Solar Energy News

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Updated: 16 hours 4 min ago

NOAA GOES-R satellite black wing ready for flight

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 4:23pm
The solar array that will provide power to NOAA's GOES-R satellite has been tested, approved and shipped to a facility where it will be incorporated on the spacecraft. The five sections of the solar array come together as one to resemble a giant black wing.

Concentrating solar power: Study shows greater potential

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 1:22pm
Concentrating solar power could supply a large fraction of the power supply in a decarbonized energy system, shows a new study of the technology and its potential practical application.

Safe water for the people in Tanzania

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 9:23am
Hydraulic engineers and photovoltaics experts have developed a solar filtration system to produce high-quality drinking water from polluted brackish water and tested it successfully in Tanzania. The test results are currently being analyzed. The filter effectively separates undesired substances, bacteria, and viruses.

Hunt for extraterrestrial life gets massive methane boost

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 2:15pm
A powerful new model to detect life on planets outside of our solar system more accurately than ever before has been developed by researchers. The new model focuses on methane, the simplest organic molecule, widely acknowledged to be a sign of potential life. The new model has been tested and verified by successfully reproducing in detail the way in which the methane in failed stars, called brown dwarfs, absorbs light.

Up to 6-cent per kilowatt-hour extra value with concentrated solar power

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 7:55pm
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) projects would add additional value of 5 or 6 cents per kilowatt hour to utility-scale solar energy in California where 33 percent renewables will be mandated in six years, a new report has found.

Technology using microwave heating may impact electronics manufacturing

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 1:47pm
A continuous flow reactor can produce high-quality nanoparticles by using microwave-assisted heating -- essentially the same forces that heat up leftover food with such efficiency. This may finally make it possible for this technology to move into large scale manufacturing and usher in an electronics revolution.

New class of nanoparticle brings cheaper, lighter solar cells outdoors

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 10:33am
A new class of solar-sensitive nanoparticle that outshines the current state of the art has been developed and tested by researchers. This new form of solid, stable light-sensitive nanoparticles, called colloidal quantum dots, could lead to cheaper and more flexible solar cells, as well as better gas sensors, infrared lasers, infrared light emitting diodes and more.

Enhancing safety of domestic solar power storage

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 8:22am
Lithium-ion battery-based energy storage systems have already demonstrated efficiency and reliability in commercial electric vehicles. These high standards now also have to be transferred to battery-based storage systems for private photovoltaics facilities.

Breakthrough in energy storage: Electrical cables that can store energy

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 9:17am
Nanotechnology scientists have developed a way to both transmit and store electricity in a single lightweight copper wire. Sounds like science fiction, but it may become a reality thanks to breakthrough technology. So far electrical cables are used only to transmit electricity. However, nanotechnology scientists have developed a way to both transmit and store electricity in a single lightweight copper wire.

First real-time movies of the light-to-current conversion in an organic solar cell

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 11:44am
Scientists have reported the first real-time movies of the light-to-current conversion process in an organic solar cell. Researchers show that the quantum-mechanical, wavelike nature of electrons and their coupling to the nuclei is of fundamental importance for the charge transfer in an organic photovoltaic device.

Novel laser system mimics sunlight to test solar cell efficiency

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 11:44am
A laser-based instrument that generates artificial sunlight to help test solar cell properties, and find ways to boost their efficiency, has been developed by researchers. The novel system simulates sunlight well across a broad spectrum of visible to infrared light. More flexible than conventional solar simulators such as xenon arc-lamps or light-emitting diodes, the laser instrument can be focused down to a small beam spot -- with resolution approaching the theoretical limit -- and shaped to match any desired spectral profile.

Quantum mechanisms of organic devices for alternative solar panels are revealed

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 11:17am
Silicon panel-based technology requires a very costly, contaminating manufacturing process, while organic photovoltaic devices have been positioned as one of the most attractive alternatives as a source of solar energy. This is the first time the quantum mechanisms that trigger the photovoltaic function of these devices have been deciphered.

Solar panel manufacturing is greener in Europe than China, study says

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 2:41pm
Solar panels made in China have a higher overall carbon footprint and are likely to use substantially more energy during manufacturing than those made in Europe, said a new study. The team performed a type of systematic evaluation called life cycle analysis to come up with these hard data. Life cycle analysis tallies up all the energy used to make a product -- energy to mine raw materials, fuel to transport the materials and products, electricity to power the processing factory, and so forth.

Hybrid energy transfer system mimics process responsible for photosynthesis

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 11:41am
Scientists have developed a new hybrid energy transfer system, which mimics the processes responsible for photosynthesis. From photosynthesis to respiration, the processes of light absorption and its transfer into energy represent elementary and essential reactions that occur in any biological living system. In a new study, researchers demonstrate an alternate non-radiative, intermolecular energy transfer that exploits the intermediating role of light confined in an optical cavity.

More sustainable thermosolar plants thanks to hybridization with biomethane

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 7:55am
The integration of biomethane in concentrating solar thermal power plants would facilitate the commercial introduction of concentrating solar power (CSP) technology in the energy market, reducing both financial and environmental costs. Researchers are studying the integration process of biomethane.