May 28, 2012
The Briefcase Solar Generator will supply power when there is no electricity around, when camping or when needed in a boat, vehicle or motor home. Use it for your laptop, cordless tools, or other small devices. It features a blinking charging indicator and a built-in diode that will save it from reverse charging. It comes in its own briefcase with battery clamps and car cigarette lighter plug.
Via Solar Generators
May 21, 2012
Infinite Power Solutions has developed a thin film solar cell that can recharge itself about 75,000 times, possibly the life of the device. Current ones can only be recharged between 300 - 1,000 times and a previous model of IPS was capable of 10,000 turns. These Thinergy batteries are 0.17 mm thick and can be implanted into RFID cards, remote sensors, Bluetooth devices and quartz watches. Don't expect to see them en mass any time soon as it may be a while before the cost becomes affordable.
May 14, 2012
It seems that the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" in the central North Pacific Ocean has increased in the past forty years 100 times over to envelop an area that is about the size of Texas (although there have been conflicting opinions as to its size.) Even worse, water striders (aka sea skaters) are laying eggs in the plastic trash and insect predators in the area, like fish and crabs, are now showing up with pieces of plastic waste inside.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UCLA recently released a paper in the journal Biology Letters detailing the increase. Sadly, Curtis Ebbesmeyer, the oceanographer that named the area, claims that it is too large to clean up and keeps growing so the only solution is to switch to biodegradable plastic and allow the garbage to eventually disperse.
May 7, 2012
Natcore Technology has been working on ways to improve solar power to help make it more efficient and affordable. Their latest solution is a black surface for silicon that reflects a mere 0.3% light, giving 99.7% absorption. This new process also has the benefit of performing better during morning hours, evening hours and cloudy days.
The company has been working with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) since 2010 to get an average 4% reflection down to about 2% after being granted an exclusive license to develop and commercialize the black cells. Next up is working with equipment manufacturers that will create a tool that can make 2,000 wafers per hour. Natcore says it has already been in talks with Italy, China and India as potential customers.