Photovoltaics is a science that examines light-electricity conversion. Conversion of solar energy carried by photons is transformed by solar cells into direct-current electrical energy. Interest in the use of photovoltaic (PV) solar technologies is growing rapidly, as it will permit the direct production of electricity from solar radiation without any harmful emissions or noise. Rising energy costs, the finite nature of fossil fuels and worries about climate change has renewed interest in making the benefits of PV technology more affordable and readily available.
The European Commission, through the Renewable Energies Unit of DG JRC’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability, is the scientific co-ordinator of a Thematic Network “Photovoltaic Network for the Development of a Roadmap for PV (PVNET). This network brings together representatives of relevant research and development (R&D) and production areas in photovoltaics. Their main task is to stimulate communication within the whole PV community by organising expert meetings, workshops and symposia, and disseminating the information gathered therein. The Workshop on European RTD Strategies for Photovoltaics, held on 30 & 31 May, in Ispra, Italy, was such a gathering. This Thematic Network is being carried out in the framework of the specific research and technological development programme "Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development" within the 5th Framework Programme funded by the European Commission. The project started in December 2001 and will last for two years.
PVNET aims to foster collaboration among European industry and the scientific community and to draw a Roadmap for European PV research and development (R&D). This will lead to an increase of both competitiveness and vitality in the European PV industry, through the formation of a comprehensive strategy for research, marketing, products, human resources and development by formulating a viable strategy for directing the future of European RTD in photovoltaics. The world market for PV has grown rapidly over the past several years, at about 25 % annually. It has grown even higher (38%) in the last five years. The average market growth of PV is compared to the growth of the microelectronics market in its early stage of development. It reflects very strong growth in virtually all PV markets such as telecommunications, remote power, utilities and agriculture as well as in building integrated grid-connected. The workshop organised at the Ispra site had the following aims:
Catherine Shiels | alfa
Filter may be a match for fracking water
26.09.2017 | Swansea University
Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent
25.09.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE
Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
26.09.2017 | Life Sciences