Solar energy

RENEWABLE ENERGY GRANTS

University of Delaware researchers William Shafarman (left) and Jeremy Firestone each will lead new studies, each supported by $2 million in new grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. Shafarman, director of UD’s Institute of Energy Conversion, will focus on solar panel manufacturing and efficiency. Firestone, director of UD’s Center for Research in Wind, will look at factors that affect consumers’ decisions about solar rooftop panels and/or electric vehicles.

Greenland Melting Likely Increased by Bacteria in Sediment

Bacteria are likely triggering greater melting on the Greenland ice sheet, possibly increasing the island’s contribution to sea-level rise, according to Rutgers scientists. That’s because the microbes cause sunlight-absorbing sediment to clump together and accumulate in the meltwater streams, according to a Rutgers-led study – the first of its kind – in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The findings can be incorporated in climate models, leading to more accurate predictions of melting, scientists say.

Photovoltaics Industry Can Help Meet Paris Agreement Targets

To meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of preventing Earth’s average temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial level, one of the best options for the energy economy will involve a shift to 100% renewable energy using solar energy and other clean energy sources. In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, researchers describe a model developed to predict what is necessary for the solar industry to meet Paris Agreement targets.

Promising Strategies for Durable Perovskite Solar Cells

Perovskite materials are increasingly popular as the active layer in solar cells, but internal forces in these materials cause distortions in their crystal structures, reducing symmetry and contributing to their intrinsic instability. Researchers at Soochow University examined the mechanisms at play, as well as several degradation factors that influence the performance of perovskite photovoltaics. In APL Materials, they clarified the factors influencing the degradation and they summarized some feasible approaches for durable perovskite photovoltaics.

Climate Change Impact on Green Energy Production

As the climate of the planet is changing, many researchers are looking to more renewable energy sources. In the Journal of Sustainable and Renewable Energy, researchers investigate whether the power generated by solar and wind farms would differ between current and future climates. The researchers focused on sites in Australia where variable renewable generators are located or are likely to be located in the future based on the Australian Energy Market Operator’s system plan.

Geoengineering is Just a Partial Solution to Fight Climate Change

Could we create massive sulfuric acid clouds that limit global warming and help meet the 2015 Paris international climate goals, while reducing unintended impacts? Yes, in theory, according to a Rutgers co-authored study in the journal Earth System Dynamics. Spraying sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere at different locations, to form sulfuric acid clouds that block some solar radiation, could be adjusted every year to keep global warming at levels set in the Paris goals. Such technology is known as geoengineering or climate intervention.

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.

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.

Tests Measure Solar Panel Performance Beyond Established Standards

In testing solar panels, the sun’s intensity, the spectral composition and the angle of light are important factors in understanding why certain panels are successful and others degrade more quickly. To address the knowledge gap in degradation mechanisms for various photovoltaic types, researchers performed tests over five years in which they collected weather data and panel performance information. The results are published in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.