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Xcel Energy has announced that the world's first Smart Grid City is now online 
 (Image: C...

Boulder, Colorado has just become the world's first city to benefit from an intelligent power supply monitoring system. The Smart Grid City system aims to make outages easier to predict and/or prevent, manage power flow throughout the infrastructure and give customers greater access to energy information and more control over how much they use. Xcel Energy constantly monitors the grid network for any irregularities, allowing the company to fix problems before they happen.  Read More

VW's 'SchwarmStrom' project would replace nuclear and coal power stations with 100,000 hom...

Volkswagen has recently announced a rather ambitious project that, for a change, has nothing to do with cars. Teaming up with regenerative-power company Lichtblick, it aims to install 100,000 co-generation power units in Germany as part of a concept called ‘SchwarmStrom’ which, literally translated, means ‘swarm power’. Successful application would allow Germany to abandon the use of nuclear and coal power stations and provide adequate backup to renewable energy sources, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by up to 60%.  Read More

Electrical engineers Babak Parviz and Brian Otis and undergraduate student Carlton Himes (...

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have taken the term ‘green power’ literally by running an electric circuit from the power generated by trees. Sure, there isn’t much electrical power to harness, but the researchers say it should be enough to run wireless sensors that could be used to detect environmental conditions or forest fires and could also be used to gauge a tree’s health.  Read More

Suncatcher technology has recently achieved the highest sun-to-grid conversion efficiency

Tessera Solar and Salt River Project have just announced that they'll partner to construct a 1.5 megawatt solar generation installation in Peoria, Arizona. The proposed output from the Maricopa Solar LLC project might not sound too impressive, but when combined with the news that the 60 dish installation represents a template for much bigger operations to come and will be the first commercial plant to use Suncatcher technology - things just got interesting.  Read More

The new PowerDisc charging solution from WildCharge

WildCharge has introduced a new addition to its line-up of wireless charging accessories - the PowerDisc. Small enough to allow several devices to be used at the same time on one WildCharger pad, the contact module is embedded in the disc which comes supplied with seven adapters compatible with hundreds of portable gadgets from the likes of Nokia, Blackberry, HTC, LG and Samsung.  Read More

Sony's new rechargeable batteries that use Olivine-type Lithium Iron Phosphate as the cath...

We cover our fair share of battery technology breakthroughs here at Gizmag, from lithium-sulfur batteries to NanoEnergy batteries. But it’s less often that we get to report on new and improved batteries actually hitting the market. So it was nice to learn that Sony has launched a new type of rechargeable Li-ion battery that promises an extended life span more than four times that of existing Li-ion batteries and can be charged to 99 percent of its full capacity in 30 minutes - approximately half the charge time of Sony’s current Li-ion battery line up.  Read More

Prevent TV and computer equipment from wasting energy when on standby

Cutting down on unnecessary electricity usage has clear benefits for both the environment and your hip pocket, and devices that tackle the issue of standby power are an obvious place to start. Paul Lester takes a closer look at some of the current solutions on the market.  Read More

A picture from the patent filing for General Fusion’s proposed fusion reactor.

Nuclear fusion offers a completely clean method of producing vast amounts of energy. So far the major stumbling block for scientists has been creating a controllable fusion reaction that achieves “net gain”, meaning it gives off more energy than is needed to trigger it. But Canadian startup, General Fusion, is claiming it can build a relatively low-tech prototype nuclear fusion power plant within the next decade for less than a billion dollars.  Read More

Nissan's Tiida-based EV-11 prototype has many features including a top speed of around 87m...

Nissan has showcased its electric vehicle (EV) platform on a Tiida-based hatchback model. The Nissan EV-11 prototype seats four-five adults, has a top speed of around 87mph (140kmh), a cruising range of 100 miles (160km) between charges and, being a full EV, produces zero local CO2 emissions. The in-house developed electric motor delivers 80kW (107hp) for “high response and powerful acceleration”. Nissan has also plans some clever IT for its EV platform, like remote ON/OFF charging via a cell phone or the Internet, useful mapping features including automatic updates on the nearest charging stations, a global data center providing 24/7 support and a scheme that could even see non-contact charging introduced in carparks.  Read More

Attaching molecules to semiconducting silicon affects the threshold voltage, or gate volta...

Scientists at Rice University and North Carolina State University have found a method of attaching molecules to semiconducting silicon that may help manufacturers reach past the current limits of Moore's Law as microprocessors become smaller and more powerful.  Read More

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