Energy

Transformation to wind and solar could be achieved with low indirect greenhouse gas emissions
December 8, 2017 11:43 AM - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Different low carbon technologies from wind or solar energy to fossil carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) differ greatly when it comes to indirect greenhouse gas emissions in their life cycle. This is the result of a comprehensive new study conducted by an international team of scientists that is now published in the journal Nature Energy. Unlike what some critics argue, the researchers not only found that wind and solar energy belong to the more favorable when it comes to life-cycle emissions. They also show that a full decarbonization of the global power sector by scaling up these technologies would induce only modest indirect greenhouse gas emissions – and hence not impede the transformation towards a climate-friendly power system.

Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency
December 8, 2017 11:39 AM - École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

With the power-conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells plateauing around 25%, perovskites are now ideally placed to become the market’s next generation of photovoltaics. In particular, organic-inorganic lead halide perovskites offer manufacturing versatility that can potentially translate into much higher efficiency: studies have already shown photovoltaic performances above 20% across different solar cell architectures built with simple and low-cost processes.

Device makes power conversion more efficient
December 8, 2017 09:55 AM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Power electronics, which do things like modify voltages or convert between direct and alternating current, are everywhere. They’re in the power bricks we use to charge our portable devices; they’re in the battery packs of electric cars; and they’re in the power grid itself, where they mediate between high-voltage transmission lines and the lower voltages of household electrical sockets.

Successful Nigerian business-NGO partnerships rooted in collaboration
December 7, 2017 08:18 AM - York University

What’s the key ingredient to successful partnerships? York University Development Studies Professor Uwafiokun Idemudia reviewed existing research on an unorthodox union between a non-governmental organization (NGO) and an oil company with a history of spills in Nigeria. He found that collaboration was beneficial even when innate creative tensions exist, and to reach sustainable targets, the company needs to align its overall strategy with the goals of the partnership.

Working in the Cold
December 5, 2017 12:40 PM - Wiley

When it is cold in winter, cars tend to have starting problems. This is not much better with electric cars, which inevitably lose capacity of their rechargeable lithium-ion batteries at freezing temperatures. Now, Chinese scientists have offered a strategy to avoid plunging battery kinetics. In a study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, they designed a battery system with a cold-enduring hard-carbon anode and a powerful lithium-rich cathode, with the important initial lithiation step integrated.

Superior hydrogen catalyst just grows that way
December 5, 2017 10:12 AM - DOE / Sandia National Laboratories

Replacing your everyday gas guzzler with a hydrogen fueled car could drastically reduce your carbon footprint. So why don’t we all make the switch?

Remote northern Alberta community has UCalgary grad to thank for its solar energy project
December 5, 2017 08:14 AM - University of Calgary

How many solar panels does it take to cover the arena roof in Peavine Métis Settlement?

It’s not exactly the kind of question Juan Pfeiffer was accustomed to answering over the course of earning two engineering degrees in his native Colombia, but it is precisely the question at the core of his capstone project for the Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV) program at the University of Calgary from which he has just graduated.

Genes Found in Drought-Resistant Plants Could Accelerate Evolution of Water-Use Efficient Crops
December 1, 2017 12:28 PM - DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have identified a common set of genes that enable different drought-resistant plants to survive in semi-arid conditions, which could play a significant role in bioengineering and creating energy crops that are tolerant to water deficits.

Windows of Opportunity: Solar Cell with Improved Transparency
December 1, 2017 09:51 AM - Institute of Industrial Science - The University of Tokyo

Tokyo - Roof-mounted solar panels are an increasingly common sight in many places. As a source of cheap, clean electricity, their advantages are obvious. However, most solar panels are opaque, and therefore cannot be placed over windows. Now, researchers at The University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science (IIS) have made developments in the design of transparent solar materials.

Windows of Opportunity: Solar Cell with Improved Transparency
December 1, 2017 09:51 AM - Institute of Industrial Science - The University of Tokyo

Tokyo - Roof-mounted solar panels are an increasingly common sight in many places. As a source of cheap, clean electricity, their advantages are obvious. However, most solar panels are opaque, and therefore cannot be placed over windows. Now, researchers at The University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science (IIS) have made developments in the design of transparent solar materials.

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