Solar Power stories

 
You know how water is blue, right? The reason water is blue is because it absorbs the red part of the solar spectrum. This, unfortunately, is a big chunk of the energy that solar cells like to suck down, which is why we don't have solar powered submarines, but the Naval Research Lab has designed a new type of cell that does work under da sea.
 
What we want from solar energy: inexpensive, highly-efficient solar panels that we can attach to our roofs to power our homes, with wiring so simple that any weekend handyman can set it up. What we get: Crap gadgets. Happy Earth Week, Dvicians. While we're all feeling good about skipping plastic water bottles and buying local produce, let's remember that the power of solar energy — which was at one time believed to be as transformative as nuclear power — is mostly harnessed for trinkety toys that deliver more novelty than real value. Don't believe it? Take a look in the gallery below. Have a solar-powered gadget that let you down? Have one you love? Let us know in the comments.
 
An interesting new entry in the solar power market is blooming in a desert in Southern Spain. 50 mirrors track the sun and reflect its light into a 115-foot high tulip-shaped tower; the concentrated rays cause the air in the bulb to heat up to over 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The super heated air is then forced into a combustion chamber where it expands, powering a turbine generator and creating electricity.
 
It's hard to beat the energy density of gasoline. Batteries don't come anywhere close, which is why nobody likes to use them for anything. But what if we could just take electrical energy and turn it into gasoline, and what if the only other ingredient we needed to do this was evil carbon dioxide, how awesome would that be? Liquid electricity: we can do it.

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