BioLite low-emission camping stove creates its own electricity

Consider the humble camping stove. It requires fuel - perhaps some unwieldy bottle that air carriers object strongly to. Maybe it needs batteries to run a fan, or billows out smoke so you smell like smoked sweatshirt for the rest of the trip. The solution might be the BioLite stove - it's a collapsible wood-burning cook stove that uses almost any forest-found fuel and converts its own heat energy into electricity to achieve efficient combustion with ultra-low emissions.Read More


Carbon nanotubes offer new way to produce electricity

MIT scientists have discovered that a moving pulse of heat traveling along the miniscule wires known as carbon nanotubes can cause powerful waves of energy. These "thermopower waves" can drive electrons along like a collection of flotsam propelled along the surface of ocean waves, creating an electrical current. The previously unknown phenomenon opens up a new area of energy research and could lead to a new way of producing electricity.Read More


Researchers harness heat to power electronics

Efforts to capture energy from the human body usually focus on harnessing the kinetic energy of the body’s movement. However the human body is also generating energy in the form of heat that could also be used to run low power electronic devices. New energy-scavenging systems under development at MIT could generate electricity just from differences in temperature between the body (or other warm object) and the surrounding air.Read More


Harnessing waste heat to produce electricity

That heat emanating from your computer as you sit reading this article amounts to nothing more than wasted energy. And your computer is not alone. More than half of the energy consumed worldwide is wasted, most of it in the form of excess heat. But new research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) indicates it might be possible to harvest much of the wasted heat produced by everything from computer processors to car engines and electric powerplants, and convert it into usable electricity. This kind of waste-energy harvesting might lead to mobile phones with double the talk time, laptop computers that can operate twice as long before needing to be plugged in to mains power, or energy plants that produce more electricity for a given amount of fuel.Read More

Mobile Technology

Dyson energy bracelet a good call

How many times has your cell phone run out of juice in the middle of an important call? Too many. A team of designers, however, thinks it may have come up with a way of generating enough electricity to jolt your cell phone’s dead battery back to life to finish that all-important call – an energy bracelet that uses body heat and ambient temperature.Read More


Thermoelectrics to replace car alternators and improve MPG

Thermoelectrics - the phenomena in which a temperature difference creates an electric potential - have been known about for almost 200 years, but practical applications have not been widespread due to their low energy efficiency. That may all now be about to change as Germany automakers Volkswagen and BMW have developed thermoelectric generators (TEG) that recover waste heat from a combustion engine.Read More


Energy efficiency breakthroughs at MIT and Berkeley

February 12, 2008 The huge potential for utilizing the heat from the human body and other sources to generate electrical power is beginning to be realized on several fronts. Recently we encountered plans to capture and use human body heat in building design and now news of research breakthroughs at MIT and Berkeley that promise to advance the widespread application of thermoelectric power generation in our daily lives. Read More


The human battery: turning body heat into electric power

August 6, 2007 Previously ignored energy sources are being revisited as both the global will to conserve energy and the technological means to generate it radically improve. Electromagnetic radiation from our cities, acoustic noise and stray radio waves are now being re-classified as potential power sources and the human body itself is being re-examined as a battery thanks to advances enabling the energy from body heat, motion and even blood pressure to be harnessed. A new thermoelectric system created by researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute is at the forefront of these developments - running on a miniscule 200 millivolts the device is able to create an electrical charge from body heat and could lend itself to an endless array of applications that go way beyond powering your own mobile phone.Read More

Around The Home

Color Kinetics patents relate to future uses of intelligent solid-state lighting

May 26, 2005 Solid-state lighting pioneer Color Kinetics has been granted two new U.S. patents relating to LED-based illumination systems designed to generate colour-changing LED-based light sources to convey information about temperature changes within a device. The concept of intelligent lighting offers some interesting capabilities - the temperature of the stove top could be conveyed through the colour of light emitted by a multicolour LED-based source, for example.Read More


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