Where to look for more information...

We've been in the business a long time, but we're still amazed at the rapidly changing photovoltaic industry - PV installation, equipment, incentives, market growth, new state initiatives, etc.

This section rounds up news from several sources available to us all. Come back often to check the constantly updated news headline.

Solar Power Digest

Renewable Energy News

Cheap, highly efficient solar cells: A new stable and cost-cutting type of perovskite solar cell

Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:15:35 EDT

Scientists have made a very efficient perovskite solar cell that does not require a hole-conducting layer. The novel photovoltaic achieved energy conversion efficiency of 12.8 percent and was stable for over 1000 hours under full sunlight. The innovation is expected to significantly reduce the cost of these promising solar cells.

Clearing the way for extremely efficient solar cells: First ab initio method for characterizing hot carriers

Thu, 17 Jul 2014 14:20:45 EDT

Researchers have developed the first ab initio method for characterizing the properties of 'hot carriers' in semiconductors. This should help clear a major road block to the development of new, more efficient solar cells.

Deep within spinach leaves, vibrations enhance efficiency of photosynthesis

Sun, 13 Jul 2014 15:55:02 EDT

Biophysics researchers have used short pulses of light to peer into the mechanics of photosynthesis and illuminate the role that molecule vibrations play in the energy conversion process that powers life on our planet.

Solar energy gets a boost: 'Singlet fission' can increase solar cell efficiency by as much as 30 percent

Tue, 08 Jul 2014 13:21:46 EDT

Scientists have reviewed chemists' work on "singlet fission," a process in which a single photon generates a pair of excited states. This conversion process has the potential to boost solar cell efficiency by as much as 30 percent.

Solar cells: Powered by nanoholes

Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:10:17 EDT

Increasing the cost-effectiveness of photovoltaic devices is critical to making these renewable energy sources competitive with traditional fossil fuels. One possibility is to use hybrid solar cells that combine silicon nanowires with low-cost, photoresponsive polymers. A simple and inexpensive fabrication procedure boosts the light-capturing capabilities of tiny holes carved into silicon wafers.

Orgainic solar modules embedded in glass last longer

Tue, 08 Jul 2014 09:21:40 EDT

Organic solar modules have advantages over silicon solar cells. However, one critical problem is their shorter operating life. Researchers are working on a promising solution: they are using flexible glass as a carrier substrate that better protects the components.

Monitoring neighborhood electricity consumption over 24 hour cycle

Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:46:29 EDT

With more and more households owning one or even two electric cars requiring charging overnight, how will we manage it without sacrificing our hot morning shower and fresh bread for breakfast? This is the headache now facing the electricity supply companies. But this isn’t their only problem. What use is it to those homeowners, who have installed a modest solar panel system on their roofs, when the sun is heating the pavement in the middle of the day and no one is at home to use the energy?

Consider water use in climate change policies: Energy efficient technologies can also save water at the same time

Thu, 03 Jul 2014 10:26:05 EDT

There’s more to trying to slow down climate change than just cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Technology, policies or plans that aim to do so should also take environmental factors such as water usage into account. A more integrated approach might make some options considerably more attractive than others, especially when implemented in arid countries such as Australia.

Net-zero energy test house exceeds goal; ends year with energy to spare

Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:38:18 EDT

The NIST net-zero energy test house in suburban Washington, D.C., not only absorbed winter's best shot, it came out on top, reaching its one-year anniversary on July 1 with enough surplus energy to power an electric car for about 1,440 miles.

Solar panels light the way from carbon dioxide to fuel

Tue, 01 Jul 2014 17:01:58 EDT

Researchers have devised an efficient method for harnessing sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into a potential alternative fuel known as formic acid. The transformation from carbon dioxide and water to formic acid was powered by a commercial solar panel.

Supercomputer tackles grid challenges

Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:28:21 EDT

'Big data' is playing an increasingly big role in the renewable energy industry and the transformation of the nation's electrical grid.

Scientists discover how 'plastic' solar panels work

Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:20:14 EDT

Scientists don't fully understand how 'plastic' solar panels work, which complicates the improvement of their cost efficiency, thereby blocking the wider use of the technology. However, researchers have determined how light beams excite the chemicals in solar panels, enabling them to produce charge.

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