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Kinetic Energy

A few minutes of spinning should be enough for a quick phone call

It's always the way. Just when you have to make that important phone call, your smartphone tells you it's time to recharge your battery and then promptly dies. Little wonder then that the backup charger market has become such a crowded space. Arguably the most appealing battery blocks available are those that can also offer off-grid emergency power from sources like PV panels or kinetic energy. The Voltmaker takes the latter approach, providing your smartphone with enough juice to make a quick phone call with a flick (or more accurately, several flicks) of the wrist.  Read More

DLR's free-piston linear generator could extend the range of electric vehicles by around 6...

Technically, the combustion engine in any hybrid vehicle is a range extender, but the term commonly refers to gasoline-fueled generators that are used to charge an electric vehicle’s battery pack but aren’t used to directly power the wheels. This is the set up used in “series” or “inline’ hybrids like the Chevy Volt, which differs from parallel hybrids like the Toyota Prius, where the wheels can be driven by the electric motor or the internal combustion engine (ICE). Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have developed a new type of range extender that can be powered by a range of different fuels.  Read More

Rice University engineering students Tyler Wiest, Carlos Armada, Julian Castro and David M...

We’ve seen Pavegen’s energy-harvesting tiles turning up in a variety of places to harvest some of the kinetic energy generated while walking or running over them. But a team of students at Rice University has put the shoe on the other foot with PediPower – a prototype device that attaches to a shoe to harvest energy generated when the heel hits the ground.  Read More

Like a cross between Wall-e and a Formula 1 golf cart, Twizy's Sport F1 is all for fun

When we last reported on the enigmatic Renault Twizy, it was out fighting fires in the French countryside. Now, apparently bored with firefighting, the Twizy team has decided that perhaps Formula 1 is more the vehicle's cup of tea. So Renault went ahead and came up with a concept racer in the form of the Twizy Renault Sport F1.  Read More

Every step counts at the Paris Marathon

While the term "electrifying" can sometimes be used to describe breathtaking performance in sports, it's not often you'll find it used for marathon runners. Yet, that's precisely the word I'd use to describe this year's Paris Marathon, which took place on Sunday April 7. You see, as the feet of almost 40,000 runners hit a 25-meter (82-foot) installation of special tiles at the beginning of the 26-mile (42-km) course, kinetic energy was harvested and turned into usable electricity.  Read More

The system can be retrofitted to existing vehicle platforms or easily adapted to fit newer...

When it comes to hybrid drive-train innovations, the electric wheel motor has perhaps been under-appreciated. Protean Electric's new and improved electric wheel motor system might change that, thanks to the copious amounts of torque it affords.  Read More

Bill Gray is looking to the past to reinvent the future of energy storage with a new take ...

It's no secret that the successful future of wind, solar and other renewable sources hinges on the development of cost effective energy storage systems. Silicon Valley inventor Bill Gray believes his novel approach to flywheel technology could be the answer.  Read More

Uncharted Play's SOCCKET energy-generating soccer ball is on Kickstarter now

When we first covered the SOCCKET power-generating soccer ball back in 2010, the concept was in the prototype stages of development. Since then, the ex-Harvard University team responsible for the design has launched the for-profit social enterprise company Uncharted Play, filed patents for the SOCCKET’s kinetic energy-capturing technology and, more recently, has launched a SOCCKET Kickstarter campaign.  Read More

Pavegen was installed at the London 2012 Olympic Games, with people generating energy with...

"Create electricity, just by walking" is an evocative statement, and one which surely warrants some attention in these eco-efficient times when the need to seek alternative energy sources is well understood. Pavegen – a system for harvesting kinetic energy from foot traffic, and which the catchy soundbite belongs to – is now being put forward for crowd-funding through Kickstarter with the aim of raising enough money to fund two school projects, one in the U.S. and one in the U.K.  Read More

Georgia Tech researcher Zhong Lin Wang holds the components of a new self-charging power c...

Systems that convert kinetic energy into electric energy have made great strides in recent times, from mobile phone charging bicycle dynamos to tiles that turn footsteps into electrical energy. Recently researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have come up with what they believe is a more efficient approach – a self-charging power cell that directly converts mechanical energy to chemical energy and stores the power for release as an electrical current.  Read More

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