Get Prepared Now is NOT Just a Slogan

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Advanced power-grid research finds low-cost, low-carbon future in Western U.S.

The least expensive way for the Western US to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to help prevent the worst consequences of global warming is to replace coal with renewable and other sources of energy that may include nuclear power, according to a new study.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Liquid solar cells can be painted onto surfaces

Scientists have developed a potential pathway to cheap, stable solar cells made from nanocrystals so small they can exist as a liquid ink and be painted or printed onto clear surfaces.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Scientists discover bilayer structure in efficient solar material

Detailed studies of one of the best-performing organic photovoltaic materials reveal an unusual bilayer lamellar structure that may help explain the material's superior performance at converting sunlight to electricity and guide the synthesis of new materials with even better properties.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Graphene boosts efficiency of next-gen solar cells

Scientists found that incorporating graphene increased the cell's conductivity, bringing 52.4 percent more current into the circuit.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Electricity and carbon dioxide used to generate alternative fuel

Imagine being able to use electricity to power your car and it's not an electric vehicle. Researchers have for the first time demonstrated a method for converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuel isobutanol using electricity.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Engineers create tandem polymer solar cells that set record for energy-conversion

Researchers in California report that they have significantly enhanced polymer solar cells' performance by building a device with a new "tandem" structure that combines multiple cells with different absorption bands. The device had a certified power-conversion efficiency of 8.62 percent and set a world record in July 2011. After the researchers incorporated a new infrared-absorbing polymer material into the device, the device's architecture proved to be widely applicable and the power-conversion efficiency jumped to 10.6 percent -- a new record -- as certified by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Solar cell that also shines: Luminescent 'LED-type' design breaks efficiency record

To produce the maximum amount of energy, solar cells are designed to absorb as much light from the sun as possible. Now researchers have suggested -- and demonstrated -- a counter-intuitive concept: solar cells should be designed to be more like LEDs, able to emit light as well as absorb it.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Listening to the radio even in an electric vehicle

To enable radio reception in electric vehicles, manufacturers must install filters and insulate cables, since electrical signals will otherwise interfere with music and speech transmissions. Now, using new calculation methods, researchers are paving the way for pure listening pleasure while also helping to lower the associated costs.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Butterfly wings' 'art of blackness' could boost production of green fuels

Butterfly wings may rank among the most delicate structures in nature, but they have given researchers powerful inspiration for new technology that doubles production of hydrogen gas — a green fuel of the future — from water and sunlight.

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Tuesday, May 15, 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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Monday, May 14, 2012

Artificial photosynthesis breakthrough: Fast molecular catalyzer

Researchers have constructed a molecular catalyzer that can oxidize water to oxygen very rapidly. In fact, these scientists have managed to reach speeds approximating those of natural photosynthesis. The speed with which natural photosynthesis occurs is about 100 to 400 turnovers per seconds. Scientists have now reached over 300 turnovers per seconds with their artificial photosynthesis. The research findings play a critical role for the future use of solar energy and other renewable energy sources.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Nanotube electrodes improve solar cells

Forests of carbon nanotubes are an efficient alternative for platinum electrodes in dye-sensitized solar cells, according to new research.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Bright future for alternative energy with greener solar cells

Research to green alternative energy technologies has led to a dye-sensitized solar cell that uses a bacteria and dye to generate energy. It is also friendlier to the environment and living organisms.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Low-carbon technologies 'no quick-fix': May not lessen global warming until late this century

La Crosse Technology Solar-Powered Wireless Weather StationA drastic switch to low carbon-emitting technologies, such as wind and hydroelectric power, may not yield a reduction in global warming until the latter part of this century, new research suggests. Furthermore, it states that technologies that offer only modest reductions in greenhouse gases, such as the use of natural gas and perhaps carbon capture and storage, cannot substantially reduce climate risk in the next 100 years.
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

New dimension for solar energy: Innovative 3-D designs more than double the solar power generated per area

Intensive research around the world has focused on improving the performance of solar photovoltaic cells and bringing down their cost. But very little attention has been paid to the best ways of arranging those cells, which are typically placed flat on a rooftop or other surface, or sometimes attached to motorized structures that keep the cells pointed toward the sun as it crosses the sky. Now, a team of researchers has come up with a very different approach: building cubes or towers that extend the solar cells upward in three-dimensional configurations.
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Friday, May 4, 2012

Brown liquor and solar cells to provide sustainable electricity

A breakthrough for inexpensive electricity from solar cells, and a massive investment in wind power, will mean a need to store energy in an intelligent way. According to new research batteries of biological waste products from pulp mills could provide the solution.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Plasma flows may shed light on predicting sunspot cycles

A geophysics researcher wants to look inside the sun. More accurately, she wants to simulate the sun to study plasma flows associated with sunspot cycles. With the help of simulations scientists recently warned about a series of solar storms in early March, concerned that it could affect global positioning systems, power grids, satellites and airplane travel.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Structure of printable electronics revealed

An innovative X-ray technique has given researchers new insight into how organic polymers can be used in printable electronics such as transistors and solar cells.

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