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.
The only way that solar power is ever going to contribute an appreciable amount of energy to the betterment (and cheaperment) of society is if we plaster solar panels on everything, everywhere, all the time. And we might just be able to do it now, with this new generation of panels that are thinner than a strand of human hair by a factor of 20.
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.