glennrileymeyers.com Celebrating sustainable actions, innovation, vision

June 5, 2014

Just Found: the Oldest Solar Device in the World

Just Found! The Oldest Solar Device in the World (via Green Building Elements)

Special thanks to author John Perlin for this contribution about what is believed to be the world’s oldest solar device – a solar ignitor, or yang-sui . The material comes from Perlin’s recently published book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story…

(more…)

May 22, 2014

The Role of Architectural History in the Development of Solar Passive Architect David Wright

The Role of Architectural History in the Development of Solar Passive Architect David Wright (via Green Building Elements)

The evolution of pioneer solar passive architect David Wright’s career demonstrates the importance of exposure to the solar works of the ancients, as provided in this guest column by John Perlin based on his new book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story…

(more…)

May 13, 2014

On plastic bags

Filed under: Sustainability — Glenn @ 10:13 pm
The Downfall of Plastic Shopping Bags: A Global Picture (via sustainablog)

By Janet Larsen and Savina Venkova Worldwide, a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, nearly 2 million each minute. Usage varies widely among countries, from over 400 a year for many East Europeans, to just four a year for people in Denmark…

(more…)

April 16, 2014

Preventing Deforestation Manages Resources & Controls Climate Change

Preventing Deforestation Manages Resources and Combats Climate Change (via Green Building Elements)

Much of what we write about for green building concerns wood and forests, an incredibly valuable renewable resource for this planet; deforestation, similar to what is occurring on the Congo Basin, must be checked and stopped. Citizens, companies and…

(more…)

New Prefab Book of Note: Prefabulous World

New Prefab Book of Note: Prefabulous World (via Green Building Elements)

As we have been writing a series about green prefab homes, the timing could be no better for the release of “Prefabulous World – Energy Efficient and Sustainable Homes Around the Globe,” a new book by Sheri Koones. As we have been writing a series…

(more…)

April 9, 2014

Smart Books for Builders: “Making Better Buildings”

Smart Books for Builders: “Making Better Buildings” (via Green Building Elements)

“Making Better Buildings” by Chris Magwood is a smart and user-friendly book for green builders Ask a builder, architect, or contractor to look at the Table of Contents this guide to sustainable construction and they will feel confident in having…

(more…)

October 9, 2013

Agents of Change – Newmont Ghana

Filed under: International — Glenn @ 9:48 pm

September 9, 2013

First Uses of New Solar Energy Technology: Killing Germs on Medical and Dental Instruments

From Green Building Elements By: pressroom

A revolutionary new solar energy technology that turns water into steam without boiling the entire container of water has become the basis for new devices to sanitize medical and dental instruments and human waste in developing countries, scientists said here today.

Rice logo

 

Prototypes of the devices, which need no electricity or fuel, were the topic of one of the keynote addresses at the opening of the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. The meeting, which features almost 7,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics, continues through Thursday in the Indiana Convention Center and downtown hotels.

Naomi Halas, D.Sc., pointed out that almost 2 billion people live in areas of the world without a regular supply of electricity. That electricity is key to using machines called autoclaves, which produce scorching-hot steam to sterilize medical and dental instruments. Without that basic machine, doctors must rely on chemicals, which can be costly and difficult to transport, to prevent the spread of germs and disease from medical and dental instruments.

“We have developed a solution, our solar steam technology,” Halas said. She is with Rice University. “It is completely off-grid, uses sunlight as the energy source, is not that large, kills disease-causing microbes effectively and relatively quickly and is easy to operate. This is an incredibly promising technology.”

Halas and colleagues have prototypes of two solar steam machines. One is the autoclave for sterilizing medical and dental instruments. The second is an autoclave for disinfecting human and animal wastes, which are another major source of disease transmission in developing countries and other resource-limited areas. The technology could be expanded to provide steam for direct use in purifying dirty or salty water for drinking and cooking — with the solar-generated steam simply allowed to condense into pure distilled water. Possibilities also exist for adapting the technology to produce steam to spin small electric turbines to generate electricity.

Their tests showed that the prototype autoclaves produced steam at temperatures ranging from 239 to 270 degrees Fahrenheit. Steam production adequate for sterilization began within about 5 minutes. It continued for periods of time long enough to sterilize liquid and solid materials placed inside the device, consistent with U.S. Food and Drug Administration sterilization guidelines. The heat and pressure produced by the steam was great enough to kill the most heat-resistant living microbes, and also viruses and the tough spores that microbes form to survive hostile environmental conditions.

The autoclaves are the first practical applications of a new solar energy technology described earlier in 2012 in ACS Nano, one of the ACS’ more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific journals. Metallic nanoparticles — bits of material so small that hundreds would fit inside the period at the end of this sentence — go into a container of water. Sunlight focused into the water quickly heats the nanoparticles, which scientists are terming “nanoheaters.” A layer of steam forms on the nanoheaters and buoys them up to the water’s surface. They release the steam and sink back down into the water to repeat the process.

“Nanoheaters generate steam at a remarkably high efficiency,” Halas said. “More than 80 percent of the energy they absorb from sunlight goes into production of steam. In the conventional production of steam, you would have to heat the entire container of water until it boils, with the bubbles rising to the top to release steam. With nanoheaters, less than 20 percent of the energy heats the neighboring liquid.”

The prototype autoclaves consist of a dish-like mirror that focuses sunlight into a container of water with the nanoheaters.

A video on the solar heater technology is available here.

Halas recently formed a company that is working on moving the devices from the prototype stage to commercial products. She and her collaborators are seeking ways to make them more rugged and at a more reasonable cost. They are also exploring even more applications for the technology.

Source: AAAS EurekAlert

Repost.Us - Republish This Article

 

September 18, 2012

Plug-in Solar Panels Are Here



Plug-In Solar: Moveable Solar Power For Renters and Do-It-Yourselfers (via http://greenbuildingelements.com)

The promise of plug-in solar panels that simplify solar power installation to the point that nearly any do-it-yourselfer can handle the job has been a long time coming   We are pleased to welcome a new writer to Green Building Elements, David Arthur. The information he provides here about SpinRay…

(more…)

May 25, 2012

Interactive timeline on history of solar cells



Interactive Timeline on History of Solar Cells (via http://greenbuildingelements.com)

Matthew Redford has prepared an interactive timeline on the history of solar cells and thinks “this would be a good fit for your blog. I’ve based it on the Wikipedia entry for solar cells.” We agree, this is great information to have available in a user-friendly form. Thanks very much, Matt!

(more…)

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress