Archive for solar energy

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Refueling in Space Means Staying There

Our future lies in space, not pinned down on the surface of a planet at the bottom of a gravity well. Once we have managed to climb out of that dark hole, we will have little reason to go back down into it. Most of the fuel required for space travel is burned up in […]

Asteropolis Cities in Space

An Asteropolis city is a giant rotating wheel parked in an orbit somewhere in the asteroid belt and providing a safe habitat for several million people. In space, clusters of these giant cities will form the beginning of the future of humanity, like stepping stones toward distant stars. And new concepts of freedom and commerce […]

Solar Impulse Aircraft

Maiden flight for Bertrand Piccard’s Solar Impulse aircraft – [ted.com] Solar Impulse, the solar airplane that Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard described in his captivating talk at TEDGlobal 2009, took off successfully this morning from Payerne airfield, in Western Switzerland, on its maiden flight. The aircraft (which has a wingspan of 63.40 meters but a weight […]

Solar Pyrite Nanocrystals

Thin film and nanocrystal solar cells are pushing the edge of photovoltaics, but are often constructed using a silicon base doped with various forms of cadmium, tellurium, indium and other elements that push costs up. A substance that is abundant, cheap and has the right optical properties could produce an inexpensive solar cell. Iron sulfide […]

Astrochicken

Freeman Dyson has proposed a Von Neumann probe (self replicating) that is a hybrid of mechanical and biological components (cyborg) designed to find propulsion fuel, maintain itself, reconfigure itself as needed and eventually produce copies of itself in it’s mission to explore outer space. It would only weigh one kilogram and use solar energy from […]

Ultra Light Absorber

Researchers at the Huygens Laboratory in Leiden University in the Netherlands have demonstrated that at a very thin level of thickness, NbN (niobiumnitride) can absorb nearly 100% of light. The ideal substance for photovoltaic solar energy conversion is something that absorbs almost all radiation and is thin enough to collect electrical energy efficiently. Most recent […]

Space Transport

In space, the dividing line between what is considered to be a habitat and what is considered to be a vehicle will become hazy. Large habitat-like structures can be put into orbits that offer transport from one place to another and from one orbit to another. A habitat placed in an orbit that goes from […]