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Posted by starstuff on Monday September 22, 2014 11:32am,UTC (121 reads)

By Vivek Wadhwa September 19

The Washington Post


"...Futurist Ray Kurzweil notes that solar power has been doubling every two years for the past 30 years — as costs have been dropping. He says solar energy is only six doublings — or less than 14 years — away from meeting 100 percent of today’s energy needs. Energy usage will keep increasing, so this is a moving target. But, by Kurzweil’s estimates, inexpensive renewable sources will provide more energy than the world needs in less than 20 years. Even then, we will be using only one part in 10,000 of the sunlight that falls on the Earth.


"In places such as Germany, Spain, Portugal, Australia, and the Southwest United States, residential-scale solar production has already reached “grid parity” with average residential electricity prices. In other words, it costs no more in the long term to install solar panels than to buy electricity from utility companies. The prices of solar panels have fallen 75 percent in the past five years alone and will fall much further as the technologies to create them improve and scale of production increases. By 2020, solar energy will be price-competitive with energy generated from fossil fuels on an unsubsidized basis in most parts of the world. Within the next decade, it will cost a fraction of what fossil fuel-based alternatives do.


"It isn’t just solar production that is advancing at a rapid rate; there are also technologies to harness the power of wind, biomass, thermal, tidal, and waste-breakdown energy, and research projects all over the world are working on improving their efficiency and effectiveness. Wind power, for example, has also come down sharply in price and is now competitive with the cost of new coal-burning power plants in the United States. It will, without doubt, give solar energy a run for its money. There will be breakthroughs in many different technologies, and these will accelerate overall progress...."

Read more


Posted by starstuff on Saturday December 11, 2010 5:44pm,UTC (885 reads)

"The EPA is undertaking the study in response to a wave of reports of water contamination in drilling areas across the country and a Congressional mandate issued in an appropriations bill last fall. The agency had previously examined hydraulic fracturing in a 2004 study that was limited in scope and was widely criticized....."



Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat
by Abrahm Lustgarten
ProPublica, April 7, 2010, 7:09 a.m.

A  federal study of hydraulic fracturing set to begin this spring is expected to provide the most expansive look yet at how the natural gas drilling process can affect drinking water supplies, according to interviews with EPA officials and a set of documents outlining the scope of the project. The research will take a substantial step beyond previous studies and focus on how a broad range of ancillary activity – not just the act of injecting fluids under pressure – may affect drinking water quality.

The oil and gas industry strongly opposes this new approach. The agency’s intended research "goes well beyond relationships between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water," said Lee Fuller, vice president of government affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of America in comments [3] (PDF) he submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency. - more



Posted by starstuff on Thursday November 25, 2010 2:19pm,UTC (814 reads)

Boeing to mass-produce record-breaking 39.2 percent efficiency solar cell

By Darren Quick

17:59 November 24, 2010

"...Although we’ve seen conversion efficiencies of over 40 percent achieved with multi-junction solar cells in lab environments, Boeing subsidiary of Spectrolab is bringing this kind of efficiency to mass production with the announcement of its C3MJ+ solar cells which boast an average conversion efficiency of 39.2 percent...."


Posted by starstuff on Monday March 15, 2010 8:43pm,UTC (1248 reads)


Posted by starstuff on Monday March 08, 2010 8:30pm,UTC (869 reads)

"The researchers claim that the silicon wire arrays in the cells can convert 90 percent to 100 percent of the photons they absorb into electrons."





According to Harry Atwater, professor of applied physics and materials science and director of Caltech’s Resnick Institute: “We’ve surpassed previous optical microstructures developed to trap light. … Many materials can absorb light quite well but not generate electricity, like, for instance black paint. What’s most important in a solar cell is whether that absorption leads to the creation of charge carriers.” - more


Posted by starstuff on Wednesday September 16, 2009 12:39pm,UTC (1150 reads)



Sep 15, 2009


Big news from Switzerland’s Nanosolar: the photovoltaics manufacturer is set to start pumping out solar panels big time at both its German and US factories.

Its just-completed and fully automated panel-assembly factory in Luckenwalde near Berlin will be able to produce one solar panel every 10 seconds. That means, running 24/7, the plant could potentially churn out up to 640 megawatts of solar-energy capacity every year. (It will start with the more modest goal of 1 megawatt per month, raising levels as customers obtain financing for solar projects.)

A similar factory in San Jose, California, began operations earlier this year. - more


Posted by starstuff on Monday August 31, 2009 7:16pm,UTC (1893 reads)


Eric Giler of WiTricity wirelessly powers a TV from a distance of some 2m (6.5ft), and then proceeds to charge Nokia, Apple and T-Mobile cell phones using very compact versions of the same technology:


Posted by starstuff on Wednesday June 17, 2009 3:07pm,UTC (1154 reads)

"...'It will do the same to the world of optoelectronics like what transistors did to the world of electronics. The potential applications are essentially limitless,' - Gabriel Walter "









...it was cost-efficient to make and its implementation was "as effortless as the light bulb".
"It will introduce a pricing pressure and impact not seen before in the data communication and consumer electronic market.
"And for some fibre optic implementations, the LEDs consume 90 per cent less power compared to existing optical solutions," he said in a media release today.
He said the high-speed LEDs would enable a new class of cost-competitive "green" products that were not only environmentally fiendly but aesthetically pleasing as well.
"Those thick ugly cables that usually come with your high-definition television and monitors will be things of the past," he said.
The research was funded by an agency under the United States Department of Defence for the development of new technology for use by the US military. - more


Posted by starstuff on Saturday June 13, 2009 11:49am,UTC (1254 reads)

Erin Brockovich and Robin Greenwald
Posted January 13, 2009 | 11:04 AM (EST)


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erin-brockovich-and-robin-greenwald/tva-disaster-spreads-far_b_157198.html


Posted by starstuff on Monday June 08, 2009 9:55pm,UTC (1951 reads)



"The industry has opportunities that people could only dream of five years ago," said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Last month, President Obama announced $117.6 million in federal stimulus funds for solar, on top of the $175 million solar appropriation in the 2009 federal budget.

The funds "come at a time when they're most needed," said JoAnn Milliken, the Department of Energy's acting solar program manager, a chemist with degrees from La Salle University and the University of Pennsylvania. "A lot of companies are having trouble getting venture capital funding." - more


Posted by starstuff on Thursday June 04, 2009 8:49pm,UTC (1114 reads)

"The laser used to alter the surface of the metal is called a femtosecond laser. It produces pulses lasting only a few quadrillionths of a second - a femtosecond is to a second what a second is to about 32 million years."


June 4, 2009
Gravity can make it difficult to move liquid uphill but scientists at the University of Rochester have created a simple slab of metal that lifts liquid using the same wicking process that trees employ to pull vast amounts of water from their roots up to their leaves. The metal could be used to pump microscopic amounts of liquid around a medical diagnostic chip, cool a computer's processor or turn almost any simple metal into an anti-bacterial surface...." - more


Posted by starstuff on Monday June 01, 2009 3:53pm,UTC (877 reads)


"The world's largest and highest-energy laser was certified to operate by the U.S. Department of Energy on March 27, 2009.
In 2010, NIF will focus the intense energy of 192 giant laser beams on a BB-sized target filled with hydrogen fuel — fusing, or igniting, the hydrogen atoms' nuclei in the world's first controlled thermonuclear reaction. This is the same fusion energy process that makes stars shine and provides the life-giving energy of the sun."




NIF was designed to produce extraordinarily high temperatures and pressures – tens of millions of degrees and pressures many billion times greater than Earth's atmosphere. These conditions currently exist only in the cores of stars and planets and in nuclear weapons. In a star, strong gravitational pressure sustains the fusion of hydrogen atoms. The light and warmth that we enjoy from the sun, a star 93 million miles away, are reminders of how well the fusion process works and the immense energy it creates.- more


Posted by starstuff on Tuesday May 26, 2009 11:22am,UTC (901 reads)

"Zero Pollution Motors is trying to bring a car to U.S. roads by early 2011 that's powered by a combination of compressed air and a small conventional engine."
"ZPM will begin taking reservations in mid-2009 for US deliveries of our compressed air vehicle in 2010."


,p>
(Perpetual motion?... I think not! -- Starstuff)

Meet the Air Vehicle Family
The vehicle is powered by the Compressed Air Engine (CAE) developed by Motor Development International (MDI), a 15-year old company based in Nice, France, and headed by inventor and Formula One race car engineer, Guy Negre.

MDI has announced the model names it will use on its market models. The overall car brand will be the FlowAIR. The existing protytypes will retain their first names to now become:


Posted by starstuff on Wednesday May 06, 2009 11:20pm,UTC (808 reads)

"Quantum dots have shown up in an LED lighting product before — in strings of colored Christmas lights launched last year by QD Vision competitor Evident Technologies Inc. of Troy, N.Y...
...The magic of quantum dots is that the color they emit can be controlled very accurately by adjusting their size"





By PETER SVENSSON

'NEW YORK (AP) — Light-emitting diodes are prime candidates for replacing inefficient incandescent bulbs...

"On Tuesday, two small companies showed off an LED lamp that's both very power-efficient and produces a light similar to that of a standard tungsten or halogen bulb.

"The LEDs in the lamp shine through a thin layer of "quantum dots," ... When light hits them, they emit light of a different color... ...The magic of quantum dots is that the color they emit can be controlled very accurately by adjusting their size...

"The dots are so small that more than 10,000 of them could be could be lined up over the width of a human hair.

"The Quantum Light lamp is made by Nexxus Lighting Inc. of Charlotte, N.C...

The more pleasing light produced by quantum dots could allow LEDs to outshine compact fluorescent bulbs...

"A hundred years, incandescents have been around. That's what people want," Blackley said.

"...Nexxus says the lamps last up to 25 times longer than halogen alternatives.

"The layer of quantum dots in the lamp are the first commercial product of QD Vision Inc., a Massachusetts Institute of Technology spinoff based in Watertown, Mass. It hopes to spread their use to many other applications, including TV backlights...."


Posted by starstuff on Saturday May 02, 2009 12:26pm,UTC (867 reads)

"...Just three years ago, the conventional wisdom was that U.S. natural-gas production was facing permanent decline. U.S. policy makers were resigned to the idea that the country would have to rely more on foreign imports to supply the fuel that heats half of American homes, generates one-fifth of the nation's electricity, and is a key component in plastics, chemicals and fertilizer...."




APRIL 30, 2009
By BEN CASSELMAN

CADDO PARISH, La. -- A massive natural-gas discovery here in northern Louisiana heralds a big shift in the nation's energy landscape. After an era of declining production, the U.S. is now swimming in natural gas.



Even conservative estimates suggest the Louisiana discovery -- known as the Haynesville Shale, for the dense rock formation that contains the gas -- could hold some 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That's the equivalent of 33 billion barrels of oil, or 18 years' worth of current U.S. oil production. Some industry executives think the field could be several times that size. - more



Posted by starstuff on Wednesday April 29, 2009 11:13am,UTC (1019 reads)

"As part of this effort, we’ve already launched a website that allows individuals to not only make recommendations to achieve this goal, but to collaborate on those recommendations; it is a small step, but one that is creating a more transparent, participatory and democratic government." - President Obama, April 27th 2009





Posted by starstuff on Thursday April 23, 2009 3:16pm,UTC (620 reads)

"...More than its novel design, the LSA technology can potentially match the cost of producing fossil fuel. According to Sunengy, the LSA can cut the cost of raw solar electricity in the short term from USD$5/W to USD$1.30/W and, in the longer term, to below US$0.60/W, under ideal conditions (this corresponds to about 3 US cents /kWhr)...."








April 23, 2009 A new solar technology is not only taking a fresh approach to capturing the sun’s energy, it is also promising to produce electricity at a comparable cost to fossil fuel generators. The liquid solar array power generator (LSA), made predominantly from plastic, floats on water.

Each LSA panel has a tiny area of silicon photovoltaic cells on the water’s surface with a large rotating plastic focusing-lens above, which tracks the sun. According to the technology’s developers, Sunengy, the water plays an important role in cooling the silicon cells. - more


Posted by starstuff on Saturday April 18, 2009 11:15am,UTC (601 reads)

"Being a pioneer in the green mobility revolution of plug in vehicles... ...requires change from a wide variety of interwoven players."










Project Get Ready is a non-profit initiative led by Rocky Mountain Institute, in conjunction with a wide array of partners and technical advisers. Project Get Ready will:

  • Create a dynamic “menu” of strategic plug-in readiness actions including the “business case” for each action.
  • Provide a web database of all national (and some international) plug-in readiness activities.
  • Work one-on-one with at least 5 cities on creating their coalitions and charters.
  • Convene at least 20 cities as well as technical players regularly to discuss their lessons learned and best practices, and report these conversations on our website and materials.
  • Provide a benchmark that will allow cities/regions to “prove” that they are ready for mass adoption of plug-ins.
    Document the progress made by participant cities in order to help quantify future demand and make it more transparent to industry.
  • Provide helpful background and educational material on plug-in readiness.




Download the Project Get Ready Menu

This menu contains:

Top 15 actions that a city must take to be ready, organized by primary actor
10 second-tier actions that a city could take to be ready
Financial assessment of each action, where possible


Posted by starstuff on Wednesday April 15, 2009 4:20pm,UTC (567 reads)

April 14, 2009
By Diane Mastrull
Inquirer Staff Writer

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania’s long-stalled solar-rebate program for homeowners and small businesses will soon have funding - an infusion of cash that could result in the creation of scores of “green” jobs.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority board voted unanimously yesterday to borrow $30 million to get the Pennsylvania Sunshine Program under way.

Enacted in July as part of Gov. Rendell’s $650 million Alternative Energy Funding Act, Sunshine is expected to provide rebates of 35 percent to help cover the cost of buying solar-power systems. - more


Posted by starstuff on Monday April 13, 2009 7:30pm,UTC (562 reads)

"New Energy is a little coy about discussing how the system works or the expected output."




"...The company’s MotionPower system is designed to trap small amounts of kinetic energy drivers generate simply by driving over the energy-capturing device...." - more


Posted by starstuff on Sunday April 05, 2009 12:48pm,UTC (670 reads)

"...The batteries have the same energy capacity and power performance as rechargeable batteries used to power plug-in hybrid cars...."





"...Researchers constructed a lithium-ion battery, similar to those used in millions of devices, but one which uses genetically engineered viruses to create the negatively charged anode and positively charged cathode.

"...Professor Angela Belcher, who led the research team, said: 'Our material is powerful enough to be able to be used in a car battery.'

"The team from MIT in the US is now working on higher power batteries.

"Scientists at MIT used the viruses to build both the positively and negatively charged ends of a battery, the cathode and anode, the journal Science reports.

"The virus is a so-called common bacteriophage which infects bacteria and is harmless to humans.

"Three years ago the MIT scientists manipulated genes inside a virus that coaxed the particles to grow and self-assemble to form a nanowire anode one-tenth the width of a human hair.

"The microbes are encouraged to collect exotic materials - cobalt oxide and gold - and because the particles are negatively charged, they can be formed into a dense, virus-loaded film which acts as an anode and "grows" on a polymer separator.

"Researchers, including MIT Professor Gerbrand Ceder and Associate Professor Michael Strano, have now developed a highly powerful cathode....." - more


Posted by starstuff on Tuesday March 17, 2009 2:35pm,UTC (572 reads)

"...In contrast to his chilly reception at Davos, President Klaus was given a standing ovation by the scientists and policy analysts in New York...."





The Brussels Journal


From the desk of Richard Schulman

Fri, 2009-03-13 09:05


More than six hundred scientists, economists, legislators, and journalists from around the world met in New York on March 8-10 for the second International Conference on Climate Change. Presentation after presentation documented the pseudoscience and dictatorial intentions behind the climate alarmism of the UN, EU, and Obama administration. - more


Posted by starstuff on Tuesday March 17, 2009 1:51pm,UTC (738 reads)



Sea ice animations: 1978-2006 (46 MB quicktime)


-----------------------------------------
Interesting info.


NSIDC: satellite sea ice sensor has “catastrophic failure” - data faulty for the last 45 or more days

Today (2/18/2009)NSIDC announced... ...the sensor on the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellite they use had degraded and now apparently failed to the point of being unusable. Compounding the bad news they discovered it had been in slow decline for almost two months, which caused a bias in the arctic sea ice data that underestimated the total sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers. This will likely affect the January NSIDC sea ice totals.


---------------------------------------

Another country heard from

Lake Superior is freezing over
Written by Anthony Watts, Watts Up with That?
Saturday, 07 March 2009

Lake Superior last froze over in 2003. It has now, again, frozen over. The frequency of freeze overs has historically been around once every 20 years. Now, in the last decade, we have seen two freeze overs.

The picture below is a beautiful satellite photo of Lake Superior from yesterday. With the well below freezing temperatures seen over the region Thursday night (-20 F), any isolated open water could have frozen.


Click on image for bigger hi-res version.



Polar Trek Shows Ice Loss

April 22, 2009—Braving long walks across frigid Arctic terrain, a group of British explorers is gathering vital ground-based data about the extent of sea ice shrinkage. Video.

© 2009 National Geographic (AP)


Posted by starstuff on Saturday March 14, 2009 1:35pm,UTC (582 reads)

There are more than eight million new victims of identity theft each year in the U.S. Many of these victims find that crooks have used stolen personal information like Social Security numbers to open new accounts in their victim's name. A security freeze gives consumers the choice to “freeze” or lock access to their credit file against anyone trying to open up a new account or to get new credit in their name.

When a security freeze is in place at all three major credit bureaus, an identity thief cannot open a new account because the potential creditor or seller of services will not be able to check the credit file. When the consumer is applying for credit, he or she can lift the freeze temporarily using a PIN so legitimate applications for credit or services can be processed. - more


Posted by starstuff on Monday March 02, 2009 8:59pm,UTC (573 reads)




"...A US based Indian nanoscientist has developed nano-phosphors powder, which when applied on the surface of a LED or simple tubelight, doubles its luminosity.

"This `magic powder' has been developed by eminent scientist Prof RN Bhargava, chief executive officer of Nanocrystals technology, New York, USA...." - more


Posted by starstuff on Sunday March 01, 2009 2:58pm,UTC (616 reads)






"...The stimulus bill signed by President Obama last month includes incentives aimed at encouraging homeowners to invest in energy-efficient technology and products.

"Among the highlights is a 30 percent tax credit for homeowners who install energy-efficient windows, insulation or heating systems in 2009 and 2010. The maximum credit value is $1,500...

"...Some of the biggest winners from the stimulus bill could be homeowners who want to install renewable-energy systems such as geothermal heating, solar panels, solar water heaters or windmills.

"The bill lifted a 30 percent cap on tax credits for geothermal and other renewable systems, though a 35 percent N.C. state tax cap is still in place. Now, instead of getting a maximum $2,000 back on such a system, eligible homeowners could be poised to get as much as 65 percent of the cost back with tax credits. The expanded credits are retroactive to Jan. 1 and expire on Dec. 31, 2016. To qualify, any system must meet Energy Star requirements...." - more


Posted by starstuff on Tuesday February 24, 2009 2:32pm,UTC (738 reads)


London, UK (PRWEB) February 23, 2009 -- In an age of global concern for escalating fossil fuel prices, energy security and CO2 emissions, a fervent demand for sustainable energy sources endures. In apt response to this critical issue, a renewable alternative energy innovation is receiving wide spread interest and attention.
Renewable energy company,SolarBotanic, unveils a revolutionary solution -- Energy Harvesting Trees.

Biomimicry (nature's own superior engineering) and Nano technology are integral to SolarBotanic's schema. Exclusively designed Nanoleaves are incorporated with a combination of Biomimicry and advanced Nano technologies. The result is a green, clean, highly efficient means for generating electricity.



SolarBotanic's unique energy harvesting process utilizes three major types of technologies; Photovoltaics, Thermovoltaics and Piezovoltaic.
Photovoltaics (PV) are the direct conversion of light into electricity using semiconductor materials; Thermovoltaics (TV) are the direct conversion of heat into Electricity using semiconductor materials; Piezovoltaic (PZ) is the direct conversion of kinetic energy into electricity using a semiconductor device commonly known as "nano cells."

The SolarBotanic PV/TV/PZ subprogram research and development are divided into two main areas: nanoleaf and artificial tree or plant structures. - more


Posted by starstuff on Saturday February 21, 2009 1:42pm,UTC (691 reads)

Oomman K. Varghese, Maggie Paulose, Thomas J. LaTempa and Craig A. Grimes
Department of Electrical Engineering, Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802
Nano Lett., 2009, 9 (2), pp 731–737
DOI: 10.1021/nl803258p
Publication Date (Web): January 27, 2009
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society

"If you tried to build a commercial system using what we have accomplished to date, you'd go broke," admits Grimes. But he is confident that commercially viable results are possible.






Abstract


"Efficient solar conversion of carbon dioxide and water vapor to methane and other hydrocarbons is achieved using nitrogen-doped titania nanotube arrays, with a wall thickness low enough to facilitate effective carrier transfer to the adsorbing species, surface-loaded with nanodimensional islands of cocatalysts platinum and/or copper. All experiments are conducted in outdoor sunlight at University Park, PA. Intermediate reaction products, hydrogen and carbon monoxide, are also detected with their relative concentrations underlying hydrocarbon production rates and dependent upon the nature of the cocatalysts on the nanotube array surface. Using outdoor global AM 1.5 sunlight, 100 mW/cm2, a hydrocarbon production rate of 111 ppm cm−2 h−1, or ≈160 μL/(g h), is obtained when the nanotube array samples are loaded with both Cu and Pt nanoparticles. This rate of CO2 to hydrocarbon production obtained under outdoor sunlight is at least 20 times higher than previous published reports, which were conducted under laboratory conditions using UV illumination."


Posted by starstuff on Thursday January 22, 2009 2:15pm,UTC (701 reads)

solarnation


January 21, 2009
You already know you’re a solar citizen; how would you like to be a solar hero?

You could do what ordinary townspeople have started to do around the country: make the case to their town government that their municipal buildings would benefit from being powered with photovoltaics. And that benefit would extend to the entire town.

If you can get on your town’s agenda for half an hour, we’ll help you do the rest. And you don’t have to be an expert in solar power, electrical engineering, or public finance, either; just a citizen.

The Solar Nation Toolkit


Posted by starstuff on Friday January 09, 2009 3:25pm,UTC (725 reads)


By Matt Nauman
Mercury News
Posted: 12/09/2008 12:00:00 AM PST

"...Cool Earth Solar Chief Executive Rob Lamkin prefers to describe his company's innovation not as a balloon but "an inflated solar concentrator that's made of thin-film plastic." That's the same type of material used to make bags for Lay's potato chips and PowerBars, and at $2 for two pounds of plastic, it'll help Cool Earth deliver solar energy at a projected cost of $1 a watt, he said.

"Here's how it works: With one shiny side and one clear one, the 8-foot-diameter device reflects sunlight at 400 to 500 times its usual intensity onto a small solar cell mounted in the center of the balloon. That's where power is produced. Each balloon has a cooling system and a mechanism that allows it to track the movement of the sun....." - more


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