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Solar-powered paint could produce hydrogen for fuel

Split a water molecule, and you get hydrogen and oxygen. Burn that hydrogen as fuel and you get water. This straightforward, pollution-free cycle is part of what makes hydrogen so tantalizing as a potential renewable fuel. Unfortunately, splitting water molecules to generate hydrogen is not currently very energy efficient. In fact, more than 95 percent of hydrogen currently used in industry is produced from fossil fuels, not water.

05 Oct 2017

How strong was the Carrington Event?

NASA has described the magnetic field of the coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with the 1859 Carrington Event, the largest solar storm ever detected, as “extremely intense” relative to other CMEs. The amount of plasma it ejected is difficult to estimate, but more important in determining its strength is how fast it arrived.

21 Jan 2013

Dye-ing for efficient solar power

Solar energy is an abundant resource, but so far, solar panels have tended to be relatively expensive and less efficient than desired. Now researchers at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., may have solved both those problems by inventing a new inexpensive dye that works as a “solar concentrator” when painted on ordinary window panes. The dye gathers light energy over the entire surface of the window, then transports it out to the edge of the pane to a line of energy-collecting solar cells.

28 Aug 2008