Solar Energy News -- ScienceDaily
Astonishing time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells set
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:17:35 EDT
Researchers have quantified the astonishingly high speeds at which future solar cells would have to operate in order to stretch what are presently seen as natural limits on their energy conversion efficiency.
Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene
Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:17:13 EDT
Scientists have harnessed the power of photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into fuels and alcohols at efficiencies far greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant advance in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel.
Coatings needed for concentrating solar power
Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:17:07 EDT
Next-generation concentrating solar power (CSP) plants require high-temperature fluids, like molten salts, in the range of 550-750 degrees Celsius to store heat and generate electricity. At those high temperatures, however, the molten salts eat away at common alloys used in the heat exchangers, piping, and storage vessels of CSP systems. New research is aimed at mitigating corrosion levels in CSP plants with nickel-based coatings.
A solar cell you can put in the wash
Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:18:43 EDT
Scientists have developed a new type of ultra-thin photovoltaic device, coated on both sides with stretchable and waterproof films, which can continue to provide electricity from sunlight even after being soaked in water or being stretched and compressed.
Hydrogen power moves a step closer
Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:22:28 EDT
Physicists are developing methods of creating renewable fuel from water using quantum technology. Renewable hydrogen can already be produced by photoelectrolysis where solar power is used to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen. But fundamental problems remain before this can be adopted commercially due to inefficiency. A new study demonstrates that the novel use of nanostructures could increase the maximum photovoltage generated in a photoelectrochemical cell, increasing the productivity of splitting water molecules.
Defects in next-generation solar cells can be healed with light
Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:56:05 EDT
Researchers have shown that defects in the molecular structure of perovskites -- a material which could revolutionize the solar cell industry -- can be 'healed' by exposing it to light and just the right amount of humidity.
Firebricks offer low-cost storage for carbon-free energy
Wed, 06 Sep 2017 11:46:17 EDT
Researchers draw from an ancient technology in their latest solution to enabling rapid expansion of wind, solar and nuclear power. Heat-storing firebricks could be used to level electricity prices for renewables, they propose.
Engineers develop tools to share power from renewable energy sources during outages
Tue, 05 Sep 2017 14:55:46 EDT
A team of engineers has developed algorithms that would allow homes to use and share power from their renewable energy sources during outages by strategically disconnecting these devices, called solar inverters, from the grid. The algorithms work with existing technology and would improve systems' reliability by 25 to 35 percent.
Insect eyes inspire new solar cell design
Thu, 31 Aug 2017 15:12:54 EDT
Packing tiny solar cells together, like micro-lenses in the compound eye of an insect, could help scientists overcome a major roadblock to the development of perovskite photovoltaics.
Photosynthesis discovery could help design more efficient artificial solar cells
Tue, 29 Aug 2017 12:44:54 EDT
A natural process that occurs during photosynthesis could lead to the design of more efficient artificial solar cells, according to researchers.
Scientists power past solar efficiency records
Tue, 29 Aug 2017 11:39:05 EDT
The high potential of silicon-based multijunction solar cells has now been demonstrated through new research.
A low-cost method for solar-thermal conversion that's simpler and greener
Mon, 28 Aug 2017 12:45:34 EDT
Researchers have developed a simple, low-cost, and environmentally sound method for fabricating a highly-efficient selective solar absorber (SSA) to convert sunlight into heat for energy-related applications. The team used a 'dip and dry' approach whereby strips coated with a reactive metal are dipped into a solution containing ions of a less reactive metal to create plasmonic-nanoparticle-coated foils that perform as well or better than existing SSAs, regardless of the sun's angle.
How 139 countries could be powered by 100 percent wind, water, and solar energy by 2050
Wed, 23 Aug 2017 12:13:39 EDT
The latest roadmap to a 100 percent renewable energy future outlines infrastructure changes that 139 countries can make to be entirely powered by wind, water, and sunlight by 2050 after electrification of all energy sectors. Such a transition could mean less worldwide energy consumption due to the efficiency of clean, renewable electricity; and a net increase of over 24 million long-term jobs.
Cyborg bacteria outperform plants when turning sunlight into useful compounds
Tue, 22 Aug 2017 09:22:34 EDT
Photosynthesis provides energy for the vast majority of life on Earth. But chlorophyll, the green pigment that plants use to harvest sunlight, is relatively inefficient. To enable humans to capture more of the sun's energy, scientists have taught bacteria to cover themselves in tiny, highly efficient solar panels to produce useful compounds.
The power of perovskite
Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:23:25 EDT
Researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications.
Going 'green' with plant-based resins
Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:02:11 EDT
Airplanes, electronics and solar cells are all in demand, but the materials holding these items together -- epoxy thermosets -- are not environmentally friendly. Now, a group reports that they have created a plant-based thermoset that could make devices 'greener.'
Solar panels: Nanotechnology gives green energy a green color
Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:05:04 EDT
Solar panels have tremendous potential to provide affordable renewable energy, but many people see traditional black and blue panels as eyesores. Architects, homeowners and city planners may be more open to the technology if they could install colorful, efficient solar panels, and a new study brings us one step closer. Researchers have developed a method for imprinting existing solar panels with silicon nanopatterns that scatter green light back toward an observer.
Deep-UV probing method detects electron transfer in photovoltaics
Tue, 15 Aug 2017 09:50:27 EDT
Scientists have developed a new method to efficiently measure electron transfer in dye-sensitized transition-metal oxide photovoltaics.
Turning homes into power stations could cut household fuel bills by more than 60 percent
Wed, 09 Aug 2017 07:33:44 EDT
Energy bills could be cut by more than 60 percent -- saving the average household over £600 a year -- if homes were designed to generate, store and release their own solar energy, a report has revealed. The concept has already been proven and is operating successfully on a building in the UK.
Controlled manipulation of carbon nanostructures
Tue, 08 Aug 2017 14:59:42 EDT
Researchers around the world are looking at how they can manipulate the properties of carbon nanostructures to customize them for specific purposes; the idea is to make the promising mini-format materials commercially viable. A research team has now managed to selectively influence the properties of hybrid systems consisting of carbon nanostructures and a dye.