How does a Solar Cell work?

Hello everyone this is the first blog among the many technical articles on Solar that we plan to bring out. Hope you will enjoy reading them and find the information useful!   This article is all about solar cell’s functioning. Almost everyone who is in the solar industry would know this much: that a solar photovoltaic (PV) module converts sunlight into electricity. But do you know how it can do this conversion?   ———————————————————————————————————————————————————— The beauty of PV technology lies in the very nature of the universe – the way materials are made up of, the way energy interacts with it, and the way humans tailored the materials to result in this conversion. This blog tries to explain the basic physics behind the solar cell design even to an individual without a technical background.   Why should you bother with physics to understand how a solar cell works? Current means moving charges. A solar cell first has to produce charges and then make them move to generate current. So you have …

Walking the energy beat: Cuffing carbon for smaller buildings

Source: Greenbiz.com In the classic cine-crime series Dragnet, fast-talking Los Angeles detective Joe Friday is well known for the trademark line “Just the facts, ma’am.” In other words: “Let’s dispense with the distractions and get to the point.” So it is with small and midsize enterprise energy-efficiency projects — theory turned to practice speaks louder than words. Projects are rendered in fact and this is the action in the neighborhood of great potential. But walking the efficiency beat can be messy and complicated. It requires management; no one wants to pay for audits or analyses or anything else, for that matter. Decisions are not driven by the return on investment. Contractors are lax, contracts vague, incentive programs counter-productive. And projects can take longer than you think they should for a myriad of unfathomable reasons, not the least of which is “human factor.” So, if you’re going to pursue these projects you need to be patient, thorough, respectful and patient. The simple purpose of listing the successful efficiency projects you’ll find …

Every house in every village of India will be provided electricity by 2017: PM

Source: Newstrackindia.com The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Wednesday said that his government would initiate measures to ensure that every house in every village of India would be provided with electricity in the next five years i.e. 2017. Addressing the nation on the occasion of the country’s 65th Independence Day from the ramparts of the historic 17th century-built Red Fort, Dr. Singh said: “When the UPA Government came to power in 2004, we had promised that we would provide electricity to all villages. To fulfill this promise, we launched the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme. More than one lakh new villages have been provided with electricity connections under this scheme and now almost all the villages in the country have been electrified.” “Our next target is to provide electricity to each and every household in our country in the next 5 years and to also improve the supply of electricity,” he added. India currently suffers from a major shortage of electricity generation capacity, even though it is the world’s fourth largestenergy consumer after United …

It’s Time for India to Get Serious about Solar

Source: environmentalleader.com Six hundred million people without power – and those were the ones expecting to have power. I’m not going to join the chorus of critical voices reacting to two of the world’s largest power black-outs recently in India. While surely there is ample blame to go around, it’s not really clear what happened. It could have been the lack of infrastructure investment, the light monsoon weather causing farmers to use more electricity for pumping irrigation water or states taking more than their allotted share of electricity from the grid. But one thing is clear, this power outage ground India’s economy to a halt, left 10 percent of the world’s population without power and rolled through 22 of India’s 28 states. And that’s not counting the 300 million people there who have no regular access to electricity. The electricity crisis will certainly bring India’s energy problem into the forefront so this a great time to rethink and recommit to solar being a larger part of the energy mix. Although the …

Plastic-powered plane to fly from Sydney to London

Source: businessgreen.com A British adventurer hopes to help change the face of the airline industry by completing a record-breaking flight from Sydney to London in a single engine aircraft powered entirely by fuel made from plastic waste. Setting off in a Cessna 182 later this year, former aerobatics and Flying Doctors pilot Jeremy Rowsell plans to stop along the 10,000-mile route at Darwin, Christmas Island, Sri Lanka, Oman, Jordan, and Malta, cruising at 5,000 feet for stretches of up to 13 hours, before touching down in London six days later. The diesel engine plane will run on fuel developed by Irish companyCynar Plc, which melts down waste plastics in an oxygen-free environment, a process known as pyrolysis, to create the equivalent of a petroleum distillate that can be separated into different fuels. Cynar says this technique releases absolutely no emissions and the end product is not only cleaner than conventional diesel, it is also of a higher quality, while the small amount of plastics that cannot be converted to fuels are …

Solar grid parity by 2017, says ministry

Source: headlinesindia.com Power produced by solar plants will be sold at the same price as that from conventional sources like coal by 2017, a power ministry official said today.   “Solar power is very close to achieving grid parity. It will achieve grid parity by end of the 12th Plan in 2017,” Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary in the new and renewable energy ministry, announced at a conference here on the Indian power industry. “Consequent to the launch of the government’s solar mission in 2010, we see large volumes (of electricity) coming into the sector and we’ve seen prices come down drastically,” Kapoor said. Outlining the sequence of fall in tariffs, Kapoor informed the conference that from an initial tariff of Rs.17 per kilowatt (kw) hour fixed by the regulator, subsequent tenders had yielded lower average tariffs, and the last tender floated had fetched the tariff of Rs7.49 per kw hour. “Odisha did a tender and got a tariff of Rs.7 per kw hour to be constant for the next 25 years. …

BMW unveils the C evolution electric scooter

Source: Gizmag BMW Motorrad has been busying itself perfecting an electric scooter design for some time now and, following the early prototype E Scooter we first reported on last year, and the more fully formed Concept e model which popped up a few months later, the company has now unveiled a new “near-production” electric scooter named the BMW C evolution which boasts a reported 100 kilometers (62 miles) range from one full charge and some impressive styling to match. Perhaps more useful than the three hour charge time of the C evolution is the fact that the scooter can reach 70 percent charge after approximately thirty minutes spent plugged in. In addition to this, the C evolution’s charge socket is same type currently implemented in many car charging stations throughout the USA and so the scooter can recharge at those locations – a feature which BMW claims is not currently offered by any other electric scooter. Naturally, BMW is keen to market the C evolution as a primarily urban-based transport solution and this is …

Tokelau Will Be World’s First 100% Solar Powered Nation by September

Source: Treehugger Tokelau may not yet be a fully self-governing country—the major of its budget is paid for in aid from New Zealand; its citizens still are technically citizens of New Zealand; and it has non-self-governing territory status with the UN—but its may well become the world’s nation of island to get all of its electricity from solar power. As New Zealand’s 3 News reports (ht Revmodo), the three atolls that make up Tokelau are in the process of phasing out using diesel fuel to generate electricity, installing over 4000 solar panels as replacement. The first of the atolls to get solar panels is about halfway towards having all of them installed, with the remaining panels expected to be installed by September. Here’s the amazing connection between phasing out diesel fueled electricity, getting the Tokelau budget inline and untying the connection to New Zealand: The nation’s annual revenues are under $500,000, but the national budget is $2.8 million. (Yes, million dollars, which gives you a sense of both how financially strapped and small the …

1,000 MW of Solar Milestone Passed in India

Source: cleantechnica A hearty congratulations is in order for India. It has just surpassed the 1,000 MW mark for installed photovoltaic solar power. Were there celebrations? It seems at times we don’t acknowledge the achievements in renewable energy that are taking place. Rather, the general perception seems to be one of attempting to fill up an enormous hole. (David Brower was reputed to have told fellow activists to allow themselves some enjoyment on their journeys, or else they would suffer too much.) These renewable energy achievements are taking place amidst economic struggles around the world, and one might imagine, given the overall gloom, they are not being recognized enough. Most of the solar capacity is in Gujarat, and there is also an additional 85 MW of off-grid PV solar. Gujarat Solar Park currently has scores of solar installations totaling about 600 MW, and it is planned to soon expand that capacity to about 1,000 MW. The largest individual solar park there is Charanka, with about 200 MW, which is expected to grow to 500. Gujarat might have 10,000 …

Energy Efficiency as Important for Branding as for Bottom Line, Deloitte Says

Source: Environmentalleader Improving energy efficiency at America’s businesses is as important to brand building as it is to growing the bottom line, according to a new Deloitte report. The study, reSources 2012, shows that while 85 percent of companies claim that electricity cost reductions are essential to staying financially competitive, almost as high a proportion – 81 percent – believe they are critical to brand building.  In fact, more than three-quarters of the organizations surveyed say they are actively promoting their energy efficiency efforts to their customers. Deloitte says that there is now a clear consensus in corporate America that energy efficiency is an important competitive advantage and that senior business leaders are beginning to see it as as a strategic business driver. Survey respondents say they have achieved close to 60 percent of their targeted energy reduction levels.  However, much of this progress is the result of initiatives that are easy to implement, such as installing more efficient light bulbs. As companies move away from the “low hanging fruit” and on …

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