Energy

Advancement in Highly Conductive, Transparent Thin Film

Thin, conductive films are useful in displays and solar cells. A new solution-based chemistry developed at Brown University for making indium tin oxide films could allow engineers to employ a much simpler and cheaper manufacturing process.

Posted in: Solar Power, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, News

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The Future of Iron-Air Batteries

A University of Southern California research team has developed a cheap, rechargeable battery that could be used to store energy at solar power plants for a rainy day. The air-breathing battery uses the chemical energy generated by the oxidation of iron plates that are exposed to the oxygen in the air — a process similar to rusting.

Posted in: Batteries, Energy Storage, Solar Power, Energy Efficiency, News

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Record Efficiency for Next-Generation Solar Cells

Researchers from the University of Toronto (U of T) and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) have made a breakthrough in the development of colloidal quantum dot (CQD) films. The researchers created a solar cell out of inexpensive materials that was certified at a world-record 7.0% efficiency.

Posted in: Solar Power, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Semiconductors & ICs, Nanotechnology, News

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New Tech for Grid-Level Electrical Energy Storage

Electrical energy storage is the obstacle preventing more widespread use of renewable energy sources. Due to the unpredictable nature of wind and solar energy, the ability to store this energy when it is produced is essential for turning these resources into reliable sources of energy. The current U.S. energy grid system is used predominantly for distributing energy and allows little flexibility for storage of excess or a rapid dispersal on short notice. Drexel University researchers believe they have a solution.

Posted in: Batteries, Energy Storage, Solar Power, Wind Power, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Energy, News

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Solar Nanowire Template Permits Flexible Energy Absorption

Researchers creating electricity through photovoltaics want to convert as many of the sun’s wavelengths as possible to achieve maximum efficiency. For this reason, they see indium gallium nitride as a valuable future material for photovoltaic systems. Changing the concentration of indium allows researchers to tune the material’s response so it collects solar energy from a variety of wavelengths.

Posted in: Materials, Solar Power, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Nanotechnology, News

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Carbon Nanotubes Help Energize Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

Fuel cells, which use chemicals to create electricity, hold promise in a variety of areas but the high price of platinum catalysts used inside the cells has provided a roadblock. One promising low-cost alternative to platinum is the carbon nanotube – an excellent conductor of electricity. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes riddled with defects and impurities on the outside could eventually replace some of the platinum catalysts used in fuel cells and metal-air batteries, according to Stanford University scientists.

Posted in: Batteries, Alternative Fuels, Energy Storage, News

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A Better Understanding of High-Temperature Superconductors

Superconductivity, in which electric current flows without resistance, promises huge energy savings – from low-voltage electric grids with no transmission losses, super-efficient motors and generators, and myriad other schemes. But such everyday applications still lie in the future, because conventional superconductivity in metals can’t do the job.

Posted in: Power Management, Lasers & Laser Systems, Energy Storage, Energy, News

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