by Stephen Evanczuk @ digikey.com:
Indoor lighting offers a convenient energy source for many applications but lacks the high-power levels of solar energy. In fact, indoor lighting energy-harvesting systems face a number of challenges that differ subtlety from those encountered in solar-energy harvesting. Nevertheless, engineers can quickly implement energy-harvesting designs using a variety of components and specialized devices from manufacturers including Cymbet, IXYS, Linear Technology, Panasonic, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments, among others.
Specialized ICs, PV Cells Enable Energy Harvesting from Indoor Lighting - [Link]
by deba168 @ instructables.com:
Welcome to my solar charge controller tutorials series.I have posted two version of my PWM charge controller.If you are new to this please refer my earlier tutorial for understanding the basics of charge controller.
This instructable will cover a project build for a Arduino based Solar MPPT charge controller.
Now a days the most advance solar charge controller available in the market is Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT).The MPPT controller is more sophisticated and more expensive.It has several advantages over the earlier charge controller.It is 30 to 40 % more efficient at low temperature.
But making a MPPT charge controller is little bit complex in compare to PWM charge controller.It require some basic knowledge of power electronics. I put a lot of effort to make it simple, so that any one can understand it easily.If you are aware about the basics of MPPT charge controller then skip the first few steps.
Arduino MPPT Solar Charge Controller v3 - [Link]
Photovoltaic cells output boosted with carbon. R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:
PORTLAND, Ore. — Scientists have demonstrated a doubling of the number of electrons produced by carbon-based photovoltaic polymer potentially doubling the efficiency of any solar cell. The process called “singlet fission” produces “identical twin” electrons from a single photon, instead of the normal one, dramatically boosting the theoretical maximum output of solar cells. Instead of loosing energy to heat, an extra electron is produced by the process of applying a polymer solution to an existing solar cell.
“One of the challenges in improving the efficiency of solar cells is that a portion of the absorbed light energy is lost as heat,” lead scientist at Brookhaven National Labs, Matt Sfeir, told EE Times. “In singlet fission, one absorbed unit of light results in two units of electricity via a multiplication process rather than resulting in one unit of electricity and heat as would occur in a conventional cell.”
Print-On Polymer Multiplies Solar Output - [Link]
by Stephen Evanczuk @ digikey.com:
Microinverters provide an effective solution to solar-energy harvesting by providing power conversion at the individual panel level. The emergence of highly integrated MCUs offers an attractive approach to microinverter design, providing an option that reduces the cost of complexity which limited widespread adoption of microinverters in the past. Today, designers can build highly efficient microinverter designs using available MCUs from semiconductor manufacturers including Freescale Semiconductor, Infineon Technologies, Microchip Technology, Spansion, and Texas Instruments, among others.
Solar-energy-harvesting systems have continued to evolve away from traditional centralized solutions (Figure 1). Unlike systems based on a single central inverter or even multiple string inverters, microinverters convert power from a single panel. In turn, the AC power generated by microinverters on each panel is combined on the output to the load.
Integrated MCUs Enable Cost-Effective Microinverters for Solar Energy Designs - [Link]
by Hanne Degans @ phys.org:
Nano-electronics research center imec announced today that it has improved its large area n-type PERT (passivated emitter, rear totally diffused) crystalline silicon (Si) solar cell on 6″ commercially available n-type Cz-Si wafers, now reaching a top conversion efficiency of 22.02 percent (calibrated at ISE CalLab). This is the highest efficiency achieved for this type of 2-side-contacted solar cell on an industrial large area wafer size.
Compared to p-type silicon solar cells, n-type cells do not suffer from light induced degradation and feature a higher tolerance to common metal impurities. As a result, n-type silicon solar cells are considered as promising alternatives to p-type solar cells for next generation highly efficient solar cells.
Large area industrial crystalline silicon n-PERT solar cell with 22 percent efficiency - [Link]
Solar Impulse plane set to circle world using renewable energy via euronews
A plane powered by the sun, the Solar Impulse 2, has left Switzerland in a cargo flight bound for Abu Dhabi.
Once there, it will attempt a flight around the world, over India and China, taking in Hawaii and the rest of the US before crossing the Atlantic to southern Europe, northern Africa and completing the circle back to the UAE.
“We would like to demonstrate, with Solar Impulse, that we can today achieve incredible things with renewable energies and clean technologies,” explained Dr. Bertrand Piccard, founder of the Solar Impulse project.
“If an aeroplane can fly with no fuel around the world, can you imagine how this technologies could be used everywhere? We have today solutions, technical solutions, to divide by two the energy consumption of the world, and simultaneously create jobs and make profit for the industry,” added Piccard.
Solar Powered Plane Set To Fly Around The World - [Link]
Fully Assembled Solar Cell Controller Board and Sun Tracker for Arduinos /Raspberry Pi / Phone Charging. Plus Open Source Drivers.
Ever wanted to build your own Solar Powered Raspberry Pi or Arduino system? That is what this Kickstarter is all about!! SunAir and SunAirPlus are 3rd Generation Solar Charging and Sun Tracking Boards designed by Dr. John C. Shovic at SwitchDoc Labs.
You can use this board to power your projects and add a servo or stepper motor to allow it to track the sun using photoresistors to generate even more power! It incorporates a number of outstanding features in a very compact, inexpensive single fully assembled and tested PC Board.
SunAir Solar Power Controller Board/Tracker/Phone Charger - [Link]
by MidnightMaker @ instructables.com:
This is a Solar Tracker. A full size, internet cloud connected, smartphone accessible Solar Tracker built mainly from 2x4s and plywood, employing wooden peg gears, recycled curtain poles, nuts, bolts and threaded rod. The solar tracker uses a home built electronic controller incorporating WiFi, stepper motor drives, accelerometer and magnetometer. The tracker was designed to drive a full size 90W panel in azimuth and elevation. The gears driving the tracker are wooden peg gears commonly used in the 16th century. The gears were designed using modern 3D CAD (Solidworks). Connecting the wooden peg gears to the internet cloud just seemed like the right thing to do. This is not a waterproof design – you will need to consider modifications to waterproof your derivative design.
Solar Tracker in the Internet Cloud - [Link]
New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat via phys.org
A multidisciplinary engineering team at the University of California, San Diego developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants designed to absorb and convert to heat more than 90 percent of the sunlight it captures. The new material can also withstand temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius and survive many years outdoors in spite of exposure to air and humidity. Their work, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot program, was published recently in two separate articles in the journal Nano Energy.
New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat - [Link]