Good News 1.04

Here is my latest edition of good news from around the world. May it brighten your day!

environmental news. sustainability

Natcore has created the most efficient “black” solar cells yet. “Black” is the industry term for non-reflective solar cells. The NRLE’s goal was 3% reflection. Natcore achieved 99.7 absorbtion or .3% reflection, which is 10 times less reflective than current solar cells.

“The marmots and me”- a touching story of an 8 year old boy who has befriended a colony of marmots, which is quite remarkable given how shy they usually are around humans. Read Matteo’s touching story.

Stanford scientists have created the first peel and stick solar cells allowing for numerous advantages. These breakthrough cells are flexible, cheaper, lighter weight and have more applications. Remarkably, the wafers can be reused, creating no waste, and use current cell technology.

Wow! Solar Junction and NREL have created  a record breaking 44% efficiency for converting sunlight into electricity in their new S13 solar cells. Of course, those are optimal test conditions, but still, wow! Not long ago 6-10% efficiency was standard and 15-20% really good. The technology uses layers of semiconductors, each layer optimized for different wavelengths of light. The wavelengths are recombined through concentrating lenses.

How about harnessing energy from man made tornados?  That’s the crazy dream of engineer Louis Michaud and being funded by PayPal billionaire Peter Theil. Michaud’s design features warm air blown into a cylinder vortex to create a temperature difference. The man made twister is projected to be able to create 200 MW of electrical energy (about that of a coal plant) at modest cost, with no emissions.

Are you ready to make waves? Australia may soon be home to the world’s largest wave energy converter. The Oceanlinx converter has Federal approval and is waiting on State approval to begin construction this year for a 1 MW wave converter off the southern coast of Australian.

Electric cars are getting better and better. The range, quality and prices are improving. Tesla is leading the charge! with their plans to install charging stations along key routes like the DC to Boston corridor on the east coast. The chargers can add 150 miles to your range in a quick 30″ charge. The best part is the charge is free thanks to Tesla.

Please share the good news! – yours, mine or wherever you find it.

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