Introducing the Gizmag Store

Electrical

Breakthrough in low-cost efficient, dye-sensitized solar cells

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

The composite material releasing electrical energy to power a small light (Photo courtesy ...

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

The proposed design of the Wattbox showing clearly the water heating control unit and corr...

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

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

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

The solar cell test prototype with a microscale lens array fastened above it - the cell an...

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

Researcher Bing Hu paints a small square of ordinary paper with an ink that will deposit n...

By dipping an ordinary piece of paper into ink infused with carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires, scientists have been able to create a low-cost battery or supercapacitor that is ultra-lightweight, bendable and very durable. The paper can be crumpled, folded or even soaked in acidic or basic solutions and still will work.  Read More

A laptop generating a little too much waste heat (Photo: secumem via Wikipedia Commons)

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

Electrical engineers Babak Parviz and Brian Otis and undergraduate student Carlton Himes (...

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

President Obama toured Southern California Edison in March 2009 to see the first of the F-...

Eaton Corporation’s truck and electrical businesses will play a major role in producing 378 plug-in hybrid electric power vehicles, the largest commercial hybrid deployment to date in the U.S., thanks to a USD$45.4 million government grant. Eaton will also provide the electrical charging infrastructure for these vehicles.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,501 articles