PEI Connect: Learning powered by the sun

Image by Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

Pei Connect provides a brief look at what got our attention during the week (19 – 26 Feb), and first up, we focus on a good news story out of Madagascar, combining solar power, circular economy and digital learning.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Madagascan kids get solar powered laptops

According to our sister publication, Aceleron has partnered with solar start-up Jirogasy to provide solar-powered PCs to learners in schools without access to reliable power. The project will empower younger generations with digital skills to build their economic future. Read more.

Beam me down scotty

Image credit: Stock

We just can’t get enough of power generation in outer space. Scientists working for the Pentagon have successfully tested a solar panel the size of a pizza box in space, designed as a prototype for a future system to beam electricity from space back to any point on Earth. Read about the experiment.

Sir David Attenborough addresses the UN

As the world considers the potential impact of climate change, the discussion has shifted to focus on security threats presented by an unstable climate. Sir David Attenborough has made a plea for the world to take action.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Frosty fallout continues after Texas grid collapse

The chairman and four directors of the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) have resigned after the grid failed during a cold snap that caused several lengthy blackouts and left millions without power.’s Jennifer Runyon looks at the numbers and unpacks how this could have happened. Read more.

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ITER Tokamak. Image credit: ITER

ITER: Mind blowing fusion facts

Building is underway at the ITER scientific installation in Saint Paul-lez-Durance, France. Thirty-five nations are collaborating to build the world’s largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device that has been designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars. Take a look at some of these pretty incredible facts and figures about the reactor:

  • 100,000 kilometres of niobium-tin superconducting strands are necessary for ITER’s toroidal field magnets,
  • In the ITER Tokamak, temperatures will reach 150 millionà‚°Cࢀ”or ten times the temperature at the core of our Sun,
  • The ITER Tokamak will be as heavy as three Eiffel Towers. The vacuum vessel alone, with its ports, blanket and divertor, weighs 8,000 tonnes,
  • The structure of the ITER central solenoidࢀ”the large, 1,000-tonne electromagnet in the centre of the machineࢀ”must be strong enough to contain a force equivalent to twice the thrust of the Space Shuttle at take-off.

Connect with us next week Friday for another selection of interesting sector news. Until then, take care, stay safe and power on.

The PEi Ed team 🙂

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