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

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.

The AI system can help shorten the time required for 2D material-based electronics to be ready for consumer devices.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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.
Q&A: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Q&A: Simple Solar-Powered Desalination
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: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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...

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...

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: Materials
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.

The increased use of photonics has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions — by 3-billion tons.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
How to Produce More Clean Water? Resemble the Rose.
A new water purifier works better because it takes the shape of the rose.

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

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...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
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...

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