• 1 hour Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 7 hours Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 8 hours Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 10 hours Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 1 day Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 1 day Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 1 day China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 1 day UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 1 day Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 1 day VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 1 day Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 1 day Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 1 day OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 2 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 2 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 2 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 2 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 2 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 2 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 5 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 5 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 5 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 5 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 5 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 6 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 6 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 6 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 6 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 6 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 6 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 6 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production
  • 6 days Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks
  • 6 days Oil Throwback: BP Is Bringing Back The Amoco Brand
  • 6 days Libyan Oil Output Covers 25% Of 2017 Budget Needs
  • 6 days District Judge Rules Dakota Access Can Continue Operating
  • 7 days Surprise Oil Inventory Build Shocks Markets
  • 7 days France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects
  • 7 days Syria’s Kurds Aim To Control Oil-Rich Areas
  • 7 days Chinese Teapots Create $5B JV To Compete With State Firms
  • 7 days Oil M&A Deals Set To Rise
Oil Prices Rise Amid Falling U.S. Rig Count

Oil Prices Rise Amid Falling U.S. Rig Count

Oil prices inched higher on…

Why U.S. Crude Exports Are Booming

Why U.S. Crude Exports Are Booming

U.S. crude oil exports are…

Ideas that may Make Solar Power more Competitive

Solar power, whilst maybe not able to boast the largest capacity of the renewable energy sources, can surely claim to be the most popular. In the US the installed solar capacity grew by 600% over the past five years, with a total 3,313 megawatts in 2012, according to PopSci.

The main problem that still dogs solar energy, and prevents it from truly competing with fossil fuels, is the fact that it is still too expensive. To solve this problem, new techniques must be developed to produce more efficient solar cells whilst at the same time reducing the manufacturing costs.

Here we will look at three different techniques that attempt to reduce the cast of solar energy generation.

Related article: A U.S.-China War over Solar Power

It may come as a surprise, but solar cells must be in the sun in order to work. They convert the light from the sun into useable electricity. The problem is that the sun also transmits a large amount of heat energy, and as the solar cells absorb this energy and heat up, they become less efficient.

V3Solar has designed a new solar cell called the Spin Cell, which consists of an outer cone of lenses which focus the sun’s rays onto an inner cone covered in PV cells. The cones rotate at speed, meaning that the cells absorb the light, and then spin away before the heat energy can be transferred. This allows the Spin Cell to be made from cheaper, less heat resistant materials.

Greg Nielson, a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a solar glitter than can turn almost any surface into a power source. His belief is that solar power could become cheaper through bulk, by literally turning almost every fabric, or surface in the world into a solar energy generator. His solar glitter can also be used in the production of traditional PV panels to double their efficiency.

Related article: Solar Crisis: Cheap Chinese Solar Panels Prove Defective

Another similar idea is a product manufactured by Pvilion of New York, who produces a solar fabric that can be used on large-scale commercial installations. The company’s fabric, which is as efficient as standard rigid solar panels, can be used to cover structures such as, a footbridge being designed in Florida, and the new US embassy in London, which will have a generation capacity of 124MW. The company is even in the process of making solar curtains for buildings in New York City.

The last idea that we will consider is from Sunfolding, which uses plastic frames and compressed air to create cheap, lightweight heliostat frames to ensure the mirrors are always facing the sun. Their system can produce the same effect as a heavy, steel heliostat frames but at just a fifth of the cost.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News