Black Silicon Solar Cell Products to be Developed

DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has granted Natcore Technology Inc. a patent license agreement to develop new black silicon products. Natcore and NREL also will enter a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to develop commercial prototypes based on NREL’s black silicon inventions.

Posted in: Solar Power, Renewable Energy, News


Metal-Assisted Chemical Etching

University of Illinois researchers have developed a method to chemically etch patterned arrays in the semiconductor gallium arsenide - used in solar cells, lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), field effect transistors (FETs), capacitors, and sensors.

Posted in: Metals, Solar Power, Renewable Energy, LEDs, Semiconductors & ICs, News


A Step Towards Artificial Photosynthesis for Solar Hydrogen

Water splitting in photo-electrochemical cells to yield hydrogen is a promising way to sustainable fuels. A team of Swiss and U.S. scientists have now made major progress in developing highly efficient electrodes – made of an algal protein, thus mimicking a central step in natural photosynthesis.

Posted in: Alternative Fuels, Materials, Solar Power, Renewable Energy, News


New Efficiency Record for Organic Solar Cells

Imec, Polyera, and Solvay have achieved a new world-record efficiency of 8.3% for polymer-based single junction organic solar cells in an inverted device stack. These performance results represent a crucial step towards successful commercialization of organic photovoltaic cells.

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


How Terrain and Turbine Placement Affect Wind Energy Production

A miniature turbine measuring just 10 inches high is helping a research team led by Hui Hu - an Iowa State University associate professor of aerospace engineering - understand how hills, valleys, and the placement of turbines affect the productivity of onshore wind farms.

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


Low-Power Quantum Computers

By 2017, quantum physics will help reduce the energy consumption of computers and cellular phones by up to a factor of 100. For research and industry, the power consumption of transistors is a key issue. The next step will likely come from tunnel-FET, a technology that takes advantage of a phenomenon referred to as quantum tunneling. At the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, research is well underway.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Computers, Energy Efficiency, News


Voltage Increases Observed in Closely Packed Nanowires

Unexpected voltage increases of up to 25 percent in two barely separated nanowires have been observed at Sandia National Laboratories. Designers of next-generation devices using nanowires to deliver electric currents — including batteries and certain solar arrays — may need to make allowances for such surprise boosts.

Posted in: Batteries, Solar Power, Energy Efficiency, Test & Measurement, News, GDM