Modeled after the self-cleaning characteristics of a lotus leaf, researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev are developing a mechanism that can remove dust from solar panels and optimize their efficiency. By altering the texture of the panels, new opportunities for solar have risen in the desert and other dusty environments.
Dust on panels is less of an issue in the more rainy Pacific Northwest, but it is still exciting to see new developments in solar technology around the world!
Read more here.
The phototropism in sunflowers helps their faces track the sun. Researchers at the University of California, LA have developed what they are describing as the first "synthetic phototropic material" which, when shaped into rods, can bend and move live the heads of sunflowers. Coating surfaces with these "SunBOTs" might solve one of the biggest problems in solar energy... Click out this article from Science News for Students to learn more!
Bifacial solar is the next big thing. Solar energy installations are growing tenfold, and with high renewable energy goals across the world, innovations like this are what will drive the solar industry. Read more from this article at Green Tech Media.
Implementing large-scale storage has always been a challenge for solar advocates. However, researches in Sweden say they may have found a solution in a energy-trapping molecule that can store the sun's energy for decades. Read more in this article from Bloomberg.
The market has spoken- renewables are cheap and plentiful. As of April 2019, renewables accounted for 23% of the electricity produced in the United States and coal only accounted for 20%. Read more from this article by The Guardian here.
Oregonians who have invested in solar are paying next to nothing for their electricity bill- just taxes and fees. Residential homes account for more than a quarter of the power used in Oregon, but with installed solar on single-family and multi-family residences, some people are investing net-zero solutions. Read more here.
“Solar got cheap,” said Jenny Chase, an analyst at BNEF. “It’s really that simple.”
Incentives have supported the renewable energy industry for years. However, solar and wind have become cheaper than any other energy source in many parts of the world. Read more from the Bloomberg article here.
Solar panels and crops can live harmoniously and even help each other thrive, found researchers at the University of Arizona. Just another example of how solar can be beneficial to us and the planet! View the article from ARS Technica here.
The symbiotic relationship between the panels and an essential water source have boosted energy and water efficiency for this Chilean mining company. “Any location on the planet now that has water issues should look into putting FPV on basically any body of water that they’re using for agriculture or for human consumption... it's a no brainer." Read more from the article by The Weather Channel here.