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Arizona: The Best Solar Resource
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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The All-Electric Car You Never Plug In
Seungyoung Ahn, Nam Pyo Suh & Dong-Ho Cho | April 2013 | IEEE Spectrum


'Here’s a big reason: Picture the driver of that same car getting a call from a relative living far away who needs immediate help. Suddenly, the driver’s eyes become riveted on the most important indicator on the dashboard: the estimated number of kilometers that the car can go on the remaining battery charge. Will he make it to his relative’s house? Even if he does, will he find a charging station so he can get back home?


There’s a name for this modern misgiving: range anxiety, a new form of disquiet experienced by drivers of all-electric cars. The Nissan Leaf, for example, can be driven on the highway for only about 120 kilometers on a single charge, and fully charging up its batteries takes 8 hours or more.


But maybe there’s a way to relieve this fear forever and make drivers’ lives much easier as well. If we embed transmitting coils in roadways, electric cars carrying receiving coils could charge themselves as they zoom down the road. An e-car owner would never have to search for a charging station or plug in the car. That is the goal of our research team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), in Daejeon, which has developed what we call the on-line electric vehicle (OLEV) system.


Wireless power transmission isn’t a new idea: Nikola Tesla built a 57-meter-tall tower behind his lab in Shoreham, N.Y., in the first years of the 20th century, partly to beam power to remote equipment. But only in the past decade have researchers begun to make the breakthroughs that can allow for commercially practical wireless charging, not only for portable electronic products like smartphones but even for industrial robots and electric cars. 


The technology depends on the same principle of electromagnetic induction that enables a transformer to change the voltage of an alternating current. This current flows through one coil of wire, creating a magnetic field whose polarity reverses with each cycle and inducing a corresponding alternating field in a secondary coil. The ratio of the number of turns in the two coils determines whether the transformer steps voltage up or down. Transformers usually include an iron-rich core, which links the coils and increases the field strength, but you don’t really need it. If the two coils are separated by air, current flowing through the first coil will still create a magnetic field, which will still be picked up by the second coil—it just won’t be picked up as well. The greater the air gap, the less efficient the transfer of power will be.

...'

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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solar-Powered Plane Breaks World Record for Distance
Jason Paur | 05.23.13 | Wired



Photo: Pilot André Borschberg touches down in Dallas after more than 18 hours in the air
Credit: Solar Impulse/Revillard/Revo.ch


Related: Solar Kettle allows for boiling water off the grid

Related: Quantum dot LED approaches theoretical maximum efficiency

Related: Tests find Rossi's E-Cat has an energy density at least 10 times higher than any conventional energy source

Related: Eight unique water powered gadgets

Related: Google Acquires Airborne Wind Power Company Makani

Related: Ten countries that have harnessed solar power to the fullest

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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ultrathin solar cell is efficient and easy to make
Belle Dumé | Sep 30, 2013 | Physics World



Photo: Perovskite fabricated on a glass sheet
Credit: Physic World


'Researchers at the University of Oxford in the UK have made a thin-film solar cell with better than 15% light-conversion efficiency from an emergent class of semiconductors known as perovskites. The devices have a simple architecture and could easily be produced in large quantities because the vapour-deposition process used to make them is compatible with conventional processing methods for fabricating such solar cells.

Organometal trihalide perovskite semiconductors, which have the formula (CH3NH3)PbX3 with X being iodine, bromine or chlorine, were first employed as the light-absorbing component in dye-sensitized solar cells in 2009. In these devices, the perovskites were coated onto the surface of a film made of titanium-dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles.

When the perovskite layer absorbs light, electrons and holes are generated. These charge carriers are subsequently transferred to different transport materials – TiO2 for the electrons and to another material for the holes. The transport materials then carry the charges to separate electrodes and a voltage is produced. These solar cells have light-converting efficiencies of about 12–15% thanks to the large amount of perovskite packed into the TiO2 film.
...'

Related: Cree LED Bulbs Now Energy Star® Certified, Can Save You $100s

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Related: Reducing The Cost Of Solar Group Purchases Even Further

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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Record Breaking Solar Cell Efficiency From A “Perfect Crystal”
Oct/2013 | Clean Technica


'Gallium is already on its way to becoming the workhorse of the solar tech field, and now it looks like the soft metal is is on track to become a thoroughbred. A team of US scientists has hit upon an improved method for growing indium gallium nitride (InGaN) crystals that could lead to record-breaking solar cell efficiency. So far the method has resulted in a film of InGaN that has “almost ideal characteristics.”

To ice the cake, an analysis of the film revealed the precise reason why the results of the new InGaN growing method were so good, which could lead to further improvements in LED technology as well as solar cells.
...'

Related: Wireless device converts 'lost' energy into electric power

Related: A cheaper fuel cell could provide affordable power for microgrids

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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is worth a look.

Video: Solar Roadways


Link: http://www.solarroadways.com/intro.shtml

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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This new tech is not driven by solar. It is a thermoelectric reaction. But the sun does produce awesome heat as well.

Electricity From Heat Could Power Electronics
Neil Savage | 25 Jun 2014 | IEEE Spectrum


Quote:

A thermoelectric generator could make army tanks and family minivans more fuel efficient by turning waste heat into electricity, and open up a variety of other uses, says the company that’s developing the generators.

GMZ Energy of Waltham, Mass., says it has demonstrated a module that produces 200 watts of electricity from the heat coming off a diesel-powered tank, a step toward building systems that will produce a kilowatt from such tanks. With the effort involved in transporting fuel to a battle site, diesel can cost the U.S. military upwards of $10.50 per liter ($40 per gallon). So using that fuel more efficiently will save the Department of Defense significant amounts of money, says Scott Rackey, GMZ’s vice president of business development.

The device is based on half-Heusler compounds, mixtures of elements that together have desirable thermoelectric properties. GMZ built its device out of a compound containing hafnium, zirconium, cobalt, nickel, antimony, and tin, although Rackey says the company will eventually replace the hafnium with a less expensive element. They use a long-established technique called ball milling to grind the compound into nanometer-scale bits, then use heat and pressure to form the resulting powder into small disks. The materials used and the nanostructures created by the milling and pressing combine to improve a measure of thermoelectric conversion, called ZT, by 30 percent. That improved conversion rate is enough to make the device capable of converting about 7 percent of waste heat into electricity.

That might not sound significant, but with a new source of electrical power, a vehicle can use its alternator—normally the generator of electricity—less or not at all. That allows the engine to run more efficiently and use less fuel.

_________________
"Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend." - Bruce Lee
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
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Southpark Fan



Joined: 24 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The underlying theme below is tapping into unused energy sources. The other items linked to may be of interest to some.

Here is a video of world renowned Physicist Harold E. Puthoff. An American physicist who earned his Ph.D from Stanford University. You may be familiar with his work through the declassification of the remote viewing program conducted by the CIA and NSA in conjunction with Stanford University. He is the director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, and has served various government agencies throughout his years.



Related: Multiple Scientists Confirm The Reality of Free Energy – Here’s The Proof

Related: http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_10_1_puthoff.pdf

Related: http://www.lfr.org/lfr/csl/library/AirReport.pdf

Related: http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/pdfs/1979-precognitive-remote-viewing-stanford.pdf

_________________
"Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend." - Bruce Lee
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can Solar Power Go Truly Transparent?
Dave Levitan | 25 Aug 2014 | IEEE Spectrum


Quote:


Photo: Yimu Zhao

The idea of solar windows has been around for some time now, and a number of different approaches—from spray-on solar cells to just really thin film possibilities—are under investigation. Though these are promising, the underlying issue with many of the ideas is that in order for them to work they need to stop some amount of light from getting through the window. And tinted windows are fine, in some situations, but too much tint turns a window into a wall. But not with a new idea out of Michigan State University, where researchers have created a solar concentrator that, if the efficiency is revved up, would provide truly clear, glass-like generators of solar power.

The team, led by Yimu Zhao of Michigan State's department of chemical engineering and materials science, achieved this by "exploiting the excitonic nature of organic luminescent salts that provide perfectly tuned near-infrared-selective absorption and even deeper near-infrared emission." The organic molecules are tuned to absorb only ultraviolet and those near-infrared wavelengths; they then "glow" at a different infrared wavelength. That second wavelength light is guided by the material to the edge of the plastic substrate and converted to electricity by thin bits of standard photovoltaic cells.

That means that no electricity production is actually done in the middle of the cell. With other "transparent" solar ideas, they are actually marred by tiny wires, or just require tinted or colored glass to absorb any of the usable wavelengths of light. "No one wants to sit behind colored glass," said the senior author of the paper, Richard Lunt, in a press release. "It makes for a very colorful environment, like working in a disco.


We take an approach where we actually make the luminescent active layer transparent." The transparency is assured because the organic molecules only "glow" in infrared, which humans can't see. The result, at least for us: a clear window. Compare that image above to, just for example, New Energy Technologies' spray-on solar window, at left.

The key roadblock, as with most any solar power idea, is efficiency. The Michigan State team has its prototype up to only about one-percent efficiency, far below what might be considered useful. The researchers say they hope to get it up to around 5 percent, and if it proves cheap to mass produce, then that would be plenty for some applications. And obviously, clear solar power does have a lot of applications: the obvious ones are the skyscrapers glimmering in most big cities these days, but Lunt said this could also be applied for smartphones or tablets as a self-charging screen that doesn't affect visual quality.

_________________
"Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend." - Bruce Lee
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In world first, researchers convert sunlight to electricity with over 40 percent efficiency
December 7, 2014 | University of New South Wales/Science Daily


Quote:
Summary:
Australia's solar researchers have converted over 40 percent of the sunlight hitting a solar system into electricity, the highest efficiency ever reported. A key part of the prototype's design is the use of a custom optical bandpass filter to capture sunlight that is normally wasted by commercial solar cells on towers and convert it to electricity at a higher efficiency than the solar cells themselves ever could.


Related: New technique offers spray-on solar power

_________________
"Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend." - Bruce Lee
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New technique offers spray-on solar power
Marit Mitchell | December 5, 2014 | U of T Engineering News


Quote:
Pretty soon, powering your tablet could be as simple as wrapping it in cling wrap.

That’s Illan Kramer’s (ECE) hope. Kramer and colleagues have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) — a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.

“My dream is that one day you’ll have two technicians with Ghostbusters backpacks come to your house and spray your roof,” said Kramer, a post-doctoral fellow with The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto and IBM Canada’s Research and Development Centre.

Solar-sensitive CQDs printed onto a flexible film could be used to coat all kinds of weirdly shaped surfaces, from patio furniture to an airplane’s wing. A surface the size of your car’s roof wrapped with CQD-coated film would produce enough energy to power three 100-Watt light bulbs — or 24 compact fluorescents.

_________________
"Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend." - Bruce Lee
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Cheap Material Boosts Solar Cells by 50 Percent
Kevin Bullis | January 30, 2015 | Technology Review


Researchers have found a way to augment ordinary silicon solar cells with a material called a perovskite.

Quote:
Putting a new kind of photovoltaic material on top of a conventional solar cell can boost overall power output by half. Researchers at Stanford University added a type of material known as a perovskite to a silicon solar cell, validating an idea for cheaply increasing the efficiency of solar power that was first proposed several years ago.

Perovskites are materials with a particular crystalline structure. The perovskite used by the Stanford team contains relatively abundant and cheap materials including ammonia, iodine, and lead.

Materials scientists started demonstrating the photovoltaic potential of perovskites in 2009. Since then, different research groups have created perovskites with photovoltaic efficiencies comparable to those of many commercial solar cells. But perovskites also convert certain parts of the solar spectrum into electricity more efficiently than silicon, and vice versa, so the biggest efficiency gain may come from using perovskites to augment, rather than replace, the silicon in most solar cells (see “A Material that Could Make Solar Power ‘Dirt Cheap’ and “What’s Tech is Next for the Solar Industry?”). Now researchers at Stanford have shown that the idea can work.

One of the main challenges with pairing perovskite cells with silicon ones has been rendering the former transparent, so that light they don’t absorb can pass through to the silicon cells beneath. The perovskite solar cells made previously used an opaque material on the back to collect electrical current. The Stanford researchers developed a manufacturing method that involves producing a transparent electrode made of silicon nanowires.

The researchers took a cheap silicon solar cell with an efficiency of 11.4 percent and increased it to 17 percent by adding the perovskite cell.

_________________
"Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend." - Bruce Lee
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Future of Wind Turbines? No Blades
Liz Stinson | 05/15/2015 | Wired


Quote:

Image: The Vortex is a new kind of wind turbine being developed without any blades
Source: Wired


It’s no longer surprising to encounter 100-foot pinwheels spinning in the breeze as you drive down the highway. But don’t get too comfortable with that view. A Spanish company called Vortex Bladeless is proposing a radical new way to generate wind energy that will once again upend what you see outside your car window.

Their idea is the Vortex, a bladeless wind turbine that looks like a giant rolled joint shooting into the sky. The Vortex has the same goals as conventional wind turbines: To turn breezes into kinetic energy that can be used as electricity. But it goes about it in an entirely different way.

Instead of capturing energy via the circular motion of a propeller, the Vortex takes advantage of what’s known as vorticity, an aerodynamic effect that produces a pattern of spinning vortices. Vorticity has long been considered the enemy of architects and engineers, who actively try to design their way around these whirlpools of wind. And for good reason: With enough wind, vorticity can lead to an oscillating motion in structures, which, in some cases, like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, can cause their eventual collapse.

The Vortex’s shape was developed computationally to ensure the spinning wind (vortices) occurs synchronously along the entirety of the mast. “The swirls have to work together to achieve good performance,” Villarreal explains. In its current prototype, the elongated cone is made from a composite of fiberglass and carbon fiber, which allows the mast to vibrate as much as possible (an increase in mass reduces natural frequency). At the base of the cone are two rings of repelling magnets, which act as a sort of nonelectrical motor. When the cone oscillates one way, the repelling magnets pull it in the other direction, like a slight nudge to boost the mast’s movement regardless of wind speed. This kinetic energy is then converted into electricity via an alternator that multiplies the frequency of the mast’s oscillation to improve the energy-gathering efficiency.

Its makers boast the fact that there are no gears, bolts, or mechanically moving parts, which they say makes the Vortex cheaper to manufacture and maintain. The founders claim their Vortex Mini, which stands at around 41 feet tall, can capture up to 40 percent of the wind’s power during ideal conditions (this is when the wind is blowing at around 26 miles per hour). Based on field testing, the Mini ultimately captures 30 percent less than conventional wind turbines, but that shortcoming is compensated by the fact that you can put double the Vortex turbines into the same space as a propeller turbine.

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"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
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