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Power

Good Thinking

Discarded laptop batteries could be used to power homes

A study by IBM researchers has revealed that many discarded laptop batteries have the potential to provide enough power to keep the lights running in homes in poorer countries around the world. The India-based team conducted a small study to test the viability of the idea, with work now focused on streamlining a prototype system. Read More

Environment

Artificial Wind Tree provides a fig leaf for unsightly turbines

Generally speaking, the peculiar appearance of wind turbines coupled with the fact they perform better when up high and out in the open sees them banished to uninhabited countryside, or even out to sea. But a French entrepreneur believes that sculpting them in the form of an artificial tree could lead to wider adoption in urban centers, making use of low winds that circulate around buildings and streets. Read More

Automotive

LiquidPiston unveils X Mini engine

Back in 2012, Gizmag looked at LiquidPiston’s X2 rotary engine. The compact, low-vibration, high-efficiency 70 bhp and 40 bhp compression ignition engine was something of a sensation. Now the company is back with the 70 cc X Mini engine, which LiquidPiston’s President and Co-Founder, Dr Alexander Shkolnik unveiled on Wednesday at the SAE International/JSAE 2014 Small Engine Technology Conference in Pisa, Italy.Read More

Energy

Lockheed Martin announces it's working on a compact fusion reactor

Fusion reactors are a bit like buses; you wait forever for one, then two come along at once. No sooner does the University of Washington announce that it’s working on a breakthrough compact fusion reactor (CFR) than Lockheed Martin says that its Revolutionary Technology Programs unit, AKA the Skunk Works, in Palmdale, California has one that could be ready for market within ten years.Read More

Electronics

Piezoelectric chin strap generates electricity from chewing

In a development that could bring new meaning to the term "motor mouth," Canadian researchers have developed a chin strap capable of generating electricity from jaw movements. The team is hopeful that the strap will be able to harvest energy from common actions like eating, chewing and talking to power medical implants and wearable devices. Read More

Electronics

Google offers up US$1 million prize to shrink size of power inverters

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

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