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.
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.
Scientists led by the Technical University of Denmark have begun a project to design solar cells that can be produced in different colors with minimal effect on performance, making them suitable for building-integrated and other applications with aesthetic considerations.
The latest development on the module front sees manufacturers adopting larger wafer sizes in order to reach the industry’s raised expectations for power output. Older “M2” wafers have been the standard in recent years but now appear to be on the way out. Several theories about optimal size are gaining ground, but the future direction of the standard is still far from clear.
A consortium of European research institutes has received €10.6 million in EU funding to establish pilot production of a high efficiency module concept developed by Swiss startup Insolight. The module combines high efficiency multijunction cells with a solar concentrator lens and has previously demonstrated 29% efficiency.
Mathematicians at Canada’s University of Waterloo who turned their attention to solar power have developed an algorithm they say offers better control over PV plant output. The researchers estimate the algorithm could improve the output of a 100 MW power plant by almost a million kilowatt-hours per year.
An international team of researchers led by the University of Tokyo has discovered a new material which, when rolled into a nanotube, generates an electric current if exposed to light. If magnified and scaled up, say the scientists, the technology could be used in future high-efficiency solar devices.
Scientists at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have developed a method for producing a ‘smart fabric’ with a supercapacitor energy storage device embedded in it. Its developers say it can be readily integrated with a solar cell or used to power wearable technology.
MIT scientists have developed a class of liquid electrolyte with properties they say could open up new possibilities for improving the performance and stability of lithium batteries and supercapacitors.
A vision of a decentralized, renewable-powered electricity grid is being brought a step closer by scientists at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Their project, Autonomous Energy Grids, aims to take an overarching look at the solutions that will power this grid of the future, and to fill any gaps that appear between them.
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