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Apr 11, 2021

NASA’s Lucy Spacecraft Stretches Its Wings in Successful Solar Panel Deployment Test

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

NASA ’s Lucy spacecraft has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing of both solar panels, the final step in checking out these critical spacecraft components in preparation for launch this fall. Once the Lucy spacecraft’s solar panels are attached and fully extended, they could cover a five-story building.

Lucy, the 13th mission in NASA’s Discovery Program, requires these large solar panels as it will operate farther from the Sun than any previous solar-powered space mission. During its 12-year tour of the Trojan asteroids, the Lucy spacecraft will operate a record-breaking 530 million miles (853 million km) from the Sun, beyond the orbit of Jupiter.

Apr 11, 2021

Call for papers abstract submission Space Renaissance

Posted by in categories: government, health, law, solar power, space, sustainability

# Just 5 days left to upload an abstract to the SRIC3 Call for Papers! ## We need you to lead the Space Renaissance!

Choose among the following symposia tracks, all of them concurring to a coherent strategy for Space Settlement, kicking off the Civilian Space Development before 2025: * The immense social benefits of expanding Civilization into Outer Space * Civilization risk mitigation: space as the main Knight, defending humanity against the ‘Apocalypse’ multi-crisis * Global collaboration, working with Agencies, Companies, Space Advocacy Associations, United Nations and Governments of Planet Earth to promote Civilian Space Development and the 18th UN SDG * Space Safety: protecting human life and health in space, space debris recovering and reuse, space weather, defense from asteroids * Policies to Enable Communities Beyond Earth: technologies, financing, & Common Law * Earth orbit industrial development * The Moon and Cislunar development * Space Based Solar Power, feeding the Civilian Space Development * Greening the Solar System * Mars, the Asteroids Belt and beyond * A conceptual timetable for the founding steps of Space Settlement * Living, Sport, Art and Culture in Space, a Scifi futurologist–presentist narration * Congress Thesis 1 — Status of civilization and perspective of expansion into outer space * Congress Thesis 2 — A strategy to develop the Space Renaissance, towards 2025.

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Apr 8, 2021

World first for solid-state green hydrogen at hybrid solar project

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Excess solar power will be converted to H2, which will be stored in a solid material called sodium borohydride, before being run through a fuel cell to generate electricity at Australian project.

Mar 31, 2021

A new strategy to enhance the performance of silicon heterojunction solar cells

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells are among the most promising solar technologies on the market. These solar cells have numerous advantageous properties, including a nearly optimum bandgap, high efficiency and stability. Notably, they can also be fabricated using raw materials that are widely available and easy to attain.

In recent years, many companies and engineers specifically focused their research efforts on Si heterojunction (SHJ) . These solar cells, which consist of amorphous silicon layers deposited on crystalline silicon surfaces, have been found to achieve remarkable power conversion efficiencies (PCE).

Researchers at Beijing University of Technology, the Hanergy Chengdu Research and Development Center, and Jiangsu University in China recently carried out a study aimed at closely examining the structure of the c-Si/a-Si:H in high-efficiency SHJ solar cells. Their paper, published in Nature Energy, offers valuable insight that could help to improve the performance of SHJ solar cells further, by allowing engineers greater control over the c-Si/a-Si:H interface.

Mar 29, 2021

Mars Helicopter Ingenuity takes vertical position under Perseverance Rover

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

On March 28, 2021 NASA’s Mars Helicopter Ingenuity took vertical position (upright) under Perseverance Rover at Helipad. Helicopter release system unlocked yesterday. Today ingenuity made one more step to be deployed from Perseverance. As for now, NASA’s rover prepares to unlock Helicopter’s landing legs and put it on the Mars’s surface. Flight scheme is known. Solar panel charges Lithium-ion batteries, providing enough energy for one 90-second flight per Martian day (~350 Watts of average power during flight). Atmospheric weather relates to conditions such as air density at flight time, which affects the thrust that can be produced by the rotor and could result in adjustments of flight parameters. Temperature and wind profiles during the day are used to estimate the energy required to operate heaters. Winds at the time of the flight are tied to risks associated with takeoff, landing, and flying in high winds or very gusty conditions. All the things that a pilot on Earth would care about too!

Credit: nasa.gov, NASA/JPL-Caltech, NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

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Mar 28, 2021

Solar Panels in Space Could Beam Continuous Energy Back to Earth

Posted by in categories: satellites, solar power, sustainability

3% of sunlight reaches Earth, while satellites in space could gather energy for 99% of the year.


Capturing the sun’s boundless light in space could revolutionize how we distribute energy around the world.

Mar 26, 2021

Researchers harvest energy from radio waves to power wearable devices

Posted by in categories: health, internet, solar power, sustainability, wearables

From microwave ovens to Wi-Fi connections, the radio waves that permeate the environment are not just signals of energy consumed but are also sources of energy themselves. An international team of researchers, led by Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Professor in the Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, has developed a way to harvest energy from radio waves to power wearable devices.

The researchers recently published their method in Materials Today Physics.

According to Cheng, current energy sources for wearable health-monitoring devices have their place in powering sensor devices, but each has its setbacks. Solar power, for example, can only harvest energy when exposed to the sun. A self-powered triboelectric can only harvest energy when the body is in motion.

Mar 18, 2021

New perovskite fabrication method for solar cells paves way to large-scale production

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

A new, simpler solution process for fabricating stable perovskite solar cells overcomes the key bottleneck to large-scale production and commercialization of this promising renewable-energy technology, which has remained tantalizingly out of reach for more than a decade.

“Our work paves the way for low-cost, high-throughput commercial-scale production of large-scale solar modules in the near future,” said Wanyi Nie, a research scientist fellow in the Center of Integrated Nanotechnologies at Los Alamos National Laboratory and corresponding author of the paper, which was published today in the journal Joule. “We were able to demonstrate the approach through two mini-modules that reached champion levels of converting sunlight to power with greatly extended operational lifetimes. Since this process is facile and low cost, we believe it can be easily adapted to scalable fabrication in industrial settings.”

The team invented a one-step spin coating method using sulfolane, a liquid solvent. The new process allowed the team, a collaboration among Los Alamos and researchers from National Taiwan University (NTU), to produce high-yield, large-area photovoltaic devices that are highly efficient in creating power from sunlight. These perovskite also have a long operational lifetime.

Mar 17, 2021

New perovskite design shows path to higher efficiency

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Restructuring the way perovskite solar cells are designed can boost their efficiency and increase their deployment in buildings and beyond, according to researchers with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Perovskite photovoltaic (PV) cells are made of layers of materials sandwiched together, with the top and bottom layers key to converting sunlight to electricity. The new for the cells increases the area exposed to the sun by putting the metal contact layers side-by-side on the back of the cell.

“Taking the materials on top away means you are going to have a higher theoretical efficiency because your perovskite is absorbing more of the sun,” said Lance Wheeler, a NREL scientist and lead author of a new paper, “Complementary interface formation toward high-efficiency all-back-contact .”

Mar 15, 2021

Twisting, flexible crystals key to solar energy production

Posted by in categories: chemistry, solar power, sustainability

Researchers at Duke University have revealed long-hidden molecular dynamics that provide desirable properties for solar energy and heat energy applications to an exciting class of materials called halide perovskites.

A key contributor to how these materials create and transport electricity literally hinges on the way their atomic lattice twists and turns in a hinge-like fashion. The results will help materials scientists in their quest to tailor the chemical recipes of these materials for a wide range of applications in an environmentally friendly way.

The results appear online March 15 in the journal Nature Materials.

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