Newer Solar Power Equipment Ages Better Than Older Units

Utility-scale photovoltaics are the largest sector of the overall solar market within the U.S. and the fastest-growing form of renewable power generation, and this fleet of utility-scale photovoltaic projects is relatively young and hasn’t been operating long enough to establish a lengthy history of operational field service. In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, researchers assess the performance of 411 utility-scale photovoltaic projects built within the U.S. from 2007 through 2016.

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Cooling Mechanism Increases Solar Energy Harvesting for Self-Powered Outdoor Sensors

Thermoelectric devices, which use the temperature difference between the top and bottom of the device to generate power, offer some promise for harnessing naturally occurring energy. In Applied Physics Letters, authors tested a device made up of a wavelength-selective emitter that constantly cools the device during the day using radiative cooling. As a result, the top of the device is cooler than the bottom, causing a temperature difference that creates constant voltage through day and night and various weather conditions.

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Finding Balance Between Green Energy Storage, Harvesting

Generating power through wind or solar energy is dependent on the abundance of the right weather conditions, making finding the optimal strategy for storage crucial to the future of sustainable energy usage. Research published in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy identifies key indicators that will help achieve balance between green energy storage capacity and harvesting capability and determine the energy potential of a region.

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RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVANCE

In order to identify materials that can improve storage technologies for fuel cells and batteries, you need to be able to visualize the actual three-dimensional structure of a particular material up close and in context. Researchers from the University of Delaware’s Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI) have done just that, developing new techniques for characterizing complex materials.

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Making a Material World Better, Faster Now: Q&A With Materials Project Director Kristin Persson

Berkeley Lab’s Kristin Persson shares her thoughts on what inspired her to launch the Materials Project online database, the future of materials research and machine learning, and how she found her own way into a STEM career.

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Solar researchers across country join forces with industry to boost U.S. solar manufacturing

The University of Washington, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Toledo have formed the U.S. Manufacturing of Advanced Perovskites Consortium to accelerate the domestic commercialization of perovskite technologies.

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Scientists uncover major cause of resistance in solid electrolytes

Scientists investigated grain boundaries in a solid electrolyte at an unprecedentedly small scale. The resulting insights provide new avenues for tuning chemical properties in the material to improve performance.

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University of Utah exceeds federal energy reduction commitment

The U.S. Department of Energy confirmed the University of Utah has exceeded its goal to reduce energy use by 20 percent by 2020, as part of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. The U achieved energy savings of 25% across 17 million square feet of building space since 2008, the base year for the commitment.

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Solar Power Plants Get Help from Satellites to Predict Cloud Cover

Cloud cover is often characterized in simple terms, such as cloudy, partly cloudy or clear. This does not provide accurate information for estimating the amount of sunlight available for solar power plants. In this week’s Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, a new method is reported for estimating cloud optical properties using data from recently launched satellites. This new technique is known as Spectral Cloud Optical Property Estimation, or SCOPE.

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