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Solar Cell

Aerial view of the floating power plant at Nishihira Pond (Photo: Kyocera Corporation, Cen...

Construction has been completed on two enormous floating solar power plants located in the Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Japan. According to The Kyocera Corporation and the Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation, who partnered up to build the instillations, the combined output of the solar plants will be around 3,300 megawatt hours (MWh) per year, and provide electricity to an estimated 920 households.  Read More

A hybrid supercapacitor combines high power and energy density (Photo: UCLA)

Scientists at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute have developed a new device that combines the high energy densities of batteries and the quick charge and discharge rates of supercapacitors. The hybrid supercapacitor is reportedly six times as energy-dense as a commercially available supercapacitor and packs nearly as much energy per unit volume as a lead-acid battery.  Read More

A new tandem silicon-perovskite monolithic solar cell could achieve high performance while...

By combining silicon solar cells with their cheap and efficient perovskite-based counterparts, researchers at Stanford and MIT are creating a new type of "tandem cell" that could reach efficiencies up to 35 percent.  Read More

Kyocera has developed a smartphone prototype that features a display with a Wysips Crystal...

Kyocera likes to position itself as a maker of smartphones that can go anywhere, with ruggedized, waterproof devices like the Bear Grylls-endorsed Brigadier. Building on that reputation, the company is showing a new solar-powered prototype that can also charge anywhere, so long as it's not too dark or cloudy.  Read More

Tiny silicon cones inspired by the eye's fovea centralis could unlock big gains in solar c...

Solar cells don't at first glance have any relation to a tiny structure in the eye that makes our central vision sharp, but that tiny structure – called the fovea centralis – may be the key to a huge boost in solar cell efficiency. A team of scientists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light took the underlying mechanisms that guide the fovea and adapted them to silicon as a surface for collecting light in solar cells.  Read More

The energy-harvesting tree collects energy from light, temperature differences, and vibrat...

In January, the VTT Technical Centre of Finland unveiled its decorative, mass-producible organic photovoltaic (OPV) leaves designed to capture energy from interior lighting to power small devices and sensors. Now, the company has followed the logical path and come up with an energy-harvesting tree that generates electricity from a variety of sources.  Read More

A new theoretical result could lead to designing semiconductors with ideal efficiency for ...

Solar cell efficiency has made significant strides in recent times, but cells are still far from their maximum theoretical efficiency, and part of the reason is that the semiconductors we use to build them don’t have ideal electrical properties. Researchers at Northwestern University have now found a way to tweak an important electrical feature of transition metal oxides, compounds commonly used as semiconductors, to build the optimal light-absorbing material for solar cells, lasers and photoelectrochemical cells.  Read More

The flexible, recyclable solar panels could be used to power small devices and sensors (Ph...

VTT Technical Centre of Finland is aiming to bring solar energy into the realm of interior design by developing a new method of printing both decorative graphics and functional components onto flexible organic solar panels.  Read More

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg announcing the route for Si2's historic around-the-w...

In anticipation of its historic round-the-world flight attempt, the route planned for Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) has been unveiled. The first solar-powered plane capable of day and night flight, the Si2 will spend 25 days aloft spread over a period of five months as it traverses 35,000 km (22,000 mi) with stops at 12 locations around the globe.  Read More

Fraunhofer's solar-powered radio sensor chip, mounted in a window

Although it may be handy to have sensors in your windows that remind you if you've left them open, running electrical wiring to all those sensors (or regularly changing their batteries) could be a hassle. A new window-monitoring radio sensor chip, however, gets all the power it needs from the sun.  Read More

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