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Energy

Technologies for sustainable and renewable 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 »

Magnetic Fridge Claimed to Halve Power Consumption

Written by , on July 12, 2016

A French company has released a commercial magnetic refrigerator which uses only half the electricity of a conventional compression refrigerator.  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 »

New Turbine Could Draw Energy from Ocean Currents

Written by , on April 5, 2016

Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University have developed a novel ocean current turbine which, they say, can match the efficiency of wind turbines while providing much more consistent and reliable output and taking up no land.  Read more »

Giant Wind Turbine Blades Could Cut Costs

Written by , on February 15, 2016

A research team led by the University of Virginia is developing a low-cost 50 megawatt wind turbine, with 200 metre blades, for use offshore.   Read more »

The Return of the Incandescent Lightbulb?

Written by , on January 18, 2016

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a way to modify old-fashioned tungsten-filament lightbulbs to potentially make them far more efficient than current LEDs.  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 »