Nanonets Could Convert Sunlight Into Hydrogen

Nanonets Could Convert Sunlight Into Hydrogen

The top image shows a nanonet magnified 50,000 times. At bottom, a
flexible nanonet rolls up when poked by the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope.

One problem with solar cells is that they only produce electricity during the day. A promising way to use the sun’s energy more efficiently is to enlist it to split water into hydrogen gas that can be stored and then employed at any time, day or night. A cheap new nanostructured material could prove an efficient catalyst for performing this reaction. Called a nanonet because of its two-dimensional branching structure, the material is made up of a compound that has been demonstrated to enable the water-splitting reaction. Because of its high surface area, the nanonet enhances this reaction.

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Solar Cells Integrated Into Building Materials

Solar Cells Integrated Into Building Materials 

 The solar system shown here (darker panels) integrates thin-film solar modules directly into a metal roof.

In an effort to promote the adoption of solar technology, United Solar Ovonic of Auburn Hills, MI, has teamed with a major roofing company to create a metal roof system that generates electricity from sunlight. The partnership offers seven different prefabricated systems, ranging in capacity from 3 to 120 kilowatts. Tests show that the solar roof panels are rugged and can withstand winds in excess of 160 miles per hour.

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Electricity from Dirt: Is it Possible?

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A New Job For Dirt?

It turns out wind power, solar power and lunar power are not the only possible renewable energy sources for our future. Dirt power might be next. There are already plans for use of it in places of Africa that are off-grid.

We first heard of dirt power back in May of 2008. Six Harvard University students (a.k.a known as Lebônê) won a $200,000 grant from World Bank at the Lighting Africa 2008 event in Accra, Ghana for inventing a way to turn soil into electricity using microbial fuel cells.

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90,000 Homes In The Netherlands To Be Powered By Chicken Manure

90,000 Homes In The Netherlands To Be Powered By Chicken Manure 

Some Powerful Poo!

So, you’re an Earth-loving, eco-friendly environmentalist, as it’s all the rage these days. Alternative sources of energy, such as wind and solar, are what you’re looking to use to get your juice. OK, that’s cool. But what about more… unorthodox sources of power? I’m talking, of course, about chicken crap.

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Mini-Windmills Could Soon Be On Roofs Across Europe And US

Mini-Windmills Could Soon Be On Roofs Across Europe And US 
 Mini-Windmills

They are small and look more like art than innovation. But the mini-windmills built by a British company could soon be on roofs across Europe and the US — if German energy giant RWE has its way.

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Engineering Students Develop Solar Icemaker

Engineering Students Develop Solar Ice Maker 

Just when you thought ice cube-creation technology had peaked, a team of engineering students from San Jose State University has come up an ice maker that has zero carbon footprint. It’s more than an eco-party trick – consider it an electricity-free alternative to refrigeration and air conditioning, which is critical if you happen to be somewhere off of the electrical grid, like in the developing world or in a disaster zone.

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Could The Moon Be Mined For Alternative Fuel?

Could The Moon Be Mined For Alternative Fuel? 

In 2008, solar power seems to be the hot topic for alternative fuel use. Solar powered products are already coming down in price so that the average consumer can take it home and use it, but now scientist are turning to the moon as well as the sun for power. Could the moon fuel our future?

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Charge Your Gadgets With Wireless Electricity

Charge Your Gadgets With Wireless Electricity 

The ability to use wireless electricity to charge your gadgets could get many of you excited. Having this technology would mean you would never have to plug anything in again to a wall as the power would be supplied over the air. Wireless Electricity is not new, but past attempts see a lot of power that is lost through the air. Can Intel make a change to this? It seems like they are heading in the right direction.

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1% Of Geothermal Energy Could Supply Power For 26,000 Years

1% Of Geothermal Energy Could Supply Power For 26,000 Years 

In case you weren’t aware, below the surface of the earth there’s a sea of insanely hot material that’s constantly swirling around. When tapped, that heat source can be used as geothermal power. With so much down there, why aren’t we using it more? That’s a question asked in Australia, where a study determined that a mere 1% of Australia’s geothermal power potential could provide the nation with a whopping 26,000 years of energy. The trick is getting it out.

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Smart Grids, Fast Charging – Infrastructure for Electric Cars

 Smart Grids, Fast Charging - Infrastructure for Electric Cars
 Is this a picture of what the future of plug-in vehicle charging might look?

There are 54 million garages for the 247 million registered cars in the US, meaning that the majority of cars are parked overnight in parking structures, parking lots or curbside. As a result, most potential plug-in vehicle consumers do not have an adequate place to charge their vehicles. This problem is even more pronounced in urban areas like San Francisco, where only about 16% of cars are parked in garages overnight and the rest end up curbside or in parking lots.

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