Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Solar Window Produces Electricity and Sticks Tongue Out at HOA’s

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

It is almost universally agreed that renewable energy is the future whether it is solar, wind, wave, or bio energy.  However it seems that many home owner associations are opposed to solar panels on roofs and/or wind turbines in back yards.  There are some innovative thinkers out there that have a solution.  At Taipei’s International Optoelectronics Week, the Chin Hua solar window was making electricity from what seemed to be a regular window albeit a slightly foggy window. read more »

Self-Healing Concrete

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

One of the best ways to be green is to make the most of what is already being used.  It is hard to do with concrete due to its brittle nature.  Once it is broken, it is hard to fix without costly man hours and the use of more natural resources.

However, Michelle Pelletier, a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island, has discovered a way for concrete to heal itself.  Pelletier found that after fracturing concrete mixed with a microencapsulated sodium silicate agent into standard concrete can cause the concrete to regain up to 26 percent of its original strength.  It is speculated that a higher concentration of the sodium silicate will result in a higher rebounding strength. read more »

Nanotech Film Could Boost Solar Efficiency

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

nanostructure filmChemical Engineers at Oregon State University have come up w/ a way to deposit a “nanostructure film” on a multitude of surfaces.  The film will essentially make solar cells less reflective and able to absorb more photons for conversion of light to energy.  This new technology will enable solar cells to perform better at a lower price.  What makes this technology even more convenient is that it can be applied on site in a dispenser’s office.  No special manufacturing process is needed. read more »

Best Things To Buy Used – Computers

Friday, August 28th, 2009

dell-latitude-d630-laptopTechnology in chips increases regularly, but for the average user, there is no need to pay the high dollar for the newest, fastest chip.  Here are some decent specs for a computer.

Dell Lattitude

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz, 3M L2 Cache, 1066FSB

Screen Size: 14.1″

Memory: 4 GB DDR 2 SDRAM 800MHz (2 DIMMs) read more »

Spintronics Could Lead to Magnetic Batteries

Monday, October 13th, 2008
(A) Heating one side of a conductive rod causes heated electrons to move to the other end, creating a voltage. (B) Heating one side of a magnetized nickel-iron rod creates a “spin voltage,” with spin-up and spin-down electrons on opposite ends. Image credit: (c)2008 Nature.

Eiji Saitoh a physicist at Keio University in Yokohama, Japan, and his colleagues have published their results in a recent issue of Nature. As they explain, the term “spin Seebeck effect” comes from the original Seebeck effect, which is a thermoelectric phenomenon discovered by Thomas Johann Seebeck in the 1800s. The Seebeck effect states that, heating one side of a conducting rod causes electrons at that end to heat up and move toward the cooler side, creating a voltage. read more »

Free Computer Recycling Service for Virginia, Washington, D.C

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Dell has teamed up with Goodwill to help recycle unused computers. The details are as follows…

  • Reconnect offers consumers free recycling for any brand of computer equipment in any condition. Consumers can find a drop-off location at
  • Each of the seven members of the Virginia Goodwill Network is participating, with the combined territories covering Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metro area.
  • Program goals are to divert over 2.7 million pounds of used computers and computer equipment from area landfills over the next year; and provide consumer education on the importance of environmentally-responsible computer disposal. Reconnect can also help create job opportunities for individuals who have barriers to employment or independence.
  • Consumers can drop off used computers at any of 134 Goodwill donation centers across the region. Goodwill will accept and sort the donated computer equipment and Dell’s product recovery partner will recycle and remarket the recycled materials. Consumers are read more »

The Next Wireless Revolution – LEDs

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

LED technology is on the rise because of its economy, but there might be an additional reason to further the technology in the future. Boston University researchers are working on a cutting edge wireless technology that uses LEDs instead of radio frequencies in what is called a Smart Lighting system.

“Imagine if your computer, iPhone, TV, radio and thermostat could all communicate with you when you walked in a room just by flipping the wall light switch and without the usual cluster of wires,” said BU Engineering Professor Thomas Little. “This could be done with an LED-based communications network that also provides light – all over existing power lines with low power consumption, high reliability and no electromagnetic interference. Ultimately, the system is expected to be applicable from read more »

Google To Compute Efficiently

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Google has farm systems of servers that run 24-7 to provide the world with information. The web literally could not run w/o Google and yet it has made a commitment to running the most efficient data centers.

The graph below shows that our Google-designed data centers use considerably less energy – both for the servers and the facility itself – than a typical data center. As a result, the energy used per Google search is minimal. In fact, in the time it takes to do a Google search, your own personal computer will use more energy than we will use to answer your query.

But sustainability is about more than electricity, so we’ve gone beyond just reducing our energy consumption. Before the end of 2008 two of our facilities will run on 100% recycled water, and by 2010 we expect recycled water to provide 80% of our total water consumption. We also carefully manage the retirement of our servers to ensure that 100% of this material is either reused or recycled. Finally, we are engaging our users and peers to help build a clean and efficient energy future. This broader impact could be significant; if all data centers operated at the same efficiency as ours, the U.S. alone would save enough electricity to power every household within the city limits of Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

Sustainability is good for the environment, but it makes good business sense too. Most of our work is focused on saving resources such as electricity and water and, more often than not, we find that these actions lead to reduced operating costs. Being “green” is essential to keeping our business competitive. It is this economic advantage that makes our efforts truly sustainable.

via google

Toshiba Creates Brighter LED

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

We all know that LEDs will probably replace most lights in the future, but the knock on them right now is that they just are not as bright as incandescents or CFLs.  In order to make the lights brighter, Toshiba has created an LED that has 50% higher UV light emission that will result in a brighter bulb compared to its predecessor.

The company hopes to use the technology to commercialize as early as 2010 LED lighting capable of replacing fluorescent lighting.

Today’s UV LEDs are not efficient enough for use in white LEDs, so such devices are now made by coating phosphors on a blue LED. However, because the red color component is weak, red objects look dark when illuminated under these kinds of white LEDs.

As a result, currently available white LEDs are not suited for lighting places like supermarkets and clothing stores.

Toshiba increased the efficiency of its UV LED by placing a thin layer of aluminum nitride between the sapphire substrate and the light-emitting layer of gallium nitride. This reduces boundary defects more than tenfold and helps prevent fissures that lower efficiency.

Toshiba’s prototype LED emits UV light in wavelengths of 383 nanometers. At a current of 20 milliamperes, the device emits light with a brightness of 23 milliwatts, compared with a maximum of 15 milliwatts for conventional UV LEDs.

Coated with green, red and blue phosphors, the UV LED generates white light.

via tradingmarkets

Carbon Nanotubes Breakthrough Could Replace Steel

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

There has always been a buzz about the new super-material known as carbon nanotubes. Well, researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have teamed up with CSIRO to come up with a revolutionary way to manufacture carbon nanotubes making it more commercially viable. The nanotubes are grown chemically into nanotube “forests” and can be produced at 7 meters per minute.

“Rarely is a processing advance so elegantly simple that rapid commercialisation seems possible, and rarely does such an advance so quickly enable diverse application demonstrations”, says Dr Ray H. Baughman of the NanoTech Institute.

Carbon Nanotubes are like steel but reportedly five times stronger than steel for equal weight. They are also lighter, can conduct electricity, are thermally conductive, and are also transparent. The applications of this ground-breaking material range across many industries including housing, transportation, and textiles.