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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category

Apr 24, 2019

New type of silicon promises cheaper solar technology

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

An international research team led by The Australian National University (ANU) has made a new type of silicon that better uses sunlight and promises to cut the cost of solar technology.

The researchers say their world-first invention could help reduce the costs of renewable electricity below that of existing coal power stations, as well as lead to more efficient solar cells.

Senior researcher ANU Professor Jodie Bradby said was used as the raw material for solar cells because of its abundance, low-cost and non-toxicity.

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Apr 23, 2019

Solar power now comes in the form of a flower

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Click on photo to start video.

Forget rooftop panels. This is the next generation of solar power.

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Apr 16, 2019

Winters Are Only Going to Get Worse, So Researchers Invented a Way to Generate Electricity from Snowfall

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The farther you get from the equator, the less effective solar panels become at reliably generating power all year round. And it’s not just the shorter spans of sunlight during the winter months that are a problem; even a light dusting of snow can render solar panels ineffective. As a result of global warming, winters are only going to get more severe, but there’s at least one silver lining as researchers from UCLA have come up with a way to harness electricity from all that snow.

The technology they developed is called a snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator (or snow TENG, for short) which generates energy from the exchange of electrons. If you’ve ever received a nasty shock when touching a metal door handle, you’ve already experienced the science at work here. As it falls towards earth, snowflakes are positively charged and ready to give up electrons. In a way, it’s almost free energy ready for the taking, so after testing countless materials with an opposite charge, the UCLA researchers (working with collaborators from the University of Toronto, McMaster University, and the University of Connecticut) found that the negative charge of silicone made it most effective for harvesting electrons when it came into contact with snowflakes.

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Apr 12, 2019

EGEB: Solar cell breakthrough, Hawaiian solar projects, Chicago renewables, Amazon, and more

Posted by in categories: climatology, education, solar power, sustainability

  • Researchers figure out a new way to pair perovskites with silicon for a solar boost.
  • Hawaiian Electric sets new goals for solar and storage.
  • Chicago officially commits to its 100% renewable energy goal for 2035.
  • Anaheim builds nine new solar projects at public schools.
  • Amazon employees want the company to take action on climate change, stop supporting fossil fuels.

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Apr 11, 2019

Marrying two types of solar cells draws more power from the sun

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

This is one of the most exciting results I’ve seen in a long time.


Simple tandem design uses perovskite layer to feed photons to silicon cell.

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Apr 9, 2019

Transparent wood now also stores and releases heat

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Three years ago, we heard how scientists from Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology had created transparent wood – it could serve as a cheaper alternative to the silica-based glass currently used in windows and solar cells. Now, the material is additionally able to store heat and later release it.

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Apr 1, 2019

Europe Stores Electricity in Gas Pipes

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Converting excess wind and solar power into hydrogen can extend renewable energy’s reach.

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Mar 27, 2019

This Superfluid Is Alive, And It Could Power Machines of the Future

Posted by in categories: physics, solar power, sustainability

Fluids with zero viscosity seemingly defy the laws of physics and they have endless applications. But they’ve been hard to make, until now. The secret? Bacteria!

Scientists’ Crazy Plan to Power Solar Panels With E. Coli — https://youtu.be/_XZGrZ3DeLg

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Mar 23, 2019

The thrilling potential for off-grid solar energy

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

There’s an energy revolution happening in villages and towns across Africa — off-grid solar energy is becoming a viable alternative to traditional electricity systems. In a bold talk about a true leapfrog moment, Amar Inamdar introduces us to proud owners of off-grid solar kits — and explains how this technology has the opportunity to meet two extraordinary goals: energy access for all and a low-carbon future. “Every household a proud producer as well as consumer of energy,” Inamdar says. “That’s the democracy of energy.” (Followed by a brief Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson)

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Mar 19, 2019

Latest Space Based Solar Power Concepts and Experiments at Caltech

Posted by in categories: solar power, space travel, sustainability

Space Solar Power Initiative (SSPI) is a multi-year research in the field of Space Solar Power Initiative conducted by Caltech team in collaboration with Northrop Grumman (NG) Aerospace and Mission Systems division.

SSPI approach: • Enabling technologies developed at Caltech • Ultra-light deployable space structures • High efficiency ultra-light photovoltaic (PV) • Phased Array and Power Transmission • Integration of concentrating PV, radiators, MW power conversion and antennas in single cell unit • Localized electronics and control for system robustness, electronic beam steering • Identical spacecraft flying in formation • Target is specific power over 2000 Watts per kilogram. This would cost competitive with ground-based power.

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