I want to introduce you to new developments in the field: alternative energy. This is — nuclear reactor for spacecraft the size of a ball, textile solar batteries from the Japanese craftsmen and you will learn how to receive energy from the soil. I wonder? Then read on.
A nuclear reactor the size of a ball
A group of engineers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, along with NASA experts are working to develop a nuclear reactor for spacecraft, which will be an alternative radioisotope power sources. A prototype has been developed and tested in the laboratory NNSS near Las Vegas. In the experiment, the reactor power is 24 watts.
Future spacecraft will have a cylinder of 22.6 kg of uranium, placed inside of the reflector with a diameter of about 30 cm of the heat produced will be given with a few water-filled heat pipes, which will drive the Stirling engine capable of producing 500 watts of power. The reactor will also have a safety valve that is pushed after the machine has left the Earth's orbit.
Scientists conducted an experiment — the first in the U.S. since 1965, the demonstration of a nuclear reactor for spacecraft. Recall that in 1965 the United States under the program was launched Snapshot device with a nuclear reactor, SNAP-10A.
Tissue solar panels
Japanese researchers have developed a fabric with solar cells capable of generating electricity. The fabric is made of tiny solar cells sewn into textile. The technology has been proposed by a group of experts from the Industrial Technology Center of Fukui Prefecture.
Traditional solar panels are flat, which does not allow them to absorb the light incident from different perspectives. Technology proposed by Japanese researchers, uses tiny beads with a diameter of 1.2 mm. According to scientists, the curtains of this fabric can absorb sunlight throughout the day due to its spherical shape.
Production of the first fabric solar panels on the market is scheduled for the end of March 2015.
The energy from the soil
Dutch researchers from Wageningen University have developed a new technology for the production of electricity from the soil. To operate the device created by researchers called Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell must have plants and soil bacteria. The roots of plants, is known to produce an organic material, 70% of which goes to ground. The microorganisms that recycle organic material, becoming a source of free electrons. The only thing that is required — to put into the ground next to the micro electrode to collect electrons.
According to Dutch experts to Q1. m of the soil can be prepared in this way 0.4 watts. This efficient energy production by fermentation of biomass. In the future it will be possible to get to the 1st quarter. m 3.2 watts. If you cover the roof area of 100 square meters. m vegetation, it will provide power for one household, provided that the energy consumption at home will be not more than 2800 kWh per year. For the production of electricity can be used various kinds of plants, including common grass — spartinu and rice warmer countries. The researchers believe that the first massive green roof, generating electricity, will appear in 2015.