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Harnessing Solar Energy at Night using Technology
We cover a lot of solar tech @Q3TechBlog. However, Nevada’s Crescent Dune can store solar energy at night, and is “the world’s most advanced energy-storage technology”, according to the company.
“The difficulty with photovoltaic is that it’s intermittent. When the sun goes down, you’re done,” says Kevin Smith, CEO of SolarReserve, explaining the process in detail. Rather than have a number of solar cells to store solar energy, the plant uses multifaceted glass mirrors that follows the course of the sun and directs sunshine towards the top of the central tower.
“We heat it to 560°C... It flows back down the tower and we capture it in a large tank. It’s really an alternative to fossil fuel or even nuclear. You couldn’t power a city with just PV and wind, but you could with CSP, because of the storage capacity.” The company plans to install similar facilities in countries like South Africa, Chile and China.
Wonder Material Will Allow Storage of Greenhouse Gases
Around 70 years ago, we discovered two minerals in Siberia - the stepanovite, found by Russian geologist Pavel Ivanovich Stepanov, and the zhemchuzhnikovite, discovered by Yurii Apollonovich Zhemchezhnikov. But, as we didn’t have the technology to study them, they remained in storage – until recently, in 2010, when Tomislav Friščić, associate professor at the McGill University’s chemistry, uncovered their similarity to Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) – a path we might take to eliminate harmful greenhouse gases present in our atmosphere.
“Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are an increasingly important family of advanced materials based on open, nanometer-scale metal-organic architectures, whose design and synthesis are based on the directed assembly of carefully designed subunits,” Researchers explained in their paper.
This Battery Self Destructs and Dissolves in Water
Transient electronics is the study of electronics that can perform function until exposed to a destruction trigger, such as heat, light, or water. Demonstrating this type of technology, researchers from Iowa State University invented a battery that is capable of delivering 2.5 volts, and dissolves in water if placed for 30 minutes. Another remarkable feature is its size - it measures out to be 1 millimeter thick, 5 millimeters long, and 6 millimeters wide.
“Unlike conventional electronics that are designed to last for extensive periods of time, a key and unique attribute of transient electronics is to operate over a typically short and well-defined period, and undergo fast and, ideally, complete self-deconstruction and vanish when transiency is triggered,” Researchers said, “This is a battery with all the working components. It’s much more complex than our previous work with transient electronics.”
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