A new way to measure solar energy output

SkyCAM System is a state of the art solar forecasting platform. Driven by computer vision and cutting edge algorithms, the system delivers tailored, local and relevant forecasts for your system. SkyCAM significantly reduces costs and the use of diesel usage by a minimum of 15 per cent. Savings of up to 30 per cent can be achieved with SkyCAM with 99 per cent forecast accuracy. SkyCAM has been supported by the ON Accelerate program at CSIRO. http://www.oninnovation.com.au/en/ON-teams/ON-Tribe/ON-Accelerate4-Teams/Cloud180CAM

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A solar powered tent for the homeless

This solar powered tent folds up into a rollaway backpack and was produced by girls who hope that one day, their tent will improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness in their community. The teens, none of whom had coded, soldered, sewn, or 3D-printed before they joined forces, won a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT Program to develop the invention. They were recruited by DIY Girls, a nonprofit that teaches girls from low-income communities about engineering, maths and science, to go after the grant. https://www.buildingandinteriors.com/10205/

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A new type of low cost solar energy

An Australian physicist at the University of Newcastle is leading a push to pioneer a new type of low-cost solar energy that could make signing up for energy accounts as straightforward as taking up a mobile phone plan. Less than one millimetre thick and held down with double-sided sticky tape, the panels are similar in texture to a potato chip packet and can be produced for less than $10 per square metre. Work has now begun on a 200 square-metre installation – the first commercial application of its kind in Australia and possibly the world. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/31/low-cost-printable-solar-panels-offer-ray-of-hope-amid-energy-gridlock

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Roll-out portable solar power

A Rapid Roll system takes portable solar power to the next level of capability and mobility. By unrolling a solar field from a small trailer, a commercial-scale off-grid solar power system can be deployed faster than ever before, enabling self-sufficient power to be deployed easily in remote locations. The key benefits the Rapid Roll system provides over typical rigid-panel systems are: speed of deployment; high power capacity from a small box and ease of use. The system can be used by the military and for events, film production, disaster relief and mining, www.renovagen.com

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Solar panels that generate power from raindrops

Solar panels are designed to convert sunlight into electricity. But when it’s cloudy or rainy, they’re useless. There are batteries, like the Tesla Powerwall, designed to store electricity for those cloudy days. But the technology isn’t effective or cheap enough to make using solar power worth it in regions that don’t receive a lot of sunlight. A group of researchers from Soochow University in China has come up with a promising solution to that problem: they’ve developed solar panels that can generate power from raindrops. www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/researchers-figured-out-how-to-generate-power-from-falling-raindrops-which-could-solve-the-biggest-problem-with-solar-energy?

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World’s first solar highway

The world’s first solar highway has opened to the public in eastern China’s Shandong. The 2-kilometer-long road can convert sunlight into electricity and directly transfer it to the power grid. The highway can also recharge electric vehicles on the move. http://www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/the-solar-highway-that-can-recharge-electric-cars-on-the-move?

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A giant panda solar farm

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Most solar farms align their solar arrays in rows and columns to form a grid. A new solar power plant in Datong China, decided to have a little fun with its design. China Merchants New Energy Group, one of the country’s largest clean energy operators, built a 248-acre solar farm in the shape of a giant panda. The project is part of a larger effort to raise awareness among young people in China about clean energy. http://www.businessinsider.com/china-panda-solar-power-plant-2017-7

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The world’s largest floating solar power plant

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It wasn’t too long ago that China had a reputation as a coal-guzzling, smog-blanketed polluter. But that is changing – and fast. Today, China invests more each year in wind, hydro and solar power than any other country on earth. It recently further underlined its role as the global leader in renewable energy by switching on the world’s largest floating solar power plant. https://www.google.com.au/amp/amp.weforum.org/agenda/2017/06/china-worlds-largest-floating-solar-power

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A solar system that follows the sun like a flower

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Smartflower is a fully integrated, all-in-one solar system that can be installed anywhere. If you ever have to move it, smartflower can be packed up and moved to a new site. Its smart tracking makes the most of the sun’s rays to generate energy. When the sun rises it automatically unfolds and starts producing electricity for you. When the sun sets it automatically folds itself back into a secure position and waits for sunrise. http://smartflowersolar.com/

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3D solar towers offer up to 20 x more energy

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According to MIT researchers 3D solar towers can generate anywhere from double up to 20 times the amount of energy as flat solar panels with the same base area. These 3D designs increase electricity output because their vertical surfaces allow them to capture sunlight even when the sun is closest to the horizon during mornings, evenings and winter and when sunlight is partially obstructed by shadows or cloud cover. http://news.mit.edu/2012/three-dimensional-solar-energy-0327

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