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Electrical

— Electronics

Wet Circuits water-resistant power strip

By - July 8, 2010 5 Pictures
Accidentally spilling a cup of coffee over a power strip will, at best, probably cause the connected equipment to stop working. On the other hand, such water-related electrical mishaps could lead to serious injury or even be fatal for the user. Wet Circuits has introduced a water resistant power strip that looks to avoid such situations by protecting internal wiring and minimizing the flow of electricity upon contact with water. Read More
— Environment

Breakthrough in low-cost efficient solar cells

By - April 8, 2010 1 Picture
The Earth receives more solar energy in one hour than the human race currently consumes in a year. At least, that’s what the scientists at Canada’s Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) tell us. That’s a lot of energy, and it’s going mostly untapped. Why? Because, we are told, solar collection cells are too inefficient and expensive to be more widely used. A researcher at UQAM, however, has come up with new technology that addresses these problems - for the first time in 20 years, according to Professor Benoît Marsan, there is an effective, low-cost solar cell. Read More
— Automotive

Future cars: Auto bodywork composite doubles as a battery

By - February 7, 2010 1 Picture
The problem is clear. Hybrid cars and EVs rely on batteries for power, but batteries are bulky and heavy, causing the car to use up more energy. But what if a car's bodywork was made of a strong, lightweight material that could store and discharge electrical energy just as a conventional battery does? In pursuing this goal, researchers at the Imperial College London are developing a key building block for the hybrid car of the future, and the implications go way beyond automobiles - think wafer thin mobile phones and laptops that don't need a separate battery because they draw power from their casing. Read More
— Environment

Wattbox: Habit-learning device to lower energy bills

By - February 7, 2010 1 Picture
The adage “less is more” rings true when discussing energy usage - as energy costs rise, using less saves you more money each year. And studies have shown that householders who know how much energy they use on a daily basis tend to use significantly less. A new device called the Wattbox - a smart control unit for central heating and hot water heaters that learns householders' energy habits and provide immediate feedback on consumption - could deliver home energy savings of up to 20 percent without compromising comfort say UK researchers. A great feature of the Wattbox is that it is retrofittable, meaning it’s suitable for all houses, not just new ones. Read More
— Outdoors

The Stat-X First Responder – designed just for manhole fires

By - January 7, 2010 1 Picture
Now here’s a clever device no electrical, gas, plumbing, fire, police or first responder crew should be without ... if they ever have to go into confined spaces where there’s even a remote chance of fire. It’s called a Stat-X First Responder® and it only does one thing – extinguish fires in confined spaces really fast. If fire breaks out, you activate the aerosol-based fire suppression device and toss it in the hole. It’s clean, compact, cost effective and safe for the environment. Fires in manholes are rare but can be deadly without the correct firefighting tools to enable a trapped worker to escape. Read More
— Environment

Tiny glitter-sized photovoltaic cells could revolutionize solar power

By - December 21, 2009 3 Pictures
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
— Environment

Harnessing waste heat to produce electricity

By - November 19, 2009 1 Picture
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
— Environment

Really green power - running an electric circuit from trees

By - September 8, 2009 2 Pictures
Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have taken the term ‘green power’ literally by running an electric circuit from the power generated by trees. Sure, there isn’t much electrical power to harness, but the researchers say it should be enough to run wireless sensors that could be used to detect environmental conditions or forest fires and could also be used to gauge a tree’s health. Read More
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