iqairport:

Aircraft to be made from ‘human-like skin’ to enable them to feel damage and monitor their health while flying

BAE Systems in Essex has revealed a new technology for aircraft
The smart skin would be embedded with thousands of micro-sensors
The sensors act like human skin to detect damage and ‘feel’ the world
These can sense wind speed, temperature and movement accurately
Could then monitor health and locate potential problems like our bodies



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Architects rejoice, your all-glass towers could become giant transparent solar cells

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iqairport:

First Flight with the Wright Brothers

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Solar Boom Driving First Global Panel Shortage Since 2006

The solar industry is facing a looming shortage of photovoltaic panels, reversing a two-year slump triggered by a global glut.

The oversupply pushed prices through the floor, making solar power more competitive and driving up demand. It also dragged dozens of manufacturers into bankruptcy, and slowed capital investment at the survivors. With installations expected to swell as much as 29 percent this year, executives are bracing for the first shortfall since 2006.

Scarcity will benefit the biggest manufacturers, including China’s Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co. (YGE) and Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) A shortage may slow development outside the top markets in Asia and North America if suppliers favor their largest customers. Shipments to large, utility-scale solar farms may get priority over smaller, rooftop systems, threatening one of the industry’s fastest-growing markets.

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Solar Boom Driving First Global Panel Shortage Since 2006

The solar industry is facing a looming shortage of photovoltaic panels, reversing a two-year slump triggered by a global glut.

The oversupply pushed prices through the floor, making solar power more competitive and driving up demand. It also dragged dozens of manufacturers into bankruptcy, and slowed capital investment at the survivors. With installations expected to swell as much as 29 percent this year, executives are bracing for the first shortfall since 2006.

Scarcity will benefit the biggest manufacturers, including China’s Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co. (YGE) and Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) A shortage may slow development outside the top markets in Asia and North America if suppliers favor their largest customers. Shipments to large, utility-scale solar farms may get priority over smaller, rooftop systems, threatening one of the industry’s fastest-growing markets.



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NASA Is Working on Origami Solar Arrays That Unfurl in Space



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Why is the Sunshine State saying “no” to solar power?



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Stacked solar cells could make solar power cheaper than natural gas
Researchers everywhere are working on developing better solar cells: ones with higher power output, ones that can adhere to any surface, ones that cool or clean themselves, etc. Upping the efficiency of solar cells is probably the biggest focus. Right now, commercial solar cells can convert about 15 to 25 percent of the energy from sunlight into electricity. The holy grail for years has been reaching a 50 percent conversion efficiency.

In labs, researchers have been able to hit efficiencies as high as 44.7 percent, but the start-up Semprius says they have a technique for stacking solar cells that would lead to that magic 50 percent number, and not just in a lab. Not only that, but because the solar cells are small and cheap to manufacture, the company believes that this technology could also lead to solar power cheaper than natural gas.
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Stacked solar cells could make solar power cheaper than natural gas
Researchers everywhere are working on developing better solar cells: ones with higher power output, ones that can adhere to any surface, ones that cool or clean themselves, etc. Upping the efficiency of solar cells is probably the biggest focus. Right now, commercial solar cells can convert about 15 to 25 percent of the energy from sunlight into electricity. The holy grail for years has been reaching a 50 percent conversion efficiency.
In labs, researchers have been able to hit efficiencies as high as 44.7 percent, but the start-up Semprius says they have a technique for stacking solar cells that would lead to that magic 50 percent number, and not just in a lab. Not only that, but because the solar cells are small and cheap to manufacture, the company believes that this technology could also lead to solar power cheaper than natural gas.

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Are we in the era of ‘demand destruction’?

iqmilitary:

Now that’s an extra pair of hands! Shoulder-mounted system gives wearers an added pair of limbs to carry out difficult tasks The shoulder-mounted system was created at MIT’s d’Arbeloff Laboratory It was designed as an extension of the wearer’s own limbs and can also be worn on the hips This frees up their hands to perform tasks, while limbs hold objects in place Arms mimic a wearer’s movements but could one day anticipate actions to hold doors open for humans with their hands full, for example They’re a cross between Spiderman villain Dr Octopus and Inspector Gadget Daweoo has a similar design that gives wearers superhuman strength



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US army to use 3D print technology to make meals for battle-weary soldiers Technology would provide soldiers on the front line with nourishing meals Could replenish energy levels, rebuild muscle and increase vitamin intake Would also reduce the cost of importing food into war zones, it is claimed Food printers are connected to computers that feature ‘software’ menus They work like inkjet printers, deposit layers of chemicals to create items



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