Showing posts with label solar energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label solar energy. Show all posts

Monday, 23 July 2018

Bacteria powered solar cells Converts Light to Energy

Bacteria powered solar cells

Now its Bacteria Powered Solar Cells

With the amount of fossil fuels being burnt for our daily living and the amount of pollution that there is, it is no wonder why researchers are looking for alternative means to get energy to power our daily living. Of those new energy sources is solar power. Solar power is now being used in many places to generate electricity but is still not being widely used. The cost of installing a solar panel is too exorbitant and that acts as a deterrent in using them. Plus another limitation is that they do not generate much electricity form the sun when there are overcast skies. This led to researchers coming up with Bacteria powered solar cells.

Researchers use the bacteria to power solar cells and they even generate electricity when there are overcast skies. What’s more is that this method is cheap and sustainable even for long periods. Plus to use bacterial powered solar cells means you get more energy than what is available today.

Bacteria powered solar cells a solution to our problems? 

This new way of using bacteria powered solar cells, will be especially useful in places where overcast skies are common and where previously solar energy could not be used. Such places like British Columbia and northern parts of Europe could benefit from this bacteria powered solar cell.

The bacteria powered solar cell is called “biogenic” since they are made from living organisms.

Bacteria powered solar cells in a solar panel: 

Solar cells are the building blocks in a solar panel and thus by using bacteria powered solar cells, you would actually be using them in the panels itself. These bacteria will convert solar energy into electricity.

Previous efforts at using bacteria involved the dyes that bacteria uses in photosynthesis. This process that involved extracting the dye, is a costly process and involves the use of toxic materials, which therefore pushes up the cost of making a solar panel.

What’s more is that the toxic materials that were used in the process actually degraded the dye making it less useful.

The new method of making a bacteria powered solar cells: 

The breakthrough idea came when scientists decided to leave the dye in the bacteria itself and not to extract it.

So they genetically engineered E.coli to produce large volumes of lycopene. Lycopene is a dye that gives tomatoes their red color and more importantly to harvest solar energy to produce electricity.

After this, researchers used a coating on the bacteria to make it act as a semiconductor and then used the bacteria powered solar cells in a solar panel.

The results were astounding. The bacteria powered solar cell generated 0.686 milliamps per square centimeter on the solar panel as compared to 0.362 achieved by current methods.

The use of bacteria powered solar cells is sustainable and cost effective. Researchers estimate the costs in the realms of 1/10th the current cost of making a solar cell.

The next step for researchers is to get the bacteria to survive so as to continue to produce the dye that would convert solar energy.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Atomic Movies May Help Explain Why Perovskite Solar Cells Are More Efficient


Perovskites – Cheap/Easy/Flexible 

Perovskites has taken the solar cell industry by storm in recent years. They tend to be cheap, easy in producing as well as flexible in their applications.

Moreover their efficiency in converting light into electricity has developed quicker than that of any other material from under 4% in 2009 to over 20% in 2017, where some of the experts are of the belief that Perovskites Solar Cells could ultimately outperform the most common solar cell material, silicon. However, irrespective of their reputation, researchers are not aware why perovskites solar cells tend to be so efficient.

Research had been carried out with powerful `electron camera’ at the Department of energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory which has now revealed that light whirls atoms around in perovskites, potentially explaining the high efficiency of these next –generation solar cell materials as well as provides clues in making improved ones.

 Aaron Lindenberg from Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences – SIMES and the Stanford PULSE Institute for ultrafast science that had jointly operated by Stanford University and SLAC, had stated that they have taken a step towards resolving the mystery.

He further added that they had recorded movies which tend to show that certain atoms in a perovskite seem to respond to light within trillionths of a second in a very unusual manner.
Perovskite Solar Cell

Flexibility Based on Atomic Structure of Material

This could facilitate the transport of electric charges through the material and enhance its efficiency. The study had been published recently in Science Advances. When light is said to shine on perovskites solar cell material, its energy tends to displace some of the negative charged electrons of the material.

This is inclined to leave behind `electron holes’ having positive charge where the electrons had initially been located. Electrons and holes tend to migrate in opposite sides of the material thereby developing a voltage which could be utilised to power electrical devices. The efficiency of perovskites solar cell seems to depend on how freely electrons as well as holes tend to move in the material.

In turn, their flexibility is based on the atomic structure of the material. In silicon solar cells for instance, silicon atoms is said to line up in an orderly manner within crystals as well as the smallest structural defects tend to reduce the ability of the material to harvest light efficiently.

As a consequence, silicon crystals need to be grown in costly multistep process under very clean conditions while perovskites are said to be produced with the combination of chemicals in a solvent that tends to evaporate to leave an extremely thin film of perovskite material according to the study’s lead author from SIMES at SLAC, Xiaoxi Wu.
Perovskite Solar Cells

Lower Cost/Lightweight

He further added that simpler processing would mean lower costs and unlike silicon solar cells, perovskite thin films seems to be lightweight as well as flexible and can be applied with ease to virtually any surface. With regards to perovskites what is it that permits some of them to harvest light in an efficient manner?

Scientists are of the opinion that one of the keys is how their atoms tend to move in reaction to light. In order to get a better understanding, Wu together with his colleagues researched on these motions in a prototype material made of iodine, lead together with an organic molecule known as methylammonium.

 The iodine atoms tend to be arranged in octohedra, eight-sided structures which seems like two pyramids that is joined towards the base. The lead atom tends to sit inside the octohedra and the methylammonium molecule is between octohedra.

The architecture seems common to several of the perovskites investigated for perovskites solar cell applications. The earlier research could have explored mostly the role of the mehylammonium ions together with their motions in transporting electric charge through the material.

Light Cause of Huge Deformation in Network

Wu had stated that they had found that light is the cause of huge deformations in the network of lead and iodine atoms which tend to be crucial for the efficiency of perovskites. At the Accelerator Structure Test Area – ASTA of SLAC, the researchers had initially hit a perovskite film which was less than two millionths of an inch thick having a 40-femtosecond laser pulse.

One femtosecond is said to be a millionth of a billionth of a second and in order to determine the atomic response, they directed a 300-femtosecond pulse of highly energetic electrons via the material and noticed how the electrons had been deflected in the film. This system known as ultrafast electron diffraction – UED enabled them to reconstruct the atomic structure. The speedy improvement of perovskite solar cells has enhanced them in the photovoltaics world as well as of high interest to the academic community.

While the operational system seems to be comparatively new, there are possibilities of additional research in the basic physics and chemistry regarding perovksites. Moreover, from observations of past two years, the engineering development of perovskite formulation together with the fabrication sequences has given rise to significant increases in power conversion efficiency.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Fast and Direct Vehicle Charging with Solar Energy

High Speed Charger – Cars Charged From Solar Panels

Solar vehicle, an electric means of transportation is driven totally or considerably through direct solar energy wherein photovoltaic – PV cells comprising of solar panel alters the energy of the sun directly into electric energy.Solar power could be utilised in providing power for communication or controls or also for other auxiliary operations.

At the moment, solar vehicle are not retailed as real regular conveyance device but mostly demonstration vehicles and engineering exercises that are frequently sponsored by government agencies. But indirectly solar-charged vehicles are said to be prevalent and solar boats are now made commercially available. Solar cars tend to be influenced by PV cells in converting sunlight into electricity in driving electric motors.

Similarly solar thermal energy that has a tendency of converting solar energy to heat, PV cells directly converts sunlight into electricity. Electric cars can be considered as sustainable if they tend to be charged utilising power which has been created sustainably. TU Delft in association with the company Power Research Electronics has developed a high speed charger which tends to allow cars to be charged with power directly from solar panels.

Vehicle-to-Grid System

This means that the electricity network is not required as a provisional stage for charging. Besides this, the scheme tends to work in two ways. The electric car can be charged with solar power and the energy from the charged car battery can be used as well to supply your house with electricity.

A system for charging electric vehicles directly with power from solar panels was demonstrated at the TU Delft Research Exhibition on 6th and 7th June’ 2017. Technology News regarding this was provided by Prof. Pavol Bauer from TU Delft who commented that solar panels tend to generate direct current which is essentially required in converting to alternating current before it is utilised to charge an electric car.

With the charger – 10 kW, which is no longer essential,this seems to mark a main step forward. He further added that in the Vehicle-to-Grid system, one could also go in any direction based on what is favoured at the time.

Possibility of Predicting Supply of Solar Energy

This would mean that one could also supply your home with power from the battery of the car. Besides this, there is also a possibility of delivering electricity back to the grid, though it may need conversion into alternating current.

The structure can be extended by connecting various chargers together with solar panels together and in the near future it could support business parks as well as residential districts in supplying electricity in a new manner, partially separating from the electricity grid.

 According to Bauer, another main benefit is that the structure tends to be smart. Information together with predictions regarding the present situation on the electricity market is taken into account. To some extent, there is a possibility of predicting the supply of solar energy.

Should there be an oversupply of solar power, the price tends to fall and vice versa and depending on this, one could make a choice for the smartest energy consumption plan.Twenty-high-speed chargers of this kind have been produced by Power Research Electronics and the company anticipates the system to be available towards the end of this year.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

MIT-USAID Program Releases Pioneering Evaluation Of Solar Lanterns

Reports on Effectiveness of Solar Lanterns 

The CITE – Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation group, funded by the United States Agency for International Development – USAID has released its first report recently, evaluating the effectiveness of solar lanterns in Uganda, Africa.

The team of MIT faculty with students, set off for western Uganda to conduct CITE’s evaluation of solar lanterns and researchers conducted hundreds of survey with consumers, suppliers, manufacturers as well as non-profits in order to evaluate eleven locally available solar lantern models. In order to assess each product’s suitability, researches computed rating score ranging from 0 to 100 on the basis on how the product’s attributes and features perform.

Attributes include characteristics inherent to solar lanterns like brightness, time to charge and run time and features include less central characteristics like a lantern’s ability to charge a cell phone. Sanyal comments that the importance of cell phone charging was a surprising and noteworthy finding. The said device seems to appear like Nalgene water bottles which soaks up energy during the day and switches on at night.

 The analysis of the solar lantern market in Uganda, where one can purchase over a dozen various lanterns costing between $14.17 and $79.99 had a few surprises. According to MIT professor, Bishwapriya Sanyal, he stated that `what surprised them was that the market was flooded but no one knew which one really works’.

Charging – Placing on Roofs - Daytime

Researchers observed that the best intentions of the producers did not always sync with how products were utilised in the real world. The producers of the solar lanterns have intentions of placing them on roofs to be charged during the day though most of them would not leave them there fearing that they could be stolen. The features that users would be interested in is `would the solar charger also have a port to charge their cell phone and these observations would probably change the way manufacturers made their device, according to Sanyal. He points out one thing which stuck him was that consumers were concerned whether or not the solar lantern charged the cell phone and that they did not expect this feature to be so important and for some, connection would be more valuable than having light.

Need to be Nimble with Changing Market

CITE worked with USAID with the intention to select solar lanterns as product family for its first evaluation. Sanyal states that evaluating solar lanterns would enable CITE an opportunity to learn from USAID’ existing partnership with Solar Sister, which is a social enterprise distributing solar lantern in Uganda, a country with few people having access to light after dark.

This could be very beneficial to them. CITE researchers worked closely too with Jeffrey Asher a former technical director at Consumer Reports in order to learn from existing production evaluation model. Evaluation of products in laboratory at MIT or Consumer Reports is quite different from evaluating them in rural Uganda though both are important according to Asher a co-author of the CITE report.

He states that the greatest challenge of Consumer Reports’ has been evaluating products which are presently in the U.S. market and CITE has found that in developing countries, they need to be more nimble in keeping up with the changing market.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Solar Sinter, 3D Printer That Uses Sunlight to Melt Sand Into Glass

Markus Kayser
Solar Sinter Concept 

In our world with shortage of energy production and raw material which is of great concern, a project exploring the capabilities of desert manufacturing, has surfaced where energy as well as material seems to be in abundance. The project was developed by Markus Kayser during his MA studies in Design Products on Platform 13 at the Royal College of Art and built by him the `SolarSinter’ concept is not too dissimilar from laser sintering printers which are used in operations such as SpaceX for printing impossible objects from metal.

 A focused sun beam is less precise than a finely honed laser though the core concept remains the same. The product designer, Kayser from Hannover, Germany, had his solar powered sand printer taken to the Egyptian desert to portray how it functions. On harnessing the power of the Sun, he heated ordinary sand into glass to create natural and unique 3D objects.

In the experiment, sunlight as well as sand is used as raw material and energy in order to produce glass objects with the help of a 3D printing process, which combine natural energy and material with high tech production technology. Solar sintering would give rise to questions about the future of manufacturing, giving way to dreams on the full extent of the potential of production on the world’s most capable energy resource which is the sun.

Two Elements of Desert - The Sun & Sun

It was in August 2010, when the first solar machine – the Sun-Cutter was taken to the Egyptian desert in a suitcase which was a solar powered, semi-automated low tech laser cutter which used the power of the sun to operate it and directly harnessed its rays through a glass ball lens to `laser’ cut 2D components with the use of a cam guided system.

The Sun-Cutter created components in fine plywood with aesthetic quality of curious hybrid of machine made and nature craft because of the crudeness of its mechanism as well as the cutting beam optics together with variation in solar intensity and the outcome of the weather fluctuations.

The sun and the sand are the two elements which rule the desert world wherein the sun offers a huge potential of large amount of energy source while the sand with unlimited supply of silica in the form of quartz. This provided the experience of working in the desert with the Sun-Cutter directly with the new machine which brought together the two elements, where on heating silica sand to melting point and enabling it to cool solidified as glass.

Sintering – Central Process in Design Prototyping

This process of conversion of powdery substance through heating process to a solid form is called sintering and has become a central process in design prototyping in recent times as 3D printing or Selective Laser Sintering – SLS.

Laser technology is used in the 3D printers to create precise 3D objects from various powdered plastics, metals and resins since they are appropriate counterparts of computer drawn 3D designs data by the designer. With the use of the sun’s rays rather than laser and sand instead of resins, an entire new solar powered machine and production process in making glass objects which can tap into the vast supplies of sun and sand is found in the deserts.

In February 2011, the first manually operated solar sintering machine was tested in the Moroccan desert with good positive results leading to the development of the present larger as well as fully automated computer driven version – the Solar Sinter.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Why YOU should Use Solar Power

Solar Power
Everyone is looking for ways to save on the cost of energy bills, but it can be difficult to do. Conventional energy sources are limited, and the higher the demand, the higher the cost. In addition to rising energy costs, many people are becoming more involved in trying to maintain the health of the planet. The use of fossil fuels doesn’t just affect the fossil fuel supply, it impacts the environment in a variety of ways. It produces greenhouse gases and destroys forested areas that are demolished in the retrieval process. The average family produces tons of waste each year, including polluting greenhouse gases that affect the health of the planet. Because of these reasons, and others, more and more homeowners are looking to harness solar power Hawaii.

It seems as though the cost for everything is increasing, and this makes it difficult to live comfortably. Fossil fuels are limited and as we consume them, their supply quickly runs out. As they run out, energy costs will soar. Many homeowners simply can’t spend more on energy than they already do. It’s time to utilize renewable sources of energy to help offset the costs of conventional energy sources and to help us become independent from those. Harnessing solar power Hawaii helps families find peace of mind knowing they won’t be spending a small fortune on energy.

Many people are very concerned with the detrimental affects that the use of fossil fuels have on the planet. When you think about the amount of fossil fuels that are being consumed each year, it’s astonishing also to realize how much of the planet is destroyed in the collection of those fossil fuels. It destroys precious forests that simply can’t be re-grown or renewed in the amount of time it’s taking us to consume the fuel. Something must be done to reduce and even eliminate our dependency on conventional fuel types. The use of fossil fuels also create a significant amount of greenhouse gases that are affecting the overall health of the planet, as well, rendering the consideration of harnessing solar power Hawaii necessary.

Harnessing solar power can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars of energy. And you can also have peace of mind knowing that you’re also not contributing to the demise of the planet’s health. You’re using a renewable resource that is clean and constant. You’re helping reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.
Solar power can even make you money. When the utility company meters your energy usage, you can make money. If you collect more solar power than you actually use that month, you can get credits from the power company. But if you happen to use more solar energy that you collected a particular month, you don’t have to worry about losing electricity in your home. You have a backup system that will use the conventional energy from the local grid.

Renewable energy is the way of the future and there are so many reasons why it should be harnessed and utilized. It’s not just a cost-saving choice; it’s a planet saving one. To find out more about how you can enjoy the benefits solar power, contact Bonterra Solar today.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Laboratories: looks like the high-tech of the future - VI

Software that can guess your feelings

Researchers in Madrid have developed a system that analyzes and recognizes emotions phone users or computers. The devices can recognize the negative emotions such as anger, boredom or doubt, taking into account the tone of voice, the flow of words or pauses between words, and can adapt to the mood of the user. So no need to cry on your iPhone or on your PC!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

High-tech romance with sun - 3

Introduced in 2009, "Solar Concept Tent" foreshadows the "dugout" of the future according to the operator Orange, as part of its historic partnership with the Glastonbury music festival. The festival tries to environmentalists who do not wish in any way be cut off from the world on the move is fitted on the outside, pull-out of solar panels to generate enough energy to light and heat the tent at night and feed the various communications equipment of its occupants. 

Monday, 31 October 2011

High-tech romance with sun - 2

This solar charger can be dragged around (it measures about 7 cm sides) and can be very useful to recharge most small electronic devices (cell phones, music players, etc.).. Its originality lies in the fact that it has a suction cup to be pressed against the windshield of a car, the window of a plane ... It is sold online 28 euros on the site of Quirky community development.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Austin solar energy

Hello friends! Hope you all doing good :) Today I am going to share you all my idea about an online site at which can cater us the entire information about solar energy. As a matter of fact, I have recently got an opportunity to view this excellent online by means of an online blog titled as Austin solar energy. The sun is an energy sources and is most important to the mankind. Our annual energy consumption in the world is equal to 20m of solar radiation on earth. The energy generated in Western Europe is equivalent to 1000Watt/m2.