Solar Energy News

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Updated: 21 min 34 sec ago

Electrical power converter allows grid to easily accept power from renewable energy

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 9:13am
Engineering researchers have invented a novel electrical power converter system that simultaneously accepts power from a variety of energy sources and converts it for use in the electrical grid system.

A video camera that powers itself

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 9:29am
Scientists have invented a prototype video camera that is the first to be fully self-powered -- it can produce an image each second, indefinitely, of a well-lit indoor scene. They designed a pixel that can not only measure incident light but also convert the incident light into electric power.

Harvesting energy from electromagnetic waves

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 11:58am
Researchers have developed a novel design for electromagnetic energy harvesting based on the "full absorption concept." This involves the use of metamaterials that can be tailored to produce media that neither reflects nor transmits any power -- enabling full absorption of incident waves at a specific range of frequencies and polarizations.

California's solar incentive program has had only modest impact on adoption rates

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 1:16pm
According to a new analysis, California's aggressive incentive program for installing rooftop solar-electric systems has not been as effective as generally believed.

Shifts in electricity generation spur net job growth, but coal jobs decline

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 11:41am
In four years following the 2008 recession, the US coal industry lost more than 49,000 jobs, while the natural gas, solar, and wind industries together created nearly four times that amount, according to a new. Few of the new jobs were added in states hardest hit by coal's decline, particularly West Virginia and Kentucky.

Battery energy storage project shows promise for electricity network

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 9:14am
Scientists have revealed the potential of a new battery energy storage system to reduce electricity prices while improving power efficiency and quality.

Solar cooling system keeps water at 9 degrees Celsius for up to three months

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 7:17am
Maintaining food in places where high temperatures prevail, using little energy at a low cost,  it is now possible with new technology, thanks to the creation of a solar cooling system.

Wrapping carbon nanotubes in polymers enhances their performance

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 1:11pm
Scientists say polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes hold much promise in biotechnology and energy applications.

New kind of 'tandem' solar cell: Two types of photovoltaic material combined to make a cell that harnesses more sunlight

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 11:08am
Researchers have developed a new kind of solar cell that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material in order to harvest a broader range of the sun's energy. The development could lead to photovoltaic cells that are more efficient than those currently used in solar-power installations, the researchers say. The new cell uses a layer of silicon -- which forms the basis for most of today's solar panels -- but adds a semi-transparent layer of a material called perovskite, which can absorb higher-energy particles of light. Unlike an earlier "tandem" solar cell reported by members of the same team earlier this year -- in which the two layers were physically stacked, but each had its own separate electrical connections -- the new version has both layers connected together as a single device that needs only one control circuit.

Discovery could yield more efficient portable electronics, solar cells

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 3:21pm
A team of chemists has set the stage for more efficient and sturdier portable electronic devices and possibly a new generation of solar cells based on organic materials.

Airships: The future of aviation?

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 6:57am
Researchers have completed a three year investigation into stratospheric passenger airships as part of a multi-national engineering project designed to provide a future sustainable air transport network.

Towards 'printed' organic solar cells and LEDs

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 9:08am
Flexible optoelectronic devices that can be produced roll-to-roll -- much like newspapers are printed -- are a highly promising path to cheaper devices such as solar cells and LED lighting panels. Scientists have now created prototype flexible solar cell modules as well as novel silver-based transparent electrodes that outperform currently used materials.

A new method for making perovskite solar cells

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:56pm
Researchers have come up with a new way of making thin perovskite films for solar cells. The method forms perovskite crystals at room temperature, which could be helpful in mass production settings. The technique is especially well suited to make ultra-thin, semitransparent films, which could be used in photovoltaic windows.

Scientists move closer to 'two for one deal' on solar cell efficiency

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:54pm
The underlying mechanism behind an enigmatic process called 'singlet exciton fission,' which could enable the development of significantly more powerful solar cells, has been identified by scientists in a new study.

Solar could meet California energy demand three to five times over

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:51pm
In the face of global climate change, increasing the use of renewable energy resources is one of the most urgent challenges facing the world. New work finds that the amount of energy that could be generated from solar equipment constructed on and around existing infrastructure in California would exceed the state's demand by up to five times.

Uncovering the secrets of super solar power perovskites

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 11:12am
In a scant five years of development, hybrid perovskite solar cells have attained power conversion efficiencies that took decades to achieve with the top-performing conventional materials, but scientists have lacked a clear understanding of the precise goings on at the molecular level. New findings help fill that void.

Solar cells: Increased pressure creates a happy union

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 1:25pm
By tailoring the interface between the two sections of a solar cell, researchers have produced a high-performance solar cell from the abundant and cheap materials of copper (II) oxide and silicon.

New approach combines biomass conversion, solar energy conversion

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 11:30am
A new approach to combine solar energy conversion and biomass conversion has been presented by researchers. These are two important research areas for renewable energy, they say.

The global energy challenge: One billion people have no access to electricity

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 8:26am
More than one billion people world-wide have no access to electricity to cook food or light their homes, despite the technology being in place. A study on options for getting more electrical access has taken place in Bangladesh.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions with a more effective carbon capture method

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 11:03am
Trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants and various industries could play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the future. But current materials that can collect CO2 -- from smokestacks, for example -- have low capacities or require very high temperatures to work. Scientists are making progress toward a more efficient alternative that could help make carbon capture less energy intensive.