Items tagged with solar

Tesla has just made it official that its much-anticipated Gigafactory will have its grand opening on July 29th. The company itself hasn't issued a public statement on this event, but invites have already been sent out to Tesla owners and others in Tesla's good graces. To say that those who get invited by Tesla is an exclusive club would be an understatement. To qualify for the invite, a person had to act as a referrer to at least five others who ultimately ended up purchasing a Model S. Think being able to purchase a Model S is a luxury? Imagine being able to convince five (or more) friends... Read more...
There are few who would disagree that solar energy is an amazing thing. It's not really "free" energy per se, in the grand scheme of things, given that absorbing solar rays requires expensive equipment to harvest energy from the sun. However, beyond that little barrier to entry, solar is becoming more practical as an alternative energy source and the future looks, well, bright.  One of the perks of solar energy is that it's also usually safer than providing power through other means (like nuclear, for example), but that doesn't mean that flukes can't happen. Remember when you were young... Read more...
This past fall, we reported on a development with Google's Project Loon, which aims to deliver Internet via balloons to underserved countries. At some point in 2016, a bunch of balloons will take flight over Indonesia, and once that happens, it could very well spearhead what could become a common sight in Internet-deprived countries. The internal group that handles Project Loon is called Google Access, and alongside Loon, this segment of Google has also been working on a different, but similar project: Project Skybender. Like Loon, Skybender involves sending objects into the sky, but unlike the... Read more...
We have the feeling that the “personal power storage” market is about to really take off. Many environmentally-conscious homeowners are looking towards alternative power generation (like solar) in an effort to reduce their reliance on the traditional electric grid. As a result, there will be a need for complimentary battery systems to capture and store solar energy when the sun isn’t shining, and even those without solar panels can “load shift” to take advantage of more favorable utility rates throughout the day. So it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that Mercedes-Benz, a company that has more... Read more...
Three atoms thick. According to a paper published this week in the science journal Nature by a group of researchers from Cornell University, that is the breadth of the transistors that can now be produced using an experimental — and highly conductive — material called transition metal dichalcogenide (also called a TMD). We aren't talking five atoms thick, or even four (because any schmoe with a hobbyist chemistry set can do that), but transistors rendered at a thickness of just three atoms. As it applies to theoretical science and human achievement, the harnessing of TMD for practical use is quite... Read more...
We learned some important details about Tesla's upcoming in-home batteries late last week, and now, thanks to analyst Trip Chowdhry, we now have a clearer idea of what it will cost. Backing up what we learned earlier this month, Tesla's battery will cost $13,000 outright. There's also the option to shell out $1,500 for a down payment and then pay $15/month for 10 years, after which point the battery will go back to Elon Musk-backed SolarCity. Tesla Model S battery pack Nothing has changed so far regarding Tesla also getting into supplying batteries to "utilities". As mentioned in last week's... Read more...
Tesla is going to be announcing a brand-new "not a car" product at its Hawthorne Design Studio on April 30, and now the Web is abuzz with speculation of what it could be. What does seem likely at this point, though, is that it could be an in-home battery that's backed by solar energy. Major new Tesla product line -- not a car -- will be unveiled at our Hawthorne Design Studio on Thurs 8pm, April 30— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2015 As Benzinga reports, the amount of information Global Equities analyst Chip Chowdhry provides does lend a great deal of credibility to the in-home battery being... Read more...
Apple took an important step in making good on CEO Tim Cook’s promise to make Apple’s new campus “the greenest building on the planet.” The company announced that it plans to spend $850 million as part of a massive, 25-year solar power purchase agreement with a solar power farm in California. The farm, which will belong to Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar, has yet to be built. However, following its completion in 2016, the farm will supply Apple with up to 130 megawatts of power from what has been dubbed the “California Flats Solar Project.” The Monterey County solar farm will power the... Read more...
Sometimes, you just never know where technology is going to wind up next. Walking through a park, would you ever expect that a simple bench would be able to charge your phone? That's a reality that's soon to come to some Boston parks, thanks to "Soofas", solar-powered benches. Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh greatly supports the initiative, saying, "Your cellphone doesn’t just make phone calls, why should our benches just be seats?" He goes on to praise Boston's entrepreneurs who are "thinking creatively about sustainability and the next generation of amenities for our residents". At this point,... Read more...
One has to wonder if Elon Musk if even human. When he's not busy working on electric supercars, he's launching satellites into space. And when he's not doing that, he's working to plant a massive solar field in New York. The latest news involving one of today's greatest innovators has arrived this week, with SolarCity announcing an agreement to acquire Silevo, a solar panel technology and manufacturing company whose modules have demonstrated a unique combination of high energy output and low cost. Musk's SolarCity is presently in discussions with New York to build an initial manufacturing plant,... Read more...
Google is kind of involved in everything, and the company is tackling clean energy with gusto, too. In conjunction with a White House push for renewable energy and agreements from some 300 organizations to pursue clean energy options that includes 1 billion square feet of buildings in the U.S. (and a $2 billion investment in making federal buildings more energy efficient), Google announced that it’s created the Little Box Challenge to foster clean energy innovation. Specifically, the company will pony up $1 million for whoever comes up with the best (that is, smallest, cheapest, and most... Read more...
Battery life has long been the bane of the mobile market, hamstringing laptops, tablets, and smartphones even as processors, graphics, and storage have increased in both performance and efficiency. Apple is reportedly tackling this problem head-on as it looks to other forms of power for its impending smartwatch device. The New York Times has found that Apple is exploring options including solar power, inductive charging, and kinetic charging. The outlet spoke to Tony Fadell (he of iPod and Nest fame) who said that Apple has experimented with solar power on its devices for years (and still does),... Read more...
For as amazing as our mobile devices are, their battery life is a joke. Most of us can’t make it through a whole day (or in cases, more than a few hours) without having to plug in. Solar charger company Goal Zero, in collaboration with AT&T and Brooklyn-based design studio Pensa, are developing solar charging stations designed to offer passersby a convenient charging station that gets it juice only from the sun. “We’re excited to team up with AT&T and Pensa to help make New York a little greener and solar power a little more accessible,” said Joe Atkin, President... Read more...
In the midst of Google's Android growth, Chrome explosion, Chromebook entries and Fiber roll-outs, it's actually easy to forget that Google does other things as well. There's search, Glass, and energy. Yes, energy. Google has been dabbling in energy for some time now, which makes sense given the tremendous amount of power that it uses worldwide. This week, the company announced an expansion of options for companies to buy renewable energy. To date, Google has committed more than $1 billion to renewable energy project investments, signed agreements to procure wind power near our data centers, and... Read more...
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