Scientists Swapped a Toxic Chemical in Solar Cells For a Tofu Ingredient

Thin-film solar cells promise to bring flexible, low-profile solar power to all kinds of surfaces. Unfortunately, constructing thin-film panels requires cadmium chloride, a finicky, expensive, and toxic material. Now, University of Liverpool scientists have figured out how to make solar cells using magnesium chloride,… » 6/26/14 7:15pm 6/26/14 7:15pm

You Can Drive Over This Parking Lot Paved With Solar Panels

If you've scampered barefoot across asphalt on a sunny day, then you know driveways are already absorbing plenty of solar energy. What if we could actually harness it? Solar Roadways has created solar panels so strong you could drive a tractor right over them—plus they light up at night and heat to melt snow. » 5/09/14 2:20pm 5/09/14 2:20pm

Ray-Ban Solar Chargers: Why Don't All Sunglasses Do This?

Mumbai-based designer Sayalee Kaluskar and Ramiro Ramirez has come up with a wonderful concept that makes sunglasses more than just a way to prevent squinting or hide a hangover. With the addition of a thin solar cell to each arm, suddenly the glasses become a mostly subtle way to top off your gadgets when you're out… » 11/12/13 9:20am 11/12/13 9:20am

This Huge Solar Thermal Plant Makes Electricity Even in the Dark

The primary complaint against solar power—that it, you know, requires the sun—is perfectly valid. But Arizona's new Solana Generating Station, the largest capacity solar thermal plant on the face of the Earth, has just provided a $1.4 billion counterpoint. Thanks to its massive molten salt reserves, this plant keeps… » 10/16/13 11:30am 10/16/13 11:30am

How to Sun-Cook a Steak in South Africa

Consistent electricity is more guideline than rule in South Africa, even on the outskirts for the capital city of Johannesburg. This ambiguity leaves residents either living in the dark or at the mercy of expensive and hazardous kerosene- or coal-based fuels. One social entrepreneur however, has a plan to provide… » 9/02/13 6:30pm 9/02/13 6:30pm

This Solar Sanitizer Will Bring Safer Surgery to the Developing World

Modern medical techniques, specifically stringent sterilization practices, have led to a dramatic drop in the number of post-op infections—assuming the facility has the necessary electricity and equipment to do so. However, in the remote regions of developing countries like India, neither of those is guaranteed. But… » 7/26/13 1:40pm 7/26/13 1:40pm

This Inflatable Aircraft Carrier Houses a Solar-Powered Wonder Plane

When you're flying around the world in a lightweight solar-powered plane with a wingspan larger than most commercial airliners, you need to guarantee you've always got a safe place to store it on the ground. So the support team behind the Solar Impulse, the world's first globe circumnavigating solar-powered aircraft,… » 6/05/13 12:19pm 6/05/13 12:19pm

This Printer Spits Out 10 Meters of Solar Panel Every Minute

Australia is on the cusp of a solar energy revolution. First, a recent study suggests that the country could power its entire national domestic infrastructure using only solar (while slashing the price of home electricity by 70 percent). Now, the University of Melbourne has introduced a new organic PV cell printer… » 5/21/13 11:30am 5/21/13 11:30am