Nanoshell whispering galleries improve thin solar panels | School of Engineering Engineers at Stanford have created photovoltaic nanoshells that harness a peculiar physical phenomenon to better trap light in the solar materials. The results could dramatically improve their efficiency. Visitors to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building may have experienced a curious acoustic feature that allows a person to whisper softly at one side of the cavernous, half-domed room and for another on the other side to hear every syllable. Sound is whisked around the semi-circular perimeter of the room almost without flaw. In a paper published in Nature Communications, a team of engineers at Stanford describes how it has created tiny hollow spheres of photovoltaic nanocrystalline-silicon and harnessed physics to do for light what circular rooms do for sound. "Nanocrystalline-silicon is a great photovoltaic material. The downfall of nanocrystalline-silicon, however, has been its relative poor absorption of light, which requires thick layering that takes a long time to manufacture.
V3Solar Spin Cell -- Super Cheap Solar! Clean Power Published on January 24th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan Quite frankly, if the company’s numbers are correct, this could be some big solar news. (CleanTechnica got the inside scoop due to our sincere “passion” for helping the world, and probably also our status as the top cleantech or clean energy site in the world.) The key will be whether or not the technology performs as expected once a production prototype is created, and (even more so) if it eventually gets to mass production. As a quick refresher, we’ve covered V3Solar before, back when the name was Solarphasec. But a simple intro of the tech isn’t the big story of the day (that’s old news) — the story of the day is the very low cost of the tech the company is reporting, and that’s what could change the world; that’s what could stimulate a more transformative distributed energy revolution than anything we’ve seen to date. In case you aren’t aware, the average cost of electricity in the US is about 12 cents per kWh.
What can you do with an old pallet? So many things! If you ever come across the opportunity to pick up a few pallets take a look at some of the ideas I have come across for recycling old pallets into furniture and other practical and decorative pieces. I would like to mention that the designs below were found at various sources on the Internet. Where possible I have mentioned the original source, but unfortunately too many do not. If you are the original designer for any of the furniture below, please let me know so that I can add your details. Make furniture for your home ABOVE: Mobius Living take pallets to a new level, offering clients the opportunity to buy ready-made coffee tables. ABOVE and BELOW: Who would have thought that a humble pallet could be transformed into so many practical pieces. ABOVE: All it takes is a few reclaimed timber pallets to make up your own living room furniture In the kitchen ABOVE and BELOW: Don't stop there... In the bedroom In the garden Pallets for pets Find and prepare your pallet
Build It Solar New Bladeless Wind Turbine Claimed to be Twice as Efficient as Conventional Designs © Saphon When it comes to the future of wind power, one company thinks it looks a lot different than you would expect, and cheaper and more efficient to boot. Saphon, out of Tunisia, is interested in finding partners to mass-produce and market their unique wind energy device, based on their own Zero Blade technology. "The Zero-Blade Technology is largely inspired from the sailboat and is likely to increase the efficiency of the current wind power conversion devices. The blades are replaced by a sail shaped body while both hub and gearbox are removed." SLIDESHOW Wind Energy Today: A Look at Wind Energy Projects Around The World According to the company, their zero-blade technology devices are capable of overcoming the Betz' limit, which states that no turbine can capture more than 59.3 percent of the kinetic energy of the wind. PHOTO: Impressive Beast! The Saphon Zero Blade technology is different in other ways as well, most significantly being storage of energy.
Princeton’s nanomesh nearly triples solar cell efficiency There is huge potential in solar power. The sun is a giant ball of burning hydrogen in the sky, and it’s going to be sticking around for at least a few more billion years. For all intents and purposes, it’s a free source of energy. Sadly, humanity hasn’t been very good at harnessing its power directly. Our current methods of capturing the sun’s energy are very inefficient. For example, modern silicon and indium-tin-oxide-based solar cells are approaching the theoretical limit of 33.7% efficiency. Led by Stephen Chou, the team has made two dramatic improvements: reducing reflectivity, and more effectively capturing the light that isn’t reflected. PlaCSH is also capable of capturing a large amount of sunlight even when the sunlight is dispersed on cloudy days, which results in an amazing 81% increase in efficiency under indirect lighting conditions when compared to conventional organic solar cell technology. The gold mesh that sits on top is incredibly small.
The 16 Best Healthy, Edible Plants to Grow Indoors From farmers’ markets and Community Supported Agriculture, to urban farms and rooftop gardens, to produce delivery services, more and more people across the U.S. are embracing farm-fresh food. And for good reason: Locally grown produce tends to be better for the environment and for local communities than its store-bought counterparts. Growing food at home also ensures that growers know exactly where their food comes from and how it was grown (no need to worry about deceptive food labeling). If you’re not whipping out the pruning shears yet, consider this: Learning new skills is good for our brains. Luckily, you don’t need to be a farmer (or even live near a farm) in order to reap the benefits of home-grown produce. General Growing Tips Before you get started, here are a few tips that will be handy to keep in mind no matter which of the plants from this list you choose to grow. Fruits and Veggies Photo: Alpha 1. 2. 3. 4. How to Harvest: Most lemons will ripen in six to nine months. 5. 6. 7.