Courtesy University of Washington Dye-sensitized solar cells, which are more flexible, easier to manufacture, and cheaper than existing solar technologies just got even better.
By using particles shaped like popcorn, University of Washington researchers were able to increase solar cell efficiencies from 2.4 up to 6.2 per cent. The porosity of the large balls (300nm) allowed light to penetrate into the layers and bounce around between balls increasing absorption. Each balls surface was made of smaller spheres (15nm) increasing the effective surface area. One gram of this material has a surface area of 1000 square feet.
The research used the pigment zinc oxide, which is of lower efficiency than the commercially used titanium oxide, but easier to work with during experiments. Titanium oxide layers are expected to show similar gains. While titanium oxide cells currently have a record efficiency of 11 percent, the researchers hope that by using the new method they can by far surpass this old record, possibly even surpassing silicon cell efficiencies. Such progress could make silicon cells, used for decades, obsolete, replaced by cheaper, more efficient, flexible cells.
Source; University of Washington News
Courtesy P. Ginter/ESRFThe second leg in the fossilized remains of a 92 million year-old snake has been revealed thanks to a powerful x-ray machine at the European Light Source (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility or ESRF) in Grenoble, France.
The fossil, frozen in a broken slab of Lebanese limestone, was discovered several years ago and described in 2000. One of the legs has always been visible on the surface of the fossil, but the other limb, trapped beneath the limestone matrix, was only suspected.
But using the powerful synchrotron device operating in a facility near the Alps, researchers bombarded the fossil with intense x-rays and were able to bring the second limb to light for the first time since its burial in the Late Cretaceous period.
The remarkable image shows a bent leg, complete with femur, tibia, and fibula. "We can even see ankle bones," said Paul Tafforeau, ESRF's resident paleontologist.
"In most cases, we can't find digits; but that may be because they are not preserved or because, as this is a vestigial leg, they were never present."
An image of the revealed second leg can be seen here at the BBC website. Scroll down to the middle of the page to see it.
The primitive snake, known as Eupodophis descouensi, is 33 inches long (although a 4 inch portion of it is missing). Its vestigial leg is only 0.8 inches.
Some modern snakes, such as pythons and boas, display hints of their evolved-away legs (called spurs), but evidence in the fossil record is extremely rare.
That’s why the ESRF is proving so useful. Through a process called computed laminography, it utilizes 2 dimensional pictures to construct a 3D image of hidden parts that scientists can study in detail without having to damage the rare and valuable fossil.
Snakes first appeared about 150 million years ago. The study of E. descouensi’s legs could help answer questions regarding snake origins either as evolving from sea lizards or from terrestrial ones that burrowed.
The high-energy light from the ESRF’s machine can peer through just about anything. Recently, it was reported to have revealed ancient insects trapped for 100 million years in opaque chunks of amber.
Right now, ethanol is expensive to make; the only reason it is priced competitively with gasoline is because the government subsidizes it with tax dollars. General Motors is partnering with Coskata, a biofuel company, to create low-cost ethanol. The new process uses micro-organisms to turn just about any carbon-based material into ethanol, including switchgrass and agricultural waste. Not only will this make ethanol cheaper, but it will also reduce the use of grains to make ethanol when they could be used to make food.
A company in Massachusetts has developed a process for producing solar power cells using inkjet printers. This could drastically reduce the cost of producing the cells, and increase the number of ways they are used.
Meanwhile in Atlanta, Lonnie Johnson – the man who invented the Super Soaker squirt gun – is working on a solar-powered electrical generator that would be twice as efficient as current models.
Most ethanol is currently made from corn. Scientists in Europe are worried that increasing production for ethanol will increase the demand for the crop, thus leading cut down forests to plant more corn. This would have a greater negative impact on the global climate than any positive impact from using ethanol instead of gasoline.
Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Minnesota and some place called "Princeton" have learned that converting forests and prairies into farmlands to grow corn actually releases carbon into the atmosphere, far more than is saved by replacing gas with ethanol.
OTOH, this author claims there is no evidence that forests and prairies are being converted to farm land. Rather, the demand for corn is being met by more efficient farming. He also argues that ethanol is cost-efficient and does not lead to higher food prices.
11 straight months i say i solved energy crisis and just replicate my experiment and no one cares- is America dead ?-
Hello, my name is Solomon Azar- I HAVE FOUND THE ROAD TO SAFE CLEAN NUCLEAR FUSION- When this is found and understood- the energy crisis will end- I have been looking at this system since 2002 and it is perfect in every way. I finished my experiments upon an interesting date of palm sunday-2007. I have since that time tried to the best of my abilities to inform many people upon the net- there is no question I have done so in an unorthodox manner- but in time it will be found my road traveled to solve this energy crisis was unorthodoxed -all my motives are for the betterment of mankind- you have your way- I have mine- it will make complete sense when heard in public of my approach- have faith :)
I have performed an experiment never done before in science- I used a Tesla coil for its use in high voltage high frequency and apply its discharge plasma not upon the dielectric of free air- but to the dielectric of water itself- specifically I used ultrapure reagent grade water from manufacture NERL-this is to establish the high degree of insulation needed for plasma (you cannot have contaminants for conductivity)- I doped my water with heavy water from the manufacturer UNITED NUCLEAR- I built my 1 million volt Tesla coil entire tunable- every aspect of it- as it must be done to TUNE THE OUTPUT DISCHARGE OF THE TESLA COIL to the water itself- once the arc is stable- the voltage may be increased- I have written in my pdf file in my website of noblefuse.com that a prerequisite of 750 kv is needed as an electric field gradient about the charged particles used in fusion( in this case the hydrogen bound in the water molecule) because of voltage drops as expected as in all electrical systems upon the load (load here is the water)- a much higher voltage is needed in order to distribute the voltage gradient upon entire arc plasma length between electrodes in water- THUS- THE HIGH THE VOLTAGE- THE BETTER- within my website you will find a link to youtube showing my primitive experiment- BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT THIS- THIS IS THE FIRST TIME EVER DONE BEFORE - I propose nuclear fusion of water/heavy water- my little experiment IS THE ROAD TO NUCLEAR FUSION- we must universally connect the dots- put two and two together- and conclude this- MY EXPERIMENT MUST BE REPEATED ON A LARGER SCALE- my system is a direct replacement of nuclear power plants particularly of the pressurized water reactor which uses heavy water already - a vessel already built for gamma radiation and other high energy flux which will emit with the plasma arc-
Power reactor in which the heat is dissipated from the core using highly pressurized water (about 160 bar) to achieve a high temperature and avoid boiling within the core. The cooling water transfers its heat to the secondary system in a steam generator. Example: Grohnde Nuclear Power Plant in Germany with an electrical output of 1,430 MW.
Replace the rod assemblies and use electrodes to conduct the Lightning bolt! High Voltage High frequency will create the magnetic pinch to slam the isotopes of hydrogen together which is bound in water- helium and oxygen are the outgassed products recaptured by expansion tanks-it is absolutely perfect!
_ I HAVE FOUND THE TRUE PURPOSE OF THE TESLA COIL- the answer was always in the lightning bolt- understanding of gamma bursts from lightning discharges have only been recently vindicated from satellite in late 90s---
CA 94305 United States
Said, R ( ) , STAR Lab, Electrical Engineering, 350 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305 United States
Smith, D M ( ) , Physics Department and Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
Lopez, L I ( ) , Astronomy Department and Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
The observation of brief (<1 ms) bursts of intense Î³-rays, the so-called Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs), by the BATSE Î³-ray experiment was one of the most unexpected discoveries by the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory.
Let me try to give another analogy to make the point. think about striking a match, if all conditions are proper , one knows that to strike a match, you must go a minimum speed- you cannot strike the match too slowly- this is understood as more speed is more friction and thus more activation energy necessary to create combustion of the match material. the same applies to this fusion system, first, imagine my system as inside a pressurized water reactor used in fission plants- the moderator is already heavy water- we shall use it as the fuel. I have said the plasma arc looks exactly like our friend the electric lightning bolt- but I talk about in my pdf file- that the so called lightning bolt must be understood in regards to high voltage and frequency- just like the minimum speed needed for the match- so it is with the combination on high voltage and frequency to not only resonate with the dielectric molecule of heavy water- but more so- to create a minimum velocity upon charged particles in the fuel water. this velocity is also exhibiting itself as a magnetic field-think of the cathode ray scope- in a snap shot instant in time for analysis, look at when the maximum energy is being applied on a per strike basis of the input cycle- or shall we say the highest amplitude of the ac signal. if for example- an input energy of one megawatt was injected into the strike of the arc- a magnetic pinch shall be directed upon the charged particles in transit of the discharge- in a thermodynamic extraction process such as this - we need at least 5 times more energy out of the system to recoup our initial energy input- and a surplus for commercial energy supply- thus- via fusion of hydrogen to helium- with each strike- a minimum voltage and frequency SHALL give the minimum activation energy required for magnetic pinching and fusion of the isotopes of hydrogen. to increase the q of the reaction in this system- a magnetic toroid may be used around the plasma arc for increased efficiency= such as used in tokamak devices. I hope this analogy helps those who question this system- THANK YOU--
Here is a thought experiment for electromagnetic fusion with Einstein in mind
Pretend you are water-you are an oxygen atom- you are stable- you are noble- 8 protons-8 neutrons-and 8 electrons- there are only 5 magic shell nuclear elements of the periodic table- oxygen is one of them- it is very stable-
Therefore- you are stable and noble- you have no need for fusion- yet it could happen- but the probability of another element such as hydrogen and its isotopes would be made to fuse together in some kind of fashion mankind tries will occur way before oxygen does- - ok-so now you are this noble one and you have outstretched in your hands a hydrogen atom and or its isotope deuteron and you hold it out to mankind as a gift-
Man understands the gift of fusion for many years and is desperately trying to do such-
I propose electromagnetic fusion- I propose the BENNET pinch used in poloidal currents used in plasmas of tokomaks- but much further-
Here we go – the thought experiment- you are this oxygen atom with two hydrogen’s and you stand amongst your friends similar in nature. You are placed in a large vessel filled of your kind-now imagine that two walls opposing in this vessel are the plates of a capacitor- who cares what is applied to the capacitor plates (electrodes of system)-for all you know as a noble oxygen and the hydrogen you have in your hands is nothing more than the electric field upon the plates-
You are composed of charged particles- thus you will interact with the applied electric field of the plates-this is common electronics and electric knowledge-
However, I speak of dielectric breakdown- I speak of the lightning bolt- let us now assume we have made the capacitor plates oscillate at 1 million volts peak to peak as way of a tesla coil
Think of the electric field- everything will be controlled by this field- a dielectric breakdown will occur- and all discharge current will begin to flow and oscillate as a function of the applied voltage-
Now- you are in the heart of a lightning bolt- you who are noble as a oxygen probably lost all your valence electrons due to the magnitude of such a high electric field- every charged particle in transit of the discharge current is surely ionized and talks of being a complete water molecule should be erased- the state of this plasma current is nothing more than ionized hydrogen and oxygen and a complete sea of electrons-
Let us think first of the electrons- 1896 times smaller than protons- no question it will oscillate much faster as a function to the applied voltage- remember the cathode ray scope- basic physics also will say this charged particle will also have a magnetic field about itself because of the electric field that has driven it-thus- this oscillating electron current will have an intrinsic magnetic field
Let us now think of the protons- oxygen has 8 and surrounded by 8 neutrons and is far less likely for reaction than isotopes of hydrogen for fusion- this should merely be understood by refereeing to atomic tables of elements and known theory- but this hydrogen is a singly bound proton with mass one- unless we speak of a deuteron- it will also be controlled exactly the same way as the electron is affected by the external applied voltage- however- it is opposite to the electrons motion-and much slower by its mass – however-its magnetic field will add to that of the electrons- this is standard knowledge of magnetic field generation of charged particles by way of electric fields-
Thus, in this thought experiment- within this state of dielectric breakdown- I like to say the lightning bolt- can you now see the oscillation of the charged particles by such a large magnitude of the applied voltage plates- can you now see the probability at a certain moment in time- particularly when the applied ac signal is greatest- that all magnetic fields of charged particles in transit can have the power to be magnetically pinched-
Magnetics have push and pull- it is well known that high frequency causes a constriction upon electrical currents- whether in copper lines and forcing such to the surface- or in plasma and made use to constrict it - high frequency is known to constrict the currents- thus- do you see the forces I am referring to as this dielectric breakdown has occurred upon the most perfect fuel of the heavens- water- this oxygen atom holds the hydrogen for us- we shall apply a high voltage (high is relative- I have stated 750kv in the vicinity of the hydrogen for fusion- I come to this by way of understanding the beta decay of a free neutron- if it can disintegrate- it can come together- made into a deuteron- then made into helium)-
Thus –we make helium and oxygen is then unbound and must also be recaptured- this is easy in expansion tanks- the byproducts are helium and oxygen-truly noble-
To increase the q of this system- a simple toroidal magnet as used in tokamaks for plasma control may be used for additional pinching-
I hope this helps- however- you must always think of the applied electric field and its magnetic inducement upon the charged particles- we will stably run the Tesla coil upon the dielectric of water itself (more appropriately heavy water) and turn up the voltage for greater acceleration speeds and thus magnetic fields- we can control pressure in this vessel- we can control electrode spacing and so much more-
that is my thought experiment for you to understand it is my intention to use all input energy by way of oscillating a very large electric field which will induce the proper magnetic flux density in units of Tesla for a pinching- not established hot fusion whereby all energy input is chaotic and the probability of fusion comes by way of statistics from a gas equation- no- high voltage and high frequency in an orderly manner by the construction of a man made lightning bolt with controllable parameters inside an existing pressurized nuclear reactor- everything is off the shelf- the world will run on steam power again globally-from trains-factories-ships-and all power plants- I offer the Watt steam engine again- not with two sticks to make fire and boil the water- but electromagnetic fusion with two electrodes to induce fusion of hydrogen isotopes to boil water and make steam- it is absolutely perfect.
To the CEO's of nuclear power plants-or pressurized coal fired- you have spare reactors in the back yards of your plants- take a 1 million volt tesla coil and do what I have said- you will measure its fusion reactions and you will conclude this - I have found the road to safe clean energy.
I speak plain science- please connect the dots and let us end this energy crisis for a world that desperately needs energy- May the light of God shine upon all our actions for the betterment of mankind
Solomon Sami Azar
Courtesy Los Alamos fusion energy sciences Nuclear fusion has been "just around the corner" for more than 50 years. Fusion reactions occur in the sun and in hydrogen bombs. Tremendous quantities of energy can result from the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium.
Wealthy investors in California are betting hundreds of millions of dollars that the difficulties of producing power with fusion may soon be solved. The CEO of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital thinks that "Within five years, large companies will start to think about building fusion reactors." Chrysalix invested in General Fusion, a Canadian company that says it has found a way to hurdle many of the technical problems surrounding fusion.
The company's ultimate plan is to build small fusion reactors that can produce around 100 megawatts of power. The plants would cost around $50 million. That could allow the company to generate electricity at about 4 cents per kilowatt hour, making it competitive with conventional electricity.c/net News.com
Using a technique called Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF), a current within a plasma containing lithium creates a magnetic field which allows it to be squeezed . The resulting temperature spike breaks down
the lithium into helium and tritium. Tritium, an unstable form of hydrogen, is separated and then mixed with deuterium, another form of hydrogen. The two fuse and make helium, a reaction that releases energy that can be harvested.
For updates check this General Fusion Inc. wiki.
Want to know what to do with your life. A diverse committee of experts from around the world, at the request of the U.S. National Science Foundation, identified 14 challenges that, if met, would improve how we live.
Here is their list in no particular order. You can learn more about each challenge by clicking on it.
The committee decided not to rank the challenges. NAE is offering the public an opportunity to vote on which one they think is most important and to provide comments at the Engineering Challenges website
A vehicle that runs on Compressed Air Technology (C.a.t.) developed by Motor Development International (MDI), is being brought to the United States by Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM). With a delivery date around the end of 2009, the Air Car will go 90 mph, carry six people, recharge from an outlet or compressed air tank, and cost around $17,000. This You Tube video gives an introduction to the Air Car.
Although the Air Car has been featured in the media many times, I somehow missed it until today.
Learn more about the Air Car at the Zero Pollution Motors website.
Courtesy Simon Fraser UniversityOur man Thor recently posted a story about an energy-producing fabric that in the near future will enable you power an iPod or other electronic device just by wearing it, like as a shirt or maybe underwear. But it sounds like you’d have to do a heck of a lot of moving around just to get it to power a single phone call. And to tell you the truth, it looks pretty itchy to me, and would probably shrink in the wash. So personally, I’d much prefer having something strapped to my knees that harvests the energy created by my walking or running, and use that to charge my favorite electronic gizmo.
Well, now I guess some engineers in Canada and the U.S. have developed just such a device: a modified knee brace that harvests energy expended while you walk. And instead of a measly 80 milliwatts of electricity (like a square meter of the fabric would produce), this device can produce something like 5 watts! The team, which included researchers from the University of Pittsburg and the University of Michigan, published their findings in the journal Science.
The device is called the Biomechanical Energy Harvester, and what's cool is the way it captures the energy. While a person’s walking, it turns itself on and off at critical moments during the stride in order to gather the energy while the user’s leg is involved in what’s termed negative work. That’s when the leg has completed its swing forward and its foot is on the ground decelerating while the other leg is beginning the positive work of swinging forward.
"If you want power, go where the muscles are," said Max Donelan, professor of kinesiology at Simon Fraser University, in British Columbia. "We thought, maybe there's a smart, selective way to do energy harvesting when muscles are normally decelerating in the body."
The brace then switches off just as the leg begins its positive work again. If it didn’t do this the device it would hinder the forward motion of the leg.
“That engagement and disengagement happens once the stride is at the region where your muscles need the help at the end of the swing phase. It actually assists them in decelerating that extra resistance,” Donelan said.
At the same time, the gadget is also producing electricity. It’s similar to how a hybrid automobile charges its batteries while braking. You can see the brace in action here.
Right now the prototype is cumbersome and weighs in at about 3.5 pounds but a lightweight version could be available within the next 18 months. Donelan, who led the research, thinks the brace could have applications in the medical field, and also be used by hikers or soldiers to power GPS devices or satellite telephones where no other source of electricity is available.
With a brace on each leg, the user could generate up to 13 watts of electricity depending how fast they moved. To put it in more practicable terms, a one-minute stroll wearing the bionic knee brace could harvest enough energy to power a ten-minute cell phone call.
Courtesy euthmanGoodness gracious, just think of all the megawatts of electricity that could be harvested at the Boston or New York Marathons each year. It could mean the antiquated term “horse power” may soon be replaced by “knee power”.