Apple is looking at eliminating the middleman in solar power charging by outfitting devices with their own converters.
Published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, a patent application dubbed "Power management systems for accepting adapter and solar power in electronic devices," envisions a power management system that can direct solar power to a laptop or other device without the need for an external converter.
Using solar power to charge your portable devices is hardly a new concept. But Apple's invention would remove some of the hassle involving in current methods. Instead of relying on bulky … Read more
Today, Ikea customers in Southampton, England, can stroll into the big blue and yellow store and plunk down $9,200 for a solar panel array for their semi-detached home. Ikea, which has been installing industrial-size solar arrays on its store roofs for years, has just started to roll out home solar systems for consumers in the UK.
Ikea's move to sell solar panels was anticipated years ago with the company formally committing to green technologies. Southampton is the first store to offer the panels, made by Hanergy Solar UK, but more stores in Britain will be jumping onboard.
Apple plans to build a solar farm to power a new data center in Reno, Nev., in keeping with the company's goal of having its data centers run by renewable energy.
The company has signed a deal with Nevada utility NV Energy to build a solar farm on 167 acres in northern Nevada that will be capable of producing 18 to 20 megawatts of power, Apple announced Monday. The new solar farm will provide the energy to operate a $1 billion data center for Apple's cloud computing services that will be located east of Sparks.
When completed, the … Read more
Saudi Arabia wants to spend over $100 billion to build vast solar arrays and reduce its dependency on oil to generate electricity. But desert sandstorms pose a major challenge to keeping solar panels clean and efficient.
Japanese startup Miraikikai is developing a solution to getting rid of this pesky dust and grit: a cleaning robot that doesn't need water.
The firm has produced the Wall Walker wall and ceiling robot, and recently unveiled a prototype solar panel cleaner built with researchers at Kagawa University.
It weighs about 24 pounds -- light enough to be carried by one person -- and measures about 22 inches across. … Read more
A see-through solar energy panel announced today by Sharp -- primarily designed for balcony railings and skyscraper windows -- offers an uncommon alternative energy solution and sense of privacy in a single package.
The semi-transparent black solar panel launches in Japan on October 1, and delivers a solar power conversion efficiency of about 6.8-percent with a maximum output of 95 watts. While the low conversion rate seems lackluster comparative to the 10- to 20-percent efficiency standard these days, few see-through solar panel options exist commercially. Overall panel size stands at 4.5-feet wide by 3.2-feet tall and sports … Read more
Here's the problem with solar panels. Most of the time they're static and unable to rotate with the sun, which in the end means less electrical output. Menlo Park, Calif., based startup Qbotix has built a commercial prototype that offers an answer. It's called SolBot, and it's a set of mobile robots that quickly move around a railroadlike track and mechanically pivot the panel.
The engineers at Qbotix say their setup is different than conventional tracking systems, which require each photovoltaic panel to have a controller and motor. One mobile robot can manage up to 200 … Read more
The solar industry is in for a dire quarter as falling government subsidies and low volumes further drive down equipment prices at a time when oversupply has already led many sector players to lower their full-year profit outlook.
A pickup in demand for solar panels, widely expected by industry players for the second half, failed to materialize, pushing several U.S. companies, most notably panel maker Solyndra, to file for bankruptcy in recent months.
European players have been cutting their outlooks on falling demand in Germany, among them SMA Solar, the world's No.1 maker of solar inverters and … Read more
MAKUHARI, Japan--What if every window of your home or office could generate power? See-through solar films developed by 3M also make your windows shatter-resistant.
It was the second time the tech was being displayed, following a brief showing that unfortunately coincided with the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The films stick onto windows, making them less susceptible to breaking in quake-prone Japan. They consist of five layered sheets and an organic photovoltaic substance.
They also help keep interiors cooler by absorbing more than 90 percent of infrared light, reducing the need for air conditioning in summer. At the 3M booth at Ceatec, there was a 13-degree C difference on one side of a window compared to the other, which was heated by powerful lamps but plastered with the sheets. … Read more
Google has created a $75 million fund with Clean Power Finance, a company that offers financing for residential solar panel installations.
The investment will enable 10,000 homeowners to install solar panels on their homes.
The upfront cost is the largest obstacle to installing residential solar panels, and solar installation companies don't always have the means to offer financing. Clean Power Finance seeks to overcome that hurdle by offering installers a way to provide financing to potential customers, while also giving companies without ties to the solar community a way to invest in the industry.
Google, the investor in … Read more