Toyota Debuts Advanced Plug-In Hybrid Concepts Plus Prius c New York Auto Show Style!

Torrance, Calif, December 20, 2011—-Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will debut NS4, an advanced plug-in hybrid concept vehicle, at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The reveal will feature the world premiere of the concept vehicle as…

Solar Breakthrough: Cheap Quantum Dot Solar Paint

Researchers have reduced the preparation time of quantum dot solar cells to less than an hour by changing the form to a one-coat quantum dot solar paint. How? Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles are coated with cadmium sulfide (CdS) or cadmium selenide (CdSe.) The composite nanoparticles, when mixed with a solvent, form a paste that can be applied as one-step paint to a transparent conducting material, which creates electricity when exposed to light. Although the paint form is currently about five times less efficient than the highest recorded efficiency for the multifilm form, the researchers predict that its efficiency can be improved, which could lead to a simple and economically viable way to prepare solar cells.

Another Asian Fukushima Imminent?

Taiwan imports 99 percent of its energy, which is vital to its rapidly industrializing economy. The island nation’s electricity demand was recently growing at almost 5 percent per year, but this is slowing to about 3.3 percent per annum to 2013. Nuclear power has been a significant part of the electricity supply for two decades and now provides 17 percent of the country’s overall energy needs. But this has come at a potential cost. The country’s three nuclear power plants (NPPs) comprise four General Electric boiling water reactors and two Westinghouse pressurized water reactors. Taiwan launched its nuclear power project in 1972 with the construction of a General Electric boiling water reactor (BWR) at the Chinshan 1 Nuclear Plant in northern Taiwan. By 1985 Taiwan had a total of six reactors online at the Chinshan, Kuosheng and Maanshan NPPs, which provided nearly 20 percent of the island’s power that fueled Taiwan’s economic take off. The NPPs are operated by the Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) utility under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.