Could the Key to Better Solar Panels be to Make Them Colorful?
I’ll be honest. I really enjoy writing about innovations in the actual physical infrastructure of renewable energy. Whether it’s a new style of wind turbine or an interesting solar panel design, there’s a certain “Oh wow, that’s actually really cool” factor that grabs me every time.
CSEM’s white and colored solar panel is no exception.
With better integration into buildings as its mission, the panels can be installed with minimal impact to space and aesthetic. The white color of the panels is particularly important, as it allows the panels to run cooler and with better efficiency. The various colors available allow for greater versatility in visual design.
With the white panels, there is a common misconception that its reflective nature makes it a bad choice for panel design, though CSEM has solved that issue with its panels.
“It combines a solar cell technology able to convert infrared solar light into electricity and a selective scattering filter, which scatters the whole visible spectrum while transmitting infrared light,” CSEM explains. “Any solar technology based on crystalline silicon can now be used to manufacture white—and colored—modules.”
The ability to change the panel’s color is also important from a design standpoint. CSEM is providing a blank slate can be easily integrated into almost any building design, making going solar easier than ever.
"Our revolutionary technology lets us achieve what was supposed to be impossible: white and colored solar panels with no visible cells or connections,” CSEM said. “It can be applied on top of an existing module or integrated into a new module during assembly, on flat or curved surfaces. We can change the color of all existing panels or create customized looks from scratch. Solar panels can now disappear; they become virtually hidden energy sources."
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Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.