Sunday, September 21, 2008

3-D Solar Cell

Here is more proof that if you look for something, you just might find it. This article discusses an invention by a 12-year-old boy (!) in Oregon that could radically improve the efficiency of solar energy. William Yuan based his invention on work done by other researchers into 3D cells, but his improvements on that work are his own. The article says his design could absorb 500 times more light than current solar cells on the market, and would absorb 9 times more (normal light and UV) than other 3D cell designs.

Yuan is quoted as saying, "It'll have a really positive impact on society and the environment."

Full article and video from here.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ford's 65 MPG Car

Here's a fascinating story about a car made by Ford that gets fantastic mileage, but that won't be sold in the U.S. Business Week reports that Ford's Fiesta ECOnetic, which runs on diesel fuel, will only be marketed in Europe starting this November. Turns out that American market for diesel fuel cars is extremely limited compared to Europe, where half the cars run on diesel fuel:

....Taxes aimed at commercial trucks mean diesel costs anywhere from 40 cents to $1 more per gallon than gasoline. Add to this the success of the Toyota Prius, and you can see why only 3% of cars in the U.S. use diesel. "Americans see hybrids as the darling," says Global Insight auto analyst Philip Gott, "and diesel as old-tech."

I find it curious that Ford can't bring a model like this to the U.S. market.

I've been meaning for quite a while to also point out this article. The company claims to be able to produce gasoline (real gasoline) from algae. The questions of mass production have yet to be worked out, and the company's web site,, says little, so I offer it without commentary.