Japanese breakthrough will make wind power cheaper than nuclear
A surprising aerodynamic innovation in wind turbine design called the ‘wind lens’ could triple the output of a typical wind turbine, making it less costly than nuclear power.
This article pretty high on the hype, and pretty low on details. One thing it leaves out is that these turbines are specifically for floating farms; the article glosses over this, and espouses its usage on fields and prairies. The 3-fold claim is high, too - the University Professor the CNNGo article on wind lenses claims a 2- to 3-fold increase.
That article also explains - a little - how the technology works: the cowling works as a focus, forcing more air through. Anyone have additional sources for how these things work?
At the moment, there are two reliable ways to make electricity from sunlight. You can use a panel of solar cells to create the current directly, by liberating electrons from a semiconducting material such as silicon. Or you can concentrate the sun’s rays using mirrors, boil water with them, and employ the steam to drive a generator.
Both work. But both are expensive. Gang Chen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Zhifeng Ren of Boston College therefore propose, in a paper in Nature Materials, an alternative. They suggest that a phenomenon called the thermoelectric effect might be used instead—and they have built a prototype to show that the idea is practical.
Interesting apparatus - especially when combined with solar water heating techniques. I’m still kind of disappointed with the ~4% efficiency though… that’s fairly low. Also, no mention of price point for manufacturing…