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.
Evidence of a Ninth Planet
What we have discovered is that numerous features of the Kuiper Belt, a field of icy debris beyond the orbit of Neptune, can be understood if the solar system possesses an additional ninth planet that resides well beyond the orbits of the known planets. When we looked at the outer solar system we realized that while most of the very distant objects, these objects beyond Neptune, beyond Pluto. Most of these objects, they all go around the sun and they're all sort of pointing off in all different directions, but the most distant objects all swing.
Out in one direction in a very strange way that shouldn't happen. And we realized that the only way we can get them to all swing in one direction is if there is a massive planet, also very distant in the solar system, keeping them in place while they all go around the sun. And we started looking at this and thinking this must be either a coincidence or it's caused by something else. It can't be caused by a planet because that's crazy. There are no planets out there. I went from trying very hard to be skeptical that what we.
Were talking about was true to suddenly thinking, oh, this actually might even be true. So the object itself likely is more massive than the Earth, probably a little bit less massive than Neptune. It sits right in between that terrestrial to giant icy planet range. Its orbit, unlike the orbits of the known planets, is not nearly circular and planar. Instead, it is exceptionally wide, twenty times bigger than the orbit of Neptune. The orbital period of the Earth is, of course, one year. The orbital period of Jupiter, the big player in our solar system, is about.
10 years. The orbital period of this putative ninth planet, is twenty thousand years. We have nothing like it in the solar system, so it's new for us. It is, however, the most common mass of planets that have been found around all of the other stars. People have always looked at all these other planets in this strange mass range and said, Wow, I wonder what these are I don't know what these are because we don't have anything like it in the solar system. Looks like maybe we do.
There are many telescopes on the Earth that actually have a chance of being able to find it, and I think that many people will be inspired to use their telescopes. I'm really hoping that as we announced this people will start a worldwide search to go find this ninth planet. History shows us that it's a bad idea to consistently say, We have now reached the end of the solar system, and there's nothing beyond what we already know. And all those people who are mad that Pluto was no longer planet.
Update Solar Powered Classroom
Hey, Energy, just wanted to check in about our solarpowered classroom. Things are rolling along here. We've been in school about five weeks and we've had five weeks of solarpowered classroom. We're able to run everything we want to off our solar electricity. On days like today when it's cloudy we kind of don't charge our computers. And we still have plenty of electricity but we want to make sure, in case we have several rainy days in a row, that we still have some in our batteries. We've had some surprises, like our printer, we found out.
It uses enough electricity almost a kilowatt that when we're using it, it makes our lights flicker and can make our battery voltage go down really quick. The kids have really enjoyed seeing all the meters, seeing how much electricity we're making, how much we're using. And they love seeing when it shoots up really quick or goes down really quick, and we kind of go around the classroom to see what things are still turned on and if we can need to turn off more stuff so that we're using less electricity.
Team NY Alfred Audiovisual Presentation Solar Decathlon 2015
ALF Affordable. Livable. Formidable. An architectural feat meeting engineering innovation ALF is designed for Allegany County located in upstate New York. It is designed with the unpredictable weather and the rustic beauty of the Northeast in mind. It is a home like none other. Welcome to ALF. The home is weatherresistant, thanks to an east and north covering of the house providing a mudroom and protection against harsh weather. Within, the home is finished with modern touches combined with a rural setting. The living space is accentuated with open trusses and high ceilings to make the small.
Space huge with ample lighting. A 2ton carrier airconditioning system moderates the temperature throughout the home. The concept of the home being smaller is better is further exemplified through multipurpose fixtures provided by Resource Furniture. The main gathering area is an open floor plan flowing into the kitchen, further utilizing the space efficiently. The kitchen is studentdesigned and studentmade, this means all the cabinetry is unique to ALF. The solar dryer is as unique as the cabinetry since it is designed by Team Alfred also. An Apricus Solar hot water heater is installed in the home to provide hot water through every.
Season of the year. ALF is specifically designed for the cold winters of New York with radiant heat flooring. Three rooms lay beyond the living room and kitchen space. The bathroom is top of the line with all Kohler products. The vanity is another student project that accents the home with modern touches. Not only is this room an office. The desk doubles as bunk beds allowing for kidfriendly or a businessoriented environment. The bed in the master lifts as well to allow ample maneuvering room for all the daily needs of the home.
Throughout the home, there are beautifully placed windows to allow in the natural beauty of Allegany County. Beyond the four walls is a wraparound deck featuring two nanawalls. The grass surrounding the home and on the green wall is the Patented, allnatural, Pearl's Premium Ultra Low Maintenance Lawn Seed. The grass has deep roots and grows so slowly, you mow it only every 4 to 6 weeks, rather than every week, using only a fourth of the water and mow time of other grasses. The nanawalls are foldable and swingable, acting as an architectural aesthetic to ALF.
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.
Facebook unveils push into VR drone technology
And finally Facebook is again stealing tech industry headlines. This time for a range of cuttingedge projects. from virtual reality to robotic drones and even artificial intelligence. Facebooks top executives showed off some of the advances. at its annual developer conference in San Francisco on Thursday. The company touted its virtual reality headset Oculus Rift. as well as the first test flight of a solarpowered drone. So what were doing with Connectivity Labs is investing as we have in OCP and others in radical new approaches to this problem. And this basically means going to.
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