Category: Energy

Photo of the week: Holiday lights

By examining the Nuomi NPP data, scientists revealed patterns in light intensity (photo: NASA’s Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen)

By examining the Nuomi NPP data, scientists revealed patterns in light intensity (photo: NASA’s Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen)

By examining data from the Suomi NPP satellite, scientists of NASA have identified interesting patterns in nighttime light intensity during holiday seasons. In the Western World an increase of 30-50% in suburban areas is noted during Christmas and New Year’s time, while an increase is seen in the Middle East during the holy month of Ramadan. The data reveals patterns in the usage of energy in different societies and cultures. When we want to reduce greenhouse gases, it is necessary to understand such social phenomena that drive energy consumption. The data of the Suomi NPP satellite and processed by an algorithm which filters out reflection of the moon and influances of the clouds, will help scientists to do so.

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NASA

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Photo of the week: Solar power in Spain

The Andasol-1 solar thermal collector is visible from space

In March 2009, the Andasol-1 solar thermal collector opened in Spain, the first of its kind in Europe. Later that year Andasol-2 was opened and in 2011 another Andasol collector became reality. In contrast to the common photovoltaic systems we see on rooftops, the thermal collectors store the sun’s heat in a big heat reservoir of molten salt, by reflecting the sunlight with parabolic mirrors pointed at the reservoir. Via thermal turbines this heat is be transformed into electricity, enough for up to 200 000 people.

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Negawatt power

Global energy demand is ever growing. A few years back China was opening a new coal plant every day on average to keep pace with its demand. Luckily they are considering other means of energy production these days, as air pollution is a worsening problem in the country. Most countries – including China – still tend to build more power plants to tackle their shortage on energy. But why not using the available energy more efficiently?

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