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23 Oct 2014


by digikey.com:

Environmental energy harvesting is a possible source of power for Internet of Things (IoT) sensor nodes but needs careful management. Unless harvesters based on solar or thermal technology, for example, are designed to be compatible with conventional circuits, DC/DC converters need to be optimized for low-voltage inputs.

Sensor nodes for the Internet of Things often need to placed well away from a reliable power source but operate for many years. Although long storage-life batteries provide one option for powering these devices, an increasingly viable alternative is the use of environmental energy harvesting, using sources such as light, vibration and temperature differentials.

Power Conversion Options for Energy Harvesting IoT Nodes - [Link]

18 Oct 2014
High-energy light is absorbed by a special organic coating that produces pairs of triplets that can be efficiently absorbed  by underlying inorganic solar cells.

High-energy light is absorbed by a special organic coating that produces pairs of triplets that can be efficiently absorbed
by underlying inorganic solar cells.R. 

Colin Johnson @ nextgenlog.blogspot.com:

Hybrid solar cells that harvest all of the suns energy, instead of just a few narrow bands, could transform the energy economies worldwide: R. Colin Johnson @EETimes

Hybrid Solar Cells Promise 95% Efficiency - [Link]

8 Sep 2014


by embedded-lab.com:

This Arduino Nano controlled solar battery charger can charge a standard lead acid 12V battery and runs with 90% efficiency under 70ᵒC (158ᵒF). The circuit can take up to 24V input from the solar panels. The maximum power point tracking is implemented in the circuit by measuring the output voltage and current from the solar panel to get the maximum possible power from it.

Solar battery charge controller - [Link]

28 Aug 2014


by embedded-lab.com:

This application note describes a DC-to-AC converter design, specifically targeted at converting highly variable energy from a solar panel into a form that can be directly connected to the power grid. This emphasizes on the control design and how PSoC 5LP is employed for a particular power topology.

Solar microinverter - [Link]

4 Aug 2014


by Boris Landoni:

This robot will mow the grass of your garden, staying within a defined area, avoiding all obstacles and working in complete autonomy, automatically charging itself with a solar panel.

In this post we present a robotic lawn mower, powered with solar energy and able to operate just with the clean energy from the sun; this one is a great difference from the commercial projects having a robot in need of a charging station connected to the electrical grid.

A Robotic lawn mower powered by Solar Energy with an Arduino heart - [Link]

19 Jul 2014


Here’s a cool Solar scare mosquito project by Gallactronics. He writes:

So I built a device that generates air bubbles at regular intervals and effectively produces ripples up to a radius of 2 meters (sufficient for most urban water bodies). The device automatically switches on when it comes in contact with water an alarm alerts if the water body dries up or someone tries to remove the device from water. At less than $10, the device is cost effective and being solar powered, it is energy independent and maintenance-free.


Solar scare mosquito - [Link]

16 Jul 2014


by sajjad Haidar @ edn.com:

Power supplies with adjustable DC output ranging from 0V to 30V or 60V are on the market. Above 60V, there are not many. This Design Idea offers a solution.

There are many fixed voltage switching mode power supplies (SMPS) available, and connecting several in series can give us a higher fixed voltage. To obtain an adjustable output either from a SMPS or conventional transformer based supply, one needs to use a linear regulator or a switched mode buck converter. For a buck converter, a MOSFET or an IGBT can be used as a switching element.

Usually, for a high side switch, an IC with bootsrap operation or a pulse transformer is used. There are few photovoltaic couplers available to drive MOSFETs. As they do not provide much current to charge the gate capacitance quickly, these photovoltaic couplers are mainly used to drive low frequency MOSFET switches, such as solid state relays.

Variable HV power supply employs photovoltaic optocoupler - [Link]

15 Jul 2014

kurtscottage @ youtube.com writes:

In this video I’m showing you how I built some solar panels from start to finish I tried to make it as detailed as possible. These panels cost me very little to build and are fun projects for everyone. This is just one way of doing this there are lot’s of others doing this and good videos out there. Presently I’m using my panels at a job site where there is no electricity available they are running my RV off the grid. These panels are not encapsulated but they work well and low cost not for on roof installation best to be close to ground for inspection.

Homemade Solar Panels Diy tutorial - [Link]

7 Jul 2014


by elektor.com:

Over 90 % of the worlds solar cells are made from silicon but they are not particularly efficient at converting light to energy. They are made from layers of high purity crystal more than 150 micrometers thick which is costly to produce. Thin-film solar cells are an alternative technology; they convert the sun’s energy using a more efficient semiconductor process and can get similar efficiency using lower purity material that is only 2 micrometers thick. This results in much lower production costs.

The majority of thin-film cells are made from a sandwich of cadmium telluride and cadmium sulfide (CdTe/CdS) which, thanks to recent advances are now approaching the efficiency of silicon cells. The problem with this technology is that cadmium based products are extremely harmful to living organisms. Researchers at Liverpool University in the UK have discovered that magnesium chloride is a good alternative to cadmium chloride. It is extracted from sea water and has uses such as road de-icing and as a coagulant for tofu, the vegan protein foodstuff based on soy milk.

Vegan Additive makes Non-toxic Solar Cells - [Link]

12 Jun 2014


By Dario Borghino:

Researchers at the University of Toronto have manufactured and tested a new type of colloidal quantum dots (CQD), that, unlike previous attempts, doesn’t lose performance as they keep in contact with oxygen. The development could lead to much cheaper or even spray-on solar cells, as well as better LEDs, lasers and weather satellites.

A quantum dot is a nanocrystal made out of a semicondutor material which is small enough to take advantage of the laws of quantum mechanics. Quantum dots are at the center of a very new and rapidly evolving field of research, with the promise for applications in highly efficient solar cells, transistors and lasers, among other things.

Quantum dot breakthrough could lead to cheap spray-on solar cells - [Link]





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