Energy

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

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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

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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

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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

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Thinner Thermal Insulation for Better Energy Savings

In order to lower energy costs, more and more homeowners are investing in insulation facades. But the typical insulation layers on the market have one drawback: they add bulk. The thick outer skin changes the building’s visual appearance and can result in significant follow-up costs – with a need to fit new, deeper window sills and sometimes even roof extensions.

Posted in: Materials, Plastics, Energy Efficiency, Energy, News, GDM

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Bacteria Engineered to Eat Switchgrass and Make Transportation Fuels

Researchers with DOE’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered the first strains of Escherichia coli bacteria that can digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into all three of those transportation fuels. The microbes are even able to do this without any help from enzyme additives.

Posted in: Alternative Fuels, Green Design & Manufacturing, Biomass, Renewable Energy, Energy, Transportation, News, GDM

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"Fool's Gold" Could Lead to Cheaper Solar Energy

Pyrite - or “fool’s gold” - has recently helped researchers at Oregon State University discover related compounds that offer new, cheap, and promising options for solar energy. These new compounds would be benign and could be processed from some of the most abundant elements on Earth.

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

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