Solar Quotes Blog

Stanford team develops coating to boost solar cell efficiency

 mono and poly crystalline solar cells

When solar cells get hot they lose efficiency. Researchers have developed a coating that keeps cells cooler.

Contrary to popular thought, heat reduces solar cell efficiency. As the cells heat up from the direct glare of the sun, their efficiency in converting light into electricity drops markedly. Depending on the system used and the location, losses can reduce output up to 10 to 25 percent.

This conundrum has vexed the industry for many years. After all, solar cells need the sun to work and this generates heat. So how to solve this problem and increase the light-to-electricity efficiency of solar cells?

Enter a team of researchers from Stanford University who have developed a transparent coating for the cells. The film keeps the cells cool as they heat up under the sun. Made of patterned silicon, the secret to this remarkable film is that, while it allows visible light to pass, it also absorbs and even emits the infrared rays, the source of thermal radiation. [Continue reading…]

We ask five experts: Will battery storage change the way we live?

In the first of a series from SolarQuotes, we ask five eminent experts in the clean energy field to discuss four questions on a selected topic. This month we’ve selected “battery storage” as the launching pad for some fascinating discussion and advice.

Solar and battery storage has been one of the clean energy talking points of 2015 following the dramatic unveiling of the Powerwall by Tesla’s Elon Musk. However as we’ve seen, the Powerwall isn’t the only option out there in the marketplace and the best battery storage option will differ depending on your situation whether on-grid, off-grid or hybrid solar.

With this in mind we’ve asked our experts what these battery storage breakthroughs mean for Australian households and small businesses and what the future holds for energy independence. [Continue reading…]

Australia watches Turnbull Experiment 2.0 on clean energy

Will Turnbull 2.0 support clean energy?    Photo:

So what did you think of the dawn of the Turnbull Experiment 2.0? Is this going to be a new way forward for renewable energy in this country? A move away from the scorched earth policy of the Abbott administration? Or will it be a better-dressed, better-spoken continuation of the Abbott government’s war on renewables?

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Will Turnbull Practice What He Has Preached about Solar?

malcolm turnbull and solar panels

The quote above comes from a video of Malcolm Turnbull giving a speech to launch the Beyond Zero Emissions Stationary Energy Plan in Sydney in 2010. The plan was (and still is) a blueprint to affordably go to  100% renewables in Australia within 10 years.

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Solar + Flywheel Microgrid Saves 400,000 Litres of Diesel Annually

solar diesel

We’ve all seen the success of solar energy in our cities and regional towns. Australians are voting with their rooftops for clean, green solar power and the trend is increasing as solar reaches grid parity. But what of communities in our vast Outback? What of our small remote towns currently reliant on polluting fossil fuels […]

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Will the Solar Council’s campaign in Canning help bring down a prime minister?

abbott and solar panels

The heat is really on in Western Australia with the entry of solar energy in the Canning by election campaign. The seat which was recently vacated following the untimely death of then sitting member Don Randall, has become a focus for those looking for an indication of the electorate’s opinion on the government’s performance. The […]

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Solar energy in Texas rides into town

soalr cowboy

Texas. Land of wide open spaces, cowboys, the Bush family, Tex-Mex food and barrels and barrels of oil. At least that’s the mental image I conjure up when I think of the state, mostly through memories of Dynasty ( the T.V show and the Republican presidents). Like all generalisations though, this is wildly inaccurate. Particularly […]

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Climate Institute poll finds Australians support renewables

wind turbines and solar

Banish any questions you may have had about whether or not Australians support renewables. If you listen to certain, unnamed cash-for-comment shock jocks, certainly in NSW anyway, you’d be of the opinion that Aussies generally find solar power and wind farms completely objectionable. Of course nothing is further from the truth as a poll released […]

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Microinverters Vs DC Optimisers – which is best? [infographic]

Microinverters vs DC Optimisers. Part 1

For those of you that want an easier way to understand the differences between microinverters (such as those manufactured by Enphase or APS) and DC optimisers (such as Solar Edge or Tigo), and don’t want to read this long post I published a couple of weeks ago then this 2 part infographic is for you! The […]

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NZ switches off coal in favour of renewable energy

coal lumps

News that our neighbour across the ditch is switching off fossil fuels in favour of renewables will have sent a shudder through the corridors of power this week. For New Zealand has announced that it will close its last two coal mines by 2018 and aim towards a 90 percent renewable energy target by 2025. […]

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