Friday, July 29, 2011

MIT Unveils Sun-Free Photovoltaics

From Slashdot:

"Researchers at MIT just unveiled a new solar power generator that doesn't need sunlight to function. The button-sized power generator can tap energy from heat, the sun's rays, a hydrocarbon fuel, or a decaying radioisotope, and it can run three times longer than a lithium-ion battery of the same weight. It is hoped that the technology may one day be used to generate power for spacecraft on long-term missions where sunlight may not be available."

New Automotive Fuel Standards

Today the Federal Government and the automotive industry announced new fuel efficiency standards to be implemented by 2025. The new standard will be 54.5 mpg, if that makes sense in the coming era of alternative fuel cars.

The agreement includes 13 automakers including the Detroit big 3. Part of the deal allows automakers to sue if California "attempts to enact its own tougher rules, if the federal government opts to lower the requirements in the final years"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rise of the Low-Power Servers - Slashdot

DLMS: Smart Meter Protocol Stack

Device Language Message Specification (DLMS) 
(originally Distribution Line Message Specification)
IEC 62056

Through a partnership with Kalki Communication, Microchip is now able to provide a Device Language Message Specification (DLMS) protocol stack optimised for its 16bit PIC microcontrollers. The company claims that the DLMS protocol has become the worldwide standard of choice among smart meter designers for interoperability.
The acceptance of DLMS is said to cover most energy types (electricity, gas, heat and water), multiple applications (residential, transmission and distribution), and numerous communication media (RS232, RS485, PSTN, GSM, GPRS, IPv4, PPP and PLC); as well as secure data access, via AES 128 encryption.

Read more at :

Massive Solar Tower Planned For Arizona - Slashdot

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wireless Electricity Is Here: And It's Being Used to Charge Cars

Ultra Luxury
Rolls-Royce's flagship model, the Phantom, is going all electric.

A company that exclusively caters to high-net-worth individuals is preparing its clientele for the end of oil (and the end of the internal combustion engine) as we know it.

The reasons for buying those cars are much different, with marketing aimed more toward environmentalism, climate change, and high gas prices.
The impetus behind an electric Rolls is different. It's about foresight. It's about remaining elite.

 Rolls-Royce is making an all-electric car so its well-off and boastful owners can still park it outside swanky Soho clubs long after gas engines are banned in bustling boroughs.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bill Clinton Says 'Paint Your Roofs White'

UPDATE: New Study Shows White Roofs are Three Times More Effective than Green Roofs at Fighting Climate Change

From an older related articles:
Doing this with any random White Paint, is a waste of time.
Your really need a Selective Coating.  See the article above on Solar heat numbers where I go in to some specifics on this.

From Slashdot : Bill Clinton Says 'Paint Your Roofs White'  7/18/2011

"Former President Bill Clinton thinks 'every black roof in New York should be white; every roof in Chicago should be white; every roof in Little Rock should be white. Every flat tar-surface roof anywhere! In most of these places you could recover the cost of the paint and the labor in a week.' Noting that Mayor Bloomberg started a program to hire and train young people to paint New York's roofs white, Clinton says a big percentage of the kids have been able to parlay this simple work into higher-skilled training programs or energy-related retrofit jobs. The benefit: not only will 'cool roofs' lower the utility bill in every apartment house 10 to 20 percent, but it frees cash that can be spent to increase economic growth. Clinton presented this with fourteen additional ideas for growing the economy, saving energy, and attacking the jobs crisis."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Aquamarine Power's next-generation wave power plant.

I am a little concerned with how many moving parts it has. Seems to me something like that could be a maintainance nightmare.

From Slashdot: New Scottish Wave Energy Generator Unveiled
"We've learned about Scotland's wave energy initiatives in the past, and just this morning the nation unveiled Aquamarine Power's next-generation Oyster 800 wave power plant. The new generator can produce 250% more power at one third the cost of the first full-scale 315kw Oyster that was installed in Orkney in 2009. The device's shape has been modified and made wider to enable it to capture more wave energy, and a double seabed pile system allows for easier installation."

Dynamic folding of a paper solar cell circuit

A paper solar cell circuit is dynamically folded and unfolded while the voltage is simultaneously measured on the meter. The paper photovoltaic is illuminated from below with simulated solar illumination.

MIT Researchers Crack The Code On Cheaply Printing Solar Cells On Paper, Fabric Now panels can be made lightweight, cheaply, and cleanly. It could be the first step in revolutionizing how we generate solar power.

From Fastcompany: MIT Researchers Crack The Code On Cheaply Printing Solar Cells On Paper, Fabric

From Slashdot:
"Following up on earlier work in the field, researchers at MIT are developing a process to print solar cells directly onto many common forms of paper. 'The technique represents a major departure from the systems used until now to create most solar cells, which require exposing the substrates to potentially damaging conditions, either in the form of liquids or high temperatures. The new printing process uses vapors, not liquids, and temperatures less than 120 degrees Celsius. These "gentle" conditions make it possible to use ordinary untreated paper, cloth or plastic as the substrate on which the solar cells can be printed. ... The resilient solar cells still function even when folded up into a paper airplane.'"