Turning Old Lead Batteries Into New Solar Energy

Used car batteries can leech chemicals and create lead pollution when they’re incorrectly trashed. A team at MIT believes that this lead can be cut out of the waste stream entirely — and put to good use creating emissions-free energy.

In newly published research, the scientists show that recycled lead from car batteries works as well as fresh lead when used in solar cells made with organolead halide perovskite film, a compound that is fast becoming competitive with silicon in solar power technology. The process is also cost-effective.”

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Largest Solar Plant in the World Goes Through Last Test Before Opening

In the last major step before the world’s largest solar plant opens in California’s Mojave Desert, engineers at the Ivanpah solar farm, 40 miles south of Las Vegas, are testing the huge water boilers on top of the plant’s three 459-foot towers.

The $2.2 billion project is scheduled to start delivering electricity to the power grid by the end of the year, said Joseph Desmond, vice-president of marketing for Oakland’s BrightSource Energy, the plant’s developer.”

Learn more with QUEST. 

The Sun That Did Not Roar

"On an otherwise blank solar disk, a single sunspot, dubbed AR1841, was the only visible activity in this Sept. 16 image. 

This is the height of the 11-year solar cycle, the so-called solar maximum. The face of the Sun should be pockmarked with sunspots, and cataclysmic explosions of X-rays and particles should be whizzing off every which way. Instead, the Sun has been tranquil, almost spotless.

As W. Dean Pesnell, the project scientist for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, dryly noted, “We’re not having much of a solar maximum.”

Solar boat reaches Paris after crossing Atlantic

The Turanor PlanetSolar, the world’s largest solar boat, travels on the Seine river as the Eiffel Tower is seen in background, in Paris, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. The PlanetSolar with its 537 square meters of photovoltaic panel powering 6 blocks of lithium-ion batteries, accomplished the first around the world trip powered only by solar energy in May 2012.”

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