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.

Latest Briefs & News

Almost all satellites are powered by solar cells – but solar cells are heavy. While conventional high-performance cells reach up to three watts of electricity per gram,...

A new way of making large sheets of high-quality, atomically thin graphene could lead to ultra-lightweight, flexible solar cells, and to new classes of...

Briefs: Aerospace
SMART Solar Sail
The miniaturized, autonomous, reconfigurable solar sail is capable of very fine maneuvering by small surface deformation.
A new design enables artificial photosynthesis to generate fuel that can power homes and vehicles.
Question of the Week: Energy
Will We Ever See Humidity Panels Alongside Solar Panels?

Our lead INSIDER story featured an experiment from Tel Aviv University that supports the idea of water vapor as an alternative energy source.

What do you think? Will We Ever See Humidity Panels Alongside Solar Panels?

Share your questions and comments.

Although perovskites are a promising alternative to silicon for solar cells, new manufacturing processes are needed to make them practical for commercial production. To help...

"Who knows? Maybe one day we will have roofs covered with humidity panels together with solar panels," TAU professor Colin Price told Tech Briefs.
Articles: Nanotechnology
Products of Tomorrow: June 2020
Nature-Inspired Energy Tech, Superelastic Tires, Wearable Supercapacitors, and more...
The AI system can help shorten the time required for 2D material-based electronics to be ready for consumer devices.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Shape Memory Alloy Mechanisms for CubeSats
This lightweight and efficient mechanism enables retention, release, and deployment of solar arrays and antennas.
The method slashes battery testing times — a key barrier to longer-lasting, faster-charging batteries for electric vehicles.
The domino effect is used to design deployable systems that expand quickly with a small push and are stable and locked into place after deployment.
Lenan Zhang and his team at MIT developed a small, economical, highly efficient device to provide fresh drinking water using only the Sun for its energy input.
A wildfire-preventing gel; NASA's 3D tissue models, and more.
A new method provides a more efficient, safer, and cost-effective way to produce cadmium telluride material for solar cells or other applications.

Materials called perovskites show strong potential for a new generation of solar cells, but they’ve had trouble gaining traction in a market dominated by...

These thin films hold great promise for solar cells and LEDs.
Applying a surface-active agent makes metal easier to cut and shape into parts and pieces.
Briefs: Communications
Photovoltaic-Powered Sensors
RFID-based devices work in indoor and outdoor lighting conditions and could transmit data for years before they need to be replaced.

Undercooled metal technology was developed that features liquid metal (in this case, Field's metal, an alloy of bismuth, indium, and tin) trapped below its melting point in polished,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method Produces Three-Dimensional, Curved Electronics

Contact lenses that can monitor the wearer’s health and correct eyesight use embedded electronics. These, and other curved devices such as solar cells and electronics, could be...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lightweight Sensing and Control System for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Monitoring

A new sensing and control system for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) allows for semi-autonomous flight. Pilots need not leave the ground to conduct routine monitoring and surveillance quickly and cost-effectively. Such systems are particularly useful during long flight...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Rose-Inspired Device Collects and Purifies Water

A new device, inspired by a rose, inexpensively collects and purifies water. The device is a new approach to solar steaming for water production — a technique that uses energy from sunlight...

Transparent electrodes are a critical component of solar cells and electronic displays. To collect electricity in a solar cell or inject electricity for a display, you need a conductive contact,...

Semi-Liquid Metal Anode for Next-Generation Batteries

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a semi-liquid lithium metal-based anode. Lithium batteries made using this new...

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Products of Tomorrow: August 2019

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...

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a double-sided Si(Ge)/ Sapphire/III-Nitride hybrid structure. This technology uses both sides of a sapphire wafer to build device...

Organic semiconductors (OSCs) have emerged as a new class of electronic materials promising a wide range of applications including organic field-effect transistors...

The color of a material can often tell how it handles heat. With clothing, for example, the darker the pigment, the warmer you're likely to feel on a hot day. Likewise, the more...

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