Solar Energy News -- ScienceDaily
Decarbonizing the power sector
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 07:53:06 EST
Electricity supply is one of the biggest CO2 emitters globally. To keep global warming well below 2°C, several paths lead to zero emissions in the energy sector, and each has its potential environmental impacts -- such as air and water pollution, land-use or water demand. Using a first-time combination of multiple modelling systems, an international team of researchers has now quantified the actual benefits and downsides of three main roads to decarbonization.
Novel Direct Thermal Charging Cell Converts low-grade waste heat to usable electricity
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 11:09:43 EST
Engineers can now efficiently convert heat into electricity, creating a huge potential to reduce greenhouse effects by capturing exhaust heat and cutting down primary energy wastage.
Scientists show how perovskite solar cells can capture more electricity
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 10:08:39 EST
Scientists have developed a method to analyze which pairs of materials in next-generation perovskite solar cells will harvest the most energy.
Hot electrons harvested without tricks
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 19:03:19 EST
Semiconductors convert energy from photons into an electron current. However, some photons carry too much energy for the material to absorb. These photons produce 'hot electrons', and the excess energy of these electrons is converted into heat. Materials scientists have been looking for ways to harvest this excess energy. Scientists have now shown that this may be easier than expected.
New material points toward highly efficient solar cells
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 16:49:44 EST
A new type of material for next-generation solar cells eliminates the need to use lead, which has been a major roadblock for this technology.
Iron-based solar cells on track to becoming more efficient
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 14:29:30 EST
An international study shows that 30% of the energy in a certain type of light-absorbing iron molecule disappears in a previously unknown manner. By closing this loophole, the researchers hope to contribute to the development of more efficient solar cells using this iron-based solar cell.
Perovskite solar cells get an upgrade
Tue, 05 Nov 2019 14:09:27 EST
Materials scientists find inorganic compounds quench defects in perovskite-based solar cells and expand their tolerance of light, humidity and heat.
New technique lets researchers map strain in next-gen solar cells
Thu, 31 Oct 2019 17:46:51 EDT
Researchers have developed a way to map strain in lead halide perovskite solar cells without harming them. Their approach can image the grain structure of a perovskite solar cell, showing that misorientation between microscopic perovskite crystals is the primary contributor to the buildup of strain within the solar cell. Crystal misorientation creates small-scale defects in the grain structure, which interrupt the transport of electrons within the solar cell and lead to heat loss.
Where to install renewable energy in US to achieve greatest benefits
Tue, 29 Oct 2019 08:07:21 EDT
A new study shows that to achieve the biggest improvements in public health and the greatest benefits from renewable energy, wind turbines should be installed in the Upper Midwest and solar power should be installed in the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions.
To rid electric grid of carbon, shore up green energy support
Mon, 28 Oct 2019 17:51:42 EDT
Engineers, along with an economist, have created an energy model that helps to remove carbon-generated power from the US electric grid -- replacing it with a greener, financially feasible wind, solar and hydro energy system.
Biological material boosts solar cell performance
Tue, 22 Oct 2019 12:11:30 EDT
Next-generation solar cells that mimic photosynthesis with biological material may give new meaning to the term 'green technology.' Adding the protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR) to perovskite solar cells boosted the efficiency of the devices in a series of laboratory tests, according to an international team of researchers.
Mix master: Modeling magnetic reconnection in partially ionized plasma
Tue, 22 Oct 2019 09:28:14 EDT
Many of the most dramatic events in the solar system -- the spectacle of the Northern Lights, the explosiveness of solar flares, and the destructive impact of geomagnetic storms that can disrupt communication and electrical grids on Earth -- are driven in part by a common phenomenon: fast magnetic reconnection. In this process the magnetic field lines in plasma -- the gas-like state of matter consisting of free electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions -- tear, come back together and release large amounts of energy.
Replacing coal with gas or renewables saves billions of gallons of water
Mon, 21 Oct 2019 17:13:33 EDT
The transition from coal to natural gas in the US electricity sector is reducing the industry's water use, research finds. For every megawatt of electricity produced using natural gas instead of coal, the water withdrawn from rivers and groundwater drops by 10,500 gallons, and water consumed for cooling and other plant operations and not returned to the environment drops by 260 gallons. Switching to solar or wind power could boost these savings even more.
Why modified carbon nanotubes can help the reproducibility problem
Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:11:51 EDT
Scientists have conducted an in-depth study on how carbon nanotubes with oxygen-containing groups can be used to greatly enhance the performance of perovskite solar cells. The newly discovered self-recrystallization ability of perovskite could lead to improvement of low-cost and efficient perovskite solar cells.
Croissant making inspires renewable energy solution
Fri, 18 Oct 2019 08:06:21 EDT
The art of croissant making has inspired researchers to find a solution to a sustainable energy problem.
2019 Nobel Prize in Physics: Evolution of the universe and discovery of exoplanet orbiting solar-type star
Tue, 08 Oct 2019 08:55:31 EDT
This year's Nobel Prize in Physics is being awarded "for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth's place in the cosmos," with one half to James Peebles "for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology" and the other half jointly to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz "for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star."
Modified quantum dots capture more energy from light and lose less to heat
Mon, 07 Oct 2019 16:43:45 EDT
Scientists have synthesized magnetically-doped quantum dots that capture the kinetic energy of electrons created by ultraviolet light before it's wasted as heat.
Eco-friendly electrochemical catalysts using solar cells to harvest energy from the sun
Thu, 03 Oct 2019 07:48:36 EDT
A research team develops an eco-friendly device that uses solar energy to catalyze an electrochemical oxidation reaction with high efficiency.
New standard of reference for assessing solar forecast proposed
Tue, 24 Sep 2019 11:21:10 EDT
Being able to accurately forecast how much solar energy reaches the surface of the Earth is key to guiding decisions for running solar power plants and new work looks to provide a standard of reference to the field. A researcher proposes an improved way to assess day-ahead solar forecasting, which combines two popular reference methods for weather forecasting, namely persistence and climatology. His approach provides a new way to gauge the skill of a forecaster.
Even short-lived solar panels can be economically viable
Thu, 19 Sep 2019 11:48:56 EDT
A new study shows that, contrary to widespread belief within the solar power industry, new kinds of solar cells and panels don't necessarily have to last for 25 to 30 years in order to be economically viable in today's market.