QuoteThe key is that the resulting solar cell has efficiencies--or the amount of sunlight the solar cell can turn into electricity--that are closer to crystalline silicon solar cells than thin-film alternatives such as amorphous silicon or copper indium gallium selenide or CIGS. Crystalline solar cells have higher efficiencies than thin films. Commercial crystalline panels can convert up to 22 percent of sunlight into electricity, without concentrators. CIGS makers are initially shooting for the mid to low teens. The catch is that making crystalline solar cells is expensive. The patterning and other processes is similar to what is used in making LCD panels. Innovalight says it could conceivably cut the production price by around 50 percent or more. Many start-ups, however, had hit bumps in bringing new (albeit different) manufacturing techniques for solar cells to market.
QuoteArmed with the backing of the White House and congressional leaders-and subsidies, such as $500 million in risk insurance from the U.S. Department of Energy- the nuclear industry is experiencing a revival in the U.S. As many as 29 new reactors may be added to the current U.S. fleet of 104, according to Bill Borchardt, director of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) office of new reactors. "It is going to be significantly different than it was in the 1970s," he says.
QuoteSince solar energy can't be harvested all the time, the panel is actually far larger than would be necessary to simply power the router. In Florida, which gets about 4.5 hours of peak solar energy a day, Solis installs a 220-watt solar panel that measures about 4 feet by 5 feet. Ordinarily, a router only needs about 24 watts of power, he said. All that extra power goes to recharging the batteries, which run all night. The batteries in the system let the routers survive cloudy periods and can actually keep the router going for seven days without a recharge, Reynolds said.
QuoteUsing a novel technology that adds multiple innovations to a very high-performance crystalline silicon solar cell platform, a consortium led by the University of Delaware (UD) has achieved a record-breaking combined solar cell efficiency of 42.8 percent. The current record of 40.7 percent was attained in December 2006 by Boeing's Spectrolab, Inc. Honsberg said the previous best of 40.7 percent efficiency was achieved with a high concentration device that requires sophisticated tracking optics and features a concentrating lens the size of a table and more than 30 centimeters, or about 1 foot, thick. The UD consortium's devices are potentially far thinner at less than 1 centimeter.
Quote"The re-engineering has mostly been done," said Linux leader Linus Torvalds of the new kernel. And for higher-level software, PowerTop has been "invaluable, he added. "A lot of people and (Linux) distributions are actually interested in this, so the user applications do seem to be getting fixed." There's more work to be done, but the progress has been measurable, said Arjan van de Ven, a longtime kernel programmer now working at Intel. "What we see in our lab today is that Linux on a laptop consumes 15 percent to 25 percent less power during idle than a code base of about three months ago," he said.
QuoteUsing municipal waste to produce energy or reduce pollution is not an unusual practice. Landfill operators siphon off methane gas that is given off by decomposing organic trash. Incinerators burn garbage to produce steam that turns a turbine that makes electricity. Ze-gen's plant, currently under construction, is an attempt to demonstrate that different technologies--in this case gasification--can be used to convert waste to energy in a cost-effective and less polluting way.
QuoteInstallation is one of the major problems with solar energy. The electricity generated by solar panels is free, but solar systems are not: typically it takes about eight years of free electricity before a consumer breaks even. The solar industry wants to reduce the break-even point to about four years. The industry spends millions in R&D every year to come up with solar cells that can convert more of the sun's energy into electricity or reduce the cost of producing solar cells. These systems, however, mostly get installed the old-fashioned way: contractors hoist panels onto the roof and drill and screw them into place. About half of the cost of a solar system goes to the inverter (a device that converts the direct current from the solar panel into alternating current) and to installation, said John Langdon, vice president of marketing at HelioVolt.
QuoteBoston-Power has been one of the more noteworthy new entrants in part because the somewhat secretive company, which came out of semi-stealth mode late last year, employs many scientists and executives, like Lampe-Onnerud, who have worked in the battery industry for years. Along with showing off the battery publicly for the first time this week, Boston-Power also announced it closed a second round of funding for $15.6 million. There is no magic silver bullet inside the Sonata, Lampe-Onnerud said. Instead, the battery differs from conventional notebook batteries through a large number of design tweaks.
QuoteTypically, systems that use electromagnetic radiation, such as radio antennas, are not suitable for the efficient transfer of energy because they scatter energy in all directions, wasting large amounts of it into free space. To overcome this problem, the team investigated a special class of "non-radiative" objects with so-called "long-lived resonances". When energy is applied to these objects it remains bound to them, rather than escaping to space. "Tails" of energy, which can be many metres long, flicker over the surface.
QuoteThe borohydride solution releases its hydrogen as it flows over a catalyst made of ruthenium. The hydrogen passes through a membrane and combines with oxygen in the fuel cell, generating electricity and waste water. Theoretically, this could achieve an energy density up to about 2200 watt-hours per litre Gervasio says, compared to 200 watt-hours per litre for a lithium polymer battery.
QuoteSome customers want to reduce their reliance on non-renewable energy, so providing customers with a renewable energy choice is important. Cow Power will provide a new income stream to participating farmers, help reduce some of the water quality impacts of farming through the introduction of innovative manure management technologies, and significantly reduce manure odors, particularly during spreading. Participating farms may also reduce bedding costs by using dry byproducts of the process in place of sawdust or other bedding. Funds not supporting farm methane power will support other renewable generation resources.