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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 145

Jan 29, 2016

Tesla’s home battery is finally rolling out. First stop: Australia

Posted by in categories: habitats, solar power, sustainability

According to Nick Pfitzner, the Tesla Powerwall is “a thing of beauty.”

Pfitzner, who lives in Sydney’s Hills District, was one of the first homeowners in Australia to have the highly anticipated energy storage battery installed at his home on Thursday.

Tesla announced in September it would be bringing the Powerwall to Australia, with a spokesperson telling Mashable Australia the country had been “prioritised as a market” due to its high number of solar energy users.

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Jan 29, 2016

Biotechnology, synthetic biology keys to humans colonizing other planets

Posted by in categories: alien life, biotech/medical, food, genetics, particle physics, space travel, sustainability

Over the last 12,000 years or so, human civilization has noticeably reshaped the Earth’s surface. But changes on our own planet will likely pale in comparison when humans settle on other celestial bodies. While many of the changes on Earth over the centuries have been related to food production, by way of agriculture, changes on other worlds will result, not only from the need for on-site production of food, but also for all other consumables, including air.

As vital as synthetic biology will be to the early piloted missions to Mars and voyages of exploration, it will become indispensable to establish a long-term human presence off-Earth, namely colonization. That’s because we’ve evolved over billions of years to thrive specifically in the environments provides by our home planet.

Our physiology is well-suited to Earth’s gravity and its oxygen-rich atmosphere. We also depend on Earth’s magnetic field to shield us from intense space radiation in the form of charged particles. In comparison, Mars currently has no magnetic field to trap particle radiation and an atmosphere that is so thin that any shielding against other types of space radiation is negligible compared with the protection that Earth’s atmosphere affords. At the Martian surface, atmospheric pressure never gets above 7 millibars. That’s like Earth at an altitude of about 27,000 m (89,000 ft), which is almost the edge of space. And it’s not like the moon is a better option for us since it has no atmosphere at all.

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Jan 27, 2016

These former Tesla employees defected to a new, top-secret rival

Posted by in categories: space travel, sustainability

Tesla new competitor is in town, they are paying top dollar for Tesla’s talent. Guess Musk should have backed off SpaceX, because his money making has serious competition.


Tesla has lost a lot of talent to this company.

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Jan 25, 2016

Can we Afford to go Into Space?

Posted by in categories: business, economics, materials, military, solar power, space, sustainability

Space is not a government program; it’s the rest of the Universe. Private space business is now a major factor, bent on finding investors interested in generating profits by making space more accessible to more people. Space business pays taxes to governments; it does not consume tax revenues. Further, space business can offer launch services to government agencies at highly competitive rates, thus saving taxpayer dollars. How can they do this, competing with government-funded boosters with a 50-year track record? Simple: governments have no incentive to cut costs. Traditional aerospace industry giants have a huge vested interest in boosters that were developed to military and NASA standards, among which economy was not even an issue. But innovative, competitive companies such as XCOR Aerospace and Mojave Aerospace, without such baggage (and overhead) can drive costs down dramatically. This is a proven principle: notice that we are no longer buying IBM PCs with 64 k of RAM for $5000 a unit.

Even more important in the long view, space is a literally astronomical reservoir of material and energy resources. The profit potential of even a single such resource, such as solar power collectors in space beaming microwave power to Earth, is in the trillions of dollars. What would it be worth to the world to reduce fossil fuel consumption by a factor of 20 or 100 while lowering energy costs? Can we afford to continue pretending that Earth is a closed system, doomed to eke out finite resources into a cold, dark future?

Can we afford space? Wrong question. Can businesses afford space? Yes. We get to reap the benefits of their innovative ideas and free competition without footing the bill.

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Jan 22, 2016

Self-cleaning, anti-glare windows inspired by moth eyes

Posted by in categories: engineering, materials, sustainability

A new type of glass to reducing electric bills.


A revolutionary new type of smart window developed by the University College London (UCL) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) could cut window-cleaning costs in tall buildings while reducing heating bills and boosting worker productivity. Partially inspired by the reflective properties of moth eyes, this smart window is said to be self-cleaning, energy saving, and anti-glare.

When rain hits the outside of the smart window it forms spherical droplets that roll over the surface and pick up dirt, dust and other contaminants, then carries them away. This can either eliminate or reduce the need for manual cleaning.

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Jan 21, 2016

Paper Recycling Machine

Posted by in category: sustainability

This cool machine turns waste paper into new paper within just 3 minutes.

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Jan 19, 2016

A Brief History of Stephen Hawking Being a Bummer

Posted by in categories: engineering, existential risks, genetics, sustainability

Yeah, he’s turned into quite the man-of-panic as of late.


Stephen Hawking is at it again, saying it’s a “near certainty” that a self-inflicted disaster will befall humanity within the next thousand years or so. It’s not the first time the world’s most famous physicist has raised the alarm on the apocalypse, and he’s starting to become a real downer. Here are some of the other times Hawking has said the end is nigh—and why he needs to start changing his message.

Speaking to the Radio Times recently ahead of his BBC Reith Lecture, Hawking said that ongoing developments in science and technology are poised to create “new ways things can go wrong.” The scientist pointed to nuclear war, global warming, and genetically-engineering viruses as some of the most serious culprits.

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Jan 18, 2016

Cheaper solar cells with 20.2 percent efficiency

Posted by in categories: materials, solar power, sustainability

EPFL scientists have developed a solar-panel material that can cut down on photovoltaic costs while achieving competitive power-conversion efficiency of 20.2%.

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Jan 16, 2016

90 Second Tour Around The Tesla Factory

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Tesla Motors Around the factory in 90 seconds.

Play Video.

90 Second Tour Around The Tesla Factory.

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Jan 16, 2016

‘Bubble pen’ can precisely write patterns with nanoparticles as small as 1 nanometer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, electronics, solar power, sustainability

Allows for more easily building tiny machines, biomedical sensors, optical computers, solar panels, and other devices — no complex clean room required; portable version planned.


Illustration of the bubble-pen pattern-writing process using an optically controlled microbubble on a plasmonic substrate. The small blue spheres are colloidal nanoparticles. (credit: Linhan Lin et al./Nano Letters)

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