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Nov 23, 2020

These solar panels don’t need the sun to produce energy

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Cloudy days pose a real problem for solar panels. But a new innovation can convert UV light to energy—even if the sun isn’t shining.

Nov 23, 2020

Scientists observe directed energy transport between neighboring molecules in a nanomaterial

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology, physics, solar power, sustainability

When light falls on a material, such as a green leaf or the retina, certain molecules transport energy and charge. This ultimately leads to the separation of charges and the generation of electricity. Molecular funnels, so-called conical intersections, ensure that this transport is highly efficient and directed.

An international team of physicists has now observed that such conical intersections also ensure a directed energy transport between neighboring of a nanomaterial. Theoretical simulations have confirmed the . Until now, scientists had observed this phenomenon only within one molecule. In the long term, the results could help to develop more efficient nanomaterials for organic solar cells, for example. The study, led by Antonietta De Sio, University of Oldenburg, and Thomas Frauenheim, University of Bremen, Germany, was published in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Photochemical processes play a major role in nature and in technology: When molecules absorb light, their electrons transit to an excited state. This transition triggers extremely fast molecular switching processes. In the human eye, for example, the molecule rhodopsin rotates in a certain way after absorbing light and thus ultimately triggers an electrical signal—the most elementary step in the visual process.

Nov 13, 2020

Space solar power station a step closer thanks to government project

Posted by in categories: government, solar power, space, sustainability

Solar power stations in space that beam ‘emission-free electricity’ down to Earth could soon be a reality thanks to a UK government funded project.

Above the Earth there are no clouds and no day or night that could obstruct the sun’s ray – making a space solar station a constant zero carbon power source.

Continue reading “Space solar power station a step closer thanks to government project” »

Nov 12, 2020

Researchers demonstrate attosecond boost for electron microscopy

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, solar power

A team of physicists from the University of Konstanz and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany have achieved attosecond time resolution in a transmission electron microscope by combining it with a continuous-wave laser—offering new insights into light-matter interactions.

Electron microscopes provide deep insight into the smallest details of matter and can reveal, for example, the atomic configuration of materials, the structure of proteins or the shape of virus particles. However, most materials in nature are not static and rather interact, move and reshape all the time. One of the most common phenomena is the interaction between and matter, which is ubiquitous in plants as well as in , solar cells, displays or lasers. These interactions—which are defined by electrons being moved around by the field cycles of a light wave—happen at ultrafast time scales of femtoseconds (10-15 seconds) or even attoseconds (10-18 seconds, a billionth of a billionth of a second). While ultrafast electron microscopy can provide some insight into femtosecond processes, it has not been possible, until now, to visualize the reaction dynamics of light and matter occurring at attosecond speeds.

Now, a team of physicists from the University of Konstanz and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München have succeeded in combining a with a continuous-wave laser to create a prototypical attosecond electron (A-TEM). The results are reported in the latest issue of Science Advances.

Nov 11, 2020

A new and efficient way to create nanographene for power and display devices

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics, solar power, sustainability

Nanographene is a material that could radically improve solar cells, fuel cells, LEDs and more. Typically, the synthesis of this material has been imprecise and difficult to control. For the first time, researchers have discovered a simple way to gain precise control over the fabrication of nanographene. In doing so, they have shed light on the previously unclear chemical processes involved in nanographene production.

Graphene, one-atom-thick sheets of carbon molecules, could revolutionize future technology. Units of graphene are known as ; these are tailored to specific functions, and as such, their fabrication process is more complicated than that of generic graphene. Nanographene is made by selectively removing from organic molecules of carbon and hydrogen, a process called dehydrogenation.

“Dehydrogenation takes place on a such as that of silver, gold or copper, which acts as a catalyst, a material that enables or speeds up a reaction,” said Assistant Professor Akitoshi Shiotari from the Department of Advanced Materials Science. “However, this surface is large relative to the target organic molecules. This contributes to the difficulty in crafting specific nanographene formations. We needed a better understanding of the catalytic process and a more precise way to control it.”

Nov 9, 2020

Electric microwave plasma thruster could rival traditional jet engines

Posted by in categories: solar power, space travel

A Chinese team has demonstrated a prototype of a microwave plasma thruster capable of working in the Earth’s atmosphere and producing thrust with an efficiency comparable to the jet engines you’d find on modern airliners – under laboratory conditions.

Plasma thrusters are already operational on spacecraft as a means of solar-electric locomotion, using xenon plasma, but such things are no use in the Earth’s atmosphere, as accelerated xenon ions lose most of their thrust force to friction against the air. Not to mention, they only make a small amount of thrust in the first place.

Continue reading “Electric microwave plasma thruster could rival traditional jet engines” »

Nov 7, 2020

Massive free-range chicken farm slashes costs with sustainable solar power and composting

Posted by in categories: food, solar power, sustainability

It seems solar power is really benefiting these chicken farmers from Australia. It allows them to slash their electricity bill.


This 10-million-bird chicken farm has slashed its power bill and reduced its CO2 emissions by 1,500 tonnes after installing one of agriculture’s most extensive solar and battery systems.

Continue reading “Massive free-range chicken farm slashes costs with sustainable solar power and composting” »

Nov 7, 2020

Cracking the Code on Recycling Energy Storage Batteries

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

This is one of four blogs in a series examining current challenges and opportunities for recycling of clean energy technologies. Please see the introductory post, as well as other entries on solar panels and wind turbines.


us department of energy[ caption] courtesy union concerned scientists. by james gignac, lead midwest energy analyst this is one four blogs in a series examining current challenges and opportunities for recycling clean technologies. please see the introductory post, as well other entries on solar panels and wind turbines. special thanks to jessica garcia, ucs’s=

Oct 25, 2020

China Just Built a 250-Acre Solar Farm Shaped Like a Giant Panda

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Well, at least they’re having fun with it.


Most sun oriented homesteads adjust their sunlight based exhibits in lines and segments to shape a matrix.

Continue reading “China Just Built a 250-Acre Solar Farm Shaped Like a Giant Panda” »

Oct 24, 2020

Scientists borrow solar panel tech to create new ultrahigh-res OLED display

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, computing, mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

Ultra high-res displays for gadgets and tv sets may be coming. 😃


By expanding on existing designs for electrodes of ultra-thin solar panels, Stanford researchers and collaborators in Korea have developed a new architecture for OLED—organic light-emitting diode—displays that could enable televisions, smartphones and virtual or augmented reality devices with resolutions of up to 10,000 pixels per inch (PPI). (For comparison, the resolutions of new smartphones are around 400 to 500 PPI.)

Such high-pixel-density displays will be able to provide stunning images with true-to-life detail—something that will be even more important for headset displays designed to sit just centimeters from our faces.

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