Renewable Energy

Solar Cells using Synthetic Light Harvesting Pigments Function Well in Low Light

July 29, 2007 - 12:15:42 AM

Dr. Wayne Campbell.
(Credit: Image courtesy of Massey University)


Solar cell technology developed by New Zealand's Massey University’s Nanomaterials Research Centre will enable New Zealanders to generate electricity from sunlight at a 10th of the cost of current silicon-based photo-electric solar cells.

The synthetic dyes are made from simple organic compounds closely related to those found in nature. The green dye is synthetic chlorophyll derived from the light-harvesting pigment plants use for photosynthesis.  READ MORE »

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Carbon Nanotubes Combined with Buckyballs Produce Cheap Solar Cells

July 27, 2007 - 06:14:52 PM

Researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) have developed an inexpensive solar cell that can be painted or printed on flexible plastic sheets. "The process is simple," said lead researcher and author Somenath Mitra, PhD, professor and acting chair of NJIT's Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences. "Someday homeowners will even be able to print sheets of these solar cells with inexpensive home-based inkjet printers. Consumers can then slap the finished product on a wall, roof or billboard to create their own power stations."

Via: Reality Sandwich at -- Above Excerpted from Science Daily at  READ MORE »

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Concentrating the Sun's Light a 1000 X

June 21, 2007 - 08:29:25 AM

Professor David Faiman and his collegues at the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev are convinced that the feasibility of realizing concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems on a very large (state-wide) scale is imminent. They outline the economic feasibility of an approach using existing proven technology in a paper referenced below. Their economic financing model developed by D. Raviv was based on technology developed by Amonix Inc.

But Faiman has developed what he considers a breakthrough technology that utilizes a 400 square meter (4,300 sq ft) solar concentrating dish capable of achieving 1000 suns (concentration the intesity of the suns energy by a factor of 1000). The dish is lined with 216 triangular mirrors and is supported by a geodesic structure that rotates and tilts according to the position of the sun.

The dish focuses the 1000 X light on a single 10cm x 10cm PV panel and according to latest test results can produce more than 1.5 kW at 15 % effeciency under field operating conditions without visible signs of damage or degradation.

The big improvement comes not with power conversion effeciency but with power out put per square centimeter. In this case were talking about a power generation increase hundreds of times greater due to the effeciency of the concentrating dish. This ultimately translates to the ability to build a large power plant utiliizing less land for the giant dishes and far fewer of the expensive PV panels.  READ MORE »

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Home hydrogen fueling station

June 07, 2007 - 02:12:50 PM

From the Business 2.0 website:

What could be cooler - or greener - than a hydrogen car in your driveway? Try a solar-powered hydrogen fueling station in your garage. Scientists in Melbourne, Australia, have developed a prototype of such a device. It's about the size of a filing cabinet and runs on electricity generated by standard-issue rooftop solar panels.

The first version of the home fueling station is expected to produce enough hydrogen to give your runabout a range of some 100 miles without emitting a molecule of planet-warming greenhouse gas. Road trips are out of the question, but it's enough juice for running suburban errands or powering fleets of urban delivery trucks.

Plasma Gasification turns trash into clean energy

June 07, 2007 - 01:43:55 PM

From the Star Tech Environmental Corp. website:

Startech Environmental is an environment and energy industry company engaged in the production and sale of its innovative, proprietary plasma processing equipment known as the Plasma Converter System(TM). The Plasma Converter System safely and economically destroys wastes, no matter how hazardous or lethal, and turns most into useful and valuable products. In doing so, the System protects the environment and helps to improve the public health and safety. The System achieves closed-loop elemental recycling to safely and irreversibly destroy Municipal Solid Waste, organics and inorganics, solids, liquids and gases, hazardous and non-hazardous waste, industrial by-products and also items such as "e-waste," medical waste, chemical industry waste and other specialty wastes while converting many of them into useful commodity products that can include metals and a synthesis-gas called Plasma Converted Gas (PCG)(TM).

Among the many commercial uses for PCG, is its use to produce "green electrical power," Gas-To-Liquid (GTL) fuels such as ethanol, synthetic diesel fuel and other higher alcohol "alternative" fuels. Hydrogen, for use and sale, can also be separated and recovered from the PCG synthesis gas mixture.

The Startech Plasma Converter is essentially a manufacturing system producing commodity products from feedstocks that were previously regarded as wastes. Startech regards all wastes, hazardous and non-hazardous, as valuable renewable resources. Popular Science Magazine, in its March '07 produced a 9-page, well-illustrated feature article on the Startech Plasma Converter as the "Miracle Energy Machine -- How to Turn Toxic Waste into Clean Power."

Plug & Play Backyard Wind ( almost)

October 14, 2006 - 02:13:20 AM

According to Popular Science Magazine ( nov. 2006 issue) the Skystream 3.7, available this month from Southwest Windpower, can be installed in a day (after a concrete base is poured). The easy install is made possible by integrating the inverter and the controls into the turbine body which allows only four simple wires to connect directly to your circuit breaker box. An optional wireless antenna sends your computer updates on wind speed, power output, and power savings.

This latest innovation in residential power generation was developed in collaboration with National Renewable Energy Labaoratory (NREL) in Golden Colorado. NREL has been running extensive reliability, performance and endurance testing on the prototype for 2 years. It is now ready to take to market.

I guess its more like pour, plug and play... and don't forget the crane!

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