Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 8

Apr 10, 2022

Tesla bull predicts between 5 to 10 new gigafactories in the next two years

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, media & arts, sustainability, transportation

After a wild display of lights, music and futuristic technology, Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk kicked off the grand opening of the company’s new Texas gigafactory on Thursday.

The Austin plant — Tesla’s fourth globally — will manufacture the Model Y SUV and, next year, the highly-anticipated Cybertruck.

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Apr 10, 2022

Solar cell keeps working long after sun sets

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

About 750 million people in the world do not have access to electricity at night. Solar cells provide power during the day, but saving energy for later use requires substantial battery storage.

In Applied Physics Letters, researchers from Stanford University constructed a that harvests energy from the environment during the day and night, avoiding the need for batteries altogether. The device makes use of the heat leaking from Earth back into space—energy that is on the same order of magnitude as incoming solar radiation.

At night, radiate and lose heat to the sky, reaching temperatures a few degrees below the ambient air. The device under development uses a thermoelectric module to generate voltage and current from the temperature gradient between the cell and the air. This process depends on the thermal design of the system, which includes a hot side and a cold side.

Apr 10, 2022

Elon Musk says Tesla may have to get into the lithium business because costs are so ‘insane’

Posted by in categories: business, Elon Musk, space travel, sustainability

Elon Musk tweeted Tesla may get into the lithium mining and refining business directly and at scale because the cost of the metal, a key component in manufacturing batteries, has gotten so high.

“Price of lithium has gone to insane levels,” Musk tweeted. “There is no shortage of the element itself, as lithium is almost everywhere on Earth, but pace of extraction/refinement is slow.”

The Tesla and SpaceX tech boss was responding to a tweet showing the average price of lithium per tonne in the last two decades, which showed a massive increase in prices since 2021. According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, the cost of the metal has gone up more than 480% in the last year.

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Apr 8, 2022

A Heat Pump Water Heater Is The Energy Saving Equivalent Of 7 Solar Panels & Costs ⅙ the Price

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

My sister is in the process of building a house in Ohio, and I’ve been having conversations with her about how to make it green. She and my brother-in-law both consider me to be eco-crazed (arguably rightly so given the climactic and political stakes) and so tend to raise eyebrows when I make one of my many helpful suggestions.

For example, I suggested they install a central heat pump instead of inefficient electric resistance heating, but only after consulting their HVAC guy, who is a fan of heat pumps, did they decide to install one (Woo-hoo! They’ll save thousands of dollars and pounds of CO2 with that choice). They are also making their home solar-ready and plan to install panels in the next couple of years — this is mostly because solar offers a sense of self-reliance that is perennially popular across political and geographic boundaries.

However, when I tried to talk them into installing a heat pump water heater, I ran into serious resistance. If you haven’t heard about heat pump water heaters, they are an enormously powerful energy/CO2 reduction technology lying hidden in plain sight in the most humble of appliances — the water heater.

Continue reading “A Heat Pump Water Heater Is The Energy Saving Equivalent Of 7 Solar Panels & Costs ⅙ the Price” »

Apr 8, 2022

A new “molten salt” battery could store cheap, renewable energy year round

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

Scientists at the US Department of Energy have created a low-cost molten salt battery that can store energy for months — potentially giving us a way to store and use energy from renewables year round.

The challenge: To stop climate change, we need to transition toward cleaner sources of energy.

Renewable energy (especially wind and solar) has become increasingly cheap to generate over the last couple decades, but storage is still an issue — we can burn as much coal or gas as we want, whenever we need it, but we can’t force the wind to blow.

Apr 8, 2022

Solar panels that can generate electricity at night have been developed at Stanford

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

While standard solar panels can provide electricity during the day, this device can be a “continuous renewable power source” during the day and at night.

Apr 7, 2022

E-Space sheds more light on sustainable megaconstellation plan

Posted by in categories: satellites, sustainability

COLORADO SPRINGS — Megaconstellation startup E-Space is preparing to deploy the first of potentially hundreds of thousands of satellites on a Rocket Lab mission slated for no earlier than April 19.

Three E-space prototypes are part of the 34 payloads that Rocket Lab said April 5 are on the upcoming mission, including satellites for Alba Orbital, Astrix Astronautics, Aurora Propulsion Technologies, Unseenlabs and Swarm Technologies.

Rocket Lab will also attempt a mid-air helicopter capture of its Electron launch vehicle for the first time after the flight. The launch is set to commence within a 14-day window starting on April 19 and represents a major step in Rocket Lab’s plans to make the rocket reusable.

Apr 7, 2022

Canada’s Environment Ministry Approves Offshore Oil Project While Touting 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan

Posted by in categories: climatology, government, neuroscience, sustainability

Cognitive dissonance in the government’s decision to approve Bay-du-Nord while professing to fight fossil fuel emissions responsible for climate change.

The decision to approve Bay-du-Nord is based on the low emissions intensity of the oil that will be produced with no accounting for end-use.

Continue reading “Canada’s Environment Ministry Approves Offshore Oil Project While Touting 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan” »

Apr 7, 2022

Solar panels created from crop waste produce energy even if the sun isn’t shining

Posted by in categories: engineering, particle physics, solar power, sustainability

The British James Dyson Foundation presented the first Sustainability Award to Carvey Ehren Maigue, an electrical engineering student in the Philippines. He was awarded for creating new material from recycled crop waste that has the ability to transform ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun into electrical energy. The technology could soon be turning the windows and walls of buildings into a rich new source of electricity.

The invention of the Filipino university student is called AuREUS (Aurora Renewable Energy and UV Sequestration). Both AuREUS devices (Borealis Solar Window and Astralis Solar Wall) use the same technology used in the beautiful Northern and Southern lights. High energy particles are absorbed by luminescent particles that re-emit them as visible light. A similar type of luminescent particles (derivable from certain fruits and vegetables) were suspended in a resin substrate and is used as the core technology on both devices.

Continue reading “Solar panels created from crop waste produce energy even if the sun isn’t shining” »

Apr 7, 2022

Sunflower pollen-based paper that you can print on and unprint

Posted by in categories: particle physics, sustainability

In a world where deforestation directly leads to biodiversity loss, disrupts the water cycle, and alters rainfall, looking for alternatives to recycle or produce paper is more important than ever.

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a pollen-based paper that, after being printed, can be erased and reused multiple times without any damage to the paper.

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