green power

MOSS FM · Biological Solar Panels

World’s First Plant-Powered Radio

Moss FM is the world’s first plant-powered radio! The neatly arranged pots of moss form a Photo Microbial Fuel Cell that captures electrons generated during photosynthesis and converts them into electricity, even when there is no light. 

The project was developed by Swiss designer Fabienne Felderin collaboration with Cambridge University scientists Dr. Paolo Bombelli and Ross Dennis. While the technology is still in its infancy, the team hopes that it will become commercially viable in as little as five to ten years.

S: Inhabitat

Billie Joe Armstrong posted this on instagram and a lot of the comments are white men saying that they’ve lost their respect for him and his music because of this post. The confederate flag is not “southern heritage” as redneck asswipes would have you believe, but a symbol of racism. This is the flag of the side of the civil war that wanted to keep slavery legal. There is no reason to hold on to it and keep it as “part of your culture” if that part of your culture is oppressive and racist. The German people do not fly flags with swastikas because it’s part of their culture. German people are not proud of that part of their history. And it’s more that just getting rid of the confederate flag, it’s about ending centuries of institutionalized racism. So you know what, you go, Billie Joe Armstrong.

IBM solar collector magnifies sun by 2,000x (without cooking itself), costs 3x less than similar systems

Cleverly combining solar PV with solar thermal to reach 80% conversion efficiency

Concentrating the sun’s ray onto solar photovoltaic (PV) modules requires walking the fine line between optimizing power output and not literally melting your very expensive super-high-efficiency solar cells. A team led by IBM Research seems to have found a way to push back the line. They have created a High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that is capable of concentrating the power of 2,000 suns onto hundreds of triple junction photovoltaic chips measuring a single square centimeter each (they even claim to be able to keep temperatures safe up to 5,000x). The trick is that each solar PV cell is cooled using technology developed for supercomputers; microchannels inspired by blood vessels but only a few tens of micrometers in width pipe liquid coolant in and extract heat “10 times more effective than with passive air cooling.”

Waste not

The beauty is that this heat is not just thrown away. This system gets useful work out of it. So while the PV modules are 30%+ efficient at converting the sun’s light into electricity, another 50% of the sun’s energy is captured as heat and can then be used to do things like thermal water desalination and adsorption cooling. This means that the system is capable of converting around 80% of the collected solar energy into useable energy (though the electricity is of course more useful than the thermal energy).

A single collector can produce about 25 kilowatts of electricity. Below is a closeup of some PV cells where the light is being concentrated. Notice the piping to bring the liquid coolant.

“The design of the system is elegantly simple,” said Andrea Pedretti , chief technology officer at Airlight Energy. “We replace expensive steel and glass with low cost concrete and simple pressurized metalized foils. The small high-tech components, in particular the microchannel coolers and the molds, can be manufactured in Switzerland with the remaining construction and assembly done in the region of the installation. This leads to a win-win situation where the system is cost competitive and jobs are created in both regions.”

John was kind enough to sign my painting at Leakycon- thanks John! It’s so awesome to share my art with you in real life. Anyway I hope you’re feeling better soon and that your extreme case of tiny chicken disease isn’t getting you too down

Note: I put another version of this on tumblr ages ago but in case you didn’t see that, this is a nerdfighter/harry potter fanart based on the UK book cover of harry potter and the philosopher’s stone