Tesla’s $3,000 Powerwall Will Let Households Run Entirely On Solar Energy
You almost certainly associate Tesla with cars — very cool cars — but the company has an even grander vision beyond that. Today, CEO and founder Elon Musk unveiled ‘Tesla Energy’— a new business arm that is focused on ending our dependence on grid power and switching instead to solar energy.
The first Tesla Energy product is ‘Powerwall Home Battery,’ a stationary battery that can power a household without requiring the grid. The battery is rechargeable lithium-ion — it uses Tesla’s existing battery tech — and can be fixed to a wall, removing much of the existing complexity around using a local power source.
“The issue with existing batteries is that they suck,” Musk said in a press conference announcing Tesla Energy. “They are expensive, unreliable and bad in every way.”
Tesla’s solution, he said, is different.
For one thing, the company’s batteries cost $3,500 for 10kWh and $3,000 for 7kWh — add your snarky Apple Watch price comparison here. They are open for pre-orders in the U.S. now; the first orders will be dispatched “in late summer.”
Like regular batteries, they can be used together — up to nine can be stacked up together to create a strong and reliable power source. Musk said he believes they can help people in emerging markets or remote locations ‘leapfrog’ the need for existing power systems, in a similar way that mobile phones have become more important than landlines in remote parts of the world.
The Tesla Powerwall charges using solar power, but it also integrates with the grid “to harness excess power and give customers the flexibility to draw energy from their own reserve.” The batteries recharge in a ‘smart’ way, saving money by picking low-rate periods when electricity is cheapest. They store solar energy for later, for example overnight, and can act as a back-up in the event of a power outage.
Much more found HERE.
Headline: An Atlas of the Bacteria and Fungi We Breathe Every Day
EVERY TIME YOU inhale, you suck in thousands of microbes. (Yes, even right then. And just then, too.) But which microbes? Scientists mostly assumed that the living components of air—at the tiniest scales, anyway—were the same no matter where you went.
And? Not true, it turns out. Thanks to a 14-month citizen-science project that sampled and analyzed airborne dust around the country, researchers have constructed the first atlas of airborne bacteria and fungi across the continental US. And airborne microscopic life is really diverse.
More than 1,400 volunteers swabbed surfaces in 1,200 houses around the country, focusing on the places people don’t usually clean. The dust there passively collects microbes. In the end those swabs revealed about 112,000 bacterial and 57,000 fungal phylotypes (i.e. familial groups).
Most of these little guys were harmless. The few pathogens and allergens ended up being location-specific. Alternaria, a fungal genus that’s also a common allergen, is ubiquitous but concentrates most in the midwest. The fungus Cladosporium has smaller hotspots scattered all over the country east of Texas, most frequently in the South and Mid-Atlantic. Meanwhile, the bacterial genus Cellulomonas, an normally harmless microbe (but an emerging pathogen according to one study), is much more common in the west.
The two biggest factors that shape this airborne environment, according to study author andUniversity of Colorado microbial ecologist Noah Fierer, are the types of soil and plants that are located in the area (affecting the acidity in the environment), and the climate (humidity, temperature, etc.) Cities, for example, tended to be more like other cities than the rural areas nearby, which Fierer attributes to urban areas tending to plant the same types of trees and flowers and playing host to the same types of wildlife (pigeons, rats, etc).
Map and more found HERE.
Mead is having its first moment since the Middle Ages.
The alcoholic beverage made of fermented honey, long ago surpassed by beer and wine, is having a small resurgence thanks to its prominence on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Meaderies report a 128% increase in production between 2013 and 2014.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb