Special Issue "Nanotechnology for Solar Energy Conversion"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "D3: Nanoenergy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Bashir A. Arima
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Yamagata University, Yamagata, Japan
Interests: nanomaterials; photocatalysis; solar hydrogen; solar cells

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The world is now facing two major crises: serious energy shortages and accelerating climate change. Solutions to these crises are interlinked, and the adoption of clean energy sources could solve both crises. For this purpose, scientists all over the world are working to develop various devices or systems to convert solar energy efficiently into electrical, chemical, or thermal energy. Like in most other research fields, nanotechnology is demonsrating huge potential in this field because the fascinating optical and electronical properties of nanomaterials play an important role in solar energy conversion and storage. However, low energy-conversion-efficiency, photocorrosion, and high-cost and complicated synthesis routes of nanomaterials are the main problems for their practical application. To obtain solutions of these problems and further advance this field, it is very important to share new research results and information among scientists. This Special Issue aims to share recent progress and developments in nanotechnology for solar energy conversion and storage. We invite authors to contribute original research articles as well as review articles covering a broad range of subjects, from modeling nanomaterials to new device applications for solar energy conversion and storage.

Prof. Bashir A. Arima
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Potential topics include but are not limited to the following: Semiconductor nanomaterials and nanostructured films (synthesis, characterization, and applications)
  • Solar cells (quantum dots, organic–inorganic hydride, dye-sensitized, thin-film solar cell, etc.)
  • Solar hydrogen (photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic hydrogen production)
  • Nanophotocatalysis for CO2 reduction
  • Nanophotocatalysis for chemical reactions, air, and water remediation
  • Nanomaterials for solar to thermal energy conversion and storage
  • Mechanistic studies, engineering, and modeling on nanophotocatalysts.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Design and Implementation of an Intelligent ANFIS Controller on a Raspberry Pi Nano-Computer for Photovoltaic Pumping Intended for Drip Irrigation
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5217; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175217 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 607
Abstract
For several decades, many countries have favored irrigation as a means of regulating, diversifying, and increasing agricultural production to meet the growing domestic demand for food, and even to generate exportable surpluses. As with most Mediterranean countries, Tunisia has inherited a long tradition [...] Read more.
For several decades, many countries have favored irrigation as a means of regulating, diversifying, and increasing agricultural production to meet the growing domestic demand for food, and even to generate exportable surpluses. As with most Mediterranean countries, Tunisia has inherited a long tradition in irrigation; thus, the management of the scarcity of water resources poses a very important challenge that is gradually increasing due to the effects of climate change undergone by the region and confronting the agricultural sector. Aiming at a new model of sustainable development, ensuring the optimization of water resources management, as well as the protection of natural resources and the environment, this work proposed the modern design of a photovoltaic pumping chain dedicated for drip irrigation, which is controlled using an intelligent neuron-fuzzy controller with an ANFIS architecture and implemented on a Raspberry Pi platform. Thanks to this design, the efficiency of the pumping chain increased exponentially to a value of approximately 95%, achieving water pumping optimization while exploiting renewable energy resources, thus guaranteeing the longevity of water resources, as well as the continuity of diversified agricultural production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Solar Energy Conversion)
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Article
Evaporated MAPbI3 Perovskite Planar Solar Cells with Different Annealing Temperature
Energies 2021, 14(8), 2145; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14082145 - 12 Apr 2021
Viewed by 795
Abstract
The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of an Ag/spiro-OMeTAD/CH3NH3PbI3 (MAPbI3)/PCBM/mesoporous TiO2/compact TiO2/FTO planar solar cell with different annealing temperatures of PbI2 and MAPbI3 films was investigated in this study. The morphology [...] Read more.
The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of an Ag/spiro-OMeTAD/CH3NH3PbI3 (MAPbI3)/PCBM/mesoporous TiO2/compact TiO2/FTO planar solar cell with different annealing temperatures of PbI2 and MAPbI3 films was investigated in this study. The morphology control of a MAPbI3 thin film plays key roles in high-efficiency perovskite solar cells. The PbI2 films were prepared by using thermal vacuum evaporation technology, and the MAPbI3 perovskite films were synthesized with two-step synthesis. The X-ray spectra and surface morphologies of the PbI2 and MAPbI3 films were examined at annealing temperatures of 80, 100, 120, and 140 °C for 10 min. The performance of the perovskite planar solar cell at an annealing temperature of 100 °C for 10 min was demonstrated. The power conversion efficiency (PCE) was about 8.66%, the open-circuit voltage (Voc) was 0.965 V, the short-circuit current (Jsc) was 13.6 mA/cm2, and the fill factor (FF) was 0.66 by scanning the density–voltage (J–V) curve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Solar Energy Conversion)
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Article
Histidine Decorated Nanoparticles of CdS for Highly Efficient H2 Production via Water Splitting
Energies 2020, 13(14), 3738; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143738 - 20 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
Pure cadmium sulfide and histidine decorated cadmium sulfide nanocomposites are prepared by the hydrothermal or solvothermal method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis shows that the particle sizes of pure cadmium sulfide (pu/CdS) and histidine decorated cadmium sulfide prepared by the hydrothermal method (hi/CdS) [...] Read more.
Pure cadmium sulfide and histidine decorated cadmium sulfide nanocomposites are prepared by the hydrothermal or solvothermal method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis shows that the particle sizes of pure cadmium sulfide (pu/CdS) and histidine decorated cadmium sulfide prepared by the hydrothermal method (hi/CdS) range from 0.75 to 3.0 μm. However, when a solvothermal method is used, the particle size of histidine decorated cadmium sulfide (so/CdS) ranges from 50 to 300 nm. X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns show that all samples (pu/CdS, hi/CdS and so/CdS) have a hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure but so/CdS has a poor crystallinity compared to the others. The as-prepared samples are applied to photocatalytic hydrogen production via water splitting and the results show that the highest H2 evolution rate for pu/CdS and hi/CdS are 1250 and 1950 μmol·g−1·h−1, respectively. On the other hand, the so/CdS sample has a rate of 6020 μmol·g−1·h−1, which is about five times higher than that of the pu/CdS sample. The increased specific surface area of so/CdS nanoparticles and effective charge separation by histidine molecules are attributed to the improved H2 evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Solar Energy Conversion)
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Article
Geometry Optimization of Top Metallic Contacts in a Solar Cell Using the Constructal Design Method
Energies 2020, 13(13), 3349; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13133349 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 801
Abstract
Sunlight is a natural resource that can be harnessed by the photovoltaic conversion of sunlight into electricity-utilizing solar cells. The production of most common solar cells consists of a homojunction of a p-type and n-type silicon. The p—n junction is realized by the [...] Read more.
Sunlight is a natural resource that can be harnessed by the photovoltaic conversion of sunlight into electricity-utilizing solar cells. The production of most common solar cells consists of a homojunction of a p-type and n-type silicon. The p—n junction is realized by the diffusion of impurities through one surface of the wafer. Silicon wafers have a typical dimension of 156 × 156 mm2 and a thickness of 0.15–0.2 mm. Groups of 50–100 solar cells are electrically connected and encapsulated to form a module. The required area for interconnection does not contribute to power generation, and the performance of larger area devices usually suffers from higher resistive losses. In the present work, a theoretical model of the geometric arrangement of the top contact metallic electrodes branched network in a photovoltaic cell is developed. The network structure of the electrodes is obtained from applying the constructal design methodology by the minimization of the overall resistance. As a result, the optimal lengths and geometrical relationships of an electrode branching network with a branching angle are determined. A geometric distribution of the electrode network on the solar cell analyzed by the total resistance of every level of branching is defined. The top metallic contact network presents a tree-shaped geometric arrangement with the main objective of covering a generation area for an enhanced collection of the generated electrical current. The theoretical results obtained are expressed as the total voltage of the arrangement and the lengths of the branched electrode network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology for Solar Energy Conversion)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Design and Implementation of an Intelligent ANFIS Controller on a Raspberry Pi Nano-computer for Photovoltaic Pumping Intended for Drip Irrigation
Authors: Siwar Bellahirich*; Dhafer Mezghani; Abdelkader Mami
Affiliation: UR-LAPER, UR17ES11, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia.

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