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— Electronics

Blue Freedom: A mini hydropower plant for charging mobile devices

The all-new Blue Freedom kit offers yet another alternative to solar panels, fuel cells, muscle-powered dynamos, wind turbines, AC-charged back-up batteries and other portable power solutions. "The world's smallest hydropower plant" transforms the power of running water into phone chatting, internet browsing, music listening, GPS navigating and other mobile device activities, and it does so from a package built to fit in a backpack. Read More
— Environment

Sensor Fish show how hydroelectric dams will affect salmon

It’s a tough row to hoe for young salmon in the Pacific Northwest as they make their perilous journey from upriver to the ocean. Besides hungry birds and sea lions, the regions many hydroelectric dams and their swirling turbines produce manmade currents and other obstacles that make it challenging for the fish to navigate. But now with the help of an artificial Senor Fish created by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), existing larger dams and newer, smaller hydroelectric facilities can become more fish-friendly. Read More
— Environment

Air HES system to collect water and generate electricity from the clouds

Using a tethered airship floating high up amongst the clouds, the Air HES concept claims to yield both clean water and electricity by harvesting and condensing water vapor which it uses to spin up an electric turbine generator to create power. According to the creators, they have built a prototype to test their theory and have also conducted feasibility studies into upping the scale of their device to produce economically viable levels of water and power. Read More
— Around The Home

TipTapTop saves water while making hand-washing "fun" for kids

Dyson Award season is rolling around again, showcasing the work of young engineers and designers from around the globe. Here's one French device that's been entered with the goal of teaching kids how to wash their hands in a hygienic manner, without wasting water, while trying to make it as fun as possible. The 3D-printed TipTapTop might end up being an incredibly annoying thing to have in your bathroom, but the way it goes about its job is quite clever. Read More

Rainwater used to generate electricity

When we complain about the rain, other people will often say "Yeah, but it's good for the plants." Well, thanks to a microturbine-based system created by three students from the Technological University of Mexico, it's now also being used to generate electricity for use in low-income homes. Read More
— Architecture

Offshore floating prison concept would create electricity for the mainland

However efficient a prison may be, it still typically expends significant energy resources. But what if a prison could actually create power, rather than just consume it? That's the thinking behind lecturer in architecture Dr. Margot Krasojevic's futuristic offshore floating Hydroelectric Waterfall Prison concept, which isn't just self-sustaining, but produces excess energy for homes on the mainland too. Read More
— Environment

Europe joins race to store energy at the bottom of the ocean

"Imagine opening a hatch in a submarine under water. The water will flow into the submarine with enormous force. It is precisely this energy potential we want to utilize." This is how German engineer Rainer Schramm describes his idea for storing energy under the sea. By using surplus energy to pump water out of a tank at the seabed, the water is simply let back in again when there's an energy shortfall, driving turbines as it rushes in. The deeper the tank, the more power is generated. Read More
— Environment

Ibasei's Cappa provides hydroelectricity on a small scale

Despite being the most widely used form of renewable energy worldwide, hydroelectricity is generally reserved for large-scale commercial installations built around massive dams. Japanese company Ibasei has shrunk things down and removed the need to build a dam with its Cappa compact hydropower generator – a system that's designed to be installed along a river or waterway. Read More