5 May 2016 2016 03:09 PM GMT

‘Black Diamond’ Breakthrough Can Change The Future Of Solar Technology

A new solar power technology has been developed, generating energy by harnessing diamonds.

A European research team within the European Commission’s FP7 framework, are leading the ProME3ThE2US2 project, developing the ‘black diamond’ as a breakthrough concept which is expected to change the future of solar technology. It has the potential to exceed 50 per cent efficiency in solar concentration systems.

The ProME3ThE2US2 project aims to develop, validate and implement a new solid-state conversion mechanism, which can transform concentrated solar radiation into electric energy at very high efficiency.

According to researchers, diamonds satisfy two of three conditions required for solar radiation capture; the ability to withstand extremely high temperatures and the capability to emit electrons efficiently. Due to the transparency in diamonds, they are unable to interact with sunlight. The ‘black diamond’, however has been created with the capacity to fulfil all three conditions; the added ability to allow absorption at temperatures up to 1000°C.

As an exciting new low-cost material, the ‘black diamond’ has the potential to be exploited for uses outside solar technology. The ProME3ThE2US2 team are opening research opportunities to other industries to explore further potential benefits.

Dr Daniele M. Trucchi, coordinator of the ProME3ThE2US2 project, claims sustainability is vital in the creation of new technologies, for them to viable within both economic and environmental parameters. Speaking to International Innovation, he explains: “Solar radiation is the largest energy source we have on Earth. Its more efficient and diffused exploitation means a higher energy availability with a minimal contribution to CO2 formation.

“Nevertheless, high efficiency is not enough – materials composing the converters cannot be toxic to humans and have to be simply and economically recoverable at the end of their lifetime.”

Despite a fall in funding for solar research and development projects in recent years, largely due to low hydrocarbon prices, the ProME3ThE2US2 team are optimistic that prices will rise and the economic case for fossil fuels may subside, opening up new channels and opportunities for their work to be recognised.

August 9th 2019
Arsenal Unveil Battery Storage System: First Of Its Kind At A UK Football Club

Arsenal Football Club has unveiled a battery storage system (BSS) to store enough energy to run the 60,000 seater Emirates Stadium from kick-off to full time. It follows a unique collaboration with Pivot Power to install a 2MW/2.5MWh lithium ion BSS, with funds managed by Downing LLP. The project, the first of its kind in the UK, will also save club money as it works to support low-carbon plans. The BSS allows Arsenal to avoid peak power prices, buying electricity when it is cheap and storing it for use when prices are high. Typically, energy can cost three times more at peak times than overnight. The installation maintains Arsenal as the leader in sustainability in sport following its commitment to clean energy with Octopus Energy in 2016.

August 16th 2019
Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Growing, Taking Place in 75 Countries

Companies in 75 countries actively sourced 465 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable energy in 2017, an amount close to the overall electricity demand of France, according to the report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). With the continued decline in the costs of renewables, the report suggests, corporate demand will continue to increase as companies seek to reduce electricity bills, hedge against future price spikes and address sustainability concerns.

August 14th 2019
Wind: China Maintains Emerging Markets Top Spot Following 19.7GW Build Boom

Wind industry intelligence service A Word About Wind has launched its Emerging Markets Attractiveness Index report for 2018, which provides insight and analysis into the most attractive emerging markets for wind companies. The index, now in its second year, ranks the top 30 emerging markets that investors should consider when investing in wind in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The list considers factors including political and economic stability for investors, alongside the growth of electricity demand and potential for wind growth, in order to rank the countries by overall potential. As with last year’s report, China tops the list and the ongoing trade war with the US shows no sign of slowing China’s formidable growth.

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