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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category

Jul 22, 2017

Protein produced from electricity to alleviate world hunger

Posted by in categories: food, habitats, solar power, sustainability

A batch of single-cell protein has been produced by using electricity and carbon dioxide in a joint study by the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Protein produced in this way can be further developed for use as food and animal feed. The method releases food production from restrictions related to the environment. The protein can be produced anywhere renewable energy, such as solar energy, is available.

“In practice, all the raw materials are available from the air. In the future, the technology can be transported to, for instance, deserts and other areas facing famine. One possible alternative is a home reactor, a type of domestic appliance that the consumer can use to produce the needed protein,” explains Juha-Pekka Pitkänen, Principal Scientist at VTT.

Along with food, the researchers are developing the protein to be used as animal feed. The protein created with electricity can be used as a fodder replacement, thus releasing land areas for other purposes, such as forestry. It allows food to be produced where it is needed.

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Jul 21, 2017

Giving a push for in-space propulsion

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI, solar power, space travel

It’s a technology looking for a new mission.

The technology is solar electric propulsion (SEP), which NASA has identified in recent years as a key enabler for eventual human missions to Mars. SEP, the agency argued, could be used to propel cargo missions to Mars in advance of crewed missions much more efficiently than conventional chemical propulsion systems.

High-power SEP was to be tested in interplanetary space on the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), powering the robotic spacecraft that would travel to a near Earth asteroid, grab a boulder off its surface, and fly back to cislunar space. However, NASA announced earlier this year it planned to cancel ARM, and Congress, never much of a fan of the mission, has shown no signs of opposing it.

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Jul 3, 2017

Artificial Photosynthesis Can Produce Clean Fuel for the Cars of Tomorrow Says Bill Gates

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

We can all agree that solar panels are pretty awesome. It’s hard to beat turning sunlight into electricity. Unless you’re talking turning sunlight into stored chemical fuel. “Solar chemical” takes the logic of photosynthesis and applies it to fuel.

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Jun 24, 2017

Future Energy: China leads world in solar power production

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

China consumes more electricity than any other country but is also the world’s biggest solar energy producer.

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Jun 21, 2017

NASA Wants to Collect Solar Power Directly From Space

Posted by in categories: military, solar power, space travel, sustainability

Space-based solar power has had a slow start, but the technology may finally take off in the next few decades. Since its inception, solar power has had a severe limitation as a renewable energy: it only works when the Sun is shining. This has restricted the areas where solar panels can be effectively used to sunnier, drier regions, such as California and Arizona. And even on cloudless days, the atmosphere itself absorbs some of the energy emitted by the Sun, cutting back the efficiency of solar energy. And let’s not forget that, even in the best of circumstances, Earth-bound solar panels are pointed away from the Sun half of the time, during the night.

So, for over half a decade, researchers from NASA and the Pentagon have dreamed of ways for solar panels to rise above these difficulties, and have come up with some plausible solutions. There have been several proposals for making extra-atmospheric solar panels a reality, many of which call for a spacecraft equipped with an array of mirrors to reflect sunlight into a power-conversion device. The collected energy could be beamed to Earth via a laser or microwave emitter. There are even ways to modulate the waves’ energy to protect any birds or planes that might wander into the beam’s path.

The energy from these space-based solar panels would not be limited by clouds, the atmosphere, or our night cycle. Additionally, because solar energy would be continuously absorbed, there would be no reason to store the energy for later use, a process which can cost up to 50 percent of the energy stored.

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Jun 19, 2017

Solar Power Will Kill Coal Faster Than You Think

Posted by in categories: finance, solar power, sustainability

Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s outlook shows renewables will be cheaper almost everywhere in just a few years.

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Jun 7, 2017

The World’s Largest Floating Solar Plant Is Finally Online

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The largest floating solar power plant in the world is now online in China. Floating where coal used to be mined, the installation is helping China transition toward renewables and making the most of its surroundings.

The world’s largest floating solar power plant is now online in China. Built by Sungrow, a supplier of PV inverter systems, the 40MW plant is now afloat in water four to 10 meters deep, and successfully linked to Huainan, China’s grid. The placement was chosen in large part because the area was previously the location of coal mining operations; and, as a result, the water there is now mineralized and mostly useless. The lake itself was only formed after years of mining operations, the surrounding land collapsed and created a cavity that was filled with rainwater.

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May 6, 2017

China increases solar power output

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

China electricity output from photovoltaic plants rose 80 per cent in the first quarter after the world’s biggest solar power market increased installed capacity.

Solar power generation rose to 21.4 billion kilowatt-hours in the three months ending 31 March from a year earlier, the National Energy Administration said on Thursday in a statement on its website. China added 7.21 gigawatts of solar power during the period, boosting its total installed capacity to almost 85 gigawatts, the NEA said.

The power-generation increase comes even as more solar plants stand idle because of congested transmission infrastructure. China idled about 2.3 billion kilowatt-hours of solar power in the first quarter, up from 1.9 billion kilowatt-hours a year earlier, according to the NEA data.

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May 6, 2017

As Coal Jobs Decline, Solar Sector Shines

Posted by in categories: business, employment, solar power, sustainability

A work crew for the Pittsburgh company Energy Independent Solutions installs solar panels at a community building in Millvale, Pa.

Craig Williams is still mining coal despite tough times for the business. “We’re one of the last industries around and hope to keep it that way,” he says in a breakroom at Consol Energy’s Harvey mine, south of Pittsburgh.

The father of two — speaking in his dusty work jacket and a hard hat with headlamp — says coal is the best way he’s able to support his family. He declines to give his salary, but nationally, coal miners average about $80,000 a year.

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May 3, 2017

Rep: #TheRaceforSpace

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, solar power, space travel, sustainability

Congressman Charlie Crist on Elon Musk’s space efforts in Florida: “What Mr. Musk has been able to do [with SpaceX and solar energy] is nothing short of extraordinary.”

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