1. Australian Solar Panel Installations are Breaking Records in 2018
In 2017 the uptake of rooftop solar was going ahead at breakneck pace, But it looks like 2018 will see 2017 installation numbers triple. The first half of 2018 saw solar panel installations up on the previous year by just short of 50%. Interestingly, 2018 is seeing demand from commercial customers outstrip domestic solar. More about it here.
2. China Poised to Slash Solar Subsidies for Manufacturers
Owing to the massive growth in solar across the globe, China, the biggest manufacturer of solar modules, is set to significantly reduce subsidies provided to manufacturers. Is this a bad thing for the consumer? Will it hurt solar sales in Australia? Or will the removal of the solar life vest sort the men from the boys, ultimately making solar panels even more affordable for solar consumers across the world? Check it out here.
3. Aussie Solar Consumers Set to Benefit from New National Battery Standards
Without a set of nationally recognised standards for consumables, consumers would find themselves unable to make informed choices. This is particularly pertinent when new tech hits the market. Battery storage is about to receive a performance standards review that will ultimately benefit battery consumers. Find out more about it here.
4. News from Abroad. New Solar Panel Products on the Way
As we look around the average suburb, we are less surprised by the growing number of rooftop solar panels. Ho Hum…they all look the same. Well. Solar panel developers aren’t resting on their laurels. That which we are getting used to seeing now is just the beginning. Solar panels tomorrow won’t necessarily look like they do today. Check out the new look solar panels here.
5. Solar. Where is the Research Focused in 2018?
Solar is now part and parcel of our daily lives. It’s our present and our future. We need to remind ourselves, however, that this is just the beginning of solar in the modern age. The science never stops. The research never stops. Follow the link below to find out where solar research is taking us in 2018. A word from the experts here.
6. This Week’s Retrospective. The First Solar Car.
When we think of solar powered cars, that is, cars powered with a solar panel, what do we see in our mind’s eye? Sleek low-profile machines that look like anything but cars. They’re made of advanced materials, they have one pilot, they’re super lightweight, and for all intents and purposes completely impractical. Well, let's go back to 1955 for a look at the first solar car. Be amazed here.
7. Perovskite. What is it? Will it Replace Silicon as Base Material of our Solar Cells?
Most of us are very familiar with silicon. There are also a large number of us that are aware that silicon is the core material of photovoltaic cells. The holy grail of solar is conversion, or, the percentage of sun power that is converted to electricity. Solar is working up to 20% and a little beyond it in certain circumstances. Perovskite, it would seem, is threatening to provide substantially higher conversion rates. Introduce yourself to perovskite here.
8. Harvesting the Sun from Space. Looking into the Future
If we could harvest all of the sunlight that hits the earth we’d be on clean power easy street. So why would institutions such as NASA be looking at the option of harvesting solar rays directly from space? That is, solar farms actually in space. What are the benefits of solar farms in space? Are they even possible? Or is the notion planted firmly in the realms of science fiction? Launch your study here.
9. Giant Solar Thermal Power Plant for South Australia
Construction will commence this year on a 150-megawatt Solar Thermal Power Plant in Port Augusta. This area is traditionally a fossil fuel hot-bed. At a cost of 650 million dollars, it will also prove an employment windfall for locals with 650 construction jobs and 50 more jobs required to operate the facility. News in brief here.
10. This week’s video. Solar Sails in Space
How will we manage to travel through space as we do in sci-fi movies? How can we achieve interstellar travel and reach other star systems when the physics and current technology is doing its best to thwart our dreams? Interestingly, it may well be solar to the rescue again. Is there anything the sun can’t do? Hit the warp button here.
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Photo credit: ExtremeTech