Solar Energy News
Solar Energy Information. Read the latest news and techniques for efficient solar photovoltaic power, new solar energy systems and more.
Updated: 8 min 59 sec ago
Researchers report that wood-biochar supercapacitors can produce as much power as today's activated-carbon supercapacitors at a fraction of the cost -- and with environmentally friendly byproducts.
What's the best way to capture photovoltaic energy where snowfall is measured in feet?
Photovoltaic devices offer a green -- and potentially unlimited -- alternative to fossil fuel use. So why haven’t solar technologies been more widely adopted? Quite simply, they’re too expensive. Researchers have now come up with a technology that might help bring the prices down.
Solar modules are exposed to many environmental influences that cause material to fatigue over the years. Researchers have developed a procedure to calculate effects of these influences over the long term. This allows reliable lifespan predictions.
Imagine buildings in which the windows allow the sun's light to enter, and at the same time capture the energy from the sun needed to meet all their energy needs. In this seemingly futuristic scenario, the windows become productive solar cells that help us decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and advance towards a greener and cleaner environment. Researchers have now fabricated an optimal organic solar cell with a high level of transparency and a high power conversion efficiency, a promising step forward towards affordable, clean, more widely utilized and urban integrated renewable energies.
In the near future, solar panels will not only be more efficient but also a lot cheaper and affordable for everyone, thanks to new research.
Most solar cells are made using thick layers of material to absorb sunlight, but have been limited in the past by relatively high costs. Many new, lower cost designs are limited as their layer of light-absorbing material is too thin to extract enough energy. In new research, scientists have demonstrated that the efficiency of all solar panel designs could be improved by up to 22 per cent by covering their surface with aluminium studs that bend and trap light inside the absorbing layer.
In a 3-meter diameter hollow aluminum sphere, a physics professor is stirring and heating plasmas to 500,000 degrees Fahrenheit to experimentally mimic the magnetic field-inducing cosmic dynamos at the heart of planets, stars and other celestial bodies.
The use of solar panels to produce hot water for the bathroom is standard practice, but researchers now suggest that they may also be used to provide large offices with heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. Their proposal involves the incorporation of solar collectors into a gas-based cogeneration system with an absorption machine, which would reduce both energy expenditure and CO2 emissions.
Scientists have created a heat-resistant thermal emitter that could significantly improve solar cell efficiency. The novel component is designed to convert heat from the sun into infrared light that can be absorbed by solar cells to make electricity -- a technology known as thermophotovoltaics.
Rust can power up artificial photosynthesis: Chemists produce power boost critical to novel energy harvesting applications
Scientists trying to develop artificial photosynthesis for unique applications, like harvesting solar energy, have focused on narrowing the photovoltage gap between the two principle reactions of oxidation and reduction. Chemists report nearly bridging that gap using inexpensive materials in a process that could lead to new energy applications.
A novel device that uses only sunlight and wastewater to produce hydrogen gas could provide a sustainable energy source while improving the efficiency of wastewater treatment. The hybrid device combines a microbial fuel cell (MFC) and a type of solar cell called a photoelectrochemical cell.
Scientists have turned to computer modeling to help decide which of two competing materials should get its day in the sun as the nanoscale energy-harvesting technology of future solar panels -- quantum dots or nanowires.
A new report charts a path to achieve SunShot soft-cost targets of $0.65/W for residential systems and $0.44/W for commercial systems by 2020.
Global production of photovoltaic (PV) cells grew by 10% in 2012 in comparison to 2011 despite a 9% decline in solar energy investments according to a new report.
Solar storms, powerful eruptions of solar material and magnetic fields into interplanetary space, can cause hazards on Earth known as space weather, ranging from interference with radio communications to extensive power blackouts, complete failure of critical satellites and even the shutdown of GPS-guided transportation and global communication systems. New research increases our understanding of our space environment, and explains the source of Earth's space weather.
Scientists have developed a "wormlike" hematite photoanode that can convert sunlight and water to clean hydrogen energy with a record-breaking high efficiency of 5.3 percent.
New research quantifies the potential impacts of increasing wind and solar power generation on the operators of fossil-fueled power plants in the West. To accommodate higher amounts of wind and solar power on the electric grid, utilities must ramp down and ramp up or stop and start conventional generators more frequently to provide reliable power for their customers -- a practice called cycling.
Researchers in Germany report a new world record for the conversion of sunlight into electricity using a new solar cell structure with four solar subcells. A new record efficiency of 44.7% was measured at a concentration of 297 suns, indicating that 44.7% of the solar spectrum's energy, from ultraviolet through to the infrared, is converted into electrical energy. The achievement is being hailed as a major step towards reducing the costs of solar electricity.
Findings show carbon pollution from power plants can be cut cost-effectively by using wind, solar and natural gas. It’s less costly to get electricity from wind turbines and solar panels than coal-fired power plants when climate change costs and other health impacts are factored in, according to a new study.