Record efficiency of 18.7 percent for flexible CIGS solar cells on plastics Public release date: 19-May-2011 [ Print | E-mail Share ] [ Close Window ] Contact: Professor Dr. Ayodhya N. It's all about the money. One major advantage of flexible high-performance CIGS solar cells is the potential to lower manufacturing costs through roll-to-roll processing while at the same time offering a much higher efficiency than the ones currently on the market. At the forefront of efficiency improvements In recent years, thin film photovoltaic technology based on glass substrates has gained sufficient maturity towards industrial production; flexible CIGS technology is, however, still an emerging field. Record efficiencies of up to 17.5% on steel foils covered with impurity diffusion barriers were so far achieved with CIGS growth processes at temperatures exceeding 550°C. Scaling up production of flexible CIGS solar cells The continuous improvement in energy conversion efficiencies of flexible CIGS solar cells is no small feat, says Empa Director Gian-Luca Bona. [ Print | E-mail
7 Ways to Get Rid of the Bed For LifeEdited, Graham describes his sleeping requirements: The apartment should have at least a queen size bed, ideally raised off the floor. Or should the bed just go away? Like this article? "Our beds are empty two-thirds of the time.Our living rooms are empty seven-eighths of the time.Our office buildings are empty one-half of the time.It's time we gave this some thought." While Bucky notes that beds are used for a third of the time, we are asleep for much of that. One thing that designers never talk about when they put in alcove or bunk beds is that they are hard to make; there is nothing easier than walking around a conventional bed at conventional height. Another Italian version of a loft bed that probably costs as much as buying a bedroom, but will help you make the most of small spaces, is the spectacular Tumidei line, which is full of interesting ideas. But perhaps the best solutions are those which are adapted to the particular situations and needs. Like this article?
Margination: An attempt to create a different sort of local economy By Lauren Hittinger In North Troy there's a group of nine individuals trying to promote economic development and social change with very different approach. This collective, working under the name Margination, is an ongoing experiment in collaboration and interdependency -- sharing financial resources, expenses, even housing. Their goal is to use the skills of group members to provide secure work and secure housing to demonstrate that anyone with determination can flourish inside of a local economy. The members of Margination are a diverse group, from different backgrounds and professions, having previously worked in fields such as education, tax prep, and housing. "We didn't want to be professionals driving into these communities and then leaving," says Jesse Marshall, Margination member. The Margination shared house. The original seven members knew they wanted to try a new type of community project, but they didn't have a geographic location in mind. "We're a pioneer group.
Cheap, Clean Water Photo: WaterconePassive Solar One Step Water Condensation FTW!We wrote about the Watercone back in 2004, but considering how much TreeHugger's audience has grown since then, it's likely that only a handful of you were reading the site back then. I think it's time to have a second look at this very clever device that has the potential to help provide clean drinking water for millions of people who are lacking access to clean water (or if they do, maybe the access is intermittent and they could use a plan B). This could save many lives for sure. Read on for more details and a demonstration video. Photo: WaterconeStep #1: Pour salty / brackish Water into pan. Photo: WaterconeStep #2: The evaporated Water condensates in the form of droplets on the inner wall of the cone. Photo: WaterconeStep #3: By unscrewing the cap at the tip of the cone and turning the cone upside down, one can empty the potable Water gathered in the trough directly into a drinking device.
How to Build a DIY Portable Solar Charging System! 5 years ago, it was a lot harder to build your own solar-charging systems but now there are so much more resources plus price of solar systems have dropped quite a bit. If you own a home and you have some space in your backyard (or roof) for solar panels, there’s absolutely no reason why you aren’t powering some of your home electronics via the power of the sun (unless you live in Alaska and it’s no-sun season). Here’s a great example of a DIY portable solar charging system built completely from scratch with most parts bought on eBay, a portable solar charging system with wheels and you can plug-in anything. You’ve probably found this Instructable to gather ideas about making a portable solar power supply yourself. I’ve always been interested in electronics with this project being my latest idea to come wandering out of my head, why not make a portable box on wheels, that I can plug basically anything into, thats powered by the sun?
Combo Couch: All-in-One Lounger, Love Seat + Sofa Bed = « Dornob Sofa beds sneak two functions into one piece of furniture, but these designs go beyond the binary ‘convertible couch’ typology to be completely modular, comfortable for sitting up, laying back or lying down in any number of custom configurations. This seating set from Zuiver builds on the classic fold-out footrest and flip-up backrest concepts of an easy chair, but take such loungers to new levels by expanding the entire idea horizontally into a multi-person love seat, then stretch it further to a full-length sleep-friendly sofa. Each modular segment can be flipped in, out, up or down as desired by the people using each part of the seating space – a pair of chairs can be formed within the larger whole of the couch, or the entire system can open and accommodate a couple comfortably. Smaller versions are also interesting craft experiments, but the purpose seems less clear in a simple lounge chair variant.
Video production company run out of modern green garden shed in London The shedworking movement has never really caught on in North America like it has in the UK, and perhaps the reasons can be most clearly seen in this interesting shed shown recently on Alex Johnson's site Shedworking., built by Green Studios in South London. It clearly demonstrates how different things are. Baldwin House from video/Screen capture The story really starts on the street. In South London, the terrace houses may be hot properties now, but they are often really small, with only two bedrooms and probably not much of a cellar or basement. Baldwin rear yard from video/Screen capture Yet behind these tiny houses, you often find long deep backyards; that's where the outhouse used to be, at the bottom of the yard. Not only that, it needed planning permission and actually got it; I suspect that if somebody tried to get permission to run a whole video production company out of a backyard shed, the NIMBYs would be on his case in seconds. © Green Studios
Surface Area and Wind Power Click for bigger version. Credit: Land Art Generator Initiative. Putting Things in Perspective The picture above has been making the rounds of the internet lately (sadly it hasn't always been attributed to the Land Art Generator Initiative). It's a bit similar to things we posted aboutin the past and represents the total surface area that would be required to power the whole world in 2030 using nothing but solar or wind power (see below for wind power pic). All the assumptions used to create the solar power pic above (you can click on it to see a bigger version) can be found here, but here are the main ones: They did the same thing with wind power (again, you can click on the pic above to see a bigger version): A 5 MW turbine can be expected to produce 17 GWh per year (they are 40% effective from their peak rated capacity - 5 MW x 365 x 24 = 43.8 GWh). Of course, nobody's suggesting creating a kind of "clean energy monoculture".
Solar power without solar cells: A hidden magnetic effect of light could make it possible (PhysOrg.com) -- A dramatic and surprising magnetic effect of light discovered by University of Michigan researchers could lead to solar power without traditional semiconductor-based solar cells. The researchers found a way to make an “optical battery,” said Stephen Rand, a professor in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Physics and Applied Physics. In the process, they overturned a century-old tenet of physics. “You could stare at the equations of motion all day and you will not see this possibility. We’ve all been taught that this doesn’t happen,” said Rand, an author of a paper on the work published in the Journal of Applied Physics. Light has electric and magnetic components. “This could lead to a new kind of solar cell without semiconductors and without absorption to produce charge separation,” Rand said. What makes this possible is a previously undetected brand of “optical rectification,” says William Fisher, a doctoral student in applied physics.
Patchwork Orange: Art of Fixing Buildings with LEGO Blocks « Dornob A missing brick here and chipped stone there show the normal marks of wear and tear on the structures and streets of a city, but filling them in with multi-colored LEGO bricks makes them stand out in sharp relief with their surroundings – especially in a place like Berlin. Titled ‘Dispatchwork’ (a linguistic play on ‘dispatching’ and ‘patching’ the holes), this is part urban art installation, part historical highlighting (since many of the gaps date back to World War II) and part method of calling attention to buildings that could use some help. Jan Vormann has been toying with LEGO pieces for a long time in various artistic capacities – as well as infilling structural holes with mirrors and other attention-getting materials. It may look haphazard at first, but there is an art to the process: identifying gaps is naturally subjective, and filling them in is both a creative and crafty act that can involve turning corners and working with existing structural details.
Skinny micro-housing designs lets you live between buildings With more and more people choosing to live in cities, there is less and less affordable housing available, meaning that some municipalities are trying out things like micro-housing or relaxed zoning laws to meet up with the demand. Of course, not all of these micro-developments have to sit on vacant land; Danish designers Mateusz Mastalski and Ole Robin Storjohann have created a series of clever urban infill concepts that could occupy the residual spaces between buildings, yet remain lit with natural daylighting and looking surprisingly spacious. © Mateusz Mastalski and Ole Robin Storjohann Titled "Live Between Buildings," the project proposes several designs sited in various cities like New York, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Helsinki and London. © Mateusz Mastalski and Ole Robin Storjohann The project recently won an award in New Vision of the Loft 2 competition, which was organized by roof window maker Fakro and A10 Magazine. The LIVE BETWEEN BUILDINGS project is a new way of living in the city.
Magenn Power Inc.