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Solar Power

Kodak Switching from Camera Film to Thin-Film Solar Cells

Kodak may be in the middle of some financial trouble -- it just filed for bankruptcy yesterday and has shut down almost all of its camera film production -- but they're looking at solar energy as a way to a fresh start.  The camera and film maker is hoping to use its already existing manufacturing processes to produce thin-film solar cells.

Kodak is working with Natcore Technology to develop and produce flexible, thin-film solar cells made of levitra 100 mg nanotubes that could match the efficiency of conventional silicon cells. Thin-film cells haven't made as much of a splash in the market yet mainly because of the efficiency lag between them and silicon cells, but thin-film is catching up.

If Kodak can make a major improvement in efficiency, they have two major advantages compared to other manufacturers:  cost and experience.  Kodak could use its existing and proven film production equipment to produce the solar cells, potentially cutting costs in half.

It will likely be tricky transition for the company, but we'll be interested to see if Kodak can make this work and improve on the thin-film technology available today.

via MIT Tech Review


Military Bases in California Desert Could Generate 7 GW of Solar Power

A study released by the Department of Defense found that four miltary bases located in the California desert could generate 7 GW of solar power, the equivalent of seven nuclear power plants.

The department studied nine different bases located in California and Nevada to uncover the solar energy potential and found that even though 96 percent of the land on those bases was unsuitable for solar development, there still existed enough suitable land on four California bases to generate more than 30 times the electricity used by those bases.  That 7-GW potential also equals about 25 percent of the renewable energy that the state is requiring utilities to use by 2015.

The department is looking to try it viagra canada generic make distributed installations of solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources in order to bring down cost and also to make the bases more self-sufficient, hopefully allowing them to run operations for weeks or months if any interruptions occurred in power from the buy low price cialis grid.

The four military bases that will likely see solar power development based on this study are Edwards Air Force Base, Fort Irwin, China Lake and Twentynine Palms.

via DoD


Austin Energy Turns On Largest Solar Project in Texas

A 30 MW solar farm in Webberville, Texas began generating power on December 20, 2011.  The project is the biggest in the state, the largest solar project of any utility in the country and one of the largest in the country overall.

The 380-acre Webberville Solar Project contains 127,000 PV panels that track the sun to maximize electricity output.  The project has a 25-year power purchase agreement with Austin Energy, the country's leading utility for renewable energy. This new solar farm will put the utility well on its way to getting 35 percent of its portfolio from renewable sources by 2020.

The project is expected to generate 1.4 billion kWh over the first 25 years and prevent the release of 1.6 billion pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere in that same time frame.

via Austin Energy


Progression of US Cities Reaching Solar Grid Parity

Grid parity in cost between solar power and grid-supplied electricity is cheap discount levitra likely to begin being reached in the US in as little as 2 years, and within the buy viagra in canada no prescription next 25 years, many of the largest metropolitan areas will reach the point where solar is less expensive. An animated map from Energy Self Reliant States shows the picture.

This timeline includes no government subsidies in the calculations. It uses a baseine cost of solar power in 2011 at $4.00 per watt, installed. Using the average residential grid supplied electricity price for each metro area, it makes the two assumptions based on present trends to brand name levitra determine when the price of solar drops below grid: the cost of solar decreases by 7% per year, and the grid electricity price increases by 2% per year.

Based on these assumptions, the San Diego CA metropolitan area will be at solar parity in 2013, and within the next 25 years, many of the largest metropolitan areas will reach the point where solar is less expensive.

via: BoingBoing


Using Light to Make Solar Panels

A new optical furnace that uses intense light rather than a conventional furnace to heat the viagra best buy silicon to make solar cells saves about half the energy needed. The process uses a furnace with "highly reflective and heat-resistant ceramics to ensure that the light is absorbed only by a silicon wafer, not by the walls inside the furnace." The process was developed by scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

In addition to providing improved efficiency in the production of the cells, the optical furnace also does a better job at removing some impurities, which makes for better output from the finished panels. Eventually, researchers on the project believe that this could provide a four percentage point increase in the efficiency of the solar cells produced with this method.

image credit: NREL/Dennis Schroeder

via: Treehugger

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