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 27 min ago
Two-dimensional material shows promise for optoelectronics: LEDs, photovoltaic cells, and light detectors
Team creates LEDs, photovoltaic cells, and light detectors using novel one-molecule-thick material. Researchers have used a novel material that's just a few atoms thick to create devices that can harness or emit light. This proof-of-concept could lead to ultrathin, lightweight, and flexible photovoltaic cells, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and other optoelectronic devices, they say.
A lot of research has been done on graphene recently -- carbon flakes, consisting of only one layer of atoms. As it turns out, there are other materials too which exhibit remarkable properties if they are arranged in a single layer. One of them is tungsten diselenide, which could be used for photovoltaics. Ultrathin layers made of Tungsten and Selenium have now been created; experiments show that they may be used as flexible, semi-transparent solar cells.
There's promising news from the front on efforts to produce fuels through artificial photosynthesis. A new study shows that nearly 90 percent of the electrons generated by a hybrid material designed to store solar energy in hydrogen are being stored in the target hydrogen molecules.
Being able to charge up to 30 electric cars at once requires some ingenious energy management. Researchers are incorporating a mix of renewables into the design of a smart grid for Germany’s largest charging station.
Colorful, see-through solar cells could one day be used to make stained-glass windows, decorations and even shades that turn the sun's energy into electricity.
Researchers are reporting early results on a way to make solar-powered panels in lights, calculators and roofs lighter, less expensive, more flexible (therefore less breakable) and more efficient.
The first direct, temporally resolved observations of intermediate steps in water oxidation using cobalt oxide, an Earth-abundant solid catalyst, revealed kinetic bottlenecks whose elimination would help boost the efficiency of artificial photosynthesis systems.
A new renewable energy source? Device captures energy from Earth's infrared emissions to outer space
When the sun sets on a remote desert outpost and solar panels shut down, what energy source will provide power through the night? A battery, perhaps, or an old diesel generator? Perhaps something strange and new. Scientists now envision a device that would harvest energy from Earth's infrared emissions into outer space. Heated by the sun, our planet is warm compared to the frigid vacuum beyond. Thanks to recent technological advances, the researchers say, that heat imbalance could soon be transformed into direct-current (DC) power, taking advantage of a vast and untapped energy source.
Researchers have developed a 'superabsorbing' design that may significantly improve the light absorption efficiency of thin film solar cells and drive down manufacturing costs.
Generating electricity is not the only way to turn sunlight into energy we can use on demand. The sun can also drive reactions to create chemical fuels, such as hydrogen, that can in turn power cars, trucks and trains. Scientists have now combined cheap, oxide-based materials to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases using solar energy with a solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of 1.7 percent, the highest reported for any oxide-based photoelectrode system.
Researchers have developed a new type of low-temperature fuel cell that directly converts biomass to electricity with assistance from a catalyst activated by solar or thermal energy.
An electrical engineer explains why advances in nanoelectronics will shape the future of renewable energy technologies.
A bird flapping its wings or a fish’s deep dive may be pictures of nature in action, but in their elegant simplicity scientists see the complex challenges of merging technology with a biological system. The motion of animals could power small devices that allow biologists to collect information about behavior that eludes them under the limitations of current technology.
Researchers have taken a leap forward towards a deeper understanding of an undesired effect in thin film solar cells based on amorphous silicon -- one that has puzzled the scientific community for the last 40 years. The researchers were able to demonstrate that tiny voids within the silicon network are partly responsible for reducing solar cell efficiency by some 10 to 15 percent as soon as you start using them.
Parabolic troughs and dry-cooled towers deliver similar value for concentrating solar power plants, despite different solar profiles, a new report has found.
Micro-machining could be used to create almost flat, Fresnel lenses, that boost the electrical efficiency of solar panels, according to new research.
Germany's power grids are not yet well prepared for the current consequences of the country's Energiewende, wide fluctuations in the supply of electricity from renewable sources, which conflict with patterns of demand. Smart grids that manage electricity demand at the local -- microgrid -- level may help to reduce the transmission of electricity over long distances to balance regional over- and undersupply. In the GreenCom project, international partners from industry and research develop and evaluate such a "Smart Energy Management System".
The goal of making cheap organic solar cells may have gotten a little more approachable with a new understanding of the basic science of charge separation presented in a new paper. The research suggests design rules for making more efficient solar cells in the future.
Scientists are developing a low-cost, transparent, anti-soiling coating for solar reflectors to optimize energy efficiency while lowering operating and maintenance costs and avoiding negative environmental impacts.
A new theoretical model may hold the key to methods for developing better materials for solar cells. Researchers say the model could lead to new solar cell materials made from improved blends of semiconducting polymers and fullerenes.