Tag Archives | Alternative Energy

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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Orlando Uses Sewage To Produce Electricity

Photo:  wfmillar (CC)

Photo: wfmillar (CC)

Can poop be turned into power? The city of Orlando has been working with private-industry partners on turning sewage into electricity in an attempt to answer the age-old question: ‘What if you could take sewage and get rid of it cleanly and quickly, without dumping it in rivers or landfills — and generate pollution-free electricity at the same time?’ Orlando Sentinel reports:

Orlando officials think they’ve perfected a technology that has flummoxed scientists for decades — one they hope will be used worldwide to turn sewage into electricity and earn the city tens of millions of dollars in royalties.

If city officials and their private-industry partners are right, it could be the biggest thing in sewage treatment since the flush toilet.

“We call it poop to power in five minutes,” said project consultant Roy Pelletier.

While the five-year, $8.5 million project has drawn little attention locally, a small, experimental test plant off busy Alafaya Trail near the University of Central Florida has drawn visitors from Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, Abu Dhabi, Canada, Europe and elsewhere in recent weeks.

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Low Energy Nuclear Reactions: 2.5 Million Watt-Hours From A Nickel?

Thomas Blakeslee writing at renewableenergyworld.com:

All existing nuclear plants, and the planned $13 billion ITER hot fusion project, are based on the “atoms for peace” idea of adapting military bomb technology to civilian use. The tens of billions in research dollars that have been spent have clouded the judgment of leaders in the nuclear science community causing irrational denial of the work being done at low energy levels.

The ITER platform in Cadarache, where construction began in 2010 on buildings and facilities. Photo: Altivue.

The ITER platform in Cadarache, where construction began in 2010 on buildings and facilities. Photo: Altivue.

The disasters in Japan prove that these grandiose attempts to generate power from bomb technology are misguided.

The scientists that perform peer reviews and make up government advisory panels are all recipients of government largess. As a result, promising low energy nuclear work has been driven underground and forced to create its own journals and finance its own research.

Now, from Italy, comes the stunning news that Low Energy Nuclear Reactors (LENR) are, suddenly, a practical reality consistently generating significant power.

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China Leads The World In Clean Energy

Solar collectors on apartment rooftops in Xian Chian. Photo: Richard Chambers (CC)

Photo: Richard Chambers (CC)

One of the most polluted countries has become number one in clean energy. The US ranks number three. The Guardian reports:

China has overtaken the US for the first time in a league table of investments in low-carbon energy among the G-20, according to a new report by not for profit group the Pew Charitable Trusts published this week.

The report found that despite an overall 6.6 per cent global decline in clean energy investments last year, China invested almost twice as much as the United States in clean energy during 2009.

But the US still leads in energy capacity. It’s interesting for the UK too:

• third in overall clean energy investments
• fourth in five-year clean energy investment growth rate
• fifth in the percentage of total power it receives from clean energy sources ahead of France, China and the US

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