Solar-Powered Oxygen Saves Lives in Africa Health Technology 

Solar-Powered Oxygen Saves Lives in Africa

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore If you’ve ever stayed in a hospital, you might remember the oxygen delivery system mounted on the wall behind your bed or at your bedside. Many of us take these for granted, but in developing countries such as Uganda they are not easily available—and even when present, they are unreliable because power cuts are rife. Now, scientists have devised an innovative solution for delivering oxygen to children with severe pneumonia: harnessing solar energy to power oxygen delivery systems. “Ours is the first study to describe the…

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graphene Engineering Technology 

Moth Eyes Inspire Graphene-Based Smart Tech

Look into the eyes of moths and see the future. The future of smart gadgets, that is. Moths’ eyes are the latest inspiration for thin solar material. Researchers from the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute say that new, ultra-thin, patterned graphene sheets will be essential in designing “smart wallpaper” and other future technologies. Graphene is traditionally an excellent electronic material, as the graphene-based microphone demonstrates, but it is inefficient for optical applications. It usually absorbs only 2 or 3 percent of the light that lands on it. That’s not…

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Lens Flare, Steven Spence Environment Physics Technology 

Spying on the Atomic Structure of Perovskites

By Jonathan Trinastic, @jptrinastic Spying on the Atomic Structure of Perovskites Perovskites are darling materials in the world of solar cells but still somewhat of a mystery to scientists. Perovskite-based photovoltaics boast a combination of high performance and cheap production that makes them an ideal candidate to lead the next solar energy revolution. Like many young and talented upstarts, however, they don’t always perform consistently, and they burn out quickly. Scientists do not yet completely understand why, but they have taken an important step by creating the first images of individual…

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Kirigami-inspired solar cell courtesy of Lamoureux A et al. Physics Science and Art Technology 

New Solar Cells Inspired by 400-year-old Art

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic Artists in  seventeenth century Japan probably never expected their unique paper-cutting artwork, known as kirigami, to inspire leading-edge technology four hundred years later.  But the traditional art and new science have been recently well-paired to improve renewable energy technology, according to a recent paper1 in Nature Communications that details a creative design for a lightweight solar cell that tracks the Sun’s position throughout the day. Kirigami is the art of cutting paper to create elaborately textured, three-dimensional works of art.  Kirigami artists generally begin by cutting…

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Truly transparent solar energy Engineering Environment Featured Physics Technology 

Solar Energy that Doesn’t Block the View

A company is making completely see-through solar energy panels for our phones and tablets. Next, for our car and home windows. By Kate Stone A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that, when placed over a window, creates solar energy while still allowing people to see through the window. It is called a “transparent luminescent solar concentrator” and it can be used on buildings, cell phones, and anything else that has a clear surface. According to Richard Lunt of MSU’s College…

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