Items tagged with solar panel

Tapping into sunlight to provide solar energy is generally good for the environment, most people can agree on that. But the technology behind today's solar cells isn't as efficient as you might think. Today's 'Grätzel cells' are the standard for low-cost solar panels and are relatively easy to manufacture. That's all well and good, but the downside is that they don't last all that long. These dye-sensitized cells use an electrolyte made from an organic liquid that has a tendency to leak and corrode the actual solar cell. With that in mind, researchers from Northwestern University developed... Read more...
Earlier in February a strange case arose over an obscure California law, the Solar Shade Control Act (.PDF), passed in 1979 after the Oil Crisis. The law essentially made criminals out of a pair of Sunnyvale residents, whose eight redwood trees cast shade on a neighbor's solar panels.The dispute between the neighbors, Mark Vargas (solar panel owner) and Richard Treanor and Carolynn Bissett (tree owners) was "settled" when a judge ruled Treanor and Bissett had to cut two of the trees down, despite the fact that the trees pre-dated the solar panels.Let us cast some common sense on this by saying:... Read more...
Many have modified their Priuses, and one of those possible modifications is a rooftop solar panel system.  It seems that Toyota is considering the same as standard equipment for its own models, but only for high-end models, and only to power the AC. Toyota Motor Corp plans to install solar panels on some Prius hybrids in its next remodelling, responding to growing demand for "green" cars amid record-high oil prices, a source briefed on the matter said on Monday. The panels, supplied by Kyocera Corp would be able to power part of the air-conditioning on high-end versions of the gasoline-electric... Read more...
Considering solar panels?  How is your relationship with your neighbors?  You might want to look around you and see if any neighbors have trees which may in the future shade your planned panel locations.  Technically, if they eventually do, it will be a crime.Richard Treanor planted the trees in his yard 11 years ago, but neighbor Mark Vargas says they reduce the amount of electricity the panels can generate."Trees do a lot of good," says Richard. "Solar does a lot of good, too.""Some people say they're for solar power, and some people do something about it," says Mark.Vargas says... Read more...