Tag Archives | Alternative Energy

Trees Used to Create Recyclable, Efficient Solar Cell

Via ScienceDaily:

Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University researchers have developed efficient solar cells using natural substrates derived from plants such as trees. Just as importantly, by fabricating them on cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) substrates, the solar cells can be quickly recycled in water at the end of their lifecycle.The technology is published in the journal Scientific Reports, the latest open-access journal from the Nature Publishing Group.

The researchers report that the organic solar cells reach a power conversion efficiency of 2.7 percent, an unprecedented figure for cells on substrates derived from renewable raw materials. The CNC substrates on which the solar cells are fabricated are optically transparent, enabling light to pass through them before being absorbed by a very thin layer of an organic semiconductor. During the recycling process, the solar cells are simply immersed in water at room temperature. Within only minutes, the CNC substrate dissolves and the solar cell can be separated easily into its major components.

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Wind and Solar Power Paired With Storage Could Power the Grid 99.9 Percent of the Time

And it wouldn’t cost more money than our current system.  Via ScienceDaily:

Renewable energy could fully power a large electric grid 99.9 percent of the time by 2030 at costs comparable to today’s electricity expenses, according to new research by the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College.

A well-designed combination of wind power, solar power and storage in batteries and fuel cells would nearly always exceed electricity demands while keeping costs low, the scientists found.

“These results break the conventional wisdom that renewable energy is too unreliable and expensive,” said co-author Willett Kempton, professor in the School of Marine Science and Policy in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. “The key is to get the right combination of electricity sources and storage — which we did by an exhaustive search — and to calculate costs correctly.”

The authors developed a computer model to consider 28 billion combinations of renewable energy sources and storage mechanisms, each tested over four years of historical hourly weather data and electricity demands.

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Low Cost, High Efficiency Solar Technology Developed

Picture: Anna Scafford (PD)

So much for the old “solar is too expensive” dodge.  Via ScienceDaily:

Researchers at RTI International have developed a new solar technology that could make solar energy more affordable, and thus speed-up its market adoption.

The RTI solar cells are formed from solutions of semiconductor particles, known as colloidal quantum dots, and can have a power conversion efficiency that is competitive to traditional cells at a fraction of the cost.

Solar energy has the potential to be a renewable, carbon-neutral source of electricity but the high cost of photovoltaics — the devices that convert sunlight into electricity — has slowed widespread adoption of this resource.

The RTI-developed solar cells were created using low-cost materials and processing techniques that reduce the primary costs of photovoltaic production, including materials, capital infrastructure and energy associated with manufacturing.

Preliminary analysis of the material costs of the technology show that it can be produced for less than $20 per square meter — as much as 75 percent less than traditional solar cells.

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Germany Sets New Solar Record By Meeting Nearly Half of Country’s Weekend Power Demand

Photo: Túrelio (CC)

Photo: Túrelio (CC)

This story from inhabitat has the sustainable energy movement incredibly excited, and rightly so methinks:

Germany fed a whopping 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour into the national grid last weekend, setting a new record by meeting nearly half of the country’s weekend power demand.

After the Fukushima disaster, Japan opted to shut down all of its nuclear power stations and Germany followed suit after considerable public pressure. This seems to have paved the way for greater investment in solar energy projects. The Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster announced that Saturday’s solar energy generation met nearly 50 percent of the nation’s midday electricity needs AND was equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity! …

By meeting a third of its electricity needs on a work day and nearly half on Saturday when factories and offices were closed, Germany’s solar power industry has broken all previous records.

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Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat Cold Fusion

Source: ecathome.com Sterling D. Allan reports on the Energy Catalyzer (also called E-Cat), a purported cold fusion or Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) heat source built by inventor Andrea Rossi. Temper your enthusiasm in the knowledge that his website, Pure Energy Systems News, has a business relationship with Mr. Rossi:
This past week saw at least 80 stories on the web, 4 from mainstream news, regarding Andrea Rossi's E-Cat powered by LENR or cold fusion. The hottest theme was Rossi's assertion that he is in discussion with Home Depot to distribute 1 million home heat units this Autumn for less than $2,000 USD. Reality will probably dictate a longer time-line. Once again we bring you a compilation of various news items about Andrea Rossi's E-Cat...
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Luxury-Sea Boat Allegedly Generates Electricity from Ocean Water

Fake? Hank Mills with Sterling D. Allan report for Pure Energy Systems News:
A company named Luxury-Sea is building a boat with a special device that is claimed to generate electricity from ocean water, to both produce hydrogen to fuel its engine as well as power its on-board electronics. A boat that requires no fossil fuel and that has an infinite range would be a true breakthrough. The French company Luxury-Sea claims to be building such a boat, named the MIG 675. Allegedly, it utilizes a patent pending technology that generates up to 50,000 volts of electricity from ocean water. The electricity generated is used both to power on board electronics, and to generate hydrogen to fuel a powerful 500 horse power engine... Of course the most amazing aspect of the boat is that it runs off salt water. No details are given about how it works, and no evidence is provided. Here is a video of the boat in action, but there is no way to determine if it is really powering itself using ocean water. The inventor of the technology, Angi Le Floch, is asserted to be self taught...
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British Inventor Claims Generator ‘Breaks The Laws Of Physics’

Via This Is Somerset:
A Wells inventor has put together a machine that he claims is the first step in creating free energy from perpetual motion. He says it produces more power than it consumes. But the patent office will not register the design — because if it works, it breaks the laws of physics. The machine, largely created out of leftover bicycle parts and a windscreen-washer motor uses high-powered magnets and a series of flywheels to apparently create energy from gravity.
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Solar Plant Pollutes River in China … Riots Ensue

Solar PanelWhat does sustainability truly mean in an industrial world? Villagers in Zhejiang Province are wondering the same thing since the production of solar cells and batteries at a factory in the area has effectively poisoned their river and their children … Via the BBC:

Hundreds of villagers in eastern China have held three days of protests at a solar panel plant over pollution fears. Around 500 people started gathering at Zhejiang Jinko Solar company in Haining city, Zhejiang province, on Thursday. Some of protesters stormed the factory, overturning several company cars and destroying offices, officials said. Residents in the nearby village of Hongxiao said they became concerned after the deaths of a large number of river fish.

One 64-year-old villager told the Associated Press that the factory — located close to a school and kindergarten – discharges waste into the river and spews dense smoke out of a dozen chimneys.

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