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New Breakthrough Discovery Makes Solar Energy More Efficient

“If the world spent more time and energy trying to figure out how to better themselves than their eventual end, they would be riding around in solar power cars extremely happy, healthy and prosperous” — Timothy Pina

In recent months, people have been discussing about falling oil prices. While cheaper gas seems great, the true cost for that reduction in price will make you think again.  As the result of the American energy revolution, led by the new technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, oil companies have created a flood of new shale-oil and natural-gas production that has overwhelmed world markets and driven prices down by roughly 40 percent.   But what about the environmental impact from those breakthrough technologies?

There are over 500,000 active gas wells in the U.S., which require 72 trillion gallons of water and 360 billion gallons of chemicals to run them.

natural-gas-wells

gas_drilling_174480634 During this process, methane gas and toxic chemicals leak out from the system and contaminate nearby groundwater. Methane concentrations are 17 times higher in drinking-water wells near fracturing sites than in normal wells. There have been over 1,000 documented cases of water contamination next to areas of gas drilling as well as cases of sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage due to ingested contaminated water. Only 30-50 percent of the fracturing fluid is covered, the rest of the toxic fluid is left in the ground and is not biodegradable. The waste fluid is left in open air pits to evaporate releasing harmful VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere, creating contaminated air, acid rain, and ground level ozone.

“I think the future for solar energy is bright” — Ken Salazar

Solar energy is a clean alternative energy source. If you are looking to switch to solar energy visit http://nrgupgrade.com/solar/. It’s clear, given the current energy crisis, that we need to embrace new sources of renewable energy that are good for our planet. And while we’ve been busy talking about oil prices, thousands of scientists have been working hard to discover new technologies which aim to provide affordable options to put into practice for consumers.

The researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia announced that they had made a breakthrough in increasing the efficiency of solar panels, which could bring a new future for solar energy. According to the report, the researchers successfully converted more than 40 percent of sunlight hitting the panels into electricity–a big increase over the traditional 15-18 percent conversion rate on consumers’ roofs.

“This is the highest efficiency ever reported for sunlight conversion into electricity”, said Professor Martin Green of University of New South Wales.

solar-cell-efficiency-record-1-537x358The traditional methods use one solar cell only, whereas the newer innovation splits the sunlight into four different cells, which boosts the conversion levels.  “We use commercial solar cells, but in a new way, so these efficiency improvements are readily accessible to the solar industry”, explained Professor Martin.

This breakthrough discovery will eventually be used in solar panels mounted on people’s roofs. This new record high of efficiency rates was confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in their outdoor test facility in the U.S.

You might also be interested in check out the new research of the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Connie loves to hear your feedback, so feel free to email her or add her on LinkedIn.

 



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