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Current Solar Energy News and Events, Solar Energy News Articles.
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NREL reports sustainability benchmarks for plastics recycling and redesign
Researchers developing renewable plastics and exploring new processes for plastics upcycling and recycling technologies will now be able to easily baseline their efforts to current manufacturing practices to understand if their efforts will save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Benchmark data calculated and compiled at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provide a measurement -- at the supply chain level -- of how much energy is required and the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from the production of a variety of plastics in the United States. (2021-02-02)

Salt battery design overcomes bump in the road to help electric cars go the extra mile
Using salt as a key ingredient, Chinese and British researchers have designed a new type of rechargeable battery that could accelerate the shift to greener, electric transport on our roads. (2021-02-01)

Physicists have developed new material for water desalination
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles decorated by gold absorb about 96% of the solar spectrum and turn it into heat. The material can accelerate the evaporation in desalination plants up to 2.5 times and can track hazardous molecules and compounds. An international research team with representatives from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), ITMO University, and the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, published a related article in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. (2021-02-01)

Skoltech imaging resources used in international experiment with new photocatalysts
Skoltech researchers helped their colleagues from Japan, Germany, the United States, and China study the crystal structure and optical properties of a new class of two-dimensional compounds, which can be used as effective visible-light-responsive photocatalysts for energy and chemical conversion. They used the Advanced Imaging Core Facility equipment for imaging and structural analysis. (2021-02-01)

Non-metallic electronic regulation in CuCo oxy-/thio-spinel as OER electrocatalysts
Researchers successfully prepared oxy-spinel of Cu1-xCo2+xO4 nanaoflakes and thio-spinel of Cu1-xCo2+xS4 nanospheres by a facile hydrothermal method. The resulting Cu1-xCo2+xO4 exhibits higher catalytic performances toward OER in alkaline media than Cu1-xCo2+xS4 for water oxidation. Experimentally and theoretically, the superior OER catalytic activity of Cu1-xCo2+xO4 nanoflakes mainly depends on the strongly-electronegativity of oxygen element in spinel structure, which determines the higher valence state of Co active sites in CuCo oxyspinel. (2021-02-01)

Machine-learning to predict the performance of organic solar cells
Researchers from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) specialized in Artificial Intelligence have collaborated with researchers from Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona, specialized on materials for energy applications, to combine the experimental data points that they gather with artificial intelligence algorithms and enable an unprecedented predicting capability of the performance of organic solar cells. (2021-01-28)

Rumen additive and controlled energy benefit dairy cows during dry period
Getting nutrition right during a dairy cow's dry period can make a big difference to her health and the health of her calf. But it's also a key contributor to her milk yield after calving. New research from the University of Illinois shows diets containing consistent energy levels and the rumen-boosting supplement monensin may be ideal during the dry period. (2021-01-28)

Getting to net zero -- and even net negative -- is surprisingly feasible, and affordable
Reaching zero net emissions of carbon dioxide from energy and industry by 2050 can be accomplished by rebuilding U.S. energy infrastructure to run primarily on renewable energy, at a net cost of about $1 per person per day, according to new research published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of San Francisco (USF), and the consulting firm Evolved Energy Research. (2021-01-27)

Ions in molten salts can go 'against the flow'
In a new article published in the scientific journal Communications Chemistry, a research group at Uppsala University show, using computer simulations, that ions do not always behave as expected. In their research on molten salts, they were able to see that, in some cases, the ions in the salt mixture they were studying affect one another so much that they may even move in the ''wrong'' direction - that is, towards an electrode with the same charge. (2021-01-27)

Scientists develop perovskite solar modules with greater size, power and stability
Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have created perovskite solar modules with improved stability and efficiency by using a new fabrication technique that reduced defects. Their findings were published on the 25th January in Advanced Energy Materials. (2021-01-27)

Solar hydrogen: Photoanodes made of alpha-SnWO4 promise high efficiencies
Photoanodes made of metal oxides are considered to be a viable solution for the production of hydrogen with sunlight. Alpha-SnWO4 has optimal electronic properties for photoelectrochemical water splitting with sunlight, but corrodes easily. Protective layers of nickel oxide prevent corrosion, but reduce the photovoltage and limit the efficiency. Now a team at HZB has investigated at BESSY II what happens at the interface between the photoanode and the protective layer. (2021-01-26)

Solar material can 'self-heal' imperfections, new research shows
A material that can be used in technologies such as solar power has been found to self-heal, a new study shows. (2021-01-26)

Arctic ocean expedition advances climate modeling
In-situ cloud, radiation, and surface energy budget data collected by a September 2014 expedition of the Japanese Research Vessel Mirai from a stationary point in the ice-free Arctic Ocean were used to investigate the skill of regional climate models. Although most near-surface meteorological parameters were adequately captured by most models, certain important discrepancies were identified, such as the failure to capture unstable low-level cloud stratification, and the partitioning of ice clouds and liquid clouds. (2021-01-26)

Photocatalytic reaction in the shadow
Photoelectrochemical water splitting is a promising technology to convert solar energy into value-added fuels. Theoretically, silicon-based metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) photocathode can achieve high efficiency. However, the parasitic light absorption caused by catalysts and metals, as well as the lack of metals to form a large band-offset with p-Si, severely limit their performances. Scientists based in China have demonstrated an illumination-reaction decoupled MIS photocathode using n-Si to prevent the parasitic light absorption while establishing a large band-offset. (2021-01-25)

How does incident solar radiation affect urban canyons?
Toyohashi University of Technology proposed a numerical bead model to predict the upward-to-downward reflection ratio of glass bead retro-reflective (RR) material purposed for urban heat island (UHI) mitigation and reducing energy consumption. These results will contribute to existing research on the absorption or reflection of solar radiation to improve urban thermal and lighting conditions, and to reduce building energy consumption. (2021-01-25)

Magnetic waves explain mystery of Sun's outer layer
in a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers combined observations from a telescope in New Mexico, the United States, with satellites located near Earth to identify a link between magnetic waves in the chromosphere and areas of abundant ionised particles in the hot outer atmosphere. (2021-01-22)

Highly efficient grid-scale electricity storage at fifth of cost
Researchers in WMG at the University of Warwick, in collaboration with Imperial College London, have found a way to enhance hybrid flow batteries and their commercial use. The new approach can store electricity in these batteries for very long durations for about a fifth the price of current technologies, with minimal location restraints and zero emissions. (2021-01-22)

A professor from RUDN University developed new liquid crystals
A professor from RUDN University together with his Indian colleagues synthesized and studied new dibenzophenazine-based liquid crystals that could potentially be used in optoelectronics and solar panels. (2021-01-22)

New eco-friendly way to make ammonia could be boon for agriculture, hydrogen economy
Ammonia has sustained humanity since the early 20th century, but its production leaves a huge carbon footprint. Now researchers have found a way to make it 100 per cent renewable. (2021-01-21)

Much of Earth's nitrogen was locally sourced
Scientists show evidence that nitrogen acquired during Earth's formation came from both the inner and outer regions of the protoplanetary disk. The study has implications for signs of potential habitability of exoplanets. (2021-01-21)

Producing green hydrogen through the exposure of nanomaterials to sunlight
A research team from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has joined forces with French researchers from the The Institute of Chemistry and Processes for Energy, Environment and Health (ICPEES), a CNRS-University of Strasbourg joint research lab, to pave the way towards the production of green hydrogen. (2021-01-21)

Electron transfer discovery is a step toward viable grid-scale batteries
The way to boost electron transfer in grid-scale batteries is different than researchers had believed, a new study from the University of Michigan has shown. (2021-01-21)

Squeezing a rock-star material could make it stable enough for solar cells
A promising lead halide perovskite is great at converting sunlight to electricity, but it breaks down at room temperature. Now scientists have discovered how to stabilize it with pressure from a diamond anvil cell. The required pressure is well within the reach of industrial manufacturing requirements. (2021-01-21)

An anode-free zinc battery that could someday store renewable energy
Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, could help decrease the world's reliance on fossil fuels. But first, power companies need a safe, cost-effective way to store the energy for later use. Massive lithium-ion batteries can do the job, but they suffer from safety issues and limited lithium availability. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Nano Letters have made a prototype of an anode-free, zinc-based battery that uses low-cost, naturally abundant materials. (2021-01-20)

Boosted photocatalysis for hydrogen evolution: Reactant supply thru phosphonate groups
Water splitting research for solar hydrogen production has focused on physical processes inside the semiconductor, such as light absorption, charge separation, and chemical processes on the surface that are highly complex and rely on the development of new materials. The concept proposed in this study is design of the electrolyte-photocatalyst interface. The approach of immobilizing functional groups near the solid-liquid interface can be a broad-ranging methodology that is effective regardless of the materials used. (2021-01-20)

Oldest carbonates in the solar system
A meteorite that fell in northern Germany in 2019 contains carbonates which are among the oldest in the solar system; it also evidences the earliest presence of liquid water on a minute planet. The high-resolution Ion Probe - a research instrument at the Institute of Earth Sciences at Heidelberg University - provided the measurements. (2021-01-20)

World's largest lakes reveal climate change trends
Sixteen years of remote sensing data reveals that in Earth's largest freshwater lakes, climate change influences carbon fixation trends. (2021-01-20)

Could "Power Walking" fuel the energy revolution? India is ready to step up
India has an energy problem. It currently relies heavily on coal and consumer demand is expected to double by 2040, making its green energy targets look out of reach. Part of the solution could come from harvesting energy from footsteps, say Hari Anand and Binod Kumar Singh from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Dehradun, India. Their new study, published in the De Gruyter journal Energy Harvesting and Systems, shows that Indian attitudes towards power generated through piezoelectric tiles are overwhelmingly positive. (2021-01-19)

Solar activity reconstructed over a millennium
An international team of researchers led by ETH Zurich has reconstructed solar activity back to the year 969 using measurements of radioactive carbon in tree rings. Those results help scientists to better understand the dynamics of the sun and allow more precise dating of organic materials using the C14 method. (2021-01-19)

Blockchain technology to optimize P2P energy trading
A research team of Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, has developed a new technology an original blockchain technology that can optimize peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading. The technology is expected to contribute to more effective use of surplus electricity from renewable energy by creating trading environments that flexibly respond to shared trading needs, particularly to maximize the amount of surplus electricity available in the market at any given time. (2021-01-19)

NASA explores solar wind with new view of small sun structures
Scientists have combined NASA data and cutting-edge image processing to gain new insight into the solar structures that create the Sun's flow of high-speed solar wind, detailed in new research published today in The Astrophysical Journal. This first look at relatively small features, dubbed ''plumelets,'' could help scientists understand how and why disturbances form in the solar wind. (2021-01-19)

Purely organic hole transporter
Durable, high-performing perovskite solar cells also require durable, high-performing charge-transporting layers. Scientists have developed the first organic hole transporter that does not need a dopant to attain high charge mobility and stability. According to the study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, this novel hole-transporting layer outperforms reference materials and protects the perovskite organic cell from air humidity. (2021-01-18)

Carbon pricing's disappointing effect on the pace of technological change
In order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, the world must reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Carbon pricing is viewed by many governments and experts as the most important climate policy instrument. However, a new study shows that carbon pricing has been less effective as a driver of technological change than was previously anticipated. (2021-01-18)

New method makes better predictions of material properties using low quality data
By combining large amounts of low-fidelity data with smaller quantities of high-fidelity data, nanoengineers from the Materials Virtual Lab at UC San Diego have developed a new machine learning method to predict the properties of materials with more accuracy than existing models. Crucially, their approach is also the first to predict the properties of disordered materials--those with atomic sites that can be occupied by more than one element, or can be vacant. (2021-01-14)

The compound that makes chili peppers spicy also boosts perovskite solar cell performance
Research publishing January 13 in the journal Joule, determined that sprinkling capsaicin, the compound that makes peppers spicy, into the precursor of methylammonium lead triiodide (MAPbI3) perovskite during the manufacturing process led to a greater abundance of electrons (instead of empty placeholders) to conduct current at the semiconductor's surface. The addition resulted in polycrystalline MAPbI3 solar cells with the most efficient charge transport to date. (2021-01-13)

Red and green snow algae increase snowmelt in the Antarctic Peninsula
Red and green algae that grow on snow in the Antarctic Peninsula cause significant extra snowmelt on par with melt from dust on snow in the Rocky Mountains, according to a first-of-its-kind scientific research study. This could have serious impacts on regional climate, snow and ice melt, freshwater availability and ecosystems, yet is not accounted for in current global climate models. (2021-01-13)

Rare star's giant gamma-ray burst GRB 204015A captured close to our home galaxy
Earth gets blasted by mild gamma ray bursts most days. But sometimes a giant flare like GRB 200415A arrives at our galaxy, sweeping along energy that dwarfs our sun. It erupted from a rare, powerful neutron star called a magnetar - giving new clues to GRB origins - and from relatively nearby. The extreme explosions from these bursts can disrupt mobile phone reception, and can also be messengers from the very early history of the universe. (2021-01-13)

Eastern and central China become brighter due to clean air action
A new study finds that the air pollution control actions can lead to not only considerable environmental and health improvements, but also increases in solar photovoltaic energy production. (2021-01-13)

Long-range energy transport in perovskite nanocrystal films
High efficiency solar cells and light-emitting devices are end-goal targets towards a more sustainable world. Nanostructures possess distinct advantages due to their exceptional optical and electronic properties under the influence of light. Yet, their wide-spread application in real-world devices is limited by their poor transport properties. Scientists discovered that nanocrystals made with halide perovskites, a recently discovered revolutionary semiconductor, can lead to long-range energy transfer, opening new avenues for future devices implementing disruptive nanotechnologies. (2021-01-12)

Impacts of climate change on our water and energy systems: it's complicated
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Barbara have developed a science-based analytic framework to evaluate the complex connections between water and energy, and options for adaptations in response to an evolving climate. (2021-01-11)

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