Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Energy

A new high-efficiency biogas plant developed at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany could ...

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed a "biobattery" in the form of a highly efficient biogas plant that can turn raw materials like straw, scrap wood and sludge into a variety of useful energy sources including electricity, purified gas and engine oil. The new plant design, currently being put to the test in a prototype plant in Germany, is said to be highly modular and economically viable even at the small scale.  Read More

Tesla home battery, which is currently produced for SolarCity's home energy storage system...

The same lithium-ion battery technology that powers Tesla’s electric vehicles will be used to develop a battery for the home, according to a statement by CEO Elon Musk during a recent conference call with analysts. The batteries would be used by homes and businesses to store excess energy generated from solar panels during the day, and drawn from at night when panels sit idle.  Read More

The energy-harvesting tree collects energy from light, temperature differences, and vibrat...

In January, the VTT Technical Centre of Finland unveiled its decorative, mass-producible organic photovoltaic (OPV) leaves designed to capture energy from interior lighting to power small devices and sensors. Now, the company has followed the logical path and come up with an energy-harvesting tree that generates electricity from a variety of sources.  Read More

Underside of the Millennium Bridge, which swayed due to the cadence of those walking acros...

Just two days after opening, The London Millennium Footbridge was closed to eliminate its sway. Turns out staying with the sway would have had its benefits, as researchers have found that it reduces the amount of energy expended when walking across the bridge.  Read More

Just a couple of sprays before bed allows the melatonin formula to soak into the skin

A little more than a year ago, Gizmag featured an Indiegogo campaign that was marketing Sprayable Energy, which delivered a caffeine hit through the skin. Now the same company, Sprayable, has launched another campaign for a spray claimed to do the opposite – it puts you to sleep. Gizmag got a sample of Sprayable Sleep to put these claims to the test.  Read More

The Envirotouch switches can replace standard switches and outlets and automatically shut ...

The modern home is chock-full of electrical appliances, many of which remain on standby when not in use and add unnecessary bulk to our energy bills. Thankfully, those looking to trim down on power usage aren't exactly short of options, with many devices emerging over the years designed to shut off our appliances at the wall. The Envirotouch is the latest take on the smart, energy-saving switch, relying on one-touch timer buttons to cut power to our appliances soon after we stop using them.  Read More

Researchers have achieved a solar energy to hydrogen conversion efficiency of 12.3% using ...

Using solar energy to split water into its component parts, thereby allowing the solar energy to be stored as hydrogen fuel, generally involves one of two methods: using photoelectrochemical cells to directly split the water, or using solar cells to produce electricity to power an electrolyzer that separates the water molecules. One problem associated with the latter method is that it currently relies on rare metals. But now scientists from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have managed to do so using common materials, and have achieved a record solar energy to hydrogen conversion efficiency in the process.  Read More

Haus Hohlen has had a new building 'envelope' built around it

When houses are extended, it's generally the case that an additional section is simply added on to one part of the building. A house in Austria, however, has had an entirely new exterior built around it. The existing building of Haus Hohlen is now part of the house's interior.  Read More

Researchers at ANU have replicated the primary capture of energy from sunlight (Photo: Shu...

Researchers at the Australian National University are one step closer to creating an artificial photosynthesis system after replicating one of its crucial steps. The development may lead to an abundant source of hydrogen, a cheap and clean fuel that could replace all petroleum products.  Read More

A look at the cathode composite under an electron microscope (Image: HIU)

There's another promising contender in the race to supplant the dominance of lithium-ion and metal-hydride based batteries in the world of energy storage. New research from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology's (KIT's) Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) details the development of an electrolyte that can be used in new magnesium-sulfur battery cells that would be more efficient and inexpensive than the dominant types of batteries in use today.  Read More

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