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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category

Sep 16, 2020

The Holy Grail of Endless Energy: Harvesting Blackholes

Posted by in categories: climatology, cosmology, mathematics, solar power, sustainability

While the future of the clean energy proposal remains uncertain, the majority of Americans have been reading from the same page regarding what needs to be done: Dramatically cutting down the country’s reliance on fossil fuels over the next two decades is critical to lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and address climate change, with six in 10 U.S. adults saying they would favor policies with this energy goal. Thankfully, scientists have been researching alternative energy solutions like wind and solar power for decades, including lesser-known sources that may seem a little unusual or even downright ridiculous and unrealistic.

You can chalk up harvesting energy from blackholes to the latter category.

Fifty years ago, British mathematical physicist, Roger Penrose, proposed a seemingly absurd idea how an alien society (or future humans) could harvest energy from a rotating black hole by dropping an object just outside its sphere of influence also known as the ergosphere where it could gain negative energy. Since then, nobody has been able to verify the viability of this seemingly bizarre idea— that is until now.

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Sep 15, 2020

‘Artificial leaf’ makes fuel from sunlight

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

Circa 2011 could be used for spaceships and rebreather spacesuits.


Solar cell bonded to recently developed catalyst can harness the sun, splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.

David L. Chandler, MIT News Office

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Sep 11, 2020

First skydive from a solar electric plane accomplished in Switzerland

Posted by in categories: alien life, solar power, sustainability, transportation

Scientists claim to have found the first known extraterrestrial protein in a meteorite.


Team’s goal is to take the aircraft up into the icy stratosphere to 25km above the Earth.

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Sep 9, 2020

Development of photovoltaics that can be applied like paint for real-life application

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Researchers in Korea have successfully developed a large-area, organic-solution-processable solar cell with high efficiency. They achieved their breakthrough by controlling the speed at which the solution of raw materials for solar cells became solidified after being coated. The team, led by Dr. Hae Jung Son from the Photo-electronic Hybrids Research Center of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), have identified the difference in the mechanism of film formation between a small area and a large area of organic solar cells in a solution process, thereby making possible the development of high-efficiency, large-area organic photovoltaics.

If a material is made in the form of paint that can be applied to any surface, such as the exterior of a building or a car, it will be possible to achieve energy self-sufficiency and provide low-cost, eco-friendly energy to regions suffering from energy poverty. Such technology would provide easy installation of photovoltaics, even on urban buildings, and the photovoltaic panels could be maintained by re-applying the “paint.”

Solution-processable , which work by coating the surface with the solar cell , are not yet feasible for industry. Currently, such large-area photovoltaics present reduced performance and production difficulties due to material- and process-related limitations, and this has been an obstacle to commercialization.

Sep 8, 2020

An Army of Microscopic Robots Is Ready to Patrol Your Body

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

I was so wrong.

Last week, Drs. Marc Miskin*, Itai Cohen, and Paul McEuen at Cornell University spearheaded a collaboration that tackled one of the most pressing problems in microrobotics—getting those robots to move in a controllable manner. They graced us with an army of Pop-Tart-shaped microbots with seriously tricked-out actuators, or motors that allow a robot to move. In this case, the actuators make up the robot’s legs.

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Sep 8, 2020

Physicists nudge atoms within less than a trillionth of a second

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, particle physics, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Scientists from Regensburg and Zurich have found a fascinating way to push an atom with controlled forces so quickly that they can choreograph the motion of a single molecule within less than a trillionth of a second. The extremely sharp needle of their unique ultrafast microscope serves as the technical basis: It carefully scans molecules, similar to a record player. Physicists at the University of Regensburg now showed that shining light pulses onto this needle can transform it into an ultrafast “atomic hand.” This allows molecules to be steered—and new technologies can be inspired.

Atoms and are the constituents of virtually all matter that surrounds us. Interacting with each other according to the rules of quantum mechanics, they form complex systems with an infinite variety of functions. To examine , in a cell, or new ways of solar energy harvesting, scientists would love to not only observe individual molecules, but even control them.

Most intuitively, people learn by haptic exploration, such as pushing, pulling, or tapping. Naturally, we are used to macroscopic objects that we can directly touch, squeeze or nudge by exerting forces. Similarly, atoms and molecules interact via forces, but these forces are extreme in multiple respects. First, the forces acting between atoms and molecules occur at extremely small lengths. In fact, these objects are so small that a special length scale has been introduced to measure them: 1 Ångström (1Å = 0.000,000,000,1 m). Second, at the same time, atoms and molecules move and wiggle around extremely fast. In fact, their motion takes place faster than picoseconds (1 ps = 0.000,000,000,001 s). Hence, to directly steer a molecule during its motion, a tool is required to generate ultrafast forces at the atomic scale.

Sep 6, 2020

Lighting the way for new solar fuels science

Posted by in categories: science, solar power, sustainability

Yale chemists are pushing forward with innovative work to develop tomorrow’s liquid fuels from sunlight.

A quintet of Yale researchers — Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, Nilay Hazari, Patrick Holland, James Mayer, and Hailiang Wang — are among the principal investigators (PI) for the U.S. Department of Energy’s $40 million Center for Hybrid Approaches in Solar Energy to Liquid Fuels (CHASE).

CHASE, which involves six scientific institutions, will be based at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Yale’s portion of the funding is $6.27 million over five years, and will support dozens of graduate student and postdoctoral co-workers on Science Hill and in the Energy Sciences Institute at West Campus.

Sep 6, 2020

California ISO Declares Stage 2 Emergency, Warns of Rotating Blackouts

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

California’s Independent System Operator declared a Stage 2 emergency Saturday, warning residents to expect rotating blackouts and advising them to conserve energy.

Stage 2 means, “The ISO has taken all mitigating action and is no longer able to provide its expected energy requirements.”

The declaration was due to high heat and increased demand, according to CAISO. In addition, CAISO said fires caused a generator and a solar farm to trip offline, highlighting the need for residents to reduce energy use.

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Sep 4, 2020

New understanding of electrolyte additives will improve dye-sensitised solar cells

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

Dye-sensitized solar cells used in low-light conditions could perform more consistently thanks to improved understanding of the role additives play in optimizing electrolytes.

Laptops and mobile phones, among other devices, could be charged or powered indoors, away from direct sunlight, using dye-sensitized solar (DSCs), which have achieved efficiencies of up to 34% at 1000 lux from a fluorescent lamp.

Copper-based electrolytes containing various combinations of additives have been used to achieve these efficiencies, with varying results to date.

Sep 2, 2020

Enriching humanity using astroelectricity

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, employment, nuclear energy, robotics/AI, solar power, space, sustainability

This is my second video presentation on the topic of GEO space-based solar power (astroelectricity). This was also given via video at a conference in Portugal on 22 Aug 2020. After a brief introduction to astroelectricity, the 24-minute presentation addresses how global astroelectricity will enable most of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals to be addressed and, especially, how affordable middle-class housing can be built. We are living in an exciting time (in a positive sense) where emerging technologies will enable us to push through these difficult times. The key is to undertake an orderly transition from fossil carbon fuels to astroelectricity and not be sidetracked by poorly developed “solutions” such as the Paris Climate Agreement and the Green New Deal.


The world needs a peaceful, orderly plan to transition from fossil carbon fuels to globally decentralized sustainable energy sufficient to enable worldwide middle-class prosperity. Nuclear power, wind power, and ground solar power—“solutions” often tied to the Green New Deal—cannot practically achieve this. Astroelectricity, generated in space by space-based solar power, can meet this need. This presentation builds on the “(Em)powering World Peace and Prosperity Using Astroelectricity” to discuss the global benefits that will arise from transitioning to astroelectricity.

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