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Power


— Electronics

Structural supercapacitors could make batteries and power cords obsolete

By - May 26, 2014 3 Pictures
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
— Bicycles

Gas-powered Tortuga Trike aims to bring trike drifting up to speed

By - May 25, 2014 17 Pictures
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
— Science

Floating nuclear plants could prove tsunami-proof

By - April 17, 2014 2 Pictures
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
— Environment

Seafloor carpet mimics muddy seabed to harness wave power

By - February 23, 2014 3 Pictures
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
— Science

Organic flow battery could transform renewable energy storage

By - January 14, 2014 2 Pictures
Researchers at Harvard have developed an inexpensive, high capacity, organic battery that uses carbon-based materials as electrolytes rather than metals. The researchers say the technology stands to be a game-changer in renewable energy storage by solving the intermittent generation problems faced by renewable sources, such as wind and solar. The battery offers large volume electricity storage not possible with solid-state batteries and at a fraction of the cost of existing flow battery technology. Read More
— Science

World's smallest windmills to power cell phones

By - January 13, 2014 3 Pictures
Professor J.C. Chiao and his postdoc Dr. Smitha Rao of the University of Texas at Arlington have developed a MEMS-based nickel alloy windmill so small that 10 could be mounted on a single grain of rice. Aimed at very-small-scale energy harvesting applications, these windmills could recharge batteries for smartphones, and directly power ultra-low-power electronic devices. Read More
— Science

New tech could beam power from roadside stations to passing electric cars

By - November 14, 2013
Among the concepts put forth for decreasing the range anxiety associated with electric cars, one is to embed electrical coils within the asphalt. This would allow vehicles to wirelessly draw power from the road as they traveled, although it would also involve having to tear up existing roads to install those coils. An alternative could be on its way, however. Scientists at North Carolina State University are developing a system in which power could be transmitted from stationary roadside stations to mobile receiver coils in cars passing by. Read More
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