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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category: Page 5

Jun 19, 2021

How mirrors could power the planet… and prevent wars

Posted by in categories: climatology, solar power, sustainability

Concentrated solar power might just revolutionize the energy sector as we know it.

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Jun 16, 2021

Artificial Photosynthesis Promises Clean, Sustainable Source of Energy

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Humans can do lots of things that plants can’t do. We can walk around, we can talk, we can hear and see and touch. But plants have one major advantage over humans: They can make energy directly from the sun.

That process of turning sunlight directly into usable energy – called photosynthesis – may soon be a feat humans are able to mimic to harness the sun’s energy for clean, storable, efficient fuel. If so, it could open a whole new frontier of clean energy. Enough energy hits the earth in the form of sunlight in one hour to meet all human civilization’s energy needs for an entire year.

Yulia Puskhar, a biophysicist and professor of physics in Purdue’s College of Science, may have a way to harness that energy by mimicking plants.

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Jun 15, 2021

Soaking up the sun: Artificial photosynthesis promises clean, sustainable source of energy

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Humans can do lots of things that plants can’t do. We can walk around, we can talk, we can hear and see and touch. But plants have one major advantage over humans: They can make energy directly from the sun.

That process of turning sunlight directly into —called —may soon be a feat humans are able to mimic to harness the sun’s energy for clean, storable, efficient fuel. If so, it could open a whole new frontier of clean energy. Enough energy hits the earth in the form of sunlight in one hour to meet all human civilization’s energy needs for an entire year.

Yulia Puskhar, a biophysicist and professor of physics in Purdue’s College of Science, may have a way to harness that energy by mimicking plants.

Jun 9, 2021

Turning diamond into metal

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

Circa 2020 o,.o.


Long known as the hardest of all natural materials, diamonds are also exceptional thermal conductors and electrical insulators. Now, researchers have discovered a way to tweak tiny needles of diamond in a controlled way to transform their electronic properties, dialing them from insulating, through semiconducting, all the way to highly conductive, or metallic. This can be induced dynamically and reversed at will, with no degradation of the diamond material.

The research, though still at an early proof-of-concept stage, may open up a wide array of potential applications, including new kinds of broadband solar cells, highly efficient LEDs and power electronics, and new optical devices or quantum sensors, the researchers say.

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May 30, 2021

New state of matter unlocks a secret of perovskite solar cells

Posted by in categories: chemistry, solar power, sustainability

Perovskite solar cells are advancing at a rapid rate, and is drawing interest from scientists working to not just boost their performance but better understand how they offer such incredible, ever-increasing efficiencies. By turning their tools to perovskite crystals scientists have discovered unexpected behavior that represents an entirely new state of matter, which they say can help drive the development of advanced solar cells and other optical and electronic devices.

One of the reasons there is such interest around perovskite solar cells is the counter-intuitive way they are able to offer such excellent performance in spite of defects in their crystal structure. While much research focuses on fixing these defects to boost their efficiency, through chemical treatments, molecular glue or even sprinklings of chili compounds, the fact remains that the material is a far more effective semiconductor than it should be.

“Historically, people have been using bulk semiconductors that are perfect crystals,” says senior author Patanjali Kambhampati, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at McGill University. “And now, all of a sudden, this imperfect, soft crystal starts to work for semiconductor applications, from photovoltaics to LEDs. That’s the starting point for our research: how can something that’s defective work in a perfect way?”

May 20, 2021

Cement Batteries Could Let Your Whole House Store Electricity

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Home batteries are becoming increasingly popular ways to store solar energy to power houses at night, but what if one could make the whole house a battery? Rechargeable cement batteries prove the idea is possible, even if it has a long way to go to be affordable.

Dr Emma Zhang of Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, mixed 0.9 percent carbon fibers into cement and poured it over a metal-coated carbon fiber mesh to make concrete blocks. In the journal Buildings, Zhang and colleagues report that with iron anodes and nickel cathodes these blocks become rechargeable batteries.

At 0.8 Watthours per liter, Zhang’s battery is hundreds of times less energy-dense than a lithium-ion battery, and completely useless for transportation purposes. However, it stores about ten times more energy than previous rechargeable concrete batteries. These, Zhang said in a statement; “Showed very low performance,” forcing her and colleagues to seek new ideas on how to produce the electrodes.

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May 10, 2021

Grow Wood Without Trees

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Pretty soon, you’ll start seeing this term on very expensive items.

New Material Absorbs and Stores Solar Energy ‘The light that is thus trapped can be released by making a small spark near the glass.’ — L. Sprague de Camp, 1940.

3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible ‘… lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.’ — Robert Heinlein, 1939.

May 7, 2021

‘Molecular glue’ makes perovskite solar cells dramatically more reliable over time

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A research team from Brown University has made a major step toward improving the long-term reliability of perovskite solar cells, an emerging clean energy technology. In a study to be published on Friday, May 7 in the journal Science, the team demonstrates a “molecular glue” that keeps a key interface inside cells from degrading. The treatment dramatically increases cells’ stability and reliability over time, while also improving the efficiency with which they convert sunlight into electricity.

“There have been great strides in increasing the power-conversion efficiency of solar ,” said Nitin Padture, a professor of engineering at Brown University and senior author of the new research. “But the final hurdle to be cleared before the technology can be widely available is reliability—making cells that maintain their performance over time. That’s one of the things my research group has been working on, and we’re happy to report some important progress.”

Perovskites are a class of materials with a particular crystalline atomic structure. A little over a decade ago, researchers showed that perovskites are very good at absorbing light, which set off a flood of new research into perovskite solar cells. The efficiency of those cells has increased quickly and now rivals that of traditional silicon cells. The difference is that perovskite light absorbers can be made at near , whereas silicon needs to be grown from a melt at a temperature approaching 2700 degrees Fahrenheit. Perovskite films are also about 400 times thinner than silicon wafers. The relative ease of the manufacturing processes and the use of less material means perovskite cells can be potentially made at a fraction of the cost of silicon cells.

May 4, 2021

U.S. approves massive solar project in California desert

Posted by in categories: climatology, employment, habitats, solar power, sustainability

The Biden administration on Monday said it has approved a major solar energy project in the California desert that will be capable of powering nearly 90000 homes.

The $550 million Crimson Solar Project will be sited on 2000 acres of federal land west of Blythe, California, the Interior Department said in a statement. It is being developed by Canadian Solar (CSIQ.O) unit Recurrent Energy and will deliver power to California utility Southern California Edison.

The announcement comes as President Joe Biden has vowed to expand development of renewable energy projects on public lands as part of a broader agenda to fight climate change, create jobs and reverse former President Donald Trump’s emphasis on maximizing fossil fuel extraction.

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May 3, 2021

Researchers Identify the Defect That Limits Solar-Cell Performance: Hydrogen in Hybrid Perovskites

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

Researchers in the materials department in UC Santa Barbara’s College of Engineering have uncovered a major cause of limitations to efficiency in a new generation of solar cells.

Various possible defects in the lattice of what are known as hybrid perovskites had previously been considered as the potential cause of such limitations, but it was assumed that the organic molecules (the components responsible for the “hybrid” moniker) would remain intact. Cutting-edge computations have now revealed that missing hydrogen atoms in these molecules can cause massive efficiency losses. The findings are published in a paper titled “Minimizing hydrogen vacancies to enable highly efficient hybrid perovskites,” in the April 29 issue of the journal Nature Materials.

The remarkable photovoltaic performance of hybrid perovskites has created a great deal of excitement, given their potential to advance solar-cell technology. “Hybrid” refers to the embedding of organic molecules in an inorganic perovskite lattice, which has a crystal structure similar to that of the perovskite mineral (calcium titanium oxide). The materials exhibit power-conversion efficiencies rivaling that of silicon, but are much cheaper to produce. Defects in the perovskite crystalline lattice, however, are known to create unwanted energy dissipation in the form of heat, which limits efficiency.

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