May 23, 2012

Seagrass Performs Blue Carbon Role

Research analyzes the role of seagrass in storing carbon and confirm its strength as a carbon sink.  James Fourqurean led a team of researchers in the global study of Coastal Seagrassseagrasses and published the results of its analysis in research paper: Seagrass Ecosystems as Globally Significant Carbon Stocks.  According to UNESCO-IOC, our understanding of carbon sequestration from coastal ecosystems is sufficient to develop effective carbon management strategies for coastal Blue Carbon.  …

…   “Seagrasses help protect our coastlines, they provide habitat for the seafood we eat, and they keep our water clear. … The potential for the world’s seagrasses to be used as carbon offset credits is an initiative referred to as Blue Carbon.”   …

Via Florida International University: Blue Carbon.

October 17, 2011

Renewable energy supply chain

needs storage to balance generation and demand requirements effectively.  The US DOE research agenda is beginning to focus grants exploring enablers for renewable energy storage.  …

…   “Without good ways of storing peak output for later release, alternative-energy plants become the most erratic parts …”   …

Via Bloomberg: Alternative Energy Storage.

Renewable energy storage awards.

California’s energy commission is supporting the research into energy storage, such as battery systems integrated with solar photovoltaics.

Novel approaches to energy storage include compressed gas, such as the technology offered by SustainX to store potential energy.

October 03, 2011

Artificial leaf is silicon solar cell


Daniel Nocera and his research team is developing the artificial leaf that harnesses sunlight to generate hydrogen gas, splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.  The next phase of his research is to scale the device down, so that it mimics the behavior of algae and increases the generation of hydrogen.  …

…   “The device, Nocera explains, is made entirely of earth-abundant, inexpensive materials — mostly silicon, cobalt and nickel — and works in ordinary water.”   …

Via MIT: Silicon Leaf.


Artificial Leaf generates hydrogen

September 27, 2011

Copper nanowires could lower solar cell costs

Duke researchers are building copper wire films at the nano-scale that would serve to lower the cost and sustain the performance of solar cells by replacing more expensiveView of nanowires, NIST materials.  …

…   “research shows that the copper nanowire films have the same properties as those currently used in electronic devices and solar cells, but are less expensive to manufacture.”   …

Via Duke University: Copper Nanowires.

September 22, 2011

Nancoscale dots enable increasing solar energy conversion efficiency

Collaborative, cross-university research program explores ways to control the density of quantum dots using nano-techniques, creating a more efficient solar cell.  …

…   “The colloidal quantum dots examined by Asbury and his team members yielded the highest electrical currents, and the highest overall power-conversion efficiency, ever seen in colloidal quantum dot (CQD) solar cells.”   …

Via Penn State University: Quantum Dot Solar Cell.

September 20, 2011

Bacteria hydrogen production offers bio-pathway to energy

Salty seawater and fresh river water are leveraged in the breakdown of organic materials by bacteria to generate hydrogen gas via hydrolysis.  The research continues to explore scale-up opportunities.  …Seawater can play a role in hydrogen production

…   “Exoelectrogenic bacteria, which can transfer electrical energy to conductive materials including metal,  are found in ponds, streams, wastewater, sediments and soil.”   …

Via International Business Times: Hydrogen Production.

Research paper on microbial reverse-electrodialysis.

September 06, 2011

Next generation energy systems takes research talent

Michigan Technological University adds talent to its roster of research-oriented educators in order to achieves its energy objectives.  The University’s strategic initiatives include development of future energy systems, with objectives in energy generation, mitigation, materials, and production modeling.  …JoshuaPearce[1]

…   “Joshua Pearce will greatly add to Michigan Tech’s expertise in the area of renewable energy generation and photovoltaic materials. He received his PhD from Penn State in 2004 for research on the development of low-cost solar photovoltaic technology.

Since then, he has been recognized internationally for his work in advancing renewable energy. He is working on projects that range from fundamental photovoltaic materials development and device physics to more applied systems design and performance.”   …

Via Michigan Tech: Energy Initiatives.

July 18, 2011

Semiconducting polymers in solar cells

Texas student emphasizes his education and research program on the electrical properties of polymers.  …

…   “He has focused on polymers used in semiconductors, among other applications. His research includes measuring electronic properties of semiconducting polymers for use in solar cells.”   …

Via University of Texas at Dallas: Research Track.

Prakash Sista, UT Grad student.

July 13, 2011

Chung Energy Center to study solar and wind energy storage

China entrepreneur supports the UC Riverside engineering college with endowment that will foster energy research, initially in storage systems.  …

…   “The Winston Chung Global Energy Center will focus initially on research in energy storage, but in collaboration with solar and wind power generating companies, the City of Riverside, and local power consumers, it will be at the forefront of creating a new smart energy grid. Integrating energy production with new storage and distribution technologies, the Global Energy Center will allow Riverside to be a world-wide leader in renewable energy.”   …

Via University of California Riverside: Inaugural Fellow.

June 30, 2011

Fiber solar photovoltaic cells

Chinese physics student focuses his research on fiber based photovoltaics and is recognized by the China government.  …

…   “Yuan Li’s research focuses on fiber solar cells, a new kind of photovoltaics for which Wake Forest has received a patent this year.”   …

Via Wake Forest University: Solar Research.

June 22, 2011

Undergrad recognized for solar cell research efforts

Solar research at Stanford University

Undergraduate students are recognized at Stanford graduation for their research efforts, guided by university professors.  …

…   “John Melas-Kyriazi, engineering physics; The effect of hole transport material pore filling on device performance in solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells, Michael McGehee, materials science and engineering; and Bruce Clemens, materials science and engineering.”   …

Via Stanford: Research Recognition.

June 21, 2011

Eastern Europe can benefit from solar photovoltaic power generation

Univ of Delaware expert will conduct research with colleagues in the Republic of Azerbaijan, where harvesting the sun’s energy is unexploited.  … Ismat Shah, Campus Ministry. 10/10/02
Photo: Kathy Flickinger

…   “His expertise in thin-film photovoltaics, or solar cells made from plastics, is of special interest to scientists in Baku State University’s Nano Center because solar power is considered an untapped resource in Eastern Europe, a region that receives abundant sunshine throughout much of the year.”   …

Via University of Delaware: Material Science Research.

Syed I Shah, University of Delaware.

Baku State University’s Nano Center.

June 20, 2011

Orange you glad that my Tshirt will charge your cellphone at the UK music festival

Sound will charge cellphones at the Glastonbury music festival

Orange will live test its sound powered charging device at the Glastonbury music festival this year.  This eco-charging device is built into a Tshirt and uses sound at 80dB or higher to generate up to 6 watt hours for charging mobile devices.  …

…   “Following months of planning and development, the prototype, named the Orange Sound Charge has been produced in conjunction with renewable energy experts at GotWind.

The eco charging device uses an existing technology in a revolutionary way; by reversing the use of a product called Piezoelectric film, allowing people to charge their mobile phones whilst enjoying their favourite headline act at Glastonbury.”   …

Via Orange: Sound charging device.


June 16, 2011

Review and analyze building energy data to drive efficiency initiatives


Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency survey provides insights into the energy mindset of building owners and operators around the world.  The amount of available energy data is increasing, however the processes and roles to act of this information is lacking.  …

…   “Building owners have greater access to energy data, but few are taking advantage of it.

More than eight in 10 measure and record data at least weekly or monthly, but fewer than two in 10 review and analyze that data at least weekly.

Those who have implemented smart grid/smart building technology such as advanced energy metering and management systems are nearly 3 times more likely to review and analyze their data frequently.”   …

Via Johnson Controls: Energy Efficiency Survey.

June 13, 2011

Solar photovoltaic canopy designed into Decathlon house

Appalachian State students present their graduate research to North Carolina state politicians.  The Solar Homestead students share their experience with zero-energyThe Solar Homestead home design.  …

…   “The core house draws power from a photovoltaic canopy, supported by outbuilding modules or OMs, which are reminiscent of traditional lean-to sheds.”   …

Via Appalachian State University: Green building research project discussed.

May 30, 2011

Stanford fundamental research targets solar organic photovoltaic materials

Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project brings together a partnership of academia and industry with funding from ExxonMobil, GE, Schlumberger and Toyota to exploreStanford McGehee materials research fundamental research into green technologies that will have a direct impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Stanford professors are exploring material science enablers for more efficient and effective organic photocells.  …

…   “designing a new family of advanced electron-accepting materials to be used in organic photovoltaic cells.

Their research could lead to cells with longer lifetimes, greater efficiencies and lower costs, making organic photovoltaic cells a more viable option to harvest solar energy.”   …

Via Stanford University: Energy Projects.

Organic photovoltaic research.

Stanford Univ Global Climate and Energy programs.


May 20, 2011

Technology enables solar fabrics

MIT researchers advance the state of fiber manufacturing to point of solar enablingFiber research could enable solar fabrics. fabrics.  …

…   “Or the fibers could then be woven, such as to make a solar-cell fabric, he says.  Fink says his research group has been working for more than a decade on expanding the kinds of materials and structures that can be incorporated into fibers.”   …

Via MIT: Electronic Fibers.

May 19, 2011

Nanoscale conductive polymers increase solar cell conversion

Lei Zhai, UCF associate professor, has been recognized for his research into thezhai_HIGHRES[1] application of nanotechnology to the solar energy conversion process in polymer cells.  …

…   “This week he was selected for a Scialog Award, which includes a $100,000 prize to support his proposed solar energy conversion research.

Zhai is building nano-scale columns of conductive polymers to improve the efficiency of polymer solar cells.

Each Scialog proposal was subject to peer review and only those proposals seen as highly innovative and with the potential to transform the field of solar energy conversion were selected for awards.”   …

Via University of Central Florida: Nanotech Solar Power.

Scialog Awards in solar conversion.

Scialog focuses on funding early career scientists and building research teams to undertake groundbreaking studies in solar energy conversion.

UCF research samples:

Lei Zhai’s research video library.

The Nanoscience Technology Center at UCF.

Conductive polymersReferences on the use of polymers for solar applications:

Photovoltaic cells based on conductive polymers (PDF).

Photoelectrochemical Solar Energy Conversion Based on Conducting Polymers (PDF).

May 09, 2011

University research leadership studies energy sustainability

University of Texas President William Powers offers his insights into the future and the leadership in education and research necessary to confront society’s challenges.  …

…   “The public research university of the future must solve global problems, expand knowledge, and improve lives throughout society.

Our faculty are working on energy sustainability through research initiatives in carbon capture, large-scale alternative energy storage, and solar energy.”   …

Via University of Texas at Austin: President’s Report.

William Power sees sustainability as key driver for future research agenda

May 03, 2011

Solar thermal energy generation boosted through nanomaterials and panel design

Boston College and MIT collaborate to research improvements to the conversion efficiency of solar thermal panels. 

Nanotech materials and panel design techniquesSolar thermal panel research combine to boost the electric power conversion significantly.  …

…   “The team’s introduced two innovations: a better light-absorbing surface through enhanced nanostructured thermoelectric materials, which was then placed within an energy-trapping, vacuum-sealed flat panel.

Combined, both measures added enhanced electricity-generating capacity to solar-thermal power technology …”   …

Via Boston College: Solar Thermal Panels.

Boston College Professor of Physics Zhifeng Ren.

Research focus areas.

March 29, 2011

Artificial leaf uses solar to generate hydrogen for fuel cell power

Artificial leaf generates power from solar photosynthesis

MIT researcher Daniel Nocera discusses the results of his team’s artificial leaf at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.  The research team has created an advanced solar cell, based on bio-mimicry of the photosynthesis process used by plants. 

The leaf-like cell chemically splits water into hydrogen and oxygen for storage in a fuel cell for supplying power needs.  The Nocera solar leaf is constructed of inexpensive nickel and cobalt catalysts and material. 

The chemical reaction does not require extreme conditions of temperature or pressure to achieve its photosynthesis efficiency.  Nocera’s team will continue to seek methods to increase the solar conversion efficiency.  …

…   “The device bears no resemblance to Mother Nature's counterparts on oaks, maples and other green plants, which scientists have used as the model for their efforts to develop this new genre of solar cells.

About the shape of a poker card but thinner, the device is fashioned from silicon, electronics and catalysts, substances that accelerate chemical reactions that otherwise would not occur, or would run slowly.

Placed in a single gallon of water in a bright sunlight, the device could produce enough electricity to supply a house in a developing country with electricity for a day, Nocera said.

It does so by splitting water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen. 

The hydrogen and oxygen gases would be stored in a fuel cell, which uses those two materials to produce electricity, located either on top of the house or beside it.”  …

Via Eureka Alert: Artificial Leaves, ACS Press Release.

American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute.

Daniel Nocera at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Daniel Nocera research team.

Fuel cells.


Green Chemistry.

The hydrogen economy.

Biomimicry enables science to emulate nature

March 24, 2011

B-School Research targets energy challenge

Arizona State’s W. P. Carey School of Business is recognized for its leadership in business research, which targets challenges in renewable energy and green labeling of electronics.  …

…   “identifying which states would benefit most from generating more solar energy … “   …

Via Arizona State University: Top 25 Business School Research Rankings.

March 14, 2011

Boost solar cell efficiency with organic material at nanoscale

Stanford chemical engineering professor Stacey Bent is researching solar cellSolar resarch efforts designs using nano-scale organic materials that boost the power conversion efficiency.  …

…   “Bent's students tried several different organic molecules in an attempt to learn which ones would most increase the efficiency … But she found that the exact molecule didn't matter – just having a single organic layer less than a nanometer thick was enough to triple the efficiency of the solar cells.”   …

Via Stanford University: Solar Cell Efficiency Research (Release).

March 07, 2011

Cadmium telluride solar module research

PPG, Oak Ridge National Lab and Colorado State will join forces to develop low cost solarSampath solar research efforts photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride.  The research collaboration will focus on materials, coatings, and production processes to commercialize the new modules.  …

…   “joined to reduce Cadmium Telluride module costs by 17 percent or under $1 per watt. The group has been awarded $3.1 million by the Department of Energy.”   …

Via Colorado State University: Collaboration.

February 21, 2011

Solar powers hydrogen fuel cell

Penn State research explores the production of hydrogen from fuel cells using light and solar photosynthesis.  The research efforts are focusing on overcoming technical barriers to efficient hydrogen production, by varying materials light wavelengths, etc.  …

…   “While some researchers have used solar cells to make electricity or use concentrated solar heat to split water, Mallouk's process uses the energy in blue light directly.

So far, it is much less efficient than other solar energy conversion technologies.”   …

Via Penn State Univ: Photosynthesis.

February 04, 2011

Nanowires form efficient solar cells

through the research of professor Tonio Buonassisi where nanowire production is tightly controlled.  These concepts are being proven in the lab prior to scale-up andSilicon nanowire for solar cells commercialization.  …

…   “The spacing of the wires is controlled by textures created on the surface — tiny dimples can form centers for the copper droplets — but the size of the wires is controlled by the temperatures used for the diffusion stage of the process. Thus, unlike in other production methods, the size and spacing of the wires can be controlled independently of each other, Buonassisi says.”   …

Via MIT: Micro Wires.

February 03, 2011

Solar Cell Efficiency Boost from Nanoparticles

UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz researchers will deploy nanotechnology for solar cell construction, hoping to demonstrate sustained efficiency gains.  …

…   “But by constructing solar cells from extremely small nanoparticles, the UC researchers aim to generate several electrons for each photon, raising the maximum efficiency to between 42 and 65 percent.

The one-photon-in/multiple-electrons-out paradigm has been demonstrated at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Zimanyi said — but the Los Alamos group did not build a functioning solar cell based on this paradigm.

The UC Davis/UC Santa Cruz team includes scientists with experience making solar cells from nanoparticles, giving hope that the group will be able to construct a fully functioning and well-optimized solar cell from germanium and silicon nanoparticles, he said.”   …

Via University of California, Davis: Solar Cell Project Funding, Press Release.

February 02, 2011

Solar energy medal goes to

Richard M. Swanson for his research into performance barriers in silicon solar photovoltaics, commercialization of solar cells, and leadership in the solar industry.  …

…   “Richard M. Swanson, an innovator in the field of photovoltaics and president emeritus of SunPower Corp., will receive the 2011 Karl Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit during a ceremony to be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, in Gore Recital Hall of the Roselle Center for the Arts on the University of Delaware campus in Newark.”   …

Via University of Delaware: Boer Award.


January 26, 2011

Solar reactor concentrates light to produce hydrogen fuel

Thermochemical reaction produces hydrogen from water and carbon dioxide.  This process could be commercialized if paired with the carbon emissions from an existing1482-smh_wcc_with_reactor_use-smaller_medium[1] power plant.  …

…   “The researchers designed and built a two-foot-tall prototype reactor that has a quartz window and a cavity that absorbs concentrated sunlight.

The concentrator works like the magnifying glass you used as a kid to focus the sun's rays, says Haile. 

At the heart of the reactor is a cylindrical lining of ceria.

Ceria—a metal oxide that is commonly embedded in the walls of self-cleaning ovens …”   …

Via Cal Tech: Solar Reaction Press Release.

January 05, 2011

IBM transistor energy efficiency

may eliminate battery usage for some devices.  IBM emerging technology innovations are poised to revolutionize the power requirements of electronic devices in the next five years.  …

…   “By rethinking the basic building block of electronic devices, the transistor, IBM is aiming to reduce the amount of energy per transistor to less than 0.5 volts.

With energy demands this low, we might be able to lose the battery altogether in some devices like mobile phones or e-readers. 

The result would be battery-free electronic devices that can be charged using a technique called energy scavenging. 

Some wrist watches use this today – they require no winding and charge based on the movement of your arm. 

The same concept could be used to charge mobile phones. for example – just shake and dial.”   …

Via IBM: Transistor Innovation.

IBM transistor research

December 26, 2010

Singapore smart grid optimized through IBM collaboration

IBM collaborates with Singapore to deploy emerging technology solutions to address society’s challenges.  Smart analytics can be used to optimize energy consumption and delivery on the smart grid.  …

…   “Analytics and optimization-based techniques for managing the supply and demand of energy on a SmartGrid;”   …

Via IBM: Singapore Smart Initiatives.


December 15, 2010

Turbine-less wind power uses vibro

concepts designed by Cornell Professor Francis Moon, a mechanical engineer.  The wind panels integrate with piezoelectric material to convert the mechanical energy intoWind energy research electricity.  The research project requires a multi-disciplinary collaboration of experts in nonlinear vibrations,
fluid mechanics, computer fabrication, sensor mechanics, and architectural design.  …

…   “He created a panel of 25 pads that oscillate in the wind, much the way leaves vibrate when a gust of air sifts through a tree.”   …

Via New York Times: Innovative Ideas.

Professor Francis Moon at Cornell Univ.

Vibro-Wind Power-Alternative Wind Energy Systems for Commercial and Home Buildings (PDF).

Wind power screen

December 07, 2010

Open innovation in green technology

will enable accelerated development of new capabilities.  …

…   “Open collaboration in energy innovation will be a key part of fighting climate change, said Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu …”   …

Via Reuters: Greentech Research Openness.

December 02, 2010

Zero Tailpipe Emission Hybrid Electric Bus Uses Dual Batteries

piloted by GE research team.  The team integrates a high-energy density sodium battery with a high-power lithium battery into a dual power system to optimize performance for acceleration and range.  …

…   “While significant advances in battery technology have been made, further reductions in the size and cost of batteries will be needed to enable the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

GE researchers believe a dual system with high power and energy storage capacity could achieve the optimal electric driving range and acceleration requirements at a more practical size scale and cost for larger vehicles.

The research is being done as part of a $13 million research project GE is engaged in with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium, funded under the National Fuel Cell Bus Program. ”   …

GE Hybrid Systems Team.

Research at GE.

National Fuel Cell Bus Program (PDF).

A view of fuel cell bus use in United States bus fleets (PDF).

GE hybrid electric bus

November 09, 2010

Clean energy leader enables NY technology center

New leaders are appointed to Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences which spurs NY innovation through technology collaboration center technology collaboration and innovation.  Green technology leader, Paul Ballentine, joins the tech center in a development role.  …

…   “Ballentine joins CEIS from Austin, Texas, where he has been helping new companies get started in the clean energy market. He is the founder and principal in Solennium, a consulting firm specializing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and smart grid.

He is also the co-founder of the Solar Energy Entrepreneurs Network, an organization with more than 1,500 members. Ballentine earned his doctorate at the University of Rochester and was one of the founding members of CVC Partners.”   …

University of Rochester: Advanced Technology Center.

November 06, 2010

Photosynthesis biomimicry to evolve solar photovoltaic systems

Can we emulate nature’s use of solar energy?  MIT researchers are inspired by biological Professor Jianshu Cao studies photosynthesis mechanisms in their project on photosynthesis.  Project team members Cao and Ji-Hyun Kim are studying the capabilities and configurations of chromophores, nature’s light sensors, to efficiently convert light to energy.  …

…   “The hope, being pursued by various research teams around the world, is to be able to eventually produce synthetic chemical systems that mimic nature’s process of photosynthesis and thereby produce a more efficient way of harnessing the sun’s energy than today’s photovoltaic panels, and that can be used to produce some kind of fuel that can be stored and used when needed, eliminating the intermittency problems of solar power. ”   …

Via MIT: Photosynthesis.


Control chromophore orientation.

November 02, 2010

Bio Route to Hydrogen Fuel through Bacteria, Biomass, and Solar

Can bacteria power the hydrogen economy?  University of Washington professor will explore the opportunity and insights from research projects at this local lecture.  …

…   “Caroline Harwood, a distinguished microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin, will discuss microbial production of hydrogen gas as a biofuel in a lecture at UC Santa Cruz on Tuesday, November 9, from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 240, Physical Sciences Building. ”   …

Via University of California at Santa Cruz: Bioenergy Lecture.

November 01, 2010

Where should we store solar power

in an environmentally friendly way so that it may be reused when needed?  Research project will explore nano materials for energy storage purposes.  DOE awards University of Texas funding to pursue this objective.  …

…   “The goal of the project is to develop a fundamental understanding of how nanostructured materials can be used to improve all aspects of electrical storage, from energy density to power density to energy stored per dollar. 

We will work toward developing solid-state electrical energy storage that is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than current technologies … ”   …

Via University of Texas at Dallas: Electrical Energy Storage Project.

Institute for Intelligent Energy Systems at UT Dallas.

October 22, 2010

Biofuel process efficiency through enzyme recycle

Clarkson University research will optimize the cellulosic pathway to ethanol biofuel with grant from the National Science Foundation.  Clarkson chemistry professor Sergiy Minko will lead the investigation.  …

…   “grant is for finding a way to bring the costs of the process down to a more competitive level. 

The major idea of this project is to make this process less expensive just by recycling the enzyme. 

Normally, he said, the enzyme is thrown out with the plant waste.

The point is to learn how we can selectively extract the enzymes from this biomass and reuse them …”   …

Via Clarkson University: Biofuels Research.

October 21, 2010

Biopolymer pollution

Biopolymers do not have the greenest carbon footprint per recent study.  …

…   “The team attributed this to agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, extensive land use for farming, and the intense chemical processing needed to convert plants into plastic.”   …

Via Futurity: Plant derived plastics.

Research project performed a lifecycle assessment on bio polymers.  …

…   “Biopolymers were among the more prolific polluters on the path to production, the LCA revealed.”   …

Via University of Pittsburgh: Plant based plastic.


Bioploymer impact life cycle assessment

October 14, 2010

Improve solar power conversion through materials research

University of Wyoming researchers will focus on materials that improve photovoltaicSolar conversion research energy conversion through funding from EPSCoR, Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.  …

…   “The research, led by Wenyong Wang, a professor in the UW Department of Physics and Astronomy, will bring together scientists from several departments to develop and test new, more affordable and more efficient materials to convert sunlight into electricity and fuels. ”   …

Via University of Wyoming: Solar Research Project Funding.

Professor Wenyong Wang.

October 11, 2010

Organic semiconductors for solar cells

Physicist Vitaly Podzorov and Rutgers researchers find that rubrene, an extremely pure crystal organic semiconductor, conducts light energy orders of magnitude faster thanRubrene performs well in solar research previously seen in organic materials.  …

…   “energy-carrying particles generated by packets of light can travel on the order of a thousand times farther in organic (carbon-based) semiconductors than scientists previously observed. This boosts scientists’ hopes that solar cells based on this budding technology may one day overtake silicon solar cells ”   …

Via Rutgers: Plastic Solar.


October 05, 2010

Ford biofuel research focuses on algae

Ford sees promise in the algae path to biofuels and company researchers investigate opportunities.  …Ford algae biofuel research program

…   “This year, Ford researchers visited Wayne State University’s National Biofuels Energy Laboratory, which is actively analyzing suitable algae strains that could be used as a feedstock for biodiesel.

The Ford researchers, part of the company’s Systems Analytics and Environmental Sciences Department, also have conducted in-house research on the opportunities and challenges of producing biodiesel from algae oil.”   …

Via Ford: Ford Algae Biofuel.

National Biofuels Energy Laboratory.

September 28, 2010

Polymer solar cell research

University of Delaware professor Michael Mackay is researching methods to improve thePolymer solar cell research performance of polymer-based solar cells, using phase-sensitive neutron reflectometry.  …

…   “Mackay explains that polymer-based solar cells have the potential to supplement ever-increasing demands for energy due to their low cost and ease of manufacture.”   …

Via University of Delaware: Characterizing Polymer-Based Solar Cells.

September 27, 2010

Ultra thin organic polymer solar cells boost power

generation by trapping light promoting absorption and boosting power conversion.  …Organic polymer solar cell research

…   “It was only when Yu began investigating the behavior of light inside a material of deep subwavelength-scale – substantially smaller than the wavelength of the light – that it became evident to him that light could be confined for a longer time, increasing energy absorption beyond the conventional limit at the macroscale. ”   …

Via Stanford University: Ultra-Thin Solar Cells.

Fan Group research agenda.

Green XChange Innovation

Companies shift to open innovation research model to spur new or enhanced products.  The concept is applied to green technology as Nike opens its patents to outside researchers.  …

…   “Nike announced a new Web-based marketplace it calls the GreenXchange, where it has publicly released more than 400 of its patents that involve environmentally friendly materials or technologies. ”   …

Via Wall Street Journal: Innovation.

GreenXchange Project.

September 26, 2010

Smart Building Energy Systems

University of Virginia team will develop research that reduces HVAC energy use by up to 50 percent with a cost target less than five hundred dollars per home to achieve aBuilding energy research return on investment within a two years timeframe.  …

…   “The researchers will focus on reducing energy used by buildings' heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. These systems are estimated to account for about 43 percent of all energy used by U.S. homes, and more than 60 percent used by homes in colder climates. Annually, HVAC use accounts for about 28 percent of the nation's electricity use … ”   …

Via University of Virginia: NSF Research Grant.

Univ VA Research Building.

September 15, 2010

Carbon nantubes concentrate solar energy

Carbon nanotubes in antenna form are used to concentrate the sun’s energy more efficiently than a solar panel.  …Solar nanotubes

…   “MIT chemical engineers have found a way to concentrate solar energy 100 times more than a regular photovoltaic cell. ”   …

Via MIT: Solar Funnel.

September 12, 2010

Solar cells photon interaction

USC research strives to understand how light behaves in materials, which has implications for solar cell efficiency.  …

…   “Povinelli's research involves creating models of how photons interact with complex materials, in order to understand how light behaves as it moves through devices such as solar cells or optical chips and to create more efficient devices … ”   …

Via USC: Research Innovation.

September 08, 2010

Solar Energy Research Achievements

University of Central Florida’s research program drive local economic impact with solar investment leading the innovation agenda.  …Florida solar energy research impacts the local economy

…   “UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center led all UCF colleges and institutes with a record $21.2 million, including $10 million for a photovoltaic systems installation program that will generate electricity for at least 190 Florida schools and disaster shelters.”   …

Via University of Central Florida: Local Economy Impact.

Florida Solar Energy Center.

September 02, 2010

Renewable Energy Portfolio Tune-up

Research into innovative solutions to our renewable energy needs is one of the strategies advocated by Bill Gates.  …

…   “Our renewable portfolio, as it exists now, is not good enough to get us where we need to be.

Without R&D investments, we are not going to be able to address climate problems in time. ”   …

Via New York Times: Bill Gates Perspective on Climate Change.

August 30, 2010

Green Chemistry Recognition for Bio Composite Material

University of Delaware chemical engineering researcher integrates biomaterials into new applications for renewable energy.  …Green chemistry research

…   “Wool's research centers on the use of soybean oil and chicken feathers in new bio-based composite materials, including computer circuit boards and hurricane-resistant roofs.

Wool is using the bio-based materials in support of several renewable energy projects, such as wind, solar, hydrogen storage and energy efficient housing, as practical solutions to global warming.”   …

Via University of Delaware: ACS Green Chemistry Award.

Professor Richard Wool.

American Chemical Society.

Chicken feathers power hydrogen economy.

August 24, 2010

Solar Panel Dust Cleaning Sustains Power Conversion

Dust and dirt are significant contributors to the derating of solar panel power levels.  Researchers focus on developing coatings that repel dust from the surface of panels. Professor leads solar dust cleaning research The coatings use electrostatic force to clear dust from the solar panel surface.  …

…   “A dust layer of 4 grams per square meter can decrease solar power conversion by 40 percent, says Malay Mazumder, a research professor in Boston University … ”   …

Via Scientific American: Self Cleaning Solar Panels.

Relevant reference material:

August 23, 2010

Solar Active Semiconductor Nanoparticles

Valdosta State chemistry team conducts research into semiconductor nanoparticles for energy conversion at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Labs.  …Solar nanotechnology research

…   “Her team's goal was to assemble films that upon irradiation with light could generate current -- much like solar panels, but more efficient and accessible for solar energy conversion devices.  

The students gained experience with nanoparticle synthesis methods, photoelectrochemistry and related topics … ”   …

Via Valdosta State University: Nanotechnology Research.

Center for Nanoscale Materials.

Argonne National Labs.

Nanoscale research

August 18, 2010

Energy Savings Opportunity to be Realized

New survey highlights the unrealized opportunity to save energy through behavior change and taking informed actions.  Survey data confirms that people are only realizing the low hanging fruit of energy savings which does not translate into significant aggregate impact.  Educating consumers on making energy efficiency investments and understanding the acceptable financial payback period could enhance our energy savings performance.  …

…   “The research from Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the university’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions is the latest attempt to probe the psychological roots of the energy problem … ”   …

Via National Geographic: Energy Savings.

Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

Center for Research on Environmental Decisions.

August 13, 2010

Solar Cell Molecular Transport

NSF will fund research into the transport properties of liquids with renewable energy applications.  …

…   “Dr. Castejon and his research group study molecular transport occurrences in ionic liquids, which are important environmentally friendly solvents. The liquids are useful in a variety of industrial applications such as fuel cells, solar cells, capacitors and batteries.”   …

Via Wilkes University: Research Project Funded.

Dr. Castejon at Wilkes, research programs.

National Science Foundation.

July 26, 2010

Electron flow in solar materials

Understanding bandgaps and electron flow can enable better solar photovoltaics and light emitting diodes.  MIT’s Tonio Buonassisi focuses his research on this space.  ... Solar materials electron flow research

... "There’s a third category, and that’s where the most interesting stuff happens.

These are materials that have a narrower gap between the two bands, and they are called semiconductors. " ...

Via MIT: Bandgap.

July 21, 2010

Summer Solar Research gets students in hot water …

Smith College students spend their summer SURFing (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships) their way to a fun education that gets them into some hot water.  Smith has been sponsoring this summer research program for decades.  …

…   “This summer, several students are leading research projects that focus on Smith.

June Lukuyu ’13 is analyzing the efficiency of the solar hot water system on the roof of McConnell Hall.

Jennifer Sadler ’13 and Kaitlin Somers ’12 are charting the steps to developing a smarter power grid ”   …

Via Smith College: Research.

July 19, 2010

Biochemical Hydrogen Factory

Boston University’s Sean Elliott is researching a biochemical pathway to hydrogen fuel using bacteria-based red blood cells.  By combining light-sensitive pigments with hydrogen-producing proteins, bacteria could produce hydrogen through exposure toProfessor Sean Elliott the sun.  …

…   “If they can make it work, the researchers hope to apply sunlight to induce chemical reactions in the pigments that will enable the microbes to produce hydrogen, an environmentally benign fuel. ”   …

Via Boston University: Blood used for Hydrogen Manufacturing (Link).

July 13, 2010

The GW Solar Institute - Solar Research

Rome Hall

" .. goal ... to be the premier research facility in the world focused on the economic, technical, and public policy issues associated with the development and deployment of solar energy to meet global energy needs and environmental challenges."

" ... through independent research, soliciting and funding internal and external research proposals on defined topics and responding to outside requests for proposals that fit the Solar Institute's objectives.


VIA: The GW Solar Institute LINK

July 08, 2010

Cyanobacteria optimized to produce biofuel

ASU research looks to understand cyanobacteria to boost production of biofuel.  The research is working on optimizing the conditions that control growth of the cyanobacteria such as CO2 and phosphorus levels and light irradiation levels.  …

…   “cyanobacteria are much easier to re-engineer because we have a lot of knowledge about them. We can control their growth so that we can produce large amounts of biofuel … ”   …

Via Arizona State University: Benchtop Biofuels.

Cyanobacteria produce biofuel

June 23, 2010

Portable solar photovoltaics research into extreme conditions

Industry-academia collaboration results in investment in research through Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which will pursue solar performance under extreme conditions.  Remember, DARPA research investments usually translate intoRobert Birkmire, Research Director significant commercial improvements in technology.  Ascent Solar has the lead position on this research project, the Flexible High-performance Tandem-junction PV Array.  …

…   “The significance of the Low-Cost Lightweight Portable Photovoltaics (PoP) is that it will take thin-film, flexible copper-indium-deselenide based solar cells to the next level of performance in order to meet DARPA's requirements and will accelerate the implementation of thin-film flexible solar cells to commercial and residential markets, said Robert Birkmire, IEC director. “   …

Via University of Delaware: Extreme Solar.

Ascent Solar leads the Flexible High-performance Solar Array project, which will be managed through three gated phases, the first of which is 18 months and has an approximate contract value of $3.8M.  The research program is expected to be implemented over the next 54 months.  The research goal is to demonstrate low-cost, lightweight photovoltaic power generation that can stand up to extreme conditions and realize power conversion efficiency of 20% or greater by the completion of the program.  Ascent release.

June 15, 2010

Solar cell synthesis summer

Students will spend their summer soaking up the sun’s rays using solar photovoltaics.  …

…   “Michael Newby '12 has been awarded a summer research internship at Princeton University  … 

He will conduct solar cell synthesis and characterization research in Dr. M. Alper Sahiner's Laboratory at Seton Hall University for the NJSGC Fellowship.”   …

Via Seton Hall Univ: Internships and Fellowships (Link).

June 14, 2010

Solar research and development center leadership

Solar research will be championed by Abound Solar founder and CSU professor.  …

…   “Colorado State University Professor W.S. Sampath, co-founder of Abound Solar, will lead a new $2.5 million solar research-and-development center in partnership with industry to explore next-generation solar technology.”   …

Via Colorado State Univ: Solar Research (Link).

Lab pictures.

June 10, 2010

Solar photovoltaic lab accelerates new materials for Dupont in Delaware

DuPont opens photovoltaic applications lab at the Chestnut Run facility in Wilmington, Delaware in support of materials development for its growth push in the solar photovoltaic energy market.  …

…   “The lab will accelerate introduction of new photovoltaic materials and engineering innovations by linking DuPont science and engineering with full-size module fabrication and state-of-the-art testing capabilities.

It will provide an enhanced platform to enable innovation, technology exchanges and research collaborations among DuPont, customers, industrial partners, research institutes and universities.

The lab is designed to advance state-of-the-art solar module design, accelerate time to market in photovoltaic innovation and deliver cost-effective, high-performance solutions for the photovoltaic industry.”   …

Via Dupont: Photovoltaic Lab (Link).


Dupont photovoltaics lab in delaware

June 09, 2010

Dye Solar Cell Pioneer Wins Millennium Prize

Michael Gratzel wins the Millennium Technology Prize for his work on developing dye-sensitized solar cells.  …

…   “Gratzel's innovation, the dye solar cell (DSC), is a third generation photovoltaic technology.

The technology often described as artificial photosynthesis is a promising alternative to standard silicon photovoltaics.

It is made of low-cost materials and does not need an elaborate apparatus to manufacture.”   …

Via Technology Academy of Finland: Millennium Technology Prize (Link).

June 07, 2010

Biofuel R&D Program targets algae photosynthesis

Synthetic Genomics and ExxonMobil are collaborating to research and commercialize biofuels from photosynthetic algae.  Dr. Emil Jacobs, vice president of research and development, sees the algae pathway to biofuel as a promising experiment for ExxonMobil.  The research partnership has established stages of investment with milestones that could see ExxonMobil invest over $600 million.  …Algae research program

…   “After considerable study, we have determined that the potential advantages and benefits of biofuel from algae could be significant.

Among other advantages, readily available sunlight and carbon dioxide used to grow the photosynthetic algae could provide greenhouse gas mitigation benefits.

Growing algae does not rely on fresh water and arable land otherwise used for food production.

And lastly, algae have the potential to produce large volumes of oils that can be processed in existing refineries to manufacture fuels that are compatible with existing transportation technology and infrastructure. ”   …

Via ExxonMobil: Biofuels Program (Link).

Algae Biofuel Commercialization Challenges: Large-scale algae production sites, for example, could use carbon dioxide from nearby power or manufacturing plants that generate large amounts of the gas.

Synthetic Genomics Inc.: privately held company, founded in 2005, is dedicated to developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global energy and environment challenges. Advances in synthetic genomics present limitless applications in a variety of product areas including: energy, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

June 05, 2010

Biodiesel production via algae at optimum growth conditions

PhD candidates discuss their research programs for biofuel.

May 18, 2010

Solar cell performs better with anti-reflective coating

Solar panel performance is boosted with anti-reflective coating.  …

…   “This same is true of conventional solar panels, which is why some industrial solar arrays are mechanized to slowly move throughout the day so their panels are perfectly aligned with the sun’s position in the sky. Without this automated movement, the panels would not be optimally positioned and would therefore absorb less sunlight. The tradeoff for this increased efficiency, however, is the energy needed to power the automation system, the cost of upkeeping this system, and the possibility of errors or misalignment.  Lin’s discovery could antiquate these automated solar arrays, as his antireflective coating absorbs sunlight evenly and equally from all angles.”   …

Via RPI: Absorption of Sunlight.

May 13, 2010

Solar membrane for trickle charging EV

Univ of Arkansas team develops electric vehicle to research new technology and educate students.  …

…   “Additional engineering tasks include implementation of a fast on-board charging system, integration of flexible solar membranes for trickle charging two maxillary batteries and integration of a new LCD instrument cluster for displaying speed, voltages, currents and battery conditions.”   …

Via University of Arkansas, Fort Smith: Electric Vehicle Project.

May 05, 2010

FiberCell Solar Cells Combine Fiber and Novel Shape


 FiberCell technology uses a honeycomb shape that allows  for greater light absorption ... by catching light from multiple angles having more periods of "peak" efficiency.  The cells are fiber based and use dye from the pokeberry to increase efficiency.  FiberCell is based in Winston-Salem NC.

"FiberCell ... strong IP position comes from a portfolio of patents covering its unique light gathering design, absorber compositions, and manufacturing approach.... "

" ... FiberCell absorbers are fully integrated into the light collection system, making it a solar cell and solar concentrator in one. ...  "

Enhanced operational lifetimes

" ...  depends only in part on organic absorbers. This allows for better overall sealant performance. ... During a day, FiberCell can generate up to twice the power of a traditional flat panel device of the same effeciency rating ...  Internal resistances are very low for the cells. ... Rugged performance with continued module funtion even when individual cells are lost due to damage ..."


Via:  Fibercell  LINK  and SmartPlanet

May 04, 2010

Renewable energy research portfolio at Stanford

Stanford University develops portfolio of research projects to advance the understanding and capabilities of renewable energy challenges through its Precourt Institute for Energy.  …

… “The six projects address a spectrum of issues, including how to convert carbon dioxide to fuel, how to handle the fluctuations in electricity generated from intermittent renewable resources such as wind and how to improve the efficiency of solar cells while reducing costs. ”   …

Via Stanford Univ: Energy institute first round of research.

April 29, 2010

Electrofuel research project portfolio seeks biofuels from electricity

Research will target innovation into new pathways to renewable energy.  DOE spreads the love with funding across a number of energy themes, such as this one: electrofuels.  …

…  “Electrofuels - Biofuels from Electricity --- Today’s technologies for making biofuels all rely on photosynthesis – either indirectly by converting plants to fuels or directly by harnessing photosynthetic organisms such as algae.  This process is less than 1% efficient at converting sunlight to stored chemical energy. Instead, Electrofuels approaches will use organisms able to extract energy from other sources, such as solar-derived electricity or hydrogen or earth-abundant metal ions.  Theoretically, such an approach could be more than 10 times more efficient than current biomass approaches. “   …

Via Department of Energy: Transformational Energy Research Projects.


Sampling of organizations and their electrofuel research topics:

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst: Electrofuels via Direct Electron Transfer from Electrodes to Microbes
  • Pennsylvania State University: Development of Rhodobacter as a Versatile Microbial Platform for Fuels Production
  • The Ohio State University: Bioconversion of Carbon Dioxide to Biofuels by Facultatively Autotrophic Hydrogen Bacteria
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Engineering Ralstonia eutropha for Production of Isobutanol (IBT) Motor Fuel from Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen & Oxygen
  • Ginkgo BioWorks: Engineering E. coli as an electrofuels chassis for isooctane production
  • Harvard Medical School-Wyss Institute: Engineering a Bacterial Reverse Fuel Cell
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Bioprocess and Microbe Engineering for Total Carbon Utilization in Biofuel Production

April 26, 2010

Smart charge electric vehicles from the grid

GE partners with Nissan to advance the understanding and state of technology for enabling the electric vehicle infrastructure.  …

... "there are a number of potential issues that must be studied and quantified, such as whether clusters of electric vehicles will tax the local electrical distribution system, including transformers. " ...

Via GE: Electric car smart charging

Solar Energy Biomimicry

Green researchers use biology to better understand solar energy conversion. ...
... "Plants use solar energy to split water molecules into their component hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Scientists dream of efficiently replicating that process, then storing the resulting gases for later use in fuel cells or liquid fuels. " ...

Via Calvin College: Mimic plant energy use

April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010

Earth Day 2010 logo

Happy Earth Day !!

 Today is the  40th anniversary of Earth Day !!

- What will you do today, and going forward for Earth Day?
- Use a reusable cup instead of a throw away one use cup ?
- Take public transportation or walk rather than drive by car?
- Car pool rather than drive alone? 

To learn more about Earth Day 2010 and things ** YOU ** can do ... LINK


Via: Earth Day 2010  LINK

April 11, 2010

Plastic Fiber Solar Cell Design

Wake Forest researchers work to improve the solar energy production from cells and patent their cell configuration. ...
... "These new solar cells are made from millions of miniscule plastic fibers that can collect sunlight at oblique angles – even when the sun is rising and setting. Flat-cell technology captures light primarily when the sun is directly above. " ...
Via Wake Forest: Efficient, inexpensive fiber-based solar cells

April 04, 2010

Greening the Hotel Room

Do you hate to waste energy at home?  How about when you travel?  Some travelers are a little less energy efficient on the road then at home.  Some hotels are helping to change that ...

I remember when I was in Singapore in 1990 and the hotel had a neat way to save energy.  If you wanted the lights and A/C to work in the room you had to put the key chain (actually a block of plastic with metal at  the bottom) in a slot by the door.  This completed a circuit that "turned the power on" in the room.  And when you left ... you took the key and off went the power.

Starwood Hotels Element brand has some interesting ideas to make your hotel room a little greener ...Element logo

" ... testing ... energy management system ... that curbs heating and air conditioning usage - the guestroom's biggest energy hogs, ... is invisible to the average customer and doesn't require guests to alter their behavior ... "

" ... motion- and heat-sensitive sensors ... detect when people leave their rooms or fall asleep inside, he said. ... automatically trims heating or air conditioning ... cuts energy use without radically altering the temperature ..."

" ... cut heating and air conditioning use  by 47%, ... equivalent of about 50,000 pounds of CO2 emissions or about 2,500 gallons of gas ... "


Via:  USA Today LINK

April 03, 2010

Think Laterally to Solar Energy Breakthrough

Creativity and new thinking is needed to drive innovation in the renewable energy space. ...
... "He has also designed solar panels on top of cars and umbrellas, all things that he said are possible and can benefit the world. He urged students to use lateral thinking, a re-imagined creation of almost anything, as a means to solve traditional problems with a nontraditional approach. " ...
Via The Pendulum, Elon University: Think laterally, fantastically

March 31, 2010

Plastic Solar Cells

Princeton researchers see role for plastic electronics to reduce cost of solar cells in future. ...
... "By allowing plastic solar cells to be manufactured using low-cost printing techniques and by replacing ITO as the primary conducting material, the plastics the team developed hold potential for lowering the cost of solar panels. Currently, the electricity generated by plastic solar cells is collected by a transparent metal conductor made of ITO. The conductor must be transparent so that sunlight can pass through it to the materials in solar cells that absorb the light energy. " ...
Via Princeton University: Plastic electronics integrated into solar panels

Arizona Tokyo Solar Research Partnership

Arizona State University and the University of Tokyo, Japan will partner on collaborative research to advance solar energy technology. The partnership is planned for three years and will involve collaboration on research, education, symposia, and talent. ...
... "The University of Tokyo is rated by the Global University Ranking organization and others as one the leading universities and research institutions in Asia, and it is the leading solar-energy research institution in Japan. " ...
Via Arizona State University: Solar energy technology research

Continue reading "Arizona Tokyo Solar Research Partnership" »

March 19, 2010

Thin film solar cells research focus by GE

GE's research efforts will focus on the development of thin film solar photovoltaic technology. The company will marshall its scientific resources across a number of geographically distributed labs and partners. The technology will emphasize cadmium telluride materials to achieve the optimal cost versus performance. ...
... "the vision for thin film solar panels is that they will be lightweight, inexpensive and can one day be wrapped around objects, conform to a roof, or even hung like sails. GE is stepping up the pace of its thin film work in conjunction with PrimeStar Solar Inc., which is an Arvada, Colorado-based startup firm in which GE is a majority investor.

The GE/PrimeStar product is being developed at PrimeStar’s headquarters in Arvada, Colo. A team of PrimeStar technologists with more than 100 years of combined thin film deposition expertise is working closely with GE researchers, who are focused on several key areas in order to achieve best-in-class technology.

GE’s research team in Niskayuna, N.Y., is working on all facets of CdTe module development, including material growth, device development and robust process development. Their technical expertise cuts across diverse fields such as surface chemistry, laser processing and plasma physics. " ...
Via GE: Cracking the thin film solar code

Continue reading "Thin film solar cells research focus by GE" »

March 16, 2010

Rutgers research potential to impact solar cell efficiency

Rutgers professors are awarded by the American Physical Society for their research efforts, which could contribute to furthering the efficiency of solar energy conversion. ..
... "The prize recognizes Cheong’s work in understanding a class of materials called multiferroics, materials which exhibit both magnetic properties and electrical properties that resemble magnetism. The materials have potential to add new capabilities to semiconductor electronics, boost solar cell efficiency and increase the data storage capacity of hard disk drives." ...
Via Rutgers Univ: Rutgers Professors Recognition for Outstanding Research

March 01, 2010

UCLA Research - Carbon Capturing Crystals

Carbon capturing crystalsChemists at UCLA have created a "gene" that might capture CO2 and help control CO2 emissions.

"UCLA chemists report creating a synthetic "gene" that could capture ... carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to global warming, rising sea levels and the increased acidity of oceans."

" ... taken organic and inorganic units and combined them into a synthetic crystal which codes information in a DNA-like manner ... no means as sophisticated as DNA, but it is certainly new in chemistry and materials science."
CO2 molecule
" ... could lead to cleaner energy, including technology that factories and cars can use to capture carbon dioxide before it reaches the atmosphere."

" ... invented a class of materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), sometimes described as crystal sponges ... openings on the nanoscale ... which ... can store gases that are usually difficult to store and transport. ..."



February 26, 2010

Plastiki - Boat Made of Recycled Plastic

PlastikiDavid de Rothschild has built a boat from recycled plastic bottles and plans to sail it from San Francisco in the US to Sydney, Australia. 

 Yes he is from the famous Rothschild family. 

The boat and crew will travel in a green manner (composting toilets and vertical green garden fertilized by composted poop) Power for on board electronics comes from solar cells and wind turbines.  The boat uses glue made from cashew nuts.

Follow the journey and check out the web site for lots of geen info.


Via:  Plastiki  LINK

February 23, 2010

University of Michigan Explores Vehicle to Grid (V2G)

Can your car - or your hybrid - help power the grid?electric grid

" ... exploring plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) that not only use grid electricity to meet their power needs, but also the car's potential to store electricity from the wind or sun, or even feed electricity back into the grid, earning money for the owner."

" ... vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration ... improve the sustainability and resilience of the transportation and electric power infrastructures ... new era in which vehicles and electric "fuel" infrastructure become a system."

" electric cars become "distributed" storage, doubling as mobile holding tanks for electricity, ready to serve in their down time."


Via:  University of Michigan LINK

February 22, 2010

Understand Photosynthesis to Drive Renewable Energy Innovation

ASU researchers collaborate with other scientists to focus on the elemental steps of photosynthesis to develop new strategies for renewable energy. ...
... "Firstly, an understanding of how these complex processes work in Nature is crucial to future fundamental research in photosynthetic reaction centers, and this discovery may well be universal. Secondly, the use of two charge separation devices working cooperatively to maximize efficiency is a design theme that may well be applied in future efforts to create artificial photosynthetic devices. " ...
Via ASU:

February 17, 2010

Collaborative Green Supply Chain

MIT will collaborate with manufacturing consortium to drive sustainable supply chain practices. ...
... "The researcher will work with the company to map the supply chain and business operation, and help the company access knowledge both inside and outside MIT, working toward a sustainability strategy. " ...
Via Managing Automation:

Silicon Nanowires - Possible Solar Fabric

Silicon NanowireScientists from CalTech have developed technology that might lead efficient solar cells from silicon nanowires.  This could lead to all sorts of configurations for solar cells including fabrics.

" ... CalTech scientists say they have the underlying technology. Silicon nanowires, arranged in arrays, have been engineered that ... grab power from visible light ..."

" ... a cell geometry that not only uses 1/100th the material of traditional wafer-based devices, but also may offer increased photovoltaic efficiency owing to an effective optical concentration of up to 20 times ...”

" ... CalTech’s cells have efficiency comparable to solar panels now being installed on roofs."

"If nanowires can be woven into a viable matrix, combined with other material, it means fabrics can double as solar connectors, once they have a way to off-load the power they create."


Via:  SmartPlanet  LINK

February 16, 2010

Bio-Mimetic Solar Power Innovation

Northwestern chemistry researcher looks to drive solar energy innovation at the frontier of innovation. The team will create a solar energy model targeted at the consumer market that is clean and near limitless as the energy produced by plants.

February 15, 2010

Volvo to Look at Car "Skin" as Additional Battery Source

Volvo hybrid

Volvo is looking at a possible new battery technology that can double as the car "skin".    The idea is to make new hybrids lighter and more efficient by having the car's "skin" serve a dual purpose.

"Researchers from Imperial College London ... and Volvo are developing a prototype material that’s strong and light enough to be used as a car’s skin but can store and discharge electrical energy."

" ... material is made of carbon fibers and a polymer resin and can store and discharge large amounts of energy much more quickly than conventional batteries."

" ... does not use chemical processes, making it quicker to recharge than conventional batteries. Unlike conventional chemical batteries, the recharging process also causes little degradation in the composite material."

" ... could also be used as both battery and shell of consumer electronic devices such as mobile phones and computers. Without conventional batteries, the devices could be smaller and more lightweight."


Via:  SmartPlanet  LINK

February 14, 2010

Tobacco Biofuel Role

A number of gasoline alternatives are explored at the Chi Town Auto Show, with an interesting twist on biofuel with tobacco as feedstock. ...
... "Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have found a way to boost biofuel production from tobacco leaves. If the research pans out, tobacco could prove extremely useful since it’s not a food crop. " ...
Via Medill Reports:

If the seeds and leaves generate oil, tobacco could have a role as a biofuel feedstock. ...

... "According to Vyacheslav Andrianov, Ph.D., assistant professor of Cancer Biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, tobacco can generate biofuel more efficiently than other agricultural crops. " ...
Via TJU: Engineered Tobacco Plants Have More Potential as a Biofuel

e. coli Possible New Route to BioDiesel

e. col.Scientist have long suspected they could modify an existing microbe to produce biofuel from plant products.  They may now be one step closer with a strain of e. coli.

"Scientists with the Department of Energy's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) recently published a paper in the journal Nature explaining how they engineered the e. coli strain to spit out fatty esters (basically biodiesel) ... tweaked the e. coli so that it produces more fat than it normally would in a form it normally wouldn't, and they also made sure the bugs didn't eat their own fatty production. ..."

"Ideally ... would lead to a tiny, self-contained oil well: In comes plants, out comes fuels or chemicals. ..."

"... biofuels breakthroughs are published with some regularity. But no one has been able yet to turn these breakthroughs into industrial processes that can produce something useful on a large scale at reasonable cost. ..."


Via:  Forbes  LINK

February 11, 2010

Decentralized Solar Energy Project

Platform Research Project in China, India.

February 09, 2010

Blood Science Offers Possible Carbon Capture Route

United Technologies is looking at how blood captures CO2 to see if this has potential for larger scale carbon capture / sequestration.  One targeted industry is coal-fired power plants.

"Blood cells in all breathing creatures are constantly capturing carbon dioxide and moving it someplace better--just what coal-fired power plant operators may soon have to do with all the carbon dioxide produced by burning coal."

" ... trying to develop industrial blood--a synthetic version of the enzyme that blood uses to capture CO2 ... best known chemistry for CO2 management ... "

"Current carbon capture approaches use chemicals ... system has to be huge and the process requires a pile of heat, which means a pile of energy and therefore a pile of cash. The cost of electricity from a coal-fired plant is projected to rise 80% in order to pay for a 90% reduction in CO2."

" ... envisions a simpler, cheaper system involving membranes that sift carbon dioxide out of the flue gas ...  hopes to do is dope the membrane with a substance based on the enzyme that blood uses to capture CO2, called carbonic anhydrase."c--are also working to develop carbon capture devices based on carbonic anhydrase.


Via:  Forbes LINK



February 02, 2010

Solar Cell Polymer Research

University of Texas scientist, Dr. Mihaela C. Stefan, receives award that will fund her research into polymer chemistry that could drive the adoption of solar energy. ...
... "Stefan’s funding will advance research into new semiconducting polymers – plastic electronics – with adjustable, or tunable, energy levels. The use of semiconducting polymers in solar cells is a promising avenue of research aimed at achieving less expensive, more efficient solar cells. Stefan expects to improve the efficiency of organic solar cells by developing and testing new semiconducting polymers with tunable opto-electronic properties. " ...
Via Univ of Texas at Dallas: NSF Award

Continue reading "Solar Cell Polymer Research" »

January 21, 2010

Early Stage Solar Technology Investment

Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory makes investment in emerging solar energy technology to accelerate its commercialization. Semprius, in Durham, North Carolina will receive a multi-million dollar grant. ...
... "Semprius will focus efforts toward a massively parallel, microcell-based CPV receiver. This approach combines the benefits of unique-to-solar manufacturing techniques with the performance and operational benefits of microcell concentrating photovoltaics. " ...
Via National Renewable Energy Laboratory: $12 Million Funding for Early Stage Solar Technologies

Continue reading "Early Stage Solar Technology Investment" »

January 12, 2010

Ferro Solar Cell Sealing Research Project

Ohio Department of Development awards research grant to Ferro Electronic Materials to support the development of advanced sealing systems for solar cells that exhibit greater durability in the field. Ferro will explore adaptation of its glass frit sealant material to sealing thin-film solar at lower manufacturing temperatures. ...
... "In this project, Ferro will engineer a vitreous frit system to provide reliable air-tight and water-tight seals for second- and third-generation thin-film solar cells. Ferro will collaborate with the Edison Welding Institute, StrateNexus Technologies, and The Ohio State University, all of Columbus, Ohio, in developing, testing and commercializing this new technology. If successful, the new sealing materials will enable Ferro to solve a significant problem with second- and third-generation thin-film solar cells. As with all solar cells, thin-film cells require a hermetic seal to operate reliably for their expected lifetimes of 20-plus years. This can be a problem because most current thin-film solar cell modules are designed to be sealed with organic sealants that typically lose their hermeticity in time, especially if exposed to sunlight containing UV radiation. " ...
Via Ferro Electronic Materials: Low-Temperature Sealing Methods for Thin-Film Solar Cells

Continue reading "Ferro Solar Cell Sealing Research Project" »

January 03, 2010

Solar Research Investments

South Dakota State University makes facilities investment to sustain solar research momentum. The university will build a new cleanroom which will be enabling research activities by the end of 2010. ...
... "SDSU's 3,000-square-foot cleanroom will be be used chiefly for research with some use for the instruction of graduate students. " ...
Via Brookings Register: SDSU Cleanroom

Continue reading "Solar Research Investments" »

December 20, 2009

Solar Energy Research Recognition as Fellow

Research leaders, including Professor Bruce Parkinson, have bee awarded with Fellow designation from the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their contribution to the sciences. ...
... "A renowned solar energy researcher and a professor in the Department of Chemistry and the UW School of Energy Resources, Parkinson was recognized for significant contributions to fields such as photoelectrochemical energy conversion, materials chemistry, surface science, scanning probe microscopies and nanomaterials. " ...
Via University of Wyoming: AAAS Fellows

December 14, 2009

Solar Cell Efficiency Funding Challenge

Latest round of funding will support basic research that may yield a solar cell efficiency breakthrough. ...
... "Bocian cites lack of funding for basic research as the reason why today’s solar cells have only 6-11 percent energy efficiency. But there is hope in Congress’s recent approval of funding for PARC and 45 similar Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) through the Department of Energy. " ...
Via UC Riverside: $1 million to study light-harvesting compounds

Continue reading "Solar Cell Efficiency Funding Challenge" »

December 02, 2009

Renewable Energy Research Collaboration

U.S. Department of Energy invests additional funds in the University of Nevada, Reno to drive collaboration on renewable energy innovation through a consortium research model. ...
... "The goal of the NSHE consortium is to establish and enhance collaborative research in the areas of biofuels, solar and geothermal energy. In addition, the consortium will support the expansion of workforce training programs in renewable energy technologies in participating community colleges. " ...
Via University of Nevada, Reno: Renewable energy research

November 12, 2009

Dow Caltech Solar Photovoltaic Research Collaboration

Caltech and Dow Chemical will collaborate on solar photovoltaic research over the next four years. The research will explore low cost and readily available direct band photovoltaic materials. ...
... "The arrangement is aimed at aligning Dow’s capabilities in CIGS based materials with Caltech’s research in next generation photovoltaics. Together, they expect to develop new, ultra low cost, high efficiency photovoltaic materials. " ...
Via Dow Chemical: Next Generation Photovoltaics Research Initiative with Caltech

Continue reading "Dow Caltech Solar Photovoltaic Research Collaboration" »

November 09, 2009

IBM's Green Data Center

Data centers are huge power users ... power for the servers ... that creates heat that then needs more power for A/C to keep things cool. Even with advances in technology such as blade servers and VM-type servers the energy density and energy demands are increasing. IBM has been working on ways to instrument data centers " ... uses networked sensors and liquid cooling to lower energy use." Using data from actual IBM data centers provides real world variable data that helps improve the overall process. Via: ZDNet LINK

November 04, 2009

Solar Energy Harvest Research

Pitt receives funding from Faculty Early Career Development awards by the National Science Foundation that will support a number of research initiatives. One research project will look at improving the harvest of electricity from solar cells using composite nanomaterials. ...
... "Jung-Kun Lee intends to produce advanced versions of the technology used in solar panels and flat-panel displays, aiming for more efficient solar-power cells and optoelectronic devices. His $400,000 project will focus on the next generation of transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) - the essential technology in solar panels and flat panel displays - that would allow for increased control and energy harvesting of light. Lee will look at molding metallic nanoparticles into novel nanocomposites-materials with multiple nanoscale dimensions that would increase the concentration of electron carriers without sacrificing their mobility. This will lead to more efficient transport of electricity. " ...
Via University of Pittsburgh: Emerging Research in Sustainable Technology

October 21, 2009

Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar Cell Research

UCF researchers Schoenfeld and Gisquiere will collaborate on the integration of organic and inorganic materials in hybrid solar cells, looking for means to improve conversion, efficiency, and energy flow. ...
... "The grant, from New York based corporation, Prime Source Initiative, Inc., will be awarded in $1.5 million allotments per year for five years. The research will be led by Winston Schoenfeld, a professor in CREOL, College of Optics and Photonics at UCF. He will work on methods to increase the efficiency between the organic material that harvests the sun’s energy and the inorganic semiconductor nanostructures within a hybrid photovoltaic solar cell. " ...
Via University of Central Florida: $7.5 Million Grant to Improve Solar Cells

October 14, 2009

Oberlin College - Living Machine® Waste Water Plant

Oberlin CollegeOberlin College's Living Machine® is a waste water treatment system that teaches students how nature purified water for years ... but is unlike most modern systems.

" ... treats wastewater using a system of engineered ecologies that include microbes, plants, snails and insects, and is designed to treat up to 2,000 gallons of ... wastewater daily in a beautiful, garden-like atmosphere. ... Upon completion of a water- pressurization system, the treated wastewater will be recycled back through the building for non-potable re-use."Living Machine

"Invented by Dr. John Todd, of Living Machines, Inc. ... Wastewater flows from the building into two underground reactors ... an anaerobic biological process begins digestion of the wastes.  ... wastewater flows through two closed aerobic reactors ... where the remaining organic compounds are further degraded. ...[then] ... enters the Living Machine® solarium and flows through three open aerobic reactors. ... plants such as papyrus, calla lilies and willows root into the planted aerobic reactors and assist in the treatment process."

" ... biosolids are settled out of the wastewater in a clarifier. ... then flows through a constructed wetland surrounding the open aerobic tanks for final ‘polishing.’ Ultraviolet disinfection is the final step prior to the treated wastewater being reused in the buildings’ toilets."

Via:  Oberlin College  LINK


October 02, 2009

Nanotech Research with Solar Efficiency Potential

University of Louisville, Purdue University and Honda Research Institute have collaborated to better understand the formulation, or recipe, for manufacturing carbon nanotubes and their results will be presented in the October 2 edition of Science. This research program was started and sustained with funding by Honda. The researchers have found that the yield of nanotubes with metallic conductivity property was increased significantly through precise control of gas levels in the presence of catalyst. ...
... "Honda researchers discovered they could control whether the carbon nanotubes become metallic or semiconducting by using either argon or helium as carrier gases during the process. Researchers at UofL used the technique to make large quantities of nanotubes and precisely measure whether they were metallic or semiconducting. Purdue researchers took high-resolution images with a transmission electron microscope to help determine why the process worked. Lead UofL researcher Gamini Sumanasekera, an associate professor of physics, said he hoped the findings will renew interest in the field. " ...
Via University of Louisville: Solar cell efficiency potential through nanotech research

September 10, 2009

Google Solar Thermal Mirror Plans

Google will focus its research efforts on reducing the cost of mirrors that are critical to the performance of solar thermal power plants. The company expresses some frustration with the availabilty of emerging technology in the space and recommends that government play a larger role in funding early-stage ideas. ...
... "Google is looking to cut the cost of making heliostats, the fields of mirrors that have to track the sun, by at least a factor of two, ideally a factor of three or four. " ...
Via Reuters: Google solar mirror power

Continue reading "Google Solar Thermal Mirror Plans" »

September 08, 2009

Oregon Renewable Energy Project Monitors Wind Solar

Oregon Institute of Technology student, who is majoring in Renewable Energy Engineering, receives project funding support from Portland General Electric for monitoring the performance of a wind and solar power system at a local high school. ...
... "Placencia's project proposal aims to resolve three issues: remounting of the existing photovoltaic panels and reinstalling a wind turbine at David Douglas High School; designing and installing the monitoring system; and designing and installing the human-machine interface, which will provide the interactive features of the system. " ...
Via Oregon Institute of Technology: PGE Grant funds project

August 09, 2009

SolarsChill - Solar Powered Refrigerator

SolarChill regfrigerator " ... SolarChill ... aims to create a stand-alone solar powered refrigerator that not only preserves food, but also meets the World Health Organization's standards for vaccine storage ... One SolarChill unit can serve a population of 50,000 people for preserving vaccines. ... for use in emergency relief where electrical supply has been disrupted by war or natural disaster."

" ... energy is stored in ice instead of batteries. An ice compartment keeps the cabinet at desired temperatures during the night. ... key to the technology is the use of a direct current compressor ... first ever application of a direct current hydrocarbon compressor in the world."

 "SolarChill is currently at the prototype field-testing stage. ... in Indonesia, Cuba and Senegal...."


Via: Greenpeace LINK

Via: SolarChill LINK

August 06, 2009

Lead-Acid Battery Chemistry Improvement

Exide Technologies with Axion Power International receive thirty-four million dollar grant to advance the performance of lead-acid batteries, using lead-carbon electrodes for micro and mild hybrid applications. This grant is a part of President Obama's investment in battery technology for electric vehicles. ...
... "Lead-acid batteries, which are used for transportation and stand-by applications, account for half of the rechargeable battery market. Although alternative battery chemistries are growing in popularity, such chemistries are not expected to diminish the demand for lead-acid. " ...
Via Exide Technologies: Collaboration to Advance Lead-Acid Battery Chemistry

Battery research grants award list (PDF).

Via The White House: Obama on Spurring Innovation, Creating Jobs: "The projects were selected through a highly competitive process by the Department of Energy, and these innovative ideas will help propel America forward as we work to establish the next generation of advanced vehicles. "

Continue reading "Lead-Acid Battery Chemistry Improvement" »

August 03, 2009

Solar Energy Grid Integration Projects Funded

The Department of Energy invests in a portfolio of research projects to drive the advancement of the Solar Energy Grid. The investment will enable collaboration among startup companies, established utilities, academia, and national labs to improve the solar energy agenda. ...
... "The project will reinforce the fundamental objectives of the SEGIS program to optimize interconnections across the full range of emerging PV module technologies through innovative systems integration. " ...
Via Department of Energy: Awards for Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems

July 30, 2009

Smart Grid - What it is Video

Everyone is talking about the smart grid and how it will improve our energy delivery system. Every wonder just what the smart grid is ... and is not? It has "smarts" and sensors ... but what is it? smart grid electric meter "

 ... data flowing to consumers will be eventually be near realtime ... amount of their bill to date and their rate ... will be alerted during peak power demand so they can cut back their consumption and save money ..."

" ... benefits ... consumers can manage their consumption and defer appliance use to off-peak hours for rebates ... grid is better for the environment and utilities save scads of money building and running fewer power plants ..."


Check out this video for more information ...





Via: Smart Planet LINK



July 19, 2009

Utility Integration with Algae Farms to Produce Biofuel from Waste CO2

National Renewable Energy Laboratory research program looks at strains of algae for best biofuel production. The research recommends development of algae strains through genetic engineering to produce high solar conversion rates. ...
... "Algal biodiesel is one of the only avenues available for high-volume re-use of CO2 generated in power plants. It is a technology that marries the potential need for carbon disposal in the electric utility industry with the need for clean-burning alternatives to petroleum in the transportation sector. " ...
Via NREL: Aquatic Species Program, Biodiesel from Algae (PDF)

July 09, 2009

Urine Power through Hydrogen

Ohio University researches fuel cells that could be powered from the hydrogen in urine. ...
... "Using a nickel-based electrode, the scientists can create large amounts of cheap hydrogen from urine ... " ...
Via Discovery News: Urine

Continue reading "Urine Power through Hydrogen" »

July 07, 2009

Thin Film Solar Protection

DuPont and the U.S. Department of Energy will collaborate on a solar research program that will develop innovations to protect thin-film solar photovoltaics. ...
... "The three-year program is designed to accelerate commercialization of an ultra-thin protective film -- more than 3,000 times thinner than a human hair -- that prevents moisture from degrading the performance of thin-film PV modules, a key challenge in the past. " ...
Via Dupont: Thin Film Solar Research with DOE

Continue reading "Thin Film Solar Protection" »

Microsoft Hohm - Energy Management - UPDATE

 Microsoft hohm logol

In an earlier post of this blog (June 25th,m 2009) I wrote about Microsoft hohm, a new beta software application that would help homeowners better understand their energy usage and give suggestions to save money.

Yesterday I got the link inviting me to try it ... here are some of the details ... 

 hohm is a web application that develops a detailed "picture" of your home and its energy use using a very detailed series of questions.  Questions cover ... the direction the front of your home faces ... and includes details about all major systems  and about the number of windows and square footage of widows on each side of the house.  See graphic to the right for pictures of the categories of questions.Miscrosof hohm graphic

As you fill out the questionnaire a series of "FYI / Did you knows?"   appear to increase your Energy IQ.

After filling out 75% of the questions I was able to get a list of "best ways to spend

50, 100, and 500 dollars".

So far I found hohm easy to use and informative ... and the initial Q & A took about 20 minutes.

More details as the "experiment" continues !



Via:  Microsoft hohm  LINK






June 01, 2009

Arizona State U - - Global Institute of Sustainability

ASU - Global Institute of Sustainability Logo

" ... evolved from over 30 years of environmental research conducted by the Center for Environmental Studies at Arizona State University (ASU).... conducts research, education, and problem-solving related to sustainability, with a special focus on urban environments. ... initiates and nurtures work on issues of sustainability across ...  ASU, and collaborates with other academic institutions, governments, businesses and industries, and community groups locally, nationally, and globally."

"Greater Phoenix is one of the fastest-growing urban environments in the US, ...  is a preeminent laboratory for solving problems that face urban areas ... strive to discover new knowledge and develop new solutions for our own region, we also provide models and solutions that can work in Los Angeles, New York, Dubai, and Beijing."


Via:  Arizona State University  LINK

April 26, 2009

Green Restaurant Association

Green Restaurant Association logo

 I have been paying a lot more attention to the packaging in the consumer and other products I use ... recently I saw the Green Restaurant Association logo on a non prepackaged salad package from a local Whole Foods.  Most of their plastic containers are #2, well marked and therefore recyclable.

Their non prepackaged containers previously were plastic clamshells (I recall) ... now they area recycled paperboard ...

Read on for more about the Green Restaurant Association >>?


" ...Green Restaurant Association℠ (GRA), a national non-profit organization, provides services in research, consulting, education, marketing and community organizing. ... involves restaurants, manufacturers, vendors, grassroots organizations, government, media, and restaurant customers. ... provides a convenient way for all sectors of the restaurant industry, ... to become more environmentally sustainable."


Check out Dinegrenstore for an idea of the available green materials ... in a wide array of product lines.


Via:  dinegreen  LINK

April 07, 2009

Green House - Video Tour

bbc logoCheck out this BBC video of a prefab house ... some neat ideas that make for green living ...

" ... One of the exhibits at the TED2009 conference is a pre-fabricated house that boasts state-of-the-art technology and a sustainable design that promotes a green way of living. ... Peter Bowes was given a look inside the home. "TED logo

>>> To see the video "Inside the new 'green' house" ... LINK


Via:  BBC  Link

April 01, 2009

Clemson Bio Fuels Research

                                                                                                                                                                 Clemson University and the US DOE Savannah River National Lab are working together on the South Carolina BioEnergy Research Collaborative. The expectation is to advance the development and use of biofuels in agriculturally rich S.C. SRNL logo

Clemson University Restoration Institute

Read on for more info >>>

" ... Clemson University Restoration Institute and the ... Savannah River National Laboratory are founding members of the S.C. BioEnergy Research Collaborative, ... will enhance the exchange of ideas and the development and use of new technologies. ...  the agreement, the Restoration Institute and the laboratory will ... Research crop development and harvesting, including switchgrass, sweet sorghum and pine ... Study emerging energy alternatives, such as algae; and ... Research crop-processing techniques to yield viable energy and chemical products, including ethanol, biodiesel and energy briquettes.

The project has the potential not only to enhance South Carolina's reputation as a leading alternative-energy researcher, but also boost Palmetto State agriculture, said Karl Kelly, director of corporate operations at the Restoration Institute.

The pilot plant will allow researchers to "scale up" new biofuel technologies, a crucial step between small laboratory experiments and full-scale production, he said.

"It's a project that addresses the entire process, from the field to the production of ethanol," Kelly said. "We'll look for gaps in the technology and fill them."

Initial funding was provided by a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The collaborative is actively seeking funding for construction of the plant, which will take about 12 months to build.



Via:  Clemson University  LINK

Continue reading "Clemson Bio Fuels Research" »

March 30, 2009

Getting the most from your CFB

lighting research center logo

CFB have long been seen as an effective way to save energy - they produce more light per watt and last many times longer ... but not all that buy them have have been satisfied with their experiences.

Read on to leRPI logoarn more about getting the most from CFB ...  

" ... to help ...become an informed consumer, we've outlined some facts and guidelines to assist you. ..."

"* CFLs have a slight warm up period of one to three minutes before reaching full brightness. ... slow start-up allows the CFL to maintain constant light output while it's operating. ... "

"* In a "hot" environment with little airflow around the fixture, the life of the CFL can be shortened because heat builds up. An example of a "hot" environment would be a recessed "can"   ... "

"* CFL can appear dimmer than expected. You can avoid this by using the "Divide by 3 Rule." A CFL requires fewer watts than an incandescent to give off the same amount of light. ... recommend a 3:1 ratio instead. ... replace a 60 watt incandescent with a CFL that uses 20 watts, not 15 watts. ... "

"*Buy CFLs with the ENERGY STAR label. The label indicates that the product meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US EPA and the US DOE.""

Via:  Lighting Research Center LINK

Continue reading "Getting the most from your CFB" »

March 24, 2009

Improve Biomass Conversion

Baylor chemistry professor Kevin Chambliss discusses the university's research efforts to improve the conversion of biomass into ethanol. Current investigations are funded by grants from the USDA and NREL. ...
... "These compounds could have two potential roles in the whole biomass to bio-fuel conversion. One is they could be inhibitors to enzymes or microbes that ultimately help us get to ethanol. If we could identify them and subsequently understand their role in inhibition and you could get around it, you could improve efficiency. " ...
Via Baylor University: Bio-fuel Research

March 22, 2009

Cellulosic Biofuel Research Efforts

Clemson's Restoration Institute will research biofuel crops, such as switchgrass, evaluate algae paths to biofuels, and identify techniques to produce energy products. ...
... "This includes its expertise in microbial and enzyme technologies to break down chemical compounds. The laboratory is playing a lead role in research into the pretreatment of plant matter prior to fermentation and in the discovery of effective new cellulose enzymes. The entire senior class of Clemson chemical engineering professor Charles Gooding is working on a project to design a switchgrass-to-ethanol plant. Thirty-four students are looking at alternatives to the process, which could prove useful to the plant design, Gooding said. " ...
Via Clemson University: Collaboration to develop bioenergy

March 19, 2009

Microgrids - May Back Up Power Grid

Microgrids may offer part of the answer to an aging Power Grid.  A microcgrid is ..." ... A localized grid powered by a cluster of on-site generators, backup batteries, an array of solar panels or other sources of energy. ... can operate in parallel with the larger grid or independent of it. ... If the high-voltage grid we all rely on fails, the clusters of buildings or residences powered by a microgrid could keep operating normally until power is restored on the failed grid.Power Line / Grid""

" ... much of the work on microgrids today lies in the research side, real-life applications are beginning to spread. Clean Edge says Wal-Mart (nyse: WMT - news - people ) has two stores running on microgrids, one in Colorado and the other in Texas, ... Sacramento, Calif., Municipal Utility District, ...  announced in November that it plans to install a demonstration microgrid with a 310-kilowatt load at its headquarters. Another microgrid backup power system will be installed at the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County, Calif., linking to the 1.2-megawatt solar photovoltaic system and a one-megawatt fuel cell already at the jail.


Via:  FORBES  Link

March 18, 2009

Solar Nanowire Research

Stanford and Samsung researchers collaborate to study organic nanowires in solar energy applications which show promise as an inexpensive alternative to silicon photovoltaics. ...
... "Demonstrating patterning over larger areas is a key goal for future work, Bao said. The team also hopes to study whether the technique could allow for more cost-effective fabrication of devices such as solar cell panels that use inorganic and organic micro- or nanowires. " ...
Via Stanford University: Stanford, Samsung engineers make flexible electronics

March 15, 2009

Blue Solar

Aussie solar panels absorb more of the spectrum to increase conversion efficiency. ...
... "The pilot program at the university will demonstrate new production techniques that allow traditional panels to catch more light from the blue end of the spectrum, the short wavelengths. " ...
Via Sydney Morning Herald: Solar panel captures more light

March 01, 2009

Concentrated Solar Research

Researchers at RPI are working on solar modules that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of solar power for buildings. ...
... "Materialab, based out of Rensselaer, is working on integrated concentrated solar modules that are expected to convert 30 percent of the sun’s light into electricity and another 50 percent into heat. " ...
Via Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Efficient energy research

Continue reading "Concentrated Solar Research" »

February 25, 2009

Microsoft Closed-Loop Data Center Control

Microsoft demonstrates innovative emerging technologies at its internal TechFest. The green data center is one of its research topics. ...
... "Closed-Loop Control Systems for the Datacenter, a project aimed at improving the energy efficiency of datacenters by selectively putting idle servers into a low-power state while maintaining service response times ... " ...
Via Microsoft: Future Computing Technologies for more efficient datacenters

Continue reading "Microsoft Closed-Loop Data Center Control" »

February 18, 2009

The Portfolio Approach to Solar Energy Scalability

Researchers from academia and government labs are collaborating to identify photoactive materials that could be scaled to meet the world's future energy needs. Materials that are abundant would be the best candidates for the energy scalability necessary to transition to solar as the dominant alternative energy source for electricity. In order to be successful, we have to create and nurture a research portfolio of diverse and more abundant materials. ...
... "They showed that iron pyrite is several orders of magnitude better than any alternative on important metrics of both cost and abundance. " ...
Via Science Daily: Materials for Low Cost Solar Photovoltaics

February 17, 2009

Google "Power Meter" to Help Analyze Power Usage

typical home energy usageA common management axiom is you cannot manage what you do not measure ... same hold true for a home's power usage.  Google may have a way to give us some insight to our energy consumption ..

Read on for more  >>>>

"... developing home electricity dashboards for the future smart grid. see your energy usage makes it easier to reduce it. ... near real-time feedback requires an advanced electricity meter known as a "smart meter." ..."

" ... many of today's smart meters don't display information to the consumer. ... working with national and state governments to ensure our energy policies encourage consumer information ... Google PowerMeter  ... takes advantage of our scalable, secure IT architecture and our popular iGoogle gadget platform to show you your energy use in near real-time (and it's free to both utilities and consumers). But empowering consumers with energy information is too important to rely on just one provider, and we welcome and encourage other approaches."


See GOOGLE video >>> 


Via:  GOOGLE  Link

February 08, 2009

Energy Biz Leadership Forum

Energy Biz Leadership ForumThe Energy Biz Leadership Forum is March 8 - 10 in Washington DC.

" ... we stand on the precipice of a historic moment, with the ability to choose the "moon shot" of energy independence or to continue in a cycle of our own demise. ... To help you understand and survive these frightening times, EnergyBiz Magazine has teamed together with USA Today to prEnergy Biz Magazineoduce the EnergyBiz Leadership Forum."

" ... single most influential conference of 2009 focused specifically on the confluence of the energy and economic crises and its impact on your business. ... the first-of-its-kind gathering of the broad spectrum of professionals — industry executives, policy makers, regulators, consumers, and members of the financial community, along with thought leaders from outside the industry — that will help you understand where the industry is going today and tomorrow."


Via: Energy Biz Leadership Forum LINK

February 03, 2009

China Solar Research Initiative

Chinese Academy of Sciences creates solar research initiative to shift the balance of solar energy use in China. The Academy envisions a multi-decade development roadmap through 2050. ...
... "CAS had started to motivate its experts to make an action plan and to set up a platform to support the research in solar energy utilization. It aims to forge complete value chain including basic research, application research and market research. " ...
Via Chinese Academy of Sciences: Photovoltaic Research Initiative

January 20, 2009

Solar Efficiency Record Achieved at Fraunhofer

Fraunhofer Institute researchers achieve record solar efficiency of 41.1% by managing the quality of solar cell metamorphic growth. ...
... "The researchers at Fraunhofer ISE have succeeded in overcoming this obstacle. They have managed to localize the defects in a region of the solar cell that is not electrically active. As a result, the active regions of the solar cell remain relatively free of defects – a prerequisite for achieving the highest efficiencies. " ...
Via Fraunhofer Institute: World record efficiency reached for multi-junction solar cells at Fraunhofer

January 12, 2009

Stanford Energy Institute Launched

Stanford creates an energy research institute through one hundred million dollars of funding from donors. The investment will support new faculty and grad students. ...
... "The new Precourt Institute for Energy will draw on deep scientific expertise from across the campus and around the world. From the minuscule - materials scientists prying loose more electricity from sunshine through more efficient photovoltaic cells - to the national effort to develop sustainable energy and the global search for ways to reduce atmospheric levels of carbon, the new institute will be at the forefront. " ...
Via Stanford University: Stanford launches $100 million initiative to tackle energy issues

December 15, 2008

Austin, Tx - Smart Energy Grid


It is time to inject some "smarts" into the nations energy grid.  A consortia to be based in Austin, Texas plans to do just that.  The smarter grid will be much more efficient and possibly delay / eliminate the need for additional power plants.Smart Energy meter

Read on for more  >>>> " ... nonprofit organization, the Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technology ...made up of investor-owned utility companies, a high tech firm, and six public universities ... has set out to apply the latest in communication and information technology to the grid in the form of a "smart energy network,"  ... will make the grid more reliable and more efficient ..."

Via:  Link

December 10, 2008

IBM Harvard Collaborate to Create Higher Efficiency Solar Photovoltaic Cells

IBM and Harvard University will create a community-driven grid computing model that will harness unused computer cycles to perform computational chemistry, screening compunds for photovoltaic efficiency. ...
... "Current silicon based solar cells are only about 20 per cent efficient and cost about $3 per watt of electricity generated. A newer form of solar powered cells being developed is plastic not silicon based. It holds great promise because it is flexible, lightweight and most significant is much less costly to produce. " ...
Via IBM: Lower Cost, More Efficient Solar Cell Research Project

Continue reading "IBM Harvard Collaborate to Create Higher Efficiency Solar Photovoltaic Cells" »

December 02, 2008

Commercialize Cleantech

University of California business students collaborate with industry and government to commercialize promising clean technology research projects. ...
... "They are investigating the business parameters of going commercial with an enhanced method for pre-treating biomass from wood waste and plants that can be grown on non-agricultural lands. Lorimer says the new technology promises to solve many problems with existing inefficient and environmentally harmful methods of breaking down the cellulose in these crops into sugars for conversion into liquid fuel. " ...
Via University of California Berkeley: Cleantech Partnership

November 08, 2008

Penn State Scores with Green Roof Research

While we would enjoy an unbeaten season as much as any other fan, Penn State contributes to the advancement of green roofs with its research into species, growth rates, and maintenance. This green roof was installed on the roof of an old building, a root cellar. ...
... "The roof is divided into 6 equal size sections each with it’s own drainage that runs into the building and through a series of flumes to measure runoff flows. Four of the roof sections have an average of 4in of medium and the other 2 have 8in of medium. The sections are planted with sedums and other green roof plants and will be used to evaluate potential green roof species ... " ...
Via Penn State University Center for Green Roof Research: Root Cellar

November 06, 2008

Glycerol bassed (eco friendly) Antifreeze

SAE International logo
One of the by-products of bio diesel production is glycerol (a.k.a. glycerine).  Now that bio-diesel is becoming more readily available glycerol is now being considered as an alternative to normal glycol based anti-freeze.anti freeze

" the (1920s & 30s) glycerin saw some usage, but because of higher cost and weaker freeze point depression, it was not competitive with ethylene glycol. Glycerin is a by-product of the manufacture of biodiesel ... large amount of glycerin generated from high volume usage of biodiesel fuel has resulted in this chemical becoming cost competitive with the glycols currently used in engine coolants. For this reason, and lower toxicity comparable to that of propylene glycol, glycerin deserves to be reconsidered as a base for antifreeze/coolant."

Further work may be needed but this would result is less toxic environmentally friendly anti freeze.


Via:  SAE  Link


October 26, 2008

High Efficiency Solar Research Leadership

Professor Martin Green and his team at the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at the University of New South Wales continue their research into high efficiency silicon solar cells, looking a alternate substrates to seek the best performance. ...
... "In the past two years, the High Efficiency Group at the Centre has been focusing on fabricating solar cells on n-type CZ silicon substrates, also completely avoiding boron dopant. PERT cells on CZ and FZ n-type silicon substrates, as shown above, have demonstrated high efficiencies of 21.1% and 21.9% " ...
Via Centre for Photovoltaic Engineering, UNSW: High Efficiency Solar Cell Substrates

Video of Professor Green.

October 05, 2008

Green Research in Electrochemical Science

The University of Texas at Austin receives multi-million dollar grant to support research at its Center for Electrochemistry from the Welch Foundation. This funding will start the unversity's Renewable Energy Initiative, which is focused on collaborative approach to advancing renewable energy technology. ...
... "Another project will deal with the challenges of creating better batteries that can store energy over long periods of time. Such storage is needed to maximize the utility of renewable energy sources, such as wind farms and solar panels that intermittently generate electricity. The Welch Foundation grant is part of a larger, longer-term vision to establish an Institute for Green Chemistry and Sustainability at The University of Texas at Austin. The institute would help push the university to the forefront of electrochemical research into the development of technologies such as fuel cells, solar energy and electrical energy storage. " ...
Via University of Texas: $5 Million Grant to Fund Research

Continue reading "Green Research in Electrochemical Science" »

September 29, 2008

DOE Invests in Solar Cell Performance Boost

Along with industry, the U.S. Department of Energy will make invesment in a number of early stage photovoltaic (PV) module incubator projects. These research projects focus on the initial manufacturing of advanced solar PV technologies. ...
... "This project is expected to enhance cell performance by light-trapping texturing and grooves for self-aligned metallization fingers. By improving the light trapping and charge carrier movement within the cell, this project will significantly increase the efficiency of multicrystalline cells.? By the end of the project, 1366 Technologies plans to deliver a 19 percent efficient, 15.6x15.6 cm2, multi-crystalline silicon cell with a technology that is applicable across the crystalline silicon cell industry. " ...
Via Department of Energy: Investments for Solar Photovoltaic Technology Development

September 03, 2008

Solar Quantum Dots

MIT professor puts entering students at ease and shares insights into his research on quantum nanotechnology. ...
... "I’ve been working with Prof. Vladimir Bulovic in electrical engineering to put these quantum dots in both light-emitting devices as well as to look at solar photovoltaic applications, which is very a propos. " ...
Via MIT: Prof. Bawendi's Student Advice

July 26, 2008

Solar Research Innovation Recognized

EMCORE Corporation IMM solar cell is recognized as one of the most innovative technologies of 2008 by R&D Magazine and is presented its R&D 100 award. The IMM solar cell, based on Inverted Metamorphic technology, has set solar energy conversion records. ...
... "This revolutionary solar cell technology provides a platform for EMCORE's next generation photovoltaic products for space and terrestrial solar power applications. Solar cells built using IMM technology recently achieved world record conversion efficiency of 33% used in space, and it is anticipated that efficiency levels in the 42%-45% range will be achieved when adapted for use under the 500-1500X concentrated illumination, typical in terrestrial concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems. Once commercialized, the CPV systems that are powered with EMCORE's IMM based products will see a reduction in the cost of power generated by approximately 10% to 20%. EMCORE expects to commercialize this technology for both space and terrestrial applications in 2009. Developed in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Vehicle Systems Directorate of the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the IMM design is comprised of a novel combination of compound semiconductors that enables a superior response to the solar spectrum as compared to conventional multi-junction architecture. Due to its unique design, the IMM cell is approximately one fifteenth the thickness of the conventional multi-junction solar cell and will enable a new class of extremely lightweight, high-efficiency, and flexible solar arrays for space applications. " ...
Via EMcore: Inverted Metamorphic Multi-junction Solar Cell Technology

July 14, 2008

Nanomaterial Heat Transfer Efficiency

RPI research team identifies copper nanorods on the surface of a copper vessel create robust boiling and stable bubble nucleation for efficient heat transfer. ...
... "adding an invisible layer of the nanomaterials to the bottom of a metal vessel, an order of magnitude increase in efficiency is achieved in bringing water to boil. This increase in efficiency could have a big impact on cooling computer chips, improving heat transfer systems, and reducing costs for industrial boiling applications. " ...
Via RPI: New Nano Technique Significantly Boosts Efficiency

July 10, 2008

Solar Energy Window Boosts Power

MIT research yields a solar concentrator based on dyes that are coated on glass pane windows. The dyes absorb light and concentrate it to solar cells at the edges of the inside pane. ...
... "rather than covering a roof with expensive solar cells (the semiconductor devices that transform sunlight into electricity), the cells only need to be around the edges of a flat glass panel. In addition, the focused light increases the electrical power obtained from each solar cell by a factor of over 40 ... " ...
Via MIT: Solar energy using windows

Continue reading "Solar Energy Window Boosts Power" »

May 10, 2008

Nanofuels Research at ASU

Nanotechnology shows promise for fuel efficiency according to ASU researchers. ...
... "The presence of the nanoparticles likely enables the fuel to burn more efficiently, and increases the volumetric heat content of the fuel. Previous work has already shown that adding nanoparticles to other liquids, such as water, improves the heat and mass transfer inside the liquid, in part because of the stirring caused by the nanoparticles' Brownian motion. " ...
Via Arizona State University: Nanoparticle-Filled Liquid Fuels for Efficient Energy Conversion

April 26, 2008

IBM Research Project on Green Data Center Cooling

April 21, 2008

Photovoltaic Testing Lab Research

ASU’s Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory has received an $800,000 grant to test the reliability of concentrator photovoltaic (PV) modules by subjecting the equipment to a range of extremes including temperature and other stresses. This research is made possible by a grant from the Solar America Initiative. ...
... "The Department of Energy’s SAI program, which took form at the request of President George W. Bush, aims to make solar energy cost-competitive with more conventional forms of electricity. The program has the goal of bringing solar energy’s price down to the 5 cents to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour range by 2015. The ASU grant is one of 11 awarded to university-industry teams in this round of funding. " ...
Via Arizona State University: Photovoltaic Testing Lab gets solar grant

April 17, 2008

Egg Shells Help Make Hydrogen Fuel

Ohio State University LogoOhio State University engineers have developed a process that can use egg shells to (used of course) into Hydrogen Fuel.

How?  Read on for more ...

" ... patented process uses eggshells to soak up carbon dioxide from a reaction that produces hydrogen fuel. ... also includes a unique method for peeling the collagen-containing membrane from the inside of the shells, so that the collagen can be used commercially."L.S. Fan - OSU Professor of Chemical  and  Biomolecular Engineering

" ... L.S. Fan ... and Mahesh Iyer, hit upon the idea when they were trying to improve a method of hydrogen production...[where] ...  fossil fuels such as coal are gasified to produce carbon monoxide gas, which then combines with water to produce carbon dioxide and hydrogen."

"The key to making pure hydrogen is separating out the carbon dioxide,"

"Calcium carbonate –- a key ingredient in the eggshells -- captures 78 percent of carbon dioxide by weight,  ... That makes it the most effective carbon dioxide absorber ever tested."

"Eggshell alone may not be adequate to produce hydrogen for the whole country, but at least we can use eggshell in a better way compared to dumping it as organic waste in landfills, where companies have to pay up to $40 dollars per ton disposal cost," he said.

"And in the long term, we're demonstrating that carbon-based fuel sources, like coal or biomass, can be efficiently converted to hydrogen and liquid fuel. The goal is an energy conversion system that uses a dependable fossil energy source, but at the same time has very little environmental impact."

Via:  Ohio State University  

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April 15, 2008

Scotland Prototypes Electric from Waves

wave energy device

There seems to be a lot of energy in waves.  Anyone who has body surfed them in from the sea to the beach knows that.  So how do you get electric from this potential?location of EMEC

EMEC, in Orkney, Scotland is hoping to answer this question.

"... established to help the evolution of marine energy devices from the prototype stage into the commercial market place.... by harnessing the power of waves and tidal streams."

" ...  first centre of its kind ... anywhere in the world, ... opportunity to test full scale prototype devices in unrivalled wave and tidal conditions. ... connected to the National Grid via seabed cables running from open-water test berths. ..."

Via: EMEC (European Marine Energy Centre)  Link

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April 06, 2008

Low Carbon Shift Needs Investment in Green Technologies Research

Technology innovation is needed to move the rock on global carbon emissions, spurred by investments into new research programs. ...
... "What is needed, Mr. Sachs and others say, is the development of radically advanced low-carbon technologies, which they say will only come about with greatly increased spending by determined governments ... " ...
Via New York Times: Shift

March 18, 2008

Microsofts Chief Environmental Strategist

Microsoft logoSeattlePi

Microsoft " ... created the new position of chief environmental strategist ... Rob Bernard, to fill it. Here's his mission, as described in an e-mail from a company spokesman:

"... to assess the company's environmental impact and opportunities at all levels, ... to minimize their impact on the environment, assuring responsible business practices that work to reduce the company's direct and indirect environmental impact, and working ... on global environmental issues."


Via:   Link

February 25, 2008

Solar Power Study Sees Costs as Deterrent

Professor Severin Borenstein completes study of solar power that emphasizes investment in research and development of more effective photovoltaic technology over residential credits to install today's current panels. ...
... "Solar photovoltaic panels generate more power on summer afternoons when the sun is shining most intensely, which is also when the value of electricity is higher for most U.S. electricity systems, Borenstein noted. " ...
Via Univ of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business: Cloudy outlook for solar panels

February 10, 2008

Solar Research Ambassadors

State Department uses Florida Solar Energy Center to showcase research in energy from sunlight. ...
... "The group visited a variety of research labs at the center, including the hydrogen lab. There they learned about a mobile fuel cell device and research aimed at finding and improving processes for extracting, storing and using hydrogen safely. Several of the visitors were particularly impressed by FSEC's solar simulator, an indoor lamp powerful enough to reproduce sunlight in order to test the performance and durability of solar thermal and photovoltaic panels. " ...
Via University Central Florida: Solutions from Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)

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February 03, 2008

Adlershof Germany Solar Research

Investments in Berlin research park are positioned to pay off as solar technology benefits from a Solar Research, Germanystrong collaboration between industry, academia, and research centers.  ...

...   "Lips said Adlershof is a solar scientist's paradise, due to the close proximity of research and industry, and the unique, open dialogue and collaboration that exists between the two. "   ... 

Via Deutsche Welle: Solar Tech Berlin

Adlershof Germany

Hahn-Meitner Institute: "The Hahn-Meitner Institute (HMI) is a scientific research institute which focuses on two main areas of work: structural and solar energy research. "


January 29, 2008

Collaborative Solar Technology Research Program Targets Advanced Capabilities

MIT and Eni will partner on an energy research program. The collaborative partnership will emphasize the development of advanced solar technologies. ...
... "The Eni-MITEI Solar Frontiers Research Program will include six areas of focus: Nano-structured thin film photovoltaics; Luminescent solar concentrators; Self-assembling photovoltaic materials; Water splitting; Materials for solar energy capture and storage; Maximizing the return on investment for solar thermal plants; " ...
Via MIT News: Advanced solar program

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January 26, 2008

Future-Gen Solar Material Research Funding for Photovoltaics

ASU receives funding to support solar photovoltaic research. The research grant will focus on the development of new materials that can be applied to solar energy. This is the fifth solar energy grants won by ASU in the past year. ...
... "The two new grants in the latest SAI round are geared toward advancing new materials that can be used in photovoltaic solar cells, with a goal of having prototypes developed by 2015 and commercialized by 2020 to 2030. One SAI grant, for $1.3 million, will go to a team led by John Kouvetakis, a professor in chemistry and biochemistry, and Jose Menendez, a professor in physics. The project will explore the photovoltaic potential of new materials that originally were developed for laser applications. The project promises dramatic cost reductions compared to current technologies. " ...
Via Arizona State University: Grants to develop solar cells

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January 24, 2008

Greener Gadgets Conference in N.Y.C. Feb 1, 2008

Greener Gadgets ConferenceNew York City is hosting the Greener Gadget Conference on Feb 1, 2008.  The one day event details:

10am - 6pm
McGraw-Hill Conference Center
1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York City, NY

"... industry leaders, entrepreneurs, [and others] ... will gather to discuss the business case for the greening of the consumer electronics industry. ... featuring ...  consumer electronics companies ..., innovators from academic thinktanks, members of startups ... and some of the leading minds in the word of sustainable design and business. Topics to be addressed include: design for sustainability, product life cycle management, take-back and recycling programs, energy efficiency, greener materials, and green lifestyle and product marketing. An attached gallery space will feature a green prototype office display and technology exhibits from companies on the cutting edge of green tech."

" ... will showcase revolutionary design and tech innovations that will shape the future of the consumer electronics and change your world... for the better."

Some discussion points: 
  • "Environmental initiatives from leading consumer electronics companies, such as take-back and recycling programs"
  • "New environmentally sensitive materials, product lifecycle and design for sustainability"
  • "Innovations in renewable energy technologies, such as fuel cells, kinetic energy, wind and solar power"Greener Gadget Conference

Via:  Link

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January 23, 2008

NREL Solar Research Focus

Scientist offers insights into solar research at NREL where the focus is on durability and manufacturing efficiency. ...
... "Our research centers around determining ways to make solar cells last longer and to manufacture them at a lower cost. We expose solar materials to heat and humidity while monitoring their performance as a function of time. " ...
Via YourHub: Q & A with NREL scientist

January 18, 2008

Scalable LowCost Nanowire Solar Photovoltaic Cell Innovation

GE Research demonstrates silicon nanowire solar cell with higher efficiency and lower production costs. This achievement was the result of collaboration between researchers at GE's Global Research team and the GE Energy - Solar Technologies line of business, proving that large companies can still innovate. The findings were published in the Applied Physics Letters journal. ...
... "scientists on their Nano Photovoltaics (PV) team have demonstrated a scalable silicon nanowire-based solar cell, which has the potential to achieve up to 18% efficiency and be produced at a dramatically lower cost than conventional solar cells. This demonstration represents a promising development in the effort to make PV systems more economically viable for consumers. " ...
Via General Electric: GE Global Research Demonstrates Nano-based Solar Cell

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January 13, 2008

Zero Emision Research Station

 zero emission research station in antartica
Antarctica is probably one of the last pure pristine place on earth.  It is also home to the Belgian research station Princess Elizabeth, in Utsteinen, Antarctica. 

Can the two exist in harmony?  Can a research station be GREEN?

Read on for more >>>

Zero Emission Research Station in Antartica

T" ... designed with the environment in mind. ... built using eco-friendly materials, as well as to minimize energy consumption and waste. ... will operate completely on renewable energies. ...eight wind turbines well as approximately 380 square meters of solar panels on and nearby the station."

"... will use only 20% of the energy used by a comparable station. Heating will be done via a mixture of passive and active systems, including a heat recovery system ..."


Via: Inhabitat  Link

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January 09, 2008

Nanostructures for Efficient Solar Cells

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz collaborate globally to experiment at the nanoscale to control the generation, transport and storage of electrons, in order to improve the conversion of solar energy into electricity. ...
... "Combining these two approaches appears to yield better solar cell materials than either one alone does, according to Jin Zhang, professor of chemistry at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Zhang led a team of researchers from California, Mexico, and China that created a thin film doped with nitrogen and sensitized with quantum dots. When tested, the new nanocomposite material performed better than predicted - as if the functioning of the whole material was greater than the sum of its two individual components. The resulting hybrid material offered a combination of advantages. Nitrogen doping allowed the material to absorb a broad range of light energy, including energy from the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The quantum dots also enhanced visible light absorption and boosted the photocurrent and power conversion of the material. When compared with materials that were just doped with nitrogen or just embedded with cadmium selenide quantum dots, the nanocomposite showed higher performance ... " ...
Via University of California at Santa Cruz: New nanostructured thin film

December 26, 2007

Organic Polymers For Thin Film Solar Flexible Panel

Chemical engineering professor at UCDavis receives Department of Energy research grant to investigate methods to create thin film solar panels from organic polymers so that low cost photovoltaics can be manufactured.   ...

...   "Moule is studying ways to assemble thin layers of organic polymers -- essentially, plastics -- into a flexible panel, similar to a laminated poster.  ...  Moule is developing a method to deposit a series of very thin layers using a temporary, removable protective layer. He will also use computer modeling to study the effect of adding multiple thin layers to the device. If the technique is successful, Moule expects to produce simple two-layer devices within 18 months to two years. "   ...

Via University of California Davis: Solar Research Grant


December 10, 2007

Renewable Energy Research Projects Funded

University of Minnesota research team have achieved funding for five renewable energy projects to the tune of $4.5 million. The Xcel Energy Renewable Development Fund will provide the investment funding for the research. The winning proposals include biomass gasification, biomass harvesting guidelines, efficient biomass feedstock management, thinfilm silicon for solar photovoltaics, and wind turbine simulation. ...
... "Development of a new paradigm for controlling the microstructure of thin-film silicon, which will improve stability and efficiency and lower the cost of nanocrystal silicon photovoltaic cells. Led by professor Uwe Kortshagen, department of mechanical engineering, Institute of Technology. Amount awarded: $732,032. " ...
Via University of Minnesota: $4.5 Million Funding for Renewable Energy Research

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December 06, 2007

Energy Recovery by RF Frequency


Recovering the potential "fuel" in materials has been the driving force behind oil shale and oil sands.  Global Resource Corp, a NJ company, has found a way to "crack "the energy" from materials using RF energy.

Energy Recovery

" ... GRC’s hydrocarbon specific frequencies are generated by much higher RF klystrons that actually crack the hydrocarbon chain into its characteristic fuels.

"... no CO2 or CO produced ... because there is no oxidation... "

"... designed klystron machinery for gasifying hydrocarbons where they exist or in fabricated systems. In-situ meaning processed deep in the ground, rock formations or anywhere naturally occurring and off-situ meaning processed above ground that is mined or material removed from site.

"... GRC possess the technology that will free America from foreign oil imports.

Click the LINK to see a YouTUBE video of converting COAL into natural gas and hydrogen fuel.


Via:  Global Resource Corporation    Link 

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November 26, 2007

Photovoltaics using Flexible Organic Circuits

Georgia Tech research team creates electronic circuits using the fullerene, Carbon 60, in a thin film configuration. ...
... "The researchers fabricated the transistors by depositing C60 molecules from the vapor phase into a thin film atop a silicon substrate onto which a gate electrode and gate dielectric had already been fabricated. The source and drain electrodes were then deposited on top of the C60 films through a shadow mask. Kippelens team has been working with C60 for nearly ten years, and is also using the material in photovoltaic cells. " ...
Via Georgia Tech: Carbon 60

November 21, 2007

Solar Power at Night

Australian company is researching methods to even out the power generating capability of solar energy systems. It envisions a solar system that creates hydrogen during the day for use by fuel cells at night. ...
... "The technology that will continue to produce electricity when the sun goes down works by using the concentrated solar energy to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen through a spectrum splitter and then an electrolyser. " ...
Via Herald Sun: Solar After Dark Solar Systems Research: "Current research and development efforts are targeting greater output by using high efficiency PV cells, better mirror technology and reducing parasitic losses. "
Solar fuel cell and electrolyzer demonstrated ...

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November 18, 2007

Solar Energy at Tipping Point

Lawrence Kazmerski, NREL's Center for Photovoltaics, will lecture on the solar power on Monday, Dec. 3, at Vanderbilt University. ...
... "Kazmerski, who has published more than 300 papers on various aspects of solar technology, will argue that solar cell technology is at a tipping point in the complex world of energy supply and demand. He will discuss the development of this technology, describe recent research and development advances ... " ...

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November 11, 2007

Solar Thomas Edison Synthesizes Photo Active Nano Particles

Berkeley chemical engineer is researching photo-active compounds on the nano-scale. A number of Berkeley researchers are focusing on solar photovoltaic technologies and are collaborating in weekly ideation sessions in an "idea lab". Other students are looking for ways to drive adoption of photovoltaics and alternative energy in the marketplace. ...
... "Wadia spends many daylight hours in a chemistry lab, synthesizing super-small nanoparticles in a three-necked flask apparatus a technique so simple, he claims, that anyone who feels comfortable in a kitchen could do it then coating his solution on a glass substrate and analyzing his new device for photocurrent. " ...

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October 31, 2007

Green Research Facility Will Build at LEED Platinum

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) begins construction on its energy-efficient and green Research Support Facility in Golden, CO. ...
... "NRELs new Research Support Facility promises to be one of the most green buildings ever constructed; the new Renewable Fuel Heating Plant will use biomass to cut NRELs future natural gas use by 75 percent; and the Mesa Top PV Project a new five-acre photovoltaic array, and one of the largest solar power systems in Colorado will help power the labs main campus. It will make substantial use of daylighting, dramatically reducing energy use and providing a pleasant and productive working environment. The RSF has been designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) Platinum designation, the highest benchmark awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. " ...

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