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Energy

This image shows two electrodes connected via an external voltage source splitting water i...

Photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells can use sunlight to sustainably split water into hydrogen and oxygen, but efficient PEC materials tend to corrode rapidly in use. A Stanford research group has been studying this problem, and has found that depositing a thin layer of nickel atoms on a silicon PEC electrode allows it to operate for over 80 hours with no sign of corrosion.  Read More

The small-scale prototype of the system

Among the concepts put forth for decreasing the range anxiety associated with electric cars, one is to embed electrical coils within the asphalt. This would allow vehicles to wirelessly draw power from the road as they traveled, although it would also involve having to tear up existing roads to install those coils. An alternative could be on its way, however. Scientists at North Carolina State University are developing a system in which power could be transmitted from stationary roadside stations to mobile receiver coils in cars passing by.  Read More

The five-cell metamaterial array developed by Duke engineers that converts stray microwave...

Joining the ranks of devices designed to harvest energy from ambient electromagnetic radiation comes an electrical circuit from researchers at Duke University that can be tuned to capture microwave energy from various sources, including satellite, sound or Wi-Fi signals. The researchers say the device converts otherwise lost energy into direct current voltage with efficiencies similar to that of current solar cells.  Read More

The new 'Ene-Farm' home fuel cell installed in a condominium's pipe shaft with the fuel ce...

Panasonic and Tokyo Gas have continued joint development of their "Ene-Farm" home fuel cell unit, which became the world's first commercialized fuel cell system targeted at household heating and electricity generation when it went on sale in Japan in May 2009. The latest model is aimed at use in condominiums and features a number of modifications to ensure the units meet the more stringent installation standards placed on those buildings.  Read More

Neurio is designed to cut energy consumption by monitoring home appliances

A new product called Neurio has been designed to help people better control their domestic energy usage by monitoring home appliances. The product also allows users to be reminded of domestic tasks involving appliances. In cases of smart appliances, Neurio can detect behavior patterns and program appliances to meet specific requirements.  Read More

The winning house, LISI, by the Vienna University of Technology features a lace-like UV cu...

Team Austria (Vienna University of Technology) has been announced the overall winner of Solar Decathlon 2013 after the closest competition in the history of the event. Second place went to University of Nevada Las Vegas, with the Czech Technical University achieving third place overall.  Read More

Do 'plasmonic nanostructures' hold the key to next-generation solar power?  (Photo: Shutte...

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found a way to harvest energy from sunlight more efficiently, with the help of so-called plasmonic nanostructures. The new findings suggest that plasmonic components can enhance and direct optical scattering, creating a mechanism that is more efficient than the photoexcitation that drives solar cells. The development could therefore provide a real boost to solar cell efficiency and lead to faster optical communication.  Read More

New research examines the economics of storing energy from renewable sources (Photo: Shutt...

True or false: solar and wind power are freely available and clean, and thus should always be stored when they generate more energy than the grid can use? It's easy to assume that renewable energy should never be turned off, but scientists at Stanford have done the math to find the break-even point where storing energy is better than "wasting," or curtailing, that energy, and their findings aren't necessarily as you'd think.  Read More

Energy Box was completed earlier this year (Photo: Pierluigi Bonomo)

Following the earthquake which struck L'Aquila, Italy, on April 6 2009, Pierluigi Bonomo was tasked with building a replacement home for a family. The architect produced a three floor property, dubbed Energy Box, which features an unusual wooden box-like design, and energy-reducing technologies including passive ventilation, and photovoltaic panels.  Read More

Its makers claim that Sprayable Energy will provide a gradual hit of caffeine through the ...

Some people cannot function in the morning without a shot of caffeine to kick start their day, and though caffeine dependency isn't a good thing, the makers of a new product called Sprayable Energy, billed as "the world's first caffeine based topical energy spray" think there could be a market out there open to a new way of getting its fix.  Read More

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