Archive for the ‘solar power’ category: Page 83

May 9, 2016

First single-enzyme method to produce quantum dots revealed

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

Creating Q-Dots/ QDs (Acronym seems to depend on which reference book, article that you read) more cheaply and efficiently too.

Quantum dots (QDs) are semiconducting nanocrystals prized for their optical and electronic properties. The brilliant, pure colors produced by QDs when stimulated with ultraviolet light are ideal for use in flat screen displays, medical imaging devices, solar panels and LEDs. One obstacle to mass production and widespread use of these wonder particles is the difficulty and expense associated with current chemical manufacturing methods that often requiring heat, high pressure and toxic solvents.

But now three Lehigh University engineers have successfully demonstrated the first precisely controlled, biological way to manufacture quantum dots using a single-enzyme, paving the way for a significantly quicker, cheaper and greener production method. Their work was recently featured in an article in The New York Times called “A curious tale of quantum dots.”

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May 8, 2016

These Super-Efficient Solar Panels Are Light Enough To Install Almost Anywhere

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Affix Sunflare’s technology to wherever you want with barely any effort.

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Apr 28, 2016

At last: Non-toxic and cheap thin-film solar cells for ‘zero-energy’ buildings

Posted by in categories: engineering, entertainment, solar power, sustainability

‘Zero-energy’ buildings — which generate as much power as they consume — are now much closer after a team at Australia’s University of New South Wales achieved the world’s highest efficiency using flexible solar cells that are non-toxic and cheap to make.

Until now, the promise of ‘zero-energy’ buildings been held back by two hurdles: the cost of the thin-film solar cells (used in façades, roofs and windows), and the fact they’re made from scarce, and highly toxic, materials.

That’s about to change: the UNSW team, led by Dr Xiaojing Hao of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics at the UNSW School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, have achieved the world’s highest efficiency rating for a full-sized thin-film solar cell using a competing thin-film technology, known as CZTS.

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Apr 26, 2016

Photosynthesis Phone Charger

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

Turn your house plants into living solar panels!

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Apr 25, 2016

Flipping a chemical switch helps perovskite solar cells beat the heat

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

Thin films of crystalline materials called perovskites provide a promising new way of making inexpensive and efficient solar cells. Now, an international team of researchers has shown a way of flipping a chemical switch that converts one type of perovskite into another—a type that has better thermal stability and is a better light absorber.

The study, by researchers from Brown University, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, could be one more step toward bringing to the mass market.

“We’ve demonstrated a new procedure for making solar cells that can be more stable at moderate temperatures than the perovskite solar cells that most people are making currently,” said Nitin Padture, professor in Brown’s School of Engineering, director of Brown’s Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation, and the senior co-author of the new paper. “The technique is simple and has the potential to be scaled up, which overcomes a real bottleneck in perovskite research at the moment.”

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Apr 24, 2016

Solar cell mystery solved, expected to greatly increase efficiency

Posted by in categories: engineering, solar power, sustainability

(Phys.org)—For the past 17 years, spiro-OMeTAD, has been keeping a secret. Despite intense research efforts, its performance as the most commonly used hole-transporting material in perovskite and dye-sensitized solar cells has remained stagnant, creating a major bottleneck for improving solar cell efficiency. Thinking that the material has given all it has to offer, many researchers have begun investigating alternative materials to replace spiro-OMeTAD in future solar cells.

But in a new study published in Science Advances, Dong Shi et al. have taken a closer look at spiro-OMeTAD and found that it still has a great deal of untapped potential. For the first time, they have grown single crystals of the pure material, and in doing so, they have made the surprising discovery that spiro-OMeTAD’s single-crystal structure has a hole mobility that is three orders of magnitude greater than that of its thin-film form (which is currently used in solar cells).

“This paper reports a major breakthrough for the fields of perovskite and solid-state by finally clarifying the potential performance of the material and showing that improving the crystallinity of the hole transport layer is the key strategy for further breakthroughs in device engineering of these solar cells,” Osman Bakr, a professor of engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and leader of the study, told Phys.org.

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Apr 21, 2016

San Francisco adopts law requiring solar panels on all new buildings

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

Tech capital is first major US city to require all new buildings of 10 storeys or under to have solar panels, reports BusinessGreen.

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Apr 20, 2016

Quantum dots amplifies solar cell output

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

The researchers call their material a hybrid because they dope the electrical conductivity of layered tin disulfide semiconductor with the light harvesting of different spectrums of light from various sized quantum dots.

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Apr 16, 2016

SolaBat: A Hybrid Solar Cell and Battery System

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

SolaBat is developing a hybrid device that utilizes both solar cells and more traditional electrochemical energy storage systems.

Last month, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) announced a groundbreaking new project called SolaBat. Spearheaded by a group of researchers at the Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) led by Illie Hanzu, it aims to combine photovoltaic cells and electrochemical energy storage systems into a single hybrid device. Fundamentally, SolaBat plans to create a more simplified system of converting and storing solar power.

“Currently, single systems of photovoltaic cells which are connected together – mostly lead-based batteries and vast amounts of cable – are in use. Solar panels on the roof with a battery in the cellar. This takes up a lot of space, needs frequent maintenance and is not optimally efficient,” says Hanzu. “We want to make a battery and solar cell hybrid out of two single systems which is not only able to convert electrical energy but also store it.”

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Apr 16, 2016

Caltech’s 2500 Orbiting Solar Panels Could Provide Earth With Limitless Energy

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

The Space Solar Power Initiative (SSPI), a collaboration between Caltech and Northrup Grumman, has developed a system of lightweight solar power tiles which can convert solar energy to radio waves and can be placed in orbit to beam power to an energy-thirsty Earth.

One of the greatest challenges facing the 21st Century is the issue of power—how to generate enough of it, how to manufacture it cheaply and with the least amount of harmful side-effects, and how to get it to users.

The solutions will have to be very creative—rather like what the Space Solar Power Initiative (SSPI), a partnership between Caltech and Northrup Grumman, has devised.

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