Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Power

Virtually silent, fully enclosed, bladeless wind turbines on the way

A wind turbine that uses boundary layers instead of blades to generate power has been patented by Solar Aero, a New Hampshire based not-for-profit scientific research organization. Modeled on the 1913 Tesla steam turbine, the Fuller turbine is virtually silent and completely enclosed, which avoids many of the drawbacks of bladed turbines such as noise, radar interference, visual pollution and wildlife injuries.  Read More

Future site of the Waste-to-Biofuels complex

If you’re a fan of the original Back to the Future movie, then you probably liked the scene at the end where Doc Brown used some random household waste to fuel his time-traveling deLorean. Well, we’re now getting a little bit closer to that being a reality... sort of. While practical flying cars, time travel and cold fusion are still a ways off, the ability to power your car with garbage isn’t. Canadian biofuels firm Enerkem is currently working with the city of Edmonton, Alberta, to convert that city’s municipal waste into ethanol. This will lower the city’s greenhouse gas output, keep much of its waste out of the landfill, and produce a “clean” fuel Doc Brown would be proud of.  Read More

Risoe DTU's wind turbine blade section being tested in a wind tunnel

If you’ve ever seen a commercial-scale wind turbine in real life, then you’ll know that they’re huge – a single blade can be as long as 60 meters (197 feet). Researchers from Denmark’s Risoe DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy tell us that such blades can flex by up to six meters (20 feet) when subjected to strong wind gusts. Worse yet, the gust load is often not evenly distributed along the length of the blade, so it doesn’t flex evenly. Fortunately, the researchers are working on addressing this problem, by attaching flexible flaps to the trailing edges of the blades. These flaps come in the form of silicone rubber strips, which run the length of the blade. The result, we’re told, will be quieter, higher-output turbines.  Read More

Sights like this could soon be commonplace

True to its word the formerly secretive Bloom Energy launched its Bloom “Box” (hereafter known as the Bloom Energy Server), today at eBay’s California HQ. Attended by Governor Schwarzenegger and Bloom Energy board member Colin Powell, the event revealed more concrete specifications for the fuel cell, as well as some of the corporate household names that are already customers.  Read More

Two Secret Energy Turbine rooftop turbines

Few people would argue that having a rooftop wind turbine could help offset your power bills. Your neighbors, however, might not appreciate the sight of a windmill on your roof, nor would they like the sound of its blades whistling through the air. Don’t give up on the idea yet, though, because British inventor Rupert Sweet-Escott has come up with a product that he claims addresses those problems. His Secret Energy Turbine (SET) looks like an ordinary chimney stack and is boasts almost completely silent operation.  Read More

Bloom Energy founder, K.R. Sridhar, and the fuel cell that forms the heart of the Bloom Bo...

Bloom Energy has definitely generated some buzz this week with a story on 60 Minutes ahead of the official launch this Wednesday of the Bloom Box – an electricity generating fuel cell box designed to sit in the back yard and provide enough power to reliably, more cleanly and cheaply power a house.  Read More

The Control4 EC-100 energy controller - part of the company's EMS 100 energy management sy...

At CES 2010, home automation and entertainment company, Control4, released a new energy-saving system, an app that turns Blackberries and Droid handsets into remote control for its system, and even added an app store which it is hoping will have the same impact on home automation that iTunes had on music.  Read More

Dexim's DVA004 Power Case for Apple's iPod 5G

China's consumer electronics manufacturer Dexim has announced the release of a multi-functional power case to complement the new iPod Nano 5G. Coming with a powerful flashlight to help shoot video in low light conditions, a built-in speaker for desktop listening and an antenna for improved FM radio reception, the DVA004 will also gives extended play courtesy of its lithium battery pack.  Read More

Dexim's solar-powered P-Flip power pack was launched at CES 2010

Dexim has launched five new accessories to be used with the iPod, iPhone and BlackBerry at CES 2010. One of the more clever offerings is the solar-powered P-Flip foldable power pack. The power pack can be flipped horizontally or vertically for hands-free viewing and is capable of extending talk time by up to eight hours.  Read More

Fully autonomous wireless temperature sensor powered by a vibrational energy harvester

Working within the Holst Centre program on Micropower Generation and Storage, researchers have developed a small piezoelectric device capable of harvesting 85 microwatts of electricity from vibrations. Fabricated using MEMS technology, the fully autonomous temperature sensor generates enough power to wirelessly measure and transmit environmental data to a base station every 15 seconds.  Read More

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