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New solar cell is more efficient, less costly

November 12, 2013 3:41 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

American innovators still have some cards to play when it comes to squeezing more efficiency and lower costs out of silicon, the workhorse of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules worldwide. A recent breakthrough — the product of a partnership between manufacturer TetraSun and the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)...

Plant fuel project moves to second phase under US Energy Department grant

November 12, 2013 9:49 am | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy is making good on the second phase of a plant fuel research project, pumping another $3 million into the study led by Dr. Joshua Yuan, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist. Yuan, who was granted $1.8 million for Phase I by the DOE in 2012, is focusing on tobacco as a potential fuel source.

MOSFET boasts an Rds(on) of only 19 mΩ in a TO 247 package

November 4, 2013 9:13 am | Mouser Electronics, Infineon | Product Releases | Comments

Mouser Electronics announced the availability of the CoolMOS C7 MOSFET from Infineon Technologies, with 650V Superjunction MOSFET technology and one of the lowest Rds(on) specs in the industry. A MOSFET behaves like a voltage controlled switch or resistor. The lower the on‑state resistance (Rds(on)), the more current flows through the switch and therefore the higher the efficiency of the circuit.

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Sensors in energy harvesting

October 28, 2013 11:08 am | by Armin Anders, Vice President Business Development, EnOcean | Articles | Comments

Global challenges in energy generation and consumption motivates governments worldwide to set ambitious goals for increased energy efficiency, which results in a fast growing need for energy efficient buildings. Therefore, innovative, sustainable technologies that can be easily installed, especially in retrofit projects, are a necessity if the governments’ ambitious objectives are to be realized.

Photos of the Day: Cleaner and greener cities with integrated transparent solar cells

October 21, 2013 10:37 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Imagine buildings in which the windows allow the sun's light to enter, and at the same time capture the energy from the sun needed to meet all their energy needs. In this seemingly futuristic scenario, the windows become productive solar cells that help us decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and advance towards a greener and cleaner environment.

Q&A with Karim Wassef of GE Energy Management

October 15, 2013 3:11 pm | Articles | Comments

Our increasingly connected world and the oceans of data we generate has put the datacenter under tremendous pressure to accommodate our demands efficiently and reliably. ECN recently interviewed Dr. Karim Wassef, general manager of the Embedded Products business unit for GE’s Critical Power business about the trends and the challenges facing designers of datacenter devices.

Reference platform capable of securing any distributed node in the smart grid

October 14, 2013 1:10 pm | Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Designers of smart meters can now reduce time to market, raise the bar for higher accuracy, and secure their designs with Capistrano, a smart grid reference platform from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. Powered by the company’s Zeus metering SoC, Capistrano protects designs with advanced cryptography, physical attack detection, and life-cycle security schemes.

NREL releases roadmap to reduce solar PV 'soft costs' by 2020

October 8, 2013 4:49 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The Energy Department's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently issued a new report, "Non-Hardware ('Soft') Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential and Small Commercial Solar Photovoltaics, 2013,"PDF funded by DOE's SunShot Initiative and written by NREL and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).

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E-Meters turn to smart relay drivers for remote grid management

September 26, 2013 4:20 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

Smart meters have been touted to consumers as being integral in helping them lower their utility bills. Armed with accurate information – such as consumption pertaining to specific times of day – consumers can then adjust their behaviors to shrink their bills and their carbon emissions and, if regulations allow, even select from different pricing structures....

From worst to first: Commercial segment set to lead solar energy storage market by 2017

September 18, 2013 1:50 pm | News | Comments

  Currently the smallest part of the global solar energy storage business, the commercial sector is projected to expand by a factor of 700 in the coming years and become the largest market segment in 2017. Global installations of photovoltaic (PV) storage systems for commercial use are set to rise to 2.3 gigawatts....  

Clean energy least costly to power America’s electricity needs

September 18, 2013 10:59 am | by Springer | News | Comments

It’s less costly to get electricity from wind turbines and solar panels than coal-fired power plants when climate change costs and other health impacts are factored in, according to a new study published in Springer’s Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. In fact—using the official U.S. government estimates of health and environmental costs from burning fossil fuels...

Controller chip touts long battery life, high performance, and low price

September 12, 2013 10:02 am | Product Releases | Comments

GreenPeak Technologies introduced the latest addition to its ZigBee chip portfolio - the new GP490, a low cost, ultra-low power ZigBee PRO communication controller that allows the design and manufacture of cost and energy optimized sensor devices for the rapidly growing Smart Home application market.

ZigBee and the Smart Home: Is security an issue?

September 5, 2013 2:56 pm | by Cees Links, Founder and CEO, GreenPeak Technologies | Blogs | Comments

In one of my earlier blogs, I shared that today maybe around 600 million homes have WiFi. People share their lives with their family and friends and execute their financial transactions wirelessly over the Internet without being overly worried about security, and, despite the recent NSA disclosures, I wonder whether many people have changed their online behavior....

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More efficient production of biofuels from waste with the help of modified yeasts

August 29, 2013 4:33 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A significant portion of the petroleum consumed by the transport sector must be replaced in the long term by renewable energy. Therefore, it is of the utmost economic and ecological importance to optimise the production of biofuels from renewable raw materials.

Number of fast-charging stations for electric vehicles set to rise to nearly 200,000 in 2020

August 27, 2013 4:42 pm | News | Comments

Fast-charging technologies are driving the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) recharging market, with the cumulative number of stations established worldwide expanding by a factor of more than 100 times from 2012 to 2020, according to a new report from IHS Automotive, part of IHS.

Engineering American energy independence

August 20, 2013 9:37 am | by Bill Kerney, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Fracking is dramatically increasing the recoverable reserves of America carbon-based energy supplies. but yesterday I just paid $4.15 to fill up my car at the USA gas station in Cardiff, Calif. There is a huge disconnect between supply and the price at the pump. Bottom-up solutions need to scale to make an impact.

Two and a half gigawatts of residential PV energy storage to be installed by 2017

August 1, 2013 9:30 am | News | Comments

The market for residential photovoltaic (PV) energy storage systems is expected to boom in the coming years, with cumulative installations amounting to 2.5 gigawatts (GW) by 2017, equivalent to the solar power that could be generated by more than 600,000 homes.

Solving wind energy storage problems

July 31, 2013 8:41 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

When it comes to alternative energy, I have been a big fan of storage. Alternative energy will not be viable for large-scale power delivery to the grid without storage. My friend Clyde knows of my obsession with storage. He suggested I look into GE's new wind turbines that come with storage attached.

Yokogawa installs EV charging stations at Newnan, GA facility

July 25, 2013 2:07 pm | News | Comments

Yokogawa Corporation of America announced that it is now offering electric vehicle charging stations to employees at its Newnan, GA facility.  ECOtality, Inc.  – a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies– has installed two Blink Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at Yokogawa Newnan as part of its Electric Vehicle Project.

Has solar power reached cost parity with other sources of electrical energy?

July 16, 2013 12:35 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

The solar-cell pushers have been touting for quite some time the fact that the costs of solar cells have now nearly reached capital-cost parity with other sources of electrical energy. Parity is assumed to be a dollar a peak watt of capacity or thereabouts. But is that really true?

Valve dispenses flux for photovoltaics industry

July 12, 2013 1:18 pm | Nordson Efd Llc | Product Releases | Comments

Nordson EFD has developed a non-contact dispense valve for precision jetting of low viscosity flux onto solar cell bus bars. Operating at speeds up to 500Hz/sec, the Square Wave 745NC valve meets the photovoltaic industry's need to deposit continuous lines of microdots on the solder-coated metal ribbons that connect adjoining PV wafers.

New Catalyst replaceable platinum for electric-automobiles

July 3, 2013 9:11 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Korean researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), S. Korea, developed a novel bio-inspired composite electrocatalyst outperforming platinum. This research work was published on June 25, in the journal Nature Communications. (Title: Promotion of Oxygen reduction by a bio-inspired tethered iron phthalocyanine carbon nanotube-based catalyst).

Tiny nanocubes help scientists tell left from right

June 28, 2013 2:53 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

In chemical reactions, left and right can make a big difference. A "left-handed" molecule of a particular chemical composition could be an effective drug, while its mirror-image "right-handed" counterpart could be completely inactive. That's because, in biology, "left" and "right" molecular designs are crucial....

RFIC platform boosts the transmission range of devices to up to 15 kilometers

June 27, 2013 1:30 pm | Semtech Corp. | Product Releases | Comments

Semtech Corporation introduced the SX1272, the first product in a new long-range RFIC platform that boosts the transmission range of the devices to up to 15 kilometers (km). This device integrates Semtech’s new LoRa (long range) modulation technology to enable drastic range improvements over alternative modulation methods.

Solar power heads in a new direction: Thinner

June 26, 2013 4:30 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Most efforts at improving solar cells have focused on increasing the efficiency of their energy conversion, or on lowering the cost of manufacturing. But now MIT researchers are opening another avenue for improvement, aiming to produce the thinnest and most lightweight solar panels possible.

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