Tagged With solar power

0

There's an abundance of amazing home smart tech hitting the market. From Samsung's Family Hub 2.0 fridge to the Amazon Alexa and Google Home (hopefully) finally hitting our shores. But there's more to the smart home than gadgets.

Let's take a look at how home automation and new tech like Tesla battery storage, smart thermostats, grid credits and smart meters are revolutionising our power consumption. Which also has a positive impact on both the environment and our bank accounts.

16

A new type of electrode developed by researchers at RMIT University has the potential to not only boost the capacity of existing energy storage technologies by 3000 per cent, but it opens the door to the development of flexible, thin film, all-in-one solar capture and storage. We're talking the means to self-powering smart phones, laptops, cars and buildings.

And it has all been inspired by a plant.

3

The island of Ta'u in American Samoa is home to around 600 people. Located in the southern Pacific Ocean, the island relied until recently on diesel generators for energy production — which meant that not only did the generators produce pollution as a byproduct, but the diesel itself had to be shipped in at a rate of around 300 gallons per day. SolarCity, a company just acquired by Tesla, took a year to set up the island with a bank of solar panels and Tesla Powerpack industrial-grade battery energy storage that means Ta'u now runs almost entirely off the sun.

7

Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have set a world record for efficiency for a solar thermal dish generating steam that could be used for power stations.

The team designed and built a new receiver for the solar concentrator dish at ANU, halving losses and achieving a 97 per cent conversion of sunlight into steam. The breakthrough could lead to the generation of cheaper base-load electricity from renewable energy and help lower carbon emissions which cause global warming.

1

The atomic fallout in Chernobyl, Ukraine was one of the worst nuclear disasters in history and put around 2600 square kilometres of land out of commission. It's been good for bad horror films and for the wildlife that has blossomed there following the disaster, but after decades of people unable to return to their homes and the property surrounding the reactor abandoned, it was only a matter of time before somebody wanted to attempt to reuse it.

11

A new variant of the Toyota Prius has been launched in Japan, with the plug-in hybrid having its internal rechargeable battery also boosted externally by a set of solar cells on the sedan's roof. It's an option for both Japanese and US buyers, but we won't get it in Australia in the foreseeable future.