Cool Future Technologies
65.9K views | +27 today
Follow
Cool Future Technologies
New cool ways to do things, clever uses of new - and sometimes old - technology
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Metallic nanostructure triples organic solar cells efficiency

Metallic nanostructure triples organic solar cells efficiency | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
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...

 

( Get the whole article by clicking on the headline linked to the original... )

 

more...
cyneth's comment, December 29, 2012 11:19 PM
Hi Sepp, would love to hear your thoughts - given your interest in GMO toxicity and related environmental and health issues - http://www.eeb.org/documents/090713-OECD-environmental-Brief.pdf
Sepp Hasslberger's comment, January 3, 2013 7:56 AM
I agree that there are parallels between nanotech and GMO. Both are largely untested for their health impacts, both are suspected to be damaging to the environment and human health, and they are promoted by powerful financial interests with the goal of making lots of money. It is a very shakey combination. Concerns over health and environment will eventually impede progress, unless addressed seriously.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

SOLN1 - Build-it-yourself all in one solar panel with batteries and inverter

"The SolN1 makes alternative energy easy enough for the masses. Lets build these and make them available to those in need."

 

More info at: http://laserhacker.com/

 

Forum: http://laserhacker.com/forum/index.php

 

"Many folks just need a couple light bulbs and a fan to change their lives for the better. After a natural disaster you may also want to have one of these handy."

more...
Rosamaria's curator insight, December 14, 2012 11:55 AM

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?

The Planetary Archives / San Francisco, California's curator insight, January 6, 2014 11:29 AM

I could have used this in Belize.....

Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

METRONOME: Axalko wooden-frame bicycles made in Basque country

METRONOME: Axalko wooden-frame bicycles made in Basque country | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

Aptly named after a quick-witted fox from a childhood fable, the Axalko bike boasts a lightweight hollow frame and micro-lamination for improved resistance.

 

The bike is the inspired design of two brothers, Aitzol and Andoitz Tellería, who joined forces with Enrique Ardura in the north of Spain six years ago to test the natural durability of the ash wood, and to construct a bicycle that would be both fast and sturdy...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Deep Geothermal: The Untapped Renewable Energy Source

Deep Geothermal: The Untapped Renewable Energy Source | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
Until now, geothermal technology has only been used on a small scale to produce power. But with major new projects now underway, deep geothermal systems may soon begin making a significant contribution to the world’s energy needs.

 

Ultimately, thanks to unusually hot rock close to the surface and existing infrastructure from oil-and-gas production, the Cooper River basin alone could produce about 10,000 megawatts of electricity — enough to replace 20 large coal-fired power plants, says geologist Doone Wyborn, Geodynamic's chief scientist. That’s just a taste of the potential that this technology, known as enhanced geothermal systems, holds for Australia and the world, according to Wyborn.

 

In the US, researchers estimate that for just $1 billion invested over 40 years — the cost of one large coal-fired power plant and a fraction of the cost of a nuclear power plant — 100 gigawatts of clean, dependable geothermal power could be developed in the United States alone. That’s the energy equivalent of more than 200 coal-fired power plants or 100 new nuclear power plants.

more...
Russell Roberts's curator insight, January 15, 2013 1:58 AM

Some more background on geothermal energy.  Last year, the Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) announced that it would invest more time and money in exploring promising geothermal sites throughout the state.  As petroleum-based fuels get more expensive and harder to extract, geothermal could provide a basic energy "cushion" for Hawaii at a reasonable cost.  Aloha, Russ

Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Printing Solar Panels in the Backyard [Video 4min]

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.

more...
Rosamaria's curator insight, December 20, 2012 10:19 AM

Fábrica cuasi casera de paneles solares.

Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

V3 Solar Cell

V3 Solar Spin Cell Animation...

 

an excellent new solar concept, producing more electricity and making AC instead of the DC making cells we have today!

 

More at http://v3solar.com/

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Engineers build Raspberry Pi supercomputer

Engineers build Raspberry Pi supercomputer | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
(Phys.org)—Computational Engineers at the University of Southampton have built a supercomputer from 64 Raspberry Pi computers and Lego.

 

Comment:

 

Don't know if you remember, but Raspberry Pi is an open source computer on a board that goes for 25 $ a piece. It is programmable and can do all kinds of neat things ... and it's made so kids will learn to program rather than just play games and do Excel or Word documents on a closed computer platform. 

 

For more info on Raspberry Pi, see

 

http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

2012 E-Cat Conference Report: 1 MW E-Cat Ready

2012 E-Cat Conference Report: 1 MW E-Cat Ready | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
Here's my next installment on the E-Cat conference. Rather than fixating
on how low the 2.5 COP is, remember that the most significant data is the Ragone
plot, which puts the energy density in the same region as nuclear power.

 

Within a couple of months, a 1 MW unit is supposed to be installed in Northern Italy that will be able to be inspected by potential buyers. I talked to someone at the conference who may purchase one in Hawaii, and he would gladly let people come see it. 

 

The most significant point of data that was presented by Rossi at the conference was from the Ragone Plot of Energy Storage. The "Specific Energy" and Power Density put the Hot Cat data over in the region near nuclear -- way beyond the range where chemical processes are found.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Flat lens offers a perfect image

Flat lens offers a perfect image | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
At a mere 60 nanometers thick, the flat lens is essentially two-dimensional, yet its focusing power approaches the ultimate physical limit set by the laws of diffraction.

 

Operating at telecom wavelengths (i.e., the range commonly used in fiber-optic communications), the new device is completely scalable, from near-infrared to terahertz wavelengths, and simple to manufacture.

 

“We’re presenting a new way of making lenses. Instead of creating phase delays as light propagates through the thickness of the material, you can create an instantaneous phase shift right at the surface of the lens.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Sensordrone: a Practical, Tricorder Like Platform for Consumers and Mobile Device Developers

Sensordrone: a Practical, Tricorder Like Platform for Consumers and Mobile Device Developers | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
Mobile computing is the way of the future, but most sensor products have not kept up, and are still very expensive and bulky. Sensordrone is a multi-purpose, configurable sensor that dramatically extends the sensing capability of smartphones & tablets. It is a key Fob sized platform for both consumers and developers (software and hardware developers).

 

For consumers, Sensordrone includes multiple environmental sensors allowing people to run a variety of Apps, like carbon monoxide monitoring, temperature, humidity, breath alcohol, stud-finder, light, weather, altimeter, barometer, data-logging and many more. The beauty of the device is that a single device could replace a number of single purpose instruments. All a user needs to do is run a new app. It's also very small and affordable.

 

( You can get the whole article by clicking on the headline linked to the original... you can also vote for this one in the contest. )

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Why wood pulp is world's new wonder material - New Scientist on nano crystalline cellulose or NCC

Why wood pulp is world's new wonder material - New Scientist on nano crystalline cellulose or NCC | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

[N]ot only is NCC transparent but it is made from a tightly packed array of needle-like crystals which have a strength-to-weight ratio that is eight times better than stainless steel.

 

Even better, it's incredibly cheap.

 

"It is the natural, renewable version of a carbon nanotube at a fraction of the price," says Jeff Youngblood of Purdue University's NanoForestry Institute in West Lafayette, Indiana...

 

( You can get the whole article by clicking on the headline linked to the original... )

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Sunflower-Inspired Solar Panels Track Sun Without Motors

Sunflower-Inspired Solar Panels Track Sun Without Motors | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
A new solar tracker maximizes the sunlight solar panels can capture, without using additional electricity to do so.

 

The system depends on a new material Jiang's team developed, which combines a rubbery material, called liquid crystalline elastomer, with tiny carbon fibers. The fibers are able to absorb a wide range of light, including light waves in the visible and infrared spectrums.

 

When sunlight falls on the carbon fibers, they heat up. The difference in temperature between the hot carbon fibers and the cooler outside air causes the liquid crystalline elastomer to shrink. When the sun moves on, the material cools and expands again to its original size.

 

Jiang stood hexagonal solar panels on top of an array of six columns made of his new sun-activated material. Whenever sunlight hit one of the columns, it shrank, tilting the panel on top toward the sun. Compared with solar panels that don't move, the sun-facing panels harvest 10 percent more energy, Jiang's team found.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Motore magnetico di Rovella

Motore magnetico ispirato al motoperpetuo. Sogno o realta ?

 

A magnetic motor inspired by perpetual motion. Is is a dream or reality?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Urine-powered generator unveiled at Maker Faire in Nigeria

Urine-powered generator unveiled at Maker Faire in Nigeria | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

Four African girls have created a generator that produces electricity for six hours using a single liter of urine as fuel.


The generator was unveiled at last week's Maker Faire in Lagos, Nigeria, by the four teens Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, and Faleke Oluwatoyin, all age 14, and Bello Eniola, 15.


So how exactly does the urine-powered generator work?


Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen.


The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, which then gets pushed into the gas cylinder.


The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas.


This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator...

more...
Kushal Kumar Banerji's comment, March 22, 2013 7:35 AM
Excellent breakthrough by teenagers. Pl. lets know the total power input given to the system & details of electrolytic cell & the corresponding hydrogen generated. Total cost of generation with detailed brea-kup, in order to assess its viability.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Kite power getting off the ground in Germany

Kite power getting off the ground in Germany | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
Despite offering numerous advantages over its rotating brethren, most notably the ability to reach the high-speed winds found at higher altitudes, kite-based energy systems are yet to really get off the ground in a meaningful way. But things are looking up.

 

Berlin-based wind energy developer NTS GmbH has teamed with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) to make their own kite energy system concept a reality.

 

The team’s “kite power station” would see kites attached to cables measuring around 700 meters (2,297 ft) long, which would allow the kites to fly at heights of 300 to 500 meters (984 to 1,640 ft).

 

“According to our simulations, we could use an NTS track running a total of 24 kites to generate 120 gigawatt hours a year (GWh/year). To put this into perspective, a two-megawatt wind turbine produces around 4 GWh/year. So an NTS system could replace 30 two-megawatt turbines and supply power to around 30,000 homes...”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Tractor Beams getting closer: NASA says they may actually work

Tractor Beams getting closer: NASA says they may actually work | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
Tractor Beams May Actually Work: NASA Studying 3 Methods – YouTube.

… we have located a “working” tractor beam. It’s been experimentally demonstrated by the team of David B. Ruffner and David G. Grier at the Dept. of Physics and Center for Soft Matter Research (NY). The results were announced online 10/22/2012. The official paper title is “Optical Conveyors: A Class of Active Tractor Beams“. …

 

via Examiner

 

http://tinyurl.com/bqvhcwk

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

‘Star Trek’ fusion impulse engine in the works

‘Star Trek’ fusion impulse engine in the works | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s Aerophysics Research Center, NASA, Boeing, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are collaborating on a project to produce nuclear fusion impulse rocket engines. It’s no warp drive, but it would get us around the galaxy a lot quicker than current technologies...

 

Comment: That headline should really say "cold fusion ..." as the article says:

 

“The fusion fuel we’re focusing on is deuterium [a stable isotope of hydrogen] and Li6 [a stable isotope of the metal lithium] in a crystal structure,” Txchnologist quotes team member and aerospace engineering Ph.D. candidate Ross Cortez saying.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Hydrogen fuel cell for phone charging set for 2013

Hydrogen fuel cell for phone charging set for 2013 | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
A three-way collaboration between Japan-based Rohm, Aquafairy, and Kyoto University has resulted in the development of a smartphone-charging fuel cell—a compact, high output, portable hydrogen powered fuel cell that can generate electricity by producing hydrogen. This is achieved through a chemical reaction between calcium hydride sheets and water.

 

The fuel cell can generate five watt hours of electricity, to charge an average smartphone within two hours. The fuel cell will be promoted for a variety of uses, from charging a smartphone to serving as a 200-watt portable generator delivering backup power.

 

Rohm said the new hydrogen fuel cells use a solid that creates hydrogen by adding water, generating power through "hydro-synthesis." No harmful byproducts such as carbon dioxide or Volatile Organic Compounds are involved.

 

The fuel cells can be disposed of as general waste. If the sheets are laminated and sealed, they last for twenty years...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Hungary's Odooproject prefab home produces twice the amount of energy it consumes

Hungary's Odooproject prefab home produces twice the amount of energy it consumes | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
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.”

more...
Rosamaria's curator insight, December 20, 2012 10:21 AM

Una Casa que produce el doble del energía que consume

Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon

spherical glass solar energy generator by rawlemon | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
the spherical glass solar energy generator uses the advantageous strategy of implementing a ball lens and specific geometrical structure to improve energy efficiency by 35%.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Supersonic Flying Wing Nabs $100,000 from NASA

Supersonic Flying Wing Nabs $100,000 from NASA | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
A futuristic aircraft resembling a flying ninja star can turn 90 degrees in midair to go into supersonic mode.

 

The unusual "flying wing" concept has won $100,000 in NASA funding to trying becoming a reality for future passenger jet travel.

 

The supersonic, bidirectional flying wing idea comes from a team headed by Ge-Chen Zha, an aerospace engineer at Florida State University. He said the fuel-efficient aircraft could reach supersonic speeds without the thunderclap sound produced by a sonic boom — a major factor that previously limited where the supersonic Concorde passenger jet could fly over populated land masses.

 

Comment: It's a couple of decades off into the future yet, but still ... a neat idea!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Lighting an 11W 220 V CFL using a 1.5 V AAA battery and a CVS disposable camera flash circuit [Video 4 min]

This video shows a first successful trial lighting an 11W 220 V CFL using a 1.5 V AAA battery and a CVS disposable camera flash circuit...

 

My comment: awsome implications for the poor of this world...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies (ET3)™ :: Create the Future Design Contest

Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies (ET3)™ :: Create the Future Design Contest | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
Transportation is the master key to survival. A new mode of transportation (independent of diminishing fossil energy) is necessary to achieving an environmentally sustainable yet thriving economy in an urbanized world.

WHAT: ET3™ is literally ‘Space Travel on Earth,’ a global transportation system that is silent, low cost, fast, secure, safe, and environmentally friendly.

 

ET3 utilizes automobile sized capsules weighing 400lb empty that carry 6 persons or 800 lbs of cargo.

 

The magnetically levitated capsules operate in two-way networks of 5' diameter tubes. Air is permanently removed from the sealed tubes to eliminate drag force...

 

( You can vote for this tech in a contest by registering on the techbriefs site... Click headline to get to the whole article )

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

New Ultralight Material is Strong but Flexible

New Ultralight Material is Strong but Flexible | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
Wispy-looking aerogel has been around since the 1930s, but the latest version has some new tricks.

 

Researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland are developing the new aerogel for space missions first, but it may find a place on Earth, too. "Primarily we've been developing these materials for NASA mission applications, such as spacesuits," lead scientist Mary Ann Meador said during a news conference.

 

In the future, the material could go into thinner housing insulation, roomier refrigerators and TV antennas that capture broader frequency ranges, she added. Like other aerogels, it is an excellent insulator and has unique electrical properties.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sepp Hasslberger
Scoop.it!

The Solar Pocket Factory: an Invention Adventure

We are two inventors working to revolutionize the world of small-scale solar panels. Follow our story and make awesome solar things!

 

What if you could have electricity anywhere there was sunlight? What if the charge on your phone could last for weeks, the poorest, most remote homes in the world could have electric home lighting, and adding a USB charge outlet was as simple as slapping a sticker onto a sunlit wall? All of these are becoming possible thanks to microsolar: small solar panels that are small and cheap enough to go anywhere...

more...
No comment yet.