Applied Technotopia

We scan the digital environment to examine the leading trends in emerging technology today to know more about future.


We have added a few indices around the site. Though we look to the future, we need to keep an eye on the present as well:

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Posts tagged "solar power"

More solar charging innovation with Solio -  a small solar charger. [The solar theme must be because of all the solar warmth peaking through the cloud cover here in Groningen - Lee]

elige:

photojojo:

Charge your phone anytime, anywhere with the power of THE SUN!

The Solio gathers sunshine, and turns it into electricity.

Then, it folds up and fits in the palm of your hand (or your bag) for an on-the-go battery boost.

Power Your Photography with Sunshine

Omggg

(via megacosms)

A very innovative solar powered smart bench.

alexob:

The solar powered smart bench

A new initiative in Boston is bringing Soofas, solar powered benches that can not only charge your gadgets, but also monitor air quality and sound levels, to several city parks in a pilot program 

The Soofas, called “smart urban furniture”, were developed by Changing Environments, a spinoff of MIT Media Lab, and are capable of charging mobile gadgets via two USB ports, thanks to a solar panels and the free energy of the sun. And while they’re charging phones and powering Facebook updates, they’re also gathering environmental data about air quality and noise levels nearby, and uploading them to a public map online.

Japan’s plan for a solar collector in space in nothing new, however, if executed, it will be amazing.

sagansense:

That’s right. And before you preemptively speculate, this is not something new.

Space-based solar power generation has been proposed and feasible since the 60’s. However, you may have heard of recent proposals in the last few years, such as the U.S. Navy’s plan to beam down energy from orbiting solar panels, the Department of Energy’s developments via their Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Space Energy’s ambitious project for SBSP (space-based-solar-power) toward a clean energy market, Russia’s proposed plan regarding infrared energy receiving stations via an “infrared window, and the proposed collaboration between the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on an Space-Based Solar Power Initiative…to cite a few.

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Space-based solar power (SBSP) is the concept of collecting solar power in space (using an “SPS”, that is, a “solar-power satellite” or a “satellite power system”) for use on Earth. It has been in research since the early 1970s. [source]

Although there is speculation behind everything due to the obvious history of humankind, let alone of the countries allocating such time to even put forth plans such as these which involve collaboration toward a monumental common goal for the greater good regarding the longevity of our species…one this is certain and blatantly obvious: ambivalence regarding fossil fuels and climate change is beyond irrelevant.

We can no longer entertain climate change deniers or wish away our carbon emissions. Action is needed, and the sun has been a thriving energy power plant blinding us with its raw power, while the physics have been awaiting our crawl out of carbon addiction to realize what we’ve known all along…anything unsustainable will ultimately be just that — not sustainable. It’s only been a matter of when. We must come up with the how, and there are a growing number of feasible options.

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“The timing of the oil catastrophe is a great opportunity for re-evaluating solar energy from space.” - Former Astronaut Buzz Aldrin [read the blog post from the National Space Society]

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has proposed an exciting Space Solar Power System, whereby sunlight is collected in geostationary orbit, converted into electromagnetic radiation via microwaves or laser beams, transmitted to a ground or ocean-based receiving facility for use as electricity and hydrogen for Earth use.

Questions? Read Practical-Application of Space-Based Solar Power Generation" from JAXA and the MOTHERBOARD | VICE editorial, which addresses such issues as Earth’s rotation…

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The problem is that part of the Earth’s rotation spins it away from the sun, which doesn’t do much good for a solar power station. So the scientists hacked the initial model by adding in a couple mirrors to reflect the sunlight and point it directly on the panels, 24/7. These mirrors are just floating free, and scientists on the ground have to configure the whole setup with extreme precision. [source]

…and the storage of energy via solar stations on Earth.

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The solar station is tethered to a base station on the ground with six-mile-long wires. This acts as a counterforce to offset the gravitational pull so the satellite is essentially pulled in tow as the Earth turns, keeping it at a fixed point in geostationary orbit. It’s the concept astrophysicists proposed to build our future space elevators, as explained Professor Emeritus at JAXA Susumi Sasaki in an editorial in IEEE. [source]

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For further reading, I recommend IEEE Spectrum’s article “How Japan Plans to Build an Orbital Solar Farm.

No matter what avenue is explored first, when it comes to sustainable energy, the future is indeed bright. Watch JAXA’s SBSP Systems video HERE.

(via abcstarstuff)

Renewable kerosene is one step closer.

probablyasocialecologist:

Synthesized ‘solar’ jet fuel: Renewable kerosene from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide

Artist’s rendering of the functional principle. Image: SOLAR-JET

With the first ever production of synthesized “solar” jet fuel, the EU-funded SOLAR-JET project has successfully demonstrated the entire production chain for renewable kerosene obtained directly from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide (CO2), therein potentially revolutionizing the future of aviation. This process has also the potential to produce any other type of fuel for transport applications, such as diesel, gasoline or pure hydrogen in a more sustainable way.

Several notable research organizations from academia through to industry (ETH Zürich, Bauhaus Luftfahrt, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), ARTTIC and Shell Global Solutions) have explored a thermochemical pathway driven by concentrated solar energy. A new solar reactor technology has been pioneered to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels suitable for more sustainable transportation.
"Increasing environmental and supply security issues are leading the aviation sector to seek alternative fuels which can be used interchangeably with today’s jet fuel, so-called drop-in solutions," states Dr. Andreas Sizmann, the project coordinator at Bauhaus Luftfahrt. "With this first-ever proof-of-concept for ‘solar’ kerosene, the SOLAR-JET project has made a major step towards truly sustainable fuels with virtually unlimited feedstocks in the future.

(via scinerds)

This map graphically places the effectiveness of solar power into perspective.

time-for-maps:

The red squares represent the area that would be enough for solar power plants to produce a quantity of electricity consumed by the world today, in Europe (EU-25) and Germany (De).
(Data provided by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), 2005)

[source 1 2]

(via climate-changing)

A solar power breakthrough with great prospects.

probablyasocialecologist:

World record solar cell with 44.7% efficiency, made up of four solar subcells based on III-V compound semiconductors for use in concentrator photovoltaics. Image: Fraunhofer ISE

World Record Solar Cell with 44.7% Efficiency

Solar power news! A coalition of scientific institutes from France and Germany have achieved a new world record for solar power efficiency. After three years of research, the record efficiency of 44.7% was achieved, meaning that “44.7% of the solar spectrum’s energy, from ultraviolet through to the infrared, is converted into electrical energy.” 447% is well on the way to the oft-cited goal for 50% efficiency.

Back in May 2013, the German-French team of Fraunhofer ISE, Soitec, CEA-Leti and the Helmholtz Center Berlin had already announced a solar cell with 43.6% efficiency. Building on this result, further intensive research work and optimization steps led to the present efficiency of 44.7%. 

These solar cells are used in concentrator photovoltaics (CPV), a technology which achieves more than twice the efficiency of conventional PV power plants in sun-rich locations. The terrestrial use of so-called III-V multi-junction solar cells, which originally came from space technology, has prevailed to realize highest efficiencies for the conversion of sunlight to electricity. In this multi-junction solar cell, several cells made out of different III-V semiconductor materials are stacked on top of each other. The single subcells absorb different wavelength ranges of the solar spectrum.

“We are incredibly proud of our team which has been working now for three years on this four-junction solar cell,” says Frank Dimroth, Department Head and Project Leader in charge of this development work at Fraunhofer ISE. “This four-junction solar cell contains our collected expertise in this area over many years. Besides improved materials and optimization of the structure, a new procedure called wafer bonding plays a central role. With this technology, we are able to connect two semiconductor crystals, which otherwise cannot be grown on top of each other with high crystal quality. In this way we can produce the optimal semiconductor combination to create the highest efficiency solar cells.” 

“This world record increasing our efficiency level by more than 1 point in less than 4 months demonstrates the extreme potential of our four-junction solar cell design which relies on Soitec bonding techniques and expertise,” says André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, Soitec’s Chairman and CEO. “It confirms the acceleration of the roadmap towards higher efficiencies which represents a key contributor to competitiveness of our own CPV systems. We are very proud of this achievement, a demonstration of a very successful collaboration.”

“This new record value reinforces the credibility of the direct semiconductor bonding approaches that is developed in the frame of our collaboration with Soitec and Fraunhofer ISE. We are very proud of this new result, confirming the broad path that exists in solar technologies for advanced III-V semiconductor processing,” said Leti CEO Laurent Malier. Concentrator modules are produced by Soitec (started in 2005 under the name Concentrix Solar, a spin-off of Fraunhofer ISE). This particularly efficient technology is employed in solar power plants located in sun-rich regions with a high percentage of direct radiation. Presently Soitec has CPV installations in 18 different countries including Italy, France, South Africa and California.

Source

Further reading:

(via scinerds)

An infographic look at the evolution of solar power.

solarreviews:

Read a brief history of #solar power, and the path it followed to become cost-competitive with traditional electricity

For more solar energy news and helpful facts about going solar, visit the SolarReviews blog.

(via climate-changing)