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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category: Page 8

Mar 14, 2022

Scientists fabricate novel electrical component to improve stability of solar cells

Posted by in categories: internet, nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

In the future, decarbonized societies that use internet of things (IoT) devices will become commonplace. But to achieve this, we need to first realize highly efficient and stable sources of renewable energy. Solar cells are considered a promising option, but their electrical contacts suffer from a “tradeoff” relationship between surface passivation and conductivity. Recently, researchers from Japan have developed a new type of electrical contact that can overcome this problem.

The most recent type of commercial photovoltaic cell (solar cell) uses stacked layers of crystalline silicon (c-Si) and an ultrathin layer of silicon oxide (SiOx) to form an electrical contact. The SiOx is used as a “passivating” film—an unreactive layer that improves the performance, reliability, and stability of the device. But that does not mean that simply increasing the thickness of this passivating layer will lead to improved . SiOx is an electrical insulator and there is a trade-off relationship between passivation and the conductivity of the electrical contact in solar cells.

In a new study, published in ACS Applied Nano Materials, a research team led by Assistant Professor Kazuhiro Gotoh and Professor Noritaka Usami from Nagoya University has developed a novel SiOx layer that simultaneously allows high passivation and improved conductivity. Named NAnocrystalling Transport path in Ultrathin dielectrics for REinforcing passivating contact (NATURE contact), the new electrical contact consists of three-layer structures made up of a layer of silicon nanoparticles sandwiched between two layers of oxygen-rich SiOx. “You can think of a passivating film as a big wall with gates in it. In the NATURE contact, the big wall is the SiOx layer and the gates are Si nanocrystals,” explains Dr. Gotoh.

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Mar 13, 2022

World’s Largest Hydrogen Plant Says It’s Going to Power SpaceX Launches

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

US startup company Green Hydrogen International announced plans for a a 60GW renewable H2 project that will be powered by wind and solar. It’ll also produce clean rocket fuel for SpaceX, which is helmed by billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk, according to a report published yesterday in Recharge.

“We see Hydrogen City becoming one of the largest H2 production centers in the world, supplying many different customers with 100% clean H2 fuel,” founder Brian Maxwell told the energy industry pub.

The image below from GHI’s website shows the process of converting renewable energy from wind and solar farms into ammonia and rocket fuel. The key to scaling up production, the company says, is the large salt storage capability found in underground salt domes.

Mar 11, 2022

How a Vision for a Solar Car Sparked a Career―and MIT’s Solar Electric Vehicle Team

Posted by in categories: education, engineering, solar power, sustainability, transportation

Engineering projects need goals, and James Worden ’89 set an especially engaging and enduring one for himself as a high school student in the early 1980s while pursuing his passion for homebuilt go-karts.


The MIT Alumni Association seeks to engage and inspire the MIT global community to make a better world. It provides a lifelong community for MIT graduates, a launching pad for students, and growing connection among MIT friends.

Continue reading “How a Vision for a Solar Car Sparked a Career―and MIT’s Solar Electric Vehicle Team” »

Mar 8, 2022

A New Drone System Can Clean Hard-to-Reach Solar Panels

Posted by in categories: drones, solar power, sustainability

Mar 7, 2022

How Renewable Energy Could Emerge on Top After the Pandemic

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, solar power, sustainability

Circa 2020


The short-term prospects for wind and solar power look rocky amid the economic upheaval of the coronavirus. But long term, renewables could emerge stronger than ever, especially if governments integrate support for clean energy into Covid-19 economic-recovery programs.

Mar 7, 2022

Meet HELIOS, an automated solar panel cleaning system

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

To maintain peak efficiency, solar cells must be regularly cleaned of dust and other accumulated dirt. However, many panels are installed in high or hard-to-reach locations, which makes cleaning them difficult, time-consuming, and also simply dangerous. One solution is to use aerial drones to spray soapy water on dirty solar panels. However, these drones often run out of battery quite quickly. In addition, they also do not make direct contact with the panels, so they may not completely wash away dirt.

To solve these problems, a Belgian startup, ART Robotics, has developed HELIOS, an automated cleaning service for solar panels. It’s a fully autonomous system that can access difficult-to-reach places and eliminates dangerous and costly work.

Continue reading “Meet HELIOS, an automated solar panel cleaning system” »

Mar 6, 2022

Solar panel-covered Sun Rock will generate 1 million kWh of clean energy per year

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Dutch firm MVRDV has launched the first look at its upcoming “Sun Rock” project in Taiwan, an environmentally conscious and design-minded power supply building. Anticipating Taiwan’s planned transition to green energy, the features of the Sun Rock building, from its shape to its façade, are focused on generating solar energy as efficiently as possible.

Located at the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park, near Taichung, the building’s primary purpose is to store and maintain suitable energy equipment. The building is almost totally covered with solar panels, capable of generating roughly 1 million kWh of green energy every year.

The site for Taipower’s new facility receives a significant amount of solar exposure throughout the year, and so the rounded shape of Sun Rock is designed to maximize how much of that sunlight can be harnessed for energy. The building slopes gently downwards on the southern side, creating a large surface area that directly faces the sun during the middle of the day. At the northern end, on the other hand, the dome shape is intended to maximize the area of the building exposed to the sun in the mornings and evenings.

Continue reading “Solar panel-covered Sun Rock will generate 1 million kWh of clean energy per year” »

Mar 5, 2022

New Solar Panel Design Uses Wasted Energy to Make Water From Air

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The system directly addresses clean water shortages and crop devastation worldwide.

Mar 4, 2022

These solar panels create clean water in the desert

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Mar 3, 2022

How will Ukraine keep SpaceX’s Starlink internet service online?

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, government, internet, satellites, solar power, sustainability

Russia’s attacks on Ukraine continue to take lives and destroy infrastructure as the country invades. This infrastructure damage has disrupted internet access in Ukraine, leading a government official to publicly request Starlink satellite internet access for the country from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Musk obliged, activating Starlink service in Ukraine and sending additional hardware. But with continued attacks on infrastructure, how will Ukraine stay connected?

Fedorov brings up an important point: Even though Starlink operates without the need for traditional internet infrastructure, the Earth-bound hardware still needs power. And, as Russian attacks bombard the country, Ukraine’s internet access will continue to be threatened.

Fedorov’s statement publicly reached out for help acquiring generators to keep Starlink online for Ukrainians. But Musk responded with an alternative suggestion.

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