• 10 hours Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High
  • 14 hours Iraq’s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
  • 16 hours South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
  • 19 hours Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
  • 19 hours Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
  • 20 hours Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
  • 22 hours ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 3 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 4 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 4 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 4 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 4 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 4 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 4 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 4 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 4 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 5 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 5 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 5 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 5 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 5 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 5 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 5 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 6 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 6 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 6 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 6 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 6 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 6 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 7 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 7 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 7 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
  • 7 days Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire
  • 7 days OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance
  • 7 days Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled
  • 7 days Venezuelan Oil Output Drops To Lowest In 28 Years
  • 7 days Shale Production Rises By 80,000 BPD In Latest EIA Forecasts
  • 8 days GE Considers Selling Baker Hughes Assets
  • 8 days Eni To Address Barents Sea Regulatory Breaches By Dec 11
  • 8 days Saudi Aramco To Invest $300 Billion In Upstream Projects

Breaking News:

Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High

Top 5 Miners To Ride The Christmas Commodity Boom

Top 5 Miners To Ride The Christmas Commodity Boom

Several metals have seen prices…

Ideas that may Make Solar Power more Competitive

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