Rawlemon's Spherical Solar Energy-Generating Globes Can Even Harvest Energy from Moonlight The solar energy designers at Rawlemon have created a spherical, sun-tracking glass globe that is able to concentrate sunlight (and moonlight) up to 10,000 times. The company claims that its ß.torics system is 35% more efficient than traditional dual-axis photovoltaic designs, and the fully rotational, weatherproof sphere is even capable of harvesting electricity from moonlight. The ß.torics system was invented by Barcelona-based German Architect André Broessel. He sought to create a solar system that could be embedded in the walls of buildings so that they may act as both windows and energy generators. But the project isn’t only noteworthy for its solar efficiency capabilities - the ß.torics system is designed to generate lunar energy too! The spheres are able to concentrate diffused moonlight into a steady source of energy. + Rawlemon Via Designboom
Japanese breakthrough will make wind power cheaper than nuclear NOTE: Some major wind projects like the proposed TWE Carbon Valley project in Wyoming are already pricing in significantly lower than coal power -- $80 per MWh for wind versus $90 per MWh for coal -- and that is without government subsidies using today's wind turbine technology. The International Clean Energy Analysis (ICEA) gateway estimates that the U.S. possesses 2.2 million km2 of high wind potential (Class 3-7 winds) — about 850,000 square miles of land that could yield high levels of wind energy. This makes the U.S. something of a Saudi Arabia for wind energy, ranked third in the world for total wind energy potential. The United States uses about 26.6 billion MWh's, so at the above rate we could satisfy a full one-third of our total annual energy needs. Now what if a breakthrough came along that potentially tripled the energy output of those turbines? Well, such a breakthrough has been made, and it's called the "wind lens." Editor's note: Want more info?
Lake Vostok Lake Vostok Lake Vostok is huge lake beneath the Antacrtic ice, sealed off from the rest of the world for so long that it may contain unique evolved lifeforms. Shown below :Microbes in ice above Lake Vostok click for larger image Lake Vostok is a large (10,000km2), presumably fresh water body located beneath four km of ice at 77oS105oE in East Antarctica. Image: ABC News: ) (For an impressive slide show on Lake Vostok, visit ) For a longer introduction to Lake Vostok and the issues, read this ASOC paper on options for Lake Vostok. So what's the problem? For instance, NASA, the US Space Agency, has expressed interest in penetrating Lake Vostok to search for microbes that might be similar to ones on other planets. Can we penetrate Lake Vostok without disturbing the water? Can this be done safely, without endangering the Environment? Options for Lake Vostok
Researchers Discover That Fuel Can Be Made From Sunlight Scientists have developed a reactor that mimics plants by turning sunlight into fuel. This is another discovery that could be implemented on a mass scale simply by using the sun. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have built a reactor with a quartz window that absorbs sunlight and acts as a concentration device to direct sunlight to a desired location. Specifically, the inhaled oxygen is stripped off of carbon dioxide (CO2) and/or water (H2O) gas molecules that are pumped into the reactor, producing carbon monoxide (CO) and/or hydrogen gas (H2). Three years after the discovery of converting sunlight into fuel, we still have yet to see any progress in the global energy industry with regards to new, clean energy technologies. It’s 2013, and enough evidence has presented itself to the masses that shows how the energy industry spends an enormous amount of resources to cover up, conceal and divert attention from new energy technologies. Sources:
Researchers Create Highly Transparent Solar Cells for Windows that Generate Electricity — UCLA Engineering By Jennifer Marcus | July 20, 2012 Transparent Solar Cells UCLA researchers have developed a new transparent solar cell that is an advance toward giving windows in homes and other buildings the ability to generate electricity while still allowing people to see outside. The UCLA team describes a new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC) that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light, not visible light, making the cells nearly 70% transparent to the human eye. "These results open the potential for visibly transparent polymer solar cells as add-on components of portable electronics, smart windows and building-integrated photovoltaics and in other applications," said study leader Yang Yang, a UCLA professor of materials science and engineering, who also is director of the Nano Renewable Energy Center at California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) and holder of the Carol and Lawrence E. Yang added that there has been intense world-wide interest in so-called polymer solar cells.
Lunar Cubit Making (Unlimited) Hydrogen From Salt Water And Wastewater Hydrogen has potential as a clean-burning fuel. It leaves behind only water as it burns. But as a scalable alternative to fossil fuels, it's yet to make good: most methods of making large amounts of hyrdrogen require energy (often from fossil fuels) to power its production, which sort of defeats the purpose. But a new energy-efficient way to make hydrogen using wastewater and sea water could turn a energy-intensive water treatment plant into a source of hydrogen. Bruce Logan, professor of environmental engineering at Penn State University, has been working on bacteria that can serve as a cog in a fuel cell. In the right combination, they chew through the organic materials in wastewater and release electrons that can be harvested as electricity--or turned into hydrogen. This early technology has been bubbling slowly in Logan's lab for a while now, as his team has determined just the right combination of bacteria that create the desired effect.
Fuel from Atmospheric CO2 (Phys.org) —Excess carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere created by the widespread burning of fossil fuels is the major driving force of global climate change, and researchers the world over are looking for new ways to generate power that leaves a smaller carbon footprint. Now, researchers at the University of Georgia have found a way to transform the carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere into useful industrial products. Their discovery may soon lead to the creation of biofuels made directly from the carbon dioxide in the air that is responsible for trapping the sun's rays and raising global temperatures. During the process of photosynthesis, plants use sunlight to transform water and carbon dioxide into sugars that the plants use for energy, much like humans burn calories from food. These sugars can be fermented into fuels like ethanol, but it has proven extraordinarily difficult to efficiently extract the sugars, which are locked away inside the plant's complex cell walls.
Motorized rickshaw shows off the power of Denver Zoo poo By Kristen Leigh PainterThe Denver Post Posted: 03/22/2012 01:00:00 AM MDT|Updated: 2 years ago Mike Dunbar works on the tuk tuk while George Pond, left, watches. The Denver Zoo today will fire up a poo-powered tuk tuk as proof that human trash and animal feces can be converted to energy. The three-wheeled motorized rickshaw — believed to be the first hybrid-electric gasified tuk tuk — is designed to showcase the innovative energy system that will fuel the Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit, which opens June 1. "(The tuk tuk) can be a place for us to interact with guests about this great technology," said the zoo's sustainability manager, Jennifer Hale. Before the grand opening of the massive new exhibit, the rehabbed vehicle will go on the road, visiting other zoos in Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico before making an appearance at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' midyear meeting in Palm Desert, Calif. The full-fledged system should be complete in the fall.
NIF experiments show initial gain in fusion fuel LIVERMORE, Calif. - Ignition -- the process of releasing fusion energy equal to or greater than the amount of energy used to confine the fuel -- has long been considered the "holy grail" of inertial confinement fusion science. A key step along the path to ignition is to have "fuel gains" greater than unity, where the energy generated through fusion reactions exceeds the amount of energy deposited into the fusion fuel. Though ignition remains the ultimate goal, the milestone of achieving fuel gains greater than 1 has been reached for the first time ever on any facility. In a paper published in the Feb. 12 online issue of the journal Nature, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) detail a series of experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF), which show an order of magnitude improvement in yield performance over past experiments.
Zinc Oxide H2O - H2 + O Cattalist - Wiki Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound with the formula ZnO. ZnO is a white powder that is insoluble in water, and it is widely used as an additive in numerous materials and products including rubbers, plastics, ceramics, glass, cement, lubricants, paints, ointments, adhesives, sealants, pigments, foods (source of Zn nutrient), batteries, ferrites, fire retardants, and first-aid tapes. It occurs naturally as the mineral zincite, but most zinc oxide is produced synthetically. Chemical properties ZnO occurs as a white powder. Crystalline zinc oxide is thermochromic, changing from white to yellow when heated and in air reverting to white on cooling. This color change is caused by a small loss of oxygen to the environment at high temperatures to form the non-stoichiometric Zn1+xO, where at 800 °C, x = 0.00007. Zinc oxide is an amphoteric oxide. ZnO + 2 HCl → ZnCl2 + H2O Bases also degrade the solid to give soluble zincates: ZnO + 2 NaOH + H2O → Na2[Zn(OH)4] Hopeite Structure
Ambient Electromagnetic Energy (Before It's News) Georgia Tech graduate student Rushi Vyas (front) holds a prototype energy-scavenging device, while School of Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Manos Tentzeris displays a miniaturized flexible antenna that was inkjet-printed on paper and could be used for broadband energy scavenging. Credit: Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek Researchers have discovered a way to capture and harness energy transmitted by such sources as radio and television transmitters, cell phone networks and satellite communications systems. By scavenging this ambient energy from the air around us, the technique could provide a new way to power networks of wireless sensors, microprocessors and communications chips. "There is a large amount of electromagnetic energy all around us, but nobody has been able to tap into it," said Manos Tentzeris, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering who is leading the research. Credit: Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek Source:
Solar Comes of Age The solar industry is entering a dynamic period as costs decline, demand for electricity continues to grow, and competition heats up. The result has been a rise in M&A and vertical integration as solar energy providers seek to carve out a leading role in the market and ensure their access to customers. Some high-profile bankruptcies have captured headlines in recent months, perhaps the most infamous being government-subsidized Solyndra. But as Carrie Cullen Hitt, vice president of state affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association — the national trade association of the U.S. solar industry — notes, failure is part of any industry’s natural evolution, and solar is no exception. Roadblocks remain: The U.S. energy industry still operates within a century-old framework of laws, regulations, and infrastructure, and low natural gas prices are diverting attention, and investment, from renewables. S+B: What is the current overall state of the solar industry?