HydroFILL Squeezes Electricity Out of Your Tap Water

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Power From Water

Fuel cell outfitter Horizon is now offering a personal hydrogen power plant for use with its MiniPAK and HydroSTIK products. Although it isn’t cheap, the system will (cleanly!) charge all of your small devices using the same water you drink.

The HydroFILL allows users to generate their own hydrogen and recharge the company’s proprietary HydroSTIK miniature hydrogen tanks themselves, rather than having to spring for new ones when expended…

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Fibers That Can Hear and Sing: Fibers Created That Detect and Produce Sound

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MIT researchers have demonstrated that they can manufacture acoustic fibers with flat surfaces, like those shown here, as well as fibers with circular cross sections. The flat fibers could prove particularly useful in acoustic imaging devices.

For centuries, “man-made fibers” meant the raw stuff of clothes and ropes; in the information age, it’s come to mean the filaments of glass that carry data in communications networks. But to Yoel Fink, an Associate professor of Materials Science and principal investigator at MIT’s Research Lab of Electronics, the threads used in textiles and even optical fibers are much too passive. For the past decade, his lab has been working to develop fibers with ever more sophisticated properties, to enable fabrics that can interact with their environment.

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First Hybrid Solar-Coal Power Plant Now in Operation

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Hybrid solar-coal power plant near Pailsade, Colorado.

The first ever hybrid solar-coal power plant is now operating at Unit 2 of the Cameo Generating Station near Palisade in Colorado. The demonstration project was built by Xcel Energy as part of its new Innovative Clean Technology (ICT) Program, and is designed to decrease the use of coal, increase the plant’s efficiency, lower carbon dioxide emissions, and test the commercial viability of combining the two technologies.

 

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Germany Could Produce 100% of It’s Electricity from Renewables by 2050

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Germany is the global leader in solar power.

Germany is already a global leader in solar power, but that’s just a start as far as Germans are concerned. It’s already been shown that Germany could produce 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2050. Now the country’s environment agency is arguing that it should.

 

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RoseStreet Labs CreatesTriple-Layered Solar Panel Catches Full Solar Spectrum

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RoseStreet Labs multi-layer solar panel.

Solar panels are a great technology, yanking free energy out of the air in non-polluting way. But unfortunately, they generally only catch about 15% of the suns rays, making them painfully inefficient. Now a new kind of panel aims to bump that up.

 

 

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Solar Windows Block Out Elements and Create Energy for Your Home

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Generate electricity with solar windows.

Solar windows from Chin Hua were unveiled at Taipei’s International Optoelectronics Week.  They do double duty by blocking out the elements and creating energy for your home.  They are slighty foggy and can replace home or commercial windows.

 

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Transforming the Wind’s Vibrations into Electricity

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Cornell University Vibro-Research Group

As a renewable energy resource, wind has lots going for it – but one major downside is the cost to set up the wind turbines themselves, not to mention the problematic visual impact and the noise pollution it generates (often likened to a small jet engine, especially for those living close by). However, undergraduate students from Cornell University’s Vibro-Wind Research Group are working on a space-saving prototype that will harness wind power more cheaply and efficiently – by transforming the wind’s vibrations into electricity.

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Fuel Cell for Pacemaker Is Powered Directly From The Human Body

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Generally, pacemaker batteries last for several years. But a new technology developed by researchers at Joseph Fourier University in France may make that long-lasting battery obsolete. This device may be able to generate electrical energy by absorbing glucose inside the human body. It’s sort of like hosting an alien parasite, except without the irritating chest-bursting side effects. In Fast Company, Kit Eaton writes:

The trick the scientists worked out was to build the cell’s electrodes out of compressed graphite, which has been treated with enzymes that oxidize incoming glucose molecules, with a resulting release of electrical energy…

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The Growing Thirst for Power in India

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Over the coming years, the need for power in India will more than double

India requires an additional 100,000 megawatts of power by 2012. The country currently has a peak deficit of 18 percent and an overall deficit of 9 percent. While India possesses the fifth largest electricity generation capacity in the world, it has low per capita consumption at just 606 units, less than half of China s consumption per head.
While concerns exist over Chinese- managed projects close to India s border areas, opportunities exist for politically neutral energy providers to service the India market.
According to the Ministry of Power, the total installed capacity in India is calculated to be 145,554.97 megawatts. They also state that:
Generation capacity of 122 GW; 590 billion units produced (1 unit = 1kwh) CAGR of 4.6% over the last four years
India has the fifth largest electricity generation capacity in the world with low per capita consumption at 606 units
Transmission and distribution network of 5.7 million circuit kilometers
Coal-fired plants constitute 57% of the installed generation capacity, followed by 25% from hydroelectric power, 10% gas-based, 3% from nuclear energy and 5% from renewable sources
The State Electricity Regulatory Commission has said that India possesses a vast opportunity to grow in the field of power generation, transmission, and distribution. The target of over 150,000 megawatts of hydroelectric power germination is yet to be achieved. However, by 2012, India requires an additional 100,000 megawatts of generation capacity. A huge capital investment is required to meet this target. This has resulted in numerous power generation, transmission, and distribution multinationals to establish operations in the country under the PPP program. The power sector is still experiencing a large demand-supply gap, and this has called for an effective consideration of some of strategic initiatives. There are strong opportunities in transmission network ventures an additional 60,000 circuit kilometers of transmission network is expected by 2012 with a total investment opportunity of about US$ 200 billion.
According to the Ministry of Power, the implementation of key reforms is likely to foster growth in all segments as follows:
Coal based plants at pithead or coastal locations (imported coal)
Natural gas/CNG based turbines at load centers or near gas terminals
Hydroelectric power potential of 150,000 MW is untapped as assessed by the government of India
Renovation, modernization, upgrading and life extension of old thermal and hydroelectric power plants
Opportunities exist in:
Allowing foreign equity participation up to 100% in the power sector under the automatic route.
Encouraging the private sector to set up coal, gas or liquid-based thermal projects, hydroelectric projects and wind or solar projects of any size
Constitution of independent state electricity regulatory commissions
Deregulation of the ancillary sectors such as coal
Introduction of the Electricity Act and the notification of the national electricity and tariff policies
Provision of income tax holiday for a block of 10 years in the first 15 years of operation and waiver of capital goods import duties on mega power projects (above 1,000 MW generation capacity)
Unbundling of the state electricity boards (SEBs) into generation, transmission, and distribution companies for better transparency and accountability
Initiatives the government has introduced to facilitate foreign investment in the sector under the automatic route:
Unbundling of vertically integrated SEs
Open access to transmission and distribution network
Distribution circles to be privatized
Tariff reforms by regulatory authorities

India requires an additional 100,000 megawatts of power by 2012. The country currently has a peak deficit of 18 percent and an overall deficit of 9 percent. While India possesses the fifth largest electricity generation capacity in the world, it has low per capita consumption at just 606 units, less than half of China s consumption per head.

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Electrons on the Brink: Fractal Patterns May Be Key to Semiconductor Magnetism

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On the brink of the metal-insulator transition, the electrons in a manganese-doped gallium arsenide semiconductor are distributed across the surface of the material in complex, fractal-like patterns.

Just as the heartbeats of today’s electronic devices depend on the ability to switch the flow of electricity in semiconductors on and off with lightning speed, the viability of the “spintronic” devices of the future — technologies that manipulate both the flow and magnetic “spin” of electrons — will require similarly precise control over semiconductor magnetism.

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California Leads The Nation On Solar Electric Capacity

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Solar panels cover the roof of a California business, SA Recycling.

In 2008, solar electric capacity in the United States jumped 63 percent, according to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. California leads the nation in this particular trend. Our installed solar photovoltaic capacity more than doubled from 2006 to 2008.

 

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