Solar Balloon” Farms Could be the Future of Energy

Imagine if your home was powered by solar balloons that sat above the clouds. Scientists at the Japanese-French Laboratory for Next Generation Photovolatic Cells (NextPV) are aiming to do just that. Solar cells’ efficiency relies on the proximity of the cells to sunlight. Even if the cells are put directly in the path of sunlight, their efficiency is affected significantly by clouds or terrible weather. On a cloudy day, solar panels can produce less than 30% of the electricity they are design...
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HeLi-on packable solar panel

The infinityPV HeLi-on is the world's most compact solar charger. It fits into your pocket, and the solar panel can be rolled out when needed. Inside HeLi-on there is a powerful printed solar panel and a battery, so it can both generate and store energy. The HeLi-on charger combines three key components into a single product. A large energy collecting solar panel, an energy storage battery bank, and efficient electronics. All features are combined in a slick and light design for convenience. HeL...
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Solar-Powered umbrella automatically inflates when the sun shines.

The Cumulus Parasol is a solar powered cloud-shaped parasol that automatically inflates when the sun starts shining to keep you in the shade. This artificial cumulus protects you from the sun. Whenever the sun comes out, this parasol inflates automatically in about 20 seconds to a cloud like shape using a solar panel at the top. The inflated Cumulus has a diameter of two meters. The cloud does not have a metal core structure. The curved shape of the inflated cloud is aerodynamic, allowing it ...
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Mars Solar Storms.

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission has identified the process that appears to have played a key role in the transition of the Martian climate from an early, warm and wet environment that might have supported surface life to the cold, arid planet Mars is today. Scientists studying Mars’ atmosphere say solar storms probably played a big role in transforming the Red Planet from the warm, hospitable place it was billions of years ago to the cold world it is today. The miss...
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Cosmic ‘Death Star’ destroys a planet

Astronomers announced that they have spotted a large, rocky object disintegrating in its death spiral around a distant white dwarf star. The discovery also confirms a long-standing theory behind the source of white dwarf “pollution” by metals. “This is something no human has seen before,” said lead author Andrew Vanderburg of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). “We’re watching a solar system get destroyed.” The evidence for this unique system came from NASA’s Kepler K2 miss...
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Improving Solar Efficiency with Stanford coating

Stanford engineers invent transparent coating that cools solar cells to boost efficiency. A transparent material that can improve the efficacy of solar cells, this coating has been invented by three Stanford engineers and has the tendency to radiate thermal energy into space which is released by solar cells, making cells cool. This invention shunts away the heat generated by a solar cell under sunlight and cools it in a way that allows it to convert more photons into electricity. The gr...
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Harvard Scientists Make Solar Power Production More Efficient

Solar power could be increased tenfold without additional storage in the near future. A team of Harvard scientists and engineers demonstrated a rechargeable battery that could make storing electricity from intermittently available energy sources, like sun and wind which is safe and cost-effective for both residential and commercial use. Much of the nation’s energy policy is premised on the assumption that clean, renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, will require huge quantities o...
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Scaling up production of 2D electronic materials

An MIT-led group of researchers has claimed to have determined a way to make large sheets of molybdenum telluride. Sheets of graphene and other materials that are virtually two-dimensional hold great promise for electronic, optical, and other high-tech applications but the biggest limitation in unleashing this potential has been figuring out how to make these materials in the form of anything larger than tiny flakes. Now researchers at MIT and elsewhere may have found a way to do so. The g...
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