Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 5

Jun 14, 2020

Episode 2 — The Mysteries of Our Planet Venus

Posted by in categories: evolution, space, sustainability

Please listen to the second episode of my new Cosmic Controversy Podcast. This week’s guest is planetary scientist Stephen Kane at the University of California, Riverside, who discusses why Venus is so haunting and beguiling all at once.

In this wide-ranging interview, planetary scientist Stephen Kane of the University of California, Riverside, delves into the mysteries of our neighbor planet Venus. We discuss how Venus went wrong and why understanding its evolution is so important in characterizing extrasolar planetary systems like our own.

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Jun 14, 2020

Icarus, Much? This Aircraft Aims to Fly to Space Using Only Energy From the Sun

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

The SolarStratos will gain its power from 240 square feet of solar panels on its wings.

Jun 13, 2020

Australia’s Renewable Energy Plan Will Require Lots Of Energy Storage. Siemens Wants To Help

Posted by in categories: government, neuroscience, sustainability

Despite pigheaded intransigence at the highest levels of its national government, the renewable energy revolution is coming to Australia in a big way. And why not? Enough sunlight hits what Bill Bryson calls “a sunburned country” every day to meet all of humanity’s energy needs for a year. All it has to do is figure out how to harvest and distribute all that energy. (It could begin by replacing its national leaders with people who possess actual functioning brains, but the same can be said for many nations around the world.)

Jun 10, 2020

Renewable fuel from carbon dioxide with the aid of graphene and solar energy

Posted by in categories: chemistry, solar power, sustainability

Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, are attempting to convert carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, to fuel using energy from sunlight. Recent results have shown that it is possible to use their technique to selectively produce methane, carbon monoxide or formic acid from carbon dioxide and water.

The study has been published in ACS Nano (“Atomic-Scale Tuning of Graphene/Cubic SiC Schottky Junction for Stable Low-Bias Photoelectrochemical Solar-to-Fuel Conversion”).

Plants convert carbon dioxide and water to oxygen and high-energy sugars, which they use as “fuel” to grow. They obtain their energy from sunlight. Jianwu Sun and his colleagues at Linköping University are attempting to imitate this reaction, known as photosynthesis, used by plants to capture carbon dioxide from air and convert it to chemical fuels, such as methane, ethanol and methanol. The method is currently at a research stage, and the long-term objective of the scientists is to convert solar energy to fuel efficiently.

Jun 10, 2020

Spherical Solar Cells Soak Up Scattered Sunlight

Posted by in categories: engineering, solar power, sustainability

Flat solar panels still face big limitations when it comes to making the most of the available sunlight each day. A new spherical solar cell design aims to boost solar power harvesting potential from nearly every angle without requiring expensive moving parts to keep tracking the sun’s apparent movement across the sky.

The spherical solar cell prototype designed by Saudi researchers is a tiny blue sphere that a person can easily hold in one hand like a ping pong ball. Indoor experiments with a solar simulator lamp have already shown that it can achieve between 15 percent and 100 percent more power output compared with a flat solar cell with the same total surface area, depending on the background materials reflecting sunlight into the solar cells. The research group hopes its nature-inspired design can fare similarly well in future field tests in many different locations around the world.

“The placement and shape of the housefly’s eyes increase their angular field of view so they can see roughly 270 degrees around them in the horizontal field,” says Nazek El-Atab, a postdoctoral researcher in microsystems engineering at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). “Similarly, the spherical architecture increases the ‘angular field of view’ of the solar cell, which means it can harvest sunlight from more directions.”

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Jun 10, 2020

The US could shift to 90-percent renewable energy by 2035 at no extra cost

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

A new report finds that a shift to 90-percent clean power could save as many as 85,000 lives by 2050 by sparing Americans from toxic pollution.

Jun 10, 2020

Indian firm to invest $6 billion in solar power as country targets lofty renewable energy goals

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

The country is still heavily reliant on coal, but this could change in the years ahead.

Jun 10, 2020

Tesla Semi: Elon Musk says time to bring electric trucks to volume production

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, sustainability, transportation

Elon Musk has said that “it is time to bring” Tesla Semi electric trucks to volume production in a memo to all Tesla employees.

In a new email to employees last night, Musk that he wants to go “all out”:

“It’s time to go all out and bring the Tesla Semi to volume production. It’s been in limited production so far, which has allowed us to improve many aspects of the design.”

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Jun 9, 2020

1.35 Cents/kWh: Record Abu Dhabi Solar Bid Is A Sober Reminder To Upbeat Fossil Fuel Pundits

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Clean Tech News & Views: Solar Energy News. Wind Energy News. EV News. & More.

Jun 9, 2020

New Generation of Lightweight, Flexible Solar Cells and Display Screens Using Transparent Graphene Electrodes

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

New roll-to-roll production method could enable lightweight, flexible solar devices and a new generation of display screens.

A new way of making large sheets of high-quality, atomically thin graphene could lead to ultra-lightweight, flexible solar cells, and to new classes of light-emitting devices and other thin-film electronics.

The new manufacturing process, which was developed at MIT and should be relatively easy to scale up for industrial production, involves an intermediate “buffer” layer of material that is key to the technique’s success. The buffer allows the ultrathin graphene sheet, less than a nanometer (billionth of a meter) thick, to be easily lifted off from its substrate, allowing for rapid roll-to-roll manufacturing.

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