19 May 2013

Dyesol Announces 'Quantum Leap' In Dye Solar Cell Efficiency : Renewable Energy News :

In 2010, solid-state DSC performance was at just 5%, but today ...

... the performance that has been achieved is a lot higher: 11.3% at full sun!

While this is still way less than the "normal" panel efficiencies achieved today, it is of particular interest as this technology doesn't rely on being installed as a panel.
"DSC technology is described by the company as "artificial photosynthesis" that uses an electrolyte, a layer of titania and ruthenium dye deposited on glass, metal or polymer substrates."
But it has even more advantages, about which you can read on Energy Matters

07 May 2013

New Battery Efficiently Stores Solar and Wind Energy | The Daily Fusion

New Battery Efficiently Stores Solar and Wind Energy | The Daily Fusion

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have developed a relatively cheap, long-life “flow” battery that can be used to mitigate power fluctuations from solar and wind energy plants, therefore enabling them to become major suppliers to the electrical grid.
These diagrams compare Stanford/SLAC’s new lithium-polysulfide flow battery design with conventional “redox” flow batteries. The new flow battery uses only one tank and pump and uses a simple coating instead of an expensive membrane to separate the anode and cathode. (Credit: Greg Stewart/SLAC)
The new Stanford/SLAC battery design uses only one stream of molecules and does not need a membrane at all. Its molecules mostly consist of the relatively inexpensive elements lithium and sulfur, which interact with a piece of lithium metal coated with a barrier that permits electrons to pass without degrading the metal. When discharging, the molecules, called lithium polysulfides, absorb lithium ions; when charging, they lose them back into the liquid. The entire molecular stream is dissolved in an organic solvent, which doesn’t have the corrosion issues of water-based flow batteries.
“In initial lab tests, the new battery also retained excellent energy-storage performance through more than 2,000 charges and discharges, equivalent to more than 5.5 years of daily cycles."