A better way of converting coffee waste to biofuel?

Ben Coxworth for New Atlas: Scientists have developed a simpler new process for converting coffee grounds to biofuel.

Tesla's Solar Roof Is Finally Ready For You to Buy

Tom Randall for Bloomberg: Elon Musk says orders will begin today. Pricing details have yet to be revealed.

X-FAB and Exagan Successfully Produce First GaN-on-Silicon Devices on 200-mm Wafers

Silicon Foundry and GaN Start-Up Achieve Major Milestone in Establishing a 200-mm, Fully CMOS-Compatible Process While GaN Power Products Gain Market Traction

Thin layers of water hold promise for the energy storage of the future

Matt Shipman for Phys.org: "This is a proof of concept, but the idea of using water or other solvents to 'tune' the transport of ions in a layered material is very exciting," says Veronica Augustyn, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at NC State and corresponding author of a paper describing the work.

An Italian company is turning hot sand into clean energy

Giuliano Balestrieri, Business Insider Italia: The same heat that burns your feet when you walk on sand could be the key to making clean energy and endless electricity. An Italian firm, Magaldi Group, is doing so by using sand as a storage system to eventually concentrate solar energy.

Power Regulation and Pitch Control

Wind gusts can increase wind speeds at rates and for durations just long enough for the energy to enter the system, but sometimes too fast for conventional pitch control systems to respond adequately.

Lunar-Based Solar Power Concept Could Solve The World's Energy Crisis

Wall Street Pit: If the moon can be turned into a solar power station, our energy problems for sustainable and affordable electric power on a global scale will be solved.

This solar panel produces up to 5 liters of drinking water per day from the air

Derek Markham for TreeHugger: Zero Mass Water's Source device is a rooftop solar device that produces water instead of just electricity.

Low-cost 'solar absorber' promising for future power plants

Emil Venere for Phys.org: Researchers have shown how to modify commercially available silicon wafers into a structure that efficiently absorbs solar energy and withstands the high temperatures needed for "concentrated solar power" plants that might run up to 24 hours a day.

A Low-Tech Approach To Energy Storage: Molten Metals

Bruce Gellerman for WBUR: The ability to store energy promises to revolutionize the way we generate, transmit and use electricity - making renewable sources such as wind and solar cheaper and more dependable. Massachusetts is one of just three states requiring electric utilities to build battery facilities in the future. A company in Marlborough believes it literally has the next hot technology in energy storage: molten metals.

Record-breaking solar panel converts more than a quarter of sunlight into electricity

Ian Johnson for Independent: A record-breaking solar panel that can convert more than a quarter of the sunlight it receives into electricity has been developed by researchers in Japan.

Trump Should Make Space-Based Solar Power A National Priority

Space-based solar power (SBSP) --- in which satellites in Earth orbit capture the Sun's radiation, convert it to electricity and then transmit it back to Earth in the form of either microwaves or lasers --- would arguably do more to positively impact the lives of everyday Americans and fellow citizens of the world than almost anything the new President could champion.

Scientists harness solar power to produce hydrogen from biomass

University of Cambridge via Biomass Magazine:  Dr Moritz Kuehnel, from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, joint lead author on a new research paper published in Nature Energy, says: "Lignocellulose is nature's equivalent to armoured concrete. It consists of strong, highly crystalline cellulose fibres, that are interwoven with lignin and hemicellulose which act as a glue. This rigid structure has evolved to give plants and trees mechanical stability and protect them from degradation, and makes chemical utilisation of lignocellulose so challenging." The new technology relies on a simple photocatalytic conversion process. Catalytic nanoparticles are added to alkaline water in which the biomass is suspended. This is then placed in front of a light in the lab which mimics solar light. The solution is ideal for absorbing this light and converting the biomass into gaseous hydrogen which can then be collected from the headspace. The hydrogen is free of fuel-cell inhibitors, such as carbon monoxide, which allows it to be used for power.   Full Article:

Stabilizing battery storage

Morgan Sherburne for U of Michigan News:  An issue that has long plagued renewable energy facilities is how to efficiently store energy collected from sun or wind. Now, University of Michigan and University of Utah chemists have developed an energy-storing molecule that is 1,000 times more stable than current compounds, potentially leading to a longer-lived, more efficient battery. The researchers are working to develop industrial-scale batteries that can store large amounts of energy for deployment when the sun sets or the wind stops blowing. Deep-cycle lead batteries or lithium ion batteries are already on the market, but each type presents challenges, including the significant environmental hazards of disposal. Also, these kinds of batteries wear out relatively quickly.   Cont'd...

Follow the Patents: For Solar Power, the Devil Is in the Details

Alec Schibanoff for Electric Light & Power:  There actually is a crystal ball that permits you to see into the future. All you have to do is follow the patents. The latest patents in any technology will show you where that technology—and the businesses that use that technology—are going. This month, we take a look at the future of solar panel installation. The first solar power generator was displayed at the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1878. The first U.S. Patent for a solar power device was awarded the next year to Edward Weston. He actually received two patents: U.S. Patent No. 389,124 for an “Apparatus for Generating Solar Radiant Energy” and U.S. Patent No. 389,125 for the “Art of Utilizing Solar Radiant Energy.” It was not until 1954 that Bell Labs developed the first silicone-based solar panel.   Cont'd...

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