Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Here Comes The Sun

Okay, earlier today I blogged about some disappointing news on the alternative energy front, the environmental downside to ethanol. To balance out the news of the day, the Meow now brings you a happier chapter in "the ongoing quest for alternative power sources" story, care of Eureka Alert:

Every day, the sun bathes the planet in energy--free of charge--yet few systems can take advantage of that source for both heating and cooling. Now, researchers are making progress on a thin-film technology that adheres both solar cells and heat pumps onto surfaces, ultimately turning walls, windows, and maybe even soda bottles into climate control systems.
Wow, self-cooling soda bottles. Would you ever imagine that you could cool a bottle of pop by leaving it out in the sun? According to the report at Eureka Alert, this technology might one day replace conventional heating and cooling equipment, has no moving parts (less breaking down?), and is completely silent. Buildings, cars, spacecraft, all of these are candidates for heating and cooling from the new technology. The thin film can adhere "solar panels, solid-state, thermoelectric heat pumps and a storage device to provide energy on rainy days (literally)", to various surfaces, such as spacecraft and automobile sun roofs. Maybe someday this method could be used to power the whole car, and not just the air conditioning. It's a lot to ask, I know, but I am an optimist and can't help getting my hopes up.

Hat tip: Futurismic