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Archive for the ‘solar power’ category

Feb 16, 2019

China made an artificial star that’s 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics, solar power, sustainability

Imagine if we could replace fossil fuels with our very own stars. And no, we’re not talking about solar power: We’re talking nuclear fusion. And recent research is helping us get there. Meet the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak, or EAST.

EAST is a fusion reactor based in Hefei, China. And it can now reach temperatures more than six times as hot as the sun. Let’s take a look at what’s happening inside. Fusion occurs when two lightweight atoms combine into a single, larger one, releasing energy in the process. It sounds simple enough, but it’s not easy to pull off. Because those two atoms share a positive charge. And just like two opposing magnets, those positive atoms repel each other.

Stars, like our sun, have a great way of overcoming this repulsion … their massive size, which creates a tremendous amount of pressure in their cores … So the atoms are forced closer together making them more likely to collide. There’s just one problem: We don’t have the technology to recreate that kind of pressure on Earth.

Continue reading “China made an artificial star that’s 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy” »

Feb 15, 2019

China Is Building a Solar Power Station in Space

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

Beam Me Down

Needless to say, the biggest problem for a floating power plant is figuring out how to get the energy back down to Earth.

The scientists behind the project are still sorting that part out. But right now, the plan is to have solar arrays in space capture light from the sun and then beam electricity down to a facility on Earth in the form of a microwave or a laser, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

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Feb 15, 2019

Safer-by-Design Fluorescent Nanocrystals: Metal Halide Perovskites vs Semiconductor Quantum Dots

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Despite the young age of the research field, substantial progress has been made in the study of metal halide perovskite nanocrystals (HPNCs). Just as their thin-film counterparts are used for light absorption in solar cells, they are on the way to revolutionizing research on novel chromophores for light emission applications. Exciting physics arising from their peculiar structural, electronic, and excitonic properties are being discovered with breathtaking speed. Many things we have learned from the study of conventional semiconductor quantum dots (CSQDs) of II–VI (e.g., CdSe), IV–VI (e.g., PbS), and III–V (e.g., InP) compounds have to be thought over, as HPNCs behave differently. This Feature Article compares both families of nanocrystals and then focuses on approaches for substituting toxic heavy metals without sacrificing the unique optical properties as well as on surface coating strategies for enhancing the long-term stability.

In the early 1980s the quest for novel photocatalysts, fueled by the oil crisis in the preceding decade, led to the discovery of semiconductor quantum dots. Pioneering works by Efros, Brus, and Henglein showed both experimentally and theoretically that the reduction of size of semiconductor particles (e.g., CdS) down to the nanometer range induces a significant change in their band gap energy.(1−3) The underlying quantum confinement effect, occurring when the nanocrystal size is (significantly) smaller than twice the exciton Bohr radius of the semiconductor material (Table 1), leads to an increase, scaling with 1/r, of the band gap energy. It also gives rise to the appearance of discrete energy levels at the place of continuous valence and conduction energy bands. In the same period Ekimov as well as Itoh and co-workers observed quantum confinement in small CuCl crystallites embedded in a glass or a NaCl matrix.

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Feb 13, 2019

Europe’s next €1-billion science projects: six teams make it to final round

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI, science, solar power, sustainability

The six newly shortlisted initiatives include: a project that would explore how AI can enhance human capabilities; one to hasten clinical availability of cell and gene therapies; a personalized-medicine initiative; two projects that aim to make solar energy more efficient; and a humanities project called the Time Machine, which seeks to develop methods for enabling digital search of historical records in European cities.


AI enhancement and a virtual time machine are included in the shortlist of pitches.

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Feb 6, 2019

Graphene quantum dots sensitized C-ZnO nanotaper photoanodes for solar cells application

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

In a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue in NANO, researchers from the National Institute of Technology, India, have synthesized blue-green-orange photoemissive sulfur and nitrogen co-doped graphene quantum dots (SNGQDs) using hydrothermal method. These GQDs showed strong UV-visible photoabsorption and excitation dependent photoemission which have low-cost, eco-friendly solar cell application.

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Feb 6, 2019

Brewing nanotechnology from tea

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Quantum dots, which have potential uses in medical imaging and solar cells, could be made with help from the polyphenols found in tea leaves.

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Feb 6, 2019

This 2,000 trillion watt laser could re-create the Big Bang–and make clean energy

Posted by in categories: cosmology, solar power, sustainability

The most powerful laser beam ever created has been recently fired at Osaka University in Japan, where the Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments (LFEX) has been boosted to produce a beam with a peak power of 2,000 trillion watts—two petawatts—for an incredibly short duration, approximately a trillionth of a second or one picosecond.

Values this large are difficult to grasp, but we can think of it as a billion times more powerful than a typical stadium floodlight or as the overall power of all of the sun’s solar energy that falls on London. Imagine focusing all that solar power onto a surface as wide as a human hair for the duration of a trillionth of a second: that’s essentially the LFEX laser.

LFEX is only one of a series of ultra-high power lasers that are being built across the world, ranging from the gigantic 192-beam National Ignition Facility in California, to the CoReLS laser in South Korea, and the Vulcan laser at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory outside Oxford, UK, to mention but a few.

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Feb 3, 2019

Transparent Solar Panels Will Turn Windows Into Green Energy Collectors

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A team of researchers from Michigan State University managed to develop a fully transparent solar panels – a breakthrough that could lead to countless applications in architecture, as well as other fields such as mobile electronics or the automotive industry. Previous attempts to create such a device have been made, but results were never satisfying enough, with low efficiency and poor material quality.

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Feb 2, 2019

New Research Could Be First Step Toward Buckyball-Powered Quantum Computers

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Scientists have characterized the quantum behavior of buckminsterfullerene molecules, also known as buckyballs, with the hope of perhaps one day turning them into miniature quantum computers.

Buckyballs are the Nobel Prize-winning molecules that consist of sixty carbon atoms arranged in a closed, soccer ball-shape. Their peculiar structure bestows them with strange observable quantum properties, and has given them uses in solar panels and even medicine. But a team of scientists from JILA, a research institute run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado, has made measurements in preparation for exploiting buckyballs’ quantum properties in even stranger ways.

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Feb 1, 2019

Smart Blinds with Solar Panels

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Window blinds that have solar panels. Solargaps is elegant decision that let you generate energy while keeping your home cool.

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