Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 7th Mar 2010

The Science of Solar: Photovoltaics

The Sun, as seen from the surface of Earth through a camera lens. (c) Lykaestria @ Wikipedia

Shedding some light on new advances in solar technology, this week's Naked Scientists explores how nanotechnology can boost solar cell efficiency and how flexible photovoltaics can be rolled up - and rolled out - to help power military operations. In Kitchen Science we reveal how to make your very own solar cell from some old electronics, and in this week's news, the gene combination that's perfect for tuberculosis, the methane time-bomb ticking off the Siberian coast, the first human writing and how doctors are knocking migraines on the head with a magnet.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:52 - Gene combo causes susceptibility to tuberculosis

    Researchers have discovered a key reason why some people are susceptible to TB and others arenít. Publishing in the journal Cell, Lalita Ramakrishnan and colleagues from the University of Washington think that itís the levels of an enzyme called LTA4H which give some people bett...

  • 04:17 - East Siberian Methane Timebomb

    Scientists have discovered that millions of tonnes of sequestered methane locked up beneath the shallow ocean shoreline of Siberia are becoming unstable and escaping into the air, threatening to accelerate climate change.

  • 06:30 - The Earliest Symbolic Scratchings

    This week archaeologists have described the discovery of some of the earliest evidence for advanced human thought. Publishing in the journal PNAS, Pierre-Jean Texier and colleagues have analysed nearly 300 bits of carved ostrich shell from a site in South Africa.

  • 09:06 - Researchers wind back Earth's Magnetic Clock

    Scientists have found evidence for a magnetic field around the Earth at least 250 million years earlier than previously thought

  • 18:29 - DIY Photovoltaic Solar cell

    Find out how to build your own solar cell, it may not solve the world's energy problem, but it is made from recycled components.

  • 25:09 - Capturing Sunlight on a Nano Scale

    Can nanotechnology make solar cells more efficient? We find out how tweaking a surface at the nano-scale could allow us to absorb far more energy from the sun...

  • 29:33 - Solar Power in Southampton's Structures

    We sent Meera Senthilingam out to find out how cleverly designing solar cells into the structure of a building can make them multitask. So as well as offsetting some of the energy demands, they can also act as a shade to keep down air conditioning costs in the summer and as a r...

  • 34:43 - Roll Up and Roll Out - Flexible Solar Cells

    Flexible solar cells could revolutionise the way solar cells can be used, we hear how they're made and where they can be used from Frank Jeffrey and Mike Coon of PowerFilm Solar

 

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