Recycling and Solar Panels

No-one knows how long a solar panel should last – currently, some are over 30 years old and still working well. However, it is anticipated that an increasing number will need to be replaced. In today’s worldwide drive to save energy wherever possible, it would be better to recycle.

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Dodgy Solar Panels Landing In Australia

Time is running out for the Australian Federal Governments ‘grid connect solar power rebate’. Unfortunately, the $8000 rebate has been tainted by unethical, ‘overnight’ companies duping consumers with inferior equipment and ‘too good to be true’ deals.

Of course, there are genuine companies selling genuine products within the solar industry, but the emergence of many underhand tactics continues to threaten an unsuspecting public.

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Cambridge Uni Boffins Hoping To Win Aussie Solar Powered Car Race

Cambridge University students, in the UK predict their new solar powered car will be capable of cruising at 60mph, and intend to enter the up and coming World Solar Challenge.

Equipped with a 6m2 ‘skin’ of silicon cells, the journey, from Darwin, will take the car, AKA ‘Bethany’, across Australia’s arduous outback, over three thousand kilometres, to Adelaide. Bethany’s outer skin covers a highly efficient electric car, one its creators say could be a prototype for future ‘green transport’.

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Suntech and Aussie Uni Team Up to Make Dirt Cheap Solar Cells

Victoria’s Swinburne University of Technology in Australia will be developing the most efficient, and inexpensive solar cells ever made. Along with Suntech Power Holdings Co, the biggest manufacturer of solar cells in the world. Together, they plan to invest a total of three million Australian dollars into the project and proposals have already been made to the Victorian Government with regards to extra funding.

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Chinese Solar Company Says Improved Solar Efficiency On The Way (based on Aussie Technology!)

The largest producer of solar panels in the world, Suntech Power Holdings, has recently reported more information regarding its latest Pluto technology. This new technology has made substantial progress in improving the conversion efficiencies of solar cell technology

Although there have been a number of improvements in technology in the industry overall, none of the others are yet ready for commercial distribution. Although the Fraunhofer Institute achieved a solar cell efficiency of over forty percent, it, also, is far from ready for mass production.

Already in the process of mass production, Suntech’s Pluto technology has employed solar panels with efficiencies of 19% in monocrystalline technology and 17% in polycrystalline panels. Other current technology currently has efficiencies of 18% and 14% respectively.

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Silicon Price Slumps – When will Solar Panels Follow Suit?

The value of silicon has plummetted recently with refined silicon (used to make solar cells) being around $100 per kilo, about 4-5 times cheaper than it was only a year ago.

Dare I say it – Silicon is Cheap As Chips!

Sorry…couldn’t resist that one.

Unfortunately this hasn’t followed through to hugely reduce the price of solar panels yet (silicon is the biggest ingredient in most solar PV panels).

[Read more…]

Aussie Technology Promises To Make Solar Panels More Efficient

New solar energy technology has been demonstrated at the University of New South Wales. Developed in Sydney, the first ever silicon solar cell production will commence at the university with the help of funds granted from the Federal Government.

This technology is expected to have a positive impact on the local industry and help to renew it after the closure of the largest factory producing solar panels in the area (BP Solar).

With most of the current technology, there is the problem of shorter wavelengths which are reflected back by the phosphate ducting inside the panel. The new technology helps to optimise these ducts, allowing the panel to absorb more light while keeping the costs of production the same. [Read more…]

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