Energy

Solar Power

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

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Latest Briefs & News

Briefs : Energy
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...

Briefs : Energy
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...

Q&A : Materials
Q&A: Jyotirmoy Mandal, Department of Applied Physics and Mathematics, Columbia University, New York, NY

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...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
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...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
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...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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...

Blog : Energy
Answering Your Questions: Will Solar Panel Efficiency Improve?
Don’t hold your breath, says Jeff Crystal from Voltaic Systems.
Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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...

Briefs : Energy
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....

Articles : Medical
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...

Question of the Week : Electronics & Computers
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.

Blog : Aerospace
'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.
INSIDER : Energy
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...

INSIDER : Materials
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...

Articles : Energy
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...

Articles : Energy
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...

Briefs : Energy
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....

Q&A : Energy
Q&A: Dr. André D. Taylor, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Dept., New York University Tandon School of Engineering, New York, NY

An international team of university researchers, led by Dr. Taylor, reports solving a major fabrication challenge for perovskite cells — the intriguing potential challengers to silicon-based solar cells. These...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Direct-Current Detector for Emergency Responder Safety

The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a direct-current detector technology to help emergency responders safely detect high voltages, which they have...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Solar PV and Lithium-Ion Battery Hybrids for the IIoT — A User's Guide

Hybrid solutions that combine small photovoltaic (PV) panels with industrial grade rechargeable Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries provide long-term power for remote...

INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
Tiny Defects in Semiconductors Created ‘Speed Bumps’ or Electrons. UCLA Researchers Cleared the Path

UCLA scientists and engineers have developed a new process for assembling semiconductor devices. The advance could lead to much more...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
High-Speed Reluctance Machine Design

Silphenix GmbH is an engineering and consulting firm in Switzerland specializing in high-speed electrical machines, magnetic bearings, and electromagnetic field analysis. One project focus is compact...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Water-Based Battery Stores Solar and Wind Energy

Wind and solar energy generation creates challenges, since the Sun only shines by day, and sometimes the wind doesn't blow. Another variability is surges of demand on the grid. On a hot day when air conditioning is in use, utilities must have load-balancing strategies to meet peak demand. A...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Auxiliary Power Solutions for 1500 VDC Photovoltaic Systems

Photovoltaic systems are continually evolving to improve their efficiency and financial viability. One trend is to move to larger strings of cells giving higher dc voltages to be...

Blog : Energy
From Chemical Engineer to Solar-Powered Whiskey and Beer: Meet Jim Batdorf, Chief Distiller
Jim Batdorf tells Tech Briefs about his unique career path, from chemical engineer to distiller of solar-powered spirits.
Briefs : Energy
Mobile Power Distribution System

Mobile or transportable power supply and distribution systems are needed for various types of work that require electrical power in a field or outdoor environment — such as construction and environmental...

Briefs : Medical
3D-Printed Device Produces Nanofiber Meshes

Nanofibers are useful for any application that benefits from a high ratio of surface area to volume, such as solar cells that maximize exposure to sunlight, or fuel cell electrodes that catalyze...

Briefs : Energy
Bi-Directional Energy Cascades and the Origin of Kinetic Turbulence in the Solar Wind

The kinetic turbulence of solar wind originates in the solar corona. The solar wind carries the fluctuations and escapes from the corona along the open magnetic field lines, and enters into the interplanetary space. The energy exchange among waves and particles...

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