Articles With "green tech" Tag

Researchers Develop Self-Healing Solar Cells

self-healing solar cell

A group of researchers at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) have recently successfully developed solar cells that are able to heal themselves. More specifically, the scientists have successfully been able to solve the problem of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC), namely that the dyes used to create energy in these cells would eventually be destroyed by UV radiation.

DSSC cells contain a water-based gel core, electrodes, and inexpensive, light-sensitive, organic dye molecules that capture light and generate electric current. The original cells were created by mimicking the photosynthesis process that occurs in the leaves of plants. In trying to solve the problem of the dyes eventually becoming ineffective due to exposure to UV rays, the NCSU scientists again looked to plants for inspiration. The solar cells they developed contain a network of vascular channels that are very similar to the veins in a leaf, which are used to maintain water and nutrient levels throughout the leaf. The researches found that the needed dyes could be effectively delivered and replenished via this network. The dye that had been rendered ineffective by UV radiation can also be removed through this network.

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A New Water Heater Cuts Energy Use by Nearly Half

heater

The firm ISI Technology of South Carolina will soon begin producing a smart water heater, which is designed to cut energy use by 40% over conventional water heaters. They have recently successfully met their funding goal of $125,000 through Kickstarter to begin the production. The Heatworks MODEL 1 compact water heater will measure 12.5 inches by 6.5 inches, meaning that it will fit in most spaces. The water heater will also have Wi-Fi connectivity, so that temperature, power levels and duration can all be monitored and controlled remotely.

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fluxHome Combines Passive and Active Principles for Net Zero Energy Use

fluxHome-Foundations

One of four teams that are representing California in the 2013 Solar Decathlon, Team USC (from the University of Southern California) will be submitting its fluxHome, a net zero prototype, as an entry in the competition to be held in October 2013 in Irvine, California.

fluxHome reimagines the suburban tract home in an energy efficient and affordable combination of smart home technologies with readily available and customizable components that can serve as a single family residence for up to four people or be adapted to other lifestyle scenarios.

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Modular Chameleon House Adapts to the Environment for Sustainable Efficiency

Chameleon-House

The Missouri University of Science and Technology entry in the U.S. Solar Decathlon 2013 competition, which takes place in Irvine, California on October 3-13, 2013, is Chameleon House, so named for its ability to adapt to the environment and transform according to the needs of its residents.

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Ecohabit Smart Home Vies for 2013 Solar Decathlon Recognition

Ecohabit-Smart-Home

An entry in the Solar Decathlon 2013 competition, Ecohabit is a project of a cross-disciplinary group of sixty Stevens Institute of Technology students with expertise it the areas of engineering, design, computer science, and the technological aspects of business, visual arts, and music.

The Stevens Team, only one of twenty that were selected to compete in this year’s Solar Decathlon, states that its mission is to create an innovative home that utilizes green technology to revolutionize renewable energy and sustainable living strategies and practices.

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San Francisco Exploratorium Shoots for LEED Gold and the World’s Largest Net-Zero Museum

Exploratorium-Shoots-LEED-Gold

The historic Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, California, has been working on its $300 million project to relocate from the Palace of Fine Arts to Piers 15 and 17 at the heart of the Bay Area’s waterfront Embarcadero. It is the first major development to be undertaken on the waterfront since the San Francisco Giants’ ballpark was built over a decade ago.

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