Current Solar Power News and Events

Current Solar Power News and Events, Solar Power News Articles.
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Low-level jets create winds of change for turbines
Global wind power capacity has increased more than fivefold over the past decade, leading to larger turbines, but low-level jets are one cause for concern. The effects of these strong, energetic wind flows depend on how high the wind flows are in relation to the turbines. In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, researchers considered three different scenarios in which the LLJs were above, below, and in the middle of the turbine rotors. (2021-02-23)

The perfect recipe for efficient perovskite solar cells
A long-cherished dream of materials researchers is a solar cell that converts sunlight into electrical energy as efficiently as silicon, but that can be easily and inexpensively fabricated from abundant materials. Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have now come a step closer to achieving this. (2021-02-22)

A salt solution for desalinating brine
Solar-powered brine crystallization could alleviate the environmental impacts of seawater desalination. (2021-02-21)

Sounding rocket CLASP2 elucidates solar magnetic field
Cooperative operations between a solar observation satellite and a sounding-rocket telescope have measured the magnetic field strength in the photosphere and chromosphere above an active solar plage region. This is the first time that the magnetic field in the chromosphere has been charted all the way up to its top. This finding brings us closer to understanding how energy is transferred between layers of the Sun. (2021-02-19)

The CLASP2 space experiment achieves an unprecedented map of the Sun's magnetic field
Every day space telescopes provide spectacular images of the solar activity. However, their instruments are blind to its main driver: the magnetic field in the outer layers of the solar atmosphere, where the explosive events that occasionally affect the Earth occur. (2021-02-19)

Human impact on solar radiation levels for decades
Based on the long-term Potsdam radiation time series, ETH Professor Martin Wild and his collaborators have shown that variations in the intensity of sunlight over decades are down to ultra-fine, man-made dirt particles in the atmosphere. (2021-02-18)

The mass of Cygnus X-1's black hole challenges stellar evolution models
Weighing in at roughly 21 solar masses, the black hole in the X-ray binary system Cygnus X-1 is so massive that it challenges current stellar evolution models, a new study reveals. (2021-02-18)

Ancient relic points to a turning point in Earth's history 42,000 years ago
The temporary breakdown of Earth's magnetic field 42,000 years ago sparked major climate shifts that led to global environmental change and mass extinctions, a new international study co-led by UNSW Sydney and the South Australian Museum shows. (2021-02-18)

Credit card-sized soft pumps power wearable artificial muscles
Robotic clothing that is entirely soft and could help people to move more easily is a step closer to reality thanks to the development of a new flexible and lightweight power system for soft robotics. (2021-02-17)

Record sunshine during first COVID-19 lockdown largely caused by unusual weather
Exceptional weather conditions were mainly responsible for high solar radiation, not the aerosol reduction due to the shutdown of industry and reduced traffic in the first lockdown / International research team continues to develop climate simulations that take into account influences of the COVID-19 pandemic. (2021-02-16)

Switching to firm contracts may prevent natural gas fuel shortages at US power plants
New research now indicates that these fuel shortages are not due to failures of pipelines and that in certain areas of the country a change in how gas is purchased can significantly reduce generator outages. The paper, 'What Causes Natural Gas Fuel Shortages at US Power Plants?' by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, was published in Energy Policy. (2021-02-16)

NREL heats up thermal energy storage with new solution meant to ease grid stress
Scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a simple way to better evaluate the potential of novel materials to store or release heat on demand in your home, office, or other building in a way that more efficiently manages the building's energy use. (2021-02-16)

Luminescent windows generate energy from inside and out
Rice University engineers design and build windowpanes that redirect sunlight or illumination from indoors to edge-band solar cells. (2021-02-15)

Producing more sustainable hydrogen with composite polymer dots
Hydrogen for energy use can be extracted in an environmentally friendly way from water and sunlight, using photocatalytic composite polymer nanoparticles developed by researchers at Uppsala University. In laboratory tests, these 'polymer dots' showed promising performance and stability alike. The study has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. (2021-02-12)

Electric transmission operators could benefit from temperature-dependent resource adequacy modeling
A new paper contributes to these ongoing reliability considerations by using a unique data set to determine how both low and high temperatures reduce the reliability of coal, gas, diesel, hydroelectric, and nuclear power generators and thus affect the amount of generation markets should contract for. The paper, ''Resource Adequacy Implications of Temperature-dependent Electric Generator Availability,'' by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, was published in Applied Energy. (2021-02-12)

Young planets with teenage sun give space studies a lift
Researchers find a new planetary system made up of at least three neighboring planets, ranging in size between that of Earth and Neptune, that orbit the same sun. (2021-02-12)

Coronavirus test from a suitcase
A portable suitcase could aid quick diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 cases in Africa. In cooperation with several African universities, scientists at Leipzig University have found that a mini-laboratory provides test results that are almost as good as a PCR test - and almost in real time. The researchers have now published their findings in the journal 'Analytical Chemistry'. (2021-02-11)

A new way of forming planets
Scientists of the Universities of Zurich and Cambridge, associated with the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS, suggest a new explanation for the abundance in intermediate-mass exoplanets - a long-standing puzzle of Astronomy. (2021-02-11)

Astronomers confirm solar system's most distant known object is indeed Farfarout
With the help of the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF's NOIRLab, and other ground-based telescopes, astronomers have confirmed that a faint object discovered in 2018 and nicknamed ''Farfarout'' is indeed the most distant object yet found in our Solar System. The object has just received its designation from the International Astronomical Union. (2021-02-11)

New machine learning theory raises questions about nature of science
A novel computer algorithm, or set of rules, that accurately predicts the orbits of planets in the solar system could be adapted to better predict and control the behavior of the plasma that fuels fusion facilities designed to harvest on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars. (2021-02-11)

Black carbon aerosols in Beijing become "slim"
Scientists observed evident decreases of black carbon aerosol (BC) loading in the atmosphere of urban Beijing since the implementation of China's Action Plan of Prevention and Control of Air Pollution in 2013. And the BC aerosols became ''slim'', appearing with smaller core sizes and less coatings. (2021-02-10)

Solar awnings over parking lots help companies and customers
Michigan Tech engineers look into the untapped potential of parking lots in a study that investigates the energy-related benefits of developing charging stations powered with solar canopies built into the parking infrastructure of large-scale retailers like Walmart. (2021-02-10)

The future of solar technology: New technology makes foldable cells a practical reality
International research team creates solar cells with unprecedented flexibility and resistance. (2021-02-10)

Astronomers confirm orbit of most distant object ever observed in our solar system
A team of astronomers, including associate professor Chad Trujillo of Northern Arizona University's Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, have confirmed a planetoid that is almost four times farther from the Sun than Pluto, making it the most distant object ever observed in our solar system. (2021-02-10)

'Farfarout'! Solar system's most distant planetoid confirmed
Astronomers have confirmed a planetoid that is almost four times farther from the Sun than Pluto, making it the most distant object ever observed in our solar system. (2021-02-10)

Clear-sky detection methods in a highly polluted region still need further improvements
Clear-sky detection methods in a highly polluted region still need further improvements. (2021-02-09)

A new modifier increases the efficiency of perovskite solar cells
The research team of NUST MISIS has presented an improved structure of perovskite solar cells. Scientists have modified perovskite-based solar cells using MXenes -- thin two-dimensional titanium carbides with high electrical conductivity. The MXenes-based modified cells showed superior performance, with power conversion efficiency exceeding 19% (the reference demonstrated 17%) and improved stabilized power output with respect to reference devices. The results have been published in the Nano energy international scientific journal. (2021-02-09)

Shining a light on the true value of solar power
Utility companies have worried that solar panels drive up electric costs for the people who don't have panels. Michigan Tech renewable energy researchers show the opposite is actually true -- grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) owners are actually subsidizing their non-PV neighbors. (2021-02-09)

Coal and COVID-19: How the pandemic is accelerating the end of fossil power generation
COVID-19 has not only caused a temporary drop in global CO2 emissions, it has also reduced the share of power generated by burning coal - a trend that could in fact outlast the pandemic. This is the key result of a new study by a team of economists based in Potsdam and Berlin that looked at COVID-19's impact on the energy system and demand for electricity. (2021-02-08)

Efficiency limits of next-generation hybrid photovoltaic-thermal solar technology
Spectral-splitting hybrid photovoltaic-thermal (SSPVT) technology has emerged as a promising route toward high-performance solar harvesting. In this research, scientists have developed a comprehensive framework for modelling SSPVT solar collectors. The framework can be used to determine the efficiency limits of such collectors and to indicate how these limits can be approached through the selection of optimal designs and materials. This work promotes and provides guidance to the design, development and deployment of next-generation solar systems. (2021-02-08)

Radiative cooling and solar heating from one system, no electricity needed
A University at Buffalo-led study published Feb. 8 in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science describes a new technology that provides both radiative cooling and solar heating, all is one system and without using electricity or fuel. It could help impoverished communities, reduce cooling and heating costs, lower CO2 emissions (2021-02-08)

Establishment testing standards for particulate photocatalysts in solar fuel production proposed
Recently, an international research team initiated the establishment of international efficiency accreditation and testing protocols for particulate photocatalysts toward solar fuel production. (2021-02-05)

An optical coating like no other
The technology, based on Fano resonance, results in a coating that fully reflects only a very narrow wavelength. The technology could improve the effectiveness of devices that use hybrid thermal-electric power generation as a solar energy option. (2021-02-04)

Imaging technique provides link to innovative products
A study led by University of Georgia researchers announces the successful use of a new nanoimaging technique that will allow researchers to test and identify two-dimensional materials (2021-02-04)

From waste heat to electrical power: A new generation of thermomagnetic generators
Use of waste heat contributes largely to sustainable energy supply. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and T?hoku University in Japan have now come much closer to their goal of converting waste heat into electrical power at small temperature differences. As reported in Joule, electrical power per footprint of thermomagnetic generators based on Heusler alloy films has been increased by a factor of 3.4. (DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2020.10.019) (2021-02-03)

New piezoelectric material remains effective to high temperatures
Piezoelectric materials hold great promise as sensors and as energy harvesters but are normally much less effective at high temperatures, limiting their use in environments such as engines or space exploration. However, a new piezoelectric device developed by a team of researchers from Penn State and QorTek remains highly effective at elevated temperatures. (2021-02-03)

Tiny 3D structures enhance solar cell efficiency
A new method for constructing special solar cells could significantly increase their efficiency. Not only are the cells made up of thin layers, they also consist of specifically arranged nanoblocks. This has been shown in a new study by an international research team led by the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), which was published in the scientific journal ''Nano Letters''. (2021-02-02)

How do electrons close to Earth reach almost the speed of light?
In the Van Allen radiation belts, electrons can reach almost speed of light. Hayley Allison and Yuri Shprits, German Research Centre for Geosciences, have revealed conditions for such strong accelerations. They had demonstrated in 2020: during solar storm plasma waves play a crucial role. However, it remained unclear why ultra-relativistic electron energies are not achieved in all solar storms. In Science Advances they now show: extreme depletions of the background plasma density are crucial. (2021-02-02)

Addressing power differences may spur advantaged racial groups to act for racial equality
When different groups of people come into contact, what's the key to motivating advantaged racial groups to join historically disadvantaged racial minority groups to strive for racial equality and social justice? It's a complex conundrum studied for years by social scientists like Linda Tropp, professor of social psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (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)

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