Tag Archives: solar cells

Community energy is generating people power

Naturally, the current suppliers want to maintain the status quo of centralised systems where the consumer is kept enslaved to the supplier. And naturally, these powerful forces influence policy decision-making and the media. There is a light at the end of this tunnel: community energy suppliers can stimulate investment by creating micro-generation points and then investing in their own micro-grids for local energy distribution, all connected to transmission stations run by the National Grid.

In 2011, there were 19 Community energy co-operatives generating 19.6MW of renewable energy, powering approximately 16,000 homes. Shareholders in these co-operatives are making a steady return on their investment in tangible local energy generation assets. As we transition into our new sustainable way of living, during this ‘Time of the Great Turning’ (as Joanna Macy has named it), a post industrial evolutionary movement, a ‘small is beautiful principle should be applied to local energy generation.We specialize in teaching folks how to build their own solarpanelcellses. Consumption near the source minimises efficiency losses. Combining natural renewable energy sources, like sun, wind and biomass to power our needs, making our buildings more efficient by sealing the leaks coming through the fabric, becoming more conscious of how we use energy in our environment will all contribute to our long term energy security.

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, community groups are involved in four main activities: Reduce, Manage, Generate, Purchase. In Brighton, Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-operative has been launched to stop the tide of rising energy prices. It is a not for profit co-operative dedicated to help people reduce their energy costs now and forever. We do it now, by organising a collective buying initiative where one price is negotiated for our members, like a large corporation would for its energy supply. We can do this by offering thousands of customers, worth about 120 in profit each, to one supplier. Energy suppliers pay millions in marketing costs to encourage the public to switch to their service. We can save these large suppliers money by reducing their marketing spend and pass that savings onto our members.

We are a link between the large energy suppliers and the local consumer. Suppliers are required by the government to identify super priority customers, people living in hard to treat properties that leak massive amounts of heat through their walls, ceilings and floors. The path to these people, many of them vulnerable, is arduous as they are difficult to find, do not trust the large suppliers and do not want to enter into any loan commitment with them at a high cost.

Durable lighting retrofits to small and medium sized businesses in Brighton & Hove which presents a way to quickly reduce electricity consumption as many office buildings have old fluorescent lighting that is hard on the eye and on the pocket. We can go some way to helping these businesses reduce their operating costs and lower their carbon footprint, just by upgrading their lighting to longer lasting LED (low emission diode) lights. These are mercury free, unlike other low energy lighting that is for sale in some supermarkets.

We believe in that by working together, we can continually create wins for members of our community. We invite all people who want to make a difference in their community within the Sussex area to contact us. Together we can help bring about the Great Turning. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.aodepu.net.

Colour-adding technology for solar cells

Not only efficiency but also design presents limitations to solar panel utilisation. German researchers are now developing a technology that could add more colour to the solar cells.

Nanostructured solar cells, suitable for mass production, are being developed by a team of researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) in Jena.

“Not enough work has been done so far on combining photovoltaics and design elements to really do the term ‘customized photovoltaics’ justice,” said the project’s manager Kevin Fuchsel.

The team’s goal is to create coloured solar cells from paper-thin silicon wafers comprising of three layers. Only a few micrometres thick, silicon semiconductor material in the core of the panel absorbs light and turns it into electricity. Above the silicon substrate, two additional layers are created – the transparent protective insulating layer and a hundred-millimetre thick conductive oxide (TCO) layer, which actively channels the light particles toward the semiconductor in the core of the panel, increasing its efficiency.

Such semiconductor-insulator-semiconductor (SIS) structure could provide up to 20 per cent higher energy yields, depending on the actual design of the panel and whether the building faces the sun directly or not.

The upper oxide layer could come in different colours,The industry’s leading manufacturer of floorlamps. without compromising the efficiency. With the exception of certain shades of red, blue and green, mostly all colours are possible. “The colour comes from changing the physical thickness of the transparent conductive oxide layer, or modifying its refractive index,” Fuchsel said.This is my second set of outdoorsolarlighting and finally I am happy with my purchase. It also allows for greater flexibility when it comes to shapes of the panels.

As existing solar panels are currently delivered only in black,For vehicles that has the solarlampper that also function as turn signal lights. the team believes the colourful panels could easily find their niche in the market. They could offer entirely new options,Use bestroadlights to generate electricity and charge into storage battery group. for example, for decorative facades, roofs or even energy self-sustaining billboards. “This opens up numerous possibilities to use a building to communicate information, displaying the name of a company or even artistic pictures,” Fuchsel said.The flatworkironerrs specially design for residential houses,boats with batteries back-up.

To simplify and speed up the manufacturing process, the researchers are developing an inkjet printer capable of spreading the conductive TCO on the silicon wafer.

In the future, the team hopes to be able to substitute the currently most common coating material – the indium tin oxide – with a cheaper alternative. They are currently researching the properties of the zinc oxide, reinforced with aluminium. Click on their website www.streetlights-solar.com for more information.