Archive for the ‘solar power’ category: Page 8

Jan 16, 2023

Scientists Have Developed a Living “Bio-Solar Cell” That Runs on Photosynthesis

Posted by in categories: biological, food, solar power, sustainability

Plants are often thought of as sources of food, oxygen, and decoration, but not as a source of electricity. However, scientists have discovered that by harnessing the natural transport of electrons within plant cells, it is possible to generate electricity as part of a green, biological solar cell. In a recent study published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, researchers for the first time used a succulent plant to create a living “bio-solar cell” that runs on photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis is how plants and some microorganisms use sunlight to synthesize carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water.

Jan 16, 2023

This bold new mission will try beaming solar power down from space

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

The Space Solar Power Project (SSPP) began in 2011 when Donald Bren — philanthropist, chairman of the Irvine Company, and a lifetime member of the Caltech Board of Trustees — and Caltech’s then-president Jean-Lou Chameau came together to discuss the potential for a space-based solar power research project. By 2013, Bren and his wife (Caltech trustee Brigitte Bren) began funding the project through the Donald Bren Foundation, which will eventually exceed $100 million. As Bren said in a recent Caltech press release:

“For many years, I’ve dreamed about how space-based solar power could solve some of humanity’s most urgent challenges. Today, I’m thrilled to be supporting Caltech’s brilliant scientists as they race to make that dream a reality.”

Continue reading “This bold new mission will try beaming solar power down from space” »

Jan 13, 2023

How solar farms in space might beam electricity to Earth

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

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The UK government is supporting projects to put solar panels in space and beam energy back to Earth.

Jan 12, 2023

Green jobs are booming, but too few employees have sustainability skills to fill them — here are 4 ways to close the gap

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, solar power, sustainability

Green jobs go beyond solar panel installation and wind turbine maintenance. They’re found in fields from design to economics and in many types of management.

Jan 7, 2023

Self-healing semiconductor withstands light equal to 160 suns to produce hydrogen

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A new type of solar panel has achieved nine percent efficiency in converting water into hydrogen and oxygen through a process known as artificial photosynthesis.

This is a major breakthrough as it is nearly ten times more efficient than previous solar water-splitting experiments, according to a press release by the University of Michigan published on Wednesday.

Jan 7, 2023

The Concept of Unlimited Solar Energy From Space is One Step Closer to Reality

Posted by in categories: satellites, solar power, sustainability

Space Solar Power Demonstrator (SSPD) launched on January 3rd may be a breakthrough for harvesting solar energy from space.

A Caltech-designed prototype satellite containing an experiment, the Space Solar Power Demonstrator (SSPD), was launched on January 3rd of this year in what could prove to be a breakthrough for harvesting the energy of the Sun from space. The satellite goes by the name Momentus Vigoride and hitched its ride into space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Solar energy from space has been the dream of science fiction writers beginning with Isaac Asimov back in 1941 in a short story called Reason which later was included in a collection that Asimov published in 1950 entitled I, Robot. In the story, Asimov described a space station that collected energy from the Sun and transmitted it by microwave beam to various locations. Asimov recognized the distinct advantage of building solar power generating stations in space out of the Earth’s shadow and therefore continuously being able to harvest the energy of the Sun.

Continue reading “The Concept of Unlimited Solar Energy From Space is One Step Closer to Reality” »

Jan 5, 2023

Innovation strengthens electron-triggered light emissions for quantum-based computational and communications systems

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

The way electrons interact with photons of light is a vital part of many modern technologies, from lasers to solar panels to LEDs. But the interaction is inherently weak because of a major mismatch in scale: the wavelength of visible light is about 1,000 times larger than an electron, so the way the two things affect each other is limited by that disparity.

Now, researchers at The University of Hong Kong (HKU), MIT and other universities say they have come up with an innovative way to make more robust interactions between photons and electrons possible, that produces a hundredfold increase in the emission of light from a phenomenon called Smith-Purcell radiation. The findings have potential ramifications for both and fundamental scientific research, although it will require more years of investigation to put into practice.

The findings are published in Nature by Dr. Yi Yang (Assistant Professor of the Department of Physics at HKU and a former postdoc at MIT), Dr. Charles Roques-carmes (Postdoctoral Associate at MIT) and Professors Marin Soljačić and John Joannopoulos (MIT professors). The research team also included Steven Kooi at MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, Haoning Tang and Eric Mazur at Harvard University, Justin Beroz at MIT, and Ido Kaminer at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

Jan 5, 2023

More links aren’t necessarily better for hybrid nanomaterials

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

Chemists from Rice University and the University of Texas at Austin discovered more isn’t always better when it comes to packing charge-acceptor molecules on the surface of semiconducting nanocrystals.

The combination of organic and inorganic components in hybrid nanomaterials can be tailored to capture, detect, convert or control light in unique ways. Interest in these materials is high, and the pace of scientific publication about them has grown more than tenfold over the past 20 years. For example, they could potentially improve the efficiency of solar power systems by harvesting energy from wavelengths of sunlight—like infrared—that are missed by traditional photovoltaic solar panels.

To create the materials, chemists marry nanocrystals of light-capturing semiconductors with “charge acceptor” molecules that act as , attaching to the semiconductor’s surface and transporting electrons away from the nanocrystals.

Jan 4, 2023

A potentially revolutionary solar harvester just left the planet

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

After over a decade of research and testing, Caltech’s Space Solar Power Demonstrator arrived above Earth on Tuesday to begin testing.

Jan 3, 2023

We’re about to get our first demonstration of space-based solar power

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

A new demo from Caltech will test the viability of unlimited solar power beamed back to Earth from orbit.

A new demo from Caltech is set to launch in January 2023, and it could shake up the way we collect and harvest solar power in the future.

Continue reading “We’re about to get our first demonstration of space-based solar power” »

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