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stbalbach (4)

Streamers in the solar flux

They saw "birds entering the solar flux and igniting, consequently become a streamer," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair. BrightSource concentrated solar plant is a "mega-trap" for wildlife, with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that fly to their death in the intensely focused light rays. Estimates range as high as one streamer every two minutes at a single plant, though this is disputed. A Federal report (PDF) is "occasionally gruesome".
posted by stbalbach on Aug 18, 2014 - 67 comments

Solar cone power art

Solar art. V3Solar has a spinning blue crystal prototype that has many advantages over flat-panels. Some details on costs. Via GizMag.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 30, 2012 - 32 comments

Artificial Leaf

"A practical [inexpensive] artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades. We believe we [Sun Catalytix] have done it." Video: Professor Daniel Nocera at MIT
posted by stbalbach on Mar 29, 2011 - 74 comments

World's largest solar power plant

The world's largest solar power plant will probably be cleared for construction in California. At 1GW it is the size of a nuclear power plant and nearly doubles the US installed base of commercial-scale solar power. It will take 6-years, $6-billion and 7,000-acres. Proposed site (on Google maps). It will use parabolic trough's (video). It is being built by a German company (construction video / operation animation). There are many other CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) projects.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 27, 2010 - 71 comments

And it's day-glow orange. Srsly.

All of the light, 40 times the power. Improve the performance of run-of-the-mill solar cells by standing orange pieces of glass on them. MIT's Mark Baldo describes the technology. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee on Jul 14, 2008 - 41 comments

Look around you...

DREAM WORLD Given that green tea provides a more effective and environmentally-friendly method of preparing computer hard disks, pulsars are used to study gravitational waves with great precision, solar cells made from nanocrystals are found to be much more efficient, and scientists have discovered evidence for the earliest known wildfire in Earth's history, 443 to 417 million years ago, it would be hard to make the case that what we are living in is not, in fact, a Dreamworld.
posted by mcgraw on Apr 27, 2004 - 29 comments

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