Solar Power

Solar Magnetic Energy, Better than Photovoltaic Cells?

Solar Magnetic Energy, Better than Photovoltaic Cells?

Researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered a new property of light that allows them to harness the magnetic attributes of light. Electromagnetism being a classically unified force, the relationship between light and magnetism is well known, but the magnetic component was thought to be weak enough that it could be safely ignored. Stephen Rand, a professor at UMich, said of this, "You could stare at the equations of motion all day and you will not see this possibility. We've all been taught that this doesn't happen. It's a very odd interaction. That's why it's been overlooked for more than 100 years." Scientists are so awesome.

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SlashGear Science Week In Review

SlashGear Science Week In Review

This week in science: a very different kind of "mystery meat", the climate dangers of contrails, and and artificial leaf that does more than make your office look nicer. And robots: a robot that puts the "personal" in PC, a robot that can build other robots, and a robot that makes paper airplanes (but is not a slacker). Also, fighting fire with electricity, a floating solar power plant and T-Rex's new cousin. Stay tuned!

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Artificial Leaf to Cheaply Provide Power For Developing World

Artificial Leaf to Cheaply Provide Power For Developing World

Yesterday we came to another major breakthrough in technology that's going to bring us a future without dependence on petroleum fuels. Last week we talked about a breakthrough in nanotech-batteries that charge in a fraction of the time needed for conventional batteries. Yesterday, scientists at the 241st Meeting of the American Chemican Society released details on a new design, an advanced solar cell married with fuel cells. Instead of transforming sunlight into stored sugars for a plant's metabolism, the artificial leaf uses the energy to transform water into hydrogen and oxygen for later combustion.

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NYC Leading the Way In Hydrogen Powered Buildings

NYC Leading the Way In Hydrogen Powered Buildings

According to a new report on TreeHugger.com, more hydrogen powered buildings have gone up in New York City since 2005 than anywhere else in the world. These include two of the world's largest hydrogen-powered mixed use buildings, and the first residential hydrogen-powered homes. And a residential building is being planned across the Hudson that will be the largest hydrogen powered residential tower in the world. The cost per square foot is not as high as you might think, so hydrogen power (probably in combination with solar) may become increasingly common.

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The Umeox Apollo Solar Powered Cell Phone – with Android

The Umeox Apollo Solar Powered Cell Phone – with Android

The latest solar powered cell phone was just announced at Mobile World Congress in Spain, the Umeox Apollo. The phone runs on Android, and would take about 2.5 hours of sunlight for refilling the battery after daily use. This is great news if you want to go camping and not be without your smartphone. The phone is headed for production, but there is no word on when it will actually be available in the US.

The phone could also be great for travelling. But for daily use, leaving your phone out in the sun for 2.5 hours at a time probably isn't realistic. More likely, the phone would charge for 10-15 minutes throughout the day in between uses. In the event the phone goes completely dead, it would take up to 17 hours in the sun to charge it back.

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Teen Creates Death Ray with Brightness of 5,000 Suns

Teen Creates Death Ray with Brightness of 5,000 Suns

19 year old Eric Jacqmain created a "death ray" using 5,800 tiny mirrors placed in a 5'9” dish mounted on a wagon chassis. When objects (including a wood plank, a metal disk, an aluminum can, and a piece of mud) were placed in the focal point, they were quickly obliterated. It's pretty doubtful that the ray could produce the HEAT of 5,000 suns (which would be 30 million °C), but maybe it could equal the brightness of 5,000 suns.

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US Military Employs Greatest Weapon Ever: Solar Power

US Military Employs Greatest Weapon Ever: Solar Power

What wins wars? Fuel. Have you ever seen or read the investigation titled "Guns, Germs, and Steel?" It's all about how the most common root between all successful societies is climate zone, the ability to grow crops and settle have made all great groups prosper. Here's a microcosm of that - US Marines using solar panels, cutting their fuel consumption by 90 percent. You think groups with fewer resources have the same ability to save energy? There's a plateau these troops have reached that just make them better, isn't there? The fuel they're saving is diesel fuel, and the place they're sitting is Afghanistan.

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