Get Prepared Now is NOT Just a Slogan

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Electronic bucket brigade could boost solar cell voltages

Some ferroelectric materials can develop extremely high voltages when light falls on them, which might greatly improve solar cells if scientists could figure out how they do it. Researchers have solved the mystery for one ferroelectric, bismuth ferrite, revealing a principle that should apply to other materials too. The secret is an electronic "bucket brigade" that passes electrons stepwise from one electrically polarized region to the next.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lessons to be learned from nature in photosynthesis

Lessons to be learned from nature could lead to the development of an artificial version of photosynthesis that would provide us with an absolutely clean and virtually inexhaustible energy source, say researchers.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tiny gold particles boost organic solar cell efficiency: Plasmonic technique helps enhance power conversion by up to 20 percent

Researchers have demonstrated how they inserted a gold nanoparticle layer between two subcells to combine the tandem cell strategy with the plasmonic effect -- a process that concentrates light via scattering from nanoparticles. As a result, a 20 percent improvement of power conversion efficiency has been attained by the light concentration of gold nanoparticles.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Measuring elusive solar neutrinos flowing through the Earth, physicists learn more about the sun

Using one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors on the planet, physicists are now measuring the flow of solar neutrinos reaching Earth more precisely than ever before. The detector probes matter at the most fundamental level and provides a powerful tool for directly observing the sun's composition.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Down to the wire: Inexpensive technique for making high quality nanowire solar cells

Researchers have developed a solution-based technique for fabricating core/shell nanowire solar cells using the semiconductors cadmium sulfide for the core and copper sulfide for the shell. These inexpensive and easy-to-make nanowire solar cells hold great promise for future solar cell technology.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Colloidal quantum dots: Performance boost next-generation solar cell technology

Researchers have created the most efficient solar cell ever made based on colloidal quantum dots (CQD). Quantum dots are nanoscale semiconductors that capture light and convert it into an energy source. Because of their small scale, the dots can be sprayed on to flexible surfaces, including plastics. This enables the production of solar cells that are less expensive to produce and more durable than the more widely known silicon-based version. In a new study, the researchers demonstrate how the wrappers that encapsulate the quantum dots can be shrunk to a mere layer of atoms.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New type of solar cell retains high efficiency for long periods

Scientists are reporting development of a new genre of an electrolyte system for solar cells that breaks the double-digit barrier in the efficiency with which the devices convert sunlight into electricity.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First nuclear power plants for settlements on the moon and Mars

The first nuclear power plant being considered for production of electricity for manned or unmanned bases on the Moon, Mars and other planets may really look like it came from outer space, according to a leader of the project in a recent presentation.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Installed cost of solar photovoltaic systems in U.S. declined significantly in 2010 and 2011

The installed cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2010 and into the first half of 2011, according to the latest edition of an annual PV cost tracking report.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Advance offers new opportunities in chemistry education, research

Researchers have created a new, unifying method to describe a basic chemical concept called "electronegativity," first described almost 80 years ago by Linus Pauling and part of the work that led to his receiving the Nobel Prize. The new system offers simplicity of understanding that should rewrite high school and college chemistry textbooks around the world, even as it opens important new avenues in materials and chemical research.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cheap and efficient solar cell made possible by linked nanoparticles

Researchers have demonstrated that electrons can move freely in layers of linked semiconductor nanoparticles under the influence of light. This new knowledge will be very useful for the development of cheap and efficient quantum dot solar cells.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hydrogen powered prototype vessel for inland waterways: Canal boat runs on fuel cell drive

Researchers have been operating a canal boat with a fuel cell drive for three years now. In the world of shipbuilding, however, different rules apply than those in the automobile manufacturing industries. Weight is of practically no significance, but the propulsion plant must have an operating lifetime as long as that of the boat itself. The hydride storage system -- the hydrogen tank -- must meet this challenging requirement.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Novel alloy could produce hydrogen fuel from sunlight

Using state-of-the-art theoretical computations, a team of scientists has determined that an alloy formed by a 2 percent substitution of antimony in gallium nitride has the right electrical properties to enable solar light energy to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The alloy functions as a catalyst in the photoelectrochemical electrolysis of water.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Astrophysicists solve 40-year-old Mariner 5 solar wind problem: Turbulence doesn’t go with the flow

Astrophysicists have resolved a 40-year-old problem with observations of turbulence in the solar wind first made by the probe Mariner 5. The research resolves an issue with what is by far the largest and most interesting natural turbulence lab accessible to researchers today.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Copper film could lower touch screen, LED and solar cell costs

Copper nanowires may be coming to a little screen near you. These new nanostructures have the potential to drive down the costs of displaying information on cell phones, e-readers and iPads, and they could also help engineers build foldable electronics and improved solar cells, according to new research.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Parabolic mirrors concentrate sunlight to power lasers

Borrowing from modern telescope design, researchers have proposed a way to concentrate sunlight to ramp up laser efficiency.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Saudi Arabias of solar energy: Himalaya Mountains, Andes, Antarctica

Mention prime geography for generation of solar energy, and people tend to think of hot deserts. But a new study concludes that some of the world's coldest landscapes -- including the Himalaya Mountains, the Andes, and even Antarctica -- could become Saudi Arabias of solar.

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