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  #41  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2010, 3:12 PM
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Beautiful Solar Balloon Collects Energy From High in the Sky



by Kristi Bernick, 03/26/10

Read More: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/26/...gh-in-the-sky/

Quote:
Designer Seongyong Lee recently blew us away with her beautiful design for a Solar Balloon that can collect energy straight from the sky. Based on the idea that the most efficient way to collect solar energy is from high above the earth, the balloon features a new breed of colorful dye-sensitized solar cells and is easily able to clear blocking structures such as buildings or trees.

Seongyong Lee’s Solar Balloon is composed of a fluid interweaving of colorful dye solar cell panels combined with an unknown white material whose panels pivot downward. LED lights are attached along the joints where the white and colored dye-solar cell panels come together, highlighting the twisting curves around the balloon’s form. To optimize the gathering of energy from the sun, the dye-solar panels direct upward while the white panels face back down to earth.

The collected energy is stored in a charger located in the base of the balloon. Energy collected in this model only lights the LEDs, however if it were produced to actual scale, the excess energy stored could provide enough power for many purposes including the operation of street lights. One may easily confuse this floating Balloon with a UFO, since it will be lighting the night sky with a unique and colorful pattern. Solar Balloon has a 7 meter diameter and is 10 meters in height. When grounded, the balloon’s base is 7 meters in height making the grounded height of the balloon a total of 17 meters tall.





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  #42  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2010, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by leftopolis View Post
That makes no sense at all--why would you compare solar with coal, just based on the cost of producing power? The cost of coal includes the resulting acceleration of rapid global climate change(from CO2), the health effects of the air pollution, and the destruction of the environment.
Personally, I totally support solar power. The people I often argue against though think that global warming is an evil liberal conspiracy. They also live and vote in my community, so the only way I can appeal to them is by citing the explicit economic costs instead of the implicit.


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Originally Posted by leftopolis View Post
Put up photovoltaics in NV--then you can stop claiming the cannard that solar needs water. The even bigger fallacy of logic, is claiming a comparison with coal without mentioning the real costs.
Photovoltaics are more expensive than power towers.

The people I argue with don't use logic is the problem, but still cast their vote. I know just as well as anyone that global warming is a serious threat, but when I point to the costs of global warming, I get waved off as an "environmental elitist". So instead I take the most direct route straight to their wallets.
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  #43  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2010, 10:58 AM
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...The people I often argue against though think that global warming is an evil liberal conspiracy...
Interesting. I've never met anybody like that(with backwards beliefs ignoring decades of science)in my half-century of life. I have heard they exist, though! It sounds like your approach is the most workable, given the situation.

I don't have any other ideas to add, but I'm also a bit under the weather, so another post from me may be a little while. Thanks for the response.

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ScienceDaily (Mar. 3, 2009)
Quote:
Cost Of Installed Solar Photovoltaic Systems Drops Significantly Over The Last Decade

A new study on the installed costs of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the U.S. shows that the average cost of these systems declined significantly from 1998 to 2007, but remained relatively flat during the last two years of this period.

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) who conducted the study say that the overall decline in the installed cost of solar PV systems is mostly the result of decreases in nonmodule costs, such as the cost of labor, marketing, overhead, inverters, and the balance of systems.

“This suggests that state and local PV deployment programs — which likely have a greater impact on nonmodule costs than on module prices — have been at least somewhat successful in spurring cost reductions,” states the report, which was written by Ryan Wiser, Galen Barbose, and Carla Peterman of Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division.

Installations of solar PV systems have grown at a rapid rate in the U.S., and governments have offered various incentives to expand the solar market.
“A goal of government incentive programs is to help drive the cost of PV systems lower. One purpose of this study is to provide reliable information about the costs of installed systems over time,” says Wiser.
The study examined 37,000 grid-connected PV systems installed between 1998 and 2007 in 12 states. It found that average installed costs, in terms of real 2007 dollars per installed watt, declined from $10.50 per watt in 1998 to $7.60 per watt in 2007, equivalent to an average annual reduction of 30 cents per watt or 3.5 percent per year in real dollars.
The researchers found that the reduction in nonmodule costs was responsible for most of the overall decline in costs. According to the report, this trend, along with a reduction in the number of higher-cost “outlier” installations, suggests that state and local PV-deployment policies have achieved some success in fostering competition within the industry and in spurring improvements in the cost structure and efficiency of the delivery infrastructure for solar power.
~cont'd @ link~
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  #44  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2010, 1:25 PM
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Harnessing Sunlight to Convert Carbon Dioxide to Liquid Fuel


April 21, 2010

by John Messina

Read More: http://www.physorg.com/news191076348.html

Quote:
This eco-friendly system requires no agricultural land or fresh water and is capable of producing more than 20,000 gallons of renewable ethanol or hydrocarbons per acre annually. Bill Sims, president and CEO of Joule Biotechnologies stated: “There is no question that viable, renewable fuels are vitally important, both for economic and environmental reasons. And while many novel approaches have been explored, none has been able to clear the roadblocks caused by high production costs, environmental burden and lack of real scale”.

Bill Sims went on to say; “Joule was created for the very purpose of eliminating these roadblocks with the best equation of biotechnology, engineering, scalability and pricing to finally make renewable fuel a reality—all while helping the environment by reducing global CO2 emissions.”

By leveraging highly-engineered photosynthetic organisms to catalyze the conversion of sunlight and CO2, usable liquid fuels and chemicals can be manufactured. This “SolarConverter” system assist the process capturing the sunlight to product conversion and separation using minimal resources. This diverts from established processes of biomass derived biofuels such as algae and cellulose-based forms which are costly, involves many processing steps and substantial scale-up risk.



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  #45  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2010, 2:10 PM
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http://depletedcranium.com/what-is-a-megawatt/

Read it and weep. Your puny solar power is nothing compared to what actually powers humanity.
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  #46  
Old Posted May 1, 2010, 4:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Vanzetti View Post
http://depletedcranium.com/what-is-a-megawatt/

Read it and weep. Your puny solar power is nothing compared to what actually powers humanity.
Everything that is big began with something that was puny. Solar may be puny now, but it won't be that way forever.
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  #47  
Old Posted May 3, 2010, 6:19 AM
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Originally Posted by speedy1979 View Post
Everything that is big began with something that was puny.
However, only few of things that are puny eventually become big.
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  #48  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 10:57 PM
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With Flyovers, a Solar Map of New York


May 9th, 2010

By MIREYA NAVARRO

Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/10/sc...pping.html?hpw

Quote:
While most residents were sleeping, a twin-engine Shrike Commander flew serial missions over the city recently, cruising low like Superman and back and forth like a lawn mower. Equipped with a laser system, the plane collected highly precise images of the city, its rooftops, trees, wetlands and much of what lies in between. The early morning flyovers are expected to yield the most detailed three-dimensional picture of New York City to date, with an emphasis on structures, elevations, sun and shade, and nooks and crannies relevant to the city’s emergency response system and its environmental goals.

The data will be used, among other things, to create up-to-date maps of the areas most prone to flooding, the buildings best suited for the installation of solar power and the neighborhoods most in need of trees. An advisory panel of experts formed by the mayor has warned that the city must prepare for more rain and an increased risk of coastal flooding in the coming decades as a result of global climate change.

Rohit T. Aggarwala, the director of the city’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, said the effort would result in a picture of New York’s physical space “in far more detail than what we had before.” The effort, which will cost about $450,000, is part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s broader environmental agenda, known as PlaNYC. The current flood plain maps used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency date to the 1980s and were based on aerial photography and ground surveys. The maps are not as accurate or precise as they should be for the density of the city, Mr. Aggarwala said, and the new data could lead to zoning changes and stricter building codes, among other adjustments.









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  #49  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2010, 3:41 AM
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http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=18671

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Original Solar Cell Inventor Scores $1.07M Millennium Prize

Tiffany Kaiser

Scientist and professor of photonics and interfaces at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, Michael Graetzel, won the Millennium Technology Prize of $1.07 million for his dye-sensitized solar cells, also known as "Graetzel cells."

These new dye-sensitized solar cells are low in cost, and can work on a broad scale. Graetzel cells do not require a large setup to manufacture, they should be considerably less expensive than solid-state cell designs in bulk, they're mechanically robust and can be engineered into flexible sheets. They also require no protection from minor elements such as tree strikes or hail.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2010, 6:44 PM
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"Most Solar Town in America" Will Use 85% Solar Energy


Jun 10, 2010

By Ariel Schwartz

Read More: http://www.fastcompany.com/1658585/s...own-in-america

Quote:
It has been just over a year since Skyline Solar unveiled its low-cost, high-efficiency High Gain Solar Arrays (HGS). And today, just a month after being fast-tracked through U.S. Commerce Department’s Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) green-tech patent application process, Skyline announced its latest high-profile project: an 80 kilowatt solar plant that will power 85% of Nipton, California. That's the highest percentage of solar electricity used in any town in the U.S.

There's just one catch: Nipton only has a population of 20 people. Visitors often pass through the tiny town on the way to Joshua Tree National Park or Mojave National Reserve, so the solar news isn't inconsequential. Energy independence has to start somewhere, so why not a sleepy town in the Mojave Desert?



Skyline Solar will power the town with low-cost technology that was just recently patented.

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  #51  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2010, 4:01 PM
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Michael Grätzel's Solar Cells Get Stylish With Color and Translucent Materials


Jun 18, 2010

By Ariel Schwartz

Read More: http://www.fastcompany.com/1661787/michael-graetzel

Quote:
Michael Grätzel may be the closest thing to a living legend in the solar energy world. A professor at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Swiss scientist discovered a new type of thin-film solar cell--dubbed the dye-sensitized solar cell (aka the Grätzel cell)--in 1991. Now, nearly two decades later, Grätzel's invention is taking off, with companies like Konarka, Hydrogen Solar, and Sony developing the cells for commercial use.

Grätzel's cells, which are inspired by the photosynthetic process, consist of a porous layer of titanium dioxide nanoparticles covered with a sunlight-absorbing molecular dye. The cells currently have a lower efficiency than single crystal silicon cells, and Grätzel's technology offers a number of advantages. In a traditional silicon solar cell, the silicon acts as both a source of photoelectronics and an electric field. But in a dye-sensitized solar cell, the semiconductor is only used for transport, while the photoelectrons come from a separate photosensitive dye. As more research yields higher-efficiency Grätzel cells, companies need only switch out their dyes--the rest of the production process stays the same.

Dye-sensitized solar cells have another distinct advantage: The dyes can be manufactured in an array of colors. The Sunny Memories project, featured earlier this month at New York's Center for Architecture, exploited this feature with colorful solar designs. Grätzel's cells can also be made translucent--a first in the solar industry. "In this respect they have a unique application, like for electric power-producing windows and glass facades," he says.





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  #52  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2010, 5:52 PM
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http://www.physorg.com/news196355743.html

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Life of plastic solar cell jumps from hours to 8 months

A team of researchers from the University of Alberta and the National Institute for Nanotechnology has extended the operating life of an unsealed plastic solar cell, from mere hours to eight months.

The research groups' development of an inexpensive, readily available plastic solar cell technology hit a wall because of a chemical leeching problem within the body of the prototype. A chemical coating on an electrode was unstable and migrated through the circuitry of the cell.

Prior to the polymer coating breakthrough the research team's plastic solar cell could only operate at high capacity for about ten hours.

When Rider and his research co authors presented their paper to the journal, Advanced Functional Materials, their plastic solar cell had performed at high capacity for 500 hours. But it kept on working for another seven months. The team says the unit eventually stopped working when it was damaged during transit between laboratories.
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  #53  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2010, 4:54 PM
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Millennium Technology Prize winner creates 'solar windows'


06/10/10

By Timon Singh



Read More: http://www.euinfrastructure.com/news...hnology-prize/

Quote:
Professor Michael Gratzel of the Lausanne Federal Technology Institute has won the Millennium Technology Prize of €800,000 (GBP£660,000) for his innovative low-cost solar cell that could be utilised to build electricity generating windows. Using nature as an inspiration, Gratzel's solar cell mimics natural plant photosynthesis in how plant-life turns light into energy. These dye-sensitized solar cells as they' re known could "provide a more affordable way of harnessing solar energy" and lead to the development of electricity-generating windows and mobile solar panels.

- Explaining the technology behind the Gratzel cells, which also rely on nanotechnology to produce power from sunlight, Gratzel said, "We are using nanocrystal films in which the particles are so small, they don't scatter light. You can imagine using those cells as electricity producing windows." "What's very exciting is that you collect light from all sides, so can capture electricity from the inside as well as the outside. You could think that the glass of all high-rises in New York would be electricity generating panels." It is indeed an intriguing idea that the technology, when used in sunnier environments such as the UAE, could transform the power systems of cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.



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  #54  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2010, 12:39 PM
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Solar power is a natural resource where it can be used for domestic needs and also in large scale industries..
Surely it is a reliable one in power conservation.
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  #55  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2010, 2:32 PM
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Here Comes the Sun-Powered Infrastructure (Intransition Magazine)

Here Comes the Sun-Powered Infrastructure

Solar Equipment Is Becoming More Common on the Road—One Day It May Even Be the Road

By Karl Vilacoba
Intransition Magazine

Spring/Summer 2010

http://www.intransitionmag.org/Sprin...structure.aspx

As a childhood car nut, Scott Brusaw dreamed of a world paved with “electric roads,” often drawing highways with power-supplying slots down the middle like the popular toy racetrack sets. Brusaw never shook the idea, even after he grew up and his thoughts turned to a more grown-up issue—climate change. In 2006, the scientific curiosities of his youth and adult years were married thanks to his wife, Julie, who knew Brusaw back in his days as a kid sci-fi artist.


Scott Brusaw stands on a 12-by-12-foot prototype of the Solar Roadway, recently completed at his Sagle, Idaho, lab.

“One day Julie was out there gardening and she says, ‘Couldn’t you make your electric roads out of solar panels?’ And I laughed at first and thought, you couldn’t drive over a solar panel. You’d crush it,” Brusaw said. “But then we started batting the idea back and forth and thinking if you made a structurally engineered case that could withstand heavy loads and semi-trucks, you could put anything inside it—including solar cells.”

With the help of a $100,000 U.S. Department of Transportation grant, the Brusaws’ Sagle, Idaho-based company, Solar Roadways, recently completed a 12-by-12-foot prototype. It’s a small start to what they hope will one day make a significant impact on the nation’s energy policies.

From game-changing to subtle, businesses and entrepreneurs across the U.S. are developing transportation infrastructure that relies on solar power rather than the grid. Because the products are expensive, and convincing early adopters to try them can be difficult, many will never experience their moment in the sun commercially. But some inventors, like Brusaw, may see their childhood dreams come true.

Solar Roadways
So what exactly would an “electric road” do? For starters, it could lessen America’s dependence on foreign oil, help preserve the environment, revolutionize driver safety and provide a wealth of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) capabilities, according to Brusaw.



This artist's rendering offers a glimpse of Solar Roadways founders Scott and Julie Brusaw's vision of the future--a highway system paved with solar panels.

The Solar Roadways design has three layers—a super-hard, translucent surface; a center layer of electronics, solar cells and light-emitting diodes (LEDs); and a base plate layer that distributes power and data. The electricity generated by Solar Roadways could be fed into the grid, power nearby buildings or used to recharge electric cars. At night, LED road stripes would light up to guide motorists.

Brusaw envisions a number of “smart” functions for these roads. Electronic components might record data like traffic volume and speeds and wirelessly transmit it to services that aggregate such information to produce traffic reports. Squares in crosswalks could help alert motorists to pedestrians with pressure sensors that light up beneath their feet, not unlike the sidewalk in Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” video. The same concept could be applied to highways, with the lights indicating where animals recently crossed, tipping off drivers to the potential hazard ahead....
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  #56  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2010, 10:38 PM
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Has the cost of solar energy dropped/will it drop more and more ?
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  #57  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2010, 4:01 PM
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Is Solar Power Now Cheaper Than Nuclear Energy?


Jul 29, 2010

By Ariel Schwartz

Read More: http://www.fastcompany.com/1675672/i...nuclear-energy

Quote:
Solar power took a big step toward becoming the alternative energy of choice with this week's news that energy from sunlight might be cheaper than nuclear power. The analysis, which comes from a Duke University report entitled Solar and Nuclear Costs: The Historic Crossover, claims that, "Electricity from new solar installations is now cheaper than electricity from proposed new nuclear plants" in North Carolina. The reason, according to the study, is a dramatic drop of the price of solar in recent years combined with an increase in the price of nuclear. In 2002, construction cost estimates for new nuclear power plants were in the $3 billion per reactor range. As new design and engineering problems emerge, construction costs continue to rise--now nuclear plants are estimated to cost $10 billion per reactor. And price isn't even the half of it. The study (PDF) reasons:

Solar electricity has numerous advantages other than cost. Rooftop solar can be installed in a few days. Small incremental gains in total generating capacity start producing electricity immediately. One does not have to wait ten years for huge blocks of new capacity to come online. Solar panels leave no radioactive wastes. They do not consume billions of gallons of cooling water each year. There are no national security issues with solar installations. An accident would be a small local affair, not a catastrophe.

This doesn't mean that we should completely ditch nuclear power. The Duke analysis argues that solar's status as an intermittent power source (it only works when the sun shines) is irrelevant because of smart grid technologies that optimize the energy mix. And the upfront costs for nuclear are astronomical compared to the cost of implementing, say, a rooftop solar system, but the fact remains that nuclear plants can pump out energy 24 hours a day. Solar plants can't. A long-lasting nuclear plant will most likely generate more energy per dollar invested than a solar plant ever could.



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  #58  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 4:20 PM
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so commercialized, mass produced, affordable solar energy generators and devices are still about a decade away ?
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  #59  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 5:52 PM
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so commercialized, mass produced, affordable solar energy generators and devices are still about a decade away ?
Like they have been for the past 30 years - and the fact remains, you still need a backup for every kw of solar juice.
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  #60  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2010, 2:43 AM
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And will probably get taxed somehow to use it too.
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