Jenny Nelson named Fred Kavli Distinguished Lecturer in Materials Science at 2022 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit

WARRENDALE, PA—The Materials Research Society (MRS) announced that Jenny Nelson, Imperial College London, has been selected for the Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Materials Science for the 2022 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit in Boston, Massachusetts. Nelson was selected by the 2022 MRS Fall Meeting Chairs.

Climate Change Consensus Endures in Florida

Seven sequenced surveys since October 2019 paint a comprehensive picture of Floridians’ climate resilience attitudes during a period of particularly dynamic political, economic and environmental events. Climate change has emerged as an abiding and cross-cutting issue in Florida.

Casting Shadows on Solar Cells Connected in Series

Even small objects, such as dust and leaves, can block sunlight from reaching solar cells, and understanding how the loss of incoming radiation affects power output is essential for optimizing photovoltaic technology. In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, researchers explore how different shade conditions impact performance of single solar cells and two-cell systems connected in series and parallel. They found that the decrease in output current of a single cell or two cells connected in parallel was nearly identical to the ratio of shade to sunlight. However, for two cells running in series, there was excess power loss.

Scientists Grow Lead-Free Solar Material With a Built-In Switch

A lead-free solar material developed by Berkeley Lab scientists offers a simpler and more sustainable approach to solar cell manufacturing. The advance could also benefit halide perovskites, a promising solar technology that requires much less energy to manufacture than silicon.

Excitons Need Space to Separate: Free Carrier Production in Organic Solar Cells

New investigations have produced a simpler model to elegantly explain previously observed behaviors for free carrier generation in organic solar cells. The model relies on well-established scientific descriptors, Marcus theory and entropy. Previous descriptions proposed new physical phenomena, but a new, simplified model provides a unified platform for understanding processes in both solution and solid-phase systems for organic photochemical conversion.

Solar-Biomass Hybrid System Satisfies Home Heating Requirements in Winter

In Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, researchers in China and the United States outline a computer simulation model addressing the challenge of solar power’s inherent intermittency by adding biomass as another renewable energy source to advance a reliable, affordable heating solution while reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The proposed solar-biomass hybrid system is based on distributed multi-generation technology that integrates photovoltaic-thermal and biomass power sources.

Chula’s Own Solar Cell Project High-powered and Diverse Formats that Meet World Standards

Chula’s researchers have garnered themselves a world-class reward for their latest solar cell project which increases the capacity of electricity production and can be applied to numerous types of merchandise. These new solar cells are guaranteed to meet international standards and develop clean energy for society.

Passive solar could furnish a third of home heating needs

Passive solar heating systems collect natural light via skylights or windows and use it to directly heat spaces, without converting it to electricity. Based on a detailed analysis of heating needs and solar energy availability around the United States, such installations could supply a third of residential space heating needs nationwide, researchers found. The findings, which appear in the November issue of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, are the first detailed survey of direct solar heating resources in the U.S.

Researchers “Watch” Molten Salts Carve Tiny Nooks and Tunnels into Metal Alloys in 3D

A multidisciplinary team of scientists has used the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User facility located at the DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, to investigate how high-temperature molten salts corrode metal alloys.

Combining sunlight and wastewater nitrate to make the world’s No. 2 chemical

Engineers at the University of Illinois Chicago have created a solar-powered electrochemical reaction that not only uses wastewater to make ammonia — the second most-produced chemical in the world — but also achieves a solar-to-fuel efficiency that is 10 times better than any other comparable technology.

Researchers unveil roadmap to expand NY solar energy, meet green goals

Solar-power developers need to explore using lower-quality agricultural land for solar energy, incentivize dual-use (combined agriculture and solar) options, avoid concentrated solar development and engage communities early to achieve New York’s green energy goals, according to forthcoming Cornell University research.

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.

Squeezing a rock-star material could make it stable enough for solar cells

A promising lead halide perovskite is great at converting sunlight to electricity, but it breaks down at room temperature. Now scientists have discovered how to stabilize it with pressure from a diamond anvil cell. The required pressure is well within the reach of today’s manufacturing processes.

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.

Driving Water Splitting to Create Chemical Fuels

Scientists improved the performance of bismuth vanadate, an electrode material for converting solar energy to hydrogen—an energy-dense and clean-burning fuel.

Materials developed at Sandia help extinguish solar panel fires before they ignite

Sandia National Laboratories has spent 10 years working alongside local company Guardian Sensors Inc. to understand and characterize hazardous arc-faults. Their work led to development of electrical in-line connectors that automatically predict and prevent photovoltaic arc-faults before they can ignite fires.

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.

Blocking vibrations that remove heat could boost efficiency of next-gen solar cells

Led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a study of a solar-energy material with a bright future revealed a way to slow phonons, the waves that transport heat.

Tulane University launches new degree program in renewable energy

With the growing role of renewables in the nation’s energy mix, Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business has launched a program to teach students how to bring renewable and sustainable energy projects from concept to completion.

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.