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May 7, 2021

‘Molecular glue’ makes perovskite solar cells dramatically more reliable over time

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A research team from Brown University has made a major step toward improving the long-term reliability of perovskite solar cells, an emerging clean energy technology. In a study to be published on Friday, May 7 in the journal Science, the team demonstrates a “molecular glue” that keeps a key interface inside cells from degrading. The treatment dramatically increases cells’ stability and reliability over time, while also improving the efficiency with which they convert sunlight into electricity.

“There have been great strides in increasing the power-conversion efficiency of solar ,” said Nitin Padture, a professor of engineering at Brown University and senior author of the new research. “But the final hurdle to be cleared before the technology can be widely available is reliability—making cells that maintain their performance over time. That’s one of the things my research group has been working on, and we’re happy to report some important progress.”

Perovskites are a class of materials with a particular crystalline atomic structure. A little over a decade ago, researchers showed that perovskites are very good at absorbing light, which set off a flood of new research into perovskite solar cells. The efficiency of those cells has increased quickly and now rivals that of traditional silicon cells. The difference is that perovskite light absorbers can be made at near , whereas silicon needs to be grown from a melt at a temperature approaching 2700 degrees Fahrenheit. Perovskite films are also about 400 times thinner than silicon wafers. The relative ease of the manufacturing processes and the use of less material means perovskite cells can be potentially made at a fraction of the cost of silicon cells.

May 4, 2021

U.S. approves massive solar project in California desert

Posted by in categories: climatology, employment, habitats, solar power, sustainability

The Biden administration on Monday said it has approved a major solar energy project in the California desert that will be capable of powering nearly 90000 homes.

The $550 million Crimson Solar Project will be sited on 2000 acres of federal land west of Blythe, California, the Interior Department said in a statement. It is being developed by Canadian Solar (CSIQ.O) unit Recurrent Energy and will deliver power to California utility Southern California Edison.

The announcement comes as President Joe Biden has vowed to expand development of renewable energy projects on public lands as part of a broader agenda to fight climate change, create jobs and reverse former President Donald Trump’s emphasis on maximizing fossil fuel extraction.

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May 3, 2021

Researchers Identify the Defect That Limits Solar-Cell Performance: Hydrogen in Hybrid Perovskites

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

Researchers in the materials department in UC Santa Barbara’s College of Engineering have uncovered a major cause of limitations to efficiency in a new generation of solar cells.

Various possible defects in the lattice of what are known as hybrid perovskites had previously been considered as the potential cause of such limitations, but it was assumed that the organic molecules (the components responsible for the “hybrid” moniker) would remain intact. Cutting-edge computations have now revealed that missing hydrogen atoms in these molecules can cause massive efficiency losses. The findings are published in a paper titled “Minimizing hydrogen vacancies to enable highly efficient hybrid perovskites,” in the April 29 issue of the journal Nature Materials.

The remarkable photovoltaic performance of hybrid perovskites has created a great deal of excitement, given their potential to advance solar-cell technology. “Hybrid” refers to the embedding of organic molecules in an inorganic perovskite lattice, which has a crystal structure similar to that of the perovskite mineral (calcium titanium oxide). The materials exhibit power-conversion efficiencies rivaling that of silicon, but are much cheaper to produce. Defects in the perovskite crystalline lattice, however, are known to create unwanted energy dissipation in the form of heat, which limits efficiency.

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May 2, 2021

Scientists Finally Uncovered a Major Efficiency Flaw Holding Back Solar Cells

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Perovskite has a lot going for it in our search for a cheap, efficient way to harvest solar energy. With a dusting of organic molecules, these crystalline structures have been able to convert more than a quarter of the light falling onto them into electricity.

Theoretically, perovskite crystals made with the right mix of materials could push this limit beyond 30 percent, outperforming silicon-based solar cells (which is currently the most abundant solar panel technology), and at a much lower cost. It’s all good on paper, but in reality, something has been holding the technology back.

Combine calcium, titanium, and oxygen under the right conditions and you’ll form repeating cages of molecules that look like a bunch of boxes joined at their corners.

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Apr 27, 2021

Low-Cost, Highly Efficient Solar-Powered Desalination for Safe Drinking Water

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Scientists develop a low-cost, highly efficient technique that uses solar energy to remove salt from seawater, producing safe drinking water.

Despite the vast amount of water on Earth, most of it is nonpotable seawater. Freshwater accounts for only about 2.5% of the total, so much of the world experiences serious water shortages.

In AIP Advances, by AIP Publishing, scientists in China report the development of a highly efficient desalination device powered by solar energy. The device consists of a titanium-containing layer, TiNO, or titanium nitride oxide, capable of absorbing solar energy. The TiNO is deposited on a special type of paper and foam that allows the solar absorber to float on seawater.

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Apr 25, 2021

The US Air Force wants to beam solar power to Earth from space (video)

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

A power-beaming experiment is scheduled to launch in 2024.


Space-based solar power won’t be just a sci-fi dream forever, if things go according to the U.S. Air Force’s plans.

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Apr 16, 2021

Transparent nanolayers pave the way for production of silicon solar cells with more than 26% efficiency

Posted by in categories: climatology, nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

There is no cheaper way to generate electricity today than with the sun. Power plants are currently under construction in sunny locations that will supply solar electricity for less than 2 cents per kilowatt hour. Solar cells available on the market based on crystalline silicon make this possible with efficiencies of up to 23 percent. Therefore they hold a global market share of around 95 percent. With even higher efficiencies of more than 26 percent, costs could fall further. An international working group led by photovoltaics researchers from Forschungszentrum Jülich now plan to reach this goal with a nanostructured, transparent material for the front of solar cells and a sophisticated design. The scientists report on their success of many years of research in the renowned scientific journal Nature Energy.

Silicon have been steadily improved over the past decades and have already reached a very high level of development. However, the disturbing effect of recombination still occurs after the absorption of sunlight and the photovoltaic generation of electrical charge carriers. In this process, negative and positive charge carriers that have already been generated combine and cancel each other out before they could be used for the flow of . This effect can be countered by special materials that have a special property—passivation.

“Our nanostructured layers offer precisely this desired passivation,” says Malte Köhler, former Ph.D. student and first author from the Jülich Institute for Energy and Climate Research (IEK-5), who has since received his doctorate. In addition, the ultra-thin layers are transparent—so the incidence of light is hardly reduced—and exhibit high electrical conductivity.

Apr 14, 2021

Bill Gates Backs the Waterless Toilet

Posted by in categories: life extension, solar power, sustainability

The waterless toilet was developed by Cranfield University.
The toilet was developed for use in countries that doesn’t have running water.
This toilet doesn’t smell which is a result of multiple actions that go on beneath the toilet once the lid is closed.
–A set of gears within the toilet are turned when the lid is closed, these gears rotate the basin where the fecal delight was deposited.
–The waste falls into a holding chamber where a swipe blade wipes the inside of the holding basin.
–The solids drop down to the bottom, and the liquid floats to the top.
–An archimedes screw carries the waste upwards where it gets rolled into pellets that drop into a combustor and are burned.
–The combustor on the toilet will be on all the time but will require an initial source of power to get it going. The team had an initial idea of attaching a hand crank or a bicycle to generate the power needed but recently scrapped that idea. A solar panel could be installed above the toilet but that wouldn’t be very cost effective. The team has other ideas they are still working through to solve this issue.
–The poop ash that is accumulated from the combustor needs to be removed once a week.
–The liquid floats through a set of pipes that are above the combustor.
–The liquid is heated and passed through a set of 4 membrane bundles that purifies the water.
–This purified water drips down to the bottom where it travels to and is stored in the front step of the toilet.
–This water while purified isn’t clean enough to drink but it can be used in the garden to grow plants as well as for cleaning.
–This waterless toilet needs to be serviced every 3 months, the 4 membranes need to be replaced to continue to purify the water.
–So now you have the full overview of this toilet what problems do you guys foresee with this invention?
–The only thing I’m going to say is that I’m sure the swipe blade will wipe most of the poop out of the holding basin, you know there’s gonna be some nasty skip marks in there.
In reality though places in the world where people have real struggles in life, a skip mark isn’t one of them.

Sources:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGPpXF7y9Rg.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196890416306628

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Apr 11, 2021

NASA’s Lucy Spacecraft Stretches Its Wings in Successful Solar Panel Deployment Test

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

NASA ’s Lucy spacecraft has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing of both solar panels, the final step in checking out these critical spacecraft components in preparation for launch this fall. Once the Lucy spacecraft’s solar panels are attached and fully extended, they could cover a five-story building.

Lucy, the 13th mission in NASA’s Discovery Program, requires these large solar panels as it will operate farther from the Sun than any previous solar-powered space mission. During its 12-year tour of the Trojan asteroids, the Lucy spacecraft will operate a record-breaking 530 million miles (853 million km) from the Sun, beyond the orbit of Jupiter.

Apr 11, 2021

Call for papers abstract submission Space Renaissance

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

# Just 5 days left to upload an abstract to the SRIC3 Call for Papers! ## We need you to lead the Space Renaissance!

Choose among the following symposia tracks, all of them concurring to a coherent strategy for Space Settlement, kicking off the Civilian Space Development before 2025: * The immense social benefits of expanding Civilization into Outer Space * Civilization risk mitigation: space as the main Knight, defending humanity against the ‘Apocalypse’ multi-crisis * Global collaboration, working with Agencies, Companies, Space Advocacy Associations, United Nations and Governments of Planet Earth to promote Civilian Space Development and the 18th UN SDG * Space Safety: protecting human life and health in space, space debris recovering and reuse, space weather, defense from asteroids * Policies to Enable Communities Beyond Earth: technologies, financing, & Common Law * Earth orbit industrial development * The Moon and Cislunar development * Space Based Solar Power, feeding the Civilian Space Development * Greening the Solar System * Mars, the Asteroids Belt and beyond * A conceptual timetable for the founding steps of Space Settlement * Living, Sport, Art and Culture in Space, a Scifi futurologist–presentist narration * Congress Thesis 1 — Status of civilization and perspective of expansion into outer space * Congress Thesis 2 — A strategy to develop the Space Renaissance, towards 2025.

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