Solar Energy News

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Updated: 26 min 2 sec ago

Economic trade-offs of owning versus leasing a solar photovoltaic system

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 11:10am
Two new reports examine the economic options customers face when deciding how to finance commercial or residential solar energy systems. Analysts found that businesses that use low-cost financing to purchase a photovoltaic (PV) system and homeowners who use solar-specific loans can save up to 30 percent compared with consumers who lease a PV system through a conventional third-party owner.

Carbon nanoballs can greatly contribute to sustainable energy supply

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 10:01am
Researchers have discovered that the insulation plastic used in high-voltage cables can withstand a 26 per cent higher voltage if nanometer-sized carbon balls are added. This could result in enormous efficiency gains in the power grids of the future, which are needed to achieve a sustainable energy system. The renewable energy sources of tomorrow will often be found far away from the end user. Wind turbines, for example, are most effective when placed out at sea. Solar energy will have the greatest impact on the European energy system if focus is on transport of solar power from North Africa and Southern Europe to Northern Europe.

Do green roofs, solar panels work well together?

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 9:59am
A new study examines whether solar electricity panels and green roofs can work well in tandem. With ongoing urbanization, which reduces the variety of species found in cities, green roofs can increase biological diversity, and also provide insulation, bringing energy benefits to building owners who will save money on heating and cooling, authors say.

Calculating the future of solar-fuel refineries

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:07am
A team of engineers has developed a new tool to help engineers better gauge the overall yield, efficiency and costs associated with scaling solar-fuel production processes up into large-scale refineries.

New technique helps probe performance of organic solar cell materials

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:07am
Researchers have developed a technique for determining the role that a material's structure has on the efficiency of organic solar cells, which are candidates for low-cost, next generation solar power. The researchers used the technique to determine that materials with a highly organized structure at the nanoscale are not more efficient at creating free electrons than poorly organized structures -- a finding which will guide future research and development efforts.

New technique for producing cheaper solar energy suggested by research

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:07am
Pioneering new research could pave the way for solar energy to be converted into household electricity more cheaply than ever before. The global PV market has experienced rapid growth in recent years due to renewable energy targets and CO2 emission controls.

Decorative and flexible solar panels become part of interior design and the appearance of objects

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 8:45am
Scientists have developed and utilized a mass production method based on printing technologies allowing the manufacturing of decorative, organic solar panels. Design freedom improves the range of applications of the panels on the surfaces of interior and exterior building spaces. Researchers are also studying the feasibility of printing technology in the mass production of solar panels made from inorganic perovskite materials. The new mass production method enables to create interior design elements from organic solar panels (OPV, organic photovoltaics) harvesting energy from interior lighting or sunlight for various small devices and sensors that gather information from the environment. The panels can, for example, be placed on windows and walls and on machines, devices and advertisement billboards.

First public lighting system that runs on solar and wind energy

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 8:58am
Scientists have developed the first autonomous industrialized public lighting system that works with solar and wind energy.

Making waves with lasers could enhance solar cell efficiency

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 8:45am
Laser processing produces deep ripples in silicon over a wide area — something that could enhance solar cell efficiency.

Perovskites provide big boost to silicon solar cells

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 4:35pm
Stacking perovskites onto a conventional silicon solar cell dramatically improves the overall efficiency of the cell, according to a new study.

Improved solar panels and printed electronics on the horizon with new material discovery

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:32am
New and improved solar panels could result from the discovery of a new liquid crystal material, making printable organic solar cells better performing.

Solar cell polymers with multiplied electrical output

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 1:39pm
Scientists paired up photovoltaic polymers that produce two units of electricity per unit of light instead of the usual one on a single molecular polymer chain. Having the two charges on the same molecule means the light-absorbing, energy-producing materials work efficiently when dissolved in liquids, which opens the way for a wide range of industrial scale manufacturing processes, including "printing" solar-energy-producing material like ink.

Flexible methane production from electricity and bio-mass

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 4:55am
Interlinkage of the power and gas grids is planned to make electricity supply sustainable and robust in the future. Fluctuating amounts of wind and solar power, for instance, might be stored in the form of the chemical energy carrier methane. Now researchers have now proved that this is technically feasible.

From the lab to your digital device, quantum dots have made quantum leaps

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 4:51am
Quantum dots have not only found their way into tablets, computer screens, and TVs, they are also used in biological and medical imaging tools, and now researchers are exploring them for solar cell as well as brain imaging applications.

Wave energy integration costs should compare favorably to other energy sources

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 2:08pm
A new analysis suggests that large-scale wave energy systems developed in the Pacific Northwest should be comparatively steady, dependable and able to be integrated into the overall energy grid at lower costs than some other forms of alternative energy, including wind power.

Defects in solar cells made of silicon identified

Fri, 01/02/2015 - 5:27pm
A researcher has focused recent study on "defects found on silicon and their impact on the efficiency of solar cells made with this material."

Quantum world without queues could lead to better solar cells

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 10:40am
Scientists have used new technology to study extremely fast processes in solar cells. The research results form a concrete step towards more efficient solar cells.

Glimpsing pathway of sunlight to electricity

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Four pulses of laser light on nanoparticle photocells in a spectroscopy experiment has opened a window on how captured sunlight can be converted into electricity. The work, which potentially could inspire devices with improved efficiency in solar energy conversion, was performed on photocells that used lead-sulfide quantum dots as photoactive semiconductor material.

Comparing state solar policies to determine equation for solar market success

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:30am
Scientists have used statistical analyses and detailed case studies to better understand why solar market policies in certain states are more successful. Their findings indicate that while no standard formula for solar implementation exists, a combination of foundational policies and localized strategies can increase solar photovoltaic installations in any state.

Nuclear should be in the energy mix for biodiversity

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 9:41am
Leading conservation scientists from around the world have called for a substantial role for nuclear power in future energy-generating scenarios in order to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity.