solar energy

As solar energy becomes more popular, the drive to create more efficient, less expensive solar cells increases. Solar energy is abundant, but the devices we use to collect that energy have an efficiency problem – currently, the most efficient polymer-based solar cells operate at a shade under 11 percent efficiency. A major reason behind this… Read more

According to observations from the Tihany Magnetic Observatory in Hungary, the indices used by scientists to assess the Sun’s geomagnetic perturbations to the Earth are unable to detect some solar storms, which could put both power supply and communication networks at risk. The Tihany Magnetic Observatory registered a solar storm similar to the largest one… Read more

The efficiency of solar cells depends on precise engineering of polymers that assemble into films 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. Currently, formation of that polymer assembly requires solvents that can harm the environment. But scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found a “greener” way to control the assembly… Read more

Are solar panels really saving us any energy? They may seem to have a minimal impact on the envireonment, but it takes energy to mine, process and purify raw materials, and then to manufacture and install the final product. Market dominating silicon-based panels typically require about two years to return the initial energy investment. But… Read more