Wednesday, January 25, 2012
In a new paper, researchers describe a new energy-harvesting technology that promises to dramatically reduce our dependence on batteries and instead capture the energy of human motion to power portable electronics.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Clean solutions to human energy demands are essential to our future. While sunlight is the most abundant source of energy at our disposal, we have yet to learn how to capture, transfer and store solar energy efficiently. According to a new study, the answers can be found in the complex systems at work in nature.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Solar power could be harvested more efficiently and transported over long distances using tiny molecular circuits, according to research inspired by new insights into natural photosynthesis.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Researchers have found that metallic carbon nanotubes are 50 times more effective than semiconducting ones when used as transparent conductors in organic solar cells.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Solar power heavily reliant on lead batteries has the potential to release more than 2.4 million tons of lead pollution in China and India, according to new research.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Better physics teaching with a particular emphasis on radioactivity and radiation science could improve public awareness through education of the environmental benefits and relative safety of nuclear power generation, according to scientists. Experts have suggestsed that it might then be possible to have a less emotional debate about the future of the industry that will ultimately reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Today there is a wide variety of energy storage technologies at very different stages of development. Among them, the Redox Flow Battery (RFB) is an innovative solution based on the use of liquid electrolytes stored in tanks and pumped through a reactor to produce energy. Researchers are currently working in the development of high performance RFBs.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Researchers have demonstrated that several mobile electrons can be produced by the absorption of a single light particle in films of coupled quantum dots. These multiple electrons can be harvested in solar cells with increased efficiency.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Messy better than neat: Tangled coat of nanowires increases solar cell efficiency by absorbing more light
Sometimes neatness may not be necessary. Researchers have demonstrated that a tangled coating of randomly positioned nanowires can increase solar cell efficiency by absorbing more light.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Electric propulsion (EP) is the future of astronautics. It can already compete successfully with chemical thrusters, especially for attitude control, orbit transfer and/or orbital station-keeping as well as for the main propulsion system for deep space missions. However, xenon, the propellant of choice in most EP devices, has a substantial drawback: its cost is very high. On the basis of the experience with plasma jet accelerators, a team of scientists and engineers from Poland has designed the Hall effect thruster optimised to work with krypton, a much more affordable noble gas.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Novel energy-storage membrane: Performance surpasses existing rechargeable batteries and supercapacitors
Researchers in Singapore have developed a novel membrane with a performance that surpasses existing rechargeable batteries and supercapacitors, promising a low-cost, environmentally-friendly energy source.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Window contacts tell us which of a house's windows are open or closed. Researchers have now developed a fail-safe system that is particularly easy to use and needs no wiring or batteries. The sensors harvest the energy they need to run from ambient radio signals.
Friday, January 6, 2012
The photovoltaic (PV) industry production more than doubled and reached a world-wide production volume of 23.5 gigawatt (GW) of photovoltaic modules. Since 1990, photovoltaic module production has increased more than 500-fold from 46 megawatts (MW) to 23.5 GW in 2010, which makes photovoltaics one of the fastest-growing industries at present.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Taking the pulse of charge-separation processes: Self-organization gives rise to more efficient organic solar cells
Organic solar cells have the potential to convert sunlight into electrical energy in an economical and environmentally friendly fashion. The challenge is that they still work less efficiently than inorganic semiconductors. Ultrafast measurements on hybrid cells now reveal a route to double their efficiency.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
A guiding light for new directions in energy production: Optofluidics could help solve the energy challenge
Optofluidics is the study of microfluidics -- the microscopic delivery of fluids through extremely small channels or tubes -- combined with optics. In a new review, researchers argue that optofluidics is poised to take on one of this century's most important challenges: energy.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Researchers in Singapore have exploited advanced nanostructure technology to make a highly efficient and yet cheaper silicon solar cell.