Printable A3-sized solar cells hit a new milestone in green energy
Imagine a future where solar panels speed off the presses, like newspaper. Australian scientists have brought us one step closer to that reality.
Researchers from the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC) have developed a printer that can print 10 meters of flexible solar cells a minute. Unlike traditional silicon solar cells, printed solar cells are made using organic semi-conducting polymers, which can be dissolved in a solvent and used like an ink, allowing solar cells to be printed.
Not only can the VICOSC machine print flexible A3 solar cells, the machine can print directly on to steel, opening up the possibility for solar cells to be embedded directly into building materials.
“Eventually we see these being laminated to windows that line skyscrapers,” said David Jones, a researcher at University of Melbourne who is involved with the work. “By printing directly to materials like steel, we’ll also be able to embed cells onto roofing materials.”
Printing 10 meters of solar cells in a minute means good things for solar.
A storage power plant on the seabed
Norwegian research scientists will contribute to realising the concept of storing electricity at the bottom of the sea. The energy will be stored with the help of high water pressure.
The idea of an underwater pumped hydroelectric power plant may sound like Jules Verne fiction, but then it was hatched by a German engineer who has spent much of his professional life working in aerospace technology.
“Imagine opening a hatch in a submarine under water. The water will flow into the submarine with enormous force. It is precisely this energy potential we want to utilize,” explains Rainer Schramm, inventor and founder of the company Subhydro AS to Gemini.no. “Many people have launched the idea of storing energy by exploiting the pressure at the seabed, but we are the first in the world to apply a specific patent-pending technology to make this possible,” he adds.
ROCKVILLE, Maryland (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Thursday approved plans to build the first new nuclear power plant in more than 30 years, despite objections of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman, despite objections of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) chairman, who cited safety concerns stemming from Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster.The NRC voted 4-1 to allow Atlanta-based Southern Co to build and operate two new nuclear power reactors at its existing Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia. The units will cost Southern and partners about $14 billion and enter service as soon as 2016 and 2017.No nuclear power plants have been licensed in the United States since the partial meltdown of the reactor core of the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania in 1979. After the accident, the NRC adopted more stringent safety standards, which caused construction costs for nuclear plants to skyrocket and stopped dozens of planned plants in their tracks.
*This post is for anon, who earlier this evening asked me to update a previous post on new plants in the US. No update is needed. There have been no new nuclear power plants allowed to be built in the US since 1978. Anon may have been referring to applications for new plants or perhaps rehabs of old power plants.
This High Concentration Photovoltaic Thermal System (HCPVT) can harness the energy of 2,000 suns and provide fresh water and air conditioning in remote locations. The prototype HCPVT system under development uses a large parabolic dish, made from a multitude of mirror facets, which is attached to a tracking system that determines the best angle based on the position of the sun. Once aligned, the sun’s rays reflect off the mirror onto several microchannel-liquid cooled receivers with triple junction photovoltaic chips — each 1x1 centimeter chip can convert 200-250 watts, on average, over a typical eight hour day in a sunny region.
Read more: http://huff.to/11vTQGE
Moffett Field, CA
Bertrand Piccard gave a big thumbs up to the press as he got ready to take off in the Solar Impulse with his fellow pilot Andre Borschberg this morning. 10 years of planning has finally led to this moment.
Borschberg and Piccard — who established his daredevil cred as the first man to fly a hot air balloon around the world — are the drivers behind this $150 million project to fly a solar plane across the country in preparation for an around-the-world flight in 2015. Flying at 45 miles an hour, they’ll arrive at Phoenix, their first stop on the tour, around 1AM.
Said Bertrand, “Our priority is not speed, it’s duration. We’re looking for a new milestone in this new history of aviation to show that renewable energy and energy efficiency is something we can achieve.”
You can follow their progress in real-time here.
Researchers at the University of Wyoming have discovered a new lithium reserve that could radically alter where the US sources a key component of the li-ion batteries used in consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and other technology. Currently the United States imports a vast majority of its lithium, but the newly-unearthed reserve — located at Rock Springs, Wyoming — could transform the US from “a significant lithium importer to an independent lithium producer” according to experts at the university’s Carbon Management Institute.
IBMs solar collector advances solar power by harnessing the equivalent of 2,000 suns.
A team of IBM researchers is working on a solar concentrating dish that will be able to collect 80% of incoming sunlight and convert it to useful energy. The High Concentration Photovoltaic Thermal system will be able to concentrate the power of 2,000 suns while delivering fresh water and cool air wherever it is built. As an added bonus, IBM states that the system would be just one third the cost third of current comparable technologies.
Based on information by Greenpeace International and the European Electricity Association, IBM claims that it would require only two percent of the Sahara’s total area to supply the world’s energy needs. The HCPVT system is designed around a huge parabolic dish covered in mirror facets. The dish is supported and controlled by a tracking system that moves along with the sun. Sun rays reflect off of the mirror into receivers containing triple junction photovoltaic chips, each able to convert 200-250 watts over eight hours. Combined hundred of the chips provide 25 kilowatts of electricity.
The entire dish is cooled with liquids that are 10 times more effective than passive air methods, keeping the HCPVT safe to operate at a concentration of 2,000 times on average, and up to 5,000 times the power of the sun. The direct cooling technique is inspired by the branched blood supply system of the human body and has already been used to cool high performance computers like the Aquasar. The system will also be able to create fresh water by passing 90 degree Celsius liquid through a distillation system that vaporizes and desalinates up to 40 liters each day while still generating electricity. It will also be able to amazingly offer air conditioning by a thermal drive absorption chiller that converts heat through silica gel.
Replacing expensive steel and glass with concrete and pressurized foils, the HCPVT is less costly than many other similar installations. Its high tech coolers and molds can be manufactured in Switzerland, and construction provided by individual companies on-site. Through their design, IBM believes they can maintain a cost of less than 10cents per kilowatt hour.
Planned charging stations for Tesla’s 300-mile range Model S
So tempted to sell the ol’ benz and buy a Tesla.