Menu

Blog

Archive for the ‘solar power’ category

Aug 16, 2022

Solar Integration: Distributed Energy Resources and Microgrids

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

Simply put, we need a reliable and secure energy grid. Two ways to ensure continuous electricity regardless of the weather or an unforeseen event are by using distributed energy resources (DER) and microgrids. DER produce and supply electricity on a small scale and are spread out over a wide area. Rooftop solar panels, backup batteries, and emergency diesel generators are examples of DER. While traditional generators are connected to the high-voltage transmission grid, DER are connected to the lower-voltage distribution grid, like residences and businesses are.

Microgrids are localized electric grids that can disconnect from the main grid to operate autonomously. Because they can operate while the main grid is down, microgrids can strengthen grid resilience, help mitigate grid disturbances, and function as a grid resource for faster system response and recovery.

Aug 16, 2022

Perovskite material with superlattice structure might surpass efficiency of a ‘perfect’ solar cell

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A perovskite solar cell developed by engineers at the University of California San Diego brings researchers closer to breaking the ceiling on solar cell efficiency, suggests a study published Aug. 10 in Nature.

The new solar cell is a lead-free low-dimensional perovskite material with a superlattice —a first in the field. What’s special about this material is that it exhibits efficient carrier dynamics in three dimensions, and its device orientation can be perpendicular to the electrodes. Materials in this particular class of perovskites have so far only exhibited such dynamics in two dimensions—a perpendicularly orientated solar cell has never been reported.

Thanks to its specific structure, this new type of superlattice solar cell reaches an efficiency of 12.36%, which is the highest reported for lead-free low-dimensional perovskite solar (the previous record holder’s efficiency is 8.82%). The new solar cell also has an unusual open-circuit voltage of 0.967 V, which is higher than the theoretical limit of 0.802 V. Both results have been independently certified.

Continue reading “Perovskite material with superlattice structure might surpass efficiency of a ‘perfect’ solar cell” »

Aug 15, 2022

Excitons need space to separate: Free carrier production in organic solar cells

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Solar cells based on organic molecules offer potential advantages over conventional devices for converting light into electricity. These organic solar cells could be inexpensive, durable, and easy to make. However, organic cells do not yet have the performance that matches conventional devices. Scientists’ efforts to improve performance have been limited by their limited understanding of how electrons excited by light (or “photoexcited”) become “free carriers.”

In principle, free carriers flow across a material and emerge as an electrical current. Prior scientific studies suggest that photoexcitation leads to a tightly bound pair consisting of an electron and a hole. These studies did not describe how to overcome the strong binding forces to form free carriers. This new study reveals that more sites on neighboring molecules can accept electrons, explaining how free carriers form directly.

Published in Materials Horizons, this research developed a new model called Distribution Range Electron Transfer (DRET). Previous models for the generation of free carriers in have generally invoked new physical phenomena to explain experimental results. In particular, they have said that free carriers can form with efficiency that approaches 100% in a material where opposite charges are traditionally difficult to separate and use.

Aug 9, 2022

Soap molecule could help make alternative LED tech commercially viable

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

Adding a molecule normally used in detergent to an infrared LED could make devices that are easier to manufacture, require less energy and display richer colours than existing ones.

Solar cells and LEDs made from perovskite, a titanium and calcium crystal, have long held promise as being more efficient and easier to produce than commonly used silicon-based devices, but making them both stable and efficient enough to rival silicon’s commercial success has proved difficult.

What gives humans the advantage over our incoming robot masters? Junaid Mubeen at New Scientist Live this October.

Continue reading “Soap molecule could help make alternative LED tech commercially viable” »

Aug 8, 2022

N-type solar cell with aluminum-titanium passivating contact achieves 21.9% efficiency

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Scientists in Australia have demonstrated a new way to apply a passivating contact layer to silicon cells. They produced an n-type cell with aluminum-titanium passivating contact and 21.9% efficiency, and claimed the technique could open up new possibilities for the use of transition metal oxides in cell passivation.

Aug 5, 2022

Bill Gates-backed startup is using robots to build enormous solar farms

Posted by in categories: climatology, robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures co-led a $44 million funding round for a startup that aims to accelerate solar far construction.


Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate change solution-focused VC firm backed by the likes of Bill Gates, has joined a $44 million backing of solar startup Terabase Energy, a press statement reveals.

Continue reading “Bill Gates-backed startup is using robots to build enormous solar farms” »

Aug 4, 2022

Building decarbonization: How electric heat pumps could help reduce emissions today and going forward

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics, solar power, sustainability

The electrification of heating systems could play a significant role in building decarbonization. Heat pumps are emerging as a solution.


Iranian scientists have demonstrated a multi-layer silicon nanoparticle (SNP) solar cell based on nanoparticles that are densely stacked inside a dielectric medium. They considered different SNP structures and configurations to tailor these particles as a p–n junction cell.

Continue reading “Building decarbonization: How electric heat pumps could help reduce emissions today and going forward” »

Aug 4, 2022

Ultra-thin silicon nanoparticle solar cell with 11% efficiency

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics, solar power, sustainability

“This is because SNPs are assumed to be the main absorber in the cell. Thus, any distance between them reduces the absorption of incident photons,” the group said.

They considered different SNP structures and configurations to tailor these particles as a p–n junction cell. They said this kind of cell could achieve a theoretical efficiency of around 11%.

Aug 4, 2022

Exceeding 100 percent quantum efficiency in the photocurrent of a hybrid inorganic-organic semiconductor

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Tiny crystals, known as quantum dots, have enabled an international team to achieve a quantum efficiency exceeding 100 percent in the photocurrent generated in a hybrid inorganic-organic semiconductor.

Perovskites are exciting semiconductors for light-harvesting applications and have already shown some impressive performances in solar cells. But improvements in photo-conversion efficiency are necessary to take this technology to a broader market.

Light comes in packets of energy known as photons. When a semiconductor absorbs a photon, the is transferred to a negatively charged electron and its positively charged counterpart, known as a hole. An can sweep these particles in , thereby allowing a current to flow. This is the basic operation of a solar cell. It might sound simple, but optimizing the quantum efficiency, or getting as many from the incoming photons as possible, has been a long-standing goal.

Aug 3, 2022

Swiss team creates most efficient silicon-based solar cell ever

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Swiss researchers have done the (theoretically) impossible, creating not one but two silicon-based solar cells with efficiencies greater than 30% — breaking a world record and potentially illuminating the path to a future of cheaper clean energy.

The status quo: Solar cells absorb light and convert it into electricity. They’re the basis of most solar power tech, and about 95% of them are made from silicon because it’s abundant, long-lasting, and relatively cheap.

Most of the silicon solar cells sold today are about 22% efficient, meaning they convert 22% of the solar energy that hits them into electricity. We don’t have too much room for improvement with silicon solar cells, either, as they have a theoretical efficiency limit of about 29%.

Page 1 of 9912345678Last