Get Prepared Now is NOT Just a Slogan

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Focus on technology overlooks human behavior when addressing climate change

Technology alone won't help the world turn away from fossil fuel-based energy sources, says a sociologist. A shift in political and economic policies to is needed to embrace the concept that continued growth in energy consumption is not sustainable, experts say.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lessons to be learned from nature in photosynthesis

Lessons to be learned from nature could lead to the development of an artificial version of photosynthesis that would provide us with an absolutely clean and virtually inexhaustible energy source, say researchers.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Installed cost of solar photovoltaic systems in U.S. declined significantly in 2010 and 2011

The installed cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2010 and into the first half of 2011, according to the latest edition of an annual PV cost tracking report.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Nanoparticle electrode for batteries could make grid-scale power storage feasible

Researchers have used nanoparticles of a copper compound to develop a high-power battery electrode that is so inexpensive to make, so efficient and so durable that it could be used to build batteries big enough for economical large-scale energy storage on the electrical grid -- something researchers have sought for years.

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Krypton Hall effect thruster for spacecraft propulsion

Electric propulsion (EP) is the future of astronautics. It can already compete successfully with chemical thrusters, especially for attitude control, orbit transfer and/or orbital station-keeping as well as for the main propulsion system for deep space missions. However, xenon, the propellant of choice in most EP devices, has a substantial drawback: its cost is very high. On the basis of the experience with plasma jet accelerators, a team of scientists and engineers from Poland has designed the Hall effect thruster optimised to work with krypton, a much more affordable noble gas.
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Discovery of a 'dark state' could mean a brighter future for solar energy

The efficiency of conventional solar cells could be significantly increased, according to new research on the mechanisms of solar energy conversion.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Astrobiologists discover 'sweet spots' for the formation of complex organic molecules in the galaxy

Scientists have compiled years of research to help locate areas in outer space that have extreme potential for complex organic molecule formation. The scientists searched for methanol, a key ingredient in the synthesis of organic molecules that could lead to life. Their results have implications for determining the origins of molecules that spark life in the cosmos.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Innovative organic solar cell architecture sets new performance level, Belgian researchers demonstrate

Researchers in Belgium have demonstrated an organic polymer-based single junction solar cell with 6.9 percent performance in an innovative inverted device stack. The polymer was also integrated into a module resulting in excellent module level efficiencies of 5 percent for an aperture area of 25 square centimeters.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Solar power could get boost from new light absorption design

Researchers have developed a new material that absorbs a wide range of wavelengths and could lead to more efficient and less expensive solar technology.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

'Fool's gold' aids discovery of new options for cheap, benign solar energy

Pyrite, better known as "fool's gold," was familiar to the ancient Romans and has fooled prospectors for centuries -- but has now helped researchers discover related compounds that offer new, cheap and promising options for solar energy. These new compounds, unlike some solar cell materials made from rare, expensive or toxic elements, would be benign and could be processed from some of the most abundant elements on Earth.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Measuring elusive solar neutrinos flowing through the Earth, physicists learn more about the sun

Using one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors on the planet, physicists are now measuring the flow of solar neutrinos reaching Earth more precisely than ever before. The detector probes matter at the most fundamental level and provides a powerful tool for directly observing the sun's composition.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why solar wind is rhombic-shaped: Temperature and energy equipartition in cosmic plasmas explained

Why the temperatures in the solar wind are almost the same in certain directions, and why different energy densities are practically identical, was until now not clear. With a new approach to calculating instability criteria for plasmas, researchers have solved both problems at once. They were the first to incorporate the effects of collisions of the solar wind particles in their model. This explains experimental data significantly better than previous calculations and can also be transferred to cosmic plasmas outside our solar system.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Rebalancing the nuclear debate through education

Better physics teaching with a particular emphasis on radioactivity and radiation science could improve public awareness through education of the environmental benefits and relative safety of nuclear power generation, according to scientists. Experts have suggestsed that it might then be possible to have a less emotional debate about the future of the industry that will ultimately reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Researchers' refinement increases solar concentrator efficiency

Researchers have discovered that changing the shape of a solar concentrator significantly increases its efficiency, bringing its use closer to reality.

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Researchers use carbon nanotubes to make solar cells affordable, flexible

Researchers have found that metallic carbon nanotubes are 50 times more effective than semiconducting ones when used as transparent conductors in organic solar cells.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nature offers key lessons on harvesting solar power, say chemists

Clean solutions to human energy demands are essential to our future. While sunlight is the most abundant source of energy at our disposal, we have yet to learn how to capture, transfer and store solar energy efficiently. According to a new study, the answers can be found in the complex systems at work in nature.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Keeping electronics cool: Findings on modified form of graphene could have impacts in managing heat dissipation

An engineering professor has made a breakthrough discovery with graphene, a material that could play a major role in keeping laptops and other electronic devices from overheating.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Photovoltaics among fastest growing industries in the world

The photovoltaic (PV) industry production more than doubled and reached a world-wide production volume of 23.5 gigawatt (GW) of photovoltaic modules. Since 1990, photovoltaic module production has increased more than 500-fold from 46 megawatts (MW) to 23.5 GW in 2010, which makes photovoltaics one of the fastest-growing industries at present.

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