The World's Largest Solar Plant is Blinding Pilots

We probably should have seen this coming. At the Ivanpah solar power plant near Las Vegas, a massive glittering field of 170,000 garage door-sized mirrors reflects sunlight. And all those mirrors are making flying near Ivanpah not so fun—or safe. Read More >>

Rumour: Apple's Smartwatch Could Use Wireless Charging and Solar Power

The New York Times reports that Apple is researching new technologies to charge its products—and it could see its smartwatch come equipped with solar charging capabilities. Some day. Read More >>

Apple Patents Solar Sandwich Charger Layer for MacBooks

Apple's been dreaming about the future again, forseeing a world in which the sun still shines through the industrial smog and is strong enough to power and charge a MacBook or iPad battery via a layer of photovoltaic cells. Read More >>

After Two Years of Nuclear Crises, Japan Opens Its Biggest Solar Park

This month, Japanese electronics company Kyocera launched the country's largest solar plant. The facility can power 22,000 homes—and, maybe more importantly, it poses no risk of melting down, injuring workers, or spewing radioactive water into the Pacific ocean. Read More >>

monster machines
The World's Largest Solar Thermal Power Plant Is Now Online

After three years and £1.37 billion of construction, California has just flipped the switch for the planet's largest solar thermal plant, the 392 megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.
Ivanpah's 300,000 heliostatic mirrors (they reflect and concentrate light around a central molten salt filled tower, rather than convert light to electricity like photovoltaics) sit on 3,500 acres of federal land in Mojave, CA. The project has received major funding not only for the DoE but also Google, NRG Energy, BrightSource Energy, and Bechtel. Read More >>

New Stacked Solar Cells Can Withstand the Power of 70,000 Suns

The power of 1,000 suns? Pfft. That ain't nuthin'. A recent breakthrough in solar panel connections has allowed scientists to create arrays of solar cells that can stand strong under the blazing glare of 70,000 suns. Not that they'd ever have to, but still. Read More >>

How to Sun-Cook a Steak in South Africa

Consistent electricity is more guideline than rule in South Africa, even on the outskirts for the capital city of Johannesburg. This ambiguity leaves residents either living in the dark or at the mercy of expensive and hazardous kerosene- or coal-based fuels. One social entrepreneur however, has a plan to provide clean, safe, nearly free energy to even Johannesburg's poorest citizens. Read More >>

This Solar Sanitizer Will Bring Safer Surgery to the Developing World

Modern medical techniques, specifically stringent sterilization practices, have led to a dramatic drop in the number of post-op infections, assuming the facility has the necessary electricity and equipment to do so. However, in the remote regions of developing countries like India, neither of those is guaranteed. But that's where Rice University's new solar steamer comes in. This ingenious device cheaply and easily captures the Sun's rays to sterilize anything from scalpels to human excrement. Huzzah! No more infections from backwoods surgeries! And bonus, your shit no longer stinks. Read More >>

This Giant Inflatable Hangar Is Solar Impulse's Home Away From Home

When you're flying around the world in a lightweight solar-powered plane with a wingspan larger than most commercial airliners, you need to guarantee you've always got a safe place to store it on the ground. So the support team behind the Solar Impulse, the world's first globe circumnavigating solar-powered aircraft, decided that the easiest way to guarantee they always had adequate shelter, was to simply bring one with them wherever they went. Read More >>

A Super-Cheap Solar Charger is Your "It Won't Always Be Raining" Deal of the Day

The sun. One day it will explode and destroy us all, along with our stuff. But that day is some way off, so for now, let's just suck as much life out of it as we possibly can. Read More >>

Watch Our Sun Exploding for Three Years in Just Three Minutes

Since the spring of 2010, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has been has been shooting continuous photos of the Sun, once every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths. The results are gorgeous. Read More >>

UAE Opens Biggest Solar Power Station In the World

The Shams Power Company opened its Shams 1 concentrated solar power station this week in Abu Dhabi. The station generates 100 MW and can power 20,000 homes while reducing CO2 emissions by 175,000 tonnes per year. Read More >>

Water on the Moon Came From... the Sun?

Water on the moon is nothing particularly revelatory. But a new study suggests that H20 on the surface of the Earth's nearest neighbor comes from a most unlikely place: the Sun. Read More >>

A Water-Cooled Chip That Concentrates the Sun to Desalinate Water

Anyone who's dropped a mobile in the bath knows that water and microelectronics don't usually mix well. But at IBM's Swiss lab in Zurich, marrying the two is becoming almost commonplace: microprocessors with water coursing through microchannels carved deep inside them are already crunching data in SuperMUC, an IBM supercomputer - with the heat that the water carries away used to warm nearby buildings. Read More >>

I'm Glad This Terrifying Solar Eruption Missed Earth

I don't know if it's the most amazing view of a solar eruption ever recorded, but it probably is. When our friends at NASA Goddard sent us this image of the latest solar eruption today, we just couldn't believe how astonishing and ominous it looked. Read More >>

NASA Image Shows the Mayhem That Created Life on Earth

About 4.1 billion years ago, our solar system was a huge cluster of comets bombarding every planet orbiting the Sun and crashing into each other. That period of chaos is known as the Late Heavy Bombardment, and astronomers believe it was key to the formation of life in our planet. Read More >>


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