Tag Archives | Solar Energy

Solar Paint Your House With Nanoparticles

This paste of cadmium sulfide-coated titanium dioxide nanoparticles could turn large surfaces into solar cells. (Credit: ACS Nano)

This paste of cadmium sulfide-coated titanium dioxide nanoparticles could turn large surfaces into solar cells. (Credit: ACS Nano)

Via ScienceDaily:

Imagine if the next coat of paint you put on the outside of your home generates electricity from light — electricity that can be used to power the appliances and equipment on the inside. A team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame has made a major advance toward this vision by creating an inexpensive “solar paint” that uses semiconducting nanoparticles to produce energy.

“We want to do something transformative, to move beyond current silicon-based solar technology,” says Prashant Kamat, John A. Zahm Professor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry and an investigator in Notre Dame’s Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano), who leads the research.

“By incorporating power-producing nanoparticles, called quantum dots, into a spreadable compound, we’ve made a one-coat solar paint that can be applied to any conductive surface without special equipment.”…

Read more here.… Read the rest

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Robotic Clouds Could Help Cool 2022 Qatar World Cup (Animation)

Qatar 2022BBC Sport reports:
Scientists at Qatar University claim to have developed artificial clouds to provide shade for stadia and training grounds at the 2022 World Cup. The fierce summer heat in the Gulf has led to concerns about conditions for players and fans at the tournament. Temperatures in June and July can reach up to 50 C. Qatar were announced as hosts in December, and Fifa president Sepp Blatter initially said he expected the 2022 competition to be moved to winter. But Blatter has since stated that he feels the tournament will go ahead as planned in the summer months. Qatar plan to air condition their World Cup stadia via solar power, and now scientists have designed the 'clouds', which can be produced at a cost of $500,000 (about £310,000) each.
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Ray Kurzweil: No Energy Or Water Shortages, Climate Change Is No Problem

Ray Kurzweil. Photo by Michael Lutch. Courtesy of Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.

Ray Kurzweil. Photo by Michael Lutch. Courtesy of Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.

Lauren Feeney elicited some gems from futurist Ray Kurzweil in her interview for PBS. Among his predictions:

  • “In 20 years we’ll be meeting all of our energy needs with solar.”
  • Life extension technology is about to take off — meaning far greater life expectancy.
  • There will be no water shortage as we use the abundant electricity to convert polluted water.
  • We are going to have plenty of food from “vertical agriculture, where we grow plants, fruits, vegetables and meat in computerized factories by artificial intelligence; hydroponic plants tended by intelligent robots to create fruits and vegetables, in-vitro cloned meats, basically just cloning the part of the animal that you want to eat, which is the muscled tissue.”
  • We shouldn’t worry about climate change — the new technologies we’re developing will beat it.

Crazy stuff! I’m not sure I want to eat cloned portions of animals grown in a lab…

Read the whole interview at PBS.… Read the rest

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Teenager Builds His Own Homemade ‘Death-Ray’ (Video)

Solar Death RayWhat a great hobby for the budding comic book super-villain. Could Lex Luthor do this in his youth? Nice work. Via Eric Jacqmain's YouTube:
The R5800 is my latest and greatest solar creation. Made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish, it is covered in about 5800 3/8" (~1 cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 times normal daylight. This intensity of light is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5'9" and is 42" across.
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Jellyfish ‘Smoothie’ Could Have Solar Solutions

Barry Neild at CNN reports:

Putting thousands of jellyfish in a blender to make a smoothie sounds like the start of bad joke. In fact, it’s one way to source ingredients for a new generation of solar power solutions that could aid medical science and offer cheap energy.

Scientists say by liquidizing the humble Aequorea victoria — a glow-in-the-dark jellyfish commonly found off the western coast of North America — they can use the green fluorescent protein (GFP) it contains to create miniature fuel cells.

These, say their creators, could be used to power microscopic “nanodevices” that could operate independently inside the human body, helping reverse blindness or fight tumors.

Nanotechnology — the manipulation of matter at an atomic scale (one nanometer is equivalent to one billionth of a meter) — is seen by many as the future of medicine, but the science of powering nano-machinery is still in its infancy.

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SolarImpulse Lands First 24-Hour Solar Powered Flight

SolarImpulse, the solar-powered plane

SolarImpulse, the solar-powered plane

Could solar powered flying be a new way to diminish the use of fossil fuels? With the success of the first 24-hour flight powered solely by the sun, the planet may be ginning. Eliane Engeler (AP writer) gives the story:

An experimental solar-powered plane completed its first 24-hour test flight successfully Thursday, proving that the aircraft can collect enough energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft all night.

The test brings the Swiss-led project one step closer to its goal of circling the globe using only energy from the sun.

Pilot Andre Borschberg eased the Solar Impulse out of the clear blue morning sky onto the runway at Payerne airfield about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of the Swiss capital Bern at exactly 9 a.m. (0700 GMT; 3 a.m. EDT).

Helpers rushed to stabilize the pioneering plane as it touched down, ensuring that its massive 207-foot (63-meter) wingspan didn’t scrape the ground and topple the craft.

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Space Solar Energy: Truly Beyond Petroleum

BP-solarA few days ago I posted a press release from Howard Bloom trumpeting Space Solar Energy as “Unspillable” and endorsed by Buzz Aldrin. Here’s more from Howard and the Space Development Steering Committee:

On Tuesday June 15th President Barack Obama pointed to an energy future in which alternative sources, “ingenious” sources will replace the oil that is now spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.

China and Germany already dominate the traditional green energies. But there is one energy technology in which America leads the world–solar power from space.

Buzz Aldrin and 20 other experts in the space community have urged the president to put space solar power on his energy agenda.

As Mr. Obama points out, “Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil.” Solar power harvested in space can turn America into a net energy exporter.

Obama says, “Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash America’s innovation and seize control of our own destiny.”

“The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is too big and too difficult to meet.”

Solar power harvested in space is the one challenge that can do the most to radically change this nation’s destiny.

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