New flexible solar cells are thinner than spider silk.
Austrian scientists have developed flexible, stretchable solar cells on thin plastic foil substrates, able to generate a record 10 watts per gram. The cells have a 4.2% power conversion efficiency, which puts it ahead of this flexible solar system I covered earlier this week. Typical solar panels have around 12-17% efficiency.
The above image shows the cells being wrapped around a human hair only 70 microns wide. The cells are based on a commercially available substrate of PET film, with the total device measuring 1.9 microns thick - around a quarter of the thickness of traditional solar cells.
Creative little Aussies
Printable solar cells could turn anything into an energy source.
A team at MIT has developed a process to ‘print’ solar cells onto almost any surface. Using chemical vapour deposition, the process uses “abundant organic molecules” to convert about 2 percent of the available energy into light. Typical solar panels are around 12-17% efficient, but the team thinks 10% efficiency is achievable.
The cost of installing panels keeps many people from adopting solar power, Barr says. By integrating it into ordinary materials, he thinks he can clear that hurdle. “You’re already hanging a curtain in your house,” he says. “Why not add some energy to that?”
Fortunately, a technology on the verge of going mainstream will soon give us a chance to re-examine the role that copyright plays in our lives. By connecting the physical and the digital, 3-D printers remind us that copyright is not a general-purpose legal right that allows people to demand control over whatever they want. Instead, copyright has a narrow scope. And most of the things that make up our world simply do not fall into it.
This article is important in two respects. It puts the finger on the really strange development that copyright and other IPR regulations have become to be seen as a general principle covering everything around us - a completely new and unintended way of organizing the world which moves a huge amount of power from the individuals to organizations with the deepest pockets and/or the best layers. But it also points out that this positions is going to be dramatically challenged when 3D-printing enters the arena as a generally available technology.
Canton School, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, 1963-66
(Walter M. Förderer, Hans Zwimpfer)
This is the shit
Now I can drink coffee care free
After 12 years of battling to stop Monsanto's genetically-engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation's organic farmland, the biggest retailers of "natural" and "organic" foods in the U.S., including Whole Foods Market (WFM), Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm, have agreed to stop opposing mass commercialization of GE crops
Why, I thought these guys are the good guys!