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  • tallbridge 12:16 am on February 11, 2010 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , solar, , tobacco,   

    Genetically Engineered Tobacco-based…solar cell spray? 

    As the world continues its quest to use less fossil fuels, the latest possible solution comes from the most unlikely of sources: the tobacco plant. This latest news comes from the University of California, Berkeley. It will be nice to see tobacco used for something other than lung cancer. This new discovery is based on the possibility of literally programming the cells of the plants to get solar cells from tobacco plants. The science behind it is actually pretty simple (at least in explanation form) and pretty amazing. By using a genetically engineered virus, scientists were able to literally transform the cells of the plants to create synthetic solar cells.

    Instead of creating some new form of tobacco plant, they are actually applying their chemistry to full grown tobacco plants. Their custom-made virus is sprayed on the plants and then it is time to sit back and let it work its magic. The virus infects a cell which then enables the virus to spread just as any other virus would. As the infected cells form, they are creating artificial chromophores that make high powered electrons out of light.

    Of course, the plants themselves are not used for direct solar energy as they still have to be harvested. Once harvested, the structures are extracted and put into a liquid solution to dissolve. This solution is then applied to plastics or glass and poof, solar cells from tobacco plants is a reality. While the whole process may seem a little off the wall, if this process can be refined and work in mass form, it totally changes solar energy as we know it.

    Via ALternative Energy:

    While this technology is exciting, the effect that it could have on an economy that seems to continue to go backwards is even more incredible. One of the hardest hit industries during the last decade has been the farming industry. Farmers have been struggling with their crops and tight times have not made things easier. An influx into the tobacco industry to create solar cells from tobacco plants could be a nice boost in the arm as farmers who are waiting for the bank to come and take their land will now have a viable way out.

    These cells would not be expected to last as long as “typical” solar cells, but they would probably be much less expensive. That being the case, solar cells from tobacco leaves could provide both an organic way to produce solar cells and the economic boost that the farming industry needs.

    • tallbridge 12:19 am on February 11, 2010 Permalink

      holy shit….fractal energy antennae….what’s in the body btw? can we make clothes our of these?

    • deadindenver 3:42 am on February 11, 2010 Permalink

      excuse me!!!! no emotoicon captures this 😀

    • homad 10:11 am on February 11, 2010 Permalink

      Been lookin into these for a year or so for orgonite purposes

  • tallbridge 10:03 am on August 7, 2009 Permalink |
    Tags: , development, , , , , , solar,   


    Via Google.org Blog:

    The vast potential of energy efficiency

    Thursday 8/06/2009 09:10:00 AM

    (Cross-posted from the Public Policy Blog)

    It’s no surprise that the cheapest and most available solution to the climate problem is simply to use energy more efficiently. But a recent study issued by McKinsey & Co. details just how compelling an opportunity we are missing. McKinsey predicts that an annual investment of roughly $50 billion over the next 10 years would cut energy demand by 23% and yield savings to the U.S. economy worth $1.2 trillion! The energy savings would be equal to taking the entire U.S. passenger fleet of cars and trucks off the road.

    Such efficiency gains are possible only if we overcome some major hurdles. For instance, most people have no idea how much energy we use in our homes on a daily basis or which of our appliances or devices are consuming the most energy. That’s one of the reasons that we created Google PowerMeter, a software gadget that shows users detailed information on their home electricity consumption. Studies show that when people have access to this kind information they reduce their energy use by up to 15%. Greater savings are possible if people use the information to buy a more efficient refrigerator or air conditioner, insulate their home, or take advantage of off-peak electricity rates.

    The McKinsey report acknowledges that energy efficiency alone won’t solve our energy and climate challenges. We must continue to put major resources into low-carbon sources of energy like renewable energy, and the federal economic stimulus, with its tens of billions of targeted dollars and incentives, is a good start. But the McKinsey findings are a wake up call. As we enact more comprehensive energy policies, energy efficiency — and giving people the information, tools and incentives to take advantage of it — should be front and center.

    Posted by Michael Terrell, Program Manager, Google.org

    Turning on the Solar Power Tower

    Thursday 8/06/2009 01:23:00 PM

    In 2007 Google.org launched our Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal initiative and announced a $10 million investment in the early-stage clean power company eSolar, Inc. Yesterday in Southern California, eSolar flipped the switch on what is to be the first solar power tower facility in the U.S. that will enter full commercial operation.

    Success here could signal the emergence of a clean energy technology by which we might — for the first time — economically harness the sun to produce large quantities of electricity. And we would be harnessing a massive and, for all practical purposes, inexhaustible energy supply.

    In many respects eSolar has turned conventional thinking about solar power tower technology on its head in order to drastically reduce the capital and operating cost of solar thermal power plants. Instead of employing a small number of large and expensive specialty mirrors eSolar takes the opposite approach – incorporating thousands of small mirrors that can be made cheaply in massive quantities. And instead of having to reinforce large mirrors to stand up to high winds, eSolar’s small mirrors have a low profile, reducing material costs including steel and concrete for the mounting structures.

    Of course this massive number of mirrors requires more sophisticated software so they accurately track the sun leading to high heat output and system efficiency. At Google we’re particularly intrigued with this aspect of the eSolar product — that is, how the performance of energy technology can be enhanced by information technology. Call it ET meets IT.

    The eSolar team has taken a giant step toward cracking the code on solar power tower technology. I’m hopeful that just a few years from now we will see this facility – and many more like it – focusing the sun’s energy to produce a brighter future for our children and the planet they will inherit.

    Posted by Dan Reicher, Director of Climate Change & Energy Initaitives

    • oneshowatatime 5:36 pm on August 7, 2009 Permalink

      Nice video tour…


    • homad 8:23 pm on August 7, 2009 Permalink

      I work for Factory To You Windows (FTYwindows.com).. The windows we use are 97% efficient and approved for the tax credit (an immediate $1,500 off) 🙂 now if only more people would get us to install them hehe. I love it: Get to walk around and get exercise in the sun, get to interact with lots of people, cats, lizards, butterflies, birds, and dogs, and I get to disperse orgonite in parts of Texas I don’t normally travel to.

    • perpetuallyphil 9:13 pm on August 7, 2009 Permalink


  • perpetuallyphil 5:48 am on June 30, 2009 Permalink |
    Tags: NGO, solar, sun catchers   

    cook it 

    this is the project of the wonderful lady that i am staying with in arcata:


    • deadindenver 6:52 am on July 2, 2009 Permalink

      so we can actually cook solar cheese za at BM this year, is that what you are telling me?

    • perpetuallyphil 7:51 pm on July 2, 2009 Permalink

      BM, africa, open sea, back yard

      now we just need a moon powered oven

  • tallbridge 9:06 pm on June 7, 2009 Permalink |
    Tags: , , solar,   

    Alternative Energy News (become a fan on… 

    Alternative Energy News (become a fan on Facebook, its dope): Solar-Panel Wi-Fi Bus Stop

  • perpetuallyphil 3:05 pm on March 12, 2009 Permalink |
    Tags: Englert Environmental, , , , solar, ,   


    combine this with the new obama tax credits for solar power and you have money coming back to you in just a few years (or less).

    ¨Englert Environmental has unveiled an integrated metal roofing system that can deliver much of the energy, heating and water needs of the average American home without tapping into local utility resources.
    The new rooftop system provides electric power, hot water heat and water for outdoor and indoor uses all in a single package.
    Englert’s UltraCOOL Energy Star and LEED compliant standing seam metal roof system is a pivotal component in providing electric power and thermal heat as well as rainwater for lawns and landscaping, vehicle cleaning and laundry and toilet flushing.
    Resource-saving technologies included with a single Englert standing seam metal roof include:

    + Englert’s SunNet solar standing seam roof with Building Integrated Photovoltaics using quarter-inch thick laminates that are virtually invisible and provide all the electric energy the average home requires year round.

    + A solar thermal system mounted under the Englert Solar standing seam roof which draws heat from the roof and transfers it to the home’s hot water system. The roof and thermal technology are self-regulating, preventing overheating and can even be used to heat roofs to rid them of snow and ice.

    + Three rainwater harvesting solutions that integrate Englert’s Kynar-coated standing seam roof, Englert LeafGuard and Gutter Tunnel leaf protection systems and three compact residential rainwater harvesting kits that capture 225, 400 and 1,700 gallons of water for non-potable uses including landscape irrigation, vehicle cleaning and non-potable household uses such as toilet flushing and laundering.
    The Englert Kynar-coated roof does not leach and Englert’s line of leaf protection systems including LeafGuard and Gutter Tunnel eliminate much of the debris that channels into conventional gutter systems before it reaches the filtering systems and containment tanks included in surface and underground rainwater harvesting systems.
    A single Englert Environmental-sponsored project utilizing all of its metal roofing, rainware and solar photovoltaic and thermal technologies can earn more than 15 U.S. Green Building Council LEED credits.
    Englert Environmental projects also qualify for federal renewable energy investment tax credits, state-specific financial incentives including rebates, incentives, grants and state credits, accelerated depreciation tax benefits, Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) and net income from electric power purchase agreements.
    All of the roof-related technologies can be incorporated during new construction or as retrofits to existing homes and are perfect for light commercial applications as well.¨


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