Solar Energy News
Solar Energy Information. Read the latest news and techniques for efficient solar photovoltaic power, new solar energy systems and more.
Updated: 6 hours 52 min ago
Scientists may be one step closer to tapping into the full potential of solar cells. The team found a way to create large sheets of nanotextured, silicon micro-cell arrays that hold the promise of making solar cells lightweight, more efficient, bendable and easy to mass produce.
Researchers have, for the first time, watched organic solar cells degrade in real time. This work could open new approaches to increasing the stability of this highly promising type of solar cell.
Renewable energy sources such as wind-powered generators can be more reliable and efficient by better controlling the process of getting electricity onto the power grid, according to new research.
Scientists have provided new insight into how solar water-splitting cells work. An important and overlooked parameter, they report, is the ion-permeability of electrocatalysts used in water-splitting devices.
Chemists are exploring the use of copper nanowires in fuel cells to convert solar energy into storable fuel. Copper nanowire catalysts cost less to produce than their indium tin oxide counterparts because they can be "printed" on pieces of glass or plastic in a liquid ink form, using a machine that functions much like a printing press. The nanowires can also be incorporated into transparent, flexible films.
High-power, self-cleaning solar panels might be coming soon to a roof near you. There are two obvious problems with photovoltaic cells, solar panels. First, they are very shiny and so a lot of the incident sunlight is simply reflected back into the sky rather than being converted into electricity. Secondly, they get dirty with dust and debris caught on the wind and residues left behind by rain and birds. Now, new research suggests that it might be possible to add a nanoscopic relief pattern to the surface of solar cells that makes them non-reflective significantly boosting efficiency and at the same time making them highly non-stick and self-cleaning.
Though some people already seem inseparable from their smartphones, even more convenient, wearable, solar-powered electronics could be on the way soon, woven into clothing fibers or incorporated into watchbands. This novel battery development could usher in a new era of "wearable electronics."
Specially designed nanostructured materials can increase the light-absorbing efficiency of solar cells
The Sun is our most promising source of clean and renewable energy. The energy that reaches Earth from the Sun in an hour is almost equivalent to that consumed by humans over a year. Solar cells can tap this massive source of energy by converting light into an electrical current. However, these devices still require significant improvements in efficiency before they can compete with more traditional energy sources. New research has increased the light-absorbing efficiency of solar cells.