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solar efficiency

Harvesting More Energy from Photons

November 11, 2015 by Energy @ MIT

Getting more Energy from the Sun

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found a way to significantly boost the energy that can be harnessed from sunlight, a finding that could lead to better solar cells or light detectors. The new approach is based on the discovery that unexpected quantum effects increase the number of charge carriers.[read more]

Cheap and Flexible Solar

March 4, 2015 by Energy @ MIT

Flexible Solar

Solar cells made out of lead sulfide quantum dots could eventually offer a cheaper, more flexible alternative to ones made using silicon, but they are currently much less efficient. However, altering the chemical composition of quantum-dot solar cells offers a way of tuning them to reach higher efficiencies.[read more]

First Solar's Top Production Lines Averaged 15.8% Conversion Efficiency in February

February 28, 2015 by Eric Wesoff

Production Line Efficiency

First Solar missed the low end of its sales guidance but the company posted a net income of $397 million on sales of $3.4 billion over the past year. Other areas such as production, capacity utilization, and conversion efficiency showed overall positive results.[read more]

How Do You Know Your Solar Panels Are Working Correctly? You Probably Don't

February 21, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

As Pecan Street Research Institute were gathering solar PV data from houses in their research, they were surprised by how many systems had gaps in production. The findings made Pecan Street, an Austin-Texas organization that investigates water and energy use behavior, take a deeper dive.[read more]

World Record Solar Module Efficiency of 40.4% From CPV Startup RayGen

December 13, 2014 by Eric Wesoff

RayGen Resources of Australia and the University of New South Wales have built a solar module with a world-record efficiency of 40.4 percent. The results were verified at NREL's test facility and handily beat the previous module record of 36.7 percent.[read more]

SunPower Is Tripling Solar Capacity, Boosting Cell Efficiency, Adding Energy Management and Storage

November 21, 2014 by Eric Wesoff

SunPower acquired SolarBridge, an Austin, Texas-based VC-funded integrated microinverter startup. SolarBridge has a high-performance, premium-priced inverter that is a good match for the industry's highest-efficiency solar module from SunPower.[read more]

How to Make a 'Perfect' Solar Absorber

October 1, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Solar Energy Absorber Tech

The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material’s spectrum of absorption just right: It should absorb virtually all wavelengths of light that reach Earth’s surface from the sun — but not much of the rest of the spectrum.[read more]

PACE Lives! First Solar Breaks Efficiency Record; Jet Fuel from Tobacco

August 11, 2014 by Lexie Briggs

Energy News on PACE, Solar, and Jet Fuel

Energy efficiency faces a unique challenge. Residential energy efficiency projects require upfront costs and pay back reliably, but over time. It can be tough to convince homeowners to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to insulate their homes in order to save a few bucks a month in heating and cooling bills.[read more]

Trimming Solar Balance-of-System Costs With Electronics and Racking

April 28, 2014 by Herman Trabish

Trimming Solar Costs

The solar balance-of-system and racking sector is under intense pressure to reduce costs -- but it won't actually be all that easy. Cutting the costs of racking will be a little too much like bleeding a stone. One key is incorporating electrical components.[read more]