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News and Opinion

Coverage of solar cells since April 12, 2022.

Scientists push for cheaper solar panel tech as capacity booms

"...Silicon photovoltaics currently dominate the market and are approaching their theoretical efficiency limit of around 29%. Scientists have found that they can improve the harvesting of solar energy by stacking two or more solar cells, in this case perovskite, a semiconductor, on top of silicon. The high efficiency rates have been achieved on small research-sized cells that are one centimetre square..."

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Film captures wasted wavelengths of light to boost solar cell efficiency

"...Solar cells are one of the most important technologies in the transition to renewable energy, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Researchers at New York University (NYU) Tandon have now developed a thin film that boosts solar cell efficiency by converting wasted wavelengths of light into ones that can be used to produce electricity. Silicon is the material of choice for most solar cells in use today, but while it excels at absorbing the red end of the visible spectrum of sunlight, it all but ignores shorter wavelengths like ultraviolet and blue light..."

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Perovskite-silicon solar cells break 30% efficiency barrier

"...Scientists have broken the efficiency record for tandem silicon-perovskite solar cells, surpassing the milestone of 30 percent for the first time. The new record takes the technology beyond the upper limits of silicon alone, using low-cost and scalable materials. Silicon has long dominated the solar cell industry, thanks to a solid combination of efficiency, durability, cost and ease of manufacture..."

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First perovskite solar cell to cross 30-year expected lifespan

"...Perovskite is poised to become a major material for solar cells, but before then it needs to overcome a major durability issue. Engineers at Princeton have unveiled a new perovskite solar cell design that tests suggest could last as long as 30 years of real-world use. Silicon has been the go-to material for solar cells for decades, but in the last 15 years or so perovskites have been quickly catching up..."

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Pyramid lenses catch light from any angle to boost solar cell efficiency

"...Solar cells are an increasingly important source of renewable energy, but there’s still room for improvement. Stanford engineers have now developed a pyramid-shaped lens that can focus sunlight from any angle onto a solar cell, keeping it collecting power from sunrise to sunset. Solar cells work best in direct sunlight, which means many of them might only have a few good hours of energy generation in them per day..."

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Architecture can’t wait for regulators to lead on sustainability

"...Some regulators have demonstrated serious commitment to sustainability and awareness of its feasibility with rigorous, evidence-backed development guidelines. In these cases, design can act as a bolster for policy, with architects lending their expertise in industry-specific methods to realize the vision of policymakers and climate advocates. The City of Toronto set an example in 2017 with the implementation of a Zero Emissions Buildings Framework that sets aggressive goals for emissions reduction by 2030, targeting both new construction and existing building stock..."

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Quantum well solar cell clocks world record efficiency of almost 40%

"...Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have broken the world record for solar cell efficiency. Reaching almost 40 percent, the new device boasts the highest efficiency recorded for any type of solar cell in real-world conditions. The team’s new solar cell clocked an efficiency of 39..."

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Bizarre night-time solar cell generates power in a backwards process

"...The research team's device is called a thermoradiative diode, and it basically works like the inverse of a solar cell, accepting thermal energy radiated upward from the Earth (or any other heat source) into a colder area, and turning the flow of energy across that temperature differential into electrical potential. It's built using some of the same materials used in infrared night vision goggles. "It is truly the inverse of a conventional solar cell in its functionality," Dr..."

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Algae energy harvester powers electronics for a year on its own

"...As the number of electronic devices grows, we’re going to have to get creative with our energy sources. Cambridge researchers have now demonstrated how an algae energy harvester can use sunlight to power a microprocessor for over a year without any human help. Algae features heavily in green technologies of the future, in many different ways..."

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The World Makes a Move Towards a Greener Earth

"...A prominent cause of the climate crisis is development, which encompasses the rapid expansion of technology since the first Industrial Revolution, which marked the beginning of the modern era and the start of factories and mass technological innovation. By-products of manufacturing, power generation, vehicle emissions, urbanization, deforestation, chemical production, and over-using resources are considered some of the main sources of human-caused air pollution. Pollution can cause health issues, such as respiratory and heart problems, climate change, greenhouse gasses, depletion of the ozone layer, and negative effects on wildlife..."

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Recycled soot coating captures solar heat better than graphene

"...Tackling climate change doesn’t just require efforts like renewable energy – we need to clean up existing processes too. Now, engineers have developed a way to use soot from emissions to improve solar thermal devices, making them not only cheaper to produce but more efficient than using materials like graphene. Gathering energy from the Sun doesn’t have to just involve photovoltaic solar cells – collecting its heat can also be used to generate electricity, purify water, cook food, or warm buildings..."

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World-first quantum dot LED lights made from discarded rice husks

"...From TVs, to solar cells, to cutting-edge cancer treatments, quantum dots are beginning to exhibit their unique potential in many fields, but manufacturing them at scale would raise some issues concerning the environment. Scientists at Japan's Hiroshima University have demonstrated a greener path forward in this area, by using discarded rice husks to produce the world's first silicon quantum dot LED light. “Since typical quantum dots often involve toxic material, such as cadmium, lead, or other heavy metals, environmental concerns have been frequently deliberated when using nanomaterials," said Ken-ichi Saitow, lead study author and a professor of chemistry at Hiroshima University..."

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Informative Video

Discussions, Documentaries, and Investigative Reports about solar cells.

Green energy: Which sources are the most sustainable? | The Economist

"...How can energy be produced and used more sustainably to meet climate targets? We answer your questions..."

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Why Rust Batteries May Be the Future of Energy - Iron Air Battery Technology

"...While renewable energy sources like solar and wind have now become cheaper than fossil fuels, developing long-term energy storage is key to overcome their intermittency..."

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Why we should put solar panels EVERYWHERE

"...On our way to an emissions-neutral future the use of solar energy is crucial..."

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Academic Research

Recent peer-reviewed papers about solar cells relevant to the latest news.

Application of SEPIC Converter to Developed Electric Vehicle Charging Station Based on PV Source

"...The ever-increasing concern about climate change as a result of emitting greenhouse gases has led to a greater emphasis on discovering and developing clean energy alternatives..."

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"...Energy Harvesting from diverse renewable energy sources has experienced rapid growth due to the adverse environmental impacts of using fossil fuels..."

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Advanced Perovskite Solar Cells

"...Solar energy can be converted into effective energy such as heat energy through photoelectric conversion because it doesn?t produce harmful gases, solid waste, and other pollutants in the conversion process..."

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Impact on Solar Energy Generation with Dual-Axis Solar Tracking System Including Different Weather Conditions

"...Solar energy can be used for the heating of water, heating of the building, drying agriculture and animal products, electric power generation through Solar radiation through the sun, thermal power production, solar pumping, and utilization of electric vehicles through solar energy..."

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Impact optical communication model in sustainable building construction over the carbon footprint detection using quantum netwo

"...Based on smart grid greenhouse gas emission and reinforcement learning, this study proposes a novel carbon footprint analysis method for sustainable building construction..."

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Defect detection on solar cells using mathematical morphology and fuzzy logic techniques

"...Solar cells or photovoltaic systems have been extensively used to convert renewable solar energy to generate electricity, and the quality of solar cells is crucial in the electricity-generating process..."

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Investigating the photovoltaic performance for Si-doped zigzag graphene nanoribbons using a DFT framework

"...The unique electronic and optical properties of graphene nanoribbons (GNR) make it a potential material in the field of optoelectronics, such as in solar cell and photovoltaic (PV) applications..."

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An investigation of liquid-junction perovskite solar energy storage cell

"...We conclude that the prior development in the great wealth of solid-state perovskite solar cell literature can be conveniently adopted to the design and optimization of the photoelectrochemical energy storage cell..."

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Optical designing and simulation of a concentrating solar spectrum splitting prototype

"...A comprehensive explanation based on numerical simulation using ray tracing with realistic irradiation conditions is presented to demonstrate the possibility of employing a spectrum-splitting system to improve solar energy conversion and to explain the essential importance of optical concentration in such a system..."

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Analytical modelling, simulation and comparative study of multi-junction (GaInP2/InGaAs/Ge) solar cell efficiency

"...We present results obtained using MATLAB/Simulink to simulate, experimental data and manufacturer materials specifications of a solar energy generation system (GaInP2/InGaAs/Ge)..."

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A review on TiO2 nanotubes: synthesis strategies, modifications, and applications

"...They were discovered in 1996, and have since been used in several fields including photocatalytic degradation of pollutants, hydrogen production, and dye-sensitized solar cells..."

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