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Solar

Solar thermal and photovoltaic solar energy


Plastic Overlay Doubles Solar Panel Efficiency

Written by , on September 16, 2016

A Swiss startup, has developed a thin plastic layer that sits on top of a solar panel and directs the sun’s rays to a small area of very high performance solar cells. The company says that the result is about double the efficiency of traditional solar panels for the same footprint.  Read more »

Solar Cell Produces Fuel from CO2 and Sunlight

Written by , on August 5, 2016

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy.  Read more »

Concentrated Solar Heat in Developing Countries

Written by , on May 30, 2016

The largest energy demand in many communities is for producing heat, for example for cooking or water sterilization. Using electricity, if available, risks regular blackouts and high costs and wood contributes to deforestation and indoor air pollution.
Using concentrated solar power directly, without the need for expensive and complex components, is ideal for many developing communities energy needs.  Read more »

Process Developed for Mass Producing More Efficient Solar Cells

Written by , on May 12, 2016

A laser-based manufacturing process developed by the Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg, Germany promises to revolutionise the photovoltaics market. For the first time point-contacted solar cells can be manufactured in series.  Read more »

Coating Improves Solar Panels at Multiple Angle

Written by , on December 17, 2015

Engineers from King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in Saudi Arabia and Taiwan’s National Central University have developed a a glass coating which they say enables panels to absorb sunlight from multiple angles, significantly boosting the cell’s overall efficiency.  Read more »

New Approach Promises Cheaper Solar Thermal Storage

Written by , on November 5, 2015

Engineers at Oregon State University have developed a new approach, using thermochemical storage, in which chemical transformation is used in repeated cycles to hold heat, for the storage of concentrated solar thermal energy which could reduce its cost and make it more practical for wider use.  Read more »

Coating Greatly Improves Efficiency of Solar Hot Water

Written by , on October 30, 2015

Researchers at the Technological Institute of the Lagoon in Mexico have developed a superconducting coating which they say increases the efficiency of solar water heaters by up to 70%. The coating material is a type of paint, classified as an “ink” because of its quick-setting property, that is built up in several layers. The first […]  Read more »

New Solar Cells Collect High Energy Photons 30 Times Better

Written by , on September 10, 2015

Scientists with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois have made solar cells that collect blue photons at 30 times the concentration of conventional solar cells.  Read more »

“Artificial Leaf” Breakthrough

Written by , on August 20, 2015

Researches at Melbourne’s Monash University, led by Professor Doug MacFarlane, have announced they have succeeded in extracting hydrogen and oxygen from water and sunlight at record efficiency in a process which mimics photosynthesis.  Read more »

Butterflies Show How to Improve Solar Concentrators

Written by , on August 17, 2015

Researchers from the University of Exeter have shown that, by mimicking the posture and wing structure of Cabbage White butterflies, they can vastly increase the efficiency of solar concentrators.  Read more »