Showing posts with label Solar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Solar. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Elon Musk's Giant Blind Spot: Human Beings

There is this no small detail called gravity. It is big, it is fat.



And gravity is physics. And Elon Musk has a degree in physics from U Penn. He must know his physics because he seems to send rockets out into space at will.

But Elon was no biology major, looks like.

There is this funny thing called gravity. The human body needs the earth's gravity. That is why long term human habitation on the moon is a bad idea. Robots? Yes. Human beings? No, no.

In absence of gravity, your eyes might bulge out. Your joints might start getting, well, disjointed. Your bones need gravity to stay bones.

But Elon stays oblivious to the fact. He says everyone who signs up for Mars will get 10 cubic meters of space inside his spaceship, "which is a lot."

And that's just gravity. Radiation will have to be another blog post. Radiation might make those ten cubic meters a microwave experience, which is a lot. Like, too much.

It is not like Elon does not have enough on his plate. There are trillions to be made through robotic asteroid mining. Spices used to be like gold. Gold can become like spices. I want his 10,000 satellites to provide gigabit broadband every point on earth. I like the idea of any point on earth to any other point on earth in 30 minutes. You escape zero gravity before the bones figure it out. Hyperloop is massive. I have an entire real estate tech startup around the Hyperloop concept. Tesla? I want one. Solar tiles on the roof? I want. Super cheap, super boring tunnels? I want them. Although it could get literally boring down there unless the walls of those underground vehicles come alive and are entertainment.

Save earth like this is the only planet we got. There is no other. Plant a trillion trees. Elon should design some drones that will plant those trillion trees. And his satellites should map out the earth to find out every patch of land where trees can be planted. And let's get it done and over with already.

Somebody drop an apple on Elon's head.











Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vivek Wadhwa: The Smartest Dude In Silicon Valley

(reprinted without permission)

If I am an optimist, it is because Vivek is looking into his crystal ball. I want this guy on my company's Board so bad!



"New trillion-dollar industries will come out of nowhere and wipe out existing trillion-dollar industries."






2014 is ending, but this wave of technology disruptions is just beginning

Dec 22, 2014 23,004 Views 732 Likes 153 Comments

Changes in technology are happening at a scale which was unimaginable before and will cause disruption in industry after industry. This has really begun to worry me, because we are not ready for this change and most of our leading companies won’t exist 15–20 years from now. Here are five sectors to keep an eye on:

1. Let’s start with manufacturing.

Robotics and 3-D printing have made it cheaper to manufacture in the United States and Europe than in China. Robots such as Baxter, from Rethink Robotics, and UR10, from Universal Robots, have arms; screens which show you their emotions; and sensors that detect what is happening around them. The cost of operating these is less than the cost of human labor. We can now have robots working 24×7 and doing some of the work of humans. Over time, these robots will become ever more sophisticated and do most human jobs. The manufacturing industry is surely going to be disrupted in a very big way. This is good news for America, Europe, and parts of Asia, because it will become a local industry. But this will be bad for the Chinese economy — which is largely dependent on manufacturing jobs.

In the next decade, robots will likely go on strike, because we won’t need them anymore. They will be replaced by 3D printers. Within 15 to 20 years, we will even be able to 3D print electronics. Imagine being able to design your own iPhone and print it at home. This is what will become possible.

2. The reinvention of finance.

We are already witnessing a controversy over Bitcoin. Many technology and retail companies are supporting it. Crowdfunding is shaking up the venture-capital industry and making it less relevant because it provides start-ups with an alternative for raising seed capital. We will soon be able to crowdfund loans for houses, cars, and other goods. With cardless transactions for purchasing goods, we won’t need the types of physical banks and financial institutions that we presently have. Banks in the United States seem to be complacent because they have laws protecting them from competition. But our laws don’t apply in other countries. We will see innovations happening abroad which disrupt industries in the United States.

3. Health care.

Apple recently announced Healthkit, its platform for health information. It wants to store data from the wearable sensors that will soon be monitoring our blood pressure, blood oxygenation, heart rhythms, temperature, activity levels, and other symptoms. Google, Microsoft, and Samsung will surely not be left behind and will all compete to provide the best health-data platforms. With these data, they will be able to warn us when we are about to get sick. AI-based physicians will advise us on what we need to do to get healthy.

Medical-test data, especially in fields such as oncology, is often so complex that human doctors cannot understand it. This will become even more difficult when they have genomics data to correlate. Over the last 15 years, the cost of human genome sequencing has dropped from the billions to about a thousand dollars. At the rate at which prices are dropping, the cost of sequencing will be close to zero in a few years and we will all have our genomes sequenced. When you combine these data with the medical-sensor data that the tech companies are collecting on their cloud platforms, we will have a medical revolution. We won’t need doctors for day-to-day medical advice any more. Robotic surgeons will also do the most sophisticated surgeries. We’re going to disrupt the entire health-care system.

4. Now take the energy industry.

Five years ago, we were worried about America running out of oil; today we’re talking about Saudi America — because of fracking. Yes, fracking is a harmful technology; nevertheless it has allowed America to become energy independent and will soon make it an energy exporter. And then there is solar energy, which some people have become negative about. But it is a fact solar prices have dropped about 97 percent over the past 35 years, and, at the rate at which solar is advancing, by the end of this decade we will achieve grid parity across the United States. Grid parity means it’s cheaper to produce energy at home on your solar cells than to buy it from utilities. Move forward another 10 or 20 years, and it will costs a fraction as much to produce your own energy as to buy it from the grid. This means that the utility companies will be in serious trouble. This is why they are beginning to fight the introduction of solar. If solar keeps advancing in the way it is, it will eclipse the fossil-fuel industry. Solar is only one of maybe a hundred advancing technologies that could disrupt the energy industry.

When we have unlimited energy, we can have unlimited clean water, because we can simply boil as much ocean water as we want. We can afford to grow food locally in vertical farms. This can be 100 percent organic, because we won’t need insecticides in the sealed farm buildings. Imagine also being able to 3D print meat and not having to slaughter animals. This will transform and disrupt agriculture and the entire food-production industry.

5. Communications.

Yes, even this industry will be disrupted. Note how AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have seen their landline businesses disappear. These were replaced by mobile—which is now being replaced by data. When I travel abroad, I don’t make long-distance calls any more, because I just call over Skype. Soon we will have WiFi everywhere, thanks to the competition between companies such as AT&T and Google to provide superfast Internet access. We will be able to make free calls over open WiFi networks.

***

In practically every industry that I look at, I see a major disruption happening. I know the world will be very different 15 to 20 years from now. The vast majority of companies who are presently the leaders in their industries will likely not even exist. That is because industry executives either are not aware of the changes that are coming, are reluctant to invest the type of money that is be required for them to reinvent themselves, or are protecting legacy businesses. Most are focused on short-term performance.

New trillion-dollar industries will come out of nowhere and wipe out existing trillion-dollar industries. This is the future we’re headed into, for better or for worse.




Monday, June 24, 2013

Conventional Crystalline Silicon


Solar is sexy.

What Tech Is Next for the Solar Industry?
conventional crystalline silicon ..... would bring the direct cost of solar power to six cents per kilowatt-hour, which is cheaper than the average cost expected for power from new natural gas power plants ..... screen-printing techniques can produce lines as thin as 30 micrometers .... the ability to make them on a flexible sheet of glass raises the possibility of continuous roll-to-roll manufacturing (like printing newspapers), which can reduce the cost per watt by increasing production. ... a two-sided solar cell that can absorb light from both the front and back. .... during some parts of the day, sunlight falls on the land between rows of solar panels in a solar power plant. That light reflects onto the back of the panels and could be harvested to increase the power output. ... Where a one-sided solar panel might generate 340 watts, a two-sided one might generate up to 400 watts. .... Such solar panels could be mounted vertically, like a fence, so that one side collects sunlight in the morning, and the other in the afternoon. That would make it possible to install the solar panels on very little land—they could serve as noise barriers along highways .... Adding one semiconductor could boost efficiencies from the 20 to 25 percent range to around 40 percent. Adding another could make efficiencies as high as 50 percent feasible, which would cut in half the number of solar panels needed for a given installation. The challenge is to produce good connections between these semiconductors, something made challenging by the arrangement of silicon atoms in crystalline silicon.
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Pragmatic Solar

English: Solar panel installation at an inform...
English: Solar panel installation at an information center adjacent to Ă–gii Lake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cheaper than fossil fuels is that magical line.

Ultra-Efficient Solar
Semprius's solar panels use glass lenses to concentrate incoming light .... using materials other than silicon, the most common semiconductor in solar panels today. ....... a highly efficient material called gallium arsenide ..... maximizes their power production by putting them under glass lenses that concentrate sunlight about 1,100 times. ..... Semprius's small cells produce so little heat that they don't require cooling, which further brings down the cost. ..... make enough solar panels annually to deliver six megawatts of electricity. The company hopes to expand that to 30 megawatts by the end of 2013 .... conventional silicon panels, whose prices fell by more than half in 2011 alone.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Solar Makes Sense

solar-powered solar system 19/365
solar-powered solar system 19/365 (Photo credit: Faisty.com)
It is like tapping into nuclear energy minus any of the radiation: the Sun is at a safe distance. But the trick has been to make business sense out of it.

The Dog Days of Solar
The solar industry has done a spectacular job lowering costs in the past three years, slashing per-watt costs in half.... The challenge isn't lack of innovation or financing ..... smaller players face the powerful headwinds of competing against giant incumbent providers with access to large amounts of cheap capital, all while needing to work out the kinks of a new production process at scale ..... Many upstart solar companies did the right thing by betting on new technologies to bring the cost of solar power closer to that of fossil fuels. In the end, though, market woes may trump their technical advances.

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