Solar Energy News

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Updated: 18 hours 6 min ago

Cheap and enviromentally friendly: Tofu ingredient could revolutionize solar panel manufacture

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 11:18am
The chemical used to make tofu and bath salts could also replace a highly toxic and expensive substance used to make solar cells, a new study has revealed. Cadmium chloride is currently a key ingredient in solar cell technology used in millions of solar panels around the world. This soluble compound is highly toxic and expensive to produce, requiring elaborate safety measures to protect workers during manufacture and then specialist disposal when panels are no longer needed.

Scientists create new battery that's cheap, clean, rechargeable ... and organic

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 12:26pm
Scientists have developed a rechargeable battery that is all organic and could be scaled up easily for use in power plants where it can make the energy grid more resilient and efficient by creating a large-scale means to store energy for use as needed. The batteries could pave the way for renewable energy sources to make up a greater share of the nation's energy generation.

Alternative energy evaluation: Net energy analysis should become a standard policy tool, scientists say

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 9:16am
To be viable, wind farms, power plants and other energy technologies should deliver more energy than they consume. Net energy analysis allows researchers to evaluate the long-term sustainability of a technology by comparing how much energy it produces over its lifetime with the energy required to build and maintain it, say scientists.

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.