Solar Energy News

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Solar Energy Information. Read the latest news and techniques for efficient solar photovoltaic power, new solar energy systems and more.
Updated: 11 hours 49 min ago

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.

Scientists develop silicon cells capable of absorbing infrared radiation from the sun

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 8:48am
Researchers have developed a silicon photovoltaic cell capable of turning infrared radiation into electricity. The sun is an inexhaustible source of energy which well-exploited, could solve many of the energy suply problems we have today. The photovoltaic cell, commonly known as solar cell, is a device capable of turning solar light into electricity. However, there are many obstacles that prevent a massive use, such as a relatively high cost (0.02 euros per watt generated) and the low efficiency of silicon based solar cells, around 17 per cent.

Researchers improve performance of III-V nanowire solar cells on graphene

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 11:14am
Researchers have achieved new levels of performance for seed-free and substrate-free arrays of nanowires from class of materials called III-V directly on graphene. These compound semiconductors hold particular promise for applications involving light, such as solar cells or lasers.

Scientists discover material that can be solar cell by day, light panel by night

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 8:02am
Scientists have developed a next-generation solar cell material which can also emit light, in addition to converting light to electricity. This solar cell is developed from Perovskite, a promising material that could hold the key to creating high-efficiency, inexpensive solar cells. The new cells not only glow when electricity passes through them, but they can also be customised to emit different colors.

Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 1:08pm
Researchers have found that the wind industry can easily afford the energetic cost of building batteries and other grid-scale storage technologies. However, for the solar industry, scientists found that more work is needed to make grid-scale storage energetically sustainable.

Nanotube composites greatly increase efficiency of next generation of solar cells

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 8:33am
Carbon nanotubes are becoming increasingly attractive for photovoltaic solar cells as a replacement to silicon. Researchers have discovered that controlled placement of the carbon nanotubes into nano-structures produces a huge boost in electronic performance.

Self-powered wireless light detectors

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 8:25am
A low-power photodetection system can harness enough energy to power an autonomous sensor and monitoring network.

Solar policy pathways for U.S. states examined

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 1:15pm
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has published a report that aligns solar policy and market success with state demographics. By organizing the 48 contiguous states into four peer groups based on shared non-policy characteristics, the research team was able to contextualize the impact of various solar policies on photovoltaic installations.

Two-dimensional material shows promise for optoelectronics: LEDs, photovoltaic cells, and light detectors

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 10:17am
Team creates LEDs, photovoltaic cells, and light detectors using novel one-molecule-thick material. Researchers have used a novel material that's just a few atoms thick to create devices that can harness or emit light. This proof-of-concept could lead to ultrathin, lightweight, and flexible photovoltaic cells, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and other optoelectronic devices, they say.

Atomically thin, flexible, semi-transparent solar cells created

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 2:05pm
A lot of research has been done on graphene recently -- carbon flakes, consisting of only one layer of atoms. As it turns out, there are other materials too which exhibit remarkable properties if they are arranged in a single layer. One of them is tungsten diselenide, which could be used for photovoltaics. Ultrathin layers made of Tungsten and Selenium have now been created; experiments show that they may be used as flexible, semi-transparent solar cells.

Promising news for producing fuels through artificial photosynthesis

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 1:36pm
There's promising news from the front on efforts to produce fuels through artificial photosynthesis. A new study shows that nearly 90 percent of the electrons generated by a hybrid material designed to store solar energy in hydrogen are being stored in the target hydrogen molecules.

Smart grid for electric vehicle fleet

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 8:46am
Being able to charge up to 30 electric cars at once requires some ingenious energy management. Researchers are incorporating a mix of renewables into the design of a smart grid for Germany’s largest charging station.

Transparent, color solar cells fuse energy, beauty

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 1:00pm
Colorful, see-through solar cells could one day be used to make stained-glass windows, decorations and even shades that turn the sun's energy into electricity.

Solar power: Making it less expensive and more efficient

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 9:50am
Researchers are reporting early results on a way to make solar-powered panels in lights, calculators and roofs lighter, less expensive, more flexible (therefore less breakable) and more efficient.

Artificial photosynthesis: Key intermediate steps in artificial photosynthesis reaction identified

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 9:50am
The first direct, temporally resolved observations of intermediate steps in water oxidation using cobalt oxide, an Earth-abundant solid catalyst, revealed kinetic bottlenecks whose elimination would help boost the efficiency of artificial photosynthesis systems.

A new renewable energy source? Device captures energy from Earth's infrared emissions to outer space

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 3:40pm
When the sun sets on a remote desert outpost and solar panels shut down, what energy source will provide power through the night? A battery, perhaps, or an old diesel generator? Perhaps something strange and new. Scientists now envision a device that would harvest energy from Earth's infrared emissions into outer space. Heated by the sun, our planet is warm compared to the frigid vacuum beyond. Thanks to recent technological advances, the researchers say, that heat imbalance could soon be transformed into direct-current (DC) power, taking advantage of a vast and untapped energy source.