Solar Energy News

Syndicate content ScienceDailySolar Energy News
Solar Energy Information. Read the latest news and techniques for efficient solar photovoltaic power, new solar energy systems and more.
Updated: 22 hours 35 min ago

An abundant and inexpensive water-splitting photocatalyst with low toxicity

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 4:20pm
Researchers in Japan have discovered a new photocatalyst, Sn3O4, which facilitates the production of hydrogen fuel from water, using sunlight as an energy source.

Scientists achieve first direct observations of excitons in motion

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 8:08am
A quasiparticle called an exciton -- responsible for the transfer of energy within devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and semiconductor circuits -- has been understood theoretically for decades. But exciton movement within materials has never been directly observed. Now scientists have achieved that feat, imaging excitons' motions directly. This could enable research leading to significant advances in electronics, they say, as well as a better understanding of natural energy-transfer processes, such as photosynthesis.

Environmentally compatible organic solar cells in the future

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 8:04am
Environmentally compatible production methods for organic solar cells from novel materials are in the focus of “MatHero”. The new project aims at making organic photovoltaics competitive to their inorganic counterparts by enhancing the efficiency of organic solar cells, reducing their production costs and increasing their life-time.

Scientists come up with method of reducing solar panel glare

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 7:44am
The glare from solar farms could be a thing of the past, thanks to new research. Researchers have developed a multi-layer anti-reflection coating for glass surfaces, which reduces the sun's reflection from photovoltaic panels while at the same time improving their efficiency. It is applied using the same technology as that used for depositing anti-reflection coatings on eye glasses.

House windows that double as solar panels? Shiny quantum dots brighten future of solar cells

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:38am
A house window that doubles as a solar panel could be on the horizon, thanks to recent quantum-dot work. Scientists have demonstrated that superior light-emitting properties of quantum dots can be applied in solar energy by helping more efficiently harvest sunlight.

Better solar cells, better LED light and vast optical possibilities

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 9:29am
Changes at the atom level in nanowires offer vast possibilities for improvement of solar cells and LED light. Researchers have discovered that by tuning a small strain on single nanowires they can become more effective in LEDs and solar cells. 

Passive houses save lots of energy

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 8:17am
Housing is the easiest sector to change if we are to reach the climate targets, experts say. Norwegian research shows the housing sector today represents about one-third of the country's energy consumption, or about 35 terawatt hours out of a total of 112 terawatt hours. As a result, it is indirectly one of largest contributors to Norway's greenhouse gas emissions.

Win-win situation: Growing crops on photovoltaic farms

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 1:39pm
A new model for solar farms that 'co-locates' crops and solar panels could result in a harvest of valuable biofuel plants along with solar energy. This co-location approach could prove especially useful in sunny, arid regions such as the southwestern United States where water is scarce, researchers said.

Tiny step edges, big step for surface science

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 8:39am
New experiments can explain the behavior of electrons at tiny step edges on titanium oxide surfaces. This is important for solar cell technology and novel, more effective catalysts.

Future computers that are normally off

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 11:19am
Researchers have broadly envisioned the future of spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memory (STT-MRAM), and they have now described how it will radically alter computer architectures and consumer electronics.

Organic solar cells more efficient with molecules face-to-face

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 9:14am
New research reveals that energy is transferred more efficiently inside of complex, three-dimensional organic solar cells when the donor molecules align face-on, rather than edge-on, relative to the acceptor.

New findings to help extend high efficiency solar cells' lifetime

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 8:05am
Scientists have made a surprising discovery about the degradation of solar cells that could help pave the way to creating a longer lifetime for these cells.  Key factors for creating cost-efficient solar cells to compete with conventional energy sources like fossil fuels include fabrication cost, efficiency and lifetime of the cells. 

Energy breakthrough uses sun to create solar energy materials

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 12:23pm
Researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible. This breakthrough could make the sun almost a 'one-stop shop' that produces both the materials for solar devices and the eternal energy to power them.

Tiny crystals to boost solar

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 9:00am
A new approach to studying solar panel absorber materials has been developed. The technique could accelerate the development of non-toxic and readily available alternatives to current absorbers in thin film based solar cells.

Nanosheets and nanowires

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 9:29am
Researchers have found a convenient way to selectively prepare germanium sulfide nanostructures, including nanosheets and nanowires, that are more active than their bulk counterparts. Germanium monosulfide, GeS, is emerging as one of the most important "IV-VI" semiconductor materials with potential in opto-electronics applications for telecommunications and computing, and as an absorber of light for use in solar energy conversion. One important property is its much lower toxicity and environmental impact when compared to other semiconductors made with cadmium, lead and mercury.

Rainbow-catching waveguide could revolutionize energy technologies

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 11:10am
By slowing and absorbing certain wavelengths of light, engineers open new possibilities in solar power, thermal energy recycling and stealth technology More efficient photovoltaic cells. Improved radar and stealth technology. A new way to recycle waste heat generated by machines into energy. All may be possible due to breakthrough photonics research.

Revolutionary solar cells double as lasers

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 7:55am
Latest research finds that the trailblazing 'perovskite' material used in solar cells can double up as a laser, strongly suggesting the astonishing efficiency levels already achieved in these cells is only part of the journey.

New way to filter light: May provide first directional selectivity for light waves

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 1:24pm
Light waves can be defined by three fundamental characteristics: their color (or wavelength), polarization, and direction. While it has long been possible to selectively filter light according to its color or polarization, selectivity based on the direction of propagation has remained elusive. But now, for the first time, researchers have produced a system that allows light of any color to pass through only if it is coming from one specific angle; the technique reflects all light coming from other directions.

First sightings of solar flare phenomena confirm 3D models of space weather

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 9:13am
Scientists have for the first time witnessed the mechanism behind explosive energy releases in the Sun's atmosphere, confirming new theories about how solar flares are created. New footage put together by an international team of researchers shows how entangled magnetic field lines looping from the Sun's surface slip around each other and lead to an eruption 35 times the size of the Earth and an explosive release of magnetic energy into space.

Managing renewable energy intelligently

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 8:48am
Although more and more of our electrical energy is coming from sources where supply is variable – whether from wind turbines, solar parks or biomass facilities – grid structures, industry and private households alike are not yet prepared to deal with the inevitable fluctuations. Smart energy management systems are the way to put robust supply networks in place and to ensure that renewables are harnessed as efficiently as possible.