Green Technology News

Light-Capturing Nanomaterials to Boost Efficiency of Photovoltaic Solar Cells

July 23, 2015

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Engineers Develop New System to Harness the Full Spectrum of Available Solar Radiation

September 29, 2014

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New System Aims to Harness the Full Spectrum of Available Solar Radiation

Engineers at MIT have developed a two-dimensional metallic dielectric photonic crystal that has the ability to absorb sunlight from a wide range of angles while withstanding extremely high temperatures. The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material’s spectrum of absorption just right: It […]

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New Formula Improves Liquid Battery Technology

September 22, 2014

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New Formula Leads to Improved Liquid Battery

MIT engineers have developed an improved liquid battery system that could enable renewable energy sources to compete with conventional power plants. Extensive testing has shown that even after 10 years of daily charging and discharging, the system should retain about 85 percent of its initial efficiency. Donald Sadoway and colleagues have already started a company […]

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Liquid Inks Create More Efficient and Cheaper Solar Cells

September 18, 2014

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Researchers Create Better Solar Cells with Liquid Inks

A team of scientists from the California NanoSystems Institute is using liquid inks to create better solar cells, improving efficiency and lowering costs. The basic function of solar cells is to harvest sunlight and turn it into electricity. Thus, it is critically important that the film that collects the light on the surface of the […]

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New Type of CNT Solar Cell is Twice as Efficient as Its Predecessors

September 3, 2014

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New Type of CNT Solar Cell is Twice as Efficient as Past Models

Material scientists from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University have created a new type of carbon nanotubes solar cell that is twice as efficient as its predecessors. Lighter, more flexible, and cheaper than conventional solar-cell materials, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have long shown promise for photovoltaics. But research stalled when CNTs proved to be […]

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The Prospects for the Development of Clean Fuels Are Improving

August 20, 2014

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The Development of Clean Fuels Based on Water and Sunlight are Improving

New insights into the details of photosynthetic water splitting have provided a blueprint for synthetic systems that could store sunlight energy in chemical energy carriers. Society’s energy supply problems could be solved in the future using a model adopted from nature. During photosynthesis, plants, algae and some species of bacteria produce sugars and other energy-rich […]

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Transparent Luminescent Solar Concentrator Creates Solar Energy Without Blocking the View

August 20, 2014

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MSU Develops New Type of Transparent Solar Concentrator

By using small organic molecules that absorb specific nonvisible wavelengths of sunlight, researchers at Michigan State University have developed a transparent luminescent solar concentrator that can create solar energy without blocking the view. A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window […]

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