smartercities:

IBM scientists in India create a device that could power lights, fans and phone chargers with discarded laptop batteries | IBM Research Blog
By using discarded laptop batteries, we created a device that could power lights, fans and mobile phone chargers. The specific prototype we built was able to provide around 20 Watt-hours of energy. In other words, it can power a 5W DC light bulb for about four hours before running out of charge.

smartercities:

IBM scientists in India create a device that could power lights, fans and phone chargers with discarded laptop batteries | IBM Research Blog

By using discarded laptop batteries, we created a device that could power lights, fans and mobile phone chargers. The specific prototype we built was able to provide around 20 Watt-hours of energy. In other words, it can power a 5W DC light bulb for about four hours before running out of charge.

IBM Solar Collector Magnifies Sun By 2000X – These Could Provide Power To The Entire Planet | Collective-Evolution

A team at IBM recently developed what they call a High Concentration Photo Voltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that is capable of concentrating the power of 2,000 suns, they are even claiming to be able to concentrate energy safely up to 5,000X, that’s huge. The process of trapping the sunlight produces water that can be used to produce filtered drinkable water, or used for other things like air conditioning etc. Scientists envision that the HCPVT system could provide sustainable energy and fresh water to communities all around the world.

IBM Solar Collector Magnifies Sun By 2000X – These Could Provide Power To The Entire Planet | Collective-Evolution

A team at IBM recently developed what they call a High Concentration Photo Voltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that is capable of concentrating the power of 2,000 suns, they are even claiming to be able to concentrate energy safely up to 5,000X, that’s huge. The process of trapping the sunlight produces water that can be used to produce filtered drinkable water, or used for other things like air conditioning etc. Scientists envision that the HCPVT system could provide sustainable energy and fresh water to communities all around the world.

Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10% of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50% of U.S. land, and swallows 80% of all freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40% of food in the United States today goes uneaten. This not only means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also that the uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills as the single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste where it accounts for a large portion of U.S. methane emissions.

A new way to harvest more light to make solar cells more efficient
Researchers at MIT have figured out a new technique to make a traditional silicon solar cell — the kind that makes up most solar panels on rooftops — more efficient. The scientists published the findings in Nature Nanotechnology this week.
The innovation embeds a two-layer device made of carbon nanotubes and photonic crystals between the solar cell and the sun’s light. The device absorbs the sun light, heats up, and emits light that has a specific wavelength that can be used efficiently by the adjacent solar cell. A typical silicon solar cell doesn’t use all of the wavelengths of sun light, and many go to waste.
The MIT researchers say that with these types of designs, which use heat to boost efficiency, some solar cells in theory could one day produce an efficiency of over 80 percent. In comparison some of the highest efficient solar cells in mass production currently are in the low 20 percent range from SunPower. Alta Devices claims a solar cell that delivers 30 percent efficiency.

A new way to harvest more light to make solar cells more efficient

Researchers at MIT have figured out a new technique to make a traditional silicon solar cell — the kind that makes up most solar panels on rooftops — more efficient. The scientists published the findings in Nature Nanotechnology this week.

The innovation embeds a two-layer device made of carbon nanotubes and photonic crystals between the solar cell and the sun’s light. The device absorbs the sun light, heats up, and emits light that has a specific wavelength that can be used efficiently by the adjacent solar cell. A typical silicon solar cell doesn’t use all of the wavelengths of sun light, and many go to waste.

The MIT researchers say that with these types of designs, which use heat to boost efficiency, some solar cells in theory could one day produce an efficiency of over 80 percent. In comparison some of the highest efficient solar cells in mass production currently are in the low 20 percent range from SunPower. Alta Devices claims a solar cell that delivers 30 percent efficiency.

Here are the hard facts. Climate change made Typhoon Haiyan the dangerous storm it was, and it is absolutely urgent that our leaders connect the dots to prevent worse in the future @ 350.org
Typhoon Haiyan influenced by climate change, scientists say @ Sydney Morning Herald
Is climate change to blame for Typhoon Haiyan? The Philippines has been hit by 24 typhoons in the past year but the power of Haiyan was off the scale, killing thousands and leaving millions homeless. Is there even worse devastation to come? @ Guardian

Here are the hard facts. Climate change made Typhoon Haiyan the dangerous storm it was, and it is absolutely urgent that our leaders connect the dots to prevent worse in the future @ 350.org

Typhoon Haiyan influenced by climate change, scientists say @ Sydney Morning Herald

Is climate change to blame for Typhoon Haiyan? The Philippines has been hit by 24 typhoons in the past year but the power of Haiyan was off the scale, killing thousands and leaving millions homeless. Is there even worse devastation to come? @ Guardian

New 314 Acre Japanese Solar Plant to Power 22,000 Homes
Smartphone maker Kyocera recently launched the Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, a 70-megawatt facility that can generate enough electricity to power about 22,000 homes. The move comes as Japan struggles with energy sources as nuclear power plants were shut down after meltdowns hit Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima plant in 2011.
Set on Kagoshima Bay, the sprawling Nanatsujima plant commands sweeping views of Sakurajima, an active stratovolcano that soars to 3,665 feet.  It has 290,000 solar panels and takes up about 314 acres, roughly three times the total area of Vatican City. Kyocera established the facility with six other firms as well as a company to run the plant. It will sell electricity generated to the local utility, Kyushu Electric Power Co.
(via Kyocera launches 70-megawatt solar plant, largest in Japan | Crave - CNET)

New 314 Acre Japanese Solar Plant to Power 22,000 Homes

Smartphone maker Kyocera recently launched the Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, a 70-megawatt facility that can generate enough electricity to power about 22,000 homes. The move comes as Japan struggles with energy sources as nuclear power plants were shut down after meltdowns hit Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima plant in 2011.

Set on Kagoshima Bay, the sprawling Nanatsujima plant commands sweeping views of Sakurajima, an active stratovolcano that soars to 3,665 feet.  It has 290,000 solar panels and takes up about 314 acres, roughly three times the total area of Vatican City. Kyocera established the facility with six other firms as well as a company to run the plant. It will sell electricity generated to the local utility, Kyushu Electric Power Co.

(via Kyocera launches 70-megawatt solar plant, largest in Japan | Crave - CNET)

(via joshbyard)

By 2017, the City of Portland will have experienced a net positive return on investment in its bicycle infrastructure of $500 million in healthcare savings and $200 million fuel savings.

Gotschi, Thomas. Costs and benefits of bicycling investments in Portland, Oregon. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2011,8 (Suppl 1), S49-S58.

via oregon metro regional active transportation plan, aug. 2013 draft, pg.19.

(via citymaus)

(via thisbigcity)

GLASS ACT

Background: Nature recently published a paper on a new technology for windows. In a nutshell: glass has been prepared that selectively absorbs visible and near-infrared light when an electrochemical voltage is applied. This opens the way to ‘smart’ windows that block heat on demand, with or without optical transparency.

Given that residential and commercial buildings account for about 40 percent of energy use and 30 percent of energy-related carbon emissions in the US, this is quite a breakthrough.

Read Composite for smarter windows  (Note: Nature subscription required for this one)

Design challenge: Our goal was to create a graphic that simply and elegantly showed the three limiting optical states of a new smart coating: (a) full transparency, (b) selectively near-infrared (NIR) blocking, and (c) darkened against both visible and NIR light transmission (as labelled in the final graphic, above).

The cover design (also above) showed the three states in one window, but for the graphic we wanted to be more explanatory while still conveying the simplicity of the concept.

A key challenge was to show the layers within the glass, to visually explain how applying a charge to this setup affects the nanocrystals and therefore the optical transparency of the glass matrix. It was drawn in an orthographic projection, with the layered structure of the glass drawn as blowouts using the same projection. This allowed all of the elements to sit nicely within the same visual space.

I experimented by showing more structure around the windows (such as in a brick wall) and by showing more of an external ‘scene’, but found that simple floating windows with a stylized depiction of sky and natural light was all that was needed.

-Nik Spencer

(via freshphotons)

smartercities:

MIT maps PV potential for Cambridge, MA | Green Futures Magazine
A new 3D map covering 17,000 rooftops in Cambridge, Massachusetts, means communities can estimate the benefits of installing photovoltaic panels on a particular building at a glance. The Mapdwell Project, developed by MIT’s Sustainable Design Lab, combines Google satellite imagery with light detection and ranging data. It improves on previous models by taking account of roof shapes, physical obstructions and weather conditions offering a more accurate calculation of potential hourly solar energy production.

smartercities:

MIT maps PV potential for Cambridge, MA | Green Futures Magazine

A new 3D map covering 17,000 rooftops in Cambridge, Massachusetts, means communities can estimate the benefits of installing photovoltaic panels on a particular building at a glance. The Mapdwell Project, developed by MIT’s Sustainable Design Lab, combines Google satellite imagery with light detection and ranging data. It improves on previous models by taking account of roof shapes, physical obstructions and weather conditions offering a more accurate calculation of potential hourly solar energy production.

Tech innovators don’t see the rural poor as a viable market. They don’t put money into inventing better and cheaper ways for very poor people to light their homes, cook or run appliances off the grid. “But because of the things you desire, these things have become reality,” Gaurav said. “LED technology, very efficient batteries and a falling solar panel price have suddenly allowed lights to be delivered to off-grid households at a fraction of the cost. “