Posts Tagged ‘Energy’

Artificial Leaf

Monday, March 28th, 2011

The artificial leaf could be one of the most important inventions of this decade.  No, this wasn’t the first time someone has invented such a thing, but it was the first time someone perfected the technology and is on the cusp of making it widely available.  Meet Daniel Nocera, Ph.D. read more »

Hydrogen From Urine

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

A hydrogen economy would be great.  We could potentially have a limitless supply of energy because it is one of the most abundant elements on the planet while the only by product of its combustion would be water.

Currently a huge detractor is that hydrogen is expensive to produce.  Water is very stable, and it takes a lot of energy to break apart water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.  Gerardine Botte of Ohio University has created a new catalyst that can extract the hydrogen from urine. read more »

Making Electronics More Efficient

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Have you ever wondered why laptops need the “charging brick”?  Laptops have had these for as long as I can remember.  In laptops, high-voltage AC power is converted to low-voltage DC power.  Apple helped to make them a little less unsightly by making them a bit smaller.  However they are still cumbersome at best.  Fret no more.  A Google Ventures backed company called Transphorm has created a technology that will eliminate the charging brick. read more »

Solar Energy Telescope

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

There has been a lot of research into making solar panels more efficient collecting the sun’s energy.  However, Roger Angel and researchers at the University of Arizona are tackling the problem of solar energy collection from a different angle.  The goal is to make solar energy as affordable as energy from fossil fuels at a $1/watt installed. read more »

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 »

Compressed Air Energy Storage Catching On

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Last year we brought you news about Pacific Gas & Electric using compressed air energy storage to solve energy needs.  Now it seems Southwest Solar Technologies is taking it a step further.  Instead of just using wind turbines, it will combine, wind, solar, and other renewable energy resources to make renewable energy grid ready.

If you are not familiar with the technology, it basically uses off peak and surplus energy to power giant compressors that will fill salt caverns with air.  When power is at a greater demand than what is being produced, or in the case of solar, the renewable energy is not available, it will use the air pressure in the caverns to power the generators to produce electricity.

Traditional power plants like a 110 MW plant in McIntosh, Alabama have used this technology successfully for 16 years.  It seems the transition to a renewable source would be the next logical evolution in renewable energy.

via eere.energy.govinhabitatswsolartech.com

MIT Professor Changing the Solar Game

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Nocera fuel cellMIT Professor Daniel Nocera thinks that the incremental gains made in solar output are not the answer to cheap solar energy.  He thinks the answer is water.  Last year Nocera and other MIT colleagues wrote a technical paper describing a closed-loop energy system. read more »

Bacteria Produces Biofuel

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Rhodococcus bacteriaMIT researchers are engineering a bacteria to produce biofuel.  The bacteria is a close cousin to the strain that causes tuberculosis, however, it is only dangerous if you happened to be a toxic compound. read more »

E.Coli Cleans Nuclear Waste

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

EcoliEveryone knows that E.Coli makes people sick to their stomach.  Well, it turns out that it gives nuclear waste a big stomach ache as well.  It turns out that researchers at the University of Birmingham found that E.Coli break down phytic acid and release phosphate molecules which then bind to uranium.   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 »