Technology and R&D

U.S. Senate sub-committee FY 2018 budget proposal increases energy research spending

The Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Water development slammed what it called an “unrealistic” budget from President Trump, and proposed additional funding for agencies Trump planned to gut or eliminate.

U.S. Department of Energy backs solar with further $46 million for SunShot Initiative

The funding is for 48 identified solar projects spanning two SunShot programs designed to advance solar power technologies in the U.S.

Army all in on PV solar, awarding a $6.5 million contract

Four research partners have won a contract from the Army Research Laboratory’s Army Research Office to develop flexible, more powerful solar modules to provide soldiers in the field reliable electricity.

Texas researchers develop new method for solar desalination

A team of researchers from Rice University in Houston, Texas has developed a new method for using solar power to desalinate sea water. Part of a federally funded research effort into water treatment , the team has developed a system utilizing a combination of membrane distillation and nanophotonics to turn salt water into fresh drinking water.

New alloy could pave the way for new CPV designs

Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new semiconductor alloy that can capture near-infrared light in the leading edge of the visible light spectrum. This could be a major step forward in the development of concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) technology.

Soltec to launch nextgen SF7 tracker at Intersolar Europe

Soltec plans to launch its next-generation solar tracker, the SF7, at Intersolar Europe. The company claims that the single-axis tracker enables up to five percent greater yield than its competitors.

NREL develops controllable quantum dot systems

Researchers at the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a new designer quantum dot system, which allows for greater control over optoelectronic properties of the materials.

Thin film solar hangs on as a niche

A new report by Lux Research finds that First Solar and Solar Frontier are holding onto a corner of the market, if not posing much of a threat to c-Si dominance.

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Natcore achieves 20.7% efficiency on silver-free back contact cell

The latest efficiency milestone for Natcore’s Foil Cell is verified by the NanoPower Research Lab at Rochester Institute for Technology. The result was achieved on the Natcore Foil Cell, which utilizes a lasering process and novel metallization strategy, eliminating the need for costly silver.

Getting ready for terawatts of solar (with charts)

Researchers from NREL, Fraunhofer ISE and Japan’s AIST have released a new paper which looks at the barriers to deploying multiple terawatts of solar PV and what can be done to overcome them.

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