New technology from Sharp demonstrates ultra-high efficiency solar cells

solar energy

Sharp’s technology could be twice as efficient at converting sunlight to electricity.

Right now the best solar cells we have convert less than a third of the energy on sunlight into electricity, even though for decades researchers have calculated that exotic physics could allow solar cells to convert far more energy than they do now.

 

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IBM creates a solar magnifying glass that could power the Earth

solar magnifying glass

High Concentration Photo Voltaic Thermal (HCPVT)

IBM, the American multinational technology and consulting corporation are renowned the world over for being technology leaders and innovators with an aim to ‘shape the future of society and make the world work better and build a smarter planet.’ Their latest creation is being considered as one of their best projects yet.

 

 

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Bionic plants use nanotechnology to boost photosynthesis

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Researchers embedded carbon nanotubes in the chloroplasts of the plants to create “artificial antennae.”

Plants make life possible. Chloroplasts are the tiny organelles with a plant’s leaves. The chloroplasts use incoming sunlight to split water molecules and then knit together the energy-rich carbon and hydrogen compounds found in everything from food to fossil fuels. The leftover “waste” is the oxygen that we and the rest of the animal kingdom depend on to survive and thrive.
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CozyTherm™ – off-grid solar heating system

 

CozyTherm Typical Installation

Featured invention at the DaVinci Inventor Showcase 2011

The CozyTherm™ is an innovative, very low-cost solar heating system designed to cut heating costs by half or more. When coupled with a heat storage system in a properly designed structure, it may provide nearly all the heating necessary throughout the year. It can be used with new construction or to retrofit existing homes, businesses, greenhouses or other structures.

 

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Want To Keep Your Eyesight? Study Shows Getting More Sunshine Is Key Factor

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Quantity of sunlight and eyesight have a direct correlation.

About two years ago, I was at a conference and one of the presenters brought up her idea that a significant cause of nearsightedness is the fact that so many of us spend most of the time indoors staring at computer screens, or in confined enough urban spaces that we don’t keep our eyes practiced at looking far into the distance. Turns out, she wasn’t too far off, though getting out in the open more is less about using our eyes for watching the distance and more about getting some sunlight. New research shows that if we want to prevent nearsightedness, we need to get outside into the sun.

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First Practical Artificial Leaf Developed

leaf

The first practical artificial leaf shows promise as an inexpensive source of electricity for homes in developing countries.

Scientists debut development of the first practical artificial leaf, one of the milestones in the drive for sustainable energy.  The scientists described an advanced solar cell the size of a poker card at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. The solar cell mimics the process, called photosynthesis, that green plants use to convert sunlight and water into energy.

 

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BYU Chemists Turn Gold to Purple, on Purpose

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Chemists developed a method of artificial photosynthesis, and proved it by turning gold atoms into purple-colored nanoparticles.

Professor Richard Watt and his chemistry students suspected that a common protein could potentially react with sunlight and harvest its energy – similar to what chlorophyll does during photosynthesis.

Planting Climate Friendly Crops Could Help Offset the Effects of Global Warming

crops

Climate friendly crops reflect sunlight

Planting ‘climate friendly’ crops that reflect sunlight could help offset the effects of global warming, a study suggests.  The crops, spread across large fertile regions of North America and Europe, would send a small percentage of the sun’s light and heat back into space.

 

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Soular Backpack – Trendy Solar Bags For Off-Grid Charging of Hand-Held Gadgets

soular-backpack

Soular Backpack

Neon Green has decided to bring solar to the fashion forward among us, from tween girls to guys working in the financial district. The makers of solar bags have come up with a variety of designs that incorporate thin-film solar cells into trendy bags with “soular” for off-grid charging and backup power for hand-held gadgets. Neon Green claims the bags are so awesome, they’ll “transform [you] from a mere mortal to a super hero with soular powers.” Now that’s quite a statement. (pics)