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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category

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.

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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.

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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.

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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%.

Aug 3, 2022

Prototype battery only needs seconds of sunlight to keep smart wearables charged

Posted by in categories: health, internet, solar power, sustainability, wearables

Thirty seconds of sunlight could boost the battery life of future smartwatches and other wearables by tens of minutes, thanks to a renewable and rechargeable battery prototype developed by the University of Surrey.

Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) has demonstrated how its new photo-rechargeable system, which merges zinc-ion batteries with , could allow wearables to spring back to life without the need to plug in.

Jinxin Bi, a Ph.D. candidate at ATI and the first author of the paper, says that “this technology provides a promising strategy for efficient use of clean energy and enables wearable electronics to be operated continuously without plug-in charging. Our prototype could represent a step forward to how we interact with wearables and other internet-of-things devices, such as remote real-time health monitors.”

Jul 31, 2022

These Affordable Solar Homes in Sweden Produce as Much Energy as They Use

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The compact row houses feature carefully angled solar panels that harness every moment of the sun.

Jul 29, 2022

Transparent solar panels could soon turn windows into energy harvesters

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A new solar panel design can efficiently convert light into electricity, while still allowing almost 80% of incoming light to pass through.

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