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Access the latest advancements, technical briefs, and trending applications in solar power generation systems, essential to design engineers working in the renewable energy sectors.

Latest Briefs & News

Briefs : Lighting
3D Printing of Flexible Circuits

A process was developed for 3D printing that can be used to produce transparent and mechanically flexible electronic circuits. The electronics consist of a mesh of silver nanowires that can be printed in suspension and embedded in various flexible and transparent plastics (polymers). This technology can enable...

Briefs : Energy
Multistep Self-Assembly for Reconfigurable Materials

Self-assembling synthetic materials come together when tiny, uniform building blocks interact and form a structure; however, nature lets materials like proteins of varying size and shape assemble, allowing for complex architectures that can handle multiple tasks.

INSIDER : Energy
Release of Solar Panel Dataset Helps Cities Make Power Grids Safer and More Reliable
Release of Solar Panel Dataset Helps Cities Make Power Grids Safer and More Reliable

Solar power researchers have traditionally only used the power measurements from single residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to estimate the power...

Release of Solar Panel Dataset Helps Cities Make Power Grids Safer and More Reliable
INSIDER : Energy
Winter Could Pose Solar Farm ‘Ramping’ Problem for Power Grid
Winter Could Pose Solar Farm ‘Ramping’ Problem for Power Grid

By adding utility-scale solar farms throughout New York state, summer electricity demand from conventional sources could be reduced by up to 9.6% in some places. But Cornell...

Winter Could Pose Solar Farm ‘Ramping’ Problem for Power Grid
Briefs : Materials
Generating Electrical Power from Waste Heat
Generating Electrical Power from Waste Heat

Directly converting electrical power to heat is easy; however, converting heat into electrical power is not as easy. To address this issue, a tiny silicon-based device was developed that can...

Generating Electrical Power from Waste Heat
Briefs : Lighting
Self-Powered, Washable, Wearable Displays

Clothing usually is formed with textiles and has to be both wearable and washable for daily use; however, smart clothing has had a problem with its power sources and moisture permeability, which causes the devices to malfunction. To solve this problem, a textile-based, wearable display module technology...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Helicopter Drones
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Helicopter Drones
Three new unmanned helicopters were unveiled at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Helicopter Drones
5 Ws : Test & Measurement
5 Ws of Foldable Mechanical Devices
5 Ws of Foldable Mechanical Devices

Who

Manufacturers across medical, space, aviation, military, and automotive industries could use the technology to build complex machines that integrate with surfaces to be very compact, but can...

5 Ws of Foldable Mechanical Devices
Briefs : Energy
See-Through Film Rejects 70 Percent of Incoming Solar Heat
See-Through Film Rejects 70 Percent of Incoming Solar Heat

A heat-rejecting film was developed that could be applied to a building’s windows to reflect up to 70 percent of the Sun’s incoming heat. The film remains highly transparent...

See-Through Film Rejects 70 Percent of Incoming Solar Heat
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Individual Quantum Dots Imaged in 3-D for the First Time
Individual Quantum Dots Imaged in 3-D for the First Time

Researchers have developed an imaging technique that uses a tiny, super sharp needle to nudge a single nanoparticle into different orientations and capture 2-D images to help...

Individual Quantum Dots Imaged in 3-D for the First Time
Briefs : Energy
Material Removes Ice Buildup Without Power or Chemicals
Material Removes Ice Buildup Without Power or Chemicals

From airplane wings, to overhead power lines, to the giant blades of wind turbines, a buildup of ice can cause problems ranging from impaired performance all the way to catastrophic...

Material Removes Ice Buildup Without Power or Chemicals
Q&A : Energy
Q&A: Columbia University’s Jyotirmoy Mandal Creates a Cooling Polymer

Mandal, along with Professors Yuan Yang and Nanfang Yu, built upon earlier work demonstrating that many simple plastics and polymers are excellent heat radiators that could be used for passive radiative daytime cooling (PRDC). Their challenge was to get these normally...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Self-Powering Sensor Using a Nano-Energy Harvester
Self-Powering Sensor Using a Nano-Energy Harvester

Existing nanosensor technologies depend on an external power source (typically a battery) to operate. Chemical and biological sensors based on nanowire or nanotube technologies exhibit...

Self-Powering Sensor Using a Nano-Energy Harvester
Briefs : Energy
Ancient Pigment Can Boost Energy Efficiency
Ancient Pigment Can Boost Energy Efficiency

Egyptian blue, derived from calcium copper silicate, was routinely used on ancient depictions of gods and royalty. Previous studies have shown that when Egyptian blue absorbs visible light, it then...

Ancient Pigment Can Boost Energy Efficiency
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Facility Focus: NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Facility Focus: NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) has been a leader in human space exploration for more than half a century. Established in 1961 in Houston, TX as the Manned Spacecraft Center, the center...

Facility Focus: NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Blog : Energy
Answering Your Questions: Will Solar Panel Efficiency Improve?
Answering Your Questions: Will Solar Panel Efficiency Improve?
Don’t hold your breath, says Jeff Crystal from Voltaic Systems.
Answering Your Questions: Will Solar Panel Efficiency Improve?
Articles : Materials
Smart Actuators Deliver on the Promise of Industry 4.0
Smart Actuators Deliver on the Promise of Industry 4.0

As Industry 4.0 initiatives bring more and more industrial axes of motion into the realm of automation, the need for cost-effective control across them grows as well. Advances in...

Smart Actuators Deliver on the Promise of Industry 4.0
Briefs : Energy
Alternating Current Photovoltaic Building Block
Alternating Current Photovoltaic Building Block

Today's photovoltaic power systems are generally comprised of a single photovoltaic module or multiple modules connected by combinations of series and parallel circuits as a photovoltaic array....

Alternating Current Photovoltaic Building Block
Articles : Photonics/Optics
Facility Focus: Ames Laboratory
Facility Focus: Ames Laboratory

Ames Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, IA. For more than...

Facility Focus: Ames Laboratory
Question of the Week : Energy
Will Stretchable, Printable Solar Cells Catch On?

A Rice University lab is making solar cells that are stretchable, printable, and paintable. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.

This week's Question: Will Stretchable, Printable Solar Cells Catch On?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

News : Materials
'Invisible Glass’ Takes First Prize in ‘Create the Future’ Contest
'Invisible Glass’ Takes First Prize in ‘Create the Future’ Contest
The grand-prize-winning nanotechnology coating imparts anti-reflection and water-repellency capabilities to surfaces made of silicon, glass ,and some plastics, including Teflon.
'Invisible Glass’ Takes First Prize in ‘Create the Future’ Contest
INSIDER : Energy
Boron Nitride Separation Process Could Facilitate Higher Efficiency Solar Cells
Boron Nitride Separation Process Could Facilitate Higher Efficiency Solar Cells

A team of semiconductor researchers based in France has used a boron nitride separation layer to grow indium gallium nitride (InGaN) solar cells that were then...

Boron Nitride Separation Process Could Facilitate Higher Efficiency Solar Cells
INSIDER : Materials
Silicon-Based Tandem Photovoltaic Modules Show Potential
Silicon-Based Tandem Photovoltaic Modules Show Potential

New solar energy research from Arizona State University demonstrates that silicon-based tandem photovoltaic modules, which convert sunlight to electricity with higher efficiency than...

Silicon-Based Tandem Photovoltaic Modules Show Potential
Articles : Software
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

In 1977, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, Golden, CO) started as the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI), spurred by national concern during the 1973 oil embargo that caused long lines...

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Articles : Aerospace
Products of Tomorrow: September 2018
Products of Tomorrow: September 2018

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Products of Tomorrow: September 2018
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Piezoelectric Thrust Vector Control for Hall Effect Thruster

The design of the CubeSat required precision pointing of the thrust vector through the spacecraft center of gravity to minimize fuel usage for attitude correction. Because the center of gravity shifts over the course of the mission, a means of adjusting the thrust vector was needed....