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San Antonio Family First In Texas With Dow Powerhouse Solar Roof

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PV tilesYale Environment 360: U.S. scientists say that emerging photovoltaic technologies will enable the production of solar shingles made from abundantly available elementsrather than rare-earth metals, an innovation that would make solar energy cheaper and more sustainable.<br />
http://bit.ly/Px7bv7</p>
<p>San Antonio Family First In Texas With Dow Powerhouse Solar Roof</p>
<p>The Ross’ family-owned business, Ross Electric Co., was chosen to connect Powerhouse below the rooftop. The family was able to see the installation hands-on, and decided to be one of the first in the country to install this total residential roofing solution that not only protects like a standard asphalt roof but also generates solar electricity, turning the roof into a source of value and savings. Said Ross: “I am proud to invest in my home with such an innovative and good-looking product. I expect that my Powerhouse roof will reduce my utility bills by about 40 percent and will increase my home value overall.”<br />
http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/06/19/local-san-antonio-family-first-in-texas-with-dow-powerhouse-solar-roof/</p>
<p>Newswise — PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21, 2012 — With enough sunlight falling on home roofs to supply at least half of America’s electricity, scientists today described advances toward the less-expensive solar energy technology needed to roof many of those homes with shingles that generate electricity.</p>
<p>James C. Stevens, Ph.D., helped develop Dow’s PowerHouse Solar Shingle, introduced in October 2011, which generates electricity and nevertheless can be installed like traditional roofing. The shingles use copper indium gallium diselenide photovoltaic technology. His team now is eyeing incorporation of sustainable earth-abundant materials into PowerHouse shingles, making them more widely available.</p>
<p>“The United States alone has about 69 billion square feet of appropriate residential rooftops that could be generating electricity from the sun,” Stevens said. “The sunlight falling on those roofs could generate at least 50 percent of the nation’s electricity, and some estimates put that number closer to 100 percent. With earth-abundant technology, that energy could be harvested, at an enormous benefit to consumers and the environment.”<br />
http://bit.ly/NlGWJF</p>
<p>Image text: "The solar tiles can generate a potential 500 watts per 100 square feet, and they’re basically ready to go from the day they’re installed."
Yale Environment 360: U.S. scientists say that emerging photovoltaic technologies will enable the production of solar shingles made from abundantly available elements rather than rare-earth metals, an innovation that would make solar energy cheaper and more sustainable.
http://bit.ly/Px7bv7San Antonio Family First In Texas With Dow Powerhouse Solar Roof

The Ross’ family-owned business, Ross Electric Co., was chosen to connect Powerhouse below the rooftop. The family was able to see the installation hands-on, and decided to be one of the first in the country to install this total residential roofing solution that not only protects like a standard asphalt roof but also generates solar electricity, turning the roof into a source of value and savings. Said Ross: “I am proud to invest in my home with such an innovative and good-looking product. I expect that my Powerhouse roof will reduce my utility bills by about 40 percent and will increase my home value overall.”
http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/06/19/local-san-antonio-family-first-in-texas-with-dow-powerhouse-solar-roof/

Newswise — PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21, 2012 — With enough sunlight falling on home roofs to supply at least half of America’s electricity, scientists today described advances toward the less-expensive solar energy technology needed to roof many of those homes with shingles that generate electricity.

James C. Stevens, Ph.D., helped develop Dow’s PowerHouse Solar Shingle, introduced in October 2011, which generates electricity and nevertheless can be installed like traditional roofing. The shingles use copper indium gallium diselenide photovoltaic technology. His team now is eyeing incorporation of sustainable earth-abundant materials into PowerHouse shingles, making them more widely available.

“The United States alone has about 69 billion square feet of appropriate residential rooftops that could be generating electricity from the sun,” Stevens said. “The sunlight falling on those roofs could generate at least 50 percent of the nation’s electricity, and some estimates put that number closer to 100 percent. With earth-abundant technology, that energy could be harvested, at an enormous benefit to consumers and the environment.”
http://bit.ly/NlGWJF

Image text: “The solar tiles can generate a potential 500 watts per 100 square feet, and they’re basically ready to go from the day they’re installed.”

Solar Efficiency Of 50%

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Solar Efficiency Of 50% Could Be In Sight digg by Pete Danko How high can they go? The National Renewble Energy Laboratory is rightfully proud of the 44 percent solar efficiency record it helped set for a triple-junction solar cell. But that mark might not stand for long – and it’s another federally assisted effort that’s gunning for a bigger number. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory says that its scientists, working with academic and private-industry collaborators, have arrived at a scheme to shatter the 44 percent record and top the 50 percent conversion efficiency barrier. Schematic of multijunction solar cell formed from materials lattice-matched to InP and achieving the bandgaps for maximum efficiency. (image via U.S. Naval Research Lab) Robert Walters, an NRL research physicist, said in a statement that “it is generally accepted that a major technology breakthrough will be required” to go that high – but the he and his colleagues think they are on the right path. “This research has produced a novel, realistically achievable, lattice-matched, multijunction solar cell design with the potential to break the 50 percent power conversion efficiency mark under concentrated illumination,” Walters said. Because photons of sunlight arrive in a differentiated range, conventional solar cells with a single characteristic band gap energy are quite limited in their efficiency. High-energy photons lose their excess energy to the solar cell as waste heat; low-energy photons go uncollected by the solar cell, and their energy goes completely for naught. The way around this problem is solar cells with multiple junctions, each of which has its own band gap energy. From there, it’s a matter of pinpointing and structuring the correct materials. The NRL research team said it has produced a design for a cell that can stretch the band gaps – from 0.7 to 1.8 electron volts (eV) – by using materials that are all lattice-matched to an indium phosphide (InP) substrate. “Having all lattice-matched materials with this wide range of band gaps is the key to breaking the current world record” adds Walters. “It is well known that materials lattice-matched to InP can achieve band gaps of about 1.4 eV and below, but no ternary alloy semiconductors exist with a higher direct band-gap.” In the announcement, the Naval Research Lab said its scientists worked with Imperial College London and the Illinois company MicroLink Devices on this proposed design. Work on turning it into a reality will proceed over the next three years under and ARPA-E grant with MicroLink and Rochester Institute of Technology of Rochester, N.Y., the NRL said. This type of solar cell is aimed at utility-scale projects that use concentrating photovoltaics, in which lenses are used to ratchet up the intensity of the light hitting the solar cells.http://earthtechling.com/2013/01/solar-efficiency-of-50-could-be-in-sight/#_1ZvN9H

Huge Improvements in Solar (PV).

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Reading Faye Sunderland’s report on PV means I’ll hold-off on buying PV for another year – they can’t get any better – can thy??

Original article; http://www.thegreencarwebsite.co.uk/blog/index.php/2013/01/21/solar-panels-better-than-biofuel-says-new-study/

 

Solar panels better than biofuel, says new study

While biofuels may right now make up much of our answer to the demand for renewable transport fuel, both here in Europe and in the US, that could soon change.

According to new research from the University of California-Santa Barbara, photovoltaic panels are a much more efficient method of producing clean, renewable fuel compared to biofuel.

solar panelsThe new research, published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal confirms just how much more efficient harnessing the sun’s power directly is than letting plants do the work.

The university’s Environmental Science & Management Professor, Roland Geyer who lead the research says: “PV is orders of magnitude more efficient than biofuels pathways in terms of land use – 30, 50, even 200 times more efficient – depending on the specific crop and local conditions,” says Geyer. “You get the same amount of energy using much less land, and PV doesn’t require farm land.”

Biofuel targets

Previous research has shown that biofuels from food crops made do little to reduce transport emissions and may actually increase them. Despite that, the EU has a target for  10 per cent of transport fuel to be produced by renewable sources by 2020, much of which will be met through the use of biodiesel and ethanol. In the US, the story is similar, with a target 15 billion US gallons of corn ethanol by 2015.

In this latest study, the researchers studied three different ways of converting solar energy to transport fuel; converting corn or switchgrass to ethanol, convert energy crops (corn and switchgrass again) into electricity and use solar panels to produce electricity to power electric cars.

Studying the full lifecycle of each method, the scientists found that using photovoltaic required less land, produced the lowest lifecycle emissions and required the lowest indirect fossil fuel use-making it the best option by far.

Even the most efficient biomass solution required 29 times more than solar panel installations.

In the US only some locations that have very high hypothetical switchgrass yields of 16 or more tons per hectare, were expected to compete with solar panels for GHG emissions.

“The bottleneck for biofuels is photosynthesis,” says Geyer. “It’s at best one per cent efficient at converting sunlight to crop, while today’s thin-film PV is at least 10 per cent efficient at converting sunlight to electricity.”

Source: TG Daily

About Faye Sunderland

Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.