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Energy

— Urban Transport

London Tube trains recover enough energy to power stations

According to Transport for London (TfL), the city's Underground carries 1.2 billion passengers a year over 402 km (250 mi) of track, with some stations handling 89 million passengers annually. That adds up to a fleet of trains covering 76.2 million km (47 million mi) and an energy bill that defines "enormous." In an effort to make the system greener and cheaper, the authority carried out a five-week trial of a regenerative braking system billed as a "world first" that could slice 5 percent off London Underground's energy bill and save up to £6 million (US$9 million) per year.

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— Around The Home

Orison Energy's home batteries could make it cheaper to power your appliances

The laws of supply and demand – maybe with a pinch of capitalism – generally dictate how much homes and businesses might spend per month on power. As such, consumers can expect to pay a premium for running heating or cooling systems during peak energy-usage times on cold or hot days. Orison Energy is preparing to help break this cycle with a pair of home batteries. The Orison Tower and Orison Panel charge up when utility rates are low and provide power when the rates are high.

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— Environment

Super-low loss quantum energy transport could revolutionize sunlight to energy conversion

The use of sunlight as an energy source is achieved in a number of ways, from conversion to electricity via photovoltaic (PV) panels, concentrated heat to drive steam turbines, and even hydrogen generation via artificial photosynthesis. Unfortunately, much of the light energy in PV and photosynthesis systems is lost as heat due to the thermodynamic inefficiencies inherent in the process of converting the incoming energy from one form to another. Now scientists working at the University of Bayreuth claim to have created a super-efficient light-energy transport conduit that exhibits almost zero loss, and shows promise as the missing link in the sunlight to energy conversion process.

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— Environment

India's Cochin International to become world's first completely solar-powered airport

It may not be the first airport to fit solar panels to its terminals, but India's Cochin International Airport is set to become the first in the world powered entirely by solar. Situated in Kochi, the airport handled 6.8 million passengers in the 2014-15 financial year and forecasts a 300,000-tonne (330,700-ton) reduction in carbon emissions over the next 25 years as a result of the switch to solar.

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— Environment

Project Sunroof calculates rooftop solar potential using Google Maps

Ever balked at installing solar panels on your roof because it's pretty damn expensive or you're not sure how much power it would actually generate, or a combination of both? Well, a new venture from Google is aimed at taking the guesswork out of weaning your household off the grid. Powered by Google Maps, Project Sunroof can tell users how much sun is hitting their roof and how much they might be able to shave off their power bills.

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— Space

New study tracks the death of our Universe

A new study has measured 200,000 galaxies in an effort to chart the rate at which our Universe is outputting energy, and effectively dying. The study is part of the larger Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) project, a comprehensive spectroscopic survey seeking to create a model of energy production by the Universe, both in the present day and in times past.

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— Science

New nanogenerator might set energy-generating car wheels in motion

Cars are one of mankind's most revolutionary creations. But just like with the iPhone, space travel or Wi-Fi, there's always room for improvement. In the eyes of a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers, one of the more promising ways automotive technology might be improved upon lies in the energy wastage caused by friction as tires roll across the road. Armed with special nanogenerator and a toy Jeep, the researchers have demonstrated that this power can be captured and turned into electricity, a development that could bring about better fuel efficiency in the full-sized cars of the future.

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