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Power

Google and the IEEE are offering a US$1 million prize in their Little Box challenge

The old saying says good things come in small packages. Google and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) seem to agree having launched the Little Box Challenge, an open competition with a US$1 million first prize to find innovative electronic designs to shrink power inverters down from their current bigger-than-a-bread-box size to something less than the size of a small laptop.  Read More

Go Kin packs are designed to generate energy from your walk

The market for portable gadget chargers is bulging. While grid-fed chargers like the LithiumCard are ample for use around town, things get more complicated when you venture off the grid. A new backpack cuts reliance on external power sources, harvesting energy from something much more reliably available … you.  Read More

A nationwide rollout will see every Starbucks store in the US fitted with wireless chargin...

You might already be used to dropping into Starbucks to recharge your batteries, but now the ubiquitous caffeine merchant is looking to power more than just your mental energy. Today it announced plans to install wireless charging mats in every one of its US stores, meaning searching under tables and chairs for that elusive power outlet could become a thing of the past.  Read More

The Power Pallet is a combination gasification unit and electrical generator

It could be the most important portable power plant you've never heard of. It's called the "Power Pallet" and it is essentially a combined biomass refinery and generator that fits on a single pallet and can kick out up to 20 kilowatts of electricity.  Read More

Structural supercapacitors could allow energy to be stored directly in structural material...

Imagine using a mobile phone powered entirely by its casing, or an electric car that runs off power stored in its chassis. Researchers at Vanderbilt University have created a structural supercapacitor that could, they believe, bring this closer to reality, making batteries and power cords obsolete. The structural supercapacitor could make it possible to store energy directly in structural materials, allowing them to deliver power long-term while surviving the real-life mechanical stresses they're bound to experience.  Read More

The team behind the Tortuga are looking to take the sport of trike drifting up a notch

Trike drifting, a sport that originated in New Zealand in 2009 and has since spread all around the globe, is typically the plaything of adrenaline junkies with long and winding downhill runs at their disposal. Drift-enthused DIYers have further indulged their taste for sideways movement by fixing motors to their rides, making it possible to slip and slide over flatter terrain. The Florida-based Tortuga Trikes is looking to take things up a notch, whacking a 6.5 hp (4.8 kW) motor on the back to bring the hobby a little closer to a drift car experience.  Read More

MIT proposes building floating nuclear power plants located 5 to 7 miles into the ocean, e...

The most frightening part of a tsunami hitting a nuclear power plant is what comes after – radioactive leaks that contaminate the water around the plant are exceedingly difficult to contain. The clean up of the radioactive water around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, which was struck by a tsunami in 2011, is expected to take decades. MIT researchers have come up with an alternative; they propose building floating nuclear plants, far enough offshore to simply ride out a tsunami and emerge unscathed.  Read More

Festo has applied the same methodology used in its robotic SmartBird to harvest energy fro...

Back in 2011, Festo created a natural-flight mimicking bionic seagull with flapping wings dubbed SmartBird. The company is now looking to apply similar principles in order to convert wind power into electricity with its DualWingGenerator system.  Read More

The BuffaloGrid is a solar charging hub for mobile phones

Mobile phones have proven invaluable for connecting communities in developing countries where there is no wired telecoms infrastructure. Often, however, there is no electricity infrastructure either, making device charging problematic. BuffaloGrid solves this by providing solar charging hubs to communities, and sharing its profits.  Read More

A rubber mat forms the 'carpet,' and sits atop a grid of hydraulic actuators, cylinders an...

Many organizations around the world are looking at ways to harness the power of waves as a renewable energy source, but none are covering quite the same ground as a team of engineers from the University of California (UC), Berkeley. The seafloor carpet, a system inspired by the wave absorbing abilities of a muddy seabed, has taken exploring the potential of wave power to some intriguing new depths.  Read More

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