Solar Energy News -- ScienceDaily
Origami inspires highly efficient solar steam generator
Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:14:59 EDT
Water covers most of the globe, yet many regions still suffer from a lack of clean drinking water. If scientists could efficiently and sustainably turn seawater into clean water, a looming global water crisis might be averted. Now, inspired by origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, researchers have devised a solar steam generator that approaches 100 percent efficiency for the production of clean water.
Cover the U.S. In 89 percent trees, or go solar
Fri, 07 Sep 2018 09:15:23 EDT
Researchers found that using bio-sequestration to capture carbon produced by US coal-fired plants even after carbon capture and storage would require using 62 percent of the nation's arable land for that process, or 89 percent of all US land with average forest cover. In comparison, offsetting the amount of carbon produced by manufacturing solar panels is 13 times less land, making it a far more viable option.
Large wind and solar farms in the Sahara would increase heat, rain, vegetation
Thu, 06 Sep 2018 14:16:11 EDT
Wind and solar farms are known to have local effects on heat, humidity and other factors that may be beneficial -- or detrimental -- to the regions in which they are situated. A new climate-modeling study finds that a massive wind and solar installation in the Sahara Desert and neighboring Sahel would increase local temperature, precipitation and vegetation. Overall, the researchers report, the effects would likely benefit the region.
Adding power choices reduces cost and risk of carbon-free electricity
Thu, 06 Sep 2018 14:11:41 EDT
Researchers find that including a variety of zero-carbon power sources is a more cost effective way of lowering greenhouse gas emissions than relying solely on solar, wind, and batteries.
Renewable energy sources: All-in-one light-driven water splitting
Thu, 06 Sep 2018 10:04:40 EDT
Solar-powered water splitting is a promising means of generating clean and storable energy. A novel catalyst based on semiconductor nanoparticles has now been shown to facilitate all the reactions needed for 'artificial photosynthesis'.
Physics model acts as an 'EKG' for solar panel health
Wed, 05 Sep 2018 14:02:48 EDT
Researchers have created an algorithm using the physics of panel degradation that can analyze solar farm data from anywhere, essentially as a portable EKG for solar farms.
Wind turbines: How much power can they provide?
Wed, 05 Sep 2018 12:47:47 EDT
Wind turbines could cover 40 percent of the current electricity consumption in Germany.
Changing the type of silicon etching drops solar power costs by more than 10 percent
Tue, 04 Sep 2018 09:38:45 EDT
Researchers have found that using dry etched black silicon for passive emitter rear cell (PERC) solar cells increases the cost of individual cell production by 15.8 percent to 25.1 percent, but reduces the cost per unit power by 10.8 percent over those for industrial Czochralski silicon.
Scientists pioneer a new way to turn sunlight into fuel
Mon, 03 Sep 2018 11:33:48 EDT
A new study used semi-artificial photosynthesis to explore new ways to produce and store solar energy. They used natural sunlight to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen using a mixture of biological components and human-made technologies.
A new way to remove ice buildup without power or chemicals
Fri, 31 Aug 2018 15:01:59 EDT
Researchers have found a way to prevent icing of powerlines, airplanes, wind turbines, and other surfaces with a special coating and the power of sunlight -- no heating or harsh chemicals needed.
Dual-layer solar cell sets record for efficiently generating power
Thu, 30 Aug 2018 18:00:56 EDT
Materials scientists have developed a highly efficient thin-film solar cell that generates more energy than typical solar panels, thanks to its double-layer design.
Introducing high-performance non-fullerene organic solar cells
Thu, 30 Aug 2018 09:54:11 EDT
An team of researchers has introduced a novel method that can solve issues associated with the thickness of the photoactive layers in OSCs.
Boron nitride separation process could facilitate higher efficiency solar cells
Thu, 30 Aug 2018 09:53:42 EDT
A team of semiconductor researchers based in France has used a boron nitride separation layer to grow indium gallium nitride (InGaN) solar cells that were then lifted off their original sapphire substrate and placed onto a glass substrate.
Air pollution can put a dent in solar power
Wed, 29 Aug 2018 11:55:14 EDT
Air pollution, especially in urban areas, can significantly reduce the power output from solar panels, and needs to be considered when design solar installations in or near cities.
Insight into loss processes in perovskite solar cells enables efficiency improvements
Wed, 01 Aug 2018 11:52:48 EDT
In perovskite solar cells, charge carriers are mainly lost through recombination occurring at interface defect sites. In contrast, recombination at defect sites within the perovskite layer does not limit the performance of the solar cells at present. Teams from the University of Potsdam and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) were able to reach this interesting conclusion through extremely accurate quantitative measurements on 1 cm2 perovskite cells using photoluminescence.
Silicon-based, tandem photovoltaic modules can compete in solar market
Mon, 30 Jul 2018 12:03:18 EDT
The dominant existing solar technology -- silicon -- is more than 90 percent of the way to its theoretical efficiency limit. More efficient technologies will be more expensive. New research identifies the efficiency vs. cost target.
Technique to easily fabricate ceramic films used as OPV inter-layers developed
Thu, 26 Jul 2018 16:20:33 EDT
Researchers developed a technique for coating Zinc related oxide (ZnOx, ZnOHx) simply by depositing the films in a solution process using the Metal Organic Decomposition method at ambient temperature and pressure without heating. They also demonstrated that their thin films produced by this technique were useful as buffer layers for OPV cells and that the films achieved a power conversion efficiency equivalent to that of ZnO thin films produced by conventional methods involving sintering.
And then there was (more) light: Researchers boost performance quality of perovskites
Thu, 26 Jul 2018 16:19:39 EDT
Scientists report that a prototype semiconductor thin-film has performed even better than today's best solar cell materials at emitting light.
Europe may thrive on renewable energy despite unpredictable weather
Thu, 26 Jul 2018 16:12:55 EDT
Researchers have shown how long-term weather patterns affect wind and solar renewable energy technologies across Europe. The work suggests that despite the unpredictable nature of wind and solar energy, the European power system can comfortably generate at least 35 percent of its electricity using these renewables alone without major impacts on prices or system stability.
New solar sailing technology for NASA
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 16:50:34 EDT
Researchers is taking solar sailing to the next level with advanced photonic materials. This new class of materials could be used to steer reflected or transmitted photons and enable near-Earth, interplanetary and interstellar space travel.

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