Elon Musk reveals battery to power homes

first_img4 May 2015South African born and raised tech entrepreneur Elon Musk at a presentation in the US on Thursday night announced the development of a new battery system that can store solar energy for later use.The battery, known as the Powerwall, addresses a key obstacle to wider use of renewable energy sources: “The obvious problem with solar power is that the sun does not shine at night,” he said at the Los Angeles-area design studio of his electric car company, Tesla Motors. The Tesla Powerwall is a home battery designed to store solar energy. (Image: Tesla Motors)  That means energy grids using solar power still need backup sources of electricity. In South Africa and the US, this is largely generated by power plants burning coal or natural gas.But the batteries to be produced by the new company, Tesla Energy, are “the missing piece” to wider reliance on solar power, he said, storing energy generated when the sun shines for use when it doesn’t.Ability to ‘power a small city’“The goal is complete transformation of the entire energy infrastructure of the world, to completely sustainable zero carbon,” Musk told reporters.Tesla Energy will produce batteries for residential use, and scalable battery systems with capacity up to 1 GWh that “can power a small city” like Boulder, Colorado, Musk said.The Tesla Powerwall, stackable batteries for residential use, each with a capacity of 10 kWh, will sell for $3 500 each (about R41 500) and would be available in three to four months.The device, which is about 15cm thick, 1.2m tall and 90cm wide, will be a boon for under-developed regions, where power is often unreliable despite abundant solar energy. “This is going to be really great for the poorest communities in the world. This allows you to be completely off-grid.”In 2012, the average US household used about 11 380 kWh of electricity per year. German households averaged 3 413 kWh per year.In a 2013 report, the US Department of Energy said storage “can ‘smooth’ the delivery of power generated from wind and solar technologies, in effect, increasing the value of renewable power”.Electricity storage is “the thing that’s needed to have a proper transition to a sustainable energy world”, Musk said.Musk runs the US’s second-largest manufacturer of solar cells, Solar City, as well as the electric car pioneer Tesla Motors and space transport producer SpaceX.Source: DPA/News24last_img read more

World Cup Caching! — The Meeting of Waters (GC3XGGT) — Geocache of the Week

first_imgFloating right over the meeting of the waters. Photo by geocacher moppel2009Geocache Name:The Meeting of Waters (GC3XGGT)Difficulty/Terrain Rating:2/2Why this is the Geocache of the Week:With much of the world in the grips of World Cup fever (Go USA!), we thought it would be a great time to show off some of the cool geocaches in Brazil. This week, we’re near the city of Manaus, where the soccer/football matches between England  &  Italy, Cameroon  &  Croatia, United States  &  Portugal, and Honduras  &  Switzerland will take place. For the fans visiting this area, finding this Earthcache is a must. At this location, the Amazon River and Rio Negro come together, creating an incredibly unique view of dark and light waters mixing together. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch a glimpse of one of the pink dolphins that frequent the area.What geocachers are saying:“What a fun day! Took a tour with David Andrade’s Amazon Jungle Tours, filled small bottles with water from both rivers, swam with the pink dolphins, and more!” – molokaihuakai“Very cool at this location! To me the darker water was colder today! Thanks for this earthcache!”  – bubbag04“Cast away on an Amazonas Beach!!! Next Year we will come back… FIFA Wold CUP 2014!!! Thanks for the cache” – Günni Ka-LiPhotos:Making the find. Photo by geocacher msstrongTake a dip! Photo by geocacher LieveheersbeestjeIt looks like coffee to me. Photo by geocacher TheBraendlis 2-part question: What country are you rooting for in the World Cup and what’s your favorite geocache in that country? Tell us in the comments.Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, leave a comment below with the name of the geocache, the GC code, and why you think we should feature it.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint Relatedlast_img read more

Hotmail One-Ups Gmail, Takes Facebook Chat Global

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#Facebook#Google#Microsoft#web mike melanson According to Craddock, the response to the feature has been good since it was first announced last September. “Since announcing the availability of Facebook chat in Messenger worldwide two weeks ago, nearly 2.5 more million people connected their Facebook accounts to Windows Live, bringing the total to over 20 million customers,” writes Craddock. “And with three out of four Hotmail customers using Facebook, we expect that many more people will want to take advantage of this feature, now that it’s available from your Hotmail inbox.”If  you’re a Hotmail user and haven’t yet tried out the feature, all you need to do is connect your Facebook account to Windows Live and check the box for “Chat with my Facebook friends in Messenger.” Hotmail may have three times as many users as Twitter, but it’s looking for something that may not be as easily quantifiable – the cool factor of  Google’s Gmail. That’s something that Microsoft has been working on for a while now, with a full redesign of its email client last year. Today, the company announced that it’s adding another bit of cool to its 350 million member email system – full chatting capabilities with Facebook’s 600 million member network worldwide.Microsoft first announced Facebook chat in Hotmail as a part of a number of updates last September, but the feature was only activated in the U.S., U.K., France, Brazil, Germany, and Russia. Today, the company announced that it would be available worldwide, wherever both Hotmail and Facebook were accessible. Hotmail program manager Dick Craddock the company’s little brother syndrome when it comes to Gmail in the announcement. “While Gmail beat us to bringing their own chat into the inbox,” writes Craddock, “we have now gone a step further and brought both our own chat and Facebook chat into your inbox.” Take that Gmail. Being serious, though, most integrations like this have one exciting thing in common – they’re good for the end-user. The feature lets users on both ends – those logged into Facebook and those on Hotmail – communicate seamlessly with each other. Gmail only has Gtalk and no Facebook. Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more