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Solar Ambitions: 6 Projects Powered By The Sun

Solar Ambitions: 6 Projects Powered By The Sun | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The city of London has covered the roof of its Blackfriar's Bridge (part of the Blackfriar's Railway Station) with 4,400 photovoltaic solar panels. The new solar array will have the capacity to convert enough solar energy to make 80,000 cups of tea a day. Since the energy created is entirely carbon free, the photovoltaic cells will reduce the station's carbon footprint by 511 tons, or an average of 89,000 car trips per year.

Solar arrays usually appear on the rooftops of buildings, or as part of large solar farms outside of cities–which makes the Blackfriar's Bridge all the more impressive. The project marks an ambitious effort to convert rail infrastructure—which itself consumes a sizable about of energy each year—to help solve the complex climate puzzle.


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Arianna Smith's curator insight, February 11, 2:40 PM

Solar energy being used to dazzle the people. Not only does it look awesome but it's heading the world in the right direction. It's carbon free, which means it helps the environment. I'm  not entirely sure if it can generate a lot of energy, but it's defiantly a path I'm willing to follow. The buildings they created look like something out of a science fiction film! It's crazy. Not everyone nor every country has solar energy accessible to them(whether it's climate or price). But the people that can, should use it. I think this is a great way to showcase Solar Energy to the world.

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New generator creates electricity directly from heat

New generator creates electricity directly from heat | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

A new type of thermionic generator that turns heat or light into electrical energy has been developed by researchers in Germany and the US. The new design overcomes the "space-charge problem" that has plagued previous attempts at developing practical devices. The device is about four times more efficient than previous generators and the new technology could find use in a range of applications including solar power and the harvesting of waste heat.

 

Thermionic generators convert heat or light into an electric current by using the temperature difference between two metallic plates that are separated by a vacuum. The "hot" plate is heated either by incident light or thermal conduction and this causes electrons to evaporate from its surface. These electrons then condense on the surface of the cold plate. This creates a charge difference between the two plates, which can drive a usable electric current.

 

Because they convert heat or light directly into electrical energy, thermionic generators have considerable potential for practical applications. If used in coal-fired power stations, for example, thermionic converters would, in principle, be more efficient than steam turbines. Thermionic generators could also be applied to a variety of lower-temperature applications, such as the collection of solar energy or the recycling of waste heat in car engines.

 

Neil Fox of the University of Bristol in the UK points out that the new generator has similarities to a planar triode design tested at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the late 1950s. This previous design had suffered from energy loses caused by electron–electron collisions and scattering. "[Mannhart and colleagues] have come up with a rather neat vertical triode structure that seeks to improve on the MIT device, by incorporating beam collimating concepts similar to those used in particle accelerators," explains Fox. "The data presented...show that this magnetic triode is a significant improvement over a closed-spaced diode, but suggests that electron–electron collisions and scattering losses to the gate are still present."

 

The team is now working to increase the efficiency of its generator design in two ways. First, it is building high-performance converters from existing semiconductor technologies. Second, it is optimizing its electrodes through the use of new materials, especially oxides, and nanotechnology.

 

The work is described in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.


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Emerging ethical dilemmas in science and technology

Emerging ethical dilemmas in science and technology | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

As a new year approaches, the University of Notre Dame's John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values has released its annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology for 2014.


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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, December 10, 2013 8:22 PM

The Reilly Center explores conceptual, ethical and policy issues where science and technology intersect with society from different disciplinary perspectives. Its goal is to promote the advancement of science and technology for the common good.

 

The center generates its annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology with the help of Reilly fellows, other Notre Dame experts and friends of the center.

 

E-trucit's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:47 AM

several interesting things

Saranne Davies's curator insight, December 12, 2013 4:48 AM

Interesting article.

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Energy harvesting chips: The next big thing for a connected world

Energy harvesting chips: The next big thing for a connected world | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Sensors are everywhere, but if we can build a generation of more efficient energy-harvesting chips, sensors could go in even more places. Here’s how researchers are trying to make that happen.


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Return of the steam engine: cheap storage for solar

Return of the steam engine: cheap storage for solar | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

A group of Australian engineers have “re-invented” the steam engine and combined it with solar thermal energy to deliver a cheap solar storage solution. What’s more, it works on the distributed level and can operate behind the meter, and is far cheaper than PV combined with batteries.


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Thorium nuclear reactor trial begins, could provide cleaner, safer, almost-waste-free energy

Thorium nuclear reactor trial begins, could provide cleaner, safer, almost-waste-free energy | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

At a test site in Norway, Thor Energy has successfully created a thorium nuclear reactor — but not in the sense that most people think of when they hear the word thorium. The Norwegians haven’t solved the energy crisis and global warming in one fell swoop — they haven’t created a cold fusion thorium reactor. What they have done, though, which is still very cool, is use thorium instead of uranium in a conventional nuclear reactor. In one fell swoop, thorium fuel, which is safer, less messy to clean up, and not prone to nuclear weapons proliferation, could quench the complaints of nuclear power critics everywhere.


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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, July 19, 2013 3:01 AM

NEW, SAFER WAY TO GO NUCLEAR! Thank you Norway! Hope this proves out well.

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A Big Step Toward a Silicon Quantum Computer

A Big Step Toward a Silicon Quantum Computer | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Quantum computers could more easily become a reality if they incorporated the silicon semiconductor processing used by the modern electronics industry. Physicists in Australia have recently taken a new step toward that vision by reading and writing the nuclear spin state of a single phosphorus atom implanted in silicon.

In a breakthrough reported in the 18 April edition of the journal Nature, physicists have finally achieved an idea first proposed in 1998 by Bruce Kane, a physicist at theUniversity of Maryland, in College Park. Such success could lead to quantum computers based on the same silicon-processing technology used for computer chips.


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How 3D printing could revolutionise the solar energy industry

How 3D printing could revolutionise the solar energy industry | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

More efficient, less complex and cheaper, 3D solar cells can also capture more sunlight than conventional PV models


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CineversityTV's curator insight, May 31, 2013 10:04 AM

when will this hit the market?

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Envisioning the future of health technology

Envisioning the future of health technology | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Technology is the ultimate democratizing force in society. Over time, technology raises lowest common denominators by reducing costs and connecting people across the world. Medical technology is no exception to this trend: previously siloed repositories of information and expensive diagnostic methods are rapidly finding a global reach and enabling both patients and practitioners to make better use of information.

This visualization is an exercise in speculating about which individual technologies are likely to affect the scenario of health in the coming decades. Arranged in six broad areas, the forecast covers a multitude of research and developments that are likely to disrupt the future of healthcare.


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In London, A Big Win For Green Building

In London, A Big Win For Green Building | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
In the London borough of Newham, where much of the Olympic Park is located, one of the greenest buildings in the world is on the rise at the Royal Docks.

The Crystal, as its known, was developed by Siemens — that global powerhouse in renewable energy tech, among other things — for the center of London’s new Green Enterprise District.

Conceived of as an ‘intelligent all electric’ building, it will serve as a showcase for innovative tech- from solar arrays (which cover the roof of the building) to heat pumps tied to geothermal wells (buried beneath the building site). 


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[VIDEO] Future Learning

Students are the future, but what's the future for students? To arm them with the relevant, timeless skills for our rapidly changing world, we need to revolutionize what it means to learn. Education innovators like Dr. Sugata Mitra, visiting professor at MIT; Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy; and Dr. Catherine Lucey, Vice Dean of Education at UCSF, are redefining how we engage young minds for a creatively and technologically-advanced future. Which of these eduvators holds the key for unlocking the learning potential inside every student?


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Dave Phillipson's comment, May 31, 2012 3:56 PM
This is a somewhat fair offering, the True future of education is http://www.SuperTeaching.org
Anabela Luís's comment, June 2, 2012 5:19 AM
Wonderful and powerful video. thanks
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The onrushing wave

The onrushing wave | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Previous technological innovation has always delivered more long-run employment, not less. But things can change


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Christian Verstraete's curator insight, February 3, 1:33 AM

Technology Innovation and jobs.

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Processors That Work Like Brains Will Accelerate Artificial Intelligence

Processors That Work Like Brains Will Accelerate Artificial Intelligence | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

A new breed of computer chips that operate more like the brain may be about to narrow the gulf between artificial and natural computation—between circuits that crunch through logical operations at blistering speed and a mechanism honed by evolution to process and act on sensory input from the real world. Advances in neuroscience and chip technology have made it practical to build devices that, on a small scale at least, process data the way a mammalian brain does. These “neuromorphic” chips may be the missing piece of many promising but unfinished projects in artificial intelligence, such as cars that drive themselves reliably in all conditions, and smartphones that act as competent conversational assistants.


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Graphene - the new wonder material

Graphene - the new wonder material | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The molecule is priceless but it is not a matter of cost – a few hundred dollars per kilo. The value lies in its potential. The molecule in question is called graphene and the EU is prepared to devote €1bn ($1.3bn) to it between 2013 and 2023 to find out if it can transform a range of sectorssuch as electronics, energy, health and construction. According to Scopus, the bibliographic database, more than 8,000 papers have been written about graphene since 2005.

 


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Going Green at the Great Park: Solar Decathlon 2013

Going Green at the Great Park: Solar Decathlon 2013 | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

For the first time since its inception in 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon is being held at a location other than the mall in Washington D.C.

The competition challenges collegiate teams to 'design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive', and the twenty projects featured this year do just that by showcasing innovative green building technologies, products and strategies that visitors can incorporate into their own homes.


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JMS1kiddz's curator insight, October 1, 2013 7:17 PM

-Nonhlanhla Mahlobisa

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SHADE: A Solar Home Adapts for Sustainable Desert Living

SHADE: A Solar Home Adapts for Sustainable Desert Living | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Team ASUNM, a collaborative effort between Arizona State University and University of New Mexico, has come together to address the inefficiencies of urban sprawl and to create a model for sustainable desert living, dubbed SHADE (Solar Home Adapting for Desert Equilibrium), which is an entry in the Solar Decathlon 2013 competition that takes place on October 3-13, 2013 in Irvine, California.

 

Using external vertical screens and a solar canopy for shade, the SHADE home experiences a stable, consistent temperature with the use of a radiant cooling system used alongside an air cooling unit. Team ASUNM is exploring the residential application of thermal storage to chill water at night to create ice that cools a glycol solution during the day.


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Pedro Barbosa's curator insight, July 18, 2013 4:15 AM

Exploring the deserts as a place to live may be a trend for the next decades or centuries. Here is one of the best approaches

 

Pedro Barbosa | www.pbarbosa.com | www.harvardtrends.com | www.theendoffacebook.com

gawlab's curator insight, July 18, 2013 3:28 PM

would love to know about existence of such solutions in Africa..

http://youtu.be/3AvjpnYE1gQ

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Stanford scientists develop new type of solar structure that cools buildings in full sunlight

Stanford scientists develop new type of solar structure that cools buildings in full sunlight | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Homes and buildings chilled without air conditioners. Car interiors that don't heat up in the summer sun. Tapping the frigid expanses of outer space to cool the planet. Science fiction, you say? Well, maybe not any more.
A team of researchers at Stanford has designed an entirely new form of cooling structure that cools even when the sun is shining. Such a structure could vastly improve the daylight cooling of buildings, cars and other structures by reflecting sunlight back into the chilly vacuum of space.


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Chris Smith's comment, May 23, 2013 6:42 PM
Awesome.
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Agora Tower, Taipei: A Twisting Skyscraper Wrapped With Vertical Gardens

Agora Tower, Taipei: A Twisting Skyscraper Wrapped With Vertical Gardens | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Taipei just broke ground on a twisting skyscraper that is wrapped with a jungle of vertical gardens...

Designed by Vincent Callebaut Architecture, the 455,000-square-foot Agora Tower will have an orchard, a vegetable garden, space for aromatic and medicinal plants, and a compost and rainwater capture system.

Designed to mimic two encircling hands and the helical structure of DNA, the towers are organized a central core that allows for a “hyper-abundance of suspended gardens.” These will spill over with edible and decorative plants, enabling residents of 40 luxury apartments to harvest a great deal of their own food (except for protein.) Plus, the rainwater capture system alleviates pressure on the municipal water supply and gives the complex even greater independence.

Each 540 square meter apartment will have an interior green wall as well, ensuring optimum air quality and a great green aesthetics. A circular light funnel will push daylighting right down to the basement of the building, a solar roof will provide energy, and low E glass will mitigate excess solar gain and prevent thermal loss.

Complete with nanotechnology and a host of other high-tech features, this one-of-a-kind tower may well be the greenest of its kind when it is completed circa 2016....


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Pagina Uno's curator insight, March 10, 2013 6:10 AM

Progettato per imitare la struttura elicoidale del DNA, le torri sono organizzate intorno ad un nucleo centrale che ha permesso la realizzare un "iper-abbondanza di giardini sospesi." Questi traboccano di piante commestibili e decorative, che consentono ai residenti dei 40 appartamenti di lusso di raccogliere una grande quantità di cibo. Inoltre, un sistema di raccolta delle acque piovane allevia il peso sulla rete idrica comunale e dà indipendenza al complesso.

Bubba Muntzer's comment, March 10, 2013 1:30 PM
This is a real fad now, skyscrapers that twist toward the sky like that, isn't it? I can't help but wonder about the legacy. Are we entering a new era where the species is losing its self consciousness, or have these architects simply not heard the old limerick about the heartbreak when the man who was threaded one way fell in love with the woman who was threaded the other way?
Backbone's curator insight, September 13, 7:54 AM

more constructions like this expected in near future !

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Sustainable Technology: Our phones are depleting natural resources [INFOGRAPHIC]

Sustainable Technology: Our phones are depleting natural resources [INFOGRAPHIC] | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

This infographic takes a look at this troubling technology trend, which is depleting the planet's supply of Rare Earth Elements.

Apple sold a record 5 million iPhones the first weekend the phone was on the market. And unlike in the iPhone’s early days, the latest Apple smartphones are not primarily being purchased by first time owners.

But did you ever stop to think about what happens to all those iPhone 3, 3GS, 4 and 4Ss now deemed out of date? While there are many recycling programs available, most smartphones are not efficiently thrown out.

Apple’s iPhones is far from the only culprit —..


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Seven Themes for the Coming Decade

Seven Themes for the Coming Decade | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Understanding long-term trends is an important tool in identifying opportunities and risks. STEEP analysis looks at the world through five different perspectives – Social, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Political.

The following are the major themes that are presently shaping the future...


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Biomorphic House by Pavie Architects & Design

Biomorphic House by Pavie Architects & Design | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Biomorphic House with organic skin designed by Pavie Architects & Design has aerodynamic shapes, and is situated 1000 meters over the Mediterranean Sea. It's formed to withstand winter storms perfectly and provides enough windows with transparent photovoltaic-cells to secure power sufficient for the heating, and electricity needs. The interior design is the natural extension of the inside of the skin. Free shaped floors, walls and ceilings give the feeling of a super luxurious space ship.

This pilot project, through a self-powered water electrolyze process, converts the obtained energy to hydrogen and saves it for a future use. Later, a hydrogen powered PEM-Fuel-Cell generator can supply electricity to the house, releasing pure water and reusable heat as side-products...


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