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ToughStuff in 60 Seconds

ToughStuff in 60 Seconds

Millions of impoverished people in some of the world’s poorest countries will soon have access to low-cost solar power after a deal was struck between solar provider ToughStuff and the…

Naturally energizing the Pacific Islands: Solar power in Vanuatu

Naturally energizing the Pacific Islands: Solar power in Vanuatu

In the Pacific Islands, and particularly in Melanesia, access to modern energy services is limited. Several Pacific Island countries are trying to bridge the gap of access by tapping into…

Solar plane

Solar plane

This is Helios, a solar powered plane that was built and operated by NASA. The plane was able to fly over 24 hours in the air by using solar energy…

World's Largest Solar Boat

World's Largest Solar Boat

PlanetSolar's Turanor, the world's largest solar-powered boat, is about to complete its record-breaking 18-month journey across the globe. The Swiss vessel, which, from the docks, looks like a futuristic speed…

Aidan Dwyer: Better solar designs

Aidan Dwyer: Better solar designs

Aidan Dwyer, a 13-year-old boy from New York, has become the toast of the alternative energy community, after coming up with an inspirational way to enhance solar panels' reception –…

Solar air turbine

Solar air turbine

This is a solar air turbine that is still standing that was built in the 1970s. It is very easy to build from a do-it-yourself (DIY) standpoint, and can be…


Latest Videos from Solar Energy for Cleantech Industry


ToughStuff in 60 Seconds

ToughStuff in 60 Seconds

Millions of impoverished people in some of the world’s poorest countries will soon have access to low-cost solar power after a deal was struck between solar provider ToughStuff and the Business Call to Action (BCtA) network. The deal will see up to 33 million people living in poverty in Africa and Asia supplied with low-cost solar panels and solar battery packs.

With headquarters in Mauritius and offices across Africa, ToughStuff is hoping to capitalise on potential market for off-grid solar power in developing countries; nations with disrupted national grids, such as Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa and four Southeast Asian countries – Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal.

The company will introduce a range of solar-powered products including solar lights, mobile phones and radios, directly to low-income communities including its “Business in a Box” model, which relies on a network of village-level entrepreneurs who are provided with training on how to sell, rent or provide access to affordable solar energy services and products.

ToughStuff says by substituting kerosene or biomass fuel with solar power, it could save the region a combined total of US$520 million in energy costs while reducing carbon emissions by up to 1.2 million tonnes by 2016.

Topics: Solar PV

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Naturally energizing the Pacific Islands: Solar power in Vanuatu

Naturally energizing the Pacific Islands: Solar power in Vanuatu

In the Pacific Islands, and particularly in Melanesia, access to modern energy services is limited. Several Pacific Island countries are trying to bridge the gap of access by tapping into renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydro. There is growing concern that this shift to exploitation of their indigenous energy sources will result in significant impacts on biodiversity as well as on the livelihoods of people. Using low carbon, clean and efficient power sources remains a challenge for many island communities primarily due to geographical isolation and high start-up costs.

A component of IUCNs energy programme in Oceania looks at upgrading existing solar power systems and installing new ones in schools and health clinics on the islands of Santo and Malo in Vanuatu. Solar power for lighting purposes is a cheaper and more reliable option for remote villages as compared to diesel power generators. The project in Vanuatu also looks at small scale hydro and wind power generation.

Topics: Solar PV

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Solar plane

Solar plane

This is Helios, a solar powered plane that was built and operated by NASA. The plane was able to fly over 24 hours in the air by using solar energy to recharge batteries and run electric motors.

Topics: Solar PV

0 comments
World's Largest Solar Boat

World's Largest Solar Boat

PlanetSolars Turanor, the worlds largest solar-powered boat, is about to complete its record-breaking 18-month journey across the globe. The Swiss vessel, which, from the docks, looks like a futuristic speed boat outfitted for a NASCAR race—the hull doubles as a billboard for the trips sponsor, the watchmaker Candino. From above, its a sprawling solar-paneled space shuttle. When the Turanor pulls into Monaco in three months, it will be the first engine-propelled boat to make an around-the-world voyage fueled by sunlight alone.

Traveling an average of 4-5 knots, the ship has traversed the equator—where the sun is strongest and shines most consistently—and stopped by a number of ports so the crew could spread the word of their undertaking. They took off from Monaco and pushed westward, anchoring in Miami, Panama, the Galapagos, Hong Kong, and plenty of other ports along the way. As of now, the boat has been at sea for 478 days. The solar power system has never once broken down, and there have been no technical difficulties to speak of.

Topics: Solar PV

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Aidan Dwyer: Better solar designs

Aidan Dwyer: Better solar designs

Aidan Dwyer, a 13-year-old boy from New York, has become the toast of the alternative energy community, after coming up with an inspirational way to enhance solar panels reception – arranging them in the shape of tree branches.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Dwyer came up with the idea of arranging solar panels in the shape of trees. After studying the mathematical relationship of the arrangement of leaves and branches on trees and the Fibonacci Sequence – which starts with the numbers 0 and 1, followed by the sum of the prior two numbers in the sequence – he realized that Fibonacci numbers can be found in many plants and flowers in nature.

He then conducted several photovoltaic array experiments comparing his design to standard solar panel arrays, and found it was 20%-30% more efficient in collecting sunlight.
According to the report, the design used the greatest number of PV panels within the least amount of physical space, making his concept a truly practical and efficient design.
Innovation aside, Dwyers calculation were disproved after experts reviewed them more carefully and discovered he measured volts instead of the watts, but that has not stopped the alternative energy community from hailing his original thought process and experiments.

He was also awarded the 2011 Young Naturalist Award by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and has filed a provisional patent application for his research on collecting solar energy.

Topics: Solar PV

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Solar air turbine

Solar air turbine

This is a solar air turbine that is still standing that was built in the 1970s. It is very easy to build from a do-it-yourself (DIY) standpoint, and can be used to produce electricity using solar power. The glass on this solar air turbine (nicknamed howler) need to be cleaned to allow more light to pass through the tower.

Topics: Solar PV

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Patrick Dempsey on the Power of Solar Energy with Trina Solar

Patrick Dempsey on the Power of Solar Energy with Trina Solar

Trina Solar Limited has teamed up with Patrick Dempsey in an eight minute video that discusses solar power and its usefulness in communities.

The company is looking to use sustainable energy to improve people’s everyday lives and to draw attention to the difference that solar energy can make in this world.

Topics: Solar PV

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ECAMI: Solar PV in Nicaragua

ECAMI: Solar PV in Nicaragua

ECAMIs family-owned business has installed thousands of renewable energy systems in rural communities across Nicaragua since it began in 1982. A company with strong social commitment, it provides PV light and communications for schools; vaccine refrigeration for clinics; pumps to supply village water; entertainment and battery-charging for tourist facilities; and power for mobile phone masts. It also installs micro hydro and solar water heating. Now ECAMI is growing fast, setting up regional branches to meet the growing demand for renewable energy.

ECAMI won an Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in 2009.

Topics: Solar PV

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SELCO, India: Affordable solar home systems

SELCO, India: Affordable solar home systems

SELCO-India is a private business which has designed and sold over 48,000 solar home systems, powering electric lighting and small appliances for 220,000 people in Karnataka and other states in South India.

Around 46% of households in India do not have mains electricity, and for many others the supply is unreliable. The use of photovoltaic (PV) solar-home-systems (SHS) can provide reliable power for lighting and low-power appliances, which brings great practical benefits. Smoky, dangerous kerosene light is avoided, people have extended hours for work and study, and more opportunities for leisure and entertainment.

Many programmes throughout the world have attempted to improve quality of life using SHS, but often they have not led to long term use and continuing markets. SELCO-India believes that the use of SHS will become widespread only if the system and after-sales service are of high quality, and if people want an SHS enough to pay for it. What they provide is properly designed and installed systems, excellent on-the-spot service and links to organisations which offer appropriate and affordable finance.

SELCO won an Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in 2005. The Ashden judges were highly impressed with the philosophy and excellent management within SELCO-India: they have built a thriving business by providing poor people with a high quality product and service.

Topics: Solar PV

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D.light Designs: solar lanterns lighting up the world

D.light Designs: solar lanterns lighting up the world

Each year 1.6 million women and children die as a result of indoor air pollution, much of it from kerosene lamps. But for the 1.6 billion people across the world without electricity there has been little alternative. D.Light has provided that alternative thanks to a cheap, reliable solar lamp. Over 220,000 units have already been sold in over thirty countries via a network of rural entrepreneurs. As one of these entrepreneurs says, this will do to kerosene what mobile phones did to letters.

D.light Design won an Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in 2010.

Topics: Solar PV ,LED

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