Half a Million Solar Panels Now on UK Buildings“A quiet solar revolution has been taking place led by half a million everyday households,” said Leonie Greene of the Solar Trade Association.READ MORE on EcoWatch: http://ecowatch.com/2014/01/14/half-million-solar-panels-uk-buildings/
Graphene-based solar cell hits record 15.6 percent efficiency
In 2012, researchers from the University of Florida reported a record efficiency of 8.6 percent for a prototype solar cell consisting of a wafer of silicon coated with a layer of graphene doped with trifluoromethanesulfonyl-amide (TFSA). Now another team is claiming a new record efficiency of 15.6 percent for a graphene-based solar cell by ditching the silicon all together. The prototype photovoltaic device, created by researchers from the Group of Photovoltaic and Optoelectronic Devices (DFO) at Spain’s Universitat Jaume I in Castelló and Oxford University, uses a combination of titanium oxide and graphene as a charge collector and perovskite as a sunlight absorber. As well as the impressive solar efficiency, the team says the device is manufactured at low temperatures, with the several layers that go into making it being processed at under 150° C (302° F) using a solution-based disposition technique. This not only means lower potential production costs, but also makes it possible for the technology to be used on flexible plastics. The team’s paper is published in the journal Nano Letters. (via Graphene-based solar cell hits record 15.6 percent efficiency)
The world’s third-largest toy manufacturer is going to be putting “made with wind power” labels on all those boxes of LEGOs, and not just because they bought their power from utilities with wind turbines. Kirkbi A/S, the family holding company that owns LEGO, will be buying actual wind turbines representing fully a third of an offshore wind farm, reports Reuters.
LEGO’s share of the 277-megawatt Borkum Riffgrund 1 wind farm, which will be finished in 2015, should provide all the energy the company needs through 2020. Considering that LEGO produces 19 billion bricks every year, that’s a surprisingly efficient use of wind power.