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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category

Mar 25, 2017

Liquid energy storage system gets the “MOST” out of the Sun

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, solar power, sustainability

Solar power is potentially the greatest single energy source outside of controlled nuclear fusion, but the Sun is literally a fair weather source that relies on daytime and clear skies. To make solar energy a reliable, 24-hour source of energy, a team of scientists at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg is developing a liquid energy storage medium that can not only release energy from the Sun on demand, but is also transportable.

The Chalmers team has been working on variants of its system, called a MOlecular Solar Thermal (MOST), for over six years, with a conceptual demonstration in 2013. It differs from other attempts to store solar energy in things like heated salts and reversing exothermic reactions in that the MOST system stores the energy directly in the bonds of an organic chemical.

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Mar 25, 2017

Here Is One Powerful Way the U.S. Could Boost Solar Adoption — By Jamie Condliffe | MIT Technology Review

Posted by in categories: energy, governance, government, policy, solar power

“Harnessing the Sun’s power may require concerted international coöperation.”

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Mar 21, 2017

The world’s most efficient and environment-friendly solar cells

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

In the future, solar cells can become twice as efficient by employing a few smart little nano-tricks.

Researchers are currently developing the environment-friendly of the future, which will capture twice as much as the cells of today. The trick is to combine two different types of solar cells in order to utilize a much greater portion of the sunlight.

“These are going to be the world’s most efficient and environment-friendly solar cells. There are currently solar cells that are certainly just as efficient, but they are both expensive and toxic. Furthermore, the materials in our solar cells are readily available in large quantities on Earth. That is an important point,” says Professor Bengt Svensson of the Department of Physics at the University of Oslo (UiO) and Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN).

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Mar 18, 2017

Trump Should Make Space-Based Solar Power A National Priority

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

My take on why the Trump Administration should make space-based solar power a real priority.


Space-based solar power — technology that would harvest solar energy directly in space for use on Earth — is a concept whose time has come.

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Mar 15, 2017

These Two Tesla Vets Want to Build the Next ‘Gigafactory’ in Sweden — By Geoffrey Smith | Fortune

Posted by in categories: disruptive technology, Elon Musk, solar power

“Two Tesla Motors veterans want to build a European counterpart to Elon Musk’s “gigafactory”, in an effort to stake out a dominant position in the fast-evolving supply chain for makers of electric vehicles.”

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Mar 10, 2017

The boom is here: U.S. solar experiences record-smashing year — By Joe Romm | ThinkProgress

Posted by in categories: engineering, environmental, governance, policy, science, solar power

“The industry reports that, for the first time ever, solar was the number one source of new generating capacity, beating out wind and gas.”

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Mar 9, 2017

Tesla Completes Hawaii Storage Project That Sells Solar at Night — By Mark Chediak | Bloomberg

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, energy, solar power, sustainability, transportation

“Tesla Inc. has completed a solar project in Hawaii that incorporates batteries to sell power in the evening, part of a push by the electric car maker to provide more green power to the grid.”

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Mar 3, 2017

Researchers remotely control sequence in which 2-D sheets fold into 3D structures

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, nanotechnology, satellites, solar power, sustainability

Inspired by origami, North Carolina State University researchers have found a way to remotely control the order in which a two-dimensional (2-D) sheet folds itself into a three-dimensional (3D) structure.

“A longstanding challenge in the field has been finding a way to control the sequence in which a 2-D sheet will fold itself into a 3D object,” says Michael Dickey, a professor of chemical and at NC State and co-corresponding author of a paper describing the work. “And as anyone who has done origami — or folded their laundry—can tell you, the order in which you make the folds can be extremely important.”

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Feb 26, 2017

MIT spinout Sistine Solar can print any image on photovoltaic cells

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Nice.


MIT researchers have done even better. MIT has spunout a company called Sistine Solar that has developed a technology to print any kind of image on a skin that can be applied on solar panels, which change the appearance of the photovoltaic cells from all angles, without compromising on their capacity to generate electricity. Founded by the Sloan School of Management at MIT, Sistine Solar hopes to increase the adoption of clean energy with solar panels that mimic the surroundings or environment.

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Feb 26, 2017

Dream of energy-collecting windows is one step closer to reality

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

Researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Milano-Bicocca are bringing the dream of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy one step closer to reality thanks to high tech silicon nanoparticles.

The researchers developed technology to embed the nanoparticles into what they call efficient (LSCs). These LSCs are the key element of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy. When light shines through the surface, the useful frequencies of light are trapped inside and concentrated to the edges where small solar cells can be put in place to capture the energy.

The research is published today in Nature Photonics.

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