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114 posts tagged with Solar.
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The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements

Solar flares may be affecting radioactive decay rates
posted by Confess, Fletch on Aug 24, 2010 - 57 comments

Solar everywhere....

New and upcoming solar energy advances: Using heat and light . Tiny? Think solar cells so small you can embed them in windows and not obscure the view, embedded in resins to spray on roofs.... more
posted by edgeways on Aug 2, 2010 - 51 comments

It weebles and it wobbles but it won't fall down.

Year On Earth breaks it down, explaining the complicated mechanics involved in trying to determine how long a year really is, why seasons and ice ages happen, and how not all years are created equal.
posted by loquacious on Jul 5, 2010 - 22 comments

Set the controls for the heart of the Sun

"First Light" for the Solar Dynamics Observatory - researchers unveiled "First Light" images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, a space telescope designed to study the Sun.
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 21, 2010 - 42 comments

Would you like that sunny-side up?!

Solar takes to the skies. The Solar Impulse took flight today, reaching an altitude of 5500 feet over 87 minutes.With a wingspan of over 60 meters, close to that of a Boeing 747, it weighs about as much as a small car. Its 12,000 solar cells generate power for the 40hp engine, with an average speed of 70 kph (44 mph). The team will continue testing the prototype, including a 36 hour overnight flight, before constructing an even lighter, more powerful, more stable plane, with the goal of flying around the world in 2012, traveling both during both the day and at night, without fuel.
posted by markkraft on Apr 7, 2010 - 20 comments

Recent events in Solar Power

Solar power continues to become more economical with every passing month. The price of standard monocrystalline/polycrystalline 210W to 300W modules has halved, from above $3/watt to below $1.70/watt in the past 12 months. The Canadian province of Ontario has become the first location in North America to offer an aggressive feed-in tariff comparable to the feed-in tariffs in Germany and Spain, paying above 80 cents/kWh for power generated by small rooftop photovoltaic installations. The US federal government is also offering massive tax breaks for solar installations as part of the 2009 ARRA act. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Feb 27, 2010 - 50 comments

Is that little green one ever going to come back on the screen?

Flash Physics Friday Fun: My Solar System is a fun little physics toy that will do 2-, 3-, and 4-body 2D gravity simulations. [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter on Feb 26, 2010 - 31 comments

2009 Solar Decathalon

For the second time in two years a team from Germany has won the US Department of Energy's Solar Decathalon. This year's entry was a cube shaped house entirely covered in 300W and 70W solar panels generating a peak of 11.1kW. The DoE has published a complete product directory of all the subsystems and components used to build each house. Another notable design is the Canadian Team North house designed for optimal solar+insulation performance in high latitude climates.
posted by thewalrus on Oct 17, 2009 - 15 comments

A PATH TO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY BY 2030

Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world's energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. HERE'S HOW (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Oct 13, 2009 - 82 comments

Yesterday's Energy of Tomorrow...and more

Peak Oil, 1925. In 2000, 20% of new buildings will be solar equipped. By the late 1990s, 90% of the world's energy will be nuclear-generated. These and other erroneous projections are being collected as part of the Forecast Project on the website Inventing Green: The Lost History of Alternative Energy in America.
posted by Miko on Jul 27, 2009 - 65 comments

Rising the Black Sun (SLP)

Tomorrow, July 22 2009, we will witness the longest solar eclipse of our century. Instead of the sunrise, people will see a black hole rising in the sky and birds will be unsure if the day is beginning or not. It might become the most viewed eclipse ever. [more inside]
posted by canine epigram on Jul 21, 2009 - 85 comments

Discovering the Sun

Sungazer — discover the awesome beauty of the Sun. See images of Earth sized sunspots, towering prominences, and rivers of hot gas. Then, explore the cameras, telescopes, and accessories used in solar astro photography. (previously)
posted by netbros on Jun 10, 2009 - 9 comments

But that's where the fun is

Atlantis. Hubble. And a big, yellow friend. Astrophotographer Thierry Legault managed to get amazing shots of Space Shuttle Atlantis approaching the Hubble Space Telescope during a transit of the sun. [more inside]
posted by dhartung on May 15, 2009 - 46 comments

Infrastructures / Networks / Environments

The globe’s networked ecologies of food, water, energy, and waste have established new infrastructures and forms of urbanism. While these ecologies exist at the service of our contemporary lifestyles, they have typically remained hidden from view and from the public conscience. Infranet Lab is studying the shifting / changing conditions. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Apr 20, 2009 - 2 comments

Solar Prayers

Once every month, Jews bless the moon. Once every 28 years, they bless the sun! This custom dates back to the Talmud, but is also found in other sacred Jewish texts, such as The New York Times. Sometimes, there are misunderstandings. [pdf] Previously reserved to a pious handful of observant Jews, it's on the mainstream media radar this time around, possibly because of its environmental implications. Here's an interesting depiction of the ritual in modern American history, which explicitly deals with its connection to solar power.
posted by ericbop on Apr 8, 2009 - 16 comments

Hydrogen. It's the fuel of the future, and it always will be.

Pics of the new Tesla S-Model have been leaked. With an anticipated price tag of 50K and a potential 45-minute recharge time, will this finally kick-start a true replacement to the internal combustion engine? And if so, where will the electricity come from? What future is there for the fuel-cell vehicle, or will fuel cells remain stationary? Is that really it for hydrogen? [more inside]
posted by molecicco on Mar 28, 2009 - 68 comments

Solar Towers are a magnificent alternative to solar cells.

A solar updraft tower generates electricity with nothing more than a greenhouse and a tall chimney. A 195 meter tall prototype in Spain cheaply operated at 50 kW for years. Now there are plans to build others, including a 40 MW tower, 750 meters tall (near twice as tall as the current tallest structure in the EU). Two others, a 200 MW tower in Australia (previously discussed) or a 400 MW tower in Namibia could become the tallest structure of any kind if built: 1km and 1.5km tall, respectively. Yet even those are dwarfed by the theoretical super chimney which could stand 5km tall and 1km wide. Such a tower would use the Earth's atmosphere itself as the greenhouse, could cause rain, reduce global warming and generate over 300,000 MW of "green" electricity. [more inside]
posted by brenton on Mar 24, 2009 - 63 comments

The Guide to Highly Efficient Things

Meta-efficiency is the analysis of efficiency at a more comprehensive level. Metaefficient Review assesses products considering not only their energy efficiency but also the embodied energy, toxicity, affordability, and usability. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Feb 28, 2009 - 4 comments

Offshore windfarms attract killer whales

Chris Goodall, author of Ten Technologies to Save the Planet, talks about the ten big green energy myths.
posted by Artw on Dec 1, 2008 - 42 comments

What is the solar potential of your roof

Have you ever thought about putting solar panels on your roof? Would you like to know how much power you can generate and what it would cost. RoofRay is a fun site that will calculate it for you and then let you know how much it would cost and how many years you'd need to recoup your investment. You enter an address into a version of Google Maps, and then draw where you want to put the array on your preferably southern facing roof.
posted by willnot on Aug 14, 2008 - 47 comments

All Night Long

MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for later use. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Aug 1, 2008 - 52 comments

What a Joker!

Back in 1978, Jack Nicholson was ahead of his time.
posted by gman on Jul 30, 2008 - 49 comments

Manhattanhenge

Manhattanhenge
posted by 445supermag on Jul 11, 2008 - 32 comments

If you squint your eyes it could pass for a private jet

Is solar-powered flight getting any nearer? As noted previously on Metafilter, solar powered aviation has travelled a long way since the heady days of the Gossamer Penguin. But could it actually one day power commerical flight? [more inside]
posted by MrMerlot on May 11, 2008 - 25 comments

Solar Pyrography

Traditional pyrographic, or “woodburning” tools use electricity to heat a stylus or wire. Solar pyrography uses sunlight focused through a magnifying glass to burn an image on wood. Artists who have mastered this technique include Bud Hnetka and Jonathan Beartusk. Videos demonstrating the process include the creation of an Art Blakey image, and the unusual “Durfsun”.
posted by Tube on Apr 27, 2008 - 16 comments

A Solar Grand Plan

A Solar Grand Plan: By 2050 solar power could end U.S. dependence on foreign oil and slash greenhouse gas emissions. [Via Gristmill.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Feb 17, 2008 - 88 comments

How Africa's desert sun can bring Europe power

How Africa's desert sun can bring Europe power. A £5bn solar power demonstration project called Desertec is being developed by Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC) that would send solar energy northward from African deserts. The goal is in 30 years to provide a significant fraction of Europe's electricity needs.
posted by stbalbach on Dec 13, 2007 - 35 comments

Cheap printable solar power

Popular Science has named Nanosolar the #1 innovative product of the year. Finally, cheap and ubiquitous solar power has arrived, “You’re talking about printing rolls of the stuff—printing it on the roofs of 18-wheeler trailers, printing it on garages, printing it wherever you want it,” The only problem is demand, so they're building the world’s largest solar-panel manufacturing facility in San Jose. See 96 other innovations in PopSci's Best of 2007.
posted by stbalbach on Nov 17, 2007 - 25 comments

Video of a Tour around STS-120/ISS

A tour around Discovery STS-120 and the International Space Station with Paolo Nespoli and Dr. Scott Parazynski. Tomorrow, Parazynski will be perched at the end of a robot arm and sensor boom assembly, stitching up a damaged solar array in what might be one of the riskiest EVAs since Skylab 2.
posted by brownpau on Nov 2, 2007 - 29 comments

solar chic

The Solar Decathlon is a just-completed competition in which 20 teams of college and university students competed to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house. View a photo gallery or take video tours of the homes. Inhabitat has been blogging the event - here's their view of Germany's winning entry. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 21, 2007 - 16 comments

Solar planes making progress

The Zephyr, a solar powered plane, has smashed the record for the longest duration un-manned flight, staying aloft with engines running for 54 hours. This was just a test run at the US military White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, according to the UK developers, "You ain't seen nothing yet". Meanwhile in Switzerland, development continues on the Solar Impulse, which has a goal of flying around the world, manned(!), by 2010.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 11, 2007 - 11 comments

Google's panels are online

Google went solar yesterday! Google's PV solar system went live yesterday (or at least the stats page did.) Also, they converted 100 Priuses to plug-in electric vehicles, to be recharged by the PV solar panels. Pictures.
posted by joeblough on Jun 19, 2007 - 25 comments

Forget hybrid cars. Spring for a hybrid house.

Enertia is producing "innovative new homes of remarkable strength, economy, and beauty, brought to life by an elegant new architecture and the discovery of a new source of pollution-free energy." The design took first prize in the Modern Marvels/Invent Now competition (previously). In an interview, the inventor, Michael Sykes, says "he was inspired by the way the earth’s own atmosphere keeps the planet at a relatively constant comfortable temperature despite the frigidity of space." He also notes that his wife calls herself a "homemaker," natch.
posted by pithy comment on May 17, 2007 - 17 comments

Solar tower in Spain

Solar Tower (text and video). "The rays of sunlight reflected by a field of 600 huge mirrors are so intense they illuminate the water vapour and dust hanging in the air."
posted by stbalbach on May 3, 2007 - 61 comments

Solar Ark

The Solar Ark - built to symbolize the goal of becoming a "clean energy society".
posted by Burhanistan on May 1, 2007 - 7 comments

Staring at the sun

Staring at the sun. YouTube video of solar flares, made from images captured by the SOHO satellite. Yes, there is more.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Apr 16, 2007 - 25 comments

Out, damned spots!

Sunspot activity is closely linked to climate. Although it observes an 11 and 22 year cycle, the overall trend of activity shows much longer term variations. The so-called Maunder Minimum (1645-1715) coincided with the Little Ice Age, while the Medieval Maximum coincided with the Medieval Warm Period. Analysis of beryllium isotopes from ice cores in Greenland shows that sunspot activity is currently at a 1000 year high. Could this account, at least in part, for global warming? Recent data from Mars suggests this may be so, while others remain sceptical. Bonus pix, more here.
posted by unSane on Apr 10, 2007 - 60 comments

His energy bill is $0

Mike Strizki lives in the nation's first solar-hydrogen house. "The technology this civil engineer has been able to string together – solar panels, a hydrogen fuel cell, storage tanks, and a piece of equipment called an electrolyzer – provides electricity to his home year-round, even on the cloudiest of winter days. Mr. Strizki's monthly utility bill is zero – he's off the power grid – and his system creates no carbon-dioxide emissions. Neither does the fuel-cell car parked in his garage, which runs off the hydrogen his system creates."
posted by mr_crash_davis on Mar 16, 2007 - 28 comments

"The sun descending in the west, The evening star does shine;"

Have you ever wondered what a solar eclipse would look like from space? The STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) has just sent back its view (awe-inspiring video included). It has also sent back some gorgeous pictures of our sun (and the McNaught Comet). For more media, check out the other galleries (including some 3D images). For more about the project, see NASA's STEREO homepage. Be sure to also stop by the Johns Hopkins University STEREO Page, where you can download a mission guide (pdf), view animations, watch a video of the launch, or even make your own papercraft STEREO model (pdf). You can also learn more in six minute segments with their series of short educational videos.
posted by wander on Mar 13, 2007 - 15 comments

The future is looking brighter

Hybrid solar lighting is here. Happier employees and spendier mall shoppers are on the horizon. HSL basics. Direct savings comes from reduced electrical demand during peak hours, reduced cooling costs of conventional lighting, and eliminating the heat and maintenance costs of skylights. Call for the price.
posted by Brian B. on Mar 9, 2007 - 34 comments

Archaeoastronomy in Peru

The Thirteen Towers of Chankillo in Peru may be the Western Hemisphere's oldest known full-service solar observatory, showing evidence of early, sophisticated Sun cults, according to archaeoastronomy professor Clive Ruggles. The 2,300-year-old complex featured 13 towers running north to south along a ridge and spread across 980 feet to form a toothed horizon that spans the solar arc. Last year, another ancient observatory was discovered in Peru by Robert Benfer. The Temple of the Fox is 4,200 years old, making it 1,900 years older than the Chankillo site, but wasn't a complete calendar.
posted by homunculus on Mar 3, 2007 - 8 comments

Solar technology roadmap

Cheap solar power poised to undercut oil and gas. The "tipping point" will arrive when the capital cost of solar power falls below $1 per watt, roughly the cost of carbon power.
posted by stbalbach on Feb 19, 2007 - 88 comments

Solar power rental

CitizenRe is a solar power rental company for the home. Free to install (!), a monthly rental fee is equal to what would normally be paid to the power company. Video.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 11, 2007 - 67 comments

Stanford Ovshinsky

The Edison of our age? Stanford Ovshinsky may not be a household name, but his inventions have the power to change the world.
posted by kliuless on Jan 1, 2007 - 35 comments

The Solar System:Podcasts

Astronomy 161 - an introduction to Solar System Astronomy. These are a set of lectures in progress now at Ohio State University. All materials are available on line - audio resources (direct or podcast through iTunes), movies and lecture notes. If you are interested in where you live, these beautifully delivered lectures are excellent.
posted by grahamwell on Nov 25, 2006 - 7 comments

"In the long run, we'd like to power the world:" Nanotech and solar energy

Nanocrystal technology shows promise for cheaper, more efficient solar energy generation [more inside]
posted by expialidocious on Mar 13, 2006 - 21 comments

Is it time to look at Renewable Energy sources again?

Aurore, a renewable energy (RE) service provider in South India has been designing and developing RE products like solar lanterns and street lights, arranging for microfinance to support installation in remote villages and winning prestigious awards for their work. Cleaner, safer and cheaper than fossil fuels, their business philosophy is grounded in a greater vision than mere profit.
posted by infini on Jan 24, 2006 - 15 comments

Solar power rocks!

The Solar Decathlon 2005 winners announced. The Solar Decathlon brings together 18 teams of college and university students from around the globe to participate in an unparalleled solar competition to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered home.
posted by mathowie on Oct 17, 2005 - 9 comments

avast ye maties! set sail for the milky way, yarr!

Cosmos 1 is officially lost! However, fellow solar sailors, it's not too late to buy a t-shirt. I, however, can't help but focus my attention on this educational BBC News article; I believe I'm having some sort of pavlovian response to that last diagram, but thankfully it seems I'm not the first solar sailing pervert out there.
posted by analogue on Jun 29, 2005 - 15 comments

solar deathray

solar deathray
posted by philcliff on Mar 23, 2005 - 19 comments

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