Solar Energy News

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Updated: 56 min 56 sec ago

Researchers enable solar cells to use more sunlight

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 9:41am
Scientists report progress in photovoltaic research: they have improved a component that will enable solar cells to use more energy of the sun and thus create a higher current.

Using 'fuzzy logic' to optimize hybrid solar/battery systems

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 11:29am
A group of researchers in Tunisia and Algeria show how fuzzy logic has helped them create an ideal photovoltaic system that obeys the supply-and-demand principle and its delicate balance. They have now described this new sizing system of a solar array and a battery in a standalone photovoltaic system.

Detecting defects at the nanoscale will profit solar panel production

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 10:28am
New research may lead to major efficiency gains and cost savings in the manufacture of flexible solar panels. The goal is to develop new technologies for the detection, cleaning and repair of micro and nanoscale defects in thin films that are vital in products such as printed electronics and solar panels.

Hydropower completes greening of Norway

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 8:39am
The Norwegian energy supply can be sustainable by 2030, according to new research, as long as politicians keep their promises, authors say, after analyzing the development potential of the Norwegian energy system to find out how it could be made more sustainable. 

Cheap solar cells made from shrimp shells

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 7:17pm
Researchers have successfully created electricity-generating solar-cells with chemicals found the shells of shrimps and other crustaceans for the first time.

Semiconductor works better when hitched to graphene

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 7:15pm
Graphene -- a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon with highly desirable electrical properties, flexibility and strength -- shows great promise for future electronics, advanced solar cells, protective coatings and other uses, and combining it with other materials could extend its range even further.

Hybrid perovskite nanoparticles with 80% luminescence yield obtained

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 8:37am
Researchers have developed a method for preparing methylammonium-lead bromide hybrid nanoparticles with extraordinary luminescence. They have successfully increased the luminescence efficiency of nanoparticles up to 80% and has also proven their high stability under ultraviolet visible light.

Construction of the world's biggest solar telescope

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 5:08am
With a four-meter diameter primary mirror, the telescope will be able to pick up unprecedented detail on the surface of the Sun -- the equivalent of being able to examine a coin from 100 kms away. It will address fundamental questions at the core of contemporary solar physics. It will do this via high-speed (sub-second timescales) spectroscopic and magnetic measurements of the solar photosphere, chromosphere and corona.

Bionic leaf: Researchers use bacteria to convert solar energy into liquid fuel

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 4:14pm
Solar energy can be harnessed using electricity from photovoltaic cells to yield hydrogen that can be stored in fuel cells. But hydrogen has failed to catch on as a practical fuel for cars or for power. Converting solar energy into liquid fuel could accelerate its adoption as a power source.

Why 'baking powder' doubles or triples efficiency of plastic solar cells

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 7:12am
The efficiency of plastic solar cells can be doubled or tripled if an extra solvent is added during the production process, comparable with the role of baking powder in dough mixture. Exactly how this works has been unclear for the last ten years. But now researchers have come up with the answer in a publication in Nature Communications. This new understanding will now enable focused development of plastic solar cells.

Chances of saving with solar energy greater for Indiana farms than homes

Thu, 02/05/2015 - 12:31pm
The probability of saving money by using solar energy rather than standard grid electricity is 92 percent for Indiana farm businesses and about 50 percent for homes, energy economists find.

High efficiency concentrating solar cells move to the rooftop

Thu, 02/05/2015 - 12:31pm
Ultra-high efficiency solar cells similar to those used in space may now be possible on your rooftop thanks to a new microscale solar concentration technology developed by an international team of researchers.

Solar and wind power will be the cheapest forms of energy in the future

Thu, 02/05/2015 - 8:30am
A new study demonstrates that an energy system based completely on renewable forms of energy will be economically viable in the future. Within ten years, solar and wind power will be the cheapest forms of energy production for Asia's largest energy markets.

A third industrial revolution for Norway

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 9:41am
Norway's wealth and prosperity over the last four decades has been built on oil, but a futurist and social and economic thinker, says it's time for the country to change. The Third Industrial Revolution is coming, and Norway needs to abandon fossil fuels and move towards a greener future that relies on renewable energy, shared transport and ultra-efficient housing, he says.

Quest for efficiency in thermoelectric nanowires

Mon, 02/02/2015 - 9:21pm
Reseachers have developed a single electroforming technique that tailored key factors to better thermoelectric performance: crystal orientation, crystal size and alloy uniformity.

Pinholes are pitfalls for high performance solar cells

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 8:15am
The most popular next-generation solar cells under development may have a problem – the top layer is full of tiny pinholes, researchers have found.

Crystal light: New family of light-converting materials points to cheaper, more efficient solar power and LEDs

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 5:03pm
Engineers have shone new light on an emerging family of solar-absorbing materials that could clear the way for cheaper and more efficient solar panels and LEDs. The materials, called perovskites, are particularly good at absorbing visible light, but had never been thoroughly studied in their purest form: as perfect single crystals. Using a new technique, researchers grew large, pure perovskite crystals and studied how electrons move through the material as light is converted to electricity.

New technique for growing high-efficiency perovskite solar cells

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 3:16pm
Researchers have revealed a new solution-based hot-casting technique that allows growth of highly efficient and reproducible solar cells from large-area perovskite crystals. The researchers fabricated planar solar cells from pervoskite materials with large crystalline grains that had efficiencies approaching 18%.

Solar chip monitors windows

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 9:42am
A new kind of radio chip is intended to warn when windows are left open. This way, you can avoid having the heat go out the window on cold days. The sensor also detects break-in attempts early on. The key: This maintenance-free chip powers up with energy supplied by solar power.

Demystifying nanocrystal solar cells

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:54pm
Researchers have developed a comprehensive model to explain how electrons flow inside new types of solar cells made of tiny crystals. The model allows for a better understanding of such cells and may help to increase their efficiency.