Monday, July 31, 2017

Scientists design solar cell that captures nearly all energy of solar spectrum

A George Washington University researcher helped design and construct a prototype for a new solar cell (for example: SUNJACK 14W PORTABLE SOLAR CHARGER ) that integrates multiple cells stacked into a single device capable of capturing nearly all of the energy in the solar spectrum.

The new design, which converts direct sunlight to electricity with 44.5 percent efficiency, has the potential to become the most efficient solar cell in the world.

The approach is different from the solar panels commonly seen on rooftops or in fields. The new device uses concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) panels that use lenses to concentrate sunlight onto tiny, micro-scale solar cells. Because of their small size -- less than one millimeter square -- solar cells that utilize more sophisticated materials can be developed cost effectively.

The study, "GaSb-based Solar Cells for Full Solar Spectrum Energy Harvesting," was published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.

The stacked cell acts almost like a sieve for sunlight, with the specialized materials in each layer absorbing the energy of a specific set of wavelengths, said Matthew Lumb, lead author of the study and a research scientist at the School of Engineering and Applied Science. By the time the light is funneled through the stack, just under half of the available energy has been converted into electricity. By comparison, the most common solar cell today converts only a quarter of the available energy into electricity.

"Around 99 percent of the power contained in direct sunlight reaching the surface of Earth falls between wavelengths of 250 nanometers and 2,500 nanometers, but conventional materials for high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells cannot capture this entire spectral range," Dr. Lumb said. "Our new device is able to unlock the energy stored in the long-wavelength photons, which are lost in conventional solar cells, and therefore provides a pathway to realizing the ultimate multi-junction solar cell."

Scientists have worked to develop more efficient solar cells for years, however this approach has two novel aspects. It uses a family of materials based on gallium antimonide (GaSb) substrates, which are usually found in applications for infrared lasers and photodetectors. These GaSb-based solar cells are assembled into a stacked structure along with high efficiency solar cells grown on conventional substrates that capture shorter wavelength solar photons. In addition, the stacking procedure uses a technique known as transfer-printing, which enables three dimensional assembly of these tiny devices with a high degree of precision.

This particular solar cell is very expensive, but researchers believe it was important to show the upper limit of what is possible in terms of efficiency. Despite the current costs of the materials involved, the technique used to create the cells shows promise, researchers say. Eventually a similar product enabled by cost reductions from very high solar concentration levels and technology to recycle the expensive growth substrates could be brought to market.

The research builds off of the advancements made by the MOSAIC Program, a $24 million research project funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy that funds 11 separate teams across the United States seeking to develop technologies and concepts to revolutionize photovoltaic performance and reduce costs. Funding for this type of research is essential for developing viable commercial technology in the future, the researchers said.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

How to Recruit the Best Candidates for Your Business

With so many qualified job candidates on the market, it’s not always easy to find and recruit the best ones for your company. As the Baby Boomer generation retires and the market fills with even more educated and qualified young talent, it’s going to get still more difficult to sort through them all. Luckily, all hope is not lost.

One of the best ways to find the talent your company needs is to take advantage of your existing networks and the networks of your employees. Your employees may be able to connect you with great candidates from their own personal and professional networks, and you should be able to tap your own personal, professional, and academic networks for talent as well. Make the most of your company’s website and social media platforms, write detailed job postings, always look to build relationships with potential candidates, and don’t be afraid to use the services of recruiters and temp agencies.

1. Tap Your Networks

Word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to find great candidates to interview, and these days, each person in your organization will have access to a network consisting of possibly hundreds of professionals. When you have a position to fill or you’re seeing too many red flags in your interviews, ask employees and friends for recommendations. Take advantage of social media networks and professional networking sites like LinkedIn to find good candidates. Trade shows, conferences, fundraising events, and even academic reunions are great places to scout for talent.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why do you Need to Obtain Premium Domain Name for your Online Business

What’s in a name? Well, if you are in online business there is a lot. The domain names that are easy to remember and catchy can generate lot of traffic and, in turn, sales. Some of the well known and generic domain names have been sold for millions of dollars. This is why many owners of new online businesses make an effort to find premium domain names. A business with a premium domain name can direct a lot of online shoppers to a website. Furthermore, the more visitors there are, the more likely it is that an online business will experience a growth in sales. Take a look at some other reasons why it’s beneficial for an online business to choose a premium domain name.

A Memorable Name

In many cases, a premium domain name is memorable. Every online business owner wants to have a memorable website address so customers will travel there whenever they need a specific product. A website address that is easy to remember increases the chances that customers will sit down at the computer or go to their Smartphone and travel directly to that site to do business. Domain names that are not premium are sometimes more difficult for customers and shoppers to remember. Choosing a premium domain name is especially beneficial to an online business owner who is trying to make a profit in an industry crowded with competition.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

How can Small Businesses Achieve Success with Strategic Outsourcing

Outsourcing has become increasingly popular in the last two decades. People have realized that it can offer a vast array of benefits to businesses of all sizes. There are a wide range of tasks that can be outsourced, including general admin from responding to e-mails and arranging meetings, to web design, marketing and areas of finance.

Administrative tasks are an essential yet time consuming part of day-to-day business functions that can detract from pursuing opportunities for growth. Essentially, time spent on paperwork equals lost time that could be used to focus on productivity, which can therefore impact upon profit. For a small to medium enterprise (SME) focussed on growth, strategic outsourcing can free up valuable company time that would be otherwise spent on internal issues, as well as providing monetary savings and reducing expenditure. Outsourcing can potentially increase productivity as well as improve the quality and efficiency of your business. Essentially, outsourcing allows your business to focus solely on what it does best.

Additionally, outsourcing can help your business to budget, creating stability and reducing the possibility of risk. However, choosing to outsource can carry its own traps and pitfalls, so make sure to take small steps to avoid hazards and limit the change of company damages. Initially, aim to outsource one or two functions and focus on building a trusting relationship with the firm or individual, before allowing more of your company to rest in their hands. Seek advice, research and opt for a specialist company that could prospectively provide your business with an array of services and functions.

Scientists design solar cell that captures nearly all energy of solar spectrum

A George Washington University researcher helped design and construct a prototype for a new solar cell (for example:  SUNJACK 14W PORTAB...