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Clean Energy

Reports of new developments in the area of solar power are an almost daily event here at Gizmag. The main focus of research seems to be on improving the efficiency of solar cells, but others are working at developing an inexpensive method of locally storing the energy generated by solar systems. Because society relies on a continuous energy supply and solar energy is diurnal, storage systems are integral to what some see as an inevitable move towards the era of “personalized solar energy”, in which the focus of electricity production shifts from huge central generating stations to individuals in their own homes and communities. Read More
Nissan has showcased its electric vehicle (EV) platform on a Tiida-based hatchback model. The Nissan EV-11 prototype seats four-five adults, has a top speed of around 87mph (140kmh), a cruising range of 100 miles (160km) between charges and, being a full EV, produces zero local CO2 emissions. The in-house developed electric motor delivers 80kW (107hp) for “high response and powerful acceleration”. Nissan has also plans some clever IT for its EV platform, like remote ON/OFF charging via a cell phone or the Internet, useful mapping features including automatic updates on the nearest charging stations, a global data center providing 24/7 support and a scheme that could even see non-contact charging introduced in carparks. Read More
As an efficient, natural means of capturing solar energy, photosynthesis is hard to beat. But it’s also proving extremely difficult to duplicate. That’s why researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands are very excited at having built a light-harvesting antenna using the chlorophyll of the alga Spirulina: they’re now halfway towards the artificial leaf. Read More
Dean Kamen – the multimillionaire inventor behind the Segway personal transporter – is well down the road in the development of a new bike that combines electric power and a radical generator which will allow it to burn almost any fuel. Although the majority of the work that goes on in Kamen's product development company, Deka, is shrouded in mystery, as it includes significant projects for the US military, details are emerging about Kamen's new two-wheeler, which is part of a project that also includes a car designed around the same technology. Read More
Scientists at the Singapore-based Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have made an unprecedented breakthrough in transforming carbon dioxide, a common greenhouse gas, into methanol, a widely used form of industrial feedstock and clean-burning biofuel. Using "organocatalysts", researchers activated carbon dioxide in a mild and non-toxic process to produce the more useful chemical compound. Read More
Solar power from photovoltaic cells are widely recognized as an integral part of a clean green future, and any development that can make these cells more efficient, no matter how small, assists in making this future a reality. A team of researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a surface treatment that boosts the light absorption of silicon photovoltaic cells by trapping light in three-dimensional structures and by making the surfaces self cleaning. Read More
Green energy comes in many guises these days, from wind-power to wave-power. One of the more compelling of the new kids on the eco-energy block is salinity power, which uses the concurrence of salt-water and freshwater in estuaries and marries it with the natural, effortless process of osmosis. Read More
It’s common knowledge that the majority of electricity generation and waste disposal methods currently in widespread use are not very environmentally friendly. New British venture Waste2tricity aims to kill two environmentally damaging birds with one stone by taking carbon based waste, either municipal solid waste (MSW) or waste from business and industry, and converting it into clean electricity, thereby reducing the amount of rubbish going to landfill and potentially making a significant contribution to the UK electricity supply. Read More
A team of scientists from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) has designed a new "super-lattice" material with incredibly high ion conductivity properties that could lead to the development of more efficient fuel cells capable of operating at room temperature. Read More
Carbon capture and storage is a climate change mitigation technology characterized by sporadic and unreliable government support and plagued with accusations that it will worsen the environmental disaster it seeks to address. Yet, despite the negative stigma, CCS has been labeled by the IPCC and the Stern Report as an essential measure in reducing the impact of fossil fuels. Gizmag's Kyle Sherer takes a closer look. Read More
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