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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category: Page 89

Nov 26, 2015

US electrical grid can’t affordably store enough standby electricity to keep the system stable, says researcher

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A common criticism of a total transition to wind, water and solar power is that the US electrical grid can’t affordably store enough standby electricity to keep the system stable. Now a researcher proposes an underground solution to that problem.

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Nov 25, 2015

New technology makes metal wires on solar cells nearly invisible to light

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A solar cell is basically a semiconductor, which converts sunlight into electricity, sandwiched between metal contacts that carry the electrical current.

But this widely used design has a flaw: The shiny metal on top of the cell actually reflects sunlight away from the semiconductor where electricity is produced, reducing the cell’s efficiency.

Now, Stanford University scientists have discovered how to hide the reflective upper contact and funnel light directly to the semiconductor below. Their findings, published in the journal ACS Nano, could lead to a new paradigm in the design and fabrication of .

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Nov 24, 2015

Ray Kurzweil: This is your future

Posted by in categories: food, Ray Kurzweil, solar power, sustainability

By 2030 solar energy will have the capacity to meet all of our energy needs. The production of food and clean water will also be revolutionized.

Kurzweil believes solar energy could satisfy 100% our power needs. — CNN

If we could capture one part in ten thousand of the sunlight that falls on the Earth we could meet 100% of our energy needs, using this renewable and environmentally friendly source.

As we apply new molecular scale technologies to solar panels, the cost per watt is coming down rapidly. Already Deutsche Bank, in a recent report, wrote “The cost of unsubsidized solar power is about the same as the cost of electricity from the grid in India and Italy. By 2014 even more countries will achieve solar ‘grid parity.’”

Continue reading “Ray Kurzweil: This is your future” »

Nov 18, 2015

Apple to Introduce 100% Solar-Powered Retail Store

Posted by in categories: policy, solar power, sustainability

Tech behemoth Apple is set to become the first completely solar-powered company in Singapore.

As part of a long-term partnership with Sunseap Group, Apple will draw upon Sunseap’s vast network of more than 800 solar panel-equipped buildings, which will satisfy the energy requirements for the company’s forthcoming 2,500-person corporate campus and retail store operations in Singapore.

According to Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, the company aims to completely kick its dependence on fossil fuels and rely instead on renewable energy sources for its facilities worldwide.

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Nov 17, 2015

Scientists have created transparent solar panels that could replace windows

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Revolutionary.

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Nov 10, 2015

Solar Power To Become Cheapest Source Of Energy In Many Regions By 2025, German Experts Say

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Solar power still amounts for a small share of net electricity generation around the world. In the USA, for instance, as of December 2014 it was responsible for just 0.45% of the total electricity produced.

Things are changing quite quickly, however, and if the German think tank Agora Energiewende is right, faster than expected.

The main obstacle to a more widespread adoption of photovoltaic so far, has been cost: solar used to be very expensive compared to coal or gas, but, according to Agora — that recently commissioned a study on the subject to the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems — this is no longer true.

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Nov 3, 2015

Researchers create lithium-air battery that could be 10x more powerful than lithium-ion

Posted by in categories: chemistry, electronics, mobile phones, solar power, sustainability, transportation

A new lithium-air battery created by researchers at the University of Cambridge points the way to the ultimate battery packs of the future, its makers say. With a very high energy density, more than 90 percent efficiency and the capability for more than 2,000 recharge cycles, the new test battery could prove an important stepping stone in the development of this essential technology.

If you’re getting tired of announcements about breakthroughs in battery technology, that’s understandable: as they’re so essential to modern life, many teams of scientists are busy working on the problem around the clock, but it’s an incredibly complex area of chemistry. Any new battery has to improve on what we already have, be safe to use in consumer gadgets, and be commercially viable enough to be affordable for manufacturers.

Those are difficult targets to hit, and that’s why many ‘miracle’ batteries have since fallen by the wayside – once the initial lab work is done, proving concepts and scaling up production is very difficult to get right. The potential rewards are huge though, not just for smartphones but for electric cars and solar power, where batteries are essential for storing energy to use when the sun isn’t shining.

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Oct 20, 2015

Engineered viruses provide quantum-based enhancement of energy transport

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, genetics, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

How cool is this!


Rendering of a virus used in the MIT experiments. The light-collecting centers, called chromophores, are in red, and chromophores that just absorbed a photon of light are glowing white. After the virus is modified to adjust the spacing between the chromophores, energy can jump from one set of chromophores to the next faster and more efficiently. (credit: the researchers and Lauren Alexa Kaye)

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Oct 20, 2015

Google has an idea to make a smart contact lens that runs on solar power

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Google’s new contact patent is like something out of a sci-fi movie.

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Oct 15, 2015

Researchers use engineered viruses to provide quantum-based enhancement of energy transport

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, genetics, particle physics, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Nature has had billions of years to perfect photosynthesis, which directly or indirectly supports virtually all life on Earth. In that time, the process has achieved almost 100 percent efficiency in transporting the energy of sunlight from receptors to reaction centers where it can be harnessed—a performance vastly better than even the best solar cells.

One way plants achieve this efficiency is by making use of the exotic effects of quantum mechanics—effects sometimes known as “quantum weirdness.” These effects, which include the ability of a particle to exist in more than one place at a time, have now been used by engineers at MIT to achieve a significant efficiency boost in a light-harvesting system.

Surprisingly, the MIT researchers achieved this new approach to solar energy not with high-tech materials or microchips—but by using genetically engineered viruses.

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