Category Archives: Science News

Engineers enlist AI to help scale up advanced solar cell manufacturing

Perovskites are a family of materials that are currently the leading contender to potentially replace today’s silicon-based solar photovoltaics. They hold the promise of panels that are far thinner and lighter, that could be made with ultra-high throughput at room temperature instead of at hundreds of degrees, and that are cheaper and easier to transport and install. But bringing these

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Solar cell keeps working long after sun sets

About 750 million people in the world do not have access to electricity at night. Solar cells provide power during the day, but saving energy for later use requires substantial battery storage. The device generates electricity at night from the temperature difference between the solar cell and its surroundings. CREDIT: Sid Assawaworrarit In Applied Physics Letters, by AIP Publishing, researchers from

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Materials scientists finding solutions to biggest hurdle for solar cell technology

Materials scientists at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and colleagues from five other universities around the world have discovered the major reason why perovskite solar cells — which show great promise for improved energy-conversion efficiency — degrade in sunlight, causing their performance to suffer over time. The team successfully demonstrated a simple manufacturing adjustment to fix the cause of

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These solar panels pull in water vapor to grow crops in the desert

Using a unique hydrogel, scientists in Saudi Arabia created a solar-driven system that successfully grows spinach by using water drawn from the air while producing electricity. The proof-of-concept design, described March 1 in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science, offers a sustainable, low-cost strategy to improve food and water security for people living in dry-climate regions. “A fraction of the world’s

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A tool to speed development of new solar cells

In the ongoing race to develop ever-better materials and configurations for solar cells, there are many variables that can be adjusted to try to improve performance, including material type, thickness, and geometric arrangement. Developing new solar cells has generally been a tedious process of making small changes to one of these parameters at a time. While computational simulators have made

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