Scientists get to the heart of fool's gold as a solar materialTue, 18 Nov 2014 18:25:00 EST
As the installation of photovoltaic solar cells continues to accelerate, scientists are looking for inexpensive materials beyond the traditional silicon that can efficiently convert sunlight into electricity. Theoretically, iron pyrite could do the job, but when it works at all, the conversion efficiency remains frustratingly low. Now, a research team explains why that is, in a discovery that suggests how improvements in this promising material could lead to inexpensive yet efficient solar cells. Revolutionary solar-friendly form of silicon shinesMon, 17 Nov 2014 13:06:13 EST
Silicon is the second most-abundant element in the earth's crust. When purified, it takes on a diamond structure, which is essential to modern electronic devices -- carbon is to biology as silicon is to technology. Scientists have synthesized an entirely new form of silicon, one that promises even greater future applications. New materials for more powerful solar cellsWed, 12 Nov 2014 09:31:50 EST
Applying a thin film of metallic oxide significantly boosts the performance of solar panel cells. Researchers have developed a new class of materials comprising elements such as bismuth, iron, chromium, and oxygen. These 'multiferroic' materials absorb solar radiation and possess unique electrical and magnetic properties. New materials yield record efficiency polymer solar cellsMon, 10 Nov 2014 11:04:24 EST
Researchers have found that temperature-controlled aggregation in a family of new semi-conducting polymers is the key to creating highly efficient organic solar cells that can be mass produced more cheaply. Your own energy 'island'? Microgrid could standardize small, self-sustaining electric gridsWed, 05 Nov 2014 10:11:00 EST
When researchers talk about "islanding," or isolating, from the grid, they are discussing a fundamental benefit of microgrids -- small systems powered by renewables and energy storage devices. The benefit is that microgrids can disconnect from larger utility grids and continue to provide power locally.