Solar Energy News

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Updated: 41 min 39 sec ago

Efficiency from larger perovskite solar cells improved

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 12:28pm
Perovskite solar cells are cheaper to make than traditional silicon cells and their electricity conversion efficiency is improving rapidly. To be commercially viable, perovskite cells need to scale up from lab size. Researchers report a method for making perovskite cells larger while maintaining efficiency.

Molecular nanoribbons as electronic highways

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 7:25am
Physicists have developed a method to synthesize a unique and novel type of material which resembles a graphene nanoribbon but in molecular form. This material could be important for the further development of organic solar cells.

Graphene as a front contact for silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells

Fri, 10/02/2015 - 10:35am
A team of researchers has developed an elegant process for coating fragile perovskite layers with graphene for the first time. Subsequent measurements show that the graphene layer is an ideal front contact in several respects.

Organics energize solar cell research

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 7:50pm
Scientists are using a new supercomputer to advance next-generation solar energy technologies by probing the functional interfaces found in organic and hybrid solar cells.

Invisibility cloak might enhance efficiency of solar cells

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 10:04am
Success of the energy turnaround will depend decisively on the extended use of renewable energy sources. However, their efficiency partly is much smaller than that of conventional energy sources. The efficiency of commercially available photovoltaic cells, for instance, is about 20 percent. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have now published an unconventional approach to increasing the efficiency of the panels. Optical invisibility cloaks guide sunlight around objects that cast shadows on the solar panel.

Finding a way to boost efficiency of CIGS solar cells

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 9:30am
Researchers have revealed the structure of the buffer layer in a CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-selenide) solar cell at SPring8, the world's largest third-generation synchrotron radiation facility. They found that the buffer layer was composed of two layers: an upper Zn(OH)2 layer and a lower Zn(S, O) layer. By removing the upper Zn(OH)2 layer, the solar conversion efficiency was doubled.

New research puts us closer to DIY spray-on solar cell technology

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 7:31am
A new study puts us closer to do-it-yourself spray-on solar cell technology—promising third-generation solar cells utilizing a nanocrystal ink deposition that could make traditional expensive silicon-based solar panels a thing of the past.

Solar roof: New hybrid solar panel roof slashes energy bills

Fri, 09/25/2015 - 7:57am
Scientists have designed a new hybrid roofing system which could halve energy bills in new homes.

Green storage for green energy

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 2:14pm
Researchers have demonstrated a safe and affordable battery capable of storing energy from intermittent sources -- like rooftop solar panels -- that is suitable for the home.

Engineers invent transparent coating that cools solar cells to boost efficiency

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 2:34pm
The hotter solar cells become, the less efficient they are at converting sunlight to electricity, a problem that has long vexed the solar industry. Now engineers have developed a transparent overlay that increases efficiency by cooling the cells even in full sunlight.

Greening the electric grid with gas turbines

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 10:25am
Much of the nation's energy policy is premised on the assumption that clean renewable sources like wind and solar will require huge quantities of storage before they can make a significant dent in the greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation. A new study pokes holes in that conventional wisdom. The analysis finds that the supply of wind and solar power could be increased tenfold without additional storage.

Solar power study inspired by field of medicine

Wed, 09/16/2015 - 10:32am
Researchers will do an epidemiological, disease control?type study of more than 5 million solar panels at hundreds of power plants around the world to learn how photovoltaic modules degrade under varying conditions. The study’s goal is to drive designs that make modules last longer and have more predictable power output, which can help reduce the cost of clean power and add certainty for renewable energy investors.

Artificial leaf: New efficiency record for solar hydrogen production is 14 percent

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 8:04am
An international team has succeeded in considerably increasing the efficiency for direct solar water splitting with a tandem solar cell whose surfaces have been selectively modified. The new record value is 14 percent and thus tops the previous record of 12.4 percent, broken now for the first time in 17 years.

Building the electron superhighway

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 9:05pm
Scientists have invented a new way to view and create what they are calling 'an electron superhighway' in an organic semiconductor. This approach promises to allow electrons to flow faster and farther -- aiding the hunt for flexible electronics, organic solar cells, and other low-cost alternatives to silicon.

New way to store solar energy could lead to more common solar cell usage

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 2:31pm
A relatively inexpensive and simple way to split water into hydrogen and oxygen has been developed using a new electrodeposition method. The findings could lead to a sizable increase in the amount of hydrogen available for fuel usage, scientists say.

Discovery of a highly efficient catalyst eases way to hydrogen economy

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 2:26pm
Hydrogen could be the ideal fuel: Whether used to make electricity in a fuel cell or burned to make heat, the only byproduct is water; there is no climate-altering carbon dioxide. Like gasoline, hydrogen could also be used to store energy. Scientists now report a hydrogen-making catalyst containing phosphorus and sulfur -- both common elements -- and cobalt, a metal that is 1,000 times cheaper than platinum.

High-efficiency, high-reliability perovskite solar cells realized by a low-temperature solution process

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 1:12pm
Researchers in Japan succeeded in producing highly reproducible and highly stable perovskite solar cells by a low-temperature solution process.

Inspired by art, lightweight solar cells track the sun

Tue, 09/08/2015 - 12:34pm
Solar cells capture up to 40 percent more energy when they can track the sun across the sky, but conventional, motorized trackers are too heavy and bulky for pitched rooftops and vehicle surfaces.

Novel efficient and low-cost semitransparent solar cells

Tue, 09/08/2015 - 9:36am
Scientists have successfully developed efficient and low-cost semitransparent perovskite solar cells with graphene electrodes. The power conversion efficiencies of this novel invention are around 12 percent.

Solar water-splitting technology developed

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 11:13am
Researchers have demonstrated an efficient new way to capture the energy from sunlight and convert it into clean, renewable energy by splitting water molecules. The technology uses sunlight-harvesting gold nanoparticles.