Nanomaterials could double efficiency of solar cells by converting waste heat into usable energy

Devin Coldewey for TechCrunch:  An experimental solar cell created by MIT researchers could massively increase the amount of power generated by a given area of panels, while simultaneously reducing the amount of waste heat. Even better, it sounds super cool when scientists talk about it: “with our own unoptimized geometry, we in fact could break the Shockley-Queisser limit.” The Shockley-Queisser limit, which is definitely not made up, is the theoretical maximum efficiency of a solar cell, and it’s somewhere around 32 percent for the most common silicon-based ones. You can get around this by various tricks like stacking cells, but the better option, according to David Bierman, a doctoral student on the team (and who is quoted above), will be thermophotovoltaics — whereby sunlight is turned into heat and then re-emitted as light better suited for the cell to absorb.  Cont'd...

Is Kinetic Energy the Future?

Kinetic energy is power that is gained from motion, and this motion can involve vehicles, individuals, and any other object.

Choosing Your Own Energy Provider

When customers can make choices in the energy market with their own dollars, the end result is that they are not only more aware of the market, but also able to direct future investment in energy infrastructure.

What does the Future Hold for Thin Film Solar Panels?

The photovoltaic market continues to grow with impressive speed. Large scale silicon solar parks have been all the fashion until now but thin film panels are becoming increasingly popular and will dominate the small scale off-grid market and the booming building integrated PV segment.

American wind power sets sights on doubling in five years

From WINDPOWER 2016 -  By continuing to advance technology and lower costs, wind power, America's fastest growing new source of electricity, will stay on pace to grow to supply 10 percent of U.S. electricity by 2020. That's according to leading wind energy executives this morning during the American Wind Energy Association's WINDPOWER 2016 Conference and Exhibition, as thousands of attendees continued to file into the Western Hemisphere's largest wind energy industry event all year.  Helping to grow wind energy in the U.S. are a mix of stable federal policy, passed late last year on a bipartisan vote by Congress, forward-looking states raising their renewable energy targets, and corporate and other non-utility buyers aiming to cut carbon pollution and pass savings onto American homeowners and businesses.    Full Press Release. 

Intersolar 2016 - Special News Report

News and Product announcements from the show. Exhibitors are encourages to post news on this page --- a free service.

AltEnergyMag.com - Special Tradeshow Coverage of Intersolar

Intersolar Europe was held from June 21st - 24th in Munich, Germany, Intersolar North America runs July 14th - 16th in San Francisco, California. This AltEnergyMag.com Special Tradeshow report aims to bring you news, articles and products from this years events.

The inventor of this solar-powered water filtration system wants to win the Nobel Peace Prize

Clinton Nguyen for Tech Insider:  Marco Attisani wants his company to be the first to win the Nobel Peace Prize. It's a lofty goal for a 10-person startup, but Attisani is sure that the solar-powered water filtration systemsthey're producing will earn a spot on the shortlist. The filtration machines manufactured by Attisani's Italian company, Watly, are covered in photovoltaic panels that feed electricity into internal batteries. This allows the systems to be installed in the world's most remote locations, free of the need to connect to a power grid. The 40-foot-long, 15-ton units also serve as Wi-Fi hubs and charging stations.  Each machine can process 5,000 liters of drinking water each day and provide Wi-Fi access within a half-mile radius, according to CNN . The team claims the units will last roughly 10 years before they require maintenance.  Watly tested two units in its production facility in Talmassons, Italy in 2013 and 2014 before piloting a unit in rural Ghana in 2015. The company has also started an Indiegogo campaign to help fund an expansion into Sudan and Nigeria.   Cont'd...

Futuristic device is helping scientists break solar-efficiency record

Ariel Bogle for Yahoo News:  Looking a little like the world-saving stones from sci-fi classic The Fifth Element, a new device is expected to have a big impact on renewable energy. Built by Mark Keevers and Martin Green from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the unique prism could help make solar panels cheaper and more efficient. In fact, it's already broken a world record for the amount of solar energy it can create from unfocused sunlight. The prism has a sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency rate of 34.5 percent, Keevers told Mashable Australia. That's about a 44 percent improvement in efficiency on the previous record, he said, which sat at 24 percent efficiency but over 800 square centimetres (124 square inches). The UNSW team's record was achieved over a smaller surface area of 28 square centimetres (4.34 square inches). Importantly, it does this with normal, un-concentrated light — the type household solar panels already use.   Cont'd...

EIA's Annual Energy Outlook is a Projection, not a Prediction

EIA's approach to addressing the inherent uncertainty surrounding the country's energy future is to develop multiple cases that reflect different sets of internally consistent assumptions about key sources of uncertainty such as future world oil prices, macroeconomic growth, energy resources, technology costs, and policies.

Manned Electric Aircraft 2016-2031

It is now clear that the MEA business will be around $24 billion as soon as 2020 but the new analysis by IDTechEx sees truly hybrid and pure electric aircraft being a $24 billion business in 2031.

Gone with the wind: Surprising potential to improve reliability in wind power

Science Daily:  Despite the rigors of scientific inquiry and the methodical approaches of the world's most talented researchers, sometimes science has a surprise in store. Such was the case when a group of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Akron discovered that a particular form of carbon coating not necessarily designed for wind turbines may indeed prove a boon to the wind industry -- a serendipitous finding that was recently highlighted in the journal Tribology International. Due to the strenuous environment inherent in wind turbine drivetrains, key components such as actuators, bearings and gears are prone to failure, meaning turbines require regular maintenance that helps drive up the price of wind energy. Prolonging the life of these components could greatly reduce the cost of wind power, the fastest growing source of energy in the world, thereby making it an even more attractive energy source.   Cont'd...

8 Wonders of the Solar World

Did you know that many of the world's most distinguished, renowned, iconic, even historical buildings have gone solar?

Wind Turbine Repair

Reaching speeds of up to 200 mph, wind turbine blades are susceptible to damage from tiny particles including sand, rain, hail and salt spray.

Can we Save the Algae Biofuel Industry?

Christian Ridley for Newsweek:  Algal biofuels are in trouble. This alternative fuel source could help reduce overall carbon emissions without taking land from food production, like many crop-based biofuels do. But several major companies including Shell and ExxonMobil are seemingly abandoning their investments in this environmentally friendly fuel. So why has this promising technology failed to deliver, and what could be done to save it? Algae are photosynthetic organisms related to plants that grow in water and produce energy fromcarbon dioxide and sunlight. Single-celled microalgae can be used to produce large amounts of fat, which can be converted into biodiesel, the most common form of biofuel. There are many possible ingredients for making biofuels, from corn to used cooking oil. But algae are particularly interesting because they can be grown rapidly and produce large amounts of fuel relative to the resources used to grow them (high productivity).   Cont'd...  

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