Solar Energy News

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Researchers discover new material to produce clean energy

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 2:17pm
Researchers have created a new thermoelectric material, intended to generate electric power from waste heat -- from a vehicle tailpipe, for example, or an industrial smokestack -- with greater efficiency and higher output power than currently available materials.

First in-depth look at solar project completion timelines

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 12:39pm
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has gathered and analyzed data for more than 30,000 solar photovoltaic installations across the United States to better understand how interconnection regulations align with actual project completion timelines. The findings indicate that interconnection process delays are common, and can range from several days to months. Streamlining the application review and final authorization processes can ultimately benefit utilities and solar consumers by reducing the time and cost associated with going solar.

Advancing solar power in Hawaii

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 12:39pm
Inverter load rejection overvoltage tests have proven so successful in Hawaii that a testing partner, Hawaiian Electric Companies, has proposed to double its hosting capacity for solar energy.

Blend of polymers could one day make solar power lighter, cheaper and more efficient

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 10:52am
Scientists are reporting advances on how to one day make solar cells stronger, lighter, more flexible and less expensive when compared with the current silicon or germanium technology on the market.

Supersonic electrons could produce future solar fuel

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 9:17am
Researchers have taken a step closer to producing solar fuel using artificial photosynthesis. In a new study, they have successfully tracked the electrons’ rapid transit through a light-converting molecule.

Energy use in buildings: Innovative, lower cost sensors and controls yield better energy efficiency

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:48pm
Buildings are responsible for about 40 percent of the energy consumed in the United States. Studies indicate that advanced sensors and controls have the potential to reduce the energy consumption of buildings by 20-30 percent.

Magnetic nanoparticles enhance performance of solar cells

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 11:43am
Magnetic nanoparticles can increase the performance of solar cells made from polymers -- provided the mix is right. Adding about one per cent of such nanoparticles by weight makes the solar cells more efficient, according to new findings.

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.