24/7 solar power..MIT..promising

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by doctorie, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. doctorie
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    PORTLAND, Ore. — Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have combined a liquid catalyst with photovoltaic cells to achieve what they claim is a solar energy system that could generate electricity around the clock.

    A liquid catalyst was added to water before electrolysis to achieve what the researchers claim is almost 100-percent efficiency. When combined with photovoltaic cells to store energy chemically, the resulting solar energy systems could generate electricity around the clock, the MIT team said.

    full artical

    http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=209900956&cid=NL_eet
     
  2. Now, combine this with the solar window from 2 weeks ago, and you have a complete energy solution for a household
     
  3. doctorie
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    This is even green...it answers many tech problems. Seems to good to be true...I hope its not like most to good to be true storys.... IE table top cold fusion
     
  4. Xamiazi
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    It sounds great, no argue about that -however it would take the public quite awhile to,
    1. Get ahold of technolgy
    2. Actually Install it
    3. Adapt with it

    Id say looking at least 3-7 years, sad cuz its a idea we need to have, but everyone knows how business's work, there in it for the money, not to help us. :(
     
  5. I just heard a bit on fox sunday morning news that 40% of america's energy is used by buildings. It just so happens that buildings are the best places to implement these new solar technologies. Even if you can replace 1 window in a building with a solar panel window it would produce a percentage of the building's power. Now imagine those huge skyscrapers that have thousands of windows...

    Now these MIT guys have stable way to store the energy and use it during nighttime. Massive skycrapers taht take up huge amounts of energy suddenly become giant generators and we have 40% more of the oil that's used in the power plants to fuel cars.
     
  6. I like it
     
  7. Xamiazi
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    the only things is will they make it cost efficent, hopefully whoever buys the contract someday will actually think about the people instead of charging a rediculous ammount of money for these.. lets keep our fingers crossed, cuz this would be very big.
     
  8. Zarash
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    That would be awesome if they could put them in skyscrapers it would create so much energy. You guys are right though its all about making it affordable enough that it is practical for people to use.
     
  9. It will only be cheap if the materials for it are cheap, other wise expect massive numbers.
     
  10. doctorie
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    Here is some video describing the process

    http://newsoffice.techtv.mit.edu/file/1243/

    "Taking a page from photosynthesis in plant life, Nocera and Matthew Kanan, a postdoctoral fellow in Nocera's lab, came up with a process (see video) to use the energy from the sun to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases, according to a report from MIT. Later, when it's needed, the gases can be combined inside a fuel cell. That reconnection creates carbon-free electricity that can be used to power an office building, a home or even an electric car — whether the sun is shining or not."

    another full artical http://computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9111578
     
  11. XShrike
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    They aren't revealing details so this feels too good to be true. Hopefully this is as good as they say though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2008
  12. Notti
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    woooo oregon.. =p
     
  13. Lev
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    "Near 100% Energy Efficient" sounds too buzzwordy, I want to see a table of energy efficiency compared to other means before I give them and props.
     
  14. Chapps
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    Yeh, news reporters are just as eager to make a dollar with a huge story. I'm sure they wouldn't mind bending the truth a little.
     
  15. Ironjaw
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    Unfortunately a lot of the US is not in an optimal place for Solar Energy. If his new technology pans out then it could be useful for us. If solar panels were more cost efficient and generated more power the government could move to have panels installed on the rooftops of almost all corporate buildings.

    There is a town in Sweden that was an old naval base and when it was converted to a town it was designed to run entirely off solar power. All the buildings including homes have solar panels on the roofs or sides and the rest is of the energy needed is supplied by geo-thermal energy.

    If the government put into motion a plan to give tax breaks to companies installing panels on their rooftops over a 5-10yr period you could bet your ass you would see a huge decrease in the US's energy usage. Even if it was a small break it would be cost effective for the companies.
     
  16. If the government put in motion a tax break plan for companies who install solar panels on their building roofs, theres also the side effect that the unused energy that's generated gets pumped back into the power grid. Not only does our energy usage drop, but theres more of it to use.
     
  17. Priezt
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    Very true. The time and investment for adaptation by power companies -- particularly domestic -- will come only with impetus. There is too much money to be gained from gleaning the last bits of fossil fuels from our resources. Until there is nowhere else to turn, people historically have not reached into their pockets. The overall cost will be the primary concern, as usual, and there will not be adoption of the technology on a wide scale unless someone thinks they can make more money that way. The provision of safe, clean energy is viewed as a business, not as a right.

    For those hoping that the government will step in and provide any sort of reasonable impetus themselves, think again. American government is not a service industry and has not been since before the Civil War. Politicians are not drawn to action by a sense of duty. If you have any delusions about the care elected officials have for their constituents, look into the immense financial gains to be made from catering to lobbyists and follow the money trails.
     
  18. RyZen
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    I'm not some person that lives or even believes in "living green" (whatever BS you want to insert here) but I do believe in efficiency and lot of times being efficient and living green go hand and hand. That said I would love to see a technology like this mass produced. I would love to have an aray on the top of my house and never think about paying an eletric bill again. The big prob with solar to day is the upfront cost, wayyy to much for most people. I hope this tech works out so it's affordable for most average people.

    As for big companies and their power hungy building (I think big buildings use a lot more then 40% ...more like 70%)....but yeah, I would make them retro fit building and set aside 25% of new construction bugets for efficient materials, programs (like green roofs) and alternative power sources. All that adds up to a lot of power saved. After all last I looked this country has only gotten bigger in pop. I remember when I was a kid in school and the teacher told me that the USA had 200 million people in it. Now we are 300 and still going. That means we will need that much more energy for those to come.

    Another technology that I've heard a lot about from mags. like popular science is a process can plasma-gasification. This technology is one that should start tomorrow because there is a win win to it. On one hand you have energy being made at a VERY high rate of efficiency with little waste and on the other hand you can reduse the garbage that is produced daily.
     
  19. doctorie
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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8341186.stm

     
  20. FriendlyFire
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    [​IMG]

    This is more of what I am thinking.
     

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