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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 149

Sep 21, 2015

Open Source ‘Solar Pocket Factory’ Can 3D Print a Solar Panel Every 15 Seconds

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, computing, electronics, mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein, two young inventors based in the Philippines, are taking their passion for clean free energy and developing a way to make it accessible and cheap for everyone. These guys are working restlessly to provide a product that could be used by practically anyone to make homemade solar panels.

The factory is small enough to fit on a desktop and efficient enough to produce 300k to one million panels per year, up to one every 15 seconds. By cutting out much of the labor intensive process, which represents 50% of the total cost, this machine can dramatically reduce the price of solar. Their pocket solar panel producer can change the way the world views electricity. Image credit: YouTube/SciFri

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Sep 21, 2015

This tree produces 40 different types of fruit (Science Alert)

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

An art professor from Syracuse University in the US, Van Aken grew up on a family farm before pursuing a career as an artist, and has combined his knowledge of the two to develop his incredible Tree of 40 Fruit.

In 2008, Van Aken learned that an orchard at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station was about to be shut down due to a lack of funding. This single orchard grew a great number of heirloom, antique, and native varieties of stone fruit, and some of these were 150 to 200 years old. To lose this orchard would render many of these rare and old varieties of fruit extinct, so to preserve them, Van Aken bought the orchard, and spent the following years figuring out how to graft parts of the trees onto a single fruit tree.

Working with a pool of over 250 varieties of stone fruit, Van Aken developed a timeline of when each of them blossom in relationship to each other and started grafting a few onto a working tree’s root structure. Once the working tree was about two years old, Van Aken used a technique called chip grafting to add more varieties on as separate branches. This technique involves taking a sliver off a fruit tree that includes the bud, and inserting that into an incision in the working tree. It’s then taped into place, and left to sit and heal over winter. If all goes well, the branch will be pruned back to encourage it to grow as a normal branch on the working tree.

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Sep 20, 2015

Solar panels as inexpensive as paint?

Posted by in categories: engineering, materials, solar power, sustainability

Fortunately, that is changing because researchers such as Qiaoqiang Gan, University at Buffalo assistant professor of electrical engineering, are helping develop a new generation of photovoltaic cells that produce more power and cost less to manufacture than what’s available today.

One of the more promising efforts, which Gan is working on, involves the use of plasmonic-enhanced organic photovoltaic materials. These devices don’t match traditional solar cells in terms of energy production but they are less expensive and — because they are made (or processed) in liquid form — can be applied to a greater variety of surfaces.

Gan detailed the progress of plasmonic-enhanced organic photovoltaic materials in the May 7 edition of the journal Advanced Materials. Co-authors include Filbert J. Bartoli, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Lehigh University, and Zakya Kafafi of the National Science Foundation.

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Sep 19, 2015

World’s largest delta-style 3D printer can print nearly zero-cost housing out of mud

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, sustainability

The future of affordable (and sustainable) housing may lie with 3D printing. The World’s Advanced Saving Project (WASP) will soon unveil the world’s largest delta-style 3D printer that can build full-size buildings out of mud and clay for nearly zero cost. The massive 12-meter-tall (40 feet) BigDelta printer will make its official debut and show off its eco-friendly printing prowess tomorrow at “Reality of dream,” a three-day event in Massa Lombarda, Italy.

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Sep 17, 2015

There could be a smart way to use orange peels that the juice industry throws away

Posted by in category: sustainability

The orange juice industry throws away a half of the fruit needed to make juice.

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Sep 16, 2015

New Solar Panels That Work At Night

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

Nighttime solar panels, night solar panels, night photovoltaics, Solar cells, solar power at night, idaho national laboratory, solar technology, solar film, nanotechnology solar, nanoantennas, New Solar Panels Can Harvest Energy After Dark

Despite the enormous untapped potential of solar energy, one thing is for sure- photovoltaics are only as good as the sun’s rays shining upon them. However, researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory are close to the production of a super-thin solar film that would be cost-effective, imprinted on flexible materials, and would be able to harvest solar energy even after sunset!

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Sep 15, 2015

Nanoscale Solar Cells Outperform Traditional Technology

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, materials, nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

Scientists have designed a novel type of nanoscale solar cell. Initial studies and computer modelling predict these cells will outperform traditional solar panels, reach power conversion levels by over 40 percent.

Solar power cells work through the conversion of sunlight into electricity using photovoltaics. Here solar energy is converted into direct current. A photovoltaic system uses several solar panels; with each panel composed of a number of solar cells. This combines to create a system for the supply usable solar power.

To investigate what is possible in terms of solar power, the researchers have examined the Shockley-Queisser limit for different materials. This equation describes the maximum solar energy conversion efficiency achievable for a particular material, allowing different materials to be compared as candidates for power generation.

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Sep 15, 2015

This transparent solar-powered battery looks like a futuristic Tony Stark invention

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

Remember Iron Man’s transparent smartphones They might become reality sooner than you think thanks to an unusual new type of battery that’s not only transparent, but it can also charge via solar power. The technology could also be used for other products in the future, such as smart office and home windows that would be able to let the sun’s light pass through them, but also recharge and store energy.

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Developed by a team of researchers at the Kogakuin Univeristy, the lithium ion battery is not entirely transparent, as it contains the same chemical compounds that make any battery work. Furthermore, when exposed to sunlight, the battery becomes slightly tinted, transmitting 30% less light – but it’s still transparent. When fully discharged, the light transmittance rises to approximately 60 percent, TechXplore reports.

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Sep 13, 2015

3D Printed Solar Cells Could Provide 1.3 Billion People with Electricity

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, energy, solar power, sustainability

Solar power has been gaining more and more popularity worldwide since the efficiency of solar panels has significantly increased during the recent years, along with the dramatic decrease in the costs. However, its popularity is not only due its affordability to a wider audience but also to the growing awareness about the benefits of clean sources of energy. Yet, the costs of transportation and production often make it extremely difficult to implement solar technology in developing countries. Printed solar cells could offer a solution to this problem.

Thanks to the advances in printed solar cell technology during the past few years, its energy efficiency has increased from 3% to 20%.

Its success is due to its cost-effectiveness and simplicity. A 10×10 cm solar cell film is enough to generate as much as 10–50 watts per square meter,” said Scott Watkins from the Korean company Kyung-In Synthetic.

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Sep 13, 2015

Ancient virus discovered in melting Arctic ice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, sustainability

This particular giant virus won’t kill you, but climate change means that something deadly could one day emerge.

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