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Recycling heat for a ‘385% efficient’ solar desalinator

MIT scientists have developed a solar desalinator which transports heat from the sun through a ten-stage process of evaporation and condensation. The group estimates a $100 device employing their innovation could provide the daily drinking water needs of a family.

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MIT researchers say PV innovations should be deployed in niche markets first

Solar module manufacturers should begin testing new technologies in higher-value niche markets, say scientists at the U.S. institution. For example, bringing perovskite technology directly to the mainstream market remains prohibitive in terms of initial investment but segments such as building-integrated PV or microelectronics devices may offer better routes to commercial maturity.

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The year in solar, part III: Battery breakthroughs, inverter trouble, sustainable role models and new tech

Storage has long been expected to be the handmaiden of a renewable energy world and its long awaited advances started to finally emerge in the third quarter as researchers posited R&D achievements ranging from potentially potent tungsten disulfide nanotubes to the business case for 10-year solar panels.

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1366 Technologies adds $18m in pursuit of cheaper silicon solar cells

The company’s technology falls into the ‘kerfless’ wafer category: Instead of sawing silicon ingots into wafers, a time-consuming and wasteful process, 1366’s approach forms wafers directly, using molten silicon.

Residential solar set new US record in the last quarter with 712 MW

The U.S. residential solar market – and 15 states – are at record highs according to analyst WoodMac’s ‘don’t call it a comeback’ Q3 report, driven by new market forces. The research firm held its 2019 U.S. solar forecast at 13 GW.

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MIT scientists develop a coating for perovskites

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a transparent coating they successfully incorporated into a perovskite solar cell, increasing efficiency and stability. The group says with further improvements the material could be used as a simpler, less expensive alternative to widely used indium tin oxide as a transparent conductive material for a range of applications.

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Live fast, die young: MIT study proposes use of 10-year panels

Research has found even short-lived, 10 to 15-year solar panels could provide enough return for bankable projects. The researchers believe panel costs, coupled with an industry mindset now fixed on the final solar energy price rather than costs per kilowatt installed, may open opportunities for PV products currently snubbed because of a short lifecycle.

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The blackest black for more efficient solar cells

MIT scientists claim to have created a material 10 times more black than anything witnessed to date. It is said to be able to absorb more than 99.96% of incoming light and reflect 10 times less light than other superblack materials. The invention may be interesting for the development of black silicon PV technology and carbon nanotube-based solar cells.

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The US tops 37.9 GW of large scale solar

That record figure of utility scale PV was under contract at the end of June with 8.7 GWdc under construction. However, installation levels fell slightly, year-over-year.

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‘New and strange properties’ provide a boost to energy storage

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.

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