Friday, May 20, 2011


"Sustainability" and "going green" are words that are popular and are used in excess, but many business owners now discover that to carry out their operations with an ecological vision can help to reduce costs, to rethink old business practices and to open doors to new opportunities.

Here are some tips to get started:

START from the top: The commitment to return more eco-friendly to a business has to come from the management consultant, said Dan Bramblett, Executive in Estes Heating and Air Conditioning, contractor with headquarters in Atlanta: "Catch employees is the key to ensure that everyone is involved".

DO an inventory: To start analysing the business operations from the point of view of reducing energy consumption and waste: "Escudriñe workplaces where more money spent". The areas to be considered are lighting, energy for the functioning of its equipment, heating, air conditioning, transport and use of water.

With Estes, the largest expenditure of the company after the staff was transport and the maintenance of the fleet. As part of its energy audit, Estes found that eight of its large size trucks were assigned to sales that did not need them to make business decisions. The company began to replace the trucks with hybrid sedans, which increased the performance of gasoline of 7 kilometers per liter 16 kilometers per liter.

MAKE it simple: As an example, could turn off electronic devices during the night, the lights of roof during the hours of sunlight and open Windows to have natural ventilation instead of turning on the air-conditioning.

Adam Prochaska, partner in the firm of lawyers Harding & Shultz, in Lincoln, Nebraska, is trying to his colleagues to reduce the use of paper.

A portion of that role is used to print emails, which are filed in the records of clients. Instead, Prochaska and a handful of other more lawyers have begun to electronically archive these emails. He believes that if all the lawyers in the firm were to adopt this practice, you could save when less 8 thousand dollars a year in costs of paper, printing, workforce and file.

Look for discounts: once took it easy, the next step is to invest in energy efficient equipment: heating systems, air conditioners and other Office equipment. However, before thinking about that, check the local and federal programmes of incentives and discounts available from many public utility companies and Governments.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Guanajuato Invertira in Solar energy

On an area of 6 hectares of land will be built in Guanajuato the photovoltaic Park in Latin America, which seeks to generate 9.5 million kilowatts annually, equivalent to supply electricity to three thousand homes.

The project which aims to conclude the 2012, includes installation of 13 thousand 375 solar cells that will transform the solar energy in electric and it will supply companies in Guanajuato port inside, as well as the campus of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN).

The total investment will be 600 million pesos, although at an early stage will be employed 110 million for the construction of facilities, which will involve the creation of 100 jobs.

Once operating photovoltaic Park, it is estimated that with the generation of 9.5 million kilowatt stop burning five thousand 677 barrels of oil each year to generate electricity. This system works even with cloudy weather, the panels are able to capture solar radiation, in addition, they are used
storage devices of the energy generated on sunny days.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The oil from the BP spill continues at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to the samples that demonstrate that oil is not being diluted as I was expected and has decimated the flora and fauna in parts of the underwater platformsaid researcher Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia.

At a scientific Congress in Washington, the Navy showed the preliminary results of its underwater observations at the site of the spill.

To return to the place he had visited during the summer, Joye hoped that oil and debris from the microbes that absorb oil disappeared, but was not the case.

"There is a sort of bottleneck that we have to identify that it is causing that this material does not degrade," said Joye in the annual Congress of the American Association for the advancement of science in Washington.

"Magical microbes could perhaps consume a 10 per cent of the total spill, but we do not know what happened to the rest," said Joye. "Yet there is much there".

The specialist presented the results of the samples and photographs he took of animals that usually live in the ocean floor. He noted asphyxiated by oil Dead crabs and sea stars.

"This is oil (the site) Macondo in the background", said Joye. "They are organisms killed by oil deposited on their heads."

This month, Kenneth Feinberg, in charge of the funds for compensation from the Government by the spill, said that according to other research the Gulf will be almost completely recovered by 2012, but Joye and the Director of the Administration National Oceanic and atmospheric Jane Lubchenco felt otherwise.

"I've been in the background and I saw how it is with my own eyes", said Joye. "This will not be good for the 2012".

Friday, May 13, 2011

Flat Tower: Innovative Architectural Solution

Flat Tower High-rise buildings and skyscrapers have been the most favored architectural solutions for highly populated cities. It is a commendable idea for combining height – growing more vertically – and for its small footprint without hogging precious soil which is at a premium in most cities. But sporadic eruptions of skyscrapers do not add to the beauty of the skyline of any city nor does it add any way to the locale topographical charm. The solution seems to be structures that solve housing problem for the populace without spoiling the beauty of the city.

2011 eVolo Skyscraper Competition
The 2011 eVolo Skyscraper Competition is an annual event for architectural designs. This year’s goal was to find an architectural solution for housing in thickly populated urban areas without disturbing the existent city skylines as well as not hogging precious green spaces. This flat tower designed by Yoann Mescam, Paul-Eric Schirr-Bonnans, and Xavier Schirr-Bonnans from France has won the second place. This dome like structure has excellent green technology features incorporated as well.

Conforming to the guidelines
This high-dome building somewhat resembles a hillock on the outside and is about 800 meters in diameter. Honeycomb like gaps in the top surface let in the daylight so that the interior remains well-lit and gets plenty of sunlight. This is not a skyscraper but rather a hillock like structure with skylights built-in; covering vast areas of the city without attempting to destroy the existing structures or distorting the skylines.

At the ground level of the structure, there will be facilities for entertainment as well as huge tracts of green space. At the higher levels, office premises and residential quarters will be housed. While enough sunlight gets through to all levels through the openings in the ceiling, there will be enough windows for light and air circulation. There will be automated transport system for commuting inside and in and out of the structure. Each unit will be designed optimally as per their programmed needs.

Green ethics
The dome-like roof will have enough provision to house all the solar panels that will be needed by the entire complex. Also arrangements will be there to harvest rain water for watering the green areas below the dome and also for domestic use making the structure energy efficient and water self-sufficient. The skylights in the dome will reduce the need for artificial lighting during daytime and the solar panels will ultimately make the structure depend less and less on fossil fuel.

Universal adaptability
The designers have planned this for Rennes, a city in the old industrial area of France. It is a medium-size city, not interested in skyscrapers or any skyline-distorting high-rise buildings. While retaining the ethnic beauty and topographical highlights special to this area, the dome is designed as a housing solution for this city for highly populated areas with green ethics in mind. This design can be adapted for any other similar sized city.

It is extremely heartening to see that more and more people are turning towards green and renewable energy for containing carbon and other footprints to have a better and more eco-friendly world for future generations. This flat tower is also one such attempt.

What do you think?

View the original article here

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ceria Mimics Plant Life

Ceria Newer and more exciting devices are being invented to harness renewable energy – especially solar energy. One such device is a prototype which uses one of the rare earth metals – ceria, otherwise known cerium oxide – utilizing its natural propensity of alternatively exhaling and inhaling oxygen as it heats up or cools down.

A new prototype
Formulated by US & Swiss researchers, this prototype has a quartz window and a small cavity to focus sunlight on a ceria-filled cylinder. With water and/or carbon dioxide being pumped into the vessel, hydrogen and/or carbon monoxide are created. Hydrogen by itself is used in hydrogen cells and by mixing hydrogen and carbon monoxide, fuel syngas can be produced.

As against the conventional photovoltaic cells, hydrogen and syngas are fuels which can be stored, are portable and can be used any time. The metal ceria is abundantly available being the most commonly found rare-earth metal. Professor Sossina Haile, from California Institute of Technology, has claimed that ceria is most suited for this process and fit for massive-scale production of fuels like hydrogen and syngas. She also said that saying that this prototype mimics plants’ photosynthesis is too generalized and over simplistic though the basic ingredients and working may be the same.

The fact that only some 0.7-0.8% of solar energy is being harnessed for fuel production with the rest being lost through heat or re-radiation makes this device rather inefficient. But improved insulation and smaller apertures are expected to make it a commercially workable option increasing the efficiency to some 19% or so.

Future plans
Daniel Davies, from Solar Century, a British firm called the research as ‘exciting’. The possibility of large-scale production and portability of the fuel are the plus points of this device according to him. But Professor Haile strongly contends that making or marring of this and other such prototypes depends very much on national and state-level carbon policy.

Challenges ahead
Cost efficiency, storage/portability and production efficiency are three main challenges that need to be met by the hybrid technology devices such as these prototypes. Various methods are deployed to meet these challenges like using an array of mirrors for focusing sunlight on receivers, molten salts to store heat for up to 15 hours. But the search is still on for the most cost effective, efficient and continuous renewable energy providing device.

What do you think?

View the original article here

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Artificial Electronic Super Skin – Powered By Stretchable Solar Cells

Artificial Electronic Super Skin Zhenan Bao, Stanford researcher, is keen to create “Super skin.” Taking her previously created super-sensitive sensor a step ahead, she is now creating a super skin that will be self-powered with renewable clean solar energy. Bao and her team have designed polymer solar cells that are flexible and can be stretched to power the ’super skin’.

Previous sensor
Ms Bao had successfully built a sensor flexible and very sensitive to any pressure. It was able to detect even touch-down pressure of a fly. She had made this over a foundation of a flexible organic transistor made of supple polymers and materials which are carbon based. Touch-sensing is achieved by the fluctuations in the current flow which is caused by an elastic rubber layer shaped like myriad inverted pyramids.

Rationale for sensing
Changing the transistor’s semiconducting material according to the type of material kept on sensor, the sensor can sense whether it is touching a chemical or a biological material. The semiconducting material can be just a nanometer or two layers only thick for the expected detection to occur. By changing the structural characteristics of the transistor as needed, the super skin detects chemicals in liquid or vapour state and bio matters like proteins.

Useful for disease detection
Super skin being able to detect diseases by sensing the biomarker proteins corresponding to individual diseases, this can be taken a step further by fitting robots with super skins and allowing the robots to detect by touch whether a person has s disease-confirming biomarker or robot can test the sweat for drunkenness etc.

Need for power to send the data
When the sensors detect the nature of the materials being tested, they have to send the data to a computer or a researcher. Instead of connecting to a power supply or batteries, incorporating polymer solar cells is a better idea as this will enable the sensors to be portable and less cumbersome and be more eco-friendly.

Stretchable solar cells
Bao’s research papers mention of unidirectional stretchable nature of the solar cells, but Bao maintains that their solar cells are capable of stretching in both axes. Solar cells even in the stretched state generate power for sending the data collected by the sensors. A wavy microstructure is the reason for cells’ stretchable nature. They expand to some 30% excess of their normal length and snap back to original condition.

Use for stretchable solar cells
Stretchable materials are stronger and it can be a very useful and valuable feature in many scenarios. Darren Lipomi, a graduate student & lead author said, “One of the applications where stretchable solar cells would be useful is in fabrics for uniforms and other clothes.” The stretchable solar cells can also be integrated into curved areas like lenses, arches in buildings or car exteriors etc. also.

Eco friendly transistors
Today Bao has managed to make a green savvy version of the transistor made with materials that are biodegradable. Whatever materials go to make the transistor and its parts will not pose a threat to the environment. The super skin is much more than a human skin and now is totally eco-friendly, and will be powered by renewable energy source like solar energy.

What do you think?

View the original article here

Monday, May 9, 2011

Electric cars | Install 280 stations in Chicago

One of the most important cities of United States, Chicago, will give a great leap in terms of adapting to the growing trend of the electricvehicles. By the end of this year will have installed 280 stations load that will be built by the company Exelon.


The sites chosen for these new EV charging stations are strategic locations: the city's two airports, the main shopping centers of Chicago and at various points of resting in the highway Illiniois Tollway. These 280, there will be 2 units that will be powered through solar energy.

The choice of Chicago as a target of these charging stations is no accident. The city is currently one of the 10 largest number of hybrid cars and is expected to continue increasing its fleet of EVs and hybrids.

bryce_edwards on flickr

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Plan of saving and energy efficiency

The Council of Ministers has approved today the new Savings Plan and Energy efficiency for Spain. The main objectives are to achieve a saving of EUR 2,300 million a year on energy imports and in 12.5 million tons per year to reduce the emissions ofCO2. This new plan provides at the same time holding an investment of EUR 1,152 million.


Encourage the use of public transport, one of the objectives

Let's look at some of the outstanding measures that make up this Savings Plan and Energy efficiency:

promote the introduction of tyre with maximum energy rating (tag A) make mandatory the use of the biodiesel for fuel up 7% in content energéticolimitar temporarily limit at 110 km/h speed toll roads and motorways for tourism and motocicletasdisminuir public transport prices to discourage the use of the coche.fomentar the use of biomass for purposes térmicosrenovar the system of public lighting of the municipiosimpulsar awareness for energy savingcampaigns




View the original article here

Friday, May 6, 2011

Solar Energy Facts - Deciding on a Solar Energy System

Solar Energy Facts - Choosing the Right Sources of Renewable Electricity for Your Location

Here is an article from The Alternative Energy Store which discusses the process of choosing the proper renewable energy system for your home or business. This section will deal mostly with solar energy facts.

"Without taking into account financial incentives available by state and national governments, solar air heating, solar water heating and micro hydro electric systems have the best financial payback periods.

However, in part due to rebates and people's familiarity with solar electric and wind power systems, they are the most popular with homeowners and businesses.

Selecting what type of renewable energy to use to power your home or business is not always about what you would prefer to have but what is best available and economically most feasible.

Here we will discuss reviewing your site for its potential in generating electricity from solar power, wind power and hydro (water) power.

We won't be covering solar air heating and solar water heating systems in this article which are exceptionally cost effective for most home owners (please see our article on solar heating technologies). Ignoring for the moment any rebates or tax incentives offered by your local or national governments and assuming that you site had plenty of resources to provide solar, wind or hydro power, the most cost effective systems for generating electricity are (going from least to most expensive):

microhydro electric systems, wind electric systems and solar electric systems.Ironically, the types of systems that are most frequently used go in exactly the opposite order: many solar electric systems, some wind electric systems and few microhydro electric systems.

The reason for this reversal is due in part to the actual availability of these energy resources, rebates and incentives, zoning laws at particular a location among other things. Solar Energy Facts Regarding Location

Most locations can make use of solar power as long as where you would install the solar panels would have a clear shot of the sun for most of the day (e.g. 9AM through 3PM).

Most solar electric panels rapidly decrease in performance with just a little bit of shading. Literally the shadow of a twig upon a solar panel could cause it to decrease it's output by 30% or more.

The amount of energy you can get from solar electricity at your site, depends on your location in the world and the time of the year.

Obviously, sites closer to the equator will tend to receive more solar power throughout the year than one's far north or south of the equator.

Generally sites north of the equator receive more sunlight between the months of April through September, and sites south of the equator receive more during the opposite time of the year (October through March).

As you can imagine, sunlight is also affected by the weather. Sites that frequently have long lasting fog or are overcast during large parts of the year will have less available solar power

Solar Energy Facts on Insolation

The measurement for the strength of the sunlight striking the earth at your location is defined as solar insolation.

Using this value, you can determine how much energy you can generate through out the year for your site. Solar insolation data for all over the world and at different times of the year has been investigated and recorded.

The peak, average and lowest annual solar insolation values for several different USA cities and countries across the world can be found in the reference area of the How To section If you live in the USA, choose the city closest to you in the table and that will give you a good estimate of the amount of solar insolation for your location.

To determine the average daily amount of energy you would produce at your location, you would multiply the average annual solar insolation value times the total wattage of your solar panel array.

As an example, let's say that you had a single 100 watt solar panel and you lived in Columbus, Ohio, which has an average annual solar insolation value of 4.15 sun-hours.

Solar Energy Facts on daily energy output.

To determine your average daily energy output out of that 100 watt panel you would multiply 100 watts times 4.15 sun-hours (100 x 4.15), which is 415 watt-hours (or 0.415 kilowatt-hours). This amount of energy would be about enough to power a color TV for a couple of hours every day.

View the original article here

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Biomass Energy Disadvantages

Biomass Energy disadvantages. There really are not that many. But we do need to look at the whole picture when trying to see if biomass is a good alternative fuel to fossil fuel such as coal or oil.

1. Biomass produces greenhouse emissions. The biggest argument against biomass is that it produces carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

2. It takes more energy to plant ,cultivate and harvest the crops and trees than it is worth to get a net energy gain. It also takes up more water from the earth and other fossil fuels to make the fertilizers and fuels for planting and harvesting. it also, supposedly, takes up more land for the crops and trees.

3.Biomass collection is difficult. There was a man who, in 1979, traveled from Jacksonville, Fl to Los Angeles, Ca on wood he was using in his biomass gasifier attached to a Chevy Malibu. He would travel 1 mile for every pound of wood. Not the most efficient use of fuel.

4. Biomass crops not available all year. Corn, wheat, barley and the like are seasonal crops. They are not available all year. Trees are also a slow growing resource even though they are renewable. This would also tend to be a negative on the side of biomass fuels.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The New Role of Microbes in Bio-Fuel Production

Microbes Biofuel Currently biofuel is produced from plants as well as microbes. The oils, carbohydrates or fats generated by the microbes or plants are refined to produce biofuel. This is a green and renewable energy that helps in conserving fossil-fuel usage. But a new research has led to a new discovery of getting the microbes to produce fuel from the proteins instead of utilizing the protein for its own growth. The research is being done at the premises of University of California in Los Angeles.

The focus of the experiment was to induce the microbes under the study to produce a specific kind of proteins rather than what they otherwise might be inclined to produce. This special protein can be refined in to biofuel. The task is to make the microbes produce only this kind of protein rather than utilizing it for their own growth and growth related activities as they otherwise do.

Different from prior practice
This kind of biofuel production is different from the traditional behavior of microbes where they use the protein only for growth. This is like tricking the microbes to deviate from that and produce fats or material that can be converted to biofuel. In the words of UCLA postdoctoral student and lead researcher, Yi-xin Huo -”We have to completely redirect the protein utilization system, which is one of the most highly-regulated systems in the cell.”

First attempt at protein utilization
This has been claimed as the first ever attempt to use the proteins as a source for generating energy. Until now the biofuel-producing algae has not made use of the protein like a carbon supply for biofuel. It was only used for growth. But now the scientists have tampered with usual nitrogen metabolism process and induced biorefining process and altered the metabolizing of nitrogen at the cellular level.

A fringe benefit
By this process, they are letting the cells to retain the nitrogen and take out just the ammonia. Once done with the biofuel production, the residue is a better kind of fertilizer thanks to the low nitrogen levels. This in turn will lessen any greenhouse emissions that happen during the fertilizer production. The new process will reprocess the nitrogen back and will help in maintaining a nitrogen neutral state and less harmful emissions during fertilizer production.

Future plans
The Nature Biotechnology Sunday issue has published the team’s findings. The team hopes that their findings will rewrite biofuel production by inundating the field with protein eating microbes which will generate fats and substances that can be converted into biofuel. The microbes will feed on proteins that are not fit for animal consumption and keep producing special proteins for biofuel conversion and later can become a better type if fertilizer with less nitrogen and nil harmful greenhouse emissions.

What do you think?

View the original article here

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Solar Tracker Solar Panels

Solar Tracker A German owned company IMO has set-up a plant in USA that will make the largest solar tracker solar panels to tap solar energy. As per Ruediger Unverzagt and Klaus Pless, respectively the CEO and vice-president of this company, these solar tracker solar panels are the largest in Summerville in South California. IMO is looking forward to commercially sell these solar tracker solar panels. Despite being huge in size, they are very easy to assemble and one can assemble them just outside the building where they are to be installed.

How the solar tracker solar panels technology will help
IMO is hopeful that USA will embrace this source of energy because with its help, you can avoid the emission of carbon dioxide by 87,000 pounds that pollutes the air on an early basis due to burning of 34,000 pounds of coal. With the solar tracker solar panels, IMO will not need 42,000 kilowatts of power, equal to the power need by almost four households on an annual basis. It also saves the environment by the same extent as it would if 6,700 more trees are planted or the pollution is reduced by the extent caused by a vehicle traveling 106000 miles.

How the solar tracker solar panels technology works
The oversized solar panel is resting on a rotating pole. This solar panel is not stationary but keeps on moving with the sun. This way panel catches maximum solar rays from the sun. Stationary solar panels remain fixed to a single spot. They catch whatever sunlight comes to their direction. But rotating solar panels following the sun’s daytime path can capture 20 or 30% more solar energy. They keep on shifting their stand to capture more and more sunlight. You can compare them with sunflowers: sunflowers change their position with the position of the sun.

Size of the solar tracker solar panels
The large solar tracker solar panel that faces the sun and captures energy from its powerful rays is 1,614-square-foot metallic structures and is 53-foot-tall. Due to huge size, this big panel is put on top of the metal column with the help of crane. The manager of renewable energy program with the SC Energy Office, Erika Myres finds the size of this panel on the pole very surprising. As she keeps the track of individual panel projects around the state, she says that panels by IMO are the largest solar trackers in South California and each one is bigger than her first house.

Commercial use of the solar tracker solar panels
Though IMO will start the sale of these solar tracker solar panels very soon, similar alternative-energy devices have been sold by the executives of the company at its overseas headquarters. Whereas these executives are not ready to tell how much the figures of the sales are, their business has not reached great heights till now. The machine that can be used for 25 years cost between $100,000 and $200,000 .

The $150,000 grant provided to the company under the state’s Clean Green Energy Incentive Program has got exhausted. Now IMO is hoping that other companies and home owners could take the benefit of existing state and tax credits and finance their project.

View the original article here

Monday, May 2, 2011

South Saigon Yacht Park: Modern and Green Clean Living

Saigon Yacht Park Vietnam is setting an example in setting up a stunning green center with the ongoing project called South Saigon Yacht Park. Right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, the state capital, plans are afoot to create a green oasis to spread the message of green revolution across the country. This Yacht Park is the first step towards making a glass-concrete jungle to an eco friendly city and to bring back the old world charm of harmony between people and nature.

Design of the park
The Lib.A – Liberty Architecture team of architects have taken the responsibility of designing this South Saigon Yacht Park. The park will be so designed to show-case Vietnam’s celebrated rich past culture and their glorious legacy as well be the green focus of the famous city. Making a green center amidst the glass and concrete jungle, on the river banks of Saigon will show-case the changing trends in Vietnam leaning towards greener, cleaner and healthier living.

Green urban fusion
To bring green centers and hubs inside cities and to make the city roads as zero-carbon-emission zones are now quite familiar traits in many European cities. More and more people are taking to cleaner-energy utilization, use bicycles or even walk rather than drive for reducing and conserving on fossil-fuel consumption. Now Ho-Chi Minh is joining the ranks of these green-sensitive cities with the South Saigon Yacht Park Scheme.

North side of Yacht Park
The North Park area will have areas earmarked especially for residential purposes as well as other important components of urban life. The architects have planned to incorporate features that will fulfill the requirements of the populace in recreation and entertainment genre as well as shopping multiplexes. There will be centers to enjoy cultural activities like theaters and auditoriums in the northern parts of the part all set amidst verdant greenery.

South side of Yacht Park
The south side with its river front areas will have commercial river dock facilities along with residential areas – all areas nestling amidst verdant greenery. Thanks to the ample availability of water, there will be no shortage of greenery in any part of the park. The center of attraction of course will be The Yacht Sport Entertainment Complex which will add greatly to the beauty of the park.

A green dream comes true
This has been the green dream of Vietnam – to build a prototype of a park to unify city and nature; to bring nature to the urban areas. With a profusion of green features integrated into its design thanks to the nature-given bounties provided by the river and features to glorify its cultural heritage, the South Saigon Yacht Park will provide a fresh breath of cool natural green beauty to the city dwellers.

View the original article here

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Making the Best Use of Polymer Solar Cells

Polymer Solar Cells A report recently published in an online journal called Advanced Materials points out that a process has been developed by the researchers at the Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory that can produce thin and constant light absorbing layers on textured substrates. This increases light absorption by polymer solar cells, thereby increasing their efficiency and enabling its best use.

Why has polymer solar cell technology failed so far?
Mr Chaudhary says that since it is already being used in silicon-based solar cells, the use of textured substrate to increase the working capacity of solar cells is not new. There are indications that by the right combination of substrate texture and the solution-based coating, power generated can be increased. But the technology has failed so far because of two reasons. First, it needs extra processing steps and then it needs coating technologies that are a challenge technically. Attempts were also made to use solar cells in valleys by using various methods to produce light absorbing layers. But the performance of solar cells has been poor at the valleys and ridges because of loss of charge and short circuit.

How polymer solar cell technology works
An assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Iowa State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an associate of the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, Sumit Chaudhary said that researchers are making polymer cells that have the capabilities of capturing more light within the ridges. This includes the light they absorb from outside and the light that gets reflected from one ridge to another. These solar cells are made up of polymers that are lightweight, easy-to make and flexible. Their functioning is improved by a textured substrate pattern that lets the removal of a thin light absorbing layer. As the light absorbing layer goes through the small ridges, it maintains good electrical transport properties in the cells.

Advantages of polymer solar cell technology

It uses the sun trapping systems in the most efficient manner.The efficiency of solar cells improve by 20 percent.

Power conversion efficiency of the light-trapping cells is 20% more than flat solar cells of polymers. There was also a 100% increase in the light captured at the red/near infrared band edge.

Professor Sumit Chaudhary’s team that worked on polymer solar cells technology
Apart from professor Sumit Chaudhary, the team working on this project included, Kai-Ming Ho, an Iowa State Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy and an Ames Laboratory faculty scientist, Kanwar Singh Nalwa, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering and a student associate of the Ames Laboratory and Joong-Mok Park, an assistant scientist with the Ames Laboratory.

Sumit and his team are being supported by the Iowa Power Fund, the Ames Laboratory and the Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

The substrate and coating technology is being patented by The Iowa State University Research Foundation Inc. Once the technology is patented, it will be licensed to solar cells manufacturers. They can then make the proper and the best use of it.

View the original article here