See-through Organic Solar Cells using Buckyballs

University of Michigan researchers have found a way to coax electrons to travel much further than was previously thought possible in the materials often used for organic solar cells and other organic semiconductors. Unlike the inorganic solar cells widely used today, organics can be made of inexpensive, flexible carbon-based materials like plastic. Manufacturers could churn … Continue reading “See-through Organic Solar Cells using Buckyballs”

China builds Solar Highway with transparent concrete over solar panels

China is building the world’s first photovoltaic highway in Jinan The 2-km-long photovoltaic expressway is scheduled to open for public traffic by this year. This solar-powered highway consists of three layers: a protective surface layer made of transparent concrete, a middle layer of solar-powered batteries to generate electricity, and an insulation layer to prevent dampness … Continue reading “China builds Solar Highway with transparent concrete over solar panels”

Transparent solar technology represents ‘wave of the future’

According to a new research report published in Nature Energy, See-through solar materials that can be applied to windows represent a massive source of untapped energy and could harvest as much power as bigger, bulkier rooftop solar units. Led by engineering researchers at Michigan State University, the authors argue that widespread use of such highly … Continue reading “Transparent solar technology represents ‘wave of the future’”

MIT’s new flow battery breathes air to cut costs of renewable energy storage

Wind and solar power are increasingly popular sources for renewable energy. But intermittency issues keep them from connecting widely to the U.S. grid: They require energy-storage systems that, at the cheapest, run about $100 per kilowatt hour and function only in certain locations. Now MIT researchers have developed an “air-breathing” battery that could store electricity … Continue reading “MIT’s new flow battery breathes air to cut costs of renewable energy storage”

A solar cell you can put in the wash

Scientists from RIKEN and the University of Tokyo have developed a new type of ultra-thin photovoltaic device, coated on both sides with stretchable and waterproof films, which can continue to provide electricity from sunlight even after being soaked in water or being stretched and compressed. The work, published in Nature Energy, could open the way to … Continue reading “A solar cell you can put in the wash”