Technology and R&D

imec, Panasonic develop highly conductive solid nanocomposite electrolyte

The Belgian research institute and the Japanese electronics group say they have developed a solid nanocomposite electrolyte with a lithium ion conductivity several times greater than in its liquid equivalent.

L&T Infotech and GE Digital as IIC members will deploy the Digital Testbed at solar plant in Rajasthan, India

The Digital Solar Plant Testbed evaluates solutions to accurately predict energy generation, improve utilization and reduce maintenance costs. IIC has estimated that 30% reduction in O&M expenses with the help of accurate forecasting will save around $15 million/year for utilities managers.

Scientists grind out solvent free perovskite thin-film process

Researchers from the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) and the renowned Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) have collaborated on a new technique for the creation of perovskite solar cell materials. The technique replaces traditional solvent based processes with steel ball mill grinding.

“Smart” greenhouses can grow plants while generating electricity

A new type of greenhouse with special PV modules installed, which absorbs some light, while allowing some to pass through to allow photosynthesis has been tested by researchers at the university of California with very positive results.


Ingeteam turns to the skies for PV power plant optimization

Spanish inverter supplier Ingeteam is taking part in a research program deploying drones to inspect existing PV power plants, to spot the causes of underperformance. The SCARAB project is headed by the company and has been provided with almost €650,000 (AU$980,000) in funding from the Spanish government.


NREL hits new efficiency record for quantum dot cell

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have created a solar cell using colloidal quantum dots, which achieved 13.4% conversion efficiency – a new world record for this emerging technology.

Yale researchers use Fossilized Diatoms to make organic PV more cost-efficient

Fossilized Diatoms, an algae that has the ability to manipulate light, are being used to solve a design problem that has long plagued the proliferation of organic solar cells. The diatoms can be found in all waters and in the bark of trees. They possess a skeleton made of nanostructured silica or glass.

Berkeley scientists boost battery capacities

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have made progress with cathodes made from ‘disordered’ materials, a technology which could greatly increase the storage capacity of lithium batteries.


Interview: keys to durability, and why it counts

From cost-per-watt on day one to output over 25 – 30 years: The understanding of value in the PV sector has begun to shift. Dow Chemical’s Brian Habersberger spoke to pv magazine about the materials helping inform and drive the transition.

New transparent solar glass developed by scientists at Michigan State University

The new solar see through hardware was developed by engineers at Michigan State University, and is seen as a potential energy source which could collect to as much solar power as current traditional rooftop modules.