Wednesday, August 31, 2011
A researcher in the Netherlands has developed a new type of hybrid solar collector with a higher efficiency and a longer lifespan than the current hybrid systems. Hybrid solar collectors combine photovoltaic solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity with a solar heater that provides warm water.
Monday, August 29, 2011
A new twist on an old solar cell design sends light ricocheting through layers of microscopic spheres, increasing its electricity-generating potential by 26 percent.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
The three massive solar panels that will provide power for NASA's Juno spacecraft during its mission to Jupiter have seen their last photons of light until they are deployed in space after launch. The solar-powered Juno spacecraft will orbit Jupiter's poles 30 times to find out more about the gas giant's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Unexpected clue to thermopower efficiency: Uneven temperature can lead to electronic whirlpools and sideways magnetic fields
Scientists have discovered a new relation among electric and magnetic fields and differences in temperature, which can result in swirling vortices of electrons and holes in semiconductor devices and emit sideways magnetic fields. Understanding the unusual new effect may lead to more efficient thermoelectric devices, which convert heat into electricity or electricity into heat.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Wind farms in China and small-scale solar panels on rooftops in Europe were largely responsible for last year's 32 percent rise in green energy investments worldwide according to the latest annual report on renewable energy investment trends. Last year, investors pumped a record $211 billion into renewables -- about one-third more than the $160 billion invested in 2009, and a 540 percent rise since 2004.
Monday, August 22, 2011
In the next 40 years, California's demand for energy is expected to double. So can it really reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, as required by an executive order? Scientists who authored a new report on California's energy future are optimistic that the target can be achieved, though not without bold policy and behavioral changes as well as some scientific innovation.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Billions of dollars lost each year as waste heat from industrial processes can be converted into electricity with a new technology under development.