Researchers have developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window. It is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a flat, clear surface.
Research in the production of energy from solar cells placed around luminescent plastic-like materials is not new. These past efforts, however, have yielded poor results -- the energy production was inefficient and the materials were highly colored.
"No one wants to sit behind colored glass," said Lunt, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science. "It makes for a very colorful environment, like working in a disco. We take an approach where we actually make the luminescent active layer itself transparent."
The solar harvesting system uses small organic molecules developed by Lunt and his team to absorb specific nonvisible wavelengths of sunlight. "We can tune these materials to pick up just the ultraviolet and the near infrared wavelengths that then 'glow' at another wavelength in the infrared," he said.
The "glowing" infrared light is guided to the edge of the plastic where it is converted to electricity by thin strips of photovoltaic solar cells. "Because the materials do not absorb or emit light in the visible spectrum, they look exceptionally transparent to the human eye," Lunt said.
Trevor Baker: It's the latest bonkers trend to come out of the viticulture industry – and although, yes, it's almost certainly nonsense, it's no stranger than a lot of ideas kicking around in the wine world,
A mysterious duck-like sound recorded in the ocean around Antarctica has baffled scientists for decades, but the source of the sound has finally been found, researchers say. "In the beginning, no one really knew what it was," said Denise Risch, a marine biologist at NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Mass. Because the sound was so repetitive, scientists first thought it might be human-made, possibly coming from submarines. The noises also occur seasonally, and have been heard simultaneously in the Eastern Weddell Sea off Antarctica and Western Australia. In February 2013, during the Southern Hemisphere's summer, Risch's colleagues tagged two Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) off of Western Antarctica with suction-cup tags.
Talented Ukrainian nature photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko has an eye for taking photos that bring small natural worlds up to our level, showing us how the world might look if we could see it through the eyes of an ant, snail or lizard. Mishchenko's interest with the miniature natural world ...
Musicians and fans of the metal music community often get a bad rap because of their dark, gruff and tattooed looks. The adorable set of photos published in Metal Cats by Alexandra Crockett sets out to change all that by getting accomplished metal musicians to pose with their feline friends and ...
Italian designer Arturo Vittori has unveiled the WarkaWater Tower, a revoluntionary new way to collect clean drinking water in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa. The artist was inspired by a recent trip to a remote village in northeastern Ethiopia where water collection is often a dangerous and incredibly time-consuming process. With just a little financial backing, Vittori hopes the innovative WarkaWater Towers, which take advantage of condensation, will provide a more reliable, efficient and sustainable method of water harvestingfor local women and their families.
Lurking in the deep sea is a marine creature thought to be one of the world's largest sea anemones. But the animal, which has tentacles measuring more than 6 feet (2 meters) long, isn't an anemone but rather the first known organism in a new order of animals, according to new research. In doing so, they examined the DNA of Boloceroides daphneae — discovered in 2006 in the deep Pacific Ocean — and found the creature stood out as not fitting on the sea anemone tree of life at all. Researchers have now renamed the species Relicanthus daphneae, placing it into a new order (the equivalent of Carnivoria for mammals, Crocodilia for reptiles or Actiniaria for sea anemones) within the subclass Hexacorallia, which also includes anemones, black corals and stony corals.
For a class project, budding photographer Annalisa Hartlaub imagined herself as a teenager in every decade since the 1920's. In one photo she is mainstream and beside it she emulates the counter-culture of the time. And for all the photos, she filtered...
Most people who think they have the flu, don’t. And some people who think they have a cold, really have the flu. So what is the difference between a cold and the flu? And does it matter? A cold is a mild…
Short answer for the overwhelmed readers with little time on their hands: Yes, some do.
The process of stinging and dying is called autotomizing and only various honey bees are susceptible, not honey wasps or yellowjackets or the Honey Nut Cheerios bee. Here’s how it works: When the bee stings you, its stinging apparatus screws into your skin like a corkscrew. The bee is too weak to pull it out without tearing its abdomen apart. Interestingly, when the bee stings an animal or
One of the greatest promises of the high-tech future, whether made explicitly or implicitly through shiny clean concept sketches, is that we will have efficient energy that doesn’t churn pollutants into the air and onto the streets.
But here in the present, politicians and even many clean energy advocates maintain that a world run on hydrogen and wind, water and solar power is not yet possible due to technical challenges like energy storage and cost.
Yet Stanford University researchers led by civil engineer Mark Jacobson have developed detailed plans for each state in the union that to move to 100 percent wind, water and solar power by 2050 using only technology that’s already available. The plan, presented recently at the AAAS conference in Chicago, also forms the basis for The Solutions Project nonprofit.
“The conclusion is that it’s technically and economically feasible,” states Jacobson. The plan doesn’t rely, like many others, on dramatic energy efficiency regimes. Nor does it include biofuels or nuclear power, whose green credentials are the source of much debate.
The proposal is straightforward: eliminate combustion as a source of energy, because it’s dirty and inefficient. All vehicles would be powered by electric batteries or by hydrogen, where the hydrogen is produced through electrolysis rather than natural gas. High-temperature industrial processes would also use electricity or hydrogen combustion.
The rest would simply be a question of allowing existing fossil-fuel plants to age out and using renewable sources to power any new plants that come online. The energy sources in the road map include geothermal energy, concentrating solar power, off-shore and on-land wind turbines and some and tidal energy. All but tidal energy collectors are already commercially available.
Clean energy would save an average American consumer $3,400 per year than the current fossil fuel regime by 2050, the study lays out. That’s because the price of fossil fuel rises regularly, but with clean energy — where raw materials are free — once the infrastructure is built, prices would fall.
Jacobson has previously mapped out a similar proposal for the global energy market, including China. A related plan with a greater emphasis on efficiency was recently released by the World Wildlife Fund.