Technology and R&D

Eliminate hydrogen for better battery performance, scientists say

Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara who are working with sodium-ion batteries have found that the unintended presence of hydrogen is to blame for many of the technology’s shortcomings in terms of degradation and performance loss. Keeping hydrogen out of the materials throughout production could allow sodium-ion batteries to achieve performance levels competing with their lithium-ion counterparts.

First off-shore PV project launched in the North Sea

A floating solar array will be located in the North Sea near an aquaculture and an offshore wind power facility. The €2 million pilot project is being developed by a consortium including Tractebel, Jan De Nul Group, Deme, Soltech and Ghent University.

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Sensing an opportunity for indoor PV

A new paper published by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examines the potential for integrating small solar cells into the wireless sensors needed to power the fast-growing internet of things (IoT) ecosystem, many of which are located indoors. This market could represent a unique opportunity for thin film PV technologies, and perovskites in particular, to reduce the risk inherent to ramping up commercial scale production.

Another route to high performance perovskites

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University have developed a new class of perovskite materials, which they say exhibits unique properties that could have several implications for the development of perovskite solar cells, as well as other electronic applications.

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Scientists set new efficiency record for single crystal perovskite

Scientists at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science Technology have set a new efficiency record of 21.09% for a single crystal perovskite. The researchers say this highlights a place for the technology to develop alongside the multicrystalline versions which are progressing toward commercialization.

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Waste heat is not cool, say US scientists

Engineers at the University of Utah have developed a tiny device which they say could increase the performance of PV panels and other electronic devices by converting energy lost as heat back into electricity.

Toyota shows off solar Prius with 860 W output from 34% efficient cells

The car will be road tested at Toyota City in Japan. Solar charging technology for the vehicle will then be further optimized before the vehicle goes on sale.

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Russian scientists send organic PV into orbit

Scientists at Russia’s Skoltech Institute of Science and Technology have demonstrated a solar cell with record high radiation stability. The scientists say the cells, based on an organic polymer compound, could be a strong candidate to meet the requirements of powering satellites in lower earth orbit.

Clean water and electricity from one system

Scientists at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology have demonstrated a system based on commercially available solar panels which can generate electricity and produce clean, drinkable water from seawater or otherwise contaminated sources.

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Miasolé sets new flexible CIGS efficiency record

U.S. based Hanergy subsidiary Miasolé has achieved a record 17.44% conversion efficiency for a large area flexible CIGS module. The record has been confirmed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.

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