we really moving beyond huge photovoltaic panels anytime soon?                                    — Michael Williams, Hartford, CT Many people still consider environmentalists’ favorite black panels as the cutting edge of renewable energy….

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NIST has developed new procedures to better test solar panels

Better Testing for Solar Panels

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a new process to test the performance of solar panels. It involves 32 different LEDs, each one generating their part of the spectrum of sunlight, and other equipment that measures the wavelength-dependent quantum efficiency. The new testing system will be used in two ways. The first is to run every…

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Solar energy is ready to launch and become a mainstream source of energy for the world

Intersolar North America: Solar Is Ready to Launch

I’ve spent the last two days at the Intersolar North America conference in San Francisco, speaking with key people within the industry, from solar panel producers, to developers of testing and control software for solar cell manufacturers, inverter makers, solar system designers, silver paste materials manufactures and more. It was a great opportunity to get an overview of current state…

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