Nuclear energy must be an option as humanity shifts away from fossil fuels , according to a recent article penned by four candidates of Finland’s Green Party , or Green League. The party strictly opposed the controversial fuel source in the past, but these four candidates said we’re running out of time to fight climate change and no longer have the luxury of picking between renewable energy and nuclear power. Humanity should take another look at nuclear power, according to Jakke Mäkelä, Tuomo Liljenbäck, Markus Norrgran, and Heidi Niskanen of the Finnish Greens. They wrote a March 6 blog post, translated by J.M. Korhonen , detailing why Finland should develop nuclear energy. Related: Germany’s massive nuclear fusion reactor is actually working Finland’s temperatures are spiking quicker than any other place in the world due to climate change, according to Forbes contributor James Conca. The country has pledged to end coal use by 2030, but they’re also widely utilizing biomass . The four Greens condemned the government’s burning of wood chips for power since it emits carbon dioxide and will destroy forests . The Greens said renewable energy won’t be able to help us wean completely off fossil fuels yet. They said solar and wind work very well up to a point, but on a large scale require lots of raw materials and land. They pointed to Germany, which shuttered nuclear power plants, but the consequence was renewable energy largely replaced nuclear energy and not fossil fuels. The four Greens said we no longer have the option of choosing between renewables and nuclear. They wrote, “Unless we spend a lot more money in all clean energy sources, we are certain to be doomed.” Korhonen notes their viewpoint is not an official recommendation from the Green Party or of the Viite, the technology and science subgroup of which Mäkelä is vice-chairman and the others are members. It’s simply the opinion of the four candidates, who were up for election in Turku. The Green Party won 12 percent of the total vote in the recent elections, gaining seats and winning the largest share in their history. Via J.M. Korhonen and Forbes Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )
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Finland’s Green Party says humanity must embrace nuclear power
April 11, 2017 by
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Comments Off on Groundbreaking new material for longer-lasting batteries inspired by leaf veins
Biology may hold the clues to better batteries . An international team of scientists designed a porous material inspired by the vascular structure of leaves that could make energy transfers more efficient. Similar to the way leaf veins efficiently transport nutrients, this material could help rechargeable batteries perform better and last longer. A team of researchers led by Xianfeng Zheng of China’s Wuhan University of Technology and Australia’s University of Queensland scrutinized the way leaf veins optimize the flow of nutrients, with minimum energy consumption, “by branching out to smaller scales” according to the University of Cambridge , and then applied that to their groundbreaking porous material. The nature-inspired material could help relieve stresses in battery electrodes that currently limit their lifespan. The material could also enhance the charge and discharge process. Related: American fern inspires groundbreaking new solar storage solution The team calls their product Murray material after Murray’s Law. Cambridge said according to the rule the whole network of pores in biological systems is connected in a manner “to facilitate the transfer of liquids and minimize resistance throughout the network.” Scientist Bao-Lian Su of Cambridge, Wuhan University of Technology, and University of Namur in Belgium said they applied that biological law to chemistry , saying, “The introduction of the concept of Murray’s Law to industrial processes could revolutionize the design of reactors with highly enhanced efficiency, minimum energy, time, and raw material consumption for a sustainable future.” The scientists applied Murray material to gas sensing and photocatalysis as well. Su is a co-author on a paper published online by Nature Communications late last week. There are seven other co-authors on the paper from institutions in China, Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Another co-author, Tawfique Hasan of Cambridge University, said it could be possible to manufacture the porous material on a large scale. Via the University of Cambridge Images via Christoph Rupprecht on Flickr and Pixabay
October 21, 2011 by
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Comments Off on Whatâ€™s next: Highly efficient thin film solar panels
Jaspreet Kaur Walia: Highly efficient thin film solar panels Highly efficient thin film solar panels the futuristic renewable energy resource As we know it Thin Film Solar Cells or TFSC are solar cells in actuality. Also known as thin film photovoltaic cells or TFPC, they consist of a substrate that is used to place thin layers of photovoltaic material one above the other. They come in a wide variety and give people the flexibility to pick and choose in terms of fabrication and design. A lot of substrates can be used to deposit the different layers along with a variety of techniques. The performance of a device can be enhanced by tailoring and engineering the layers. The thickness of these layers can vary and range from as less as a few nanometers to tens of micrometers. TFSC are split into various categories depending on the kind of photovoltaic material that has been used to make them. They are commercially available and can be installed on roofs to convert solar energy into electricity. Need for change Traditional silicon based cells are thick and hence have a problem absorbing light as compared to thin film solar cells. TFSCs use less material as compared to silicon ones and are also light in weight. These can be effortlessly deposited on supple substrates as well. No doubt silicon is cheap and readily available, but the amount of energy and processing required getting the crystalline structure and purity is very high in comparison with thin film solar cells. Whatâ€™s Next? 1. IBM thin-film PV solar cell IBM thin-film PV solar cell IBMâ€™s New Thin-film Solar Cell is 40% More Efficient Whatâ€™s new IBM has developed an all new thin-film PV solar cell that is 9.6 percent efficient. It has been made from earth abundant materials and is thought to be the one of the most efficient thin film solar cell. The wide production will be achieved because of the presence of tin, zinc, copper, selenium and/or sulfur. The device will perform without getting obstructed by impurities like carbon, chlorine or oxygen because of the presence of hydrazine. What difference will it make Thin-film PV solar cell by IBM is able to achieve 40 percent more efficiency than its previous products in the same league. It is 9.6 percent efficient which is quite commendable keeping in mind it has been made using earth abundant materials. There are more commercial versions available that boast of an 11 percent efficiency but not to forget they have been created from expensive compounds such as cadmium, gallium, copper, indium and tellurium that pumps up their price as well. Usage of earth abundant materials makes it possible to produce it at a large scale. Problems The concept is at its initial stages so no one knows what the final product will be like. Moreover, chances are people may opt for something that gives higher efficiency irrespective of the price tag it comes stashed with. IBM is on no mood to manufacture Thin-film PV solar cells but is thinking to license the technology, which may again take time. 2. SoloPower thin-film rooftops solar cells SoloPower thin-film rooftops solar cells SoloPower’s thin-film flexible solar cells for commercial rooftops Whatâ€™s new SoloPower has unveiled a line of thin-film rooftop solar cells in a hope to lower the cost of solar energy. These flexible panels are light in weight and easy to install. They are apt for commercial use and have been made by coupling gallium, indium, selenium and copper. These materials have been positioned on a supple foil and company has made good use of roll to roll electroplating process. Usage of this process makes the solar panels very cost competitive in comparison to other technologies and manufacturers available in the market. What difference will it make SoloPower thin-film rooftop solar cells weigh much lighter than the glass encased panels. It can easily achieve an efficiency of 11 percent, which is worth applauding. These are easy to install rooftop solar cells that can be used at a commercial level. They have been specially designed for commercial buildings with a flat roof where they can be laminated onto the rooftop. Problems The use of expensive materials will definitely make the line expensive. It wonâ€™t be picked by people who want a cost-effective solution for their homes. 3. CIGS thin film solar cell CIGS thin film solar cell CIGS thin film solar cell by Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Whatâ€™s new CIGS thin film solar cell does not need buckets of cash in terms of making it and is being developed by researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The best part being it can be used for a variety of purposes which includes installation on outer walls, rooftops plus handbags and even backpacks. This is quite impressive and makes sure that people can use solar energy efficiently and effectively. What difference will it make The thin film solar cell by CIGS can effortlessly touch 17 percent conversion efficiency. This will allow people to charge electronic gadgets right away without having to hunt for an electric socket. If this becomes a reality and the solar cells are installed on all roofs of the city, it is expected that almost 40 percent of electricity needs can be fulfilled by using just solar cells. Problems Since they are being produced using Cu(InGa)Se2 it may take a good number of years for these thin film solar cell to overpower crystalline silicon solar cell that dominate the present day markets and are very popular.
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Whatâ€™s next: Highly efficient thin film solar panels
October 21, 2011 by
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Comments Off on The good, the bad and the ugly about vertical axis wind turbines
Leka Ram: Vertical axis wind turbines Main rotor shaft is set vertically and the main components are located at the base of the turbine Vertical wind turbines look completely different from the conventional wind turbines that have blades rotating on the horizontal axis. The vertical turbine can be compared to a coin spinning on its vertical axis. Modifications in the design and structure have been done for improving the performance and serving more benefits. The major parts of the vertical wind turbine are a rotor shaft that is arranged vertically, a vertical wind generator located near the ground, a gearbox also located near the ground and the blades that are two or three in number. These wind turbines are being improved in terms of function and design for enjoying more advantages. There are different types of vertical axis wind turbines such as; Darrius turbine : Named after George Darrius, the French inventor. The turbine is known for its efficiency. However, it is criticized for the low torque. It requires an additional rotor to start it. Gorlov Helical turbne : This turbine is designed in a helical configuration and was built to deal with the problems in the Darrius turbine. They are self-starting and reliable. Giromill : It is a variation of Darius turbine. It offers high starting torque and variable pitch. The blades used in this type of turbines are curved, straight or v-shaped. Savonius turbine : The turbine has helical scoops for providing smooth torque. Most of these are self-starting. Apart from these there are many other types such as the neo-aerodynamic turbine, quiet revolution turbine, novel turbine and zephyr turbine. The good Low Cost Lower construction and transportation costs 1. The energy generation with the vertical turbines cost is less and comes to about 2.5-3.5 cents for a kilowatt hour when compared to the 4-5 cents per kilowatt hour. 2. These turbines can handle high wind speeds. The maximum speed for harvesting the energy from wind is 28-33 mph. With the vertical design it can produce electricity from winds with a speed of 70 mph. The design can be used in areas with very strong winds. 3. One of the major problems with the conventional wind mills is that they kill the birds that come in their way. The design of the vertical turbine looks like a solid structure keeping the birds away from it. 4. The new device blends well with the environment. It can be painted in such a way that it blends well with the surroundings. Being smaller they can be installed in areas where huge structures cannot be used. 5. Another advantage is that the generator can be easily accessed for service. There is no magnetic field resonance, interference with communication or aircraft navigation and no ground resonance. 6. They function quietly too. Can this be better? The major difference between the vertical and horizontal wind turbines is the position of the blades. In the horizontal model the blades are mounted on the top while in the vertical model they are at the base of the tower and close to the shaft. The main advantage is that they can be mounted close to the ground making it beneficial for residential purposes. The bad Inefficiency Blades constantly spinning back into the wind causing drag 1. When compared to the horizontal turbines, these vertical axis wind turbines are able to produce only about 50 percent of the energy. 2. Since no tower is required for the structure, they are not able to take advantage of the high wind speeds usually available on elevated and higher areas. 3. Some energy is required to start the device because of the low starting torque. 4. If any part of the device is damaged, the entire structure has to be disassembled for changing it. 5. Wires are required for holding the complete structure in place. 6. The vertical wind turbines have a complicated structure with high rate of failure. 7. Wind efficiency is low and costs higher. Can this be avoided? New designs of the vertical axis turbines are being made in order to deal with the problems faced by the earlier designs. More research and analysis is still required to develop a turbine without the above mentioned drawbacks. The ugly Bird Killing Wind turbines affect migratory birds Though wind energy is considered to be one of the renewable and dependable sources of energy, there are several downsides to this. 1. Wind is not dependable. To turn the blades you need wind. If there is no wind they cannot function effectively. They are great only for areas where you can have wind all through the day and year. They may be useless in areas where wind is less. 2. One of the best places where you can get wind all through the year is the coastal areas, mountain tops and valleys. All these areas are very expensive and it can be very difficult to afford the area first and then build the turbine also. 3. Many people consider wind farms as an eyesore. Though they are able to produce energy using the wind, many people do not like the idea of residing near a wind farm. 4. Apart from that, the turbines are also known to interfere with the radio and television signals, kill birds and make noise. Why are we so critical Every new invention has its advantages and disadvantages. Similarly, the wind turbines faced some problems with respect to the availability of winds for turning the turbines, birds coming in between and so on. However, the researchers are trying to find solutions to each of these problems by creating new designs and using improved technologies. This gave rise to the vertical axis turbines. Though there are some negative aspects to this too, the researchers are striving hard to overcome them. Wind is everywhere. We need to make proper efforts to use it to the maximum in order to save other sources of energy and use the renewable sources in an effective way. The bottom line Wind energy is renewable. More and more devices have to be developed to harness the wind energy for generating electricity. The wind mills are efficient in generating energy. The type of turbines used depends on the area and the amount of power required in that particular area.
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The good, the bad and the ugly about vertical axis wind turbines
Comments Off on 7 Ways alternative energy could better predictions
Preeti Dahiya: Renewable Energy sources. Seven ways alternative energy could better predictions. The renewable energy is the talk these days and this technology has evolved at a rapid rate and there actually is no stopping to this green technology. The renewable energy is believed to be the best alternative to the traditional non-renewable sources of energy. These renewable sources of energy are famous for their ecofriendly properties and the cost-efficient operations. This energy doesn’t cost anything to use and is also available in nature in vast quantities and can be used for various purposes. There is no single thing where this energy cannot be used; itâ€™s just that itâ€™s not exposed to most of the people across globe which is why the energy is making slow growth these days. But still the energy is on wide scale exposure by the researchers and there are new technologies being developed every day to find a way of harnessing this energy to the maximum level. Here is a list of seven ways alternative energy could better predictions. 1. Third world emergence The third world emergence is an effective step taken by the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon towards a green and natural source of producing energy. As this energy is not much exposed to minor nations, the U.N is trying to extend this technology into those countries so that they can also make use of this Eco-friendly energy. By this method, the countries like Africa and Asia will find new ways of global market and will be on a step towards a green and healthy future. This project has been started in many minor countries and will be expanded in coming days. 2. Grid parity and new technology The Grid parity is the next big thing in the renewable energy production and was earlier estimated to be launched all over the world by 2035. But who can wait until then, so few countries have started the traditional Grid parity on a large scale and have been using it to generate optimum quantity of energy. The new technology on this particular type of energy generation is being brought up by various researchers and scientists across the globe. This new technology will take this grid parity generation to a whole new level. And also the technology is focusing on extending the capacity of generation by significant numbers. 3. EPA Rules and retiring coal plants The US government is continuously taking steps to reach an ecofriendly environment. The government now is taking steps towards retiring of coal plants. These coal plants though are the major sources of energy generation in the world at present date but the government of US has taken crucial steps of using the renewable source of energy instead of using the coal plants. The coal plants produce high quantity of smoke and also pollute the environment on a large scale. This alternative will be very favourable to the environment and people. 4. Nuclear concerns The Nuclear energy power plant is one of the major sources of energy production in many countries. But who can forget the deadly effects of nuclear plants and the incidents like the Japan incident is hard to forget. This Japan incident has shocked the whole nation and the government of Japan is recovering fast by using new ways to generate energy. They have opted for green renewable energy now. They have started various projects in most of the cities and are looking to generate energy through these renewable energy resources on a large scale. 5. Partnership with Gas Natural gas is one of the cheap and affordable sources of energy. It is available at affordable prices in most of the countries these days. The price of this natural gas is expected to be stable unlike the prices of fossil fuels which are pretty volatile. Also the Natural gas has least impact on the environment and hence is highly preferred over other sources of energy. These days this gas is being mixed with other fuels and is sols to reduce the price of other fossil fuels and to protect the environment. 6. Military leading the way The American military is always known for its new and latest technological ways of dealing with things. This time the US military have come up with ideas of harnessing the renewable source of energy at a large scale. They are focusing more on the solar, ocean and wind energy as key components of the nation’s security. Moreover this issue has been claimed to be good for the society and thus is now being used widely across US. 7. A new wave of marketing After the awareness among the people about the renewable sources of energy, people have come up with unique and useful ideas that can help out the world in reaching a complete ecofriendly status. There are plenty of consumers who have started going this technology and have given their ideas and thoughts of using this renewable energy effectively. There are new technologies being developed for consumers as they believe the consumers are the one who can drive this technology to the ultimate level.
Comments Off on Green Halloween: How can I reuse or recycle Halloween masks?
With Halloween at the weekend, the shops are full masks and costumes at the moment. To keep this blog reasonably rant free, I shalln’t go into my feelings for a) the sudden importing of Halloween as a large scale holiday and b) the rise of shop-bought fancy dress outfits and costumes (isn’t half the fun making it yourself and it being a laugh rather than perfect replica?). Whether I like it or not, Halloween is big business nowadays and that means that come next Monday morning, there will be a lot of masks facing brief visit to the dustbin on their way to landfill.
Green Halloween: How can I reuse or recycle Halloween masks?
Comments Off on Scientists Develop Eco Friendly Polymer That Combats Bio Terrorism
Combating chemical and bio-terror is a complex issue. Terrorists can strike at any time and with anything.
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Scientists Develop Eco Friendly Polymer That Combats Bio Terrorism
January 24, 2010 by
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Comments Off on Scientists Trip Over Revolutionary CO2-Removing Catalyst
In a fortuitous discovery, chemists have stumbled on a catalyst that strips carbon dioxide from the air and converts it into a useful compound. Published in the most recent issue of the journal Science (sub.
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Scientists Trip Over Revolutionary CO2-Removing Catalyst
January 24, 2010 by
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Comments Off on Indian Government In Talks With MIT To Source Its High-Capacity Solar Power Battery System
The Indian power ministry has revealed that it is in discussion with theÂ MassachusettsÂ Institute of Technology to procure its latest solar powered battery storage technology . The Indian government has proposed that the technology be developed for commercial purposes under the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum.
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Indian Government In Talks With MIT To Source Its High-Capacity Solar Power Battery System
November 6, 2009 by
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Comments Off on Stinging Nettle Thrives in Netherlands
Who is king on stinging nettle fabric?
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Stinging Nettle Thrives in Netherlands