Solar Energy News

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Updated: 26 min 8 sec ago

Solar water-splitting technology developed

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 11:13am
Researchers have demonstrated an efficient new way to capture the energy from sunlight and convert it into clean, renewable energy by splitting water molecules. The technology uses sunlight-harvesting gold nanoparticles.

How to curb emissions: Put a price on carbon

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 11:17am
Literally putting a price on carbon pollution and other greenhouse gasses is the best approach for nurturing the rapid growth of renewable energy and reducing emissions. While prospects for a comprehensive carbon price are dim, especially in the US, many other policy approaches can spur the renewables revolution, according to a new policy article.

Making fuel from light

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 10:20am
Photosynthesis has given life to the planet. While scientists have been studying and mimicking the natural phenomenon in the laboratory for years, understanding how to replicate the chemical process behind it has largely remained a mystery -- until now.

Super solar cells collect higher energy photons 30 times better

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 8:33am
A team of scientists have created solar cells that collect higher energy photons at 30 times the concentration of conventional solar cells, the highest luminescent concentration factor ever recorded.

Potential of disk-shaped small structures, coccoliths, to promote efficient bioenergy production

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 8:13am
Researchers have shown that coccolith disks made of calcium carbonate in Emiliania huxleyi, one of the promising biomass resources, potentially perform roles in reducing and enhancing the light that enters the cell by light scattering. Elucidation of the physiological significance of coccolith formation in E. huxleyi can help promote efficient bioenergy production using microalgae. 

Cost-effective catalyst converts CO2 into natural gas

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 1:08pm
A new discovery helps not only to make natural gas from CO2 but also to store renewable energy. Chemists show how this process can be implemented in a cost-effective and controllable way.

Wireless charging and discharging for electric vehicles

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 10:41am
In the future, a wireless charging system will allow electric cars not only to charge their batteries, but also to feed energy back into the power grid, helping to stabilize it. The cost-effective charging system achieves high levels of efficiency across the whole power range, from 400 watts to 3.6 kilowatts, while the car and the charging coil can be up to 20 centimeters apart.

Hot electrons point the way to perfect light absorption

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 10:41am
Physicists study how to achieve perfect absorption of light with the help of rough ultrathin films.

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 1:29pm
A new solar fuel generation system, or artificial leaf, safely creates fuel from sunlight and water with record-setting efficiency and stability.

Charging a lithium-ion battery efficiently with a solar cell

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 10:16am
Researchers have wired four perovskite solar cells in series to enhance the voltage and directly photo-charged lithium batteries with 7.8 percent efficiency -- the most efficient reported to date, the researchers believe.

Another milestone in hybrid artificial photosynthesis

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 8:22pm
Researchers using a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have combined semiconducting nanowires with select microbes to create a system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas.

Using sunlight to recharge the cooling system of trailer containers

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 12:01pm
A group of scientists has replaced diesel with kinetic energy, saving up to 20 thousand liters of fuel annually, they say, adding that this includes a series of energetically self-sustained boxes for the transport of perishable goods, with a cooling system that replaced the use of diesel with sunlight and kinetic energy.

'Diamonds from the sky' approach turns CO2 into valuable products

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 7:31am
Finding a technology to shift carbon dioxide, the most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas, from a climate change problem to a valuable commodity has long been a dream. Now, a team of chemists says they have developed a technology to economically convert atmospheric CO2 directly into highly valued carbon nanofibers for industrial and consumer products.

Challenge to classic theory of 'organic' solar cells could improve efficiency

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 9:29am
New research findings contradict a fundamental assumption about the functioning of 'organic' solar cells made of low-cost plastics, suggesting a new strategy for creating inexpensive solar technology.

Solar cell efficiency could double with novel 'green' antenna

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 7:57am
The use of solar energy in the US is growing, but panels on rooftops are still a rare sight. They cost thousands of dollars, and homeowners don't recoup costs for years. But scientists may have a solution. Researchers report the development of a unique, 'green' antenna that could potentially double efficiencies of certain solar cells and make them more affordable. These antennas are made with biological and non-toxic materials that are edible in theory, one researcher said.

Charge transport in hybrid silicon solar cells

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 10:06am
A surprising discovery has been made about hybrid organic/inorganic solar cells. Contrary to expectations, a diode composed of the conductive organic PEDOT:PSS and an n-type silicon absorber material behaves more like a pn junction between two semiconductors than like a metal-semiconductor contact (Schottky diode).

Microscopic rake doubles efficiency of low-cost solar cells

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 1:16pm
Researchers have developed a manufacturing technique that could double the electricity output of inexpensive solar cells by using a microscopic rake when applying light-harvesting polymers.

Chemists find new way to do light-driven reactions in solar energy quest

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 1:44pm
Chemists have discovered an unexpected way to use plasmonic metal, harvesting the high energy electrons excited by light in plasmon and then using this energy to do chemistry. Plasmon is a collective motion of free electrons in a metal that strongly absorbs and scatters light.

Heating with the sun: Solar active houses put to the test

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 6:39am
Solar-Active-Houses heat themselves using heat collectors and water tanks. However, no one had conducted an objective assessment of how efficiently they do so. Now researchers have put some of these solar houses to the test, and have identified where there was room for improvement and laid the scientific groundwork for this housing concept.

New design brings world's first solar battery to performance milestone

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 7:26am
After debuting the world's first solar air battery last fall, researchers have now reached a new milestone. They report that their patent-pending design -- which combines a solar cell and a battery into a single device -- now achieves a 20 percent energy savings over traditional lithium-iodine batteries.