Green Technology News

New Fabrication Method Improves Efficiency of Perovskite Solar Cells

October 5, 2015


Researchers Improve Efficiency of Perovskite Solar Cells

Scientists from Brown University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed a method for making perovskite cells larger while maintaining efficiency. Using a newly developed fabrication method, a research team has attained better than a 15-percent energy conversion efficiency from perovskite solar cells larger than one square centimeter area. The researchers, from Brown University […]

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Organic Photovoltaic Material Offers Great Promise for Solar Energy

October 2, 2015


Modeling Electron Excitation in Organic Photovoltaic Materials

Scientists at MIT believe modeling electron excitation in organic photovoltaic material could change the future of solar energy. The semi-conducting plastic is lightweight, flexible, relatively inexpensive, and easy to make. The problem is that, unlike inorganic photovoltaic material, it is not very efficient or stable. But work by Adam Willard, an assistant professor in the […]

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NASA Thrusters Propelled by New Green Propellants Complete Milestones

September 15, 2015

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NASA Testing Thrusters Propelled by Green Propellants

NASA is testing thrusters propelled by green propellants that can provide better performance without the toxicity while helping to lower costs by eliminating infrastructure needed for handling toxic fuels. To stay in the proper orbit, many satellites have thrusters–small rocket engines–that fire to change altitude or orientation in space. On Earth where gravity dominates, 5 […]

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High Density Wind Farms Generate Less Electricity Than Thought

September 8, 2015


High Density Wind Farms Generate Less Electricity Than Previously Thought

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry show that large wind farms with a high density of installed capacity slow down the wind and generate less electricity than previously thought. Less energy can be withdrawn from wind than was assumed up to now. For example, a previous prediction from a 2013 study by the […]

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Berkeley Lab Uses Solar Energy and Renewable Hydrogen to Produce Methane

August 26, 2015


Researchers Use Solar Energy and Renewable Hydrogen to Produce Methane

A team of scientists has developed a hybrid artificial photosynthesis system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane. A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) developing a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have achieved another milestone. Having […]

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SEAS Engineers Develop More Efficient Solar Cells

August 12, 2015


SEAS Researchers Develop More Efficient Solar Cells

Using a technique that mimics how plants use solar energy and forcing two otherwise incompatible molecules to work together to cover the full color spectrum, engineers from Yale University have significantly increased the efficiency of polymer solar cells. The researchers, in Dr. Andre Taylor’s Transformative Materials & Devices Lab, developed a solar cell that performed […]

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Light-Capturing Nanomaterials to Boost Efficiency of Photovoltaic Solar Cells

July 23, 2015


Light-Capturing Nanomaterials Boost Efficiency and Reduce Costs of Photovoltaic Solar Cells

A new method to incorporate light-capturing nanomaterials into future solar-panel designs could make it easier for engineers to boost the efficiency and reduce the costs of photovoltaic solar cells. Although the domestic solar-energy industry grew by 34 percent in 2014, fundamental technical breakthroughs are needed if the U.S. is to meet its national goal of […]

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Graphene Helps Turn Engine Heat Into Electricity to Boost Gas Mileage

July 22, 2015


Turning Engine Heat Into Electricity to Boost Gas Mileage

Using strontium titanium dioxide and graphene, scientists have developed of a material that can convert engine heat into electrical energy to reduce the need for fuels. It could also have applications in aerospace, manufacturing and other sectors. In 2012, the Obama administration announced fuel-efficiency standards that would require U.S. vehicles to average 54.5 miles per […]

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New Technology Could Transform Solar Energy Storage

July 21, 2015


This New Technology Could Transform Solar Energy Storage

Chemists at UCLA have developed a new technology that is capable of storing solar energy for up to several weeks — an advance that could change the way scientists think about designing solar cells. The materials in most of today’s residential rooftop solar panels can store energy from the sun for only a few microseconds […]

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New Statistical Technique to Help Evaluate Sites for Offshore Wind Farms

July 17, 2015


New Statistical Technique Yields Better Wind-Speed Predictions

Scientists at MIT have developed a new statistical technique that yields better wind-speed predictions than existing techniques do, saving power companies’ time and money in the evaluation of sites for offshore wind farms. When a power company wants to build a new wind farm, it generally hires a consultant to make wind speed measurements at […]

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Deriving Power Directly from Evaporation

June 17, 2015


Researchers Produce Renewable Energy from Evaporating Water

In a newly published study, researchers from Columbia University detail the development of two novel devices that derive power directly from evaporation – a floating, piston-driven engine that generates electricity causing a light to flash, and a rotary engine that drives a miniature car. Eva, the first evaporation-powered car, rolls along, thanks to a moisture […]

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MIT Energy Initiative Report Highlights the Future of Solar Energy

May 5, 2015


The Future of Solar Energy Report

A new report by the MIT Energy Initiative assesses solar energy’s current and potential competitive position and identifies changes in U.S. government policies that could more efficiently and effectively support its massive deployment over the long term. Solar energy holds the best potential for meeting humanity’s future long-term energy needs while cutting greenhouse gas emissions […]

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Artificial Photosynthesis System Poses Win/Win for the Environment

April 22, 2015


Researchers Perform Solar-powered Green Chemistry with Captured CO2

Researchers from the Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have created an artificial photosynthesis system that synthesizes the combination of carbon dioxide and water into acetate, the most common building block today for biosynthesis. A potentially game-changing breakthrough in artificial photosynthesis has been achieved with the development of a system that can capture carbon dioxide emissions […]

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New “Tandem” Solar Cell to Harnesses More Sunlight

March 24, 2015


New Tandem Solar Cell Harnesses More Sunlight

By combining two types of photovoltaic material, researchers from MIT and Stanford have developed a new “tandem” solar cell that harnesses more sunlight. Researchers at MIT and Stanford University have developed a new kind of solar cell that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material in order to harvest a broader range of the sun’s […]

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World Record in Solar Efficiency, Over 40% of Sunlight Converted into Electricity

December 8, 2014


New World Record in Solar Energy Efficiency

Researchers from the University of New South Wales have set world record in solar energy efficiency, converting over 40% of the sunlight hitting a solar system into electricity. The world-beating efficiency was achieved in outdoor tests in Sydney, before being independently confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) at their outdoor test facility in […]

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New On-Site Fabrication Process Makes Taller Wind Turbines More Feasible

November 7, 2014


New Fabrication Process Makes Taller Wind Turbines More Feasible

MIT engineers have developed a new fabrication system that adapts a traditional pipe-making technology to make wind turbines on location, at wind farms, making taller towers more economically feasible. Wind turbines across the globe are being made taller to capture more energy from the stronger winds that blow at greater heights. But it’s not easy, […]

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Researchers Examine Emerging Market for Used Electric Vehicle Batteries

October 7, 2014


Report Examines Emerging Market for Used Electric Vehicle Batteries

A new report from UCLA and UC Berkeley shows that used electric car batteries could help California achieve its renewable energy, greenhouse gas reduction and energy storage goals more efficiently — and could lower the cost of owning an electric car. As California searches for cheap energy storage options, a new report by the Climate […]

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Curiosity Technology Adapted to Detect Gas Leaks from Pipelines

October 3, 2014


Curiosity Technology Adapted to Detect Gas Leaks

Technology adapted from NASA’s Mars rover program is being used to develop a hand-held device that will help find and fix natural gas leaks from gas pipelines, with the goal of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. In collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that it […]

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