Hot Solar Cell

As posted in the MIT Technology Review earlier this year, we are developing a new “hot solar cell” technology.
By converting heat to focused beams of light, a new solar device could create cheap and continuous power.

Solar panels cover a growing number of rooftops, but even decades after they were first developed, the slabs of silicon remain bulky, expensive, and inefficient. Fundamental limitations prevent these conventional photovoltaics from absorbing more than a fraction of the energy in sunlight.

But a team of MIT scientists has built a different sort of solar energy device that uses inventive engineering and advances in materials science to capture far more of the sun’s energy. The trick is to first turn sunlight into heat and then convert it back into light, but now focused within the spectrum that solar cells can use. While various researchers have been working for years on so-called solar thermophotovoltaics, the MIT device is the first one to absorb more energy than its photovoltaic cell alone, demonstrating that the approach could dramatically increase efficiency.

Visit the full source article here!

RanMarine WasteShark

Founded by Richard Hardiman, Ranmarine Technology uses WasteShark — 24-hour on-the-water drones. The solar-powered drones collect detritus, marine waste and chemical substances from ports and canals.

Founded in 2015 in South Africa, the company was later re-incorporated in the Netherlands at the start of last year as RanMarine Technology BV.

Hardiman is based in Rotterdam. He moved there after being selected for PortXL Rotterdam’s maritime accelerator (portxl.org) in February last year. The startup was one of 12 companies selected from 1000 startups worldwide.

In July last year the startup began a pilot with the Port of Rotterdam to test both the use of autonomous surface vessels in their waters and how the product actually works in “high trafficked waters”. The pilot was successfully completed last month.

There are currently 3 different types of the Waste Shark products: the WasteShark, the Great WasteShark and the ChemShark.

Check out their website https://www.ranmarine.io/ for more info and videos!

Idénergie River Turbine

Combining Quebec’s expertise in hydroelectricity, aluminum and renewable energy, Idénergie has successfully developed the first solution to easily generate electricity from the natural flow of a river. This innovation will allow people to generate electricity from nearby rivers, 24 hours a day.

Idénergie’s river turbine has an embedded smart converter that allows the conversion of the energy harnessed from the water current into electricity. The built-in smart converter includes many additional features including a self-starting turbine, continuous power optimization, remote monitoring capabilities, an emergency brake and many more to come.

Mostly made of noble metals such as aluminium and other environmentally friendly components, the turbine is the greenest amongst all available renewable energy products. These material do not react to the environment and are easily recyclable ensuring a substantial end of life value. In addition, the river turbine does not require a permanent structure reducing its impact on aquatic fauna.

By taking into account numerous studies estimating the interactions of the turbines with the ecosystems, Idénergie designed its product in order for it to have minimal impact on the aquatic fauna and its housing environment. Studies carried out by the Alden laboratories, an american entity, have proven that the Darrieus Turbines, used by Idenergie, represent no harm to the river’s ecosystem. In fact, extracting energy from a fluid tend to slow it down, resulting in faster velocity on the side of the turbine thus floating objects and debris, as well as fish, tend to naturally avoid the turbine resulting in 98% survival rate.

A society based on a green economy is Idénergie’s dream. Fully aware of the need to adapt to the threat of climate change, they aim to make a positive difference by encouraging every individual, homeowner or community to use renewable energy and become energy-independent.

Check out their website http://idenergie.ca/en/ to see how this renewable-energy hardware is accessible and discover how yes, it can be done.

First Solar-powered Train

The world’s first solar-powered train is here!

India’s first solar-powered trains has begun service, running a 12.5-mile route from Delhi’s Safdarjung station to Farukh Nagar in the country’s north. The diesel-electric hybrid train has six coach cars with solar panels embedded in their roofs. The panels feed a battery that can power the train for up to 72 hours. Roughly 50 solar-harvesting coaches are set to be launched in the next several days, running primarily along commuter routes.

The new trains are a part of Indian Railways’s plan to establish an energy-generation capacity of 1 gigawatt of solar and 130 megawatts of wind power in the next five years. The state-owned company has been using train-mounted solar panels since 2015 to power interior lights and air conditioning, but their newest train is the first in the world to use solar power.

India isn’t the only country exploring solar-powered trains. A research team at the Imperial College London is embarking on a similar quest to take trains off-grid and power them with solar energy. However, the UK project is looking to track-side solar panels, not ones directly mounted to the trains themselves.

Visit the source article with a video as well on curbed.com

UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a set of 17 “Global Goals” with 169 targets between them.

To read more about each of the SDGs visit this link: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

Wave Star: Kinetic Wave Power

Meet “Wave Star” of Denmark. It is a facility designed to convert kinetic wave power into electricity.

Wave Star is equipped with kinetic-energy harvesters called “floats.” The floats move up and down with the kinetic motion of the waves. The motion of the floats is transferred via hydraulics to rotate power generators. Their facility enables continuous energy production and a smooth output.

The full scale device will be equipped 20 floats of 10 m (33 ft) in diameter. Each power station will be able to produce 6 megawatts of energy, a single machine providing enough energy for roughly 4000 homes.

In the event of a storm, the floats can be lifted to a safe position. The facility could also be upgraded to utilize wind and solar power. The power stations are planned to hit the market this year!

Check out this video for more information!

Thanks to @SeedsofLove.Life for the share! <3

#ActOnClimate

Today at the LA State Historic Park #ActOnClimate hosted a beautiful rally and round-dance for Climate Justice.

The mission: “Together, we will rally for the steps we know are necessary to deliver on the goals of Paris: moving to 100% renewable energy, stopping new fossil fuel projects, divesting from coal, oil and gas companies, and more.”

Among the great speakers who came before the crowd included: Jack Eidt, Co-Founder of SoCal 350 Climate Action; Lydia Ponce, Co-Director of American Indian Movement Southern California; Paul Koretz, Council Member of City of Los Angeles; Martha Dina Arguello, Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Matt Pakucko, Co-Founder of Save Porter Ranch.

Check out 350 to get involved in events in your local community! (https://350.org)

 

24 Hour Solar Thermal Plants

 

The Chilean government recently gave the go-ahead on a massive solar thermal plant that is expected to produce electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week—a considerable feat for a plant that depends solely on solar energy. The plant, proposed for a site in Chile’s Tamarugal province, would consist of three 150 megawatt solar thermal towers, which become heated as mirrors placed around each tower reflect sunlight onto it.

That heat is transferred to molten salt, which circulates through the plant during the day and is stored in tanks at night. The salt, a mixture of sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate that’s kept at a balmy 1,050 degrees Fahrenheit (566 degrees Celsius), is used as a “heat transfer fluid.” As energy is needed, the salt can be dispatched to a heat exchanger, where it will lend its heat to water to create a super-heated steam. That steam is used to move a traditional steam turbine to create electricity.

The molten salt generates high quality super-heated steam to drive a standard steam turbine at maximum efficiency and generate reliable non-intermittent electricity during peak demand hours.

SolarReserve, the US-based company that proposed this project, has also proposed two others—a 260 MW, 24-hour plant near the city of Copiapó in the Atacama Region of Chile, as well as a 390 MW, 24-hour plant in the Antofagasta Region. Mary Grikas, a SolarReserve spokesperson, told Ars via e-mail that Copiapó is shovel-ready, and now Tamarugal is, too, with the Chilean government’s recent approval, which assessed the site for environmental impact. The plant in Antofagasta is still waiting on permitting approval.

Visit the source article for more info and a video!

100 Percent Green California

California’s Senate leader wants the Golden State to shift to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045, pushing it to lead the country in grabbing that green power goal.

Environmentalists are cheering California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León’s (D) plan to double, and accelerate, the state’s current renewables mandate of 50 percent by 2050. Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio even tweeted his thanks to de León among his 17 million followers.

The nation’s most populous state switching to fully renewable electricity sounds idealistic. But several experts said it can be done — with a lot depending on definitions, technological advancements and acceptable price tags.

“2045 is a long way away,” said Severin Borenstein, economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “A lot could happen between now and 2045.”

Energy storage through batteries “could get a lot cheaper. That could make the goal much more attainable and much more cost-effective,” he added. Wind and solar energy already are close in price to natural gas, he said. “If you could actually store the power cost-effectively, then you could make it work much more effectively.”

Others warned major expenses would ensue. Large-scale solar and wind projects often go in deserts or other open areas, requiring added infrastructure to move the power to cities, said Evan Birenbaum, who led the environmental strategies program at Los Angeles-area utility Southern California Edison Co. before leaving in 2014. He now heads Chai Energy, which focuses on reducing household energy consumption.

“You would need to build new transmission lines to support the incoming [renewable] power,” Birenbaum said. “Old power lines might not be able to support it.”

Utility substations also likely would need upgrades, he said, adding, “You’re talking about many billions of dollars that have to be invested in that new renewable energy future. It’s the ratepayer who will have to pay for that.”

Borenstein said that calculating how much it will cost nearly 30 years from now is “nearly impossible to answer. … Imagine going back 30 years,” when the internet-connected cellphones used now didn’t exist.

“It’s very hard to predict technology 30 years in advance,” he added.

FFT: Although goals and estimates for 100% renewable energy may not be accurate to the year, the challenge gives us perspective as we progress towards the goal. Who knows, maybe we’ll even beat it.

( Visit the full article at the Scientific America )

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-california-go-100-percent-green/

 

Foldable Solar Panels

We can now fold up solar panels that are nearly unbreakable and take them with us anywhere.

Instead of one solid sheet, these highly portable panels are made from a pliable network of glitter-sized solar cells.

A typical solar panel—more than five feet long and encased in glass—isn’t exactly portable. But a new type of solar technology, miniaturized so that each cell is the size of a piece of glitter, could be used anywhere.

The tiny cells are made from high-efficiency silicon, like standard solar panels. But the new form means that they’re not only small but flexible, and can be folded up for transportation, incorporated into clothing, or easily used in electronics.

Conventional solar panels “are brittle because they’re crystalline,” Murat Okandan, CEO of mPower Technology, the startup making the new technology, tells Co.Exist. “If you bend or flex them, at some point they’ll just break and shatter. By making our cells small and then interconnecting them we’re able to make them almost unbreakable.”

Visit the source link for more details!