If you were a hybrid vehicle manufacturer, and you wanted to lower the world’s CO2 emissions, would you first...
- a) Try to replace all the privately-owned gas vehicles, that mostly just drive to and from workplaces, one vehicle at a time, or...
- b) Replace entire corporate fleets of gas delivery vehicles, that typically spend all day, every day, on the road?
In a world that largely relies on elevators to ferry people from one floor of a building to the next, it is remarkable how inefficient current systems are in terms of favoring passenger convenience over the increasingly important aspect of reducing energy consumption. Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric looks set to buck the trend with the announcement of its development of multi–elevator smart control technology that can not only reduce energy use by up to ten percent, but do so while adding a mere few seconds to passenger waiting times. Read More
The golden ratio describes a rectangle with a length roughly one and a half times its width. Also known as the golden section, golden mean and divine proportion, among other names, it has intrigued mathematicians and artists alike for centuries. The Egyptians supposedly used it to guide the construction the Pyramids, the architecture of ancient Athens is thought to have been based on it, and many artists have fashioned their works around it. This includes Leonardo da Vinci, who used it in the Mona Lisa and the Vitruvian Man. Now a Duke University scientist believes he has figured out the secret behind the golden ratio’s popularity – and it’s all down to evolution. Read More
Scientists from Sandia National Laboratories have developed tiny, glitter-sized photovoltaic cells that are ten times thinner than conventional solar cells and could one day be used in a variety of applications – from satellites and remote-sensing, to tents and perhaps even clothing. Yep, these cells could turn the average Joe into a walking solar-battery charger. Read More
In a recent issue of the journal Nature, researchers from the University of Twente, Netherlands, explain how they succeeded in transferring magnetically coded information directly into a semiconductor, for the first time at room temperatures. Meanwhile, Toshiba announced at the International Electronics Devices Meeting (IEDM) it has developed a MOSFET transistor harnessing spintronics, demonstrating stable, fast and low-power performance. Read More
Capstone Turbine Corporation has shown off its high performance hybrid electric car, the CMT-380, at the LA Auto Show. The car features a 30kW microturbine that extends the range of its traditional EV batteries, and which the company likens to having an ultra-clean and quiet jet engine under the hood. Capstone adds that the supercar, still in its test phase, reaches 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds, has a top speed of 150mph, and a range of up to 500 miles on a single tank of fuel - all with ultra-low exhaust emissions that rival any hybrid on the market today. Read More
Known mainly for their potential application in hydrogen cars, fuel cells are a promising technology with several unresolved issues, including working temperatures. Scientist at the University of Calgary have discovered a new material that allows a common kind of fuel cell to work at higher temperatures, increasing efficiency while decreasing manufacturing costs. Read More
That heat emanating from your computer as you sit reading this article amounts to nothing more than wasted energy. And your computer is not alone. More than half of the energy consumed worldwide is wasted, most of it in the form of excess heat. But new research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) indicates it might be possible to harvest much of the wasted heat produced by everything from computer processors to car engines and electric powerplants, and convert it into usable electricity. This kind of waste-energy harvesting might lead to mobile phones with double the talk time, laptop computers that can operate twice as long before needing to be plugged in to mains power, or energy plants that produce more electricity for a given amount of fuel. Read More
It's almost as good as going to school in a treehouse. The recently opened Elleray Preparatory School in the Lake District National Park has three class pods standing on stilts connected by a center platform made from recycled materials, such as plastic milk bottles and wood shavings. Nestled amongst the trees, the complex is built to have a low environmental impact and therefore makes excellent use of solar power, rainwater collection, and has an energy-efficient heat pump. Read More
A team of researchers from the University of Cincinnati have achieved control of the spin of electrons traveling on a wire by simply regulating an electrical voltage. This is a major milestone in the brief history of spintronics, the emerging technology that uses the spin of electrons to store and manipulate digital information with much higher speeds and efficiency. Read More