Energy

Using Plastics to Make Solar Cells More Cost-Effective

Scientists are striving to develop organic solar cells that can be produced as easily and inexpensively as thin films. A major obstacle is coaxing these carbon-based materials to reliably form the proper structure at the nanoscale. The goal is to develop cells made from low-cost plastics that will transform at least 10 percent of sunlight into electricity.

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

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Researchers Striving to Cut Waste When Slicing Silicon

A filigree wire is standardly used to slice silicon blocks (ingots) into paper-thin wafers for solar cells. This wire can cut through the ingot at a speed of up to 60 km/h. Several hundred kilometers long, the wire is arranged in such a way that the ingot is sliced into hundreds of wafers simultaneously. The process takes around six hours and the resultant slices are approximately 180 µm thick. Researchers are setting out to reduce this thickness, and therefore reduce waste.

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

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Process Cleans Wastewater, Generates Electricity, Desalinates Seawater

A team of researchers from the U.S. and China modified a microbial fuel cell - a device that uses naturally occurring bacteria to convert wastewater into clean water producing electricity - so it could desalinate salty water. The new process cleans wastewater, generates electricity, and removes 90 percent of salt from brackish water or seawater.

Posted in: Pollution, News, News, Energy Efficiency, Remediation Technologies

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Emitters Provide Flexibility

Philips Lumileds (San Jose, CA) expanded its LUXEON® Rebel family of LEDs with nine new emitters designed for illumination solutions such as recessed lighting, street lamps, and retrofit bulbs. The new LEDs meet ENERGY STAR® requirements.

Posted in: Products, News, Energy Efficiency

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Ethanol Funding Opportunity

DOE announced the availability of up to $5.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase the use of higher ethanol blends up to E85 (85% ethanol/15% gasoline) by expanding refueling infrastructure.

Posted in: News, News, Biomass, Renewable Energy, Government Initiatives, Alternative Fuels

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Modular Battery Charge Controller

A John H. Glenn Research Center-developed controller features distributed charge control and a masterless communication bus, enhancing its robustness for use in battery energy-storage applications. The modular battery charge controller is required in battery chemistries that need cell-level charge control for safety.

Posted in: Briefs, Briefs, Batteries, Energy Storage

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Green Aircraft Contest Takes Off

Today, the NASA Innovative Partnerships Program and the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation officially announced the Green Flight Challenge. The flight efficiency competition is for aircraft that can average at least 100 mph on a 200-mile flight, while achieving greater than 200 passenger miles per gallon.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Solar Power, Alternative Fuels

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