The future is huge for tiny technology. Miniaturization is, perhaps ironically, a huge deal. I mean, without it we wouldn't have had the personal computer revolution and we wouldn't have this world we live in now, where we have smartphones and tablets and other devices just as powerful as a computer, that can fit in the palm of your hand. But even these gadgets are gargantuan compared to nanotechnology! See, a nanometer is just one billionth of a meter. And that's kind of hard to imagine, so let me put it to you this way.
Your typical sheet of paper is about one hundred thousand nanometers thick. And at this scale, individual elements are so small you can't even see them with a light microscope. Now as we learn more about how materials behave on the nanoscale, we have more potential applications to use that knowledge practically. I'm talking about how nanotech could help solar panel technology. And fortunately, at a recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, they had a panel on just this very subject. Now if you know anything about solar panels you know they have some drawbacks. For example,.
Efficiency they max out at around twenty percent in the field under ideal conditions. They're also rigid, so you can't just put them anywhere you like. And they tend to be expensive because manufacturing them is complicated. But scientists hope that nanotechnology can help address all three of these challenges. Now with efficiency they're looking to nature specifically, moth eyes. You see, moths have these little tiny structures in their eyes that help reflect light back into the eye and it does two things it lets them see better in the dark, and it cuts down.
On reflection so predators can't spot them as easily. With solar panels it could actually make them more efficient by reflecting more of the sun's light into the panel so you lose less in reflection. And when we're talking about flexibility, well nanomaterials are really, really small, and there is the potential to create solar panels that are just a few sheets of molecules thick. They could be as flexible as a sheet of paper, and with that kind of flexibility you could put those pretty much anywhere you wanted to.
And as for price, well, that's the big one. And in the short term I don't think it's going to turn around. But scientists are cautiously optimistic that nanotechnology will let us use new processes, like printing solar panels directly onto a substrate using just a specialized printer. That would actually be less complicated and expensive than traditional manufacturing methods. Now at that meeting of the AAAS, a Dr. Wolfgang Porod gave a talk about Nanoantenna Thermocouples for Energy Harvesting. Which I admit sounds like technobabble straight out of a Star Trek episode.
But it's actually fairly simple once you break it down. A nanoantenna is just an antenna on the nanoscale. These resonate with longwave infrared radiation. And a thermocouple Well that's a component of circuitry that generates a voltage when one part of the thermocouple is a different temperature than other part. So you pair these two together and the antenna generates heat and the thermocouple generates voltage. It could actually help increase the efficiency of solar panels. Now like I said, nanotechnology is a young science and it has lots of different applications.
Across many disciplines. And I'm really excited how such a small technology could have such a huge impact. That leads me to this week's question. When I say the word nanotechnology what do you imagine What does that word mean to you Let us know in the comments below. Then, do me a nanosized favor and share this tutorial with your friends. If you enjoyed it make sure you hit the 'like' button and subscribe to our channel. Then check out these tutorials over here. There's some huge surprises in them.
Energy 101 Wind Turbines
MR. We've all seen those creaky old windmills on farms, and although they may seem about as lowtech as you can get, those old windmills are the predecessors for new modern wind turbines that generate electricity. The same wind that used to pump water for cattle is now turning giant wind turbines to power cities and homes. OK, have a look at this wind farm in the California desert, a hot desert next to tall mountains an ideal place for a lot of wind. Here's another one on the windy prairies of Wyoming.
Now, today's wind turbines are much more complicated machines than the old prairie windmills, but the principle is the same. Both capture the wind's energy. OK, here's how it works. First, a wind turbine blade works sort of like an airplane wing. Blowing air passes around both sides of the blade. The shape of the blade causes the air pressure to be uneven higher on one side of the blade and lower on the other and that's what makes it spin. The uneven pressure causes the blades to spin around the center.
Of the turbine. On the top, there's a weather vane that's connected to a computer to keep the turbine turned into the wind so it captures the most energy. Now, the blades are attached to a shaft which only turns about 18 revolutions a minute, and that's not nearly fast enough to generate electricity by itself. So the rotor shaft spins a series of gears that increase the rotation up to about 1,800 revolutions per minute. And at that speed, a generator can produce a lot of electricity. So why are wind turbines so tall Well, the higher up you go, the windier it is more.
Renewable Energy by Shmoop
Renewable Energy, a la Shmoop. Hey there, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, meemaws and peepaws. and welcome back to Renew it or Lose It! Today we have our two contestants. Ashley from Portland, whom we caught running her thermostat at 61 degrees on a 67 degree day! Let's have a warm welcome for Ashley! And Contestant Number 2. Fletcher from Omaha! We picked up Fletcher after we found him sitting in his living room with every single light switch in his home left in the on position! Hello, Fletcher! One of these two energyvillains is going.
To walk out of here with the grand prize. of not being hung entirely upside down while strapped to the blade of a wind turbine! Good luck to them both! Okay, now down to business. when you know the answer, just shout it out. When was the very first electricitygenerating wind turbine built Ooh, sorry, neither of you are correct. We were looking for 1891. and you could have gotten an extra point if you had known it was built in Scotland. As it is, you both move one notch on the Turbines of Nausea!.
Okay, next question. why was the first solar cell built No, sorry. it was to increase the distance that phone signals could travel. Ashley you should have gotten that one. We've seen your cell phone bill. we had you pegged for an expert. Give 'em another notch! Okay, redemption time, you two. How long did the first largescale wind turbine last before it broke You guys do not know your renewable energy! It lasted 45 days. We've come a long way, baby. Next question. when was the first diesel engine successfully run on vegetable oil.
Aw, those are some nice, totally random guesses. but they are unfortunately totally off the mark. It was in 1900, a little before petroleum oils became readily available. Speaking of oil. Fletcher, you look like you're about to slip out of your bonds there. hold on, buddy! You don't want to fall from that height! Okay, let's keep the steam train chugging along. How much of the world's power is made by solar panels You know what I'm not even going to give you guys a chance to answer that one. it's half a percentage point.
You wouldn't have gotten it. Crank the lever, Jimmy. One last question, and we're still looking for a winner. How big is the biggest wind turbine in the world Oh, so sorry. a single blade of the biggest wind turbine is 250 feet long. So.just be grateful we only strapped you to this itty bitty one. Final notch, Jimmy! Well, Ashley and Fletcher, it looks like we have ourselves a tie today! We're going to leave you hanging for a few minutes so you can reconsider your energy consumption habits..and we'll see the rest of you next week on. Renew It or Lose It!.
NASA Control and Tracking of Airborne Wind Energy Systems
To maximize an airborne wind energy system, you need an innovative way to track and control it. At NASA Langley Research Center, engineers have developed new hardware and software that may be the perfect solution. Airborne wind energy essentially gets these systems off the ground and up into the air at 10002000 foot altitudes, where they can get 23 times the wind velocity. And if you can get 23 times the wind velocity, you can get 8 times the energy. Langley's autonomous system controls the flight of the vehicle to keep its position on a powerproducing.
Trajectory, maximizing velocity within certain limits. This trajectory produces tension, which turns the groundbased generator, producing energy. One of our researchers, Dave North, and one of his students, Mark Aull, have done a incredible job developing optical tracking software and the hardware sensors that go along with that, so they can see exactly where this UAV is flying around in unique patterns to extract the maximum amount of energy Airborne wind energy generation systems have several advantages over normal wind turbines. One of the advantages of airborne wind energy is that you can fly the system at a higher wind velocity than when you would for a normal.
Solar powered air conditioning
Music playing Narrator Over 50 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions you produce in your home are generated by heating, air conditioning and hot water. In other words keeping your home warm in winter, cool in summer with nice hot water on tap is emitting 2.5 to 5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. It also contributes a hefty amount to your electricity bill, between 50 to 60 percent. CSIRO has invented a new solar air conditioning system for Australian homes. This technology solution will reduce Australia's emissions, reduce your energy.
Bills and reduce our demand for electricity and gas. If every home in Australia installed our solar cooling technology it would be the equivalent of saving 15 mega tonnes of CO2 or taking 3.5 million cars off the road. CSIRO's solar air conditioning is an innovative three in one technology that provides hot water, cooling and heating. It uses only a fraction of the electricity of current systems and halves greenhouse gas emissions. The process begins with a typical solar hot water system. Water is heated by solar panels and stored in the hot water tank.
This solar hot water can then be used throughout the home, reducing the need for gas or electricity. A portion of the hot water is diverted into CSIRO's new solar air conditioning unit, which is divided into two compartments. The hot water enters a heat exchanger in the first compartment of the unit. Similar to a car radiator the heat exchanger uses the hot water to heat outside air that has been drawn into the first compartment through the vent. At the same time outside air is also being drawn into the second compartment into a desiccant wheel.
The desiccant wheel is the most critical part of the system. It is used to dry out the air before it goes into the house. Slowly turning the desiccant material in the wheel continuously absorbs moisture in the second compartment and then the absorbent material dries out in the first compartment. The desiccant material is dried out using the hot dry air generated by the heat exchanger. This air is then exhausted outside the home. The dry air from the desiccant wheel flows through an indirect evaporative cooler which creates a stream of cool dry air.
Enphase Envoy EMU Enphase Energy communications gateway for the Enlighten website.
Hi. my name is Isaac. I'm with Wholesale Solar. I have here the Enphase Monitoring Unit. If you have Enphase Microinverters you definately want to have a monitoring system. This allows you to monitor up to 300 Microinverters and solar panels in your system and you get maximum powerpoint tracking for each one. This monitoring system allows you to see each and every panel via an online web display. The greatest thing about it is that you don't have to connect it to the inverters themselves. All you have to do is plug this into any.
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