MILES O'BRIEN Harnessing the power of the sun, its a bright idea with enormous potential, but how do we get there BRIAN KORGEL There's plenty of power in the sun to meet the energy needs of the world. We haven't figured out how to get the ratio right of cost and efficiencies. Put it in there and spray. MILES O'BRIEN This spray paint could be part of the future of solar power. With support from the National Science Foundation, chemical engineer Brian Korgel and his team at the University of Texas are developing spray on solar cells. They're being tested as alternatives to the.
Sometimes bulky, fragile devices now used to capture the suns rays. BRIAN KORGEL These are nanocrystals suspended in a solvent and you take this material and you can deposit it as you would an ink. These are actual devices, test devices made of the solar ink and deposited on plastic. So these are devices like our sandwiches where you have the metal contact on the bottom and metal contact on the top to extract the charge out and the middle part absorbs the light. MILES O'BRIEN The goal is to use these nanoparticles to coat large layered solar collectors that are cheap.
And flexible, even printing them in a way newspapers are. VAHID AKHAVAN You want to produce something that's very userfriendly. And the final product would look something like, ideally, it would look something like todays shingle MILES O'BRIEN But there are many challenges before youll be able to buy these nanoparticles solar shingles to power your house. BRIAN KORGEL They work but we need to get the efficiency better. We'd have made devices that have an efficiency of 3. And to be commercial, you really need to be at about 10.
VAHID AKHAVAN You turn on the light and then place the devices in the beam of the light and make a measurement of the currentthe efficiency of the last device that we test is a little over 1 efficient MILES O'BRIEN Korgel says this sustainable energy research resonates with just about everyone. BRIAN KORGEL When they hear that somebody has come up with a way to make a solar cell by spray painting it, they get really excited. MILES O'BRIEN In this lab there are plenty of new ideas under the sun.
How Austin Texas is Leading the USA in Green Wind Solar Energy Urban Visions
In this episode of Urban Visions we're in Austin,Texas, as part of our series on tomorrow's energy challenges. Mention Texas and most of us think of oil. But the state's capital is becoming wellknown for renewable energy. Austin was a city that had an environmental conscience before that was cool, but it really did motivate a lot of actions that the city leaders took starting in the 1980s The city wants more than a third of its energy to come from renewable sources and it's expecting to reach its goal ahead of schedule.
A lot of that power comes from here on the vast, remote plains in West Texas where some of the world's largest wind farms are scattered across the landscape, as far as the eye can see. The state is the US' largest producer of wind power. What's generated here goes to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses All of Austin's public buildings now run on renewables, and many people have agreed to pay slightly more to sign up to a greener power supply. The city's publicallyowned energy utility is also harnessing the rays of the sun.
This is Austin Energy's Webberville Solar Farm. It's a 30 megawatt solar farm. It produces enough energy for 5,000 residential homes, and it's really our flagship project. When opened in 2011, this project was the largest in the US. Another solar farm, five times as big, is planned locally, and a boom in solar panels on private rooftops is expected to continue. Most of the renewables that we see will be solar panels that are within cities and this will be global. Because as the price continues to come down on solar,.
It becomes almost the cost of adding a little extra to your roof That is a game changer. At the moment renewables account for about a fifth of the electricity produced worldwide. Amid concern about global warming, the use of wind and solar power has been growing at a fast pace. But experts say future expansion will depend on financing and prices, but also research into how renewables can be better fed into national grids. The power systems that we have were designed specifically to work with largescale generation at one end and consumption at the other end.
TexasGermany ComputerAnimated Walkthrough Solar Decathlon 2015
Addressing issues of urban density and climate change, the Nexushaus is specifically designed to respond to the unique challenges of its location in Austin, Texas. It is designed for maximum flexibility with two living modules. Visitors are welcomed by the allfood landscape, a landscape that converts solar energy to food energy for the residents of the home using only they greywater produced on site and any direct rainfall captured by the shading structure, creating the first waterindependent home in Austin. A home aquaponics system produces healthy vegetables using 90 less water than traditional.
Food production and divides the ramp, bridging the food and water zones The tensile shading structure creates space for outdoor living and collects rainwater, diverting it to an underdeck system that purifies and stores the water for potable indoor use. Entering the day module, we have a combined living, kitchen and dining space with a thick wall on the west, which holds seating and cooking elements. As you enter the nexus, which connects the two modules, sliding doors allow for variations in seasonal living. The space can be closed for privacy and warmth during the winter.
Stupid Virus Plagues NC Belief That Solar Panels Will Harm the Sun
So this story sounds like it came straight from an episode of South Park but, no, it really happened! Ignorant townspeople in South Carolina used their backcountry, hicktown education to prevent the rezoning of land which would have been used for a solar farm, because they suspected that the panels were causing cancer, impeding photosynthesis, and just generally sucking up too much sun. So let's look more closely at some of these concerns, shall we A retired schoolteacher from the area expressed concerns that the solar panels would prevent plants from using photosynthesis. Surely there must be some clear high school level science.
To prove her point No, not really. The woman claimed that she had noticed some vegetation around the sites of current solar panels which looked brown and dead, which was clearly an indication that the plants weren't getting enough sun due to those pesky panels stealing it all. That's a great use of the scientific method, Teach'! The retiree also expressed concern about the risk of cancer she felt the solar panels posed. She stated I WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. I WANT INFORMATION. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. The husband of the retired schoolteacher also threw his opinion into the mix, saying that.
Solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun and that somehow, this lack of energy would cause businesses to move out of town. A legitimate concern, you might say. Except for the fact that the sun produces enough energy in an hour to power a lightbulb for each person in the world for their entire lifetime. And that's just in an hour! The sun continuously pelts the earth with 35,000 times the amount of energy required by humanity, so rest assured hicks worldwide, those solar panels aren't going to take your sunshine away.
One of the solar panel company representatives Brent Niemann reminded the braindead townspeople that the solar panels don't draw additional sunlight, but only absorb sunlight that is reflected onto the surface of the panels. Unfortunately, this story doesn't have a happy ending, as the ignorance from the schoolteacher, her husband, and the army of other uneducated citizens was successful. The land has not been rezoned, the solar farm has been rejected, and a moratorium has been placed on allowing any future solar panels to be installed in the town for the foreseeable future.
TexasGermany Team Interview Solar Decathlon 2015
Gtgt Female 1 We're from the University of Texas at Austin and the Technical University in Munich. gtgtFemale 2 Our house is NexusHaus. The unique thing about our house is that it's going to provide, as a model for a prototype, for accessory dwelling units in Austin. gtgt Male The ideal setting for our house is going to be in sort of an existing neighborhood fabric in Austin that already has an established character and sort of culture to it. We're trying to design a house that can plug in to something that exists so we can doubledensity.
Without changing the sort of feeling of a neighborhood. gtgt Female 3 We're trying to design a selfsustaining house that you can grow your own food and collect your own rainwater to use within the house. gtgt Male We've designed a the first ever that we're aware of on the singlefamily home scale thermal storage, like, district cooling kind of system for an individual house. And so the way that's designed to work is we have this, you know, 12 to 15foot water tower that we cool down at night.
We use electricity at night to cool down our water, and then, during the day, we run the AC off of the cooled water that we piped through the house. The great part about that is, from affordability perspective, we have solar panels on the house. And during the afternoon, that's when you're generating the most electricity. So, we're able to sell that back when we're generating the most and use the cooled water at night to run the air conditioning. We're also going for a netzero water house. That's the reason we have the thermal storage.
Longhorn Network Vignette StudentBuilt Solar Car
Gtgt Robert Heath Background Music Build a solar powered car from the ground up and drive it 1,100 miles across the United States That was the yearlong mission for a group of pioneering UT students in 2010. gtgt Female One of the first things we did was, you know, just filled the chassis. We'd cut the pipes and had them professionally welded. We made caviler boxes, you know, it was just kind of the bits and pieces all over the floor. And we put a lot of functionality in it, too. We keep adding new things like.
Touch panel, rearview camera. gtgt Al Bovik We've got battery packs which are charged through automatic cells on the top of the car. The sun charges the battery through the solar cells so this car is completely off the grid and has little to no impact on the environment at all. gtgt Gustavo de Veciana It's really fun to drive, it's like a gocart and you it handles really well. All of the information that's going on in the car is sent through a 900 megahertz data modem to this computer. It's.
Got a range of several miles. We've also got GPS system enabled that can give us kind of a secondary feedback of our direction or speed. We've got sensors on our tires that allow us to communicate with our central computer system so that people in the base station here at the base camp can see everything that's going with the car. gtgt Robert Heath When speeds up to 50 miles an hour over seven grueling days, the Samsung Solorean become the first UT car to complete the American solar challenge.
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