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Electricity

— Environment

Printed thermoelectric generators could capture energy from waste heat

By - April 3, 2013 1 Picture
Thermoelectric materials, putting it simply, are able to generate electricity via differences in temperature. If thermoelectric felt were used to make a jacket, for instance, it could generate a current using the temperature gradient between the warm interior and cold exterior of the garment. Like many such promising technologies, however, the cost of thermoelectrics is something of an issue ... although thanks to a new process developed at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology, that might not be the case for much longer. Read More
— Environment

EWICON bladeless wind turbine generates electricity using charged water droplets

By - April 3, 2013 2 Pictures
Wind energy may be one of the more sustainable sources of power available, but the spinning blades of conventional wind turbines require regular maintenance and have attracted criticism from bird lovers. That might explain why we've seen wind turbine prototypes that enclose the blades in a chamber or replace them entirely with a disc-like system. But researchers in the Netherlands set out to eliminate the need for a mechanical component entirely and created the EWICON, a bladeless wind turbine with no moving parts that produces electricity using charged water droplets. Read More
— Around The Home

Wattio aims to smartify your home's energy usage

By - March 22, 2013 5 Pictures
Here at Gizmag we've featured a variety of home energy management devices, and the latest solution is an offering from Spanish startup, Wattio. The SmartHome 360º is a home energy monitoring and control system that can be managed through a smartphone, tablet or PC using the Wattio Gateway software. The system's four components are capable of communicating with each other and subsequently with the Wattio software applications and cloud service, to provide comprehensive energy management capability throughout the home. Read More
— Environment

World’s largest concentrated solar power plant opens in the UAE

By - March 18, 2013 6 Pictures
Thanks to its low latitude and low percentage of cloudy days, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an ideal location for capturing solar energy. So it’s no surprise to see the world’s largest operating concentrated solar power (CSP) has launched in the sun-soaked Middle Eastern country. Officially inaugurated this week by UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Shams 1 is a 100 MW CSP that will power 20,000 UAE homes. Read More
— Environment

Nanotubes boost potential of salinity power as a renewable energy source

By - March 12, 2013 1 Picture
In November 2009, Norwegian state owned electricity company Statkraft opened the world’s first osmotic power plant prototype, which generates electricity from the difference in the salt concentration between river water and sea water. While osmotic power is a clean, renewable energy source, its commercial use has been limited due to the low generating capacities offered by current technology – the Statkraft plant, for example, has a capacity of about 4 kW. Now researchers have discovered a new way to harness osmotic power that they claim would enable a 1 m2 (10.7 sq. ft.) membrane to have the same 4 kW capacity as the entire Statkraft plant. Read More
— Environment

Analysts say renewable energy now cheaper option than new fossil fuels in Australia

By - February 14, 2013 1 Picture
In 2008, the Garnaut Climate Change Review ranked Australia as the highest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases of any OECD country and amongst the highest in the world. One of the reasons for the country's high carbon footprint is its reliance on coal for electricity generation – 54 percent of it, according to the Australian Coal Association. But a new study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) points to a cleaner energy future with the claim that unsubsidized renewable energy is now a cheaper option for electricity generation than new coal- or gas-fired power stations. Read More
— Science

Iron-oxidizing bacteria could be used to convert electricity into biofuel

By - January 31, 2013 1 Picture
What do bacteria, wind turbines and solar panels have to do with one another? Nothing ... unless you can teach the bacteria to “breathe” electricity and turn it into biofuel. That’s still a very long way off, but a team of researchers at the BioTechnology Institute at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities have found a method for growing iron-oxidizing bacteria by feeding it electricity. It’s primarily a way to better study a recently-discovered type of bacteria, but it also holds the promise of turning electricity into biofuel. Read More
— Electronics

Stretchable electrical wires heal back together after being severed

By - January 23, 2013 1 Picture
Last month, we heard about how a team led by North Carolina State University’s Dr. Michael Dickey had created an electrical wire that could be stretched up to eight times its regular length ... and still carry a current. This was possible thanks to a conductive liquid metal alloy of gallium and indium, contained inside the wire’s elastic polymer outer housing. Now, Dickey's team has developed a new wire that not only can be stretched, but that will heal itself when severed. Read More

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