Graphene, a very simple carbon polymer, can be used as the basic component of a "supercapacitor" -- an electrical power storage device that charges far more rapidly than chemical batteries.
Unlike other supercapacitors, though, graphene's structure also offers a high "energy density," -- it can hold a lot of electrons, meaning that it could conceivably rival or outperform batteries in the amount of charge it can hold.
Kaner Lab researcher Maher El-Kady found a way to create sheets of graphene a single carbon atom thick by covering a plastic surface with graphite oxide solution and bombarding it with precisely controlled laser light.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk is a man with many plans. The founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX sits down with TED curator Chris Anderson to share details about his visionary projects, which include a mass-marketed electric car, a solar energy leasing company and a fully reusable rocket.
A team of Virginia Tech researchers has discovered a way to extract large quantities of hydrogen from any plant, a breakthrough that has the potential to bring a low-cost, environmentally friendly fuel source to the world.
To liberate the hydrogen, Virginia Tech scientists separated a number of enzymes from their native microorganisms to create a customized enzyme cocktail that does not occur in nature. The enzymes, when combined with xylose and a polyphosphate, liberate the unprecedentedly high volume of hydrogen from xylose, resulting in the production of about three times as much hydrogen as other hydrogen-producing microorganisms.
The energy stored in xylose splits water molecules, yielding high-purity hydrogen that can be directly utilized by proton-exchange membrane fuel cells. Even more appealing, this reaction occurs at low temperatures, generating hydrogen energy that is greater than the chemical energy stored in xylose and the polyphosphate. This results in an energy efficiency of more than 100 percent — a net energy gain. That means that low-temperature waste heat can be used to produce high-quality chemical energy hydrogen for the first time.
Imagine what you might do if you could print your own solar panels. That's kind of the dream behind Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein's Solar Pocket Factory -- although they see it more as the "microbrewery" of panel production rather than a tool for everyone's garage.
With over $70,000 of backing from a successful Kickstarter campaign, the inventors are now working on refining the prototype.
If all goes well, by April they'll have a machine that can spit out a micro solar panel every few seconds. In the meantime, Frayne stopped by Flora Lichtman's backyard with a few pieces of the prototype to explain how the mini-factory will work.
Princeton researchers have found a simple and economic way to nearly triple the efficiency of organic solar cells, the cheap and flexible plastic devices that many scientists believe could be the future of solar power.
Chou said the research team used nanotechnology to overcome two primary challenges that cause solar cells to lose energy: light reflecting from the cell, and the inability to fully capture light that enters the cell. With their new metallic sandwich, the researchers were able to address both problems.
The sandwich – called a subwavelength plasmonic cavity – has an extraordinary ability to dampen reflection and trap light. The new technique allowed Chou's team to create a solar cell that only reflects about 4 percent of light and absorbs as much as 96 percent...
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Birds in cities are insulating their nests with cigarette butts, a practice that might help smoke out parasitic mites thanks to the nicotine found inside the discarded material, researchers in Mexico have found.
While NASA's future remains cloudy in Houston, private-sector spaceflight may be in the cards for Texas. A state lawmaker has filed legislation to lure the world's first commercial orbital launch site to Brownsville, just days after the Houston Airport System said it sees commercial space flight as a viable option in the long-term future.
State Rep. Rene Oliveira filed House Bill 2623 to give certain counties and the General Land Office the authority to temporarily close a beach or a beach access point, enabling the launching of rockets from a proposed spaceport for the next generation of rockets built by entrepreneur and visionary Elon Musk’s company SpaceX.
You might think that as one of the world's top oil producing nations, the United Arab Emirates would have little use for solar energy. But that hasn't stopped the Middle East state from unveiling the largest concentrated solar power plant in operation anywhere in the world.
The 100-megawatt solar-thermal project in Abu Dhabi will power thousands of homes in the country and, it is hoped, displace approximately 175,000 tons of CO2 per year.
Researchers might have found the Holy Grail in the war against cancer, a miracle drug that has killed every kind of cancer tumor it has come in contact with (RT @kaiofficialuk: Wow extremely promising news!
Good news for anyone who likes fresh seafood...new research is showing that eating fish may help you live longer! The study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that older people with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in...
Budapest University students have created an innovative solar-powered prefab home for the 2012 European Solar Decathlon.
The Hungarian "Odooproject" team has created a modern home design that features an open central area, complete with a summer kitchen. This central zone creates a private terrace that allows its occupants to spend a large amount of their time in the open air, while also taking advantage of the sun’s energy. Drawing inspiration from traditional Hungarian folk architecture, the house features a darker outer shell, which forms a closed building that is suitable for its climatic conditions.
The prominent south-facing wall features a considerably large surface area that is entirely fitted with photovoltaic panels. During the summer months when the sun is high, solar energy is produced by the roof panels, while during the cooler months when the sun is lower, energy is produced by the south-facing wall.
“Ultimately, owing to this system, the house generates twice as much energy in Hungarian conditions and three times as much in Madrid as the house itself spends,” the Odooproject team states. “This amount is able to serve two other house’s needs, or provide a 70-kilometer (43.5-mile) long travel distance – daily – for an electric car.”
British inventor and CEO, Chris Garner, has come up with the MSV Explorer, an amphibious vehicle that not only treks on land and through water, but is powered by an exotic free energy method he calls "self-sustaining" that will enable the vehicle to travel indefinitely without stopping for fuel. Coming next month.
The company, MSVEX, is presently running in-house tests, which they expect to be completed in about a week. After that, they will be doing third-party testing to validate the technology, probably at the University of Plymouth (UK), or another university, depending on available facilities.
Via Sepp Hasslberger
This amphibious vehicle will probably be on the market next year
Thank you so much! It's just what we need to stay safe during the hurricane seasson in the Caribbean.... I only hope I can built one for my self. But, what about the solar cels, are they available at say.... home depot?
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