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Solar Research News

October 8, 2018

New III-V Device Concept Combines Two Structures for Lower-Cost Impact, More Applications

NREL has recently combined two structures of III-V materials into one, providing a "two-for-the-price-of-one" benefit. The combination enables novel, potentially record-setting, multijunction solar cells.

October 4, 2018

NREL Inks a Future for Perovskites

Painting Solar Cells Provides New Path to Market

September 28, 2018

Crosscutting Grid Research Facilities Provide Industry Launch Pad for Utility-Scale Evaluation

New grid integration technologies at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) have introduced a vast range in grid research capabilities--from multimegawatt-scale wind and solar technologies to advanced energy storage devices, transformers, and protection equipment.

September 26, 2018

PV Cities Training Program Powers Solar Adoption Across America's Cities and Counties

To aid cites in solar adoption, NREL launched the City and County Solar PV Training Program, or PV Cities, in January 2018. The five-month program was designed specifically for cities and counties and aimed to increase the deployment of midscale solar PV systems by engaging stakeholders to develop deployment solutions and empowering city and county staff.

September 24, 2018

For PhD Students, HOPE Workshop Highlights Real-World Applications of Solar Technology

The Hands-On PV Workshop brings graduate students from across the United States to NREL each year to increase their knowledge about photovoltaics and see practical applications of PV technologies.

September 21, 2018

NREL R&D Funding Will Fuel New CSP Research

With seven new projects, NREL will elevate research in concentrating solar power (CSP). The projects are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) through a National Laboratory call for proposals.

September 12, 2018

NREL Analysts Take a First Look at the Florida Duck Curve, and How Flexibility Could Help

New analysis examines how solar deployment may impact grid operations in Florida, an understudied but important market.

August 15, 2018

Energy Secretary Perry Digs into Research at NREL, Emphasizes Importance of Partnerships

In addition to the cool science he saw, public-private partnerships played a recurring role in Perry's remarks.

July 19, 2018

Community Banks and Credit Unions Report Success with Solar Loans, NREL Report Finds

A new NREL report finds that community and regional financial institutions , such as community banks and credit unions, are experiencing positive early performance of loans for photovoltaic systems.

July 18, 2018

SolarPILOT Released as Open Source; Tool Used to Optimize Solar Power Towers

Used by researchers and project developers, NREL's Solar Power Tower Integrated Layout and Optimization Tool (SolarPILOT(TM)) generates and characterizes power tower systems or systems using central receivers. The software--along with its companion ray-tracing tool SolTrace--is now being made available as open source on NREL's GitHub page. Both the SolarPILOT and SolTrace GitHub projects are open to contributions from users, and a webinar planned for July 18th will present the open-source projects.

July 16, 2018

Improved Way to Make III-V Solar Cells Could Hold Key to Lower Costs

Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are refining an old technique called hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE), which holds the potential to produce cheaper, more efficient solar cells.

June 18, 2018

REopt Lite's Application Programming Interface Boosts Solar+Storage Analysis Flexibility

NREL released an API for REopt(TM) Lite, enabling streamlined integration with other tools inside and outside NREL and allowing building owners and researchers to evaluate the economics of grid-connected solar PV and battery storage at multiple commercial sites. The API opens opportunities for research collaboration and broader market impact, driving solar and storage deployment.

June 12, 2018

Enhanced Resilience Features Help REopt Lite Users Size Solar+Storage Systems to Support Critical Building Loads

NREL's REopt Lite web tool now offers enhanced resilience analysis capabilities that allow building owners and energy managers to size PV and storage systems to meet a specified outage duration and compare the sizing and costs of a resilient system with a system sized to maximize savings.

May 31, 2018

NREL Connects with the Community--Next Door and Across the Country

Although NREL's recent community open house is a highly visible outreach effort, it is only one of many connecting the laboratory with communities in Colorado and across the country.

May 29, 2018

New CSP Funding Is Getting Hotter

NREL has received $7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop the next generation of liquid-phase concentrating solar power technology.

May 29, 2018

News Release: NREL Researchers Measure Impact of Eclipse on Electrical Grid

A recent analysis from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that, during last summer's total eclipse, solar energy output in the West dropped by about 5.9 gigawatts (GW).

May 22, 2018

Middle School Students Take the STEM Wheel

On May 19, NREL hosted its 19th annual Middle School Electric Car Competition, where students raced solar and lithium-ion powered cars that they designed and built.

May 10, 2018

News Release: NREL Names Four Scientists Senior Research Fellows

Mowafak Al-Jassim, Andy Walker, Robert McCormick, and Gregg Beckham were chosen for their significant contributions to NREL and the larger scientific community.

April 25, 2018

Low- and Moderate-Income Residences Can Help Modernize the U.S. Electric Grid

Pairing solar photovoltaics with rooftops of low and moderate-income housing represents an opportunity to help modernize the U.S. electric grid and improve energy affordability in low-income communities

April 24, 2018

NREL Researchers Create New Materials With Unusual Properties

Few scientists reference Kurt Vonnegut in their academic journals, but researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found the parallels between his work and theirs compelling. Both invoke polymorphism--the ability of a material to adopt multiple crystal structures.

April 20, 2018

NREL and Hawaiian Electric Navigate Uncharted Waters of Energy Transformation (Part 2)

NREL and the Hawaiian Electric Companies are evaluating energy trends and simulating future grid scenarios to ensure stability--and their findings could help other islands, and even mainland states, apply similar solutions.

April 20, 2018

NREL and Hawaiian Electric Navigate Uncharted Waters of Energy Transformation (Part 1)

NREL helped the Hawaiian Electric Companies respond to new stability challenges associated with the rapid addition of solar power and other renewables to Hawaii's six isolated island grids.

April 12, 2018

NREL Research Pushes Perovskites Closer to Market

NREL has played a significant role in the increased efficiency of perovskite solar cells.

April 10, 2018

News Release: New Solar PV Tool Accurately Calculates Degradation Rates, Saving Money and Guiding Business Decisions

A new software package developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and industry partners SunPower and kWh Analytics is making the measurement of PV system expected lifetime performance more reliable, consistent, and accurate.

April 5, 2018

News Release: Perovskite Technology is Scalable, But Questions Remain about the Best Methods

As perovskite solar cells set efficiency records and the nascent technology becomes more stable, another major challenge remains: the issue of scalability, according to researchers at the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

April 4, 2018

From Preble's Mouse to Rattlers, NREL Biologist Likes Critters

Looking out over the "living laboratory" of NREL's campus, Senior Wildlife Biologist Tom Ryon sees a tapestry that others may not. Everywhere he goes, he can't avoid interactions with nature. Nor does he want to.

April 3, 2018

News Release: NREL Opens Large Database of Inorganic Thin-Film Materials

An extensive experimental database of inorganic thin-film materials that organizes a decade's worth of research at the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is now publicly available.

January 30, 2018

Dave Moore: Taking Roundabout Path to Perovskite Fast Track

Perovskites become a passion for a scientist who had an "experience edge" over other students.

January 30, 2018

News Release: NREL Scientists Demonstrate Remarkable Stability in Perovskite Solar Cells

Researchers at NREL created an environmentally stable, high-efficiency perovskite solar cell, bringing the emerging technology a step closer to commercial deployment.

January 18, 2018

Workshop Targets Graduate Students to Advance Careers in PV

The 2018 Hands-On PV Experience workshop is an opportunity for a select group of U.S. graduate students to spend an immersive week at NREL in a hands-on, small-group research setting.

January 16, 2018

News Release: NREL, University of Texas Scientists Determine Critical Factor for Improving Performance and Durability of Perovskite Solar Cells

A microscopic analysis of perovskite solar cells reveals new insight into how the devices degrade--information necessary for moving the technology closer to commercialization.

January 12, 2018

NREL to Host Ninth Annual PV Reliability Workshop

NREL will host the ninth annual PV Reliability Workshop from Feb. 27 to March 1 in Lakewood, Colorado. Sessions at the workshop will cover key topics in reliability, such as stability of high-efficiency modules, module soiling, inverter reliability, monitoring and failure detection, international standards, and accelerated testing of modules.

January 9, 2018

News Release: Multi-model Effort Highlights Progress, Future Needs in Renewable Energy Modeling

Four agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), hosted two workshops that led to a new report where the teams identified areas of importance for modeling variable renewable energy, performed experiments to determine key assumptions, and compiled a set of recommendations for future research in this area.

January 8, 2018

News Release: NREL Launches Electrification Futures Study Series

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is spearheading the Electrification Futures Study, a research collaboration to explore the impacts of widespread electrification in all U.S. economic sectors--commercial and residential buildings, transportation, and industry.

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