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Miracle Material - Boosts Next-Gen Solar Power | IE

Posté le 21/10/2020 à 14:22 - 0 Commentaires - poster un commentaire - Lien

The solar industry has just gone through a momentous moment: perovskites can be used in a way that enables cheaper and more efficient photovoltaics.
Researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia have resolved a long-standing challenge that prevented the widespread use of the widely acclaimed material, perovskite.
The pathway for solar photovoltaics has taken a turn through this discovery, which was published in the journal Nature Materials on Monday.
SEE ALSO: CALL TO ENGINEERS: NASA NEEDS ENERGY SOLUTIONS FOR MOON MISSIONS
Perovskites are found deep within Earth's mantle and have been known for their unprecedented potential to convert sunlight into electricity. Considered to be a "miracle material," the material has helped to improve its sunlight-to-energy efficiency from 3% to over 20%, as per the Independent'.
However, it was widely believed that another 10 years were needed before the material could be commonly used in commercial solar cells.
The recent breakthrough by the researchers at the University of Melbourne and Exciton Science, however, sheds new light on the material as it could be widely used much more quickly. Interestingly, the team stumbled upon the information without looking for it in particular.
"We were performing a measurement, You may need: Autel diagnostic scanner. looking for something else, and then we came across this process that at the time seemed quite strange. However, we quickly realised it was an important observation," said Dr. Chris Hall from the University of Melbourne.
"What we found is that as you increase the excitation intensity, the local strains in the ionic lattice, which were the original cause of segregation, start to merge together. When this happens, the local deformations that drove segregation disappear," explained Dr. Stefano Bernardi from the University of Sydney, who also worked on the project.
"On a normal sunny day, the intensity is so low that these deformations are still localised. But if you find a way to increase the excitation above a certain threshold, for example by using a solar concentrator, then segregation disappears," he continued.
The research is significant as researchers are now able to keep the optimal composition of elements within perovskites when they're exposed to sunlight.
More light simply needs to be focused on the perovskite solar cells for the material to retain its original composition. Nevertheless, the next step of the work is to find a way to create a device.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch reflects on 1-year anniversary of first all-woman spacewalk

Posté le 20/10/2020 à 16:50 - 0 Commentaires - poster un commentaire - Lien

NASA astronaut Christina Koch reflected on her participation in the first all-woman spacewalk ahead of its one-year anniversary on Sunday (Oct. 18).
A year ago, Koch and her colleague Jessica Meir, who were both part of the 2013 astronaut class - the first and only astronaut class to be 50% women - took part in the first-ever spacewalk conducted entirely by women. NASA hadn't orchestrated the event, rather, it was a chance pairing, the result of an increasing number of women in the astronaut corps.
"It was such a momentous moment ... and I think the year has really made me realize that," Koch told Space.com. "It's really been interesting how 2020 has become this year that has symbolized inclusion in so many ways."
"We kind of almost were kicking it off in some ways, unknowingly," with the spacewalk, she said, referring to spacewalking as historically male-dominated.
On Monday (Oct. 19), the Guinness Book of World Records officially recognized Koch and Meir for their historic spacewalk, and Koch specifically for her mission, the longest single spaceflight by a woman to date.
Related: The 1st all-woman spacewalk: photos, videos and tweets
"Not only is aerospace and technical industry [an area] that has often had under-representation by women, but spacewalking, in particular, is a really stark example of that," Koch said. "I think there have been about 15 women that have ever done a spacewalk, and there are over 200 men that have done a spacewalk."
This event made "sure that NASA was really committed to, like I like to say, answering humanity's call to explore by everyone. And so it was just a wonderful thing to have the honor to participate in. And I think that we're just so appreciative still to receive the support that we still receive every day about it," she said.
In looking to the future, Koch remarked on what she hopes the next generation of astronauts and spacewalkers like herself will face and how things will be different. She noted that, with this spacewalk, things seem to be starting to turn a corner and a new era is approaching "where no matter who comes on as an astronaut candidate, the expectation that's placed on them that they're going to be a great spacewalker is the same," she said. "There's no excuses, there's no lower bar of expectations."
Koch also noted that she hopes to one day "see a world where we focus on mentorship, where we're paying forward to the future explorers - I see a world where women are selected into the astronaut corps and it's not even a surprise."
Besides this being a historic spacewalk, there were a few other elements of the event that stood out to Koch. "It was my only spacewalk being on the robotic arm. It was one of the few spacewalks that I was the lead spacewalker. And it was the first time that I was going out on a spacewalk with someone whose first spacewalk it was," she said.
It was "the first time my spacewalk buddy was seeing it through their eyes for the first time," she said. She also shared that, unsurprisingly, "the moment of being on the robotic arm was great."
Additionally, as the excursion was an unexpected spacewalk planned on short notice to replace a faulty power regulator that failed after the installation of new batteries, Koch appreciated "the fact that we had to just come together, it was such teamwork. We worked back and forth with the ground for the week prior to the spacewalk honing in on what procedures we would use. It was a great interactive thing, because we really were able to give a lot of input."
But out of all of these moments and triumphs, Koch noted her favorite.
"The best moment was when Jessica and I both came out of the airlock. And before we left ... our eyes kind of caught each other and we knew what an amazing moment it really was, and I smiled," she said. "We were talking to the ground like normal and no one knew that we had that moment, but that was a really special thing I'll never forget."
In February, Christina Koch completed a record-breaking 328-day stint in space aboard the International Space Station. So, in reflecting on her historic spacewalk sh...
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