Archive for the ‘solar power’ category: Page 22

Jul 6, 2022

Flexible all-perovskite tandem solar cells with a 24.7% efficiency

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, wearables

Lightweight and flexible perovskites are highly promising materials for the fabrication of photovoltaics. So far, however, their highest reported efficiencies have been around 20%, which is considerably lower than those of rigid perovskites (25.7%).

Researchers at Nanjing University, Jilin University, Shanghai Tech University, and East China Normal University have recently introduced a new strategy to develop more based on flexible perovskites. This strategy, introduced in a paper published in Nature Energy, entails the use of two hole-selective molecules based on carbazole cores and phosphonic acid anchoring groups to bridge the perovskite with a low temperature-processed NiO nanocrystal film.

“We believe that lightweight flexible perovskite are promising for building integrated photovoltaics, wearable electronics, portable energy systems and aerospace applications,” Hairen Tan, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore. “However, their highest certified efficiency of 19.9% lags behind their rigid counterparts (highest 25.7%), mainly due to defective interfaces at charge-selective contacts with perovskites atop.”

Jul 4, 2022

New Artificial Photosynthesis Method Grows Food With No Sunshine

Posted by in categories: chemistry, food, solar power, sustainability

Photosynthesis uses a series of chemical reactions to convert carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight into glucose and oxygen. The light-dependent stage comes first, and relies on sunlight to transfer energy to plants, which convert it to chemical energy. The light-independent stage (also called the Calvin Cycle) follows, when this chemical energy and carbon dioxide are used to form carbohydrate molecules (like glucose).

A research team from UC Riverside and the University of Delaware found a way to leapfrog over the light-dependent stage entirely, providing plants with the chemical energy they need to complete the Calvin Cycle in total darkness. They used an electrolysis to convert carbon dioxide and water into acetate, a salt or ester form of acetic acid and a common building block for biosynthesis (it’s also the main component of vinegar). The team fed the acetate to plants in the dark, finding they were able to use it as they would have used the chemical energy they’d get from sunlight.

They tried their method on several varieties of plants and measured the differences in growth efficiency as compared to regular photosynthesis. Green algae grew four times more efficiently, while yeast saw an 18-fold improvement.

Jul 4, 2022

A new breakthrough could turn windows into active solar panels

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The dream of transforming windows into active power generators has just edged one step closer to realization.

A team of researchers from ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science led by Professor Jacek Jasieniak from Monash University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering has created perovskite cells with a conversion efficiency of 15.5 percent that allows more than 20 percent of visible light through, a press release states.

This improves the stability of solar windows while allowing more natural light in, which means the amount of visible light passing through the cells is remarkably now reaching glazing levels, increasing their potential for usage in a wide range of real-world applications.

Jul 3, 2022

Soof Azani and Lir Braverman propose collapsible solar-powered bike for last-mile deliveries

Posted by in categories: business, solar power, sustainability, transportation

Soof Azani and Lir Braverman’s proposal for a solar-powered cargo bike that aims to facilitate local deliveries is the latest of 10 visionary transportation projects selected for Dezeen’s Future Mobility Competition powered by Arrival.

Called D50, Azani and Braverman’s concept aims to combine solar power with micro-mobility in a bid to improve the distribution of goods while reducing carbon emissions.

Continue reading “Soof Azani and Lir Braverman propose collapsible solar-powered bike for last-mile deliveries” »

Jul 3, 2022

IKEA will now sell solar panels

Posted by in categories: government, habitats, solar power, space, sustainability

IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, has announced plans to sell home solar panels in the US — a move that could democratize and demystify access to solar.

Solar hesitancy: The benefits of solar go beyond protecting the environment — solar panels are cheaper than ever, and between the lower energy bills and government subsidies, a home solar system could pay for itself before the panels need to be replaced.

Continue reading “IKEA will now sell solar panels” »

Jul 1, 2022

Nextracker & BCI Steel Renovate Abandoned Pittsburgh Steel Factory to Serve Growing U.S. Utility-Scale Solar Market

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

This is Nextracker’s third new factory, adding to the company’s new Texas and Arizona factories announced in April and May, towards building 10 GW of annual domestic solar tracker capacity. Courtesy of Nextracker — by Pallavi Singla.

Nextracker LLC, the global market leader in utility-scale solar trackers, and BCI Steel, a Pittsburgh-based steel fabricator, this week announced the reopening of the historic Bethlehem Steel manufacturing factory in nearby Leetsdale to produce solar tracker equipment for large-scale solar power plants.

The steel processing plant will incorporate both BCI Steel’s new and reshored equipment shipped to the U.S. from factories in Malaysia and Brazil. Solar tracker products produced at the factory will serve rapidly growing solar markets in Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York, and Ohio.

Continue reading “Nextracker & BCI Steel Renovate Abandoned Pittsburgh Steel Factory to Serve Growing U.S. Utility-Scale Solar Market” »

Jun 30, 2022

An off-grid Starlink user achieves ‘infinite WiFi’ with 300 watts of solar

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

SpaceX’s Starlink provided the fastest satellite internet in the world.

Starlink has been equally praised in recent months for helping civilians in Ukraine and criticized for making astronomical work harder to the point it might endanger humanity.

Continue reading “An off-grid Starlink user achieves ‘infinite WiFi’ with 300 watts of solar” »

Jun 28, 2022

Artificial photosynthesis can produce food without sunshine

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, chemistry, food, solar power, sustainability

Photosynthesis has evolved in plants for millions of years to turn water, carbon dioxide, and the energy from sunlight into plant biomass and the foods we eat. This process, however, is very inefficient, with only about 1% of the energy found in sunlight ending up in the plant. Scientists at UC Riverside and the University of Delaware have found a way to bypass the need for biological photosynthesis altogether and create food independent of sunlight by using artificial photosynthesis.

The research, published in Nature Food, uses a two-step electrocatalytic process to convert , electricity, and water into acetate, the form of the main component of vinegar. Food-producing organisms then consume acetate in the dark to grow. Combined with to generate the electricity to power the electrocatalysis, this hybrid organic-inorganic system could increase the conversion efficiency of sunlight into , up to 18 times more efficient for some foods.

“With our approach we sought to identify a new way of producing food that could break through the limits normally imposed by biological photosynthesis,” said corresponding author Robert Jinkerson, a UC Riverside assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering.

Jun 28, 2022

An Autonomous Ship Used AI to Cross the Atlantic Without a Human Crew

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

The differences? The new Mayflower—logically dubbed the Mayflower 400—is a 50-foot-long trimaran (that’s a boat that has one main hull with a smaller hull attached on either side), can go up to 10 knots or 18.5 kilometers an hour, is powered by electric motors that run on solar energy (with diesel as a backup if needed), and required a crew of… zero.

That’s because the ship was navigated by an on-board AI. Like a self-driving car, the ship was tricked out with multiple cameras (6 of them) and sensors (45 of them) to feed the AI information about its surroundings and help it make wise navigation decisions, such as re-routing around spots with bad weather. There’s also onboard radar and GPS, as well as altitude and water-depth detectors.

The ship and its voyage were a collaboration between IBM and a marine research non-profit called ProMare. Engineers trained the Mayflower 400’s “AI Captain” on petabytes of data; according to an IBM overview about the ship, its decisions are based on if/then rules and machine learning models for pattern recognition, but also go beyond these standards. The algorithm “learns from the outcomes of its decisions, makes predictions about the future, manages risks, and refines its knowledge through experience.” It’s also able to integrat e far more inputs in real time than a human is capable of.

Jun 28, 2022

Thin-film photovoltaic technology combines efficiency and versatility

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Stacking solar cells increases their efficiency. Working with partners in the PERCISTAND project, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have produced perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells with an efficiency of nearly 25%—the highest value achieved thus far with this technology. Moreover, this combination of materials is light and versatile, making it possible to envision the use of these tandem solar cells in vehicles, portable equipment, and devices that can be folded or rolled up. The researchers present their results in the journal ACS Energy Letters.

Perovskite have made astounding progress over the past decade. Their efficiency is now comparable to that of the long-established silicon solar cells. Perovskites are innovative materials with a special crystal structure. Researchers worldwide are working to get photovoltaic technology ready for practical applications. The more electricity they generate per unit of surface area, the more attractive solar cells are for consumers.

The efficiency of solar cells can be increased by stacking two or more cells. If each of the stacked solar cells is especially efficient at absorbing light from a different part of the solar spectrum, inherent losses can be reduced and efficiency boosted. The efficiency is a measure of how much of the is converted into electricity. Thanks to their versatility, perovskite solar cells make outstanding components for such tandems. Tandem solar cells using perovskites and silicon have reached a record efficiency level of over 29%, considerably higher than that of made of perovskite (25.7%) or silicon (26.7%).

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