Tag Archives | solar


Nano-rod solar cell generates hydrogen

A new type of solar collector that uses gold nano-rods could convert sunlight into energy without many of the problems associated with traditional photovoltaic solar cells. The developers of the new technique, from the University of California – Santa Barbara, say it is “the first radically new and potentially workable alternative to semiconductor-based photovoltaic devices […]

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Stanford announces peel-and-stick solar panels

Solar cells have traditionally been deployed in heavy, fixed panels, but Stanford scientists aim to change that with the development of flexible, decal-like photovoltaic panels that can be peeled off like band-aids and stuck to virtually any surface. The breakthrough cells which deliver the same efficiency as regular solar panels are described in the, ahem, […]

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“Solar steam” generator outshines photovoltaic solar cells

Using light-capturing nanoparticles, Rice University researchers have achieved an impressive 82 percent conversion efficiency of sunlight directly into steam; a breakthrough they say will create highly cost-effective solutions for desalination, water purification and electricity generation. Detailing their work in the journal ACS Nano, the researchers say the solar steam method is so effective it can […]

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High voltage solar cell recharger developed for phones

A solar technology breakthrough by UK scientists means portable electronic devices such as phones, cameras, and e-book readers could soon have credit card-sized solar cells built-in, allowing them to be recharged on the move. The researchers, from the University of Warwick, say they have created an organic solar cell that generates a sufficiently high voltage […]

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Lost: one giant planet

Computer simulations of the early solar system suggest the possibility that our system had more than four giant planets initially and that one was ejected as the solar system settled into its current form. Dr. David Nesvorny’s hypothesis, published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, depicts the early solar system as a chaotic place, with planets […]

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Solar power’s dirty secret: skyrocketing lead pollution

Solar power has a dark side. In developing countries with less robust electrical grids, solar power is heavily reliant on traditional lead batteries for local electrical storage and a new paper suggests widespread lead pollution may be a side-effect. The paper’s author, University of Tennessee environmental engineer Chris Cherry, says there is the potential to […]

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Virus improves solar cell efficiency

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found a way to make significant improvements to the power-conversion efficiency of solar cells by utilizing viruses to perform assembly work on the solar cell at the microscopic level. The new construction technique, reported in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, is based on previous research that showed […]

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Sun-storm to hit within 24 hours

Sky watchers might get to enjoy some spectacular Northern Lights tomorrow, thanks to a massive explosion on the surface of the Sun that blasted a huge quantity of plasma directly at the Earth. The eruption, known as a coronal mass ejection, occurred early on Sunday morning and may herald a new period of instability for […]

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New World Record For Solar Conversion Efficiency

Sandia National Laboratories and Stirling Energy Systems (SES) have set a new solar-to-grid system conversion efficiency record by achieving a 31.25 percent net efficiency rate. The old 1984 record of 29.4 percent was toppled using SES’s “Serial #3” solar dish Stirling system at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility. Serial #3 is part of a […]

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Balloon-Borne Solar Telescope Reaches 120,000 Feet

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) this month successfully launched a solar telescope to an altitude of 120,000 feet, borne by a balloon larger than a Boeing 747 jumbo jet. The successful test clears the way for long-duration polar balloon flights in 2009 that will capture unprecedented details of the Sun’s surface. The project, […]

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