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Graphene Could be Key to Better, Cheaper Organic Solar Cells

Researchers at MIT believe that the cialis online order use of graphene as an electrode material in organic solar cells could make them cheaper to produce and buy viagra at a discount could open up a host of new applications for the technology.

Organic solar cells are constantly improving and have great potential, but some issues are still holding them back from really taking off.  The efficiency of viagra for sale online such cells still lags behind that of traditional silicon cells and, so far, the only electrode material that has been successful is rare and expensive indium-tin-oxide (ITO).

The researchers have begun experimenting with inexpensive and readily available graphene, a form of carbon where the atoms form a flat sheet just one atom thick, arranged like chicken-wire, as an electrode.  The use of graphene has lots of benefits over ITO, namely transparency.  Because it's transparent just like the organic solar cells themselves, the cells could be applied to windows or even on top of other solar panels, boosting overall electricity output.  Graphene is also flexible, where ITO is rigid, meaning the cells could be applied to irregular wall or rooftop surfaces and folded or rolled for easy transportation.

And, just as importantly, the graphene's performance as an electrode material is very similar to the ITO, making it a suitable replacement.

via Physorg



Solar Car Sets New World Record in Speed

A solar car designed and built by University of New South Wales students broke the Guinness World Record for fastest solar vehicle.

The Sunswift solar car hit 55 mph at the HMAS Albatross navy base airstrip in Nowra, Australia, beating the previous record of 49 mph.  The record is for vehicles powered only by silicon solar cells, so the team removed the battery from the car for the speed trial.  For the special occasion the car had special drivers:  Barton Mawer, a professional racing driver and Craig Davis, head of order cheap cialis Tesla's European operations.

While 55 mph was enough to cinch an official world record, the car has previously hit a top speed of 64 mph in a race, and other solar cars have tested at 100 mph.

It may not seem so amazing since 55 - 64 mph is everyday driving for traditional cars, but solar cars are making leaps in speed, aerodynamics, efficiency and canada pharmacy weight reduction pretty quickly.  The technology may never fully power a mass-produced sedan, but every gain solar car designers make can lead to useful applications in electric and gas-fueled cars.

via Physorg



Oriental Hornet Produces Solar Power In Its Stripes

Scientists have made a major discovery about the oriental hornet -- it's the first known species in the animal kingdom that generates electricity from sunlight.

Scientists knew that the hornet generated electricity in its exoskeleton, but didn't know why.  Once they noticed that the hornet was active when the sun was most intense, they decided to see if the two were related.  Turns out the hornet's striped tissues are a solar power factory of sorts:  pigments in the brown tissues trap light, while the yellow tissues generate electricity.

The brown tissues contain melanin and a structural analysis showed that they featured grooves that capture light and channel the rays into the we choice buy canadian cialis online tissues, sort of like a light trap.  The yellow tissues contain xanthopterin, which, in mammals, makes urine yellow.  When the scientists isolated the xanthopterin in a liquid solution, put that inside a solar cell electrode and then focused light on it, the pigment produced electricity.

Compared to man-made solar cells, which are usually 10 - 11 percent efficient, the hornet's tissues are only .335 percent efficient, but this discovery could still lead to some interesting biomimicry in the solar energy world, like has been done with butterfly wings and many more of nature's wonders.

via National Geographic


Flexible Solar "Power Plastic" Hits New Efficiency High

Konarka, a solar company that makes a flexible, organic solar technology called Power Plastic has scored a new record by achieving an 8.3 efficiency rate.  The rate was certified by NREL and pushes organic thin-film technology to another level.

This new efficiency rate still puts organic solar technology at half the efficiency of crystalline silicon PV panels, but organic solar cells have the added benefit of being cheaper to produce and flexible solar film is portable and easy to install anywhere.

The Power Plastic may ring a bell because it's the material used in the solar bus stops in San Francisco.  The city plans to install 300 solar bus stops, producing a total of 43,000 kWh per year. 

via Grist

Image via Inhabitat


Solar Cogeneration System Doubles Up on Technology, Delivers 80% Efficiency

Cogenra Solar has developed a new rooftop solar energy system that combines solar water heating and with solar PV panels, allowing it to cialis cost 20mg convert a whopping 80 percent of wow look it professional cialis online captured solar energy into usable energy.

The solar cogeneration array includes silicon PV cells, concentrating mirrors that track the sun and a solar thermal transfer system that captures what would be waste heat from a PV array and turns it into hot water.  The system also uses the thermal system to cool the cialis soft generic PV components, allowing the cells to have a higher energy output.

The system can produce 50 kW of electricity and the equivalent of 222 kW of thermal energy.

The great thing is that this system utilizes already-existing technology but just combines them in a way that makes them even more effective and beneficial.  If all rooftop arrays were made to combine the two forces of solar PV and solar water heating, buildings could see a much greater energy payoff.

via Treehugger

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