Photovoltaic Polarizers Could Make Self-charging Smartphone Dreams Come True

PV capacity in Brazil could hit 100 GW by 2050

They work by using two polarized sheets that let only a certain amount of a device’s backlight pass through. Tiny liquid crystal molecules are sandwiched between the two polarizers, and these crystals can be switched by tiny transistors to act as light valves. Manipulating each light valve, or pixel, lets a certain amount of the backlight escape; millions of pixels are combined to create images on LCDs. The UCLA Engineering team created a new type of energy-harvesting polarizer for LCDs called a polarizing organic photovoltaic, which can potentially boost the function of an LCD by working simultaneously as a polarizer, a photovoltaic device and an ambient light or sunlight photovoltaic panel. Their research findings are currently available in the online edition of the journal Advanced Materials and will be published in a forthcoming print issue of the journal. “I believe this is a game-changer invention to improve the efficiency of LCD displays,” said Yang Yang, a professor of materials science at UCLA Engineering and principal investigator on the research. “In addition, these polarizers can also be used as regular solar cells to harvest indoor or outdoor light. So next time you are on the beach, you could charge your iPhone via sunlight.” From the point of view of energy use, current LCD polarizers are inefficient, the researchers said. A device’s backlight can consume 80 to 90 percent of the device’s power. But as much as 75 percent of the light generated is lost through the polarizers.
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Dyesol sees falling revenues, increased losses

Both scenarios are based on the same population and economic growth projections and national energy generation needs until 2050. “Brazil currently utilizes less than 1% of its wind energy generation potential and practically none of its solar generation potential,” Greenpeace argues. The NGO also wants the country to install 39 GW of concentrated solar power (CSP) by 2050, instead of the 3 GW expected by EPE. While the government forecast envisages total investments in the electric sector of around BRL 1.87 trillion ($797.75 billion) between 2010 and 2050, Greenpeaces more ambitious outlook would require a total investment of BRL 2.39 trillion ($1 trillion) in the same period, with 97% of these investments directed into renewable energy technologies such as PV solar, CSP, wind, biomass and oceanic energy. “Considering that the price of natural gas and fuel oil will increase over the analyzed period, construction of fewer thermal power plants and more renewable capacity under the [R]E scenario would save BRL 1.11 trillion ($471 billion) until 2020, or BRL 28.4 billion ($12 billion) per year. This way total fuel savings would cover more than twice the additional investments required to implement the [R]E scenario,” Greenpeace explained. Meanwhile, on the ground, developers are gearing up to take part in the upcoming A-3 federal energy auction on Nov. 18, the first national auction that will include photovoltaic energy plants. All successful PV plants in the auction stand to gain 20-year supply contracts with electricity distribution companies that are seeking suppliers. The system of federal auctions, which single-handedly helped to develop Brazils booming wind energy market, is seen as the best shot for most solar developers in the country.
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The price of the power generated by PV stations in eastern regions will be kept at 1 yuan per kWh. “These policies will be a boost to China’s PV industry. We hope that companies will be encouraged to scale up their products’ standards,” said Li Caihua, an official with the NDRC. China’s PV industry has long been strained by the anti-dumping policies of the European Union, which is a major market for solar panel manufacturers. The government also boosted support for power plants that install equipment to limit air pollutants. Coal-based power plants are a major contributor to China’s air pollution. Power plants that install equipment to remove nitrogen oxide – a major air pollutant – will receive a subsidy of 0.01 yuan per kWh of electricity they produce starting from Sept 25, up from 0.008 yuan previously.
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China to subsidise PV power units

to develop a ground-mounted solar photovoltaic facility on about four acres of land its parent company owns in Kapolei, is moving forward after a final environmental assessment found the project would have no significant impact on the environment. The final EA was recently published in the state Office of Environmental Quality Controlas Environmental Notice, which says that Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures does not need to prepare an environmental impact statement, although it still needs a key special management area permit. The Chevron Hawaii photovoltaic solar project, which includes multiple solar panels and a solar tracker that aims the panels directly at the sun throughout the day, will sell renewable energy to Hawaiian Electric Co. through its feed-in tariff or FIT program. No timeframe or cost for the development were given. Chevron Technology Ventures has been quite busy with other renewable energy projects at Chevron (NYSE: CVX) Campbell Industrial Park facility. The company also is in the process of developing a 15.5-acre solar thermal demonstration project. Click here to download a PDF of the final EA. Duane Shimogawa covers energy, real estate and economic development for Pacific Business News. Related links:
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Chevron’s Hawaii solar photovoltaic project clears environmental hurdle

Chevron Corp.

The loss of AUD$9.4 million (US$8.38 million), represents an increase of 6% year-on-year, while revenues decreased by 48%. The company increased its net loss in 2013 by 6%. Dyesol is currently attempting to commercialize organic photovoltaic dyes, to be applied to construction materials such as steel and glass. The company refers to the technology as DSC. The Australian based company was able to attract additional capital in 2013, in the form of $4 million from existing investors and $4 million from Saudi Arabias Tasnee . Tasnee is the National Industrialization Company of Saudi Arabi, and its investment in Dyesol was announced in February. Dyesol has been collaborating with Cristal Global, a Tasnee subsidiary, in the UK.
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