In solar thermophotovoltaics, an extremely thin layer of

Plasmonic Metamaterials Could Improve Solar Cell Performance

New plasmonic metamaterials that operate at high temperatures could radically improve solar cell performance and bring advanced computer data storage technology that uses heat to record information on a magnetic disk. »

Ratcliffe Power Station in Nottinghamshire, England

Most Efficient Thermoelectric Material Created

Northwestern University scientists have discovered a material—tin selenide—that is, according to a press release, “the best in the world at converting waste heat to useful electricity.” »

ARS scientists at Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, are developing this mobile pyrolysis processing system that may one day be used on farms to produce bio-oil

Pyrolysis Biofuel Production Process Simplified

Innovations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are bringing researchers one step closer to developing “green” biofuel production systems farmers can use to meet on-farm energy needs, or to produce renewable fuels for commercial markets. »

The Undulator Hall of SLAC Lab's Linac Coherent Light Source, which

X-Rays Help Understand High-Temperature Superconductivity

A new study pins down a major factor behind the appearance of laser-induced high-temperature superconductivity in a promising copper-oxide material. »

Scientists use cheap and abundant materials to reduce solar panel glare, increase efficiency

Scientists Reduce Solar Panel Glare, Increase Efficiency

Scientists at Loughborough University have found a way to reduce solar panel glare while simultaneously increasing the efficiency of a solar installation. And they didn’t even need to use gold to achieve this goal. »

From left: Scanning electron microscope image of the hexaboride structures at 5 microns and 500 nanometers.

Ceramic Materials for Hydrogen Storage Developed

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have created new ceramic materials that could be used to store hydrogen safely and efficiently. »

They are light, mechanically flexible and offer a variety of applications:

‘MatHero’ Project to Create Greener Organic Solar Cells

A new project coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), called “MatHero”, aims at making organic photovoltaics competitive to their inorganic counterparts by enhancing the efficiency of organic solar cells, reducing their production costs and increasing their life-time. “Green” processes for materials synthesis and coating play a key role. »

DTU's solar park with polymer solar cells installed

Danish Project to Make Polymer Solar Cells More Profitable

Project Megawatt intends to make polymer solar cells profitable enough to allow power generation from polymer solar cells to compete on market terms with traditional coal-fired power plants. »

A new, PNNL-developed nanomaterial called a metal organic framework could extend the lifespan of lithium-sulfur batteries, which could be used to increase the driving range of electric vehicles. Here, small batteries are shown being tested at PNNL.

Li-Sulfur Batteries Last Longer With Metal-Organic Frameworks

Researchers at the PNNL added a kind of nanomaterial called a metal-organic framework, to the battery’s cathode to capture problematic polysulfides that usually cause lithium-sulfur batteries to fail after a few charges. »

This illustration shows a possible configuration of a floating offshore nuclear plant, based on design work by Jacopo Buongiorno and others at MIT's Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. Like offshore oil drilling platforms, the structure would include living quarters and a helipad for transportation to the site.

MIT Proposes Tsunami-Proof Floating Nuclear Plants

According to an MIT News item, a new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling, could protect nuclear plants from tsunamis. »

Adrian Narvaez of Hawaii Hydrogen Carriers (HHC) observes a metal hydride storage tank, part of a project led by Sandia National Laboratories. The tank will be combined with a fuel cell system to make a fuel cell power pack to power a forklift. Hydrogen fuel cell technology could have a significant advantage over batteries for a large slice of the $33 billion U.S. forklift market

Sandia to Design Hydrogen-Powered Forklifts

Zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell systems soon could be powering the forklifts used in warehouses and other industrial settings at lower costs and with faster refueling times than ever before, courtesy of a partnership between Sandia National Laboratories and Hawaii Hydrogen Carriers (HHC). »

University of Leicester uses satellites to pinpoint optimum locations for hydropower turbines

Satellites to Help Determine Best Locations for Hydropower Turbines

University of Leicester works with High Efficiency Heating UK Ltd using satellites to pinpoint optimum locations for hydropower turbines. »

Panasonic Achieves 25.6% Conversion Efficiency for HIT Solar Cell

Panasonic Achieves 25.6% Conversion Efficiency for HIT Solar Cell

Panasonic Corporation announced that it has achieved a conversion efficiency of 25.6% (cell area: 143.7 cm²) in its HIT (heterojunction with intrinsic thin layer) solar cells, a major increase over the previous world record for crystalline silicon-based solar cells. »

2013 Ford Fusion Energi SEL plug-in hybrid

Americans Don’t Know What to Do With Used Car Batteries

A recent consumer survey commissioned by Johnson Controls found that seven out of 10 Americans don’t know what to do with used car batteries. »

Dam of Limberg II pumped storage plant, Austria

Study Examines Future of Pumped Storage Systems

A new study of Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen University) about the future role of pumped storage power systems in Germany, commissioned by Voith Hydro, was presented in Berlin. »

The U.S. Army to develop a solar array to provide electricity for Fort Huachuca

U.S. Army to Develop Largest Solar Array on a Military Installation

The U.S. Army announced this week plans to start development of a solar array that will provide about 25% of the annual installation electricity requirement of Fort Huachuca. »

DOE recognizes the completion of the NYISO smart grid project in Rensselaer, New York

Smart Grid Project Completed in New York

The Energy Department yesterday recognized the completion of New York Independent System Operator’s (NYISO) smart grid and control center project in Rensselaer, New York. »

The DLR research aircraft Falcon 20E

NASA, DRL to Test Alternative Aviation Fuels

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has entered into an agreement with NASA to conduct a series of joint research flights aimed at testing alternative aviation fuels. »

LEDsafari creates a DIY solar lamp for developing countries

Startup Invents a ‘Homemade’ Solar Lamp for Developing Countries

The solar lamp developed by LEDsafari, a young startup from Lausanne, is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people in the world. »