Solar Cell at Soap Bubble

Posted by & filed under Green Living.

Scientists have made a solar cell that’s light and so thin, it can happily rest on a soap bubble without popping it. The solar cells, which have been made using flexible parylene, have a much improved power-to-weight ration of 6-watts per gram, which is about 400 times greater. Imagine the potential of tiny solar cells capable of providing power to almost anything, without adding huge amounts of weight.

Scientists have made a solar cell that’s light and so thin, it can happily rest on a soap bubble without popping it. The amazing breakthrough comes from researchers at MIT, and the new cell is said to be the first of its kind.
The team at MIT, made up of Vladimir Bulovic, the associate dean for innovation, research scientist Annie Wang, and doctoral student Joel Jean, made the cell in a completely new way, where three steps are combined into one, and the entire process performed in a vacuum. The finished cell is only two micrometers thick. That’s an astonishing one-fiftieth the thickness of a hair on your head.

According to the team, a regular silicon-based solar module will kick out 15-watts of power per kilogram. The solar cells, which have been made using flexible parylene, have a much improved power-to-weight ration of 6-watts per gram, which is about 400 times greater.

Imagine the potential of tiny solar cells capable of providing power to almost anything, without adding huge amounts of weight. It’s also stated that the cell as we see it here probably doesn’t have many practical applications, because simply breathing in its direction would see it fly away.
The new solar cells have already taken years to develop, and should still be considered a proof-of-concept, therefore not ready for integration with hardware just. Bulovic said the next stage of creating a product that’s suitable for mass manufacture, “will take time,” and a, “lot of hard work,” but added that, “likely no miracles” will be needed to reach that stage.

Source: DigitalTrends.com

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

The Aliso Canyon Oil Field, a natural gas storage facility in southern California, spewed an estimated 96,000 metric tons of methane into the air over the last four months, before it was temporarily capped this week. At its worst, the leak, which has been likened to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, was responsible for a 25 percent increase in the state’s daily methane emissions. It also pushed hundreds of residents of the nearby Porter Ranch neighborhood out of their homes and prompted California’s governor to declare a state of emergency.

But a comparable climate disaster brewing in Texas has received far less attention from regulators and the media — perhaps because there isn’t a single huge leak to point to. Every hour, natural gas facilities in North Texas’ Barnett Shale region emit thousands of tons of methane — a greenhouse gas at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide — and a slate of noxious pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and benzene.

The Aliso Canyon leak was big. The Barnett leaks, combined, are even bigger. But regulators in Texas have done very little to address this well-documented problem.

 

Click headline to read more, access hot links and watch video clip–

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.texasobserver.org

See on Scoop.itGreen Living

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

BERLIN (AP) — A satellite due to be launched into orbit Tuesday will boost Europe’s ability to monitor environmental changes and provide early warning of possible migrant flows.

The European Space Agency says Sentinel-3A is one of more than a dozen satellites that will make up the most sophisticated Earth observation system ever launched.

Two satellites already in orbit are equipped with radar and high-resolution cameras, to which Sentinel-3A will add sophisticated instruments for measuring sea and surface temperatures.

Josef Aschbacher, who oversees the Earth observation program, says the satellite will be able to spot upcoming droughts and even identify spots where people may be gathering to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.usnews.com

See on Scoop.itGreen Living

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Improving sustainable practices
In its effort to reduce risks of disruptions while still managing to be sustainable and efficient in operations, some supply chain leaders are at a crossroads. This predicament is understandable since, as Ian Lefshitz, a contributor to Supply Chain Executive, worded it, “While there are obvious long-term benefits to more sustainable practices, a major challenge for corporations and procurement professionals in particular is ensuring that the entire supply chain meets established standards.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.strategicsourceror.com

See on Scoop.itGreen Living

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Three years ago, Dustin Fedako attended the US Composting Council’s annual conference. As founder of Compost Pedallers, a bike-powered compost recycling program in Austin, Texas, Fedako didn’t know what to expect from the conference, which is geared toward the industrial composting model. He just wanted to “sponge up as much as he could.” He learned a lot and he also spent a lot of time explaining what community composting is.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.shareable.net

See on Scoop.itGreen Living

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

A wearable device promises to help steady hand tremors by using an old technology—gyroscopes.

 

When he was a 24-year-old medical student living in London, Faii Ong was assigned to care for a 103-year-old patient who suffered from Parkinson’s, the progressive neurological condition that affects a person’s ease of movement. After watching her struggle to eat a bowl of soup, Ong asked another nurse what more could be done to help the woman. “There’s nothing,” he was grimly told.

Ong, now 26, didn’t accept the answer. He began to search for a solution that might offset the tremulous symptoms of Parkinson’s, a disease that affects one in 500 people, not through drugs but physics. After evaluating the use of elastic bands, weights, springs, hydraulics, and even soft robotics, Ong settled on a simpler solution, one that he recognized from childhood toys. “Mechanical gyroscopes are like spinning tops: they always try to stay upright by conserving angular momentum,” he explains. “My idea was to use gyroscopes to instantaneously and proportionally resist a person’s hand movement, thereby dampening any tremors in the wearer’s hand.”

Together with a number of other students from Imperial College London, Ong worked in the university’s prototyping laboratory to run numerous tests. An early prototype of a device, called GyroGlove, proved his instinct correct. Patients report that wearing the GyroGlove, which Ong believes to be the first wearable treatment solution for hand tremors, is like plunging your hand into thick syrup, where movement is free but simultaneously slowed. In benchtop tests, the team found the glove reduces tremors by up to 90 percent.

GyroGlove’s design is simple. It uses a miniature, dynamically adjustable gyroscope, which sits on the back of the hand, within a plastic casing attached to the glove’s material. When the device is switched on, the battery-powered gyroscope whirs to life. Its orientation is adjusted by a precession hinge and turntable, both controlled by a small circuit board, thereby pushing back against the wearer’s movements as the gyroscope tries to right itself.

While the initial prototypes of the device still require refinements to size and noise, Alison McGregor, professor of musculoskeletal biodynamics at Imperial College, who has been a mentor to the team, says the device “holds great promise and could have a significant impact on users’ quality of life.” Helen Matthews of the Cure Parkinson’s Trust agrees: “GyroGlove will make everyday tasks such as using a computer, writing, cooking, and driving possible for sufferers,” she says.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.technologyreview.com

See on Scoop.itGreen Living

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

There is a lot of plastic in the world’s oceans.

It coagulates into great floating “garbage patches” that cover large swaths of the Pacific. It washes up on urban beaches and remote islands, tossed about in the waves and transported across incredible distances before arriving, unwanted, back on land. It has wound up in the stomachs of more than half the world’s sea turtles and nearly all of its marine birds, studies say. And if it was bagged up and arranged across all of the world’s shorelines, we could build a veritable plastic barricade between ourselves and the sea.

But that quantity pales in comparison with the amount that the World Economic Forum expects will be floating into the oceans by the middle of the century.

If we keep producing (and failing to properly dispose of) plastics at predicted rates, plastics in the ocean will outweigh fish pound for pound in 2050, the nonprofit foundation said in a report Tuesday.

 

Click headline to read more and access hot links–

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.washingtonpost.com

See on Scoop.itGreen Living

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

A common criticism of a total transition to wind, water and solar power is that the US electrical grid can’t affordably store enough standby electricity to keep the system stable. Now a researcher proposes an underground solution to that problem.

A new study shows that wind, water and solar generators can theoretically result in a reliable, affordable national grid when the generators are combined with inexpensive storage.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.sciencedaily.com

See on Scoop.itGreen Living

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Learn how breakthroughs in clean technology can take us to new heights with the explorers who are set to break the record for the world’s longest solo flight using only solar energy. André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard took off from Abu Dhabi in March and aim to complete the circumnavigation of the Earth by returning to the UAE. Watch them speak live at the World Economic Forum in Davos at 12.45pm.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.thenational.ae

See on Scoop.itGreen Living

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

A new paradigm for the development of photo-bioelectrochemical cells has been reported in the journal Nature Energy by researchers from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in Israel, and the University of Bochum, in Germany.

The design of photo-bioelectrochemical cells based on native photosynthetic reaction is attracting substantial recent interest as a means for the conversion of solar light energy into electrical power.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: phys.org

See on Scoop.itGreen Living