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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category

Jul 3, 2020

Surrounded by trees and with 1,200 solar panels, this Norwegian building could change how we think about factories

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The buildings that produce the goods we use every single day are changing.

Jul 2, 2020

How Transparent Graphene Electrodes Could Aid Solar Cell Generation

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

A new technique of manufacturing graphene could revolutionize solar power by enabling the creation of ultra-lightweight, flexible solar panels.

A novel technique developed by researchers at the Michigan Institute of Technology (MIT) that allows for the creation of large sheets of graphene — a layer of single carbon atoms extracted from graphite — could have a significant impact on the development of future electronic devices.

In particular, the development could give a significant boost to the field of solar power where graphene is used as a replacement for indium tin oxide (ITO) in the creation of electrodes. The resultant transparent and light electrodes can bend up to 78 ⁰ — much more flexible than traditional ITO electrodes.

Jul 2, 2020

Crystal structure discovered almost 200 years ago could hold key to solar cell revolution

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Solar energy researchers at Oregon State University are shining their scientific spotlight on materials with a crystal structure discovered nearly two centuries ago.

Not all materials with the structure, known as perovskites, are semiconductors. But perovskites based on a metal and a halogen are, and they hold tremendous potential as that could be much less expensive to make than the silicon-based that have owned the market since its inception in the 1950s.

Enough potential, researchers say, to perhaps someday carve significantly into fossil fuels’ share of the energy sector.

Jun 30, 2020

Illinois Community Solar Lands Northwestern University As New Customer

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Clean Tech News & Views: Solar Energy News. Wind Energy News. EV News. & More.

Jun 29, 2020

Awesome Idea: Turn Rikers Island Into A Solar Farm

Posted by in categories: law enforcement, solar power, sustainability

Kate Aronoff wrote about a great idea recently: turn Rikers Island into a solar farm. Transforming a prison that was built on heaps of trash into a solar farm does have many benefits.

Her article dives into the past as well as the present of Rikers Island and she points out that both share the story of the United States itself. The island’s ownership has roots traced to slaveowners since the 1660s and played a huge role in the kidnapping ring that sold black people in the North back to slavery in the South under the Fugitive Slave Act. The island was sold in 1884 and it became a penal colony. The island was redesigned into a massive jail complex.

Today, 80% of the island’s landmass is landfill. Aronoff, with her words, painted a picture of an island that is filled with decomposing garbage and prisoners — with 90% of them being people of color. “Heat in the summer can be unbearable, which has lent to its ominous nickname: The Oven,” she wrote. She referenced another account from Raven Rakia who spoke about the island’s “environmental justice horror show.” Rakia noted that 6 of the island’s 10 facilities don’t have any air conditioning.

Jun 27, 2020

NASA Funds Harvard Hunt for Alien “Technological Civilizations”

Posted by in categories: alien life, satellites, solar power, sustainability

A team of astronomers from Harvard and other institutions are collaborating on a new project to scan the skies for technological signatures from alien civilizations.

It’s a noteworthy new project, as it’s the first to receive a NASA grant for SETI-specific research in more than 30 years, according to a statement.

“Technosignatures relate to signatures of advanced alien technologies similar to, or perhaps more sophisticated than, what we possess,” said Avi Loeb, the chair of the Harvard astronomy department Harvard, in a statement. “Such signatures might include industrial pollution of atmospheres, city lights, photovoltaic cells (solar panels), megastructures, or swarms of satellites.”

Jun 19, 2020

This $90,000 egg-shaped tiny home is powered by wind and solar energy and collects and filters its own water supply — see inside

Posted by in categories: food, solar power, sustainability

The Ecocapsule tiny home can accommodate up to two people with its kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and dining room.

Jun 16, 2020

“Hovering” boats could solve one of the biggest problems for electric aircraft

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

This mouth-full of a boat uses simple physics to create a cushion of air that allows it to effortlessly fly along the tops of ocean waves with near inexhaustible solar energy. The researchers say that this sleek, solar vessel could act as a mobile charging station for drones in the deep ocean or could conduct oceanic search and rescue missions.


Researchers in Russia have designed a solar-powered, and AI piloted, boat that can walk on water and serve as a mid-ocean fuel-up station for drones.

Jun 14, 2020

Icarus, Much? This Aircraft Aims to Fly to Space Using Only Energy From the Sun

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

The SolarStratos will gain its power from 240 square feet of solar panels on its wings.

Jun 10, 2020

Renewable fuel from carbon dioxide with the aid of graphene and solar energy

Posted by in categories: chemistry, solar power, sustainability

Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, are attempting to convert carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, to fuel using energy from sunlight. Recent results have shown that it is possible to use their technique to selectively produce methane, carbon monoxide or formic acid from carbon dioxide and water.

The study has been published in ACS Nano (“Atomic-Scale Tuning of Graphene/Cubic SiC Schottky Junction for Stable Low-Bias Photoelectrochemical Solar-to-Fuel Conversion”).

Plants convert carbon dioxide and water to oxygen and high-energy sugars, which they use as “fuel” to grow. They obtain their energy from sunlight. Jianwu Sun and his colleagues at Linköping University are attempting to imitate this reaction, known as photosynthesis, used by plants to capture carbon dioxide from air and convert it to chemical fuels, such as methane, ethanol and methanol. The method is currently at a research stage, and the long-term objective of the scientists is to convert solar energy to fuel efficiently.

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