Last week I wrote one of my periodic “things-might-look-bad-but-progress-continues” blog posts about economic malaise alongside an innovation explosion in the solar industry. In it I mentioned a German company Heliatek making a new organic tinted solar panel. Now they have achieved a record efficiency for dye-sensitized solar cells at 10.7 percent. They are planning a roll-to-roll manufacturing process that will hopefully lead to economically competitive production in the near future. Way to go Heliatek!
In another very recent nugget, and new transparent graphene material dubbed “GraphExeter” (according to this article), could help improve solar panels even further by be a transparent conductor of electricity. The material could go near the top layer of solar panels, let the light through, and conduct more electricity. Could it increase solar panel efficiency by up to 30? We will wait and see.
If you are an early adopter and are looking for an EV to hook up to your solar panels, check out these recent reviews of the Ford Focus and the Nissan Leaf. One option for charging might be the GE Wattstation. It is certainly stylish, but I always wonder, is it cheap? I suppose, most people that can afford and electric car can also probably afford a Wattstation.
Just a reminder that the entry period for the snowmelt contest is done. No more entries will be accepted. We are now in the stage of watching and waiting to see when the snow will melt. From what I could see from this weekend, we still have a few days to go. Six people predicted today’s date. Way to take a chance and go out on a limb, but the winning date will not be today.
Have a fine Monday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
This post was written by jloew on April 30, 2012