In the meantime, the cost of solar on a per kwh basis has continued to improve, primarily on the back of … Read more
SolFocus on Tuesday said that it has begun installation of its concentrated photovoltaic arrays at a 3-megawatt solar power plant in southern Spain.
The first 200 kilowatts of solar power to go live will be part of 500 kilowatts that SolFocus will provide in a project sponsored by Spain's Institute of Concentration Photovoltaic Systems, or ISFOC by its Spanish acronym.
SolFocus, which we first covered when it was spun out of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in 2006, is one several companies pursuing concentrated solar photovoltaics, where mirrors or lenses focus light onto solar cells to produce more electricity. … Read more
SolFocus has now raised a total of $63.6 million in series B funding to move into production of its solar power plants.
An extra $11.6 million in funding, announced Tuesday, complements the $52 million in series B funding the company announced in September. Altogether, the company has raised $95 million in venture capital.
SolFocus, which was spun out of Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) is perhaps the most high-profile company to pursue solar concentrators, where mirrors and lenses magnify light in order to squeeze more electricity from very efficient solar cells.
These solar installations--usually ground-mounted machines, are typically … Read more
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Konarka Technologies is a solar company that specializes in organic photovoltaics, solar cells made from plastics.
Those cells are not as efficient or long-lasting as silicon, which is used in most rooftop solar panels. But they are lighter, flexible and can be integrated into a range of products, from consumer electronics to fibers. Konarka has even suggested putting its plastic on soft drink bottles in stores for advertising.
So when will we start to see this new generation of consumer-friendly solar cells?
Konarka is now in commercial prototyping its solar cells and expects to have products that use … Read more
The next solar panel could be a window.
Konarka Technologies and Air Products have received a grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a transparent, flexible solar panel that could be placed on a piece of glass or integrated into a window.
Konarka specializes in organic photovoltaics. These are complex molecules that can harvest portions of the infrared and visible light spectrum and turn the energy into sunlight. Organic photovoltaic panels don't last as long as silicon panels and 't aren't as efficient as silicon or other types of panels. But they can … Read more
Lumeta on Tuesday announced a manufacturing deal with Chinese solar panel producer Suntech for Lumeta's solar roof tiles.
Under the deal, Suntech will supply solar modules for Lumeta's building-integrated photovoltaic roof tiles.
Lumeta's Solar S Tile, launched earlier this year, looks just like terracotta concrete roof tiles but are covered with a solar cell that generates electricity. Lumeta, a subsidiary of DRI Companies, announced the supply deal at the Solar World 2007 industry conference.
The solar industry is pursuing building-integrated photovoltaics as a way to reduce the cost of solar electric installations.
One advantage of solar roof … Read more
WALTHAM, Mass.--Researchers working to equip an increasingly digitized soldier are seeking solutions to their tough demands in the commercial clean-tech sector.
Last week, I attended a presentation in which experts from the U.S. Army's Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass., detailed their very stringent needs.
The Natick center experts talked about their specialties--combat feeding, shelter and clothing--and how integral energy is to those areas of development. Although the lab develops its own products, researchers favor commercially available--and viable--technologies.
That's where the growing investor and entrepreneurial interest in clean tech comes in.
Problems like short battery life, … Read more
Nature hates a vacuum, and apparently so do solar installation companies.
A number of solar installers with national ambitions have or are preparing plans to open operations in Colorado. Standard Renewable Energy, which is trying to create a nationwide network of energy efficiency consultants (see earlier story here), has linked up with installers in the state, said CEO John Berger. Besides solar, Standard also advises customers on light bulbs and heating systems. (Berger used to run the East Coast trading desk at Enron, but there's no probationary ankle collar on him. The East Coast desk was not the one … Read more
High-end solar technology isn't just for power plants and commercial rooftops. It also works in parking lots.
Soliant Energy is a start-up doing concentrating photovoltaic systems, which uses a series of mirrored tubes to magnify sunlight onto solar cells to boost electricity. (For an FAQ and photo gallery on concentrating PV, see this article.)
Soliant's primary customer is commercial building owners but the company's product design is flexible enough that it has developed a specialized solar-power generator for car parks, or roofs that shade cars during the day.
"One thing we realized about a year ago … Read more
SolFocus, which builds high-end solar-power systems, on Wednesday said it has acquired Madrid, Spain-based Inspira, a provider of specialized sun "trackers," for an undisclosed price.
A spin-off from Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, SolFocus builds solar concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) arrays that use several small mirrored dishes to magnify sunlight hundreds of times to get more electricity from high-efficiency solar cells.
Inspira has developed control systems that precisely track the movement of the sun during the day to maximize light intake. These types of trackers are common on concentrator solar-power systems, which seek to squeeze more power from … Read more