Solliance from Eindhoven, The Netherlands, wants to mover away from standard solar panels towards thin film solar and apply those to surfaces like cars, windows, curved building surfaces or even glasshouses:
They are close to printing cheap roles of hundreds of meters of solar thin film cells, with a conversion efficiency of 12.2-13.5 % on the basis of perovskites.
[hightechcampus.com] – Solliance dichterbij drukmachine voor zonnecellen op rol
A developer of a 300 MW solar park in Saudi-Arabia, Masdar/Abu Dhabi, is willing to accept the world record low price of 1.79 dollar cent/kWh. There were initially 27 applicants for this tender.
[wattisduurzaam.nl] – Nieuw record: Zonnestroom tegen 1,5 eurocent/kWh voor Saudi’s
Available data World Solar Challenge 2017:
Nuna Solar Team TU Delft: 3021 km, 14:10:41, average speed 81.2 km/h
Solar Team TU Eindhoven: average speed 69 km/h, 6 charges, 10197 person-km, 45.7 kWh external energy, average passengers: 3.4, energy efficiency (person-km/kWh) 223.2
Note that the external energy was necessary due to the long distance of 3021 km in merely 6 days. If the available time would have been 12 days, no extra electricity would have been required. In other words, the daily range without external (grid) charging (but “24h” solar charging) under Australian conditions in October would be ca. 250 km with 5 persons.
Eindhoven btw drove with 5 persons until a major technical malfunction occurred, after which no risks were taken and a single driver-passenger completed the race alone, which pressed down the passenger average. If you offset these 250 km with a daily average distance of merely 37 km in an industrialized country like Holland, you can verify that an energy-autonomous car is not a pipe-dream at all.
[wikipedia.org] – Stuart Highway
LG Efficiency breakthrough 21.1% resulting in a 365 Watt panel or 26% more power than the regular 290 Watt panels of the same size (1686 x 1016 x 40 mm / 66.38 x 40 x 1.57 inch).
Power output warranty:
First 5 years : 95%
After 5th year : 0.4% annual degradation
25 years : 87.0%
One month to go to the Solar Challenge 2017 in Australia.
Technical University Eindhoven
Technical University Delft
Technical University Twente
Presentation of the Sonnenwagen (solar car), created by the students of the Technical University of Aachen, Germany, who will participate in te Solar Challenge 2017 (8-15 October) in Australia.
The Delft University has revealed its new model to participate in the Australian Solar Challenge cross continental race in less than two months time.
[news.vattenfall.com] – Nuna9 – A lion in the shape of a solar car
[wikipedia.org] – World Solar Challenge
[nl.wikipedia.org] – Nuon Solar Team
[deepresource] – TU-Eindhoven Presents Stella Vie
Detractors of renewable energy like to state that the Energy Return on Energy Investment (EROI/EROEI) to too low to be workable. And it is true that the EROI of the installed base of solar panels is much lower than that of say hydro power or 1950s oil from Saudi-Arabia. Our estimate would say around EROI=10.
However, there are developments in the works that should make it clear that a vast improvement of EROI is very well possible, if not realized already. Thin film solar is basically an extremely thin layer of a few nanometers active material on an ultra-cheap substrate of for instance plastic. It is not difficult to understand that the energy input of thin film solar will require much less energy than old-school silicium crystal-based solar cells.
As the graph shows EROI values realized for thin film solar is already in the 34 range with further improvement to be expected.
Upbeat assessment about the state of photo-voltaic technology from Stanford University in California. Solar efficiencies of 33% at a price of $100/m2 becoming the norm soon.
Solar is doing fine in the “sunshine state” California: from 0 to 5 GW in 15 years, with exponential growth and no end in sight.
[qz.com] – California is getting so much power from solar that wholesale electricity prices are turning negative
In Tourouvre, Normandy, NW-France the road building company Solas has constructed one km of solaroad, this time for cars, not just bicycles like in the Netherlands. The “photovoltaic road” comes two years after the completion of the solaroad project in Krommenie in the Netherlands.
The French government (#MakeThePlanetGreatAgain) has ambitious plans to construct 1000 km solaroad over the next five years.
Space is scarce in the Netherlands, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, hence the drive to push back water and acclaim new land. But still…
From this background it is understandable that a company by the name of “SolaRoad” came up with the idea to add a new function to bicycle paths: electricity generation via built-in solar cells. The Solaroad is a 73 m bicyclepath, inaugurated in 2014 by the Dutch minister of economic affairs, Henk Kamp. Since then the project has been expanded to include thin film solar cells. Additionally several stretches consist of coating only to study wear. Expected yield: 11700 kWh/year or 70 kWh/m2/year.
In a period of a year 150,000 bicycles passed the Solaroad, leading to considerable wear of the top layer that partially needed to be replaced with better materials.
Meanwhile the Solaroad consortium has a solaroad-kit on offer, that is standard stretches of 10 m long bikepaths, aimed at municipalities keen on giving their communities a “green image”. In the province of Groningen a similar bike path has been installed.
The US state of California has signed a letter of intent to have a solaroad constructed there as well.
Solar panels powering a heat pump for space heating.
17 panels in total, 7 for the heat pump.
The heat pump produces an input water temperature of 45 degrees Celcius, which suffices for most of the heating season.
Result: electricity neutral and more than 1000 m3 natural gas saved annually.
Dutch government 5 kW heat pump national subsidy: 1000 euro.
Youtube text: Introducing the electric car that charges itself with sunlight. Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear announces our mission. Dutch company Lightyear launches four-wheel drive solar-powered car able to drive for months without charging. Currently, all cars of the world combined drive one light year, every year. That is 9.500.000.000.000 km. Every year. Powered by fossil fuels. Our goal is to accelerate the adoption of electric cars so that by 2030, one light year will have been driven electric. To that, we are providing a scalable solution.
[tue.nl] – TU/e startup Lightyear launches solar powered car
[nltimes.nl] – Dutch Startup Puts First Solar Powered Family Car On Market
[digitaltrends.com] – Dutch Startup Promises a Solar Car For Around $130,000
[treehugger.com] – Lightyear One solar car charges itself and will have a 500-mile range
[electrek.co] – Creators of record-breaking solar car launch startup to sell street-legal version
The great advantage of fossil fuels is its storage aspect. It will wait patiently in a tank until somebody needs the energy and decides to burn it. With wind and solar no such luck. For this reason some researchers try to combine the advantages of solar and fossil fuel. Enter solar fuel. The most obvious source of solar fuel is biomass, created from water, oxygen and sunlight, producing sugars with enzymes as catalysts. The essence of solar fuel research consists in circumventing natural processes occurring in plants and create fuel in a more direct way. Solar light is converted into chemicals, using water, oxygen and CO2 as “base materials” and adding some catalyst(s) to speed things up, c.q. enable the process.
Solar fuels are carbon neutral in the sense that they recycle CO2 from the atmosphere before they are released again into the atmosphere.
Solar fuel production methods can be either direct (H2) or indirect (biomass).
Direct solar fuel production. TiO2 photocatalyst for water splitting. H2 bubbles are generated from the catalyst surface only by sunlight irradiation.
[wikipedia.org] – Solar fuel
[renewableenergyworld.com] – Solar Fuels: How Close, How Real?
[greentechmedia.com] – The Wild and (Potentially) Wonderful World of Solar Fuels
[sciencedaily.com] – How solar energy can be transformed into fuel
[iflscience.com] – Solar Fuels: How Planes And Cars Could Be Powered By The Sun
[technologyreview.com] – The Road to Solar Fuels Hits a Speed Bump
[solarh2.tu-darmstadt.de] – SOLARH2 (EU)
[scientificamerican.com] – Scientists May Be a Step Closer to Creating Solar-Fueled Vehicles
[power-technology.com] – Solar fuels: materials breakthrough could open new chapter
1. [synthesis-dna.com] – ‘Pure Tension’ Volvo pavilion
2. [planetsolar.ch] – MS Tûranor PlanetSolar
3. [youtube] [cameronballoons.co.uk] – Hot air Baloon
4. [gosunstove.com] – GoSun Ovens
5. [solarreserve.com] – Solar reserve
6. [solarimpulse.com] – Solar Impulse
7. [rawlemon.com] – Rawlemon Solar