A low-cost light revolution

Have you heard of the award-winning WakaWaka Light?

WakaWaka is a sturdy, highly efficient, sustainable, self-powered LED lamp that is affordable for those living on $2 per day or less.  It is a Netherlands-based invention which contains a microchip that, when placed inside a photovoltaic panel, "lures every sunray" into producing electricity.  This chip ensures that no other solar lamp in the world can match the efficiency of WakaWaka.

In low light conditions, the efficiency can be up to 200% of that of an ‘ordinary solar lamp’. In practice it means, that no matter where you are in the world, WakaWaka will work. Independent researchers show that the solar version of the WakaWaka is twice as efficient as any other solar lamp on the market. For more information see the website.

This is a wonderful example of No More Business As Usual.

The WakaWaka's business vision is ' to brighten up the lives of underpriviledged people in developing countries'. The company has a cross-subsidy model that enables the business to meet the affordability objectives. In essence, rich folk agree to pay more so that poorer consumers can pay less. Sold online, the WakaWaka lamps retail at around €29.50 in Europe and $39 in the United States. In developing world countries, the price is closer to $10. 

New possibility for reducing greenhouse gas in the environment

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have designed enzyme-functionalized micromotors the size of red blood cells that would be powered by the environment itself,

The micromotors can rapidly zoom around in water,  using enzymes to move around the sea, converting carbon dioxide into a usable solid form as they swim. The micromotors rapidly decarbonated water solutions that were saturated with carbon dioxide. Within five minutes, the micromotors removed 90 percent of the carbon dioxide from a solution of deionized water.

(credit: Laboratory for Nanobioelectronics, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering)..... In the future, we could potentially use these micromotors as part of a water treatment system, like a water decarbonation plant.

(credit: Laboratory for Nanobioelectronics, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering)..... In the future, we could potentially use these micromotors as part of a water treatment system, like a water decarbonation plant.

Spray On Solar Cells On Flexible Surfaces

A revolutionary innovation in solar technology was recently announced by researchers at the University of Toronto, that could lead to reducing the manufacturing costs of solar power.

Illan Kramer and a team of researchers at the university are working on portable solar generators that can be transported in a spray can and then sprayed anywhere where power is needed. "My dream is that one day you’ll have two technicians with Ghostbusters backpacks come to your house and spray your roof,” says Kramer. The team has invented a new small light-sensitive material called colloidal quantum dots (CQDs). Until now, CQDs could only be put on surfaces through a chemical coating batch process which is a slow, expensive assembly-line approach. They needed a new delivery system for the CQDs.

See a video demonstration of the SprayLD system below.

Kramer's research has been published across a series of journal articles, initially in Applied Physics Letters, then in Advanced Materials and most recently in ACS Nano.

According to Dr. Kramer, being able to spray on solar cells onto flexible surface means you can put an energy source on just about any object or shape. Imagine what it would be like if you could coat your outdoor furniture, bicycle helmets, your mobile phone or the wing of an airplane with solar cells. 

Source: http://news.engineering.utoronto.ca/new-te...

New Solar harvesting surfaces that revolutionise solar power as we know it

Researchers Develop Transparent Solar Concentrator 'Near-Infrared Harvesting Transparent Luminescent Solar Concentrators' - This technology could mean that one day entire skyscrapers might be able to generate solar power without blocking out light or ruining tenants' views. Continue Reading

Because solar panels are designed to accumulate as much light from the sun as possible, they're typically very dark in color. It makes them more efficient, but also kind of an eyesore, minimizing their adoption. So researchers at the University of Michigan have developed what they believe to be the world's first semi-transparent, colored solar panels. Read more