A new method of creating an ordered mesh of nanowires, developed by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States, could lead to the creation of more efficient transparent electrode layers in solar cells – and the elimination of a rare material from the manufacturing process.
MIT scientists have developed a class of liquid electrolyte with properties they say could open up new possibilities for improving the performance and stability of lithium batteries and supercapacitors.
A vision of a decentralized, renewable-powered electricity grid is being brought a step closer by scientists at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Their project, Autonomous Energy Grids, aims to take an overarching look at the solutions that will power this grid of the future, and to fill any gaps that appear between them.
Scientists at the Australia National University have observed a key stage in the process of photosynthesis which could be copied to greatly increase the efficiency of sunlight-powered water splitting processes used to produce hydrogen.
Chinese thin film producer Hanergy has set a new record of 24.85% module efficiency for silicon heterojunction technology. The record was achieved at the company’s research & development center in Chengdu, China, and has been confirmed by the Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hamelin, Germany.
Scientists at the U.K.’s Faraday Institution have been able to observe degradation mechanisms at the lithium metal anode in a solid state battery, and made several discoveries which could improve the performance and design of future solid-state lithium-ion batteries.
The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory reports further progress in bringing down the cost of III-V solar cells. Scientists have refined their ‘brand new, 50-year-old’ D-HVPE technology to speed up the production rate for gallium arsenide solar cells by a factor of more than 20. The development is a potential step toward making incredibly efficient solar cells cost effective for everyday purposes.
A report by Greenpeace has found in the five years since China announced the continent spanning ‘One Belt, One Road’ infrastructure plan, investment in Belt & Road countries has supported 12.6 GW of wind and solar power generation capacity. That compares with just 450 MW which came online in the territories before 2014. The initiative has also supported 68 GW of new coal capacity.
Scientists at Rice University in Texas have developed a device which converts heat into light by squeezing it into a smaller bandgap. The ‘hyperbolic thermal emitter’ could be combined with a PV system to convert energy otherwise wasted as heat – a development the researchers say could drastically increase efficiency.
A satellite launched from Florida last month has successfully unfurled its ‘solar sail’ in an early test of a new type of sunlight powered propulsion. The Planetary Society aims to demonstrate the technology as a viable way to propel small satellites, greatly lowering the cost of space exploration.
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