A recent knowledge release has put forward the idea of splitting water to hydrogen with nano scale silver trees. The idea being that trees absorb more light than flat surfaces. The researchers have found that they can capture sunlight at greater incidence angles and for longer periods during the daylight hours with these little trees. One thing they don’t discuss is what happens to the heat that is also captured by the tress. Is it enough to keep the water from getting too hot and evaporating before it gets split into is constituent parts of hydrogen and oxygen?
In other solar news there is a lot of take in the past couple of weeks about the idea of solar towers. There are various concepts being pushed out that include a solar accordion which folds down into a box for easy portability. They say that due to the falling cost of solar these ideas have now become economically feasible to produce. After all if we can produce televisions at a cheaper price than solar panels there is obviously a long way down for the solar panel industry to go before it reaches the true cost that actually manufacturing and shipping the end product should be once the cost of setting up the plants, building all the machinery and paying for all the scientific research has been covered. Take that massive cost out of the equation and the cost of solar falls so dramatically that the fossil fuel industry has absolutely no way to compete on price.
The only thing left going for the old energy market is that they are already up and running and have a high energy output as well as portability in the case of oil and gas. Definitely the nuclear industry must see the rise of extremely low cost solar as a threat to their ability to build massive and expensive power stations all over the place. Relegating nuclear power to the annals of history and research facilities or space exploration where it belongs. Places where the people in charge have a very real need to keep things in top shape or the will loose their own lives. That tends to make scientists more cautious in the way they handle and care for their nuclear facilities than psuedo government/private cash cows like TEPCO.