Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ion-Conducting Polymer Improves Solar Cell Performance

by The Daily Fusion

DSSC panel is tested in the laboratory at the School of Chemical Science and Engineering. (Photo: David Callahan)

Drawing their inspiration from photosynthesis, dye-sensitized solar cells offer the promise of low-cost solar photovoltaics and—when coupled with catalysts—even the possibility of generating hydrogen and oxygen, just like plants. Researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology have found a way to make dye-sensitized solar cells more energy-efficient and longer-lasting.
A research team that included James Gardner, Assistant Professor of Photoelectrochemistry at KTH, reported the success of a new quasi-liquid, polymer-based electrolyte that increases a dye-sensitized solar cell’s voltage and current, and lowers resistance between its electrodes.
The study highlights the advantages of speeding up the movement of oxidized electrolytes in a dye-sensitized solar cell, or DSSC. Also on the team from KTH were Lars Kloo, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and researcher Muthuraaman Bhagavathi Achari.
“We now have clear evidence that by adding the ion-conducting polymer to the solar cell’s cobalt redox electrolyte, the transport of oxidized electrolytes is greatly enhanced,” Gardner says. “The fast transport increases solar cell efficiency by 20 percent.”

read full article:
Ion-Conducting Polymer Improves Solar Cell Performance | The Daily Fusion

Thursday, August 1, 2013

ARPA-E Project Combines Heat and Electricity | MIT Technology Review

The government’s energy research agency is spending $30 million to demonstrate cheap solar power that’s available day and night.
By Kevin Bullis on July 31, 2013
Combining the strengths of two different solar technologies could yield “hybrid solar power” that works even at night or when it’s cloudy.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy is devoting $30 million to several demonstration projects that will attempt to combine photovoltaics with solar thermal. Early-stage work being conducted by researchers around the U.S. hints at how the combined technology might work.
Read the full story: ARPA-E Project Combines Heat and Electricity | MIT Technology Review

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

SunDrum Solar Hybrid PVT System reaches peak 86% delivery record - Renewable Energy Focus

SunDrum Solar LLC said it has achieved a solar industry one hour peak delivery record of 86% for a hybrid solar system, which generates both photovoltaic and thermal (PVT) solar energy.

This record was achieved on April 24, 2013 and was enabled by the combination of a standard Photovoltaic (PV) panel and the SDM 100 thermal collector from SunDrum Solar.
After adjustment for all system losses, a record of 86% was used by the home in Massachusetts during the peak hour of 2-3PM - when 870W of thermal energy and 200W of electrical energy was delivered by each solar panel fitted with the SunDrum Solar Collector. This performance sets a new record for a fixed, non tracking, hybrid array, said the company.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Times of Oman | Feature :: Hybrid power plants: Renewable energy’s newest trend

byJohn Brian Shannon - Special to Times of Oman

Photo -

One option for renewable energy producers that has been open to utility companies but rarely utilized, is the installation of both wind and solar power plants together at the same location, which results in a doubling in the amount of electricity produced.

Prior to a study done by Reiner Lemoine Institut and Solarpraxis AG, it was (incorrectly) thought that the huge towers upon which the wind turbines are mounted would cast huge shadows over the photovoltaic solar panel array, thereby reducing their efficiency by a significant factor.

It turns out that when solar and wind power generation are combined on the same site, such hybrid power plants complement each other better, than had been imagined. Approximately twice the power generation is available from any such hybrid power plant site, when compared to wind or solar only.

The landmark study took into account the amount of sunlight loss (shading) which would occur in a carefully designed hybrid power plant. Energy losses were less than 2 percent of total output. This is a lower energy loss percentage, than compared to conventional power plant energy, such as coal — where up to 10 percent of the coal can be lost during transport from North America to China, or from Australia to China, and later storage, for example.

A major benefit of such hybrid power plants is that due to the relative intermittency of both wind power and solar power is they tend to cancel out the others weaknesses. Grid expansion, is therefore not required for hybrid power plants. Wind power peaks at night, during cool days, and in the colder seasons of the year — while solar produces power during the daylight hours, the warmer parts of the day and most especially during the warmer seasons, when the Sun is high in the sky, directly over the solar panel array...

Read the full story - 
Times of Oman | Feature :: Hybrid power plants: Renewable energy’s newest trend

Saturday, May 4, 2013

More Good News About The Scientific Accident That May Change The World


Graphene supercapacitors | Photo: UCLA

That battery life video that had gone viral due to a recent post on UpWorthy (and which we told you about Tuesday) now has an update. We told you that researchers at Ric Kaner's lab at UCLA had found a way to make a non-toxic, highly efficient energy storage medium out of pure carbon using absurdly simple technology. Today, we can report that the same team may well have found a way to make that process scale up to mass-production levels.

The recap: Graphene, a very simple carbon polymer, can be used as the basic component of a "supercapacitor" -- an electrical power storage device that charges far more rapidly than chemical batteries. Unlike other supercapacitors, though, graphene's structure also offers a high "energy density," -- it can hold a lot of electrons, meaning that it could conceivably rival or outperform batteries in the amount of charge it can hold...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Next Big Future: Quantum Dots covering one square inch could produce...

A new type of nanoscale engine has been proposed that would use quantum dots to generate electricity from waste heat, potentially making mic...

"The system is really a simple one, which exploits certain properties of quantum dots to harvest heat," Professor Andrew Jordan of the University of Rochester said. "Despite this simplicity, the power it could generate is still larger than any other nanoengine that has been considered until now."

Read the full story:
Next Big Future: Quantum Dots covering one square inch could produc...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Scientists develop a whole new way of harvesting energy from the sun

Feb. 24, 2013 — A new method of harvesting the Sun's energy is emerging, thanks to scientists at UC Santa Barbara's Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Materials. Though still in its infancy, the research promises to convert sunlight into energy using a process based on metals that are more robust than many of the semiconductors used in conventional methods.

read more.... Scientists develop a whole new way of harvesting energy from the sun

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Solar Window Technology a promising and significant advancement | Construction magazine

In collaboration with the University of South Florida and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), New Energy Technologies debuted its Solar Window technology based on an organic photovoltaic solution that can be sprayed directly onto glass as an incredibly thin, sub-micrometer layer. The next challenge was to attempt to develop methods for scaling up the fabrication method. The latest manufacturing innovation enables high-speed roll-to-roll and sheet-to-sheet manufacturing, according to the company. Importantly, the process can be executed at ambient pressure and low...

Read the full article: Solar Window Technology a promising and significant advancement | Construction magazine | Construction news | Builders magazine | Construction Chemical magazine