Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Energy

The University of Washington's HIT-SI3 experimental reactor (Photo: University of Washingt...

In the 21st century, the world lives with two futures ahead of it – one of looming energy shortages, and another of godlike energy abundance. The key to this whether it’s possible to turn fusion reactor technology from a laboratory exercise into a real-world application. Engineers that the University of Washington are working on a fusion reactor that, when scaled up, could produce energy on a practical scale, yet at a cost rivaling that of a conventional coal-powered plant.  Read More

Ampy is also pocketable at 3 inches square

Kinetic chargers have been around for a few years, but have typically been big and bulky. Ampy is much smaller and fashionable enough to wear around.  Read More

By playing around with materials, researchers have reduced the operating temperature of an...

Our ability to store energy has proven a big hurdle in the adoption of renewable energies. But now a team of researchers from MIT has developed a new all-liquid battery system that extends the life of such devices while also costing less to make, a development they say could make wind and solar energy more competitive with traditional sources of power.  Read More

Canadian researchers have developed a chin strap made from piezoelectric fibre composites ...

In a development that could bring new meaning to the term "motor mouth," Canadian researchers have developed a chin strap capable of generating electricity from jaw movements. The team is hopeful that the strap will be able to harvest energy from common actions like eating, chewing and talking to power medical implants and wearable devices.  Read More

A new nuclear-powered, water-based battery may one day be used as a dependable power suppl...

Researchers working at the University of Missouri (MU) claim to have produced a prototype of a nuclear-powered, water-based battery that is said to be both longer lasting and more efficient than current battery technologies and may eventually be used as a dependable power supply in vehicles, spacecraft, and other applications where longevity, reliability, and efficiency are paramount.  Read More

The Energy Tower is a new waste-to-power incinerator in Roskilde, Denmark

Incinerators can't often be described as beautiful, but a newly inaugurated incinerator in Roskilde, Denmark, is just that. The main purpose of the Energy Tower is to generate electricity and heat. At night-time, though, glowing lights can be seen beneath its perforated façade.  Read More

Dr Niraj Lal says that the way Buddhist singing bowls interact with light mimics the way t...

While the unique shape of Buddhist singing bowls is vital to the creation of their signature sound, a researcher from Australia National University (ANU) has used their design as the inspiration for a new breed of solar cells. In completing his PhD at the University of Cambridge, Dr Niraj Lal found that just as the bowls cause sound to resonate, miniaturized versions can be made to interact with light in much the same way, inspiring solar cells better able to capture sunlight.  Read More

MIT hopes to turn old lead batteries into new solar cells (Image: Christine Daniloff/MIT)

The world of modern technology is one of out with the old, in with the new. For battery technology, that means the expected demise of lead-acid batteries and replacement by a more efficient, cheaper, and environmentally-friendly alternative. This is good news, but leaves the problem of what to do with all the lead in the batteries currently in use when the time comes to dispose of them? Researchers at MIT have an answer – use it to make solar cells.  Read More

Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay would be the world’s first man-made energy-generating lagoon

Energy trade association RenewableUK calls the UK "the undisputed global leader in marine energy." If plans for a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay go ahead, that claim will be reinforced. Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay would be the world’s first man-made energy-generating lagoon and could power over 155,000 homes.  Read More

The proposals are intended to produce new power sources, such as the fuel cell used in thi...

Once upon a time, energy systems for space missions were simple. You used batteries for very short missions, solar panels in the inner Solar System, nuclear power generators if you were beyond Mars or needed a lot of power, and fuel cells for manned spacecraft. However, as space exploration starts looking into lunar polar craters, comets, and the icy moons of Jupiter, new energy systems will be needed. To anticipate that need, NASA has made awards to four proposals to develop advanced energy storage technology for future manned and unmanned space missions..  Read More

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