Solar Technology & PV R&D News

Carbon nanotubes provide a boost to perovskite solar
Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a carbon nanotube which forms a strong junction with a lead-halide perovskite, improving performance and stability.
Oct 21, 2019 // Technology, Tokyo, Carbon nanotubes, Keiko Waki
Improving solar cell efficiency using nanotechnology
A microscopic quantity of two-dimensional titanium carbide called MXene significantly improves collection of electrical charges in a perovskite solar cell.
Oct 17, 2019 // Technology, Italy, Europe, Asia, Russia, Danila Saranin, NUST MISIS, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Anna Pazniak, Di Carlo, MXenes
US scientists create first rechargeable lithium-carbon dioxide battery
Researchers in Chicago have developed a world first fully rechargeable lithium-carbon dioxide battery, an achievement they claim could pave the way for the use of the greenhouse gas in advanced energy storage systems.
Oct 17, 2019 // Technology, Chicago, UIC, lithium-carbon dioxide battery, Alireza Ahmadiparidari, Amin Salehi-Khojin
Metallic tin ‘reduces’ limitations of perovskite solar cells
Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites have garnered significant interest in the solar cell community in light of their excellent optoelectronic properties and low manufacturing cost. Meanwhile, in efforts to produce perovskite solar cells (PSCs) with yet higher efficiencies, considerable steps have been made in developing monolithic tandem solar cells.
Oct 17, 2019 // Technology, China, solar cells, Asia, Hairen Tan, Nanjing University
A new battery mix to prevent dendrites
Scientists at the United States Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have discovered a root cause of dendrite formation, which can cause battery failure and even fires in lithium-ion technology. With this new knowledge, the group is now working on electrolyte recipes that eliminate dendrite growth entirely.
Oct 16, 2019 // Technology, USA, North America, PNNL, Chongmin Wang
A carbon scaffold to boost lithium-sulfur performance
Scientists at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research have developed a new method to produce lithium-sulfur based cathodes which exhibit stable performance and high storage capacity over 200 cycles. According to the agency, this represents “a promising step towards the commercialization of lithium-sulfur batteries.”
Oct 15, 2019 // Technology, Storage, Asia, Singapore, lithium-sulfur batteries, NanoBio Lab group, Jackie Y. Ying
Calcium batteries cool down with new electrolyte
Scientists at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have developed a new class of electrolytes they say could bring calcium batteries – currently only a lab technology – a step closer to being a practical reality for energy storage.
Oct 10, 2019 // Technology, Storage, storage, Germany, Europe, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Zhenyou Li, Maximilian Fichtner, CELEST, Calcium batteries
Is solar eroding too much land? The EU thinks not
The EU’s Joint Research Center has created a comprehensive dataset to characterize the solar energy potential in the bloc’s 28 member states. The data shows even a 100-fold increase from current solar capacity would require a very limited amount of land – a lot less than wind power.
Oct 10, 2019 // Technology, Europe, Joint Research Center
‘They created a rechargeable world’
American John B. Goodenough, Brit Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, from Japan, have received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for developing the lithium-ion battery. A statement from the Royal Academy of Sciences of Sweden said the invention “laid the foundations of a society without wires and fossil fuels, and [they] are of great benefit to humanity”.
Oct 9, 2019 // Technology, Storage, USA, Japan, Lithium-ion batteries, Germany, UK, Europe, Asia, North America, John B. Goodenough, Brit Stanley Whittingham, Akira Yoshino, Nobel Prize
Do lead batteries have a role in the clean energy transition?
The Consortium for Battery Innovation has outlined research goals for advanced lead-based battery concepts, claiming the potential of the technology is “nowhere near fully exploited”. The group, comprised of lead-battery industry stakeholders, says such devices can play an important role alongside lithium-ion and other storage technologies in electric vehicles, renewable energy storage and other applications.
Oct 9, 2019 // Technology, Storage, storage, Consortium for Battery Innovation, Alistair Davidson
A new generation of nano-architected, 3D solar cells
A group of scientists at Netherlands based research institute AMOLF have discovered a method for electrochemical printing at the nanoscale. With further optimizations, the group theorizes, the technique could allow for the development of new, three dimensional solar cells.
Oct 9, 2019 // Technology, Europe, Netherlands, AMOLF, Mark Aarts
Questioning the quantum behavior of perovskites
Scientists at the University of Texas have made a discovery they say has “altered the understanding of the fundamental properties of perovskite crystals”. Their findings could improve understanding of defect formation in perovskites, leading to devices with enhanced performance and stability.
Oct 9, 2019 // Technology, University of Texas, Anton Malko
Germanium use reduced in GaAs solar cells by new two-step process
Researchers from Canada have unveiled a new germanium deposition process which is said to eliminate threading dislocations and be significantly cheaper than previous approaches. The scientists say their technique creates nanovoids on the surface of the germanium layer which can attract and annihilate undesirable dislocations.
Oct 8, 2019 // Technology, Manufacturing News, Canada, Fraunhofer ISE, North America, Sheerbroke University
Physicists shine light on properties of potential solar cell material
Research led by University of Texas at Dallas physicists has altered the understanding of the fundamental properties of perovskite crystals, a class of materials with great potential as solar cells and light emitters.
Oct 7, 2019 // Technology, USA, North America, University of Texas, Dallas, Anton Malko, Riya Bose
An oasis of PV
A new study shows that solar may help reduce water pumping costs in a desert oasis of Mauritania by more than 300%, while also considerably reducing water losses. The researchers claim that PV water pumping may also help prevent the desertification of these areas.
Oct 7, 2019 // Technology, Storage, storage, Africa, thin-film PV, Mauritania, PV water pumping systems, Sahara Desert