Archive for the ‘solar power’ category: Page 10

Nov 7, 2022

Israeli scientists make breakthrough on producing ‘green’ hydrogen fuel

Posted by in categories: chemistry, solar power, sustainability

One can split an atomic nucleus to produce energy, but can you also split water to create environment-friendly hydrogen fuel? Doing so currently has two drawbacks: It is both time and energy intensive.

But now, researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have taken a different path. BGU environmental physicist Prof. Arik Yochelis and Technion materials science professor Avner Rothschild believe they have identified new pathways that would speed up the catalytic process they think will reduce the invested electrical energy costs significantly.

Their splitting process is assisted by solar energy, which is known scientifically by the term photoelectrochemistry, and lowers the amount of the invested electrical energy needed to break the chemical bonds in the water molecule to generate hydrogen and oxygen. Oxygen evolution – the process of generating molecular oxygen (O2) by a chemical reaction, usually from water – requires the transfer of four electrons to create one oxygen molecule and then the adding of two hydrogen molecules to make water.

Nov 6, 2022

Stretchable, Flexible, Wearable Solar Cells Take Top Prize at Research Expo 2016

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, health, nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability, wearables

Solar cells that are stretchable, flexible and wearable won the day and the best poster award from a pool of 215 at Research Expo 2016 April 14 at the University of California San Diego. The winning nanoengineering researchers aim to manufacture small, flexible devices that can power watches, LEDs and wearable sensors. The ultimate goal is to design and build much bigger flexible solar cells that could be used as power sources and shelter in natural disasters and other emergencies.

Research Expo is an annual showcase of top graduate research projects for the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. During the poster session, graduate students are judged on the quality of their work and how well they articulate the significance of their research to society. Judges from industry, who often are alumni, pick the winners for each department. A group of faculty judges picks the overall winner from the six department winners.

Continue reading “Stretchable, Flexible, Wearable Solar Cells Take Top Prize at Research Expo 2016” »

Nov 5, 2022

Why Is Hydroelectricity So Green, and Yet Unfashionable?

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

I live in Manitoba, a province of Canada where all but a tiny fraction of electricity is generated from the potential energy of water. Unlike in British Columbia and Quebec, where generation relies on huge dams, our dams on the Nelson River are low, with hydraulic heads of no more than 30 meters, which creates only small reservoirs. Of course, the potential is the product of mass, the gravitational constant, and height, but the dams’ modest height is readily compensated for by a large mass, as the mighty river flowing out of Lake Winnipeg continues its course to Hudson Bay.

You would think this is about as “green” as it can get, but in 2022 that would be a mistake. There is no end of gushing about China’s cheap solar panels—but when was the last time you saw a paean to hydroelectricity?

Construction of large dams began before World War II. The United States got the Grand Coulee on the Columbia River, the Hoover Dam on the Colorado, and the dams of the Tennessee Valley Authority. After the war, construction of large dams moved to the Soviet Union, Africa, South America (Brazil’s Itaipu, at its completion in 1984 the world’s largest dam, with 14 gigawatts capacity), and Asia, where it culminated in China’s unprecedented effort. China now has three of the world’s six largest hydroelectric stations: Three Gorges, 22.5 GW (the largest in the world); Xiluodu, 13.86 GW; and Wudongde, 10.2 GW. Baihetan on the Jinsha River should soon begin full-scale operation and become the world’s second-largest station (16 GW).

Nov 2, 2022

Solar energy in Europe will be 10 times cheaper than gas by 2030 — here’s how

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Gas will still be a part of the mix but only to address exigencies.

Energy prices In Europe are at an all-time high. While the situation is not expected to last forever, even after gas prices reach some degree of moderation, the cost of generating power using solar photovoltaics will drop so low that it will be 10 times cheaper, a report from an energy research company said.

Europe has always relied on gas-fired power stations for its energy demands. The geopolitical tension over Ukraine has resulted in Russia dropping its gas exports, which have directly impacted the region’s energy cost.

Continue reading “Solar energy in Europe will be 10 times cheaper than gas by 2030 — here’s how” »

Nov 1, 2022

Efficiency and stability best practices for solar water splitting to make hydrogen

Posted by in categories: chemistry, solar power, sustainability

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are providing researchers with a guide to how to best measure the efficiency of producing hydrogen directly from solar power.

Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting, which relies on sunlight to split water into its component elements—oxygen and hydrogen—stands out as potentially one of the most sustainable routes to clean energy. Measurements of how efficient the PEC process is on an identical system can vary wildly from different laboratories, however, from a lack of standardized methods. The newly developed best-practices guide published in Frontiers in Energy Research is intended to provide confidence in comparing results obtained at different sites and by different groups.

The publication provides a road map for the PEC community as researchers continue to refine the technology. These were verified by both laboratories via round-robin testing using the same testing hardware, PEC photoelectrodes, and measurement procedures. Research into photovoltaics has allowed a certification of cell efficiencies, but PEC water-splitting efficiency measurements do not yet have a widely accepted protocol.

Oct 31, 2022

Will The Solar Panels We Use Today Stand The Test Of Time?

Posted by in categories: climatology, solar power, sustainability

How resilient are solar panels in the face of extreme weather events?

Guest contributor Jane Marsh explores the current capability of solar panel technology in the face of increasing extreme climate events.

Oct 31, 2022

Beaming Clean Energy From Space — Caltech’s “Extraordinary and Unprecedented Project”

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

Technology capable of collecting solar power in space and beaming it to Earth to provide a global supply of clean and affordable energy was once considered science fiction. Now it is moving closer to reality. Through the Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP), a team of California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers is working to deploy a constellation of modular spacecraft that collect sunlight, transform it into electricity, then wirelessly transmit that electricity wherever it is needed. They could even send it to places that currently have no access to reliable power.

“This is an extraordinary and unprecedented project,” says Harry Atwater, an SSPP researcher and Otis Booth Leadership Chair of Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science. “It exemplifies the boldness and ambition needed to address one of the most significant challenges of our time, providing clean and affordable energy to the world.”

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Oct 30, 2022

Solar panels: How new materials can make them cheaper and better than ever

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

Transitioning away from fossil fuels.

The cost of turning sunlight into electricity has fallen more than 90 percent over the last decade. Solar is now the cheapest form of newly built energy generation. Job done? Not quite. Right now, solar works well at cost-competitive prices and can help us cut emissions significantly. But with less than five percent of the world’s electricity delivered by solar, we are just at the start.

The solar panels of 2022 are like the chunky mobile phones of the 1990s. Much more is possible with the same underlying technology.

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Oct 29, 2022

World’s largest government grant for cellular agriculture

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, government, solar power

“We are very pleased that we can now start with the first activities to stimulate and consolidate cellular agriculture in the Netherlands,” said Ira van Eelen, CEO of KindEart. Tech and a board member of Cellular Agriculture Netherlands. “With this we can guarantee that the Netherlands remains the ideal place for cellular agriculture to thrive. We have a rich history in cellular agriculture and are a global leader in biotechnology, alternative proteins and food innovation. Supported by this visionary leadership that the Dutch government is showing again today, we will expand our team in the coming months and roll out the first activities around public research, scaling up, and education.”

Indeed, the Netherlands has been demonstrating considerable progress in developing cultured meat. In July, for example, Dutch company Meatable revealed its first lab-grown sausages, which are expected to go on sale to consumers by 2025. The addition of €60 million in government funding will make the Netherlands an even more attractive location for companies in the sector.

Currently a niche and miniscule part of the overall food market, cultured meat has potential to become another “exponential” technology – much like the semiconductor industry, solar energy, genome sequencing, and so on. The benefits in terms of animal welfare, climate change, food safety, antibiotic resistance, land and water usage could be substantial.

Oct 24, 2022

Tandem solar cells with perovskite: Nanostructures help in many ways

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

Tandem solar cells made of perovskite and silicon enable significantly higher efficiencies than silicon solar cells alone. Tandem cells from HZB have already achieved several world records. Most recently, in November 2021, HZB research teams achieved a certified efficiency of 29.8% with a tandem cell made of perovskite and silicon. This was an absolute world record that stood unbeaten at the top for eight months. It was not until the summer of 2022 that a Swiss team at EPFL succeeded in surpassing this value.

Three HZB teams worked closely together for the record-breaking tandem cell. Now they present the details in Nature Nanotechnology. The journal also invited them to write a research briefing, in which they summarize their work and give an outlook on future developments.

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