Aviation Futurist George Bye to Speak at DaVinci Institute June 10

Aviation's Next Quantum Leap

George E. Bye, CEO and Founder of Bye Aerospace, Inc., will speak on the endurance capabilities and benefits of solar-electric powered aircraft as part of DaVinci Institute’s Speaker Series on Tuesday, June 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the DaVinci offices in Louisville, Colo.

 

 

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Germany generates 74% of power needs from renewable energy

Offshore-Windkraftanlage

An offshore wind turbine near Rostock. Germany.

Germany’s impressive streak of renewable energy milestones continues, with renewable energy generation surging to a record portion — nearly 75 percent — of the country’s overall electricity demand by midday last Sunday. With wind and solar in particular filling such a huge portion of the country’s power demand, electricity prices actually dipped into the negative for much of the afternoon, according to Renewables International.

 

 

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Solar-powered batteries woven into fabric boost wearable technology

battery

flexible polymer solar cells are integrated into the textile battery eliminating the need for connecting the battery to a power outlet for recharging.

Google Glass and a wave of smartwatches are just some of the choices in wearable electronics, and they are quickly multiplying. But the batteries still need to be plugged into something to charge up. What if your watch strap could contain the battery components, along with a flexible solar cell? Voilà: No more plugging in.

 

 

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Solar thermophotovoltaic device has potential to tap the sun’s energy through heat as well as light

sun-energy

A nanophotonic solar thermophotovoltaic device.

Traditional photovoltaic solar cells have an inherent limit on the efficiency at which they can convert sunlight into energy. This limit—based on the bandgap of the material used and known as the Shockley-Queisser limit—is about 33.7 percent for standard solar cells. It is essentially due to any material’s inability to respond to all wavelengths of sunlight; so what if there was a way to change the wavelengths that actually reach the cell to those it converts best? MIT researchers have unveiled the best-yet version of that idea, known as solar thermophotovoltaics.

 

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2013 a record year for U.S. solar industry

solar installations

The solar industry in the U.S. had a record-breaking year in 2013 and it is continuing its explosive growth. Continuing its explosive growth, the U.S. solar industry had a record-shattering year in 2013. Photovoltaic (PV) installations continued to proliferate, increasing 41% over 2012 to reach 4,751MW, According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Solar Market Insight Year in Review 2013.

 

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This Gates-funded toilet will change how we think about poop

caltech-prototype-toilet

Yan Qu and Clement Cid spend a lot more time thinking about poop than your average academics. The pair, both at Caltech, are part of a team working on what could be the future of bathrooms: a self-cleaning, solar-powered toilet that turns human waste into hydrogen and fertilizer.

 

 

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World’s largest solar plant is now creating electricity

solar plant 1

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world’s largest solar power plant, takes 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors, each 7 feet high and 10 feet wide and controls them with computers to focus the Sun’s light to the top of 459-foot towers where water is turned into steam to power turbines. (Photos)

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Future predictions for the oil and gas industry

oil and gas

A flawed prediction for oil and gas?

One comment about the oil and gas industry comes up quite a bit from very well educated people in a number of disciplines related to the climate issue – “The oil and gas industry has only got 20 years”. A few years back, a report by the WWF took a similar but slightly less aggressive line, through the publication of an energy model forecast which showed that the world could be effectively fossil energy free as early as 2050.

 

 

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Why the days are numbered for traditional utility companies

solar power

Utilities are under fire from technologies such as rooftop solar.

Duke Energy is the biggest utility in the U.S.  The recently retired head of the utility company, Jim Rogers, has had some interesting things to say about the fate of the traditional utility, particularly with the proliferation of rooftop solar.

 

 

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