Rob--I agree completely. I don't think we will ever "outgrow" our dependence on petroleum or other fossil fuels but we must continue developing alternative sources of energy. I think our future depends upon it. Any improvement in existing technology is the correct and proper course to follow. Right now I'm listening to a local radio station telling me there are 24 countries, mostly in the Middle East, with citizens demonstrating in front of our embassies and consulates. They don't seem to like us at all for whatever reason. That feeling won't go away anytime soon. Also, I just paid $3.82 per gallon to fill up my Toyota Pre-runner. Fifteen gallon tank. We can all do the math. I have no idea as to where the gas prices might go from here. One of my clients is heavily invested in the production of biofuels. I think in the long run, he really has a winner.
I agree that we won't outgrow petroleum and other fossil fuels, Bobjengr. As alternative fuels become less expensive, fossil fuels will also go down in price -- demand will decrease. Plus, some fossil fuels such as natural gas are already dirt cheap.
Al Presher, solar energy is abundantly available in all corners of earth and about 99.9% such energies are wasting without any usage. Only a small portion of it is converting to power using various solar photovoltaic cells. So far I hadn't though any optimization technology in solar energy conversion because its free and abundantly available in our nature.
Mydesign, Al may have a different answer, but the point of increasing efficiency in any solar energy, or other alternative energy, technology is to make it easier for people to switch from traditional petro-based energy technologies.
Ann, The key with control technology advances in solar is to help with the dual problem the technology faces: efficiency and reliability. The critical measure for solar is the ability to achieve system payback to justify the initial investment. Obviously this means efficiency of the solar system in terms of energy production, but the systems also need to perform reliably in difficult environmental conditions for 15-20 years. That's why this focus on optimizing solar inverters is important; it addresses both concerns.
An interesting quote in this article: "With solar tracking moving heavily toward simpler, less expensive single-axis solutions to reduce costs". Another article from today (9/17) talks about mounting solar panels on robotic technology. It looks like they are actually implementing both ends of the spectrum.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
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