Tagged With solar

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They're flexible, cheap to produce and simple to make – which is why perovskites are the hottest new material in solar cell design. And now, engineers at the University of New South Wales in Sydney have smashed the trendy new compound's world efficiency record.

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Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have set a world record for efficiency for a solar thermal dish generating steam that could be used for power stations.

The team designed and built a new receiver for the solar concentrator dish at ANU, halving losses and achieving a 97 per cent conversion of sunlight into steam. The breakthrough could lead to the generation of cheaper base-load electricity from renewable energy and help lower carbon emissions which cause global warming.

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Just 6 per cent of New South Wales is using renewable electricity. By contrast, Tasmania is on 95 per cent (but with good reason) and fellow mainlander South Australia is sitting at 40 per cent.

And with just $1.4m set aside in the budget to foster the renewable energy sector, the New South Wales doesn't seem to be keen to lift its ranking among the states from dead last to anything better.

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Elon Musk is on the brink of acquiring the the next critical component in a solar-electric transportation future. Tesla Motors just made an offer to buy SolarCity, one of the largest solar providers in the US — a company not coincidentally founded by Musk's cousins, which Musk holds a large stake in already.

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Aussie company Redflow announced its innovative zinc-bromine ZCell battery earlier this year, and tomorrow it's getting its first public debut at the Australian Energy Storage Conference & Exhibition in Sydney. The enclosure for the 10kWh home energy storage system has just been revealed, designed to be easy to install with failsafes against battery fluid leakage.

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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%.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.