Solar Energy News
Solar Energy Information. Read the latest news and techniques for efficient solar photovoltaic power, new solar energy systems and more.
Updated: 49 min 5 sec ago
Scientists may be one step closer to tapping into the full potential of solar cells. The team found a way to create large sheets of nanotextured, silicon micro-cell arrays that hold the promise of making solar cells lightweight, more efficient, bendable and easy to mass produce.
Researchers have, for the first time, watched organic solar cells degrade in real time. This work could open new approaches to increasing the stability of this highly promising type of solar cell.
Renewable energy sources such as wind-powered generators can be more reliable and efficient by better controlling the process of getting electricity onto the power grid, according to new research.
Scientists have provided new insight into how solar water-splitting cells work. An important and overlooked parameter, they report, is the ion-permeability of electrocatalysts used in water-splitting devices.
Chemists are exploring the use of copper nanowires in fuel cells to convert solar energy into storable fuel. Copper nanowire catalysts cost less to produce than their indium tin oxide counterparts because they can be "printed" on pieces of glass or plastic in a liquid ink form, using a machine that functions much like a printing press. The nanowires can also be incorporated into transparent, flexible films.
High-power, self-cleaning solar panels might be coming soon to a roof near you. There are two obvious problems with photovoltaic cells, solar panels. First, they are very shiny and so a lot of the incident sunlight is simply reflected back into the sky rather than being converted into electricity. Secondly, they get dirty with dust and debris caught on the wind and residues left behind by rain and birds. Now, new research suggests that it might be possible to add a nanoscopic relief pattern to the surface of solar cells that makes them non-reflective significantly boosting efficiency and at the same time making them highly non-stick and self-cleaning.
Though some people already seem inseparable from their smartphones, even more convenient, wearable, solar-powered electronics could be on the way soon, woven into clothing fibers or incorporated into watchbands. This novel battery development could usher in a new era of "wearable electronics."
Specially designed nanostructured materials can increase the light-absorbing efficiency of solar cells
The Sun is our most promising source of clean and renewable energy. The energy that reaches Earth from the Sun in an hour is almost equivalent to that consumed by humans over a year. Solar cells can tap this massive source of energy by converting light into an electrical current. However, these devices still require significant improvements in efficiency before they can compete with more traditional energy sources. New research has increased the light-absorbing efficiency of solar cells.
A new study overturns a widely held explanation for how organic photovoltaics turn sunlight into electricity.
A process that could revolutionize solar energy harvesting has been efficiently demonstrated in solution for the first time. Researchers have investigated the process in which the initial electronic excitation can split into a pair of half-energy excitations. This can happen in certain organic molecules when the quantum mechanical effect of electron spin sets the initial spin 'singlet' state to be double the energy of the alternative spin 'triplet' arrangement.
Dye absorption structure of dye-sensitized solar cells elucidated on molecular level: Success in dye absorption structure control
Researchers have elucidated the relationship between the photocurrent and the peculiar changes in the absorption structure occurring in the vicinity of the molecular-electrode interface in dye-sensitized solar cells.
Thermal radiation from the sun is largely lost on most silicon solar cells. Up-converters transform the infrared radiation into usable light, however. Researchers have now for the first time successfully adapted this effect for use in generating power.
Researchers have experimentally demonstrated a new paradigm for solar cell construction which may ultimately make them less expensive, easier to manufacture and more efficient at harvesting energy from the sun.
Wireless device converts 'lost' energy into electric power: Metamaterial cells provide electric power as efficiently as solar panels
Using inexpensive materials configured and tuned to capture microwave signals, researchers have designed a power-harvesting device with efficiency similar to that of modern solar panels.
Solar energy is free, clean, and usually available in abundance. However, solar radiation is also less predictable than many kinds of fossil fuel. Researchers have now developed a model that allows a more accurate prediction of hourly solar radiation.
Bringing sun's light and energy to interior rooms: Innovative solar technology may lead to interior lighting revolution
Researchers have seen the light -- a bright, powerful light -- and it just might change the future of how building interiors are brightened. In fact, that light comes directly from the sun. And with the help of tiny, electrofluidic cells and a series of open-air "ducts," sunlight can naturally illuminate windowless work spaces deep inside office buildings and excess energy can be harnessed, stored and directed to other applications.
Playing pop and rock music improves the performance of solar cells, according to new research.
A viable solution for sustainable energy transmission is the onsite generation of electricity using the photovoltaic method of converting solar energy directly into electrical energy.
Scientists have developed a new technique for manufacturing high-efficiency, flexible, thin film solar cells from CIGS (copper indium gallium di-selenide) semiconductors. This has enabled them to achieve an efficiency of 20.4 percent for the conversion of sunlight into electrical energy. As the solar cells are deposited onto plastic foils, they could be produced on an industrial scale using cost-effective roll-to-roll manufacturing.
A key instrument that will fly on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) spacecraft, NOAA's next-generation of geostationary satellites, is cleared for installation on the spacecraft. The Advanced Baseline Imager, or ABI, is GOES-R's primary instrument for scanning Earth's weather, oceans, and environment and is a significant improvement over instruments on NOAA's current geostationary satellites. The ABI will offer faster imaging with much higher detail. It will also introduce new forecast products for severe weather, volcanic ash advisories, fire and smoke monitoring and other hazards.