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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category

Mar 26, 2024

Awesomely Weird Alibaba EV of the Week: Solar-powered 2-seat e-bike with infinite range

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Two of my passions are electric bicycle projects and DIY solar powered projects. In fact I’ve written the book on both topics. So to see these two fields combined in one quirky-yet-awesome product totally made my week. I just hope you’re as excited as I am to dive into this strange electric bike/car contraption that boasts a heap of features from seating for two to a giant solar panel array offering nearly unlimited range!

It’s just one of many strange, awesome and fun-looking electric vehicles I’ve discovered while window shopping on the world’s most eclectic digital thrift store: Alibaba. And now it has the honor of officially becoming this week’s Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week!

We’ve seen solar powered electric bicycles before, but they’re usually designed with some serious pedaling requirements. The low power of even large-sized panels means that riders generally still have to provide some significant leg assist.

Mar 25, 2024

Odysseus lunar lander, 1st US craft on the moon in 50 years, has died and will ‘not complete another call home’

Posted by in categories: solar power, space travel, sustainability

Odysseus, which was built by Houston-based company Intuitive Machines, powered down one week after landing as lunar night began for 14 days. Flight controllers ordered the spacecraft to snooze for three weeks, while the moon’s south pole faced away from the sun, but they hoped Odie would reawaken once sunlight hit its solar panels again.

“Intuitive Machines started listening for Odie’s wake-up signal on March 20, when we projected enough sunlight would potentially charge the lander’s power system and turn on its radio,” representatives of the company wrote on X, formerly called Twitter.

Mar 22, 2024

Unveiling Cosmic Secrets and Earth’s Mysteries With NASA’s Latest CubeSat Fleet

Posted by in categories: education, satellites, solar power, sustainability

NASA ’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) is sending four CubeSats to the International Space Station to advance space-based technologies in solar power, gamma-ray burst detection, and water monitoring. Developed in collaboration with universities and NASA, these satellites aim to enhance our understanding of cosmic phenomena and Earth’s environmental dynamics.

NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative is sending a group of four small satellites, called CubeSats, to the International Space Station (ISS) as ELaNa 51 (Educational Launch of Nanosatellites). These small payloads have been developed by NASA and universities and will be deployed from low Earth orbit.

Once circling Earth, the satellites will help demonstrate and mature technologies meant to improve solar power generation, detect gamma-ray bursts, determine crop water usage, and measure root-zone soil and snowpack moisture levels.

Mar 22, 2024

Novel Material Increases Perovskite Solar Cell Efficiency by 15.8%

Posted by in categories: chemistry, solar power, sustainability

In an article published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C, Brazilian researchers describe a strategy to enhance the efficiency and stability of solar cells made of perovskite, a semiconductor material produced in the laboratory. The results of the project could be highly positive for the future of the solar power sector.

Developed by researchers at São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Bauru, Brazil, the method involves the use of a class of materials known as MXenes, a family of two-dimensional materials with a graphene-like structure combining transition metals, carbon and/or nitrogen, and surface functional groups such as fluoride, oxygen or hydroxyl. Their properties include high electrical conductivity, good thermal stability, and high transmittance (relating to the amount of light that passes through a substance without being reflected or absorbed).

Mar 21, 2024

Sam Altman Says AI Using Too Much Energy, Will Require Breakthrough Energy Source

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

The process is ludicrously energy intensive, with experts estimating that the industry could soon suck up as much electricity as an entire country.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is looking for cheaper alternatives. During a Bloomberg event at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the billionaire suggested that the AI models of tomorrow may require even more power — to the degree that they’ll need a whole new power source.

“There’s no way to get there without a breakthrough,” Altman told audiences, as quoted by Reuters. “It motivates us to go invest more in fusion,” adding that we need better ways to store energy from solar power.

Mar 15, 2024

‘Solar sandwich’ of old, new solar cells could unlock next-level power

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A new type of solar cell made using selenium and silicon could offer a cost advantage while also delivering energy conversion efficiency.

Mar 14, 2024

Game-changing solar tech gets even more flexible

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

With their lightweight, flexible design, printed solar cells can be deployed in previously unimaginable ways.

Mar 10, 2024

Synchrotron nuclear facility saves big with massive solar push

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics, solar power, sustainability

The Australian Synchrotron, a crown jewel of Australian scientific infrastructure, is making major strides towards sustainable energy independence. The nuclear research facility recently completed the installation of 3,200 solar panels which now blankets the facility’s rooftops. This move is expected to generate substantial savings and support Synchrotron’s world-class research.

The state-of-the-art particle accelerator has now gone green with a 1.59 MW/ 1,668 kWh rooftop solar system. The facility will save about $2 million in energy costs over the next five years.

Mar 10, 2024

Researchers make breakthrough in solar technology with ‘stretchable’ panels that act like rubber — here’s why it’s significant

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, wearables

An innovative, flexible solar cell being developed in South Korea has passed a crucial stress test.

Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) are working on a rubber-like sun-catcher made from organic materials. The idea is for these elastic cells to one day help power the wearable technology that is becoming more prevalent in society, per a KAIST research report.

“Through this research, we not only developed the world’s best performing stretchable organic solar cell, but it is also significant that we developed a new polymer that can be applicable as a base material for various electronic devices that needs to be malleable and/or elastic,” study lead Professor Bumjoon Kim said in the summary.

Mar 9, 2024

Doing the impossible: harvesting solar power from space

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

Isaac Asimov’s idea of harvesting solar power from space may not be a thing of fiction much longer as space agencies explore the concept.

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