Thursday, April 28th, 2016
On Saturday April 23rd, Solar Impulse 2 crossed the Pacific completing its ninth leg on a journey around the world without using a drop of fuel. This journey marks a new era in aviation – one that is based entirely on renewable energy. On behalf of everyone at Alta Devices, we congratulate Andre Borschberg, Bertrand Piccard, and the entire Solar Impulse 2 team on a truly remarkable accomplishment.
Monday, February 8th, 2016
Topics included consumer electronics, sensors, Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities, transportation and industrial automation.
In this video from the event, Rich Kapusta details the gallium arsenide-based solar technology that Alta Devices manufactures in Silicon Valley.
Alta’s solar technology is notable for a number of reasons; the cells are flexible, thin and exhibit very high efficiency. Alta holds the single junction cell efficiency world record at 28.8% and dual junction cell efficiency record at 31.6%. The solar cells can also be molded into various components. These cells are unique because they work well in low light (indoor conditions) and therefore are ideal for extending battery life or even replacing batteries in various IoT devices and wearables.
Interview with Alta Devices: Watch Video
Friday, May 15th, 2015
Electric vehicles are a good example of where access to electricity can be limited. The batteries of today’s electric vehicles must be maintained at a specific temperature in order to maximize storage capacity and their overall lifetime. What happens when an electric vehicle is left parked in the hot daytime sun? The cooling system for the battery system will be drawing energy from the same battery it’s trying to cool! In some cases, this could result in a catastrophic discharging of the vehicle’s battery, destroying the battery. Why not integrate some flexible solar film into the roof of the electric vehicle and solve this problem? A car rooftop can hold one to two square meters of solar material. Using Alta’s gallium-arsenide technology, flexible sheets of solar film can be molded directly into the car’s glass roofing material. That provides over 500 watts of generation capability on the top of every car roof!
Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
What if you needed a wrench and when you tried to buy one, you found that they were all the same size? How many problems can be solved with a wrench of only one size? Eventually, you would have to find other ways to solve problems and relegate the single-sized wrench to the class of projects that happened to be compatible. Much the same is true of today’s solar solutions: they come in one size (large, flat plate glass modules) and are suited primarily to the task of capturing the sun in large open fields. But what about all of the other places where energy is either unavailable or not cost-effective? Solving that problem requires “wrenches” of different sizes, and even different shapes. That’s how we think about solar solutions at Alta Devices. The “one size” mentality does not fit all situation, and in fact, a wide variety of alternative forms are required to really address the potential for addressing the world’s energy needs in a cost effective manner.
Monday, February 9th, 2015
At Alta, we believe that solar energy should be economically competitive with other sources of energy, without government subsidies. We’ve developed a technology that we think does that. Based on gallium-arsenide, our solar cells are thin, light and flexible and hold the world record for being the most efficient at converting the sun’s energy to electricity. These are the characteristics that not only create an economically compelling source of clean energy, but also make it possible to capture the sun’s energy almost anywhere. (more…)