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Category: Science

What G+ thinks you like to read…

The latest incarnation of “What’s hot”…

Google plus always has had a content discovery feature. In the past that have been the infamous “What’s hot…” entries. Postings that went into that category usually attracted a ton of spammers and even more haters, and one had a pretty blood crusted banhammer until the waves were through. Ask me how I know…

The current incarnation of “What’s hot” is marginally better at selecting and offering content, because it is somewhat more personalised. This is actually interesting, because the top bar shows a list of clickable keywords, which can give you a way to filter and also show you what Google plus would associate with your behavior.

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From Data Centers to Computronium and Riding Light

So at work we discussed Data Center Design at scale, and then things got out of hand. We ended up discussing Computronium, a hypothetical stuff  that basically is a piece of thinking matter, performing computation, the ultimate composable piece of hardware.

Computronium is a problem, though. You can’t just cover the planet in a crunchy Computronium crust – not only because the Hotels have to go somewhere. But also, because whatever thickness of Computronium you propose, it has to be powered somehow.

Ultimately, it has to be powered by the amount of energy hitting us from the sun. So there is likely a Dyson sphere behind the earth or elsewhere, collecting even more energy from the sun and sending it into the Computronium.

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And the cost of energy storage?

Kittner, Lill and Kammen made use of a model similar to the one for PV pricing in their Paper Energy storage deployment and innovation for the clean energy transition (PDF) to model and predict pricing for batteries.

A deeply decarbonized energy system research platform needs materials science advances in battery technology to overcome the intermittency challenges of wind and solar electricity. […] Here we analyse deployment and innovation using a two-factor model that integrates the value of investment in materials innovation and technology deployment over time from an empirical dataset covering battery storage technology. […] We find and chart a viable path to dispatchable US$1 W−1 solar with US$100 kWh−1 battery storage that enables combinations of solar, wind, and storage to compete directly with fossil-based electricity options.

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Evaluating the Changing Causes of Photovoltaics Cost Reduction

Evaluating the Changing Causes of Photovoltaics Cost Reduction

Why is PV Solar Energy getting cheaper and cheaper?

We find that increased module efficiency was the leading low-level cause of cost reduction in 1980-2001, contributing almost 30% of the cost decline. The most important high-level mechanism was R&D in these earlier stages of the technology. After 2001, scale economies became a more significant cause of cost reduction, approaching R&D in importance. Policies that stimulate market growth have played a key role in enabling the cost reduction in PV, through privately-funded R&D and economies of scale, and to a lesser extent learning-by-doing

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