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Solar Power

Energy

Flower power: Transparent rose-petal skin enhances solar cells

We humans tend to pat ourselves on the back when we make strides in converting the sun's light into energy through solar technology, but plants have been doing much the same thing on Earth for thousands of years. Realizing this, a team of scientists lifted an imprint off rose petals and created a film that significantly boosted the efficiency of solar cells.Read More

Energy

Giant wave-riding platform design puts solar power out to sea

Sea-based wind farms are becoming a common sight in many parts of the world, but why not floating solar power stations? Engineers at the Vienna University of Technology foresee a future where platforms 100 m long and covered with solar panels float on even heavy seas thanks to a new floatation system called Heliofloat. Still under development, Heliofloat uses flexible, open-bottom floats that are capable of standing up to rough seas that would destroy such a platform sitting on conventional tanks.Read More

Aircraft

Solar Impulse 2 breaks records by reaching California

Last night, Solar Impulse 2 completed the Pacific Ocean crossing leg of its round-the-world flight. According to the Solar Impulse organization, the aircraft with founder and chairman Bertrand Piccard at the controls touched down in a night landing at Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, California on April 23 at 11:44 pm PDT after a flight time of 62 hours and 29 minutes from Kalaeloa Airport, Hawaii.Read More

Good Thinking

Solar-powered "Sterile Box" targets hospital infections in developing countries

One of the risks of undergoing a surgical procedure is getting an on-site infection, which leads to longer periods in hospital and even death, especially when bacteria is resistant to current drugs. In developing countries the problem is bigger as hospitals often lack staple sterilization instruments such as an autoclave. In order to tackle this issue, a team of Rice University students and their mentors are developing a solar-powered sterilization unit that could be a life-saver in regions with little or no access to this type of equipment.Read More

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