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The elastocaloric effect can be exploited in solid-state cooling technologies as an alternative to conventional vapour compression. Now, an elastocaloric device based on the concept of active regeneration achieves a temperature lift of 15.3 K and efficiencies competitive with other caloric-based approaches.
Combining silicon and other materials in tandem solar cells is one approach to enhancing the overall power conversion efficiency of the cells. We argue that top cell partners for silicon tandem solar cells should be selected on the basis of their spectral efficiency — their efficiency resolved by wavelength.
The solar-driven generation of water steam at 100 °C under one sun normally requires the use of optical concentrators to provide the necessary energy flux. Now, thermal concentration is used to raise the vapour temperature to 100 °C without the need for costly optical concentrators.
The conversion of low-grade waste heat into electrical energy is an attractive opportunity to harvest a sustainable energy resource. A thermo-osmotic energy conversion process that uses Earth-abundant materials has now been shown to convert waste heat into electrical energy from sources at temperatures as low as 40 °C.