Scientists propose new laser that could make things hotter than the center of the Sun instantly

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A team of scientists from Imperial College London have proposed a laser model that can could heat materials to temperatures hotter than the center of the Sun in just 20 quadrillionths of a second. That’s 10 million degrees Celsius almost instantaneously.

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Stanford engineers invent high-tech mirrors to help cool buldings

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Engineers have invented a material designed to help cool buildings.

Engineers at Stanford have invented a revolutionary coating material that can help cool buildings, even on sunny days, by radiating heat away from the buildings and sending it directly into space.

 

 

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Could we run the entire world on solar power?

100 percent solar

We all want to find an alternative to fossil fuels as soon as possible. The most viable answer to the planet’s energy needs is visible to us any time we look upward. The amount of solar energy that hits just 1 square mile of this planet over the course of a year is equal to 4 million barrels of oil, and the energy that hits the Earth in a mere 40 minutes can fuel all of humanity’s energy needs for a year. Isn’t that incredible? (Infographic)

 

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New spongelike material converts solar energy into steam

solar sponge

The DLS that consists of a carbon foam supporting an exfoliated graphite layer.

MIT has developed a new material structure that generates steam by soaking up the sun. The structure — a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam — is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water. When sunlight hits the structure’s surface, it creates a hotspot in the graphite, drawing water up through the material’s pores, where it evaporates as steam. The brighter the light, the more steam is generated.

 

 

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

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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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Most solar panels are facing in the wrong direction: Study

Homeowners who aimed their panels toward the west, instead of the south, generated 2% more electricity over the course of a day.

Solar panels should face in the general direction of the sun. You would think that would be easy to do. But most installers of solar panels, especially the ones for homes, follow conventional wisdom handed down from architects, which holds that in the northern hemisphere, windows and solar panels should face south.

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Street lights of the future will be powered by the sun and wind

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Solar and wind are much more logical.

Those humming orange lights that illuminate your city streets typically rely on High Pressure Sodium bulbs (HPS)—and longer lasting than other conventional options, sure, but not exactly energy efficient. No worries though, they may soon be obsolete thanks to these LED street lamps powered by the sun and wind…

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Solar Sinter – 3D printer uses the sun to create glass objects out of sand

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Sun-powered, sand-fed 3D printer.

Design student Markus Kayser wanted to test his sun-powered, sand-fed 3-D printer, but he knew the gray skies in London wouldn’t do. He decided to ship the 200-plus-pound contraption to Cairo, Egypt, flew there himself, and haggled with officials for two days to get it out of customs. A few small “tips” and 11 hours of driving later, he finally made it to the Sahara. But soon the mercury hit 104 degrees, his components nearly overheated, and he was forced to improvise.

 

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U.S. Solar Industry now employs 100,000 people, grew 6.8% since August 2010

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That’s a net gain 6,700 jobs in one year!

Don’t let the Solyndra talk fool you: The clean energy sector is still booming. And even booming industries — maybe especially booming industries — see a fair share of once-promising companies go belly up. It’s unfortunate that the Obama administration once touted Solyndra as an example of the fast-growing renewable power sector, but its bankruptcy is a poor reflection of the industry’s health as a whole. In fact, renewable energy remains one of the few sectors to see consistent growth over the last couple years.

A new report highlights that health, revealing that the solar industry employs over 100,000 people, and added over 6,700 jobs in the last 12 months alone…

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Solar Bottle Bulb – a cheap and sustainable way to light homes

solar bottle bulb

Illac Diaz, of non-profit My Shelter Foundation, brought the simple, cheap and innovative technology to the Philippines.

The slums in Manila are being transformed by a new twist on recycling.  Plastic bottles are now being viewed as a cheap and sustainable way to light homes instead of trash. 

 

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