Toyota testing improved solar roof for electric cars that can charge while driving

Toyota is testing a new and improved version of the solar power cells it previously launched on the Japan-exclusive Prius PHV, in a pilot along with partners Sharp and Japanese national research organization NEDO. This demo car’s prototype cells can convert solar energy at 34% and up, which is much better than the existing commercial […]

This solar array expands itself at the right temperature

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a solar panel that’s only there when the sun shines on it? That’s the idea behind this research project, which uses shape-shifting materials to make a solar panel grow from a compressed state to an expanded one with nothing more than a change in temperature. The flower-like prototype device […]

Tesla says solar roof is on its third iteration, currently installing in 8 states

Tesla is currently installing its solar roof product in eight states, according to Elon Musk, speaking at the Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting on Tuesday. The solar roof-tile project has had a relatively long genesis since being unveiled three years ago, in 2016. In 2017, the company claimed its first-ever installations of the Tesla solar roof, […]

Despite declines for the quarter, Tesla is bullish on its overall energy business

Even as its solar business declined in step with its overall earnings, Tesla is bullish on the prospects for the energy side of its business over the course of the year. The energy business is an unheralded part of Tesla — overshadowed by its headline-grabbing (and much larger) auto exploits — that chief executive Elon […]

These hyper-efficient solar panels could actually live on your roof soon

The clean energy boffins in their labs are always upping the theoretical limit on how much power you can get out of sunshine, but us plebes actually installing solar cells are stuck with years-old tech that’s not half as good as what they’re seeing. This new design from Insolight could be the one that changes […]

How to decarbonize America — and the world

Ramez Naam Contributor More posts by this contributor The Ultimate Interface Is Your Brain The Green New Deal has burst onto the American stage, spurring more conversation about – and aspiration for – ambitious climate policy than at any point in at least a decade. I’m glad to see it. Suddenly, climate is on the […]

Aurora Solar’s computer-generated installation maps pull in a $20M Series A

Solar installations are becoming a no-brainer for anyone with a roof in much of the country. But getting an estimate on how much it would cost and how much juice it would generate can be complicated and time consuming. Aurora Solar has made an automated process for doing this, and attracted $20 million in funding […]

This project is mapping every solar panel in the country using machine learning

Renewable energy is the future, but at present no one is tracking just who’s got solar panels on their roof, in their back yard, or a shared neighborhood installation. Fortunately, solar panels generally work best when exposed to the light. That makes them easy to spot, and count, from orbit — which is just what […]

OffGridBox raises $1.6M to charge and hydrate rural Africa with its all-in-one installations

The simplest needs are often the most vital: power and clean water will get you a long way. But in rural areas of developing countries they can both be hard to come by. OffGridBox is attempting to provide both, sustainably and profitably, while meeting humanitarian and ecological goals at the same time. The company just […]

Under a millimeter wide and powered by light, these tiny cameras could hide almost anywhere

As if there weren’t already cameras enough in this world, researchers created a new type that is both microscopic and self-powered, making it possible to embed just about anywhere and have it work perpetually. It’s undoubtedly cool technology, but it’s probably also going to cause a spike in tinfoil sales. Engineers have previously investigated the […]