HomeCommunity ContentScience SundaysScience Sunday 07-08-17
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This is good news.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised back in March that his electric car company, which also owns solar energy provider SolarCity, could help the state of South Australia with its routine weather-caused blackout issues. At the time, Musk said Tesla was so serious about the endeavor, he wrote on Twitter that the project could be completed within 100 days of a signed deal or it’d come free of charge. Now, Tesla is getting the opportunity to make good on that promise, as the company has won the government of South Australia’s bid to build what would be the world’s largest lithium-ion battery.

The battery will store wind energy generated from French company Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm, located outside Jamestown, South Australia. “The Tesla Powerpack system will further transform the state’s movement towards renewable energy and see an advancement of a resilient and modern grid,” Tesla wrote in a statement issued yesterday. In simple terms, by storing solar energy during off-peak hours and then discharging that energy during peak hours, utilities companies are able to cut costs and reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources.


I hope that Trump will read this not that it will make any difference.


A seven-year, $7.5 billion effort to build a first-of-its-kind “clean coal” power plant in Mississippi is officially over.

Mississippi regulators ordered utility owner Southern Co. on Thursday to come up with a deal that will have the Kemper plant — once hailed by former President Barack Obama’s administration as the future of coal — running as a natural gas-fired generator instead. That ratified Southern’s June 28 proposal to pull the plug on using coal there.

The ruling seals the fate of the Kemper plant and memorializes the state utility commission’s call last month for the company to give up on “unproven” technologies at the plant. It also assures that customers won’t pay for the failure. Almost three years after the plant began generating power with gas, Southern has been unable to put crucial coal-gasifiers into service.

The death of Kemper’s “clean coal” component represents a major setback for the very technologies that President Donald Trump has promoted as a way to help save mining jobs. It also marks the end of a high-profile project that was plagued by construction slowdowns, equipment failures and sliding gas prices. Kemper is already years behind schedule and more than $4 billion over budget.


Not sure how scientific this is but I found it interesting.


An intrepid group of YouTubers have taken on their most daring adventure yet – breaking into an active spaceport to find two of the few remaining Soviet-era space shuttles.
After navigating their way across barren flatland, members of the group, which publishes videos as Exploring the Unbeaten Path, dodge boobytraps and security patrols to steal into an abandoned hangar at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

What they find inside does not disappoint.


Thanks @bebimbob!

I thought this was interesting:

Why Roman concrete still stands strong while modern version decays

Their structures are still standing more than 1,500 years after the last centurion snuffed it: now the Romans’ secret of durable marine concrete has finally been cracked.

The Roman recipe – a mix of volcanic ash, lime (calcium oxide), seawater and lumps of volcanic rock – held together piers, breakwaters and harbours. Moreover, in contrast to modern materials, the ancient water-based structures became stronger over time.

Scientists say this is the result of seawater reacting with the volcanic material in the cement and creating new minerals that reinforced the concrete.

“They spent a tremendous amount of work [on developing] this – they were very, very intelligent people,” said Marie Jackson, a geologist at the University of Utah and co-author of a study into Roman structures.

As the authors note, the Romans were aware of the virtues of their concrete, with Pliny the Elder waxing lyrical in his Natural History that it is “impregnable to the waves and every day stronger”.


Seeing the 21st century windmills ‘up close and personal’ is an unforgettable experience. They are very big, something you don’t expect cos of their simple, sleek design. I didn’t see any flying critters near them. The WA State power folks obviously have a line on that hazard. 🙂 Now back here in Floridumb, solar is slowly advancing in spite of Retch Scott and the Tallahassee Crook Cabal! T and R, bebimbob!!


Thanks! Here’s to frogs and renewables! :O) and cool quarks.

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