Get Prepared Now is NOT Just a Slogan

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Spinach power gets a big boost: Reseachers combine spinach protein with silicon to make biohybrid solar cell

Spinach power has just gotten a big boost. Researchers have combined the photosynthetic protein that converts light into electrochemical energy in spinach with silicon, the material used in solar cells, in a fashion that produces substantially more electrical current than has been reported by previous "biohybrid" solar cells.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New solar panels made with more common metals could be cheaper and more sustainable

With enough sunlight falling on home roofs to supply at least half of America’s electricity, scientists have described advances toward the less-expensive solar energy technology needed to roof many of those homes with shingles that generate electricity.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Measurement advance could speed innovation in solar devices

A novel measurement system can accurately and quickly measures the energy output of solar power devices. Combining two different techniques and suitable for use in both the lab and the production line, their device could be a boon to manufacturers working on better, more competitive solar energy systems.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Researchers create 'nanoflowers' for energy storage, solar cells

Researchers have created flower-like structures out of germanium sulfide (GeS) -- a semiconductor material -- that have extremely thin petals with an enormous surface area. The GeS flower holds promise for next-generation energy storage devices and solar cells.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

New twist on old chemical process could boost energy efficiency significantly

An unappreciated aspect of chemical reactions on the surface of metal oxides could be key in developing more efficient energy systems, including more productive solar cells or hydrogen fuel cells efficient enough for automobiles.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Earth sunblock only needed if planet warms easily

A new computer analysis of future climate change that considers emissions reductions together with sunlight reduction shows that such drastic steps to cool Earth would only be necessary if the planet heats up easily with added greenhouse gases.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wireless window sentinel draws its power from its environment

Window contacts tell users if a window is open or closed. Typically, such sensors are wire-based. Scientists working with industry partners recently developed a new system that operates without wires or batteries. It draws its power from its environment: from sunlight and ambient heat.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Two-thirds of the world's new solar panels were installed in Europe in 2011

Europe accounted for two thirds of the world-wide newly installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2011, with 18.5 GW. Its overall PV capacity totalled 52 GW. The yearly electricity produced by PV could power a country with the electricity demand of Austria, which corresponds to 2% of the EU's electricity needs.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sunflowers inspire more efficient solar power system

A field of young sunflowers will slowly rotate from east to west during the course of a sunny day, each leaf seeking out as much sunlight as possible as the sun moves across the sky through an adaptation called heliotropism. It’s a clever bit of natural engineering that inspired imitation from an electrical and computer engineer, who has found a way to mimic the passive heliotropism seen in sunflowers for use in the next crop of solar power systems.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

New efficiency record for photovoltaic cells, thanks to heterojunction

Scientists have developed photovoltaic cells with an energy conversion efficiency of 21.4 percent, the highest obtained for the type of substrate they used. This breakthrough will contribute to lowering the cost of solar-cell-based installations.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Catalysis: Optimizing water splitting

Computer simulations of a metal–sulfide alloy unlock the secrets to designing solar-powered catalysts that generate hydrogen fuel from water.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Photosynthesis re-wired: Chemists use nanowires to power photosynthesis-like process

Chemists have developed a process that closely resembles photosynthesis and proved capable of synthesizing compounds found in the pain-killers ibuprofen and naproxen.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Semiconductors grown on graphene could fundamentally change semiconductor industry

Researchers have patented and are commercializing GaAs nanowires grown on graphene, a hybrid material with competitive properties. Semiconductors grown on graphene are expected to become the basis for new types of device systems, and could fundamentally change the semiconductor industry.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Microwave ovens may help produce lower cost solar energy technology

The same type of microwave oven technology that most people use to heat up leftover food has found an important application in the solar energy industry, providing a new way to make thin-film photovoltaic products with less energy, expense and environmental concerns.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Solar nanowire array may increase percentage of sun's frequencies available for energy conversion

Using a nanowire substrate to anchor advanced photovoltaic materials, researchers are able to alleviate strains between materials that otherwise would shorten life spans for photovoltaic products.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Artificial leaf device produces hydrogen in water using only sunlight

Scientists have developed, using nanotechnology, a device with semiconductor materials which generate hydrogen independently in water using only sunlight.  This technology, which has been named artificial photosynthesis, was inspired by photosynthesis which occurs naturally. The device is submerged in an aqueous solution which, when illuminated with a light source, forms hydrogen gas bubbles.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Physicists set new record for graphene solar cell efficiency

Doping may be a no-no for athletes, but researchers say it was key in getting unprecedented power conversion efficiency from a new graphene solar cell created in their lab.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Anti-aging elixir for solar cells

Photovoltaic modules deliver power without risks to the environment and climate. But solar-power is expensive. Therefore, it is imperative that the modules last as long as possible, 25 years or more. Researchers are now investigating materials to protect solar cells from environmental influences to meet that goal.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Photovoltaic cells tap underwater solar energy

Scientists have developed solar cells capable of producing sufficient power to operate electronic sensor systems underwater at depths of nine meters.

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