Energy-Harvesting Rubber Chips Could Power Pacemakers, Cell Phones

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Super-thin material generates electricity when flexed

Power-generating rubber films developed by Princeton University engineers could harness natural body movements such as breathing and walking to power pacemakers, mobile phones and other electronic devices.

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Window Fridge – Let’s You Decide What You Want Before Opening

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Window refrigerator

Let me let you in on a little quote from a comedian I know: “OK you stand here. I’ll get the camera, and I’ll take a picture of the inside of the fridge and get it developed. When I come back, I’ll tape it to the fridge on the outside so you’ll know what’s in there, and then you can know what you want before you get in. How’s that.” – Bill Cosby (1982.) Little did Cosby know that only about 30 years later there’d be a real solution to this problem.

 

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Haiti Earthquake Relief – Solar Panels To Help Light The Night

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Sol Inc. solar panels

The Jan. 12 earthquake that hit Haiti has mobilized relief agencies, who are working around the clock to aid survivors. One thing lacking is electricity. There are reports of people burning tires to light up the night. Solar-powered lights that charge during the day are a better idea, a Florida company says.

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Strange Roof Orbs Provide Alternative Solar Power

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Roof orbs

Nani Kore (”What’s This?”) is the name of a Japanese TV show that digs up bizarre things and phenomena observed around the world and explains how they work. In the latest show, they presented a house in central Tokyo that proves solar power can be used in a residential setting without those expensive solar panels and cells. (video)

 

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Current Cart to Power Grocery Stores

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Current Cart

“Your consumption is production” is the premise behind a new concept called Current Cart by Kitae Pak & Inyong Jung that would turn shopping carts into electricity-generating mobile units. Their hope is that shoppers can power the stores in which they shop by the very act of wandering around the store and shopping.

 

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Harnessing Waste Heat from Laptop Computers, Cell Phones May Double Battery Time

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In everything from computer processor chips to car engines to electric powerplants, the need to get rid of excess heat creates a major source of inefficiency.

In everything from computer processor chips to car engines to electric powerplants, the need to get rid of excess heat creates a major source of inefficiency. But new research points the way to a technology that might make it possible to harvest much of that wasted heat and turn it into usable electricity.

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Star Trek-like Replicator? Electron Beam Device Makes Metal Parts, One Layer At A Time

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Electron beam freeform fabrication process.

A group of engineers working on a novel manufacturing technique at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., have come up with a new twist on the popular old saying about dreaming and doing: “If you can slice it, we can build it.”

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Rechargeable Zinc-Ion Batteries Store 3 Times The Energy Of Lithium-Ion Batteries

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This graphic illustrates the multilayered structure of a ReVolt rechargeable zinc-air battery.

A Swiss company says it has developed rechargeable zinc-air batteries that can store three times the energy of lithium ion batteries, by volume, while costing only half as much. ReVolt, of Staefa, Switzerland, plans to sell small “button cell” batteries for hearing aids starting next year and to incorporate its technology into ever larger batteries, introducing cell-phone and electric bicycle batteries in the next few years. It is also starting to develop large-format batteries for electric vehicles.

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California To Pull The Plug On Big Screen Plasma TV’s

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California to ban big screen tv’s

The “guvernator” is leading California where no state has dared before. In a world first, big screen plasma televisions are to be banned in California because they use too much energy.  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has given his backing to the move which would prohibit the sale of TV sets more than 40 inches wide.

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$21 Billion Solar Space Project To Beam Electricity To Homes Within 30 Years

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The Japanese are preparing to develop a two trillion yen (approximately $21 billion USD) space solar project that will beam electricity from space in the form of microwaves or lasers to around 300,000 homes in Japan within three decades.

 

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Efficient Solar Cells Could Be Made With Carbon Nanotubes

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Carbon nanotube-based photodiode

Cornell researchers fabricated, tested and measured a simple solar cell called a photodiode, formed from an individual carbon nanotube.  Using a carbon nanotube instead of traditional silicon, Cornell researchers have created the basic elements of a solar cell that hopefully will lead to much more efficient ways of converting light to electricity than now used in calculators and on rooftops.

 

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