Solar power system that works at night a renewable energy game-changer

B540A8BA-25FA-4A12-A46D-4AC6E08A6243

An innovative thermal battery being developed by Curtin University researchers will be key to a solar power system capable of producing electricity overnight, rivaling fossil fuels as a viable source of power for commercial and heavy industries around the world, including mining operations.

Curtin is collaborating with international renewable energy companies United Sun Systems and ITP Thermal on the potentially game-changing project, which is being led by Professor Craig Buckley from Curtin’s School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences.

Professor Craig Buckley said the thermal battery was part of the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) system being developed by United Sun Systems, which requires a battery to store and release energy to enable non-stop solar power generation.

Continue reading… “Solar power system that works at night a renewable energy game-changer”

0

After 40 years of searching, scientists identify the key flaw in solar panel efficiency


CD225D57-56E4-4361-BF66-4E3F0780BAED

Solar panels are fantastic pieces of technology, but we need to work out how to make them even more efficient – and scientists just solved a 40-year-old mystery around one of the key obstacles to increased efficiency.

A new study outlines a material defect in silicon used to produce solar cells that has previously gone undetected. It could be responsible for the 2 percent efficiency drop that solar cells can see in the first hours of use: Light Induced Degradation (LID).

Multiplied by the increasing number of panels installed at solar farms around the world, that drop equals a significant cost in gigawatts that non-renewable energy sources have to make up for.

In fact, the estimated loss in efficiency worldwide from LID is estimated to equate to more energy than can be generated by the UK’s 15 nuclear power plants. The new discovery could help scientists make up some of that shortfall.

Continue reading… “After 40 years of searching, scientists identify the key flaw in solar panel efficiency”

0

Why new solar installations will reach a breakneck pace by 2025

 

23C415DD-9412-4E09-9E51-ED3A199CD38C

The rise is set to continue.

Solar power is about to reach an inflection point. A new report released on Thursday claims that installations in the United States will double in just four years’ time, thanks largely to developments in California, which accounted for around half of all installations.

This estimate is from the research group Wood Mackenzie, who along with the Solar Energy Industries Association, found that there are now more than two million photo-voltaic solar installations in the country, just three years after passing the one million mark. The teams expect this pace to increase, reaching three million by 2021 and four million by 2023.

Continue reading… “Why new solar installations will reach a breakneck pace by 2025”

0

Battery storage is the fastest-growing industry sector on the planet (which could save the planet)

 

BD37D94F-3660-49AF-9B77-69E42F4B87C0

Billions of dollars are being invested worldwide in the developing battery boom, involving research into storage techniques to use the growing surpluses of cheap renewable energy now becoming available. Recent developments in batteries are set to sweep aside the old arguments about renewables being intermittent, dismissing any need to continue building nuclear power plants and burning fossil fuels to act as a back-up when the wind does not blow, or the sun does not shine.

Batteries as large as the average family house and controlled by digital technology are being positioned across electricity networks. They are being charged when electricity is in surplus and therefore cheap, and the power they store is resold to the grid at a higher price during peak periods.

Continue reading… “Battery storage is the fastest-growing industry sector on the planet (which could save the planet)”

0

‘Coal is on the way out’: study finds fossil fuel now pricier than solar or wind

BBDADECD-DA13-4AA6-A095-7AF8614FB553

Around 75% of coal production is more expensive than renewables, with industry out-competed on cost by 2025

‘We’ve seen we are at the ‘coal crossover’ point in many parts of the country.’

Around three-quarters of US coal production is now more expensive than solar and wind energy in providing electricity to American households, according to a new study.

“Even without major policy shift we will continue to see coal retire pretty rapidly,” said Mike O’Boyle, the co-author of the report for Energy Innovation, a renewables analysis firm. “Our analysis shows that we can move a lot faster to replace coal with wind and solar. The fact that so much coal could be retired right now shows we are off the pace.”

The study’s authors used public financial filings and data from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) to work out the cost of energy from coal plants compared with wind and solar options within a 35-mile radius. They found that 211 gigawatts of current US coal capacity, 74% of the coal fleet, is providing electricity that’s more expensive than wind or solar.

Continue reading… “‘Coal is on the way out’: study finds fossil fuel now pricier than solar or wind”

0

Nanocrystal ‘factory’ could revolutionize quantum dot manufacturing

 BAA9B4F5-5036-4415-AAF5-5BEA24322C13

A new system for synthesizing quantum dots across the entire spectrum of visible light drastically reduces manufacturing costs, can be tuned on demand to any color and allows for real-time process monitoring to ensure quality control.

NC State researchers have developed a microfluidic system for synthesizing perovskite quantum dots that drastically reduces manufacturing costs, can be tuned on demand to any color and allows for real-time process monitoring to ensure quality control.

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a microfluidic system for synthesizing perovskite quantum dots across the entire spectrum of visible light. The system drastically reduces manufacturing costs, can be tuned on demand to any color and allows for real-time process monitoring to ensure quality control.

Continue reading… “Nanocrystal ‘factory’ could revolutionize quantum dot manufacturing”

0

Carbon fiber camping trailer sustains itself off-grid with “endless” power and water

C4469BA2-7C26-44F2-BC85-FD7521E933AB

The Sonic X’s slide-out increases interior space, providing room for a comfy dining lounge with wraparound…

A new style of trailer for an evolving breed of traveler, the Sonic X from KZ Recreational Vehicles adds a little more self-sustainability to the camping trailer world. With its solar-backed lithium battery bank, the 26-footer is designed to run off-grid indefinitely. It also includes lightweight carbon fiber construction, a fresh water harvesting system and insulation-boosting technology for better performance, autonomy and efficiency. Get lost for weeks and months at a time without giving up residential-style comforts.

Continue reading… “Carbon fiber camping trailer sustains itself off-grid with “endless” power and water”

0

These hyper-efficient solar panels could actually live on your roof soon

355B2526-844E-4F80-8F91-99000702D318

The clean energy boffins in their labs are always upping the theoretical limit on how much power you can get out of sunshine, but us plebes actually installing solar cells are stuck with years-old tech that’s not half as good as what they’re seeing. This new design from Insolight could be the one that changes all that.

Insolight is a spin-off from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, where they’ve been working on this new approach for a few years — and it’s almost ready to hit your roof.

Usually solar cells collect sunlight on their entire surface, converting it to electricity at perhaps 15-19 percent efficiency — meaning about 85 percent of the energy is lost in the process. There are more efficient cells out there, but they’re generally expensive and special-purpose, or use some exotic material.

Continue reading… “These hyper-efficient solar panels could actually live on your roof soon”

0

How China’s space-bound solar installation will beam power down to earth

180AC6B2-8587-40ED-BF37-556521B20F3B

Solar panels in space

Researchers are exploring new means of providing power.

Researchers in China are planning a solar farm in space, an ambitious project that could deliver energy at six times the intensity of installations on Earth. The project, which made the front page of China’s Science and Technology Daily last week, would orbit in space and beam down energy to a receiver.

The station would reportedly orbit 22,000 miles above the Earth and benefit from harvesting energy without any complications from seasonal changes or atmospheric conditions, providing energy 99 percent of the time. It’s expected to weigh a staggering 1,000 tons, around 600 tons more than the International Space Station, so the researchers are exploring alternatives like using robots and 3D printers to build the construction in space. The idea is nothing new: NASA started researching the idea in the mid-1970s during the Arab oil embargo, and even devised bold concepts like the SunTower:

Continue reading… “How China’s space-bound solar installation will beam power down to earth”

0

Transparent solar panels will turn windows into green energy collectors

 B7128118-0FBF-4BD7-91EB-A7D6AC1C1A05

A team of researchers from Michigan State University managed to develop a fully transparent solar panels – a breakthrough that could lead to countless applications in architecture, as well as other fields such as mobile electronics or the automotive industry. Previous attempts to create such a device have been made, but results were never satisfying enough, with low efficiency and poor material quality.

Continue reading… “Transparent solar panels will turn windows into green energy collectors”

0

These Origami solar panels generate electricity for apartments

prevalents-design-in-action

Solgami wants to help people living in cities.

A new design of solar panel could help apartment dwellers harvest electricity from their windows without prohibitive installation costs. Solgami, designed by Australian architect Ben Berwick, is a window blind that generates power while bouncing more light into the room using a folded origami design.

“It’s a bit of a reconnection to the natural setting,” Berwick, who founded architecture firm Prevalent, told Fast Company* this weekend. “It’s making your apartment a better place to be.”

Continue reading… “These Origami solar panels generate electricity for apartments”

0

India’s first solar-powered, driverless bus has made its maiden journey

India-First-Solar-Powered-Bus

Students of Lovely Professional University (LPU) at Jalandhar has designed this bus with the uses of GPS and Bluetooth for navigation

Jalandhar (Urban Transport News): India’s first solar-powered, driverless bus made its maiden journey at the Indian Science Congress in last week Thursday. A team of students of Lovely Professional University (LPU) at Jalandhar has designed this bus with the uses of GPS and Bluetooth for navigation.

According to the project head Mandeep Singh, the camera installed on top of the bus allows for image processing. It senses the road pattern and the bus moves accordingly.

“We have been working on this project for the last five years. Around 300 students, from departments of electronics, electrical and civil and mechanical engineering, have been part of it. It was a huge project and bringing everyone together itself was a huge challenge,” said Mandeep Singh.

Continue reading… “India’s first solar-powered, driverless bus has made its maiden journey”

0