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Researchers have achieved an efficiency record for transparent solar cells, paving the way for skyscraper windows to serve as power sources. A team from the University of Michigan used an organic, carbon-based design to transform sunlight into electricity with an efficiency rate of 8.1 per cent. Commercial solar cells, which are typically made using silicon rather than carbon, tend to have an efficiency rate of between 14 and 19 per cent. "Windows, which are on the face of every building, are an ideal location for organic solar cells because they offer something silicon can't, which is a combination of very high...

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Japanese engineers are hoping to build wind turbines that can withstand the world’s worst typhoons, generating power even in the midst of a natural disaster. Mariel Robedizo Engranes was 15 when Typhoon Haiyan hit. She was living in her hometown of Dolores, Eastern Samar, in eastern Philippines. The country regularly experiences typhoons but Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda, was extraordinary. It arrived on 8 November 2013, and it was one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded. “Before 6am, I heard my mum shouting and screaming,” Engranes remembers of the morning that Yolanda struck. “I noticed...

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Lynn Jurich, CEO at major US residential solar installation and leasing company Sunrun has spoken of the big opportunity for aggregated solar-plus-storage systems to provide grid services and in doing so help lower the cost of installations. Yesterday, our sister site PV Tech reported on Sunrun’s quarterly financial results to the period ending 30 June 2020, in which the company posted a decline in both installations and revenue during the three month period. This was largely due to impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on its core business. Despite the downturn, Jurich said the company had “exceeded expectations” in Q2 2020, with...

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