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Kinetic Energy

The Flybus consortium is set to start testing its prototype flywheel hybrid bus

Gas/electric hybrid vehicles tend to be pricier than their conventional counterparts, and many people still worry about the limited range of all-electrics. If you want to move away from purely petrol-powered vehicles, though, is there any alternative? The four-company Flybus consortium would definitely say there is. It recently rigged up a bus with a prototype flywheel-based energy recover system, that stores the energy that would be wasted when the vehicle brakes, then returns that energy to the drivetrain when the bus accelerates. The researchers claim that it could deliver hybrid-like fuel economy, at a fraction of the price.  Read More

Maxwell von Stein's Flywheel Bicycle stores the power that would otherwise be wasted in th...

In order to help boost their range, many electric and hybrid cars employ regenerative technology where braking energy is stored in the battery instead of simply being wasted. This idea can also be applied to electric-assist bikes, but what about bicycles of the plain old human-powered variety? Isn't it a shame that after having built up some good momentum, you just have to write it all off once you stop? Maxwell von Stein, a student at New York City's Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, thought so. As his senior project, he recently rigged up a flywheel to an existing bicycle, in order to harness the energy that's lost during braking. That energy can then be used to boost the bike when needed.  Read More

At night, multi-color lighting enhances the beauty of the Treepods structures

Heading away from the use of polluting fossil fuels towards sustainable clean energy, we are discovering more and more novel ways to use or harness the wind. Even though solar panels have become almost commonplace, we're still seeing the technology being pushed into new ground. More projects are surfacing that harvest energy from the oceans. Meanwhile, we're also coming up with inventive ways to monitor pollution. Now an initiative from Mario Caceres and Cristian Canonico of the Influx Studio in Paris, working with SHIFTboston, is looking to roll out a man-made forest of air-cleaning Treepods throughout Boston ... which are powered by solar and kinetic energy.  Read More

The air hybrid engine used in the Lund University study

The most commonly used form of regenerative braking is where a vehicle’s electric motor is used as an electric generator to capture the vehicle’s kinetic energy, which is otherwise lost as heat when braking. The generator converts the kinetic energy into electricity that is then fed back into the vehicle’s battery pack where it is stored for later use. New research suggests that pneumatic or air hybrids that instead store the energy as compressed air would be much cheaper to produce than the current crop of EVs and battery-electric hybrids and could halve the fuel consumption of ICE powered vehicles.  Read More

The Windstalk concept would generate electricity from the wind without turbines

Wind turbines are an increasingly popular way to generate clean energy with large-scale wind farms springing up all over the world. However, many residents near proposed wind farm sites have raised concerns over the aesthetics and the low frequency vibrations they claim are generated by wind turbines. An interesting Windstalk concept devised by New York design firm Atelier DNA could overcome both these problems while still allowing a comparable amount of electricity to be generated by the wind.  Read More

Brother's AA-size Vibration Energy Cell battery prototype whose generator and rechargeable...

A number of kinetic energy chargers have been hitting the market in recent years including the nPower PEG. Researchers have also been working to improve the technology, developing such devices as the Kinetic Energy Cell and a tiny generator that derives electrical energy from the vibrations and movements that occur within its environment. Now Brother Industries Ltd., a company better known for its printers, has put the technology into a form factor that should prove much more versatile – a battery. Its Vibration Energy Cell batteries are deigned to replace AA or AAA batteries in some low power devices that can then be powered with a shake.  Read More

Jump your way to better health and recharge your batteries at the same time with the E Rop...

When reporting on the BunBun human-powered flashlight back in March, Gizmag's Rick Martin mused on the potential for putting a similar charging mechanism into skipping rope handles... which is just what Kyung Guk Lee has done with this design concept. The e-rope lets you recharge your AA batteries while you skip your way to better health.  Read More

The nPower PEG: US$150 kinetic energy harvester charges smartphones off-the-grid

The nPower PEG we first tried in prototype form at CES 2009 finally goes on sale tomorrow (May 3, 2010). The PEG is a light-weight, titanium encased portable generator that can recharge a handheld device (phone, media player, camera, GPS etc.) when you are away from the grid, though it is unlike any other mobile power solutions in that you DON'T need any fuel, don't need to turn hand cranks and you don't need the sun. The US$150 PEG is 9 inches long, weighs 9 ounces and harvests kinetic energy as you move about in your daily life. Just put it in your backpack, bumbag, handbag, brief case or glovebox and it will collect and store energy from your movements. The first 1000 units will appropriately be engraved as “First Mover” Editions.  Read More

Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers has installed install two electricity-producing bicycles wh...

If you find yourself in an expensive hotel without the funds to cover that three-course seafood buffet you've just demolished, you may not be led to the back of the kitchen to scrub pots and pans after all... you could be off to the gym instead. Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers has installed two electricity-producing bicycles which are connected to the hotel's main electricity supply. Guests who pedal hard enough not only get a dose of environmental feel-goodness, but can also score a complimentary meal.  Read More

Diagram of the regenerative shock absorber and the cross section of the magnet assembly

Only 10-16 percent of the fuel energy is used to drive the car during everyday usage – that is, to overcome the resistance from road friction and air drag and actually transport the vehicle forward. That amounts to a lot of energy being wasted. Hybrid cars recapture some of the energy usually lost in braking but the dissipation of vibration energy by shock absorbers in the vehicle suspension remains an untapped source of potential energy. To harvest this lost energy, researchers have designed and tested a shock absorber that can be retrofitted to cars to convert the kinetic energy of suspension vibration between the wheel and sprung mass into useful electrical power.  Read More

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