Scientists develop self-healing solar cells

Over time, most solar cells degrade due to prolonged exposure to the sun's scathing rays and are rendered useless. But with a little inspiration from nature, researchers have now created a new solar material that regenerates its damaged energy-capturing packets on-demand. A small prototype solar cell built from the self-healing material can continuously produce electricity for an entire week without losing any efficiency, the scientists report. The team was inspired by plants in nature. The ingredients within a plant’s leaves that turn sunlight into energy aren't actually immune to the sun’s damage. Instead, the molecules do their job (pump out sugar), get destroyed, and in less than an hour they regenerate. This process happens over and over again – enabling the leaves to produce energy at the same efficiency as they did on day one of their operation. Read the full article by Michelle Bryner here.

Call for Solutions!: Downeast Launches $5 million Biomass Engineering Competition

The DownEast 2010 Biomass Engineering Prize Competition seeks innovative solutions and technologies capable of transforming an underperforming biomass-fueled electricity generating facility in Maine into a vibrant part of the green energy grid. A recent operations audit concluded that available conventional retro-fitting options were uninspiring. This challenge has two simple goals: return the facility to profitability and utilize new and disruptive biomass-fueled electricity generation technologies that do not require massive capital investments and that can achieve sustained profitable operations. All manners of solutions will be considered, including new technologies and novel applications of existing technologies, process improvements and site re-use. In short, DownEast is seeking creative ingenuity from innovators across the globe.

San Diego gym turns spin bike into a power source

The Greenasium really wants to be green. To do it, the new gym in San Diego is turning its customers into real gym rats. The Greenasium , which opened Wednesday, has three specialty spin bikes straight out of Gilligans Island that push electricity back into the grid, helping provide power to the gym and other electricity customers. Its the first human-powered fitness studio in San Diego, according to its owners. "The bike's are retrofitted by a company up in Seattle that we work with called Resource Fitness ," said Greenasium's co-owner Byron Spratt. "As the bike (spins), the wheel creates DC power, converts it to AC power, which is plugged back into the wall, which puts energy back into the grid." Spratt expects to add elliptical bikes in October to help offset their carbon footprint to an even greater extent.

Case Study: Lockheed Martin Facility Roadways

Outdoor lighting systems for a main entrance roadway and the main loop road serving the facility Lockheed Martin, Lake Underhill Facility.

Altenergymag Interview With AMtec Solar

AMtec Solar has applied its 25 years of experience in the Semiconductor, HVAC, Pharmaceutical, Alternative Energy, and Industrial Control markets to the solar industry. The produce solar combiner boxes, re-combiner boxes, tracker panels, MET stations and DAS boxes for some of the biggest names in the solar industry.

A Vision of the New Environmentalist

The new post-BP environmentalist, I predict, will stand taller than those from Earth Day and from Yale and Harvard. They will be more immediate and less technical. They will be pumped up on the steroids of Hollywood, mass media, and Twitter more than the schooling of MBAs. And they will attract massive audiences, with their green eyes and softer training on behalf of the Earth.

Fuel Additives and the Environment

Largest Solar Rooftop Project in U.S. to be Built in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake County and its project partners, NexGen Energy and Bella Energy, announced the construction in downtown Salt Lake City of one of the largest roof-top solar panel installations in the United States. The estimated 600,000 square-foot system will be built atop the Calvin L. Rampton – Salt Palace Convention Center. When completed, the system will produce 2.6 megawatts of electricity, one-quarter of the annual needs of the convention center. The team presented a plan to install up to 2.6 megawatts of solar modules on the structure. If built to that capacity, the Salt Palace will host the largest rooftop solar facility in the United States, generating more than 3,330,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year while reducing the building’s consumption by 25%.

Deere & Co. sells its wind unit to Exelon for $900 million

Deere & Co. said Tuesday it would sell its John Deere Renewables unit, including wind farms, to Exelon Corp. in a deal valued at $900 million. Exelon said it's expanding its role in the wind generation business by adding 735 megawatts of wind energy, plus 230 megawatts under development, via the deal. Deere plans to take an after-tax charge of approximately $25 million in its fourth quarter results as part of the sale. Exelon said it would use debt to pay for the deal. Source: Steve Gelsi of Market Watch.

MECASOLAR installs 42 MW of solar trackers in Italy in 2010

The Spanish multinational MECASOLAR will end 2010 with more than 4,200 trackers and fixed structures in solar farms throughout Italy,which will reach an output of 42 MW. This figure makes the Spanish company the leader in its sector in the Italian market. With MECASOLAR in Italy , the multinational will reach at the end of the current year 282 MW accumulated in tracker installations throughout the world, a figure which is equivalent to the manufacture and start up of more than 22,000 solar trackers in countries such as the United States, Greece, Italy, Germany, France or Spain, among others.

Why Conservatives Are Bad on Energy: It's All About the Costs

When you compare the real costs of solar with the fully loaded real costs of coal and oil and natural gas and nuclear power, apples to apples, solar is cheaper.

Sigh of Relief from Solar Stakeholders

You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief on August 13 when the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) announced that its proposed price reduction to the solar microFIT program would not be as far-reaching as originally believed.

Airborne Wind Energy

The concept of large-scale wind power production using aerodynamically efficient kites was first proposed by University of California researcher M.L. Loyd who published seminal work in the Journal of Energy thirty years ago. In that paper, he described kites that utilized aircraft construction flying transverse to the wind at high speed.

Altenergymag Interview With Tom Mealey Of Virtual Industries, Inc.

For more than 20 years, Virtual Industries has been a leading supplier of manual vacuum handling solutions to the world's top technology firms. Based in Colorado Springs, CO, the US-based company provides an extensive and innovative range of hand-based operator tools, and focuses on being in tune with the industry sectors it supports and the customers within them.

Report shows Forty percent of consumers are likely to test drive an electric vehicle

According to a new study of online American adults from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The study, Electric Vehicles: The Future of Driving, suggests electric vehicles entice consumers with improved environmental quality and potential cost savings, but leave them with questions about battery life and convenience of battery charging. Consumers are open to considering an electric vehicle in the future, with 42 percent reporting they are likely to follow news reports about electric vehicles. However, overall awareness of the various types of alternative vehicles remains low. While nearly one-third (32 percent) report they are familiar, or very familiar, with hybrid vehicles, only about one-quarter are familiar with electric-powered vehicles (25 percent). The study finds running out of battery power on the road (71 percent), lack of charging stations and/or not being able to recharge (66 percent) and limited mileage (59 percent) are the most common perceived disadvantages with electric vehicles. Home charging stations may also impact purchase decisions. Half of consumers (51 percent) would be less likely to consider purchasing an electric vehicle if they would have to install special charging equipment for the batteries.

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