Solar Energy Storage Problem May be Solved in New Single-System Technology

Generating power from the sun isn't the problem. The technology has been there for decades. Storing that power efficiently, however, has been a challenge. Until now.

Quantum Dot Solar Cells Are Coming

A quantum dot solar cell (QDSC) is a solar cell that uses quantum dots as the captivating photovoltaic material. It is used to replace bulky materials such as silicon, or copper indium gallium selenide.

Speeding Up Discoveries of Organic and Organic-Inorganic Materials by Electronic Structure Theory

How do you identify the ideal molecular structure for a solar absorber or, perhaps, for a drug supplied as a powder of molecular crystals? The computing power of one of the world's most advanced supercomputers can help.

New Control Strategy Helps Reap Maximum Power from Wind Farms

UT Dallas researchers use supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center to develop methods that can improve wind energy production.

Lithium Battery Life Could Double by Adding Graphene Girders to Silicon Electrodes

Graphite has been the default choice of active material for anodes in lithium-ion batteries since their original launch by Sony but researchers and manufacturers have long sought a way to replace graphite with silicon, as it is an abundantly available element with ten times

Energy from Artificial Photosynthesis

Artificial photosynthesis requires only sunlight and simple organic chemicals to generate renewable energy cheaply and cleanly. While some limited progress has been made in this area, until now, no proposed solution has been nearly efficient enough to warrant commercial use.

NREL at 40: Research Efforts Drive Advanced Energy

Working with partners in industry and academia, NREL delivers the scientific building blocks for new energy technologies that drive the country's economic growth. NREL's world-class researchers, facilities, tools, and analysis yield innovations that create new business opportunities and greatly reduce the risk of investment for energy companies and manufacturers.

Venteea Project Shows a Fair Wind for Distribution Network Energy Storage

In addition to the technical lessons learned, the project team expects to draw conclusions regarding the changes necessary to the current regulatory regime that will enable the optimum usage of energy storage in unbundled power systems.

New hydronium-ion battery presents opportunity for more sustainable energy storage

The new battery provides an additional option for researchers, particularly in the area of stationary storage.

What is the Deep Decarbonization Pathway Project?

The Deep Decarbonization Pathway Project (DDPP) is a global collaboration of energy research teams from around the world, charting practical pathways to deeply reduce greenhouse emissions.

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...

Apple leftovers key for future energy storage

By Tereza Pultarova for E&T:  German researchers have developed a new carbon-based active material that can be manufactured from apple leftovers and used to build better energy storage systems. The apple-based material can be used as the negative electrode in sodium-ion batteries, which are currently being researched as a more environmentally friendly and cheaper alternative to lithium-ion batteries. Instead of energy-intensive lithium mining, which frequently damages the environment, battery manufacturers in future could be using organic waste to make batteries. In tests, the new material discovered by researchers from the Helmholtz Institute Ulm of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, has demonstrated ‘excellent electrochemical properties’, allowing the researchers to carry out 1000 charge and discharge cycles during which the apple-based battery demonstrated high stability as well as capacity.   Cont'd...

Researchers want oil and gas drillers to adopt geothermal technology

By Brooks Hays for UPI:  Researchers at the University of North Dakota believe geothermal energy production should be a significant part of America's future energy portfolio. But to get the industry off the ground, proponents are looking to an industry not normally associated with renewable energy -- gas and oil drillers. "Oil- and gas-producing sedimentary basins in Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, and North Dakota contain formation waters of a temperature that is adequate for geothermal power production," researchers wrote in their new study on the subject, published this week in the journal Geosphere. Geothermal energy requires heat, and natural sources of heat lie deep within the ground. Gas and oil drillers have already built the infrastructure to access deep-lying natural resources. Of course, gas and oil drillers want gas and oil, not heat. But in their quest for gas and oil, they get heat nonetheless.  Cont'd...

Super Battery Technology - High Capacity Cathode

Rather than relying upon conventional cathodes that use lithium-ion intercalation chemistry, an inherently slow process, we exploit the fast redox-reaction properties of our polymer to enable rapid charge and discharge.

New method can make cheaper solar energy storage

Storing solar energy as hydrogen is a promising way for developing comprehensive renewable energy systems. To accomplish this, traditional solar panels can be used to generate an electrical current that splits water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter being considered a form of solar fuel. However, the cost of producing efficient solar panels makes water-splitting technologies too expensive to commercialize. EPFL scientists have now developed a simple, unconventional method to fabricate high-quality, efficient solar panels for direct solar hydrogen production with low cost. The work is published in Nature Communications. Many different materials have been considered for use in direct solar-to-hydrogen conversion technologies but "2-D materials" have recently been identified as promising candidates. In general these materials—which famously include graphene—have extraordinary electronic properties. However, harvesting usable amounts of solar energy requires large areas of solar panels, and it is notoriously difficult and expensive to fabricate thin films of 2-D materials at such a scale and maintain good performance. Kevin Sivula and colleagues at EPFL addressed this problem with an innovative and cheap method that uses the boundary between two non-mixing liquids. The researchers focused on one of the best 2-D materials for solar water splitting, called "tungsten diselenide". Past studies have shown that this material has a great efficiency for converting solar energy directly into hydrogen fuel while also being highly stable.   Cont'd...

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