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Solar Energy


New catalyst paves way for carbon neutral fuel

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:31:09 EDT

Scientists have paved the way for carbon neutral fuel with the development of a new efficient catalyst that converts carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air into synthetic natural gas in a 'clean' process using solar energy.
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Solar heating could cover over 80 percent of domestic heating requirements in Nordic countries

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 11:41:23 EDT

By using suitable systems, more than 80 percent of heating energy for Finnish households could be produced using solar energy with competitive prices. This result is also valid for Sweden, Norway, Alaska, northern Canada and other locations at the same latitudes.
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Tiny bubbles provide tremendous propulsion in new microparticles research

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 09:31:36 EDT

A new technique could have significant implications in the development of micromotors and optical devices for use in solar cell optics, report researchers.
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Development of low-dimensional nanomaterials could revolutionize future technologies

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:06:00 EDT

Some scientists believe improvements in computer processors, TV displays and solar cells will come from scientific advancements in the synthesis of low-dimensional nanomaterials.
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Energy-efficient cleaning robot

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:27:28 EDT

State-of-the-art solar cells are efficient -- but are even more so when they are kept clean. A cleaning robot enables solar panels to deliver at full capacity.
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Solar material for producing clean hydrogen fuel

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:26:07 EDT

A new material has been created based on gold and black phosphorus to produce clean hydrogen fuel using the full spectrum of sunlight.
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New technology will enable properties to share solar energy

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:18:46 EDT

New technology will enable properties to share solar energy and will mean low energy bills for consumers.
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Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapor

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:18:33 EDT

Researchers have developed a compound that draws moisture from the air and splits it into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen can be captured as a clean fuel source.
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Demo plant produces renewable fuel from carbon dioxide captured from the air

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 10:38:28 EDT

The unique Soletair demo plant developed in Finland uses carbon dioxide to produce renewable fuels and chemicals. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the technical performance of the overall process and produce 200 liters of fuels and other hydrocarbons for research purposes. This concerns a one-of-a-kind demo plant in which the entire process chain, from solar power generation to hydrocarbon production, is in the same place.
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Simulations pinpoint atomic-level defects in solar cell nanostructures

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 09:12:31 EDT

Heterogeneous nanostructured materials are widely used in various optoelectronic devices, including solar cells. However, the nano-interfaces contain structural defects that can affect performance. Calculations have helped researchers ID the root cause of the defects in two materials and provide design rules to avoid them.
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Splitting carbon dioxide using low-cost catalyst materials

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 11:08:09 EDT

A promising avenue for the future of clean energy is to store it in the form of carbon-based fuels produced from renewable sources, effectively enabling the clean use of liquid fuels such as gasoline. A first step is the electrolysis of carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbon monoxide. But current CO-forming catalysts are either not selective enough or too expensive to be industrially viable. Now scientists have developed an Earth-abundant catalyst based on copper-oxide nanowires modified with tin oxide.
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Saving Lives and Money: The Potential of Solar to Replace Coal

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:34:30 EDT

By swapping solar photovoltaics for coal, the US could prevent 51,999 premature deaths a year, potentially making as much as $2.5 million for each life saved. A team has calculated US deaths per kilowatt hour per year for coal related to air pollution-related diseases associated with burning coal.
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Seeing light-to-energy transfer in new solar cell materials

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 12:52:41 EDT

Scientists are now able to capture the moment less than one trillionth of a second a particle of light hits a solar cell and becomes energy, and describe the physics of the charge carrier and atom movement for the first time.
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Ultra-stable perovskite solar cell remains stable for more than a year

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:22:34 EDT

Scientists have built a low-cost and ultra-stable perovskite solar cell that has been running at 11.2 percent efficiency for over a year, without loss in performance.
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Low cost, scalable water splitting fuels the future hydrogen economy

Wed, 31 May 2017 13:43:24 EDT

An efficient, low-cost catalyst could replace platinum in water-splitting for clean hydrogen production.
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Light-matter interaction detected in single layer of atoms

Tue, 30 May 2017 11:50:25 EDT

Researchers have pioneered a way to detect the interaction of light and matter on a single layer of atoms. It's the first demonstration of an elastic scattering, near-field experiment performed on a single layer of atoms.
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Harnessing energy from glass walls

Mon, 29 May 2017 14:24:41 EDT

Semi-transparent perovskite solar cells have been developed that could be great candidates for solar windows, say researchers.
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Printed, flexible and rechargeable battery can power wearable sensors

Wed, 24 May 2017 15:26:44 EDT

Nanoengineers have developed the first printed battery that is flexible, stretchable and rechargeable. The zinc batteries could be used to power everything from wearable sensors to solar cells and other kinds of electronics.
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Fuel from the air technology provides a path to new business for OPEC countries

Wed, 24 May 2017 08:46:04 EDT

Pioneering technology makes OPEC countries prime regions to produce synthetic fuels. This could be a key asset in phasing out fossil fuels after the Paris Agreement, while also keeping some of the existing oil industry value chain intact.
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Special X-ray technique allows scientists to see 3-D deformations

Tue, 23 May 2017 14:41:16 EDT

Researchers have used an X-ray scattering technique called Bragg coherent diffraction imaging to reconstruct in 3-D the size and shape of grain defects. These defects create imperfections in the lattice of atoms inside a grain that can give rise to interesting material properties and effects.
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Solar cells more efficient thanks to new material standing on edge

Tue, 23 May 2017 08:42:20 EDT

Researchers have designed a new structural organization using the promising solar cell material perovskite. The study shows that solar cells increase in efficiency thanks to the material’s ability to self-organize by standing on edge.
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Energy transition: Smart, interconnected, sustainable

Thu, 18 May 2017 08:53:15 EDT

Many elements are required for making the energy system more sustainable. Among them are smart solar storage systems, smartly interconnected energy grids, and electricity-based synthetic fuels (e-fuels).
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Autonomous 'soaring with solar' concept

Wed, 17 May 2017 10:11:52 EDT

Scientists are building on the proven concept of autonomous cooperative soaring of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which enables long endurance flights of unmanned sailplanes that use the power of the Sun.
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New, more efficient catalyst for water splitting

Mon, 15 May 2017 15:07:34 EDT

Physicists have discovered a catalyst that can split water into hydrogen and oxygen, composed of easily available, low-cost materials and operating far more efficiently than previous catalysts. That would solve one of the primary hurdles remaining in using water to produce hydrogen, one of the most promising sources of clean energy.
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Key differences in solar wind models

Mon, 15 May 2017 12:59:39 EDT

The challenge of predicting space weather, which can cause issues with telecommunications and other satellite operations on Earth, requires a detailed understanding of the solar wind (a stream of charged particles released from the sun) and sophisticated computer simulations. New research has found that when choosing the right model to describe the solar wind, using the one that takes longer to calculate does not make it the most accurate.
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Photovoltaics and batteries: An expensive combination

Mon, 15 May 2017 09:26:14 EDT

Solar power can cover up to 40% of the electricity needs of a typical household. Going beyond that level becomes really expensive: using batteries coupled with solar panels would be twice as expensive as using the power grid.
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Data science used to better predict effect of weather and other conditions

Fri, 12 May 2017 19:57:38 EDT

Data science has been used by researchers to determine and predict the effects of exposure to weather and other conditions on materials in solar panels. Using data science to predict the deterioration of such materials could lead to finding new ways to extend their lifetime, the researchers say.
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Next-gen solar cells could be improved by atomic-scale redesign

Fri, 12 May 2017 09:39:47 EDT

Researchers have uncovered the exact mechanism that causes new solar cells to break down in air, paving the way for a solution.
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Power plants could cut a third of their emissions by using solar energy

Tue, 09 May 2017 08:38:29 EDT

The COMBO-CFB project has developed a new innovative concept to increase solar energy production in the energy system. According to this research, the concept can reduce fuel consumption and emissions stressing the climate by more than 33 per cent. The concept is based on the combination of concentrated solar power (CSP) technology and a traditional power plant process into a hybrid plant which produces electricity on the basis of consumption.
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Installing solar to combat national security risks in the power grid

Mon, 08 May 2017 11:24:14 EDT

Power grid vulnerabilities are one of the most prevalent national security threats. The technical community calls for building up grid resiliency using distributed energy and microgrids for stabilization as multiple sources increases the difficulty of triggering cascading blackouts, and following an attack or natural disaster, microgrids can provide localized energy security. An interdisciplinary team calculated what it takes to make military bases more secure.
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