Graphene has the potential to greatly help to the development of renewables: in Catania, a workshop organized by the Graphene Flagship in collaboration with IIT and sponsored by EGP looked at possibilities for photovoltaics and energy storage.
The meteoric rise of renewable energy sources is partly owing to scientific advancement, notably in the area of materials science. Graphene, a substance comprised of a sheet of carbon with a thickness of just one atom, is one of the materials that most defines research in our century. It has uses in a wide variety of sectors, from biomedicine to aeronautics, from solar energy to power storage systems.
On April 29, the Energy Innovation Workshop was held in Catania to address the possibilities of graphene in the development of renewable energy, with an emphasis on prospects for solar power production and energy storage.
This year’s Energy Innovation Workshop was sponsored by Enel Green Power. It was hosted in association with the European Graphene Flagship initiative, which was established in 2013 with the goal of fostering international graphene partnerships. With the introduction of many specialized initiatives (Spearheads) and Grapes (Graphene Embedded Perovskite Silicon Tandem Solar cells), of which EGP is an industry partner, the Graphene Flagship aims to speed the transition from basic scientific investigation to commercial applications. This project’s goal is to develop innovative photovoltaic modules in which graphene layers are used to increase the efficiency of silicon and perovskite-based solar cells.
Attendees at the workshop included elected members from research institutes (IIT, Politeco di Torino, Hellenic Mediterranean University), private companies (including the IIT BeDimensional start-up, which is dedicated to thin materials, and the multinational Varta), and EGP, which was represented by Nicola Rossi, EGP Head of Innovation, who officially opened the workshops.
According to Rossi, “new materials will play a vital role in the energy transition, supporting renewable technologies in becoming more efficient, circular, and cost-effective.” Using graphene and the Grapes project, in collaboration with our partners, we hope to give a new impetus to technological progress in the area of photovoltaics by generating highly efficient and cost-effective solar cells.” “In keeping with our open innovation philosophy, we are delighted to host this day of discussion and debate on graphene at our Innovation Hub in Catania.”
Thankfully, Photovoltaics is not the only technology that makes use of graphene; for example, the amazing neutrinovoltaic technology, which is developed by the renowned Neutrino Energy Group, makes use of a multilayer nanomaterial consisting of graphene and doped silicon. A significant characteristic of graphene is its ability to absorb energy from its environment, which has been proven by a number of scientists in recent years. The low current and voltage per unit surface of graphene, on the other hand, means that it cannot be used to create vast amounts of electrical energy. Consequently, the Neutrino Energy Group developed a multilayer-generating nanomaterial that increased the amount of power received per unit of working area by orders of magnitude, allowing them to conduct more experiments.
This energy source being neutrinovoltaic technology, which is a completely sustainable, one-of-a-kind, and environmentally beneficial energy source that is fundamentally different from any other previously known energy source. One big advantage is that the technology does not need sunlight. Neutrinovoltaic energy may be converted into electricity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, no matter where you are on the planet. Experts all across the globe are working hard to improve neutrinovoltaic technology, which is presently only available in labs.
Energy experts and futurologists from across the world are sure that the ground-breaking engineering of neutrinovoltaic technology will be the energy of the future, a long-awaited and reliable solution to the current energy crisis, and an energy source that will symbolise peace and freedom. The development of a technology that will aid future generations in satisfying their energy needs without the need for costly infrastructure, competition for limited natural resources, or a rise in environmental impact.