Renewable Energy

October 2019
Moving from Electromechanical to Solid-State in Relays and Circuit Breakers

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Figure 1: Contact wear in an electromechanical relay

As a mature technology, electromechanical relays and circuit breakers are well established, however they continue to suffer from some inherent weaknesses. Moving to solid-state technology can address these but introduces its own challenges. So, what is the right solution? In the movies, whenever the lights go
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Date:
10/31/2019

PSDcast - Resilient Next-Gen Distribution Systems
Just recently, a company by the name of Anterix completed the first phase of a project with the DoE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Using Anterix's 900 MHz spectrum, NREL demonstrated increased reliability for distributed generation systems such as solar and wind using private LTE communications. We've got Mike Bro
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Date:
10/30/2019
Can Solar Technology Kill Cancer Cells?

Sophia and Richard Lunt's step-by-step approach has revealed a new way to detect and attack cancer cells using technology traditionally reserved for solar power.

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Scientific breakthroughs don't always happen in labs. For Sophia and Richard Lunt, Michigan State University researchers, many of their breakthroughs happen during neighborhood walks. The married couple's step-by-step approach has revealed a new way to detect and attack cancer cells using
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Date:
10/27/2019
Energy Regulation Rollbacks Threaten Progress

The Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant in central Wyoming.

Pollutants from coal-fired power plants help make ground-level ozone, and a warming world exacerbates that. Recent rollbacks of U.S. energy regulations may speed climate change, keep pollutants coming, and thus slow the fight against harmful ozone, according to a new study to be published Friday. Currently, 30 percen
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Date:
10/27/2019
Hydrogen Boride Nanosheets: Promising for a Hydrogen Carrier

The hydrogen storage and release capacity of HB sheets is exceptionally high due to their two-dimensional nature and unique electronic band structure.

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology, University of Tsukuba, and colleagues in Japan report a promising hydrogen carrier in the form of hydrogen boride nanosheets. This two-dimensional material, which has only recently begun to be explored, could go on to be used as safe, light-weight, high-capacity hy
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Date:
10/25/2019
Biological Material Boosts Solar Cell Performance

Congcong Wu, associate research professor at Penn State, works with materials that can be inserted into next generation solar cells to improve their efficiency. Perovskite solar cells are an area of intense research due to their potential to offer a more efficient and less expensive alternative to traditional silicon-based solar technology.

Next-generation solar cells that mimic photosynthesis with biological material may give new meaning to the term "green technology." Adding the protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR) to perovskite solar cells boosted the efficiency of the devices in a series of laboratory tests, according to an international te
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Date:
10/23/2019
$2.3 Million DOE Grant to Advance Ethanol Fuel Research

Discrete element method (DEM) computer models have been developed for describing biomass transport through a compression feed screw. This image shows mathematical simulation of biomass particles in feed screw at steady state.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Imagine trying to quickly turn a damp piece of plywood into a liquid and squeezing it through several small openings. That's essentially the challenge facing biorefineries trying to turn corn waste and related materials into ethanol fuel. A big challenge in biomass processing, such as tu
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Date:
10/22/2019
Soft-Switching Gate Drivers Slash Solar Inverter Costs
Campbell, Ca., USA: Pre-Switch, Inc., has announced that its revolutionary soft-switching IGBT and silicon carbide gate driver architecture, including the Pre-Drive 3 controller board, powered by the Pre-Flex FPGA, and RPG gate driver board, can significantly reduce the cost of solar inverters. The two-stage ar
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Date:
10/22/2019
Energy Storage Capacitors Offer High Moisture Resistance
MALVERN, Pa. — Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. introduced a new series of 3.0 V ruggedized ENYCAP electrical double-layer energy storage capacitors for energy harvesting and power backup applications in harsh, high humidity environments. Vishay BCcomponents 235 EDLC-HVR ENYCAP capacitors are the industry's first su
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Date:
10/21/2019
Are we Underestimating Investing in Renewable Energy?
As policymakers seek to reduce carbon dioxide and other pollutants through increases in renewable energy, improving energy efficiency or electrifying transportation, a key question arises: Which interventions provide the largest benefits to avoid the negative health effects of air pollution? To address this ques
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Date:
10/16/2019
SiC MOSFETs with 35% Lower Switching Loss
ROHM announced the availability of six new trench gate structure SiC MOSFETs (650V/1200V), the SCT3xxx xR series, ideal for server power supplies, UPS systems, solar power inverters, and EV charging stations requiring high efficiency.  The SCT3xxx xR series utilizes a 4-pin package (TO-247-4L) th
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Date:
10/08/2019
Photovoltaic Research Spans Countries, Disciplines

A researcher produces a photovoltaic cell in ASU's QESST University Research Center. QESST is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. Photo by Marco-Alexis Chaira, Arizona State University.

Tempe, Arizona - A new research project spanning five universities in three countries and led by Arizona State University will work to improve solar cell technology and look into new uses for photovoltaic (PV) devices. ASU's Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) Engineering Research Center will
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Date:
10/07/2019