segunda-feira, 26 de dezembro de 2011

Campus solar ligado à rede

Os sistemas fotovoltaicos do Campus Solar já estão ligados à rede eléctrica e a fornecer electricidade solar para as iluminações de natal.

Paint-on solar cells developed

Science daily
A team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame has made a major advance toward this vision by creating an inexpensive "solar paint" that uses semiconducting nanoparticles to produce energy.(...) [D]escribed in the journal ACS Nano, centered on nano-sized particles of titanium dioxide, which were coated with either cadmium sulfide or cadmium selenide. The particles were then suspended in a water-alcohol mixture to create a paste. When the paste was brushed onto a transparent conducting material and exposed to light, it created electricity. "The best light-to-energy conversion efficiency we've reached so far is 1 percent, which is well behind the usual 10 to 15 percent efficiency of commercial silicon solar cells,".

Full paper here.

Projecto português fomenta electricidade a custos reduzidos

Ciência Hoje
Um projecto inovador de produção de energia eléctrica através de células fotovoltaicas sensibilizadas com corante, liderado por Adélio Mendes, professor associado da Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (FEUP), acaba de ser distinguido com o Prémio Solvay atribuído na área da engenharia química e ambiente pelo grupo Solvay Portugal e a Hovione. (...) Adélio Mendes adianta que estão já a ser fechadas algumas parcerias para financiar o fabrico deste produto, estando já a ser feito um protótipo industrial. O investigador aponta 2014 como o ano do lançamento do produto no mercado.

terça-feira, 20 de dezembro de 2011

NREL achieves 114% external quantum efficiency with quantum dots

NREL states that it has reached an external quantum efficiency of 114% with sub-microscopic semiconductor crystals, also called quantum dots, photo-excited with photons from high-energy light. The results of the organization's research have been originally published in the December 16th, 2011 issue of Science Magazine [co-authored by Octavi E. Semonin, Joseph M. Luther, Sukgeun Choi, Hsiang-Yu Chen, Jianbo Gao, Arthur J. Nozik and Matthew C. Beard.](...) Researchers constructed the 114% external quantum efficiency cell from a layered PV cell consisting of anti-reflection coated glass, a thin layer of transparent conductor, a nano-structured zinc oxide layer, a quantum dot layer of lead selenide treated with ethanedithol and hydraizine, and a thin gold top electrode layer.
NREL states that the mechanism for producing a quantum efficiency greater than 100% is based on a process called Multiple Exciton Generation (MEG). In this process, a single high energy absorbed photon can produce more than one electron-hole pair per absorbed photon.
Here is the full article (for those with a Science subscription).

sexta-feira, 16 de dezembro de 2011

Solon insolvent

pv-magazine: Berlin-based Solon SE is the latest 2011 solar market victim, having announced yesterday evening that it has filed an application for the opening of insolvency proceedings. The company says that despite its efforts over the past few months to financially restructure its operations, which included holding discussions with investors, financial institutions and guarantors, "negotiations on an amicable solution failed".

Reuters: Solon's insolvency filing is likely to be followed by other high-profile German solar company failures, analysts said, as the blood-letting in the global industry intensifies. (...) Solar companies in Europe and the United States have been hit hard by a toxic mix of oversupply, falling prices, low-cost Asian competition and lower government subsidies on which the industry still depends. (...) Swiss bank Sarasin said in a recent study, published before Solon's filing, that Conergy and Q-Cells were among the German solar companies most exposed to the sector's crisis.

quarta-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2011

Solar Grid Parity Is Here Today

Greentech Media
The price of solar energy-generated electricity, calculated by a legitimate levelized cost of energy (LCOE) method, is now competitive in many regions with the price of electricity generated by conventional sources.

Paper: K. Branker, M.J.M. Pathak, J.M. Pearce, A review of solar photovoltaic levelized cost of electricity, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 15, Issue 9, December 2011, Pages 4470-4482

terça-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2011

Microinverter Wars: Enecsys and Enphase go Transatlantic

Greentech Media
The battle of the solar microinverters is heating up, and here’s one potential Trans-Atlantic match-up. On one side you’ve got U.S.-based Enphase, which has shipped 1 million microinverters at home and is planning an IPO. On Monday the Petaluma, Calif.-based startup announced that it’s invading Europe via France, Belgium and the Netherlands, where its devices have passed Continental standards and are ready to be installed. On the other side you’ve got Enecsys, a British startup with only tens of thousands of European solar rooftops carrying its microinverters, though it claims a big potential advantage in Germany. On Tuesday the startup announced a partnership that allows it to sell in Canada’s Ontario province’s lucrative solar market, its first big landing on North American shores.

segunda-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2011

Solar trade war - update

Businessweek - The U.S. International Trade Commission voted unanimously in Washington today in a preliminary ruling on the petition by Bonn-based SolarWorld calling for antidumping and countervailing duties. The commission will now proceed with a full investigation.

Reuters - China said it was "deeply concerned" about a preliminary ruling by a U.S. trade body that trade practices by Chinese solar makers are hurting U.S. producers and said the decision underscored a U.S. "inclination to trade protectionism."