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technologies – renewables, energy savings, fuel cells

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Thin-film photovoltaics achieves 20.8% efficiency and overtakes multicrystalline silicon technology

In the race for higher power yields, the Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, ZSW) has set a new world record. The Stuttgart researchers have improved the efficiency of CIGS thin-film solar cells to 20.8%. This figure is a record for converting sunlight into electrical energy and, for the first time, it exceeds the efficiency of market-dominating multicrystalline silicon solar cells.

Posted: Oct 31st, 2013

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Energy-saving: it's a social thing

With energy bills again rising and the winter approaching, researchers from Keele University in the UK have found a positive way of helping householders to keep their energy costs down and houses warm.

Posted: Oct 28th, 2013

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Urban underground holds sustainable energy

Vast energy sources are slumbering below big cities. Sustainable energies for heating in winter and cooling in summer may be extracted from heated groundwater aquifers. Researchers from KIT and ETH Zurich developed an analytical heat flux model and found that increasing heat in the underground is mainly caused by an increase in surface temperatures and heat release from buildings.

Posted: Oct 28th, 2013

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Bio-electrochemical systems: electricity generators of the future?

Billions of euros are spent treating trillions of litres of wastewater every year, consuming substantial amounts of energy. However, this wastewater could act as a renewable resource, saving significant quantities of energy and money, as it contains organic pollutants which can be used to produce electricity, hydrogen and high-value chemicals, such as caustic soda.

Posted: Oct 25th, 2013

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A thermoelectric materials emulator

Converting heat directly into power could be a major source of renewable energy. A novel approach to study this so called thermoelectricity may help to design new materials that are highly efficient. In an experiment with cold atoms trapped by lasers at ETH Zurich an international group of physicists precisely simulates the behavior of thermoelectric materials.

Posted: Oct 24th, 2013

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Generating electricity from 20 suns

What do lighthouses have in common with a groundbreaking spacecraft propulsion system? And how can the technology they share help us here on Earth to generate electricity more efficiently?

Posted: Oct 23rd, 2013

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