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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category

Jan 25, 2020

Blue-emitting diode demonstrates limitations and promise of perovskite semiconductors

Posted by in categories: computing, solar power, sustainability

University of California, Berkeley, scientists have created a blue light-emitting diode (LED) from a trendy new semiconductor material, halide perovskite, overcoming a major barrier to employing these cheap, easy-to-make materials in electronic devices.

In the process, however, the researchers discovered a fundamental property of perovskites that may prove a barrier to their widespread use as solar cells and transistors.

Alternatively, this unique property may open up a whole new world for perovskites far beyond that of today’s standard semiconductors.

Continue reading “Blue-emitting diode demonstrates limitations and promise of perovskite semiconductors” »

Jan 14, 2020

IBM’s Plan to Design Solid-State Batteries Using Quantum Tech

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

Batteries are the key to decarboni z ing both transport and the grid, but today’s technology is still a long way from living up to this promise. IBM seems to have decided its computing chops are the key to solving the problem.

Lithium-ion batteries are still the gold standard technology in this field, and they’ve come a long way; 10 years ago they could just about get your iPod through the day, today they can power high-performance cars over hundreds of miles.

But if we want to reach a point w h ere batteries can outperform gasoline or store huge amounts of solar energy, we need some breakthroughs. So IBM has teamed up with Mercedes-Benz and its parent company Daimler to develop new batteries that could match up to our needs.

Continue reading “IBM’s Plan to Design Solid-State Batteries Using Quantum Tech” »

Jan 12, 2020

Nutrient flow in the brain is controlled by blood-vessel dilation, reveals network model

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience, robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

“A new model based on the blood-vessel network in a rat brain shows that the vessel position within its circulatory network does not influence the blood flow nor how nutrients are transported. Instead, transport is controlled mostly by the dilation of vessels. As well as providing new insights into the circulatory system, the model could lead to better artificial tissues and brain-scanning techniques – and might even improve the performance of solar panels.”

https://physicsworld.com/a/nutrient-flow-in-the-brain-is-con…work-model

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Continue reading “Nutrient flow in the brain is controlled by blood-vessel dilation, reveals network model” »

Jan 7, 2020

NASA’s TESS Planet Hunter Finds Its 1st Earth-Size World in ‘Habitable Zone’

Posted by in categories: solar power, space

For the first time, the agency’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered a roughly Earth- planet in the habitable zone of its host star, the zone of orbital distances where liquid water could be stable on a world’s surface.

NASA’s TESS Planet Hunter Finds Its 1st Earth-Size World in ‘Habitable Zone’ : Read more

Interesting, perhaps pushing the paradigm limits here. 86% of solar energy is similar to Precambrian earth during the Faint Young Sun, a snow ball earth. Part of the report that is a bit confusing to me is the comment “One of the other planets is a red dwarf about 40% as massive, 40% as wide and 50% as hot as Earth’s sun.” I think this is about the host star being a red dwarf star. Red dwarfs can be flaring stars and cause problems for *habitable* exoplanets. The Sun spins about 2 km/s at the its equator, red dwarf stars can spin faster like 4 km/s or faster, rotation periods 1 day to 10 days so red dwarfs can emit more flares. The report does comment “In 11 months of data, we saw no flares from the star, which improves the chances TOI 700 d is habitable and makes it easier to model its atmospheric and surface conditions,” discovery team leader Emily Gilbert, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, said in the same statement.

Jan 5, 2020

IBM’s Lithium-Ion Battery Uses Seawater Materials Instead Of Heavy Metals, Charges In Just 5 Minutes

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

IBM found a way to make a battery with materials from seawater instead of cobalt or nickel which are harmful to the environment, and it charges much faster.


Lithium-ion batteries are just as important as solar panels and wind turbines in our pursuit of sustainable energy. The use of lithium-ion technology is sustainable, however, its materials are not. When the battery has served its purpose, if it’s not disposed of correctly, it has a profoundly negative impact on the planet. Furthermore, the making of the batteries involves sourcing of heavy metals that are expensive and come at a substantial humanitarian and environmental cost.

In search of a better option, IBM found a way to make a battery that relies on materials from seawater instead. Testing revealed that the new battery is just as good as the one made with heavy metals, such as cobalt and nickel.

Continue reading “IBM’s Lithium-Ion Battery Uses Seawater Materials Instead Of Heavy Metals, Charges In Just 5 Minutes” »

Jan 3, 2020

Switching tracks: Reversing electrons’ course through nature’s solar cells

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Might interest some.


Think of a train coming down the tracks to a switch point where it could go either to the right or the left—and it always goes to the right.

Photosynthetic organisms have a similar switch point. After sunlight is absorbed, energy transfers rapidly to a protein called the reaction center. From this point, the electrons could move either to an A-branch (or “right-track”) set of molecules, or to a B-branch (“left-track”) set of identical molecules.

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Dec 31, 2019

AI enables design of spray-on coating that can generate solar energy

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

A new system enables optimization of perovskite materials for the production of technology that could make solar energy ubiquitous.

Dec 26, 2019

Russia to track EARTH-THREATENING asteroids from robot-inhabited nuclear-powered polar Moon base

Posted by in categories: government, nuclear energy, robotics/AI, solar power, space, sustainability

Moon’s southern pole will be a good spot for an observatory that together with space-based telescopes help find dangerous asteroids. Russia plans to build one as part of an ambitious lunar base project.

Conquering the moon is on the Russian space agency’s to-do list for the not-so-distant future. Roscosmos is currently working on a comprehensive plan that the Russian government wants to see before allocating any money for it. Part of a permanent Russian base envisioned on the Moon will be given to an observatory that will serve as part of a “global system for tracking asteroid and comet threats,” a senior Roscosmos official said in a recent interview.

“The location selected for the base is southern pole of the moon. It has favorable relief and conditions: enough light for solar panels, constantly shadowed craters with ice reserves for fuel and raw material,” Aleksandr Bloshenko explained.

Dec 26, 2019

Study reveals the Great Pyramid of Giza can focus electromagnetic energy

Posted by in categories: existential risks, nanotechnology, physics, solar power, sustainability

An international research group has applied methods of theoretical physics to investigate the electromagnetic response of the Great Pyramid to radio waves. Scientists predicted that under resonance conditions, the pyramid can concentrate electromagnetic energy in its internal chambers and under the base. The research group plans to use these theoretical results to design nanoparticles capable of reproducing similar effects in the optical range. Such nanoparticles may be used, for example, to develop sensors and highly efficient solar cells. The study was published in the Journal of Applied Physics.

While Egyptian are surrounded by many myths and legends, researchers have little scientifically reliable information about their physical properties. Physicists recently took an interest in how the Great Pyramid would interact with electromagnetic waves of a resonant length. Calculations showed that in the resonant state, the pyramid can concentrate in the its internal chambers as well as under its base, where the third unfinished chamber is located.

These conclusions were derived on the basis of numerical modeling and analytical methods of physics. The researchers first estimated that resonances in the pyramid can be induced by radio waves with a length ranging from 200 to 600 meters. Then they made a model of the electromagnetic response of the pyramid and calculated the extinction cross section. This value helps to estimate which part of the incident wave energy can be scattered or absorbed by the pyramid under resonant conditions. Finally, for the same conditions, the scientists obtained the electromagnetic field distribution inside the pyramid.

Dec 25, 2019

Scientists create thin films with tantalizing electronic properties

Posted by in categories: computing, solar power, sustainability

Scientists have created thin films made from barium zirconium sulfide (BaZrS3) and confirmed that the materials have alluring electronic and optical properties predicted by theorists.

The films combine exceptionally strong light absorption with good charge transport—two qualities that make them ideal for applications such as photovoltaics and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

In , for example, experimental results suggest that BaZrS3 films would be much more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity than traditional silicon-based materials with identical thicknesses, says lead researcher Hao Zeng, Ph.D., professor of physics in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences. This could lower solar energy costs, especially because the new films performed admirably even when they had imperfections. (Manufacturing nearly flawless materials is typically more expensive, Zeng explains.)

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