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New Solar Cell Turns Light Into Heat To Potentially Double Efficiency 

There’s a annoying theoretical limit on the efficiency of solar cells that limits the amount of electricity they can create from sunlight. But now a team of MIT engineers has developed a system that overcomes the problem by first converting light to heat — and it could double the efficiency of solar cells.


Australian Researchers Develop The World's Most Efficient Solar Panels

Most commercially available solar panels only are able to convert between 15 and 22 per cent of the sunlight they’re exposed to into electricity. As part of an ongoing effort to improve the efficiency of increasingly important solar technology, a team from UNSW has created a solar cell module that boasts a world record efficiency rate of 34.5%.


Solar Impulse Has Made It To Tulsa

Solar Impulse has chalked up another 1600km in its bid to circumnavigate the globe. The all-electric solar-powered aeroplane successfully flew from Phoenix to Tulsa, landing in the dead of night.


UNSW Develops A Cheaper, Safer Thin-Film Solar Cell

Thin-film solar cells are a type of photovoltaic technology that, as you might guess from its name, are much thinner than traditional solar cells, able to be used in a far broader range of applications. The problem with traditional thin-film solar technology is that the components used to make them are both highly toxic and incredibly rare, making them unsuitable for more widespread use. This UNSW team is well on the way to changing that, having developed some of the most efficient, non-toxic thin-film cells to date.


Solar Impulse 2 Successfully Landed In California After 62 Hours In The Air

After taking off from Hawaii at 6:30am, pilot Bertrand Piccard reported that he felt great after a day of travel, and after a total 62 hours of flight time, he successfully landed at Moffett Airfield, California.


New ACT Government Program Gives Big Discounts For Solar Power Storage

Up to 60 households in Canberra will be offered the world’s most advanced solar batteries at discounted rates under the ACT Government’s “Next Generation Energy Storage” Pilot.

Two ACT businesses are working together to offer the ground-breaking systems, which use Tesla Powerwall or LG RESU residential solar batteries as a base.


New Australian Solar Cells Can Generate Electricity From Heat And Sunlight

Physicists have discovered radical new properties in a nanomaterial, opening new possibilities for highly efficient thermophotovoltaic cells that could one day harvest heat in the dark and turn it into electricity.

The research team from The Australian National University (ARC Centre of Excellence CUDOS) and the University of California Berkeley demonstrated a new artificial material, or metamaterial, that glows in an unusual way when heated.


Solar-Powered Aeroplane Solar Impulse 2 To Continue Round-The-World Flight

Over a year ago, the solar-powered aeroplane Solar Impulse 2 started its audacious round-the-world trip — but it became so damaged that it had to pull up short in Hawaii. Now, it’s ready to fly again.


A New Solar Cell Generates Electricity From Rain As Well As Light

Rain means clouds and clouds mean less sunlight. That’s bad news for most solar cells, but a new design can actually make use of rain drops that fall on its surface, allowing it to generate electricity even when the weather’s bad.


This Gorgeous Solar-Powered Watch Is Less Than 3 Millimetres Thick

All you fancy people with your Pebbles, Apple Watches and Samsung Gears and what have you. There’s still a heck of a lot of life left in the humble mechanical watch. In fact, so refined are our skills in making traditional timekeepers, we now have watches like Citizen’s Eco-Drive One that are not only incredibly thin, but “light-powered” too.


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