Posted: December 13th, 2012 | Author: Diana Detaux | Filed under: Science of Green | Tags: Advanced Photovoltaics, Australian Federal Government, Australian Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics, CSIRO, CSIRO National Solar Energy Centre, Photovoltaic Technology, Photovoltaics, Science of Green, Solar-thermal Power, US Department of Energy | No Comments »
The Australian Federal Government has announced an $83 million solar research program in partnership with the United States. The eight-year project will bring together six Australian universities, the CSIRO and the US department of energy.
Its aim is to create new technology that will reduce the cost of solar power. Australia’s Energy Minister Martin Ferguson says it is the biggest solar energy research investment in Australia’s history :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: December 5th, 2011 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Climate Change, Science, Science News, Science of Green | Tags: Climate Change, CSIRO, Science of Green, The Global Carbon Project, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change | No Comments »
New research has found global carbon emissions surged by a record amount in 2010 after falling during the international financial crisis.
The Global Carbon Project published its yearly analysis of carbon dioxide emissions in the journal Nature Climate Change today.
The report found that global carbon dioxide emissions increased by a record 5.9 per cent in 2010. The report says the overall atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is now at its highest level in 800,000 years.
“At current rates, including the increase in emissions that has been occurring over the last few years and continuing and even accelerating this year, we have about 35 to 40 years to go, before we hit that limit of a total of 1 trillion tonnes” Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 10th, 2011 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler, Engineered Life, Santa Barbara, Science, Science News, Science of Green, Solar Stars | Tags: Flexible Organic Small-Molecule Solar Cells, Flexible Solar Cell, photovoltaic, Polymer Based Solar Cell, Santa Barbara, Science News, Science of Green, Small-Molecule Solar Cell, University of California | No Comments »
We’ve raved about solar cells previously: here, and here, the technology has taken several quantum leaps over the past decade. Paintable crystalline and printable solar cells seem to be the way of the future, the fight now is for real solar efficiency. Solar panels that can be simply printed have inched a step closer with the development of an energy efficient, organic, small-molecule solar cell. The solar cell, which was developed by a team from the University of California, Santa Barbara, has energy efficiencies of 6.7 per cent, which rivals the best polymer-based solar cells. Most polymer-based designs have reached the 6 to 8 range for efficiency.
“These results provide important progress for solution-processed organic photovoltaics and demonstrate that solar cells fabricated from small donor molecules can compete with their polymeric counterparts,” the authors, including Nobel Prize winner Professor Alan Heeger, wrote in Nature Materials. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: July 1st, 2011 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler, Engineered Life, Favorite New Thought, M.Aaron Silverman, Protoscience, Science, Science of Green, Solar Stars | Tags: Bio21 Institute, Brandon MacDonald, Cankler, CSIRO, DSC, DSSC, Dye Densitised Sollar Cell, Dye Solar Cell, Dyesol, M.Aaron silverman, nano-crystals, protoscience, quantum dots, science, Science of Green, Tata Stee, titania, University of Melbourne | Comments Off
Printable, flexible solar cells that could dramatically decrease the cost of renewable energy have been developed by PhD student Brandon MacDonald in collaboration with his colleagues from CSIRO’s Future Manufacturing Flagship and the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Institute.
Australian researchers have developed solar panels which can be painted or printed directly onto a surface. With help from the CSIRO, University of Melbourne PhD student Brandon MacDonald has produced solar cells so small they can be suspended in liquid, such as ink or paint. MacDonald hopes the new technology will be two to three times cheaper than solar cells currently on the market, Macdonald says he expects the cells to hit the market within 5 years. These solar panels will be made of nano-crystals with a diameter of just a few millionths of a millimetre. MacDonald says they will use just 1 per cent of the materials needed to make traditional solar panels.
“Using nano-crystal inks, they can be manufactured in a continuous manner, which increases throughput and should make the cells much cheaper to produce, we can then apply this ink onto a surface, so this could be glass or plastics or metals” Read the full article »»»»
Posted: May 16th, 2011 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Applied Science, Blip, Engineered Life, Favorite New Thought, Science of Green | Tags: Engineered Energy, green energy, IMPLUX, Katru Eco, Science of Green, Varan Sureshan, Vertical Axis Wind Turbine, wind turbine | Comments Off
Varan Sureshan’s Implux Urban turbine – Vertical Axis Wind Turbine - is set for commercial success. Implux is the omni-directional shroud that forms the outer covering of a turbine and directs the wind from all directions up through the unit to turn an aerofoil propeller rotor like that used on horizontal axis wind turbines. The shroud, which is in itself a stunning piece of design, consists of a series of fixed horizontal blades that are shaped to capture the wind and accelerate it up into the central chamber to turn the turbine rotor. Sureshan says his invention is capable of generating more electricity than a standard horizontal wind turbine with the same sized rotor, but with reduced noise, maintenance and the ability to harness the power of wind that is continuously and rapidly changing direction and speed. This makes it suitable for the swirling wind patterns usually found on the tops of high-rise buildings within cities.
Varan Sureshan is the founder of Katru Eco and the inventor of “IMPLUX”. His career across Asia, North America and Australia, spans 25 years in consulting, design and construction sectors of industrial and commercial building engineering services. Varan has worked on both conventional and innovative energy conservation projects. Spending time on high-rise rooftops inspecting his mechanical system design installations and always battling to make sure his files don’t get blown away led Varan to recognize that while most people claim there is little wind in the city, there in fact was a large amount of it, concentrated on top of the buildings. He thought it would be great if this energy could be captured and fed directly for use in the building. This he felt would contribute to reducing power supply requirements in to the city. However he knew that none of the existing technology wind turbines could effectively and safely capture the energy from such swirling and confused wind patterns and something new was needed. The IMPLUX Wind Power Turbine secured USA patents on 15th July 2008.
Because the unit is fixed to the building and the rotor is spinning on a vertical axis, Sureshan says the amount of imbalance forces are almost nil, resulting in very little vibration and noise being transferred to the building on which it is located.
Sureshan says the bigger the IMPLUX is, the more efficient it is and he has modeled the design up to a 30 kW unit that measures about 15 m (49 ft) in diameter using computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analyses. However, a unit of such size would be impractical for most buildings, so to test the technology a prototype unit measuring roughly 4 m (13 ft) in diameter and 4 m high with a rotor of about 2 m (6.5 ft) in diameter has been built that is expected to produce up to a maximum of 2 kW. The prototype is set to be placed atop a high-rise building in a city environment for real world testing in June.
If the tests go as expected, Sureshan says he plans to produce units that are slightly smaller to give the device the best chance of meeting as many council planning permission regulations for placement on existing buildings as possible. These will measure around 3 m x 3 m (9.8 x 9.8 ft) and are expected to produce around 1.5 kW.
The key to the IMPLUX is the omni-directional shroud that forms the outer covering of the turbine and directs the wind from all directions up through the unit to turn an aerofoil propeller rotor like that used on horizontal axis wind turbines. To stop the wind simply blowing straight through the shroud, the horizontal blades are angled to direct the wind upwards. Sureshan says the wind entering the bottom-most opening, which has the highest focusing ability, forms a “fluid dynamic gate” – essentially an air curtain – that blocks the wind entering on one side from escaping out the other, instead forcing it up a past the rotor.
images via http://www.katru.com.au all images © Katru Eco-Energy