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Phoenix Mars Lander spreads it solar power wings

Today, NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander successfully touched down, and the first task it completed after it landed was it deployed its solar powered wings. According to NASA’s JPL website, “Power is generated using two gallium arsenide solar array wings (total area 3.1 m2) mounted to the cruise stage during cruise and via two gallium arsenide solar array wings (total area 2.9 m2) deployed from the lander after touchdown on the Martian surface. NiH2 16 amp-hour common pressure vessel batteries provide power during low solar insolation periods and during peak power operations.” Solar Power is wireless power, without solar photovoltaic technology this mission to mars would not be possible. For more info:...

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Using Beer Bottles to harness the Sun

I wanted to highlight the works of Ma Yanjun, of Qiqiao village, Shaanxi province, China because of his innovative work in solar energy. Ma, a Chinese Farmer made his own solar water heating panels with empty beer bottles and hosepipes. Ma’s invention is simple, he attached 66 beer bottles to board which are connected with each other so the water flows through, sunlight hits the bottles and heats up the water, its that simple! Ma claims the home made solar hot water panel provides enough hot water for three family members to shower each day. 10 families in the village have been inspired by Ma’s DIY Solar Hot Water project and are taking a project up on their own. This is a perfect example of someone with limited resources taking solar energy into their own hands and how successful a do-it-yourself solar energy project can work for the average...

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