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MIT' Combines Carbon Foam and Graphite Flakes For Efficient Solar Steam Generati 44

Posted by timothy
from the science-fiction-future-awaits dept.
rtoz (2530056) writes Researchers at MIT have developed a new spongelike material structure which can use 85% of incoming solar energy for converting water into steam. This spongelike structure has a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam. This structure has many small pores. It can float on the water, and it will act as an insulator for preventing heat from escaping to the underlying liquid. As sunlight hits the structure, it creates a hotspot in the graphite layer, generating a pressure gradient that draws water up through the carbon foam. As water seeps into the graphite layer, the heat concentrated in the graphite turns the water into steam. This structure works much like a sponge. This new material is able to use 85 percent of incoming solar energy for converting water into steam. It is a significant improvement over recent approaches to solar-powered steam generation. And, this setup loses very little heat in the process, and can produce steam at relatively low solar intensity. i-e if scaled up, this setup will not require complex, costly systems to highly concentrate sunlight.

Comment: Re:Maybe (Score 1) 236

by phantomfive (#47505585) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Postol has a long history opposing any form of missile defense. While his assessment may well be correct, it should be viewed with considerable skepticism until data from opposing viewpoints is examined against his. I don't care about that, because someone opposed to missile defense can still have a good argument. I read his post with interest.

Unfortunately, his data isn't very good. He starts with a hypothesis on how the missile defense system works, then proceeds to show that if his hypothesis is correct, it is unlikely that the Iron dome is effective, based on data he analyzed in 2012 and photographs he's seen since then. I shouldn't need to explain why I see that as unconvincing.

There's always room to doubt official figures, but I'd like to see something a little more convincing than that from a story with this kind of headline. It was just a longer explanation of what he said previously, he didn't produce any more data, unfortunately.

Comment: This is delicious (Score 3, Funny) 272

by phantomfive (#47501127) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be
He bought a cheap phone, and is upset that it is poor quality. If it were anyone but Bennett Haselton, I wouldn't believe they were serious. This quote is especially delicious:

I think people vastly overestimate the ability of the free market to meet consumer demand, in cases where the demand is for something that can't be easily quantified.

Oh no sir, the market filled your demand perfectly here. You asked for a cheap phone, and that's exactly what you got.

Comment: Re:There are modern day fruit tree efforts too (Score 1) 71

by phantomfive (#47500849) Attached to: Exhibit On Real Johnny Appleseed To Hit the Road

But despite what those terrible commercials show on TV I didn't see throngs of hopelessly miserable Children.

True, the hopelessness is in the adults. And it's usually not a matter of being in an impossible situation, it's a matter of lacking the knowledge of how to improve their situation (I'm more familiar with latin america, so Africa could be completely different, I don't know).

Anyway, why are you going to Africa? I've wanted to go, but I don't really have a reason, and I'm not going to go just to stare at people.

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 1) 751

by phantomfive (#47497405) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

But the point of the article is that the argument that 'raising the minimum wage will kill jobs' has been disproved.

No it isn't, the point of the article is to help people who already agree with that feel good about themselves. If you have any logical sense at all, if this were an article about a topic you disagreed with, I'm sure you could find logical holes in it.

The fact that you haven't tried to poke holes in an argument you agree with shows a cognitive bias on your part. Now the question is whether you'll fix that cognitive bias, or remain the way you were before.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer