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Technology and R&D

Research: New way to funnel solar energy "100 times more concentrated than PV"

Using carbon nanotubes – hollow tubes of carbon atoms – Massachusetts Institute of Technology chemical engineers say they have found a way to concentrate solar energy 100 times more than a regular photovoltaic (PV) cell. Such nanotubes could reportedly form antennas that capture and focus light energy, potentially allowing much smaller and more powerful solar arrays, according to Chinese news agency, xinhuanet.

Trony to develop solar battery technology

Thin film solar module producer, Trony Solar Holdings Company Limited has signed separate agreements with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) to co-develop solar battery technology. The news comes as the company inaugurated its Hong Kong office in the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks.

Japan aims to build first solar panel recycling facility soon

A spokesperson at Solar Frontier has told pv magazine that its parent company, Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K, has established a joint venture with Kitakyushu City in Japan, with the aim of establishing the country’s first recycling facility for solar panels.

US: DOE announces USD$8.5 million investment to advance solar energy grid integration systems

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced that the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Sandia National Laboratories is investing USD$8.5 million for four projects, which have reached Stage III of the Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) program. DOE reported that these investments will be matched more than one-to-one by the SEGIS contractors to support more than USD$20 million in total projects.

imec reports large-area silicon solar cells with high efficiency

imec has announced it will present several large-area silicon solar cells with a conversion efficiency above 19 percent at this year’s EU PVSEC, currently being held in Valencia, Spain.

SunPower awarded USD$1.8 million research grant

In a second round of funding by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), U.S.-based SunPower Corp. is set to receive a grant of around USD$1.8 million from the California Solar Initiative Research, Development, Deployment and Demonstration (CSI RD&D) Program.

Research: Self-repairing solar cells

By looking at how plants convert sunlight into stored energy, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have succeeded in mimicking a key aspect of the process in solar cells.

“Record breaking”: Oerlikon Solar drives down thin film production costs to €0.50; reports highest lab cell efficiency

Swiss company, Oerlikon Solar, has launched a new production line ‘ThinFab’ for the manufacturing of thin film silicon modules at the EU PVSEC, which is says will achieve “record breaking” production costs of €0.50 per Watt peak (Wp).

Frauenhofer’s megawatt laboratory for PV inverters begins operation

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany has announced that operations have begun at its megawatt laboratory for photovoltaics (PV) inverters.

Report: Three "key" US states to account for 48 percent of country’s PV market by 2012

Three key states will account for 48 percent of the U.S.’s total photovoltaics (PV) market, according to a new report issued by EuPD Research. Aimed at helping the industry understand the downstream PV market, it added that Arizona “could evolve into one of the most important markets in the coming years”.

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