Cheaper Way to Protect Silicon May Prove Beneficial for Solar Cells

Researchers at MIT have developed a new way to protect the silicon surface layer from the environmental factors, one that requires less heating and energy than the traditional coating technique. Coating process, otherwise known as “passivation”, is essential to prevent oxydation that can ruin the electrical properties of silicon. Availability of a new passivation method could make it easier to produce solar cells and other silicon-based devices. Continue reading Cheaper Way to Protect Silicon May Prove Beneficial for Solar Cells

Oregon State University Building Safer “Super Hot” Nuclear Reactor

Oregon State University have started constructing a facility to test a new type of nuclear reactor. Beside producing electricity, this new reactor can also make hydrogen for fuel cells, steam for heating systems and even distilled water. It also should be considerably safer because, by design, it cannot melt down. This innovative technology is also expected to be more efficient and to produce less radioactive waste. New design has been known for some time but it has become practical only recently with the development of new materials. Continue reading Oregon State University Building Safer “Super Hot” Nuclear Reactor

Norwegians Suggest Thorium to Make American Nuclear Fuel Less Radioactive

Researchers from the University of Oslo have developed a method to reduce the radioactivity of the used nuclear fuel from american water reactors by 95%, thereby solving the problem of storing radioactive waste. New method applies specifically to the weapon-grade uranium, obtained form decommissioned Russian nuclear weapons (for example, under the Megatons to Megawatts Program). Continue reading Norwegians Suggest Thorium to Make American Nuclear Fuel Less Radioactive

Chevron, Apache Building Kitimat LNG Plant to Export Gas to Asia

Apache Canada together with Chevron Canada are to build and operate Kitimat LNG facility in British Columbia. With transactions completed today, both companies now own 50% of the plant and are ready to start working on the project. Natural gas supply for this facility will come from Apache’s Horn River and Liard fields. Initial plant output capacity is 5 million metric tones of liquified natural gas per annum, and it could be expanded to 10 mmtpa and more. Natural deep-water, ice-free harbor will provide an access to Asia Pacific LNG market. Continue reading Chevron, Apache Building Kitimat LNG Plant to Export Gas to Asia

U.S. Department of Energy to Hand Out $150 Million in Tax Credits

The Treasury and the U.S. Department of Energy have announced yesterday that $150 million in tax credits are available for energy efficiency and clean energy projects under Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program. The program is supposed to help american clean energy industry become more competitive, to create jobs and to strengthen energy security. Continue reading U.S. Department of Energy to Hand Out $150 Million in Tax Credits

Latest Standard for Buildings Can Save 12% on Energy Costs

According to a National Institute of Standards and Technology study on benefits and costs of energy standard adoption in new commercial buildings, implementation of the latest energy-efficiency standard would lead to 10% reduction in energy consumption by the new structures over a ten-year period. Moreover, their carbon footprint and energy costs would be cut down by no less then 12%. Continue reading Latest Standard for Buildings Can Save 12% on Energy Costs

UBC Helps Communities Find Out If They Need a Bioenergy Plant

It could be a hard and time-consuming task for a local community to assess if investing in a bionergy heating system is a right choise. On the one hand, such system could reduce the possibility of forest fires and cut down greenhouse gas emissions; on the other hand, local forest waste wood may not be able to support bioenergy heating on the required level. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have created a tool to evaluate feasibility of a bioenergy plant. Continue reading UBC Helps Communities Find Out If They Need a Bioenergy Plant

French Total Starts Offshore Exploration of Gas and Oil in Cyprus

French Total have announced the signing of two production sharing contracts, for Blocks 10 and 11, with the Republic of Cyprus. Now the company can proceed to the geological surveys of the region to determine best drilling locations. Several other major multinational oil and gas companies are currently exploring different parts of the Eastern Mediterranean, which is thought to have vast and mostly untapped resources of natural gas. Continue reading French Total Starts Offshore Exploration of Gas and Oil in Cyprus

Outdoor Lamps in US Turn Out to Be Quite Efficient

Energy information administration (EIA) have published statistics on the inventory of outdoor lamps in US. It turns out that most of thouse lamps are not incandescent or halogen but rather based on one of the more efficient lighting technologies. For example, traffic signals mainly use LED lamps and most arenas and stadiums use high intensity discharge ones. Continue reading Outdoor Lamps in US Turn Out to Be Quite Efficient