New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heatWed, 29 Oct 2014 09:54:54 EDT
A multidisciplinary engineering team developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants designed to absorb and convert to heat more than 90 percent of the sunlight it captures. The new material can also withstand temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius and survive many years outdoors in spite of exposure to air and humidity. Acousto-optic tunable filter technology for balloon-borne platformsThu, 23 Oct 2014 10:07:33 EDT
A balloon-borne acousto-optic tunable filter hyperspectral imager is ideally suited to address numerous outstanding questions in planetary science. Their spectral agility, narrowband wavelength selection, tolerance to the near-space environment, and spectral coverage would enable investigations not feasible from the ground. Example use cases include synoptic observations of clouds on Venus and the giant planets, studies of molecular emissions from cometary comae, the mapping of surface ices on small bodies, and polarimetry. Cheaper silicon means cheaper solar cellsWed, 22 Oct 2014 08:42:50 EDT
Researchers have pioneered a new approach to manufacturing solar cells that requires less silicon and can accommodate silicon with more impurities than is currently the standard. Those changes mean that solar cells can be made much more cheaply than at present. Researchers patent a nanofluid that improves heat conductivityTue, 21 Oct 2014 11:12:35 EDT
Researchers have developed and patented a nanofluid improving thermal conductivity at temperatures up to 400°C without assuming an increase in costs or a remodeling of the infrastructure. This progress has important applications in sectors such as chemical, petrochemical and energy, thus becoming a useful technology in all industrial applications using heat transfer systems such as solar power plants, nuclear power plants, combined-cycle power plants and heating, among other. Crystallography: Towards controlled dislocationsMon, 20 Oct 2014 10:53:31 EDT
Scientists have used atomic-resolution Z-contrast imaging and X-ray spectroscopy in a scanning transmission electron microscope to explore dislocations in the binary II-VI semiconductor CdTe, commercially used in thin-film photovoltaics. The results may lead to eventual improvement in the conversion efficiency of CdTe solar cells. These novel insights into atomically resolved chemical structure of dislocations have potential for understanding many more defect-based phenomena.