Harvesting Solar Energy from Pavement to Melt Ice & Power Streetlights!

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What a perfect energy solution for our cold winters!

The heat radiating off roadways has long been a factor in explaining why city temperatures are often considerably warmer than nearby suburban or rural areas. Now a team of engineering researchers from the University of Rhode Island is examining methods of harvesting that solar energy to melt ice, power streetlights, illuminate signs, heat buildings and potentially use it for many other purposes. Continue reading… “Harvesting Solar Energy from Pavement to Melt Ice & Power Streetlights!”

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Power-Generating Windows!(Transparent Conductive Material)

possible with conjugated polymer (PPV) honeycomb technology

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory have fabricated transparent thin films capable of absorbing light and generating electric charge over a relatively large area. The material, described in the journal Chemistry of Materials, could be used to develop transparent solar panels or even windows that absorb solar energy to generate electricity.

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Frogs, Foam and Fuel: Solar Energy Converted to Sugars

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In natural photosynthesis, plants take in solar energy and carbon dioxide and then convert it to oxygen and sugars.

For decades, farmers have been trying to find ways to get more energy out of the sun. In natural photosynthesis, plants take in solar energy and carbon dioxide and then convert it to oxygen and sugars. The oxygen is released to the air and the sugars are dispersed throughout the plant — like that sweet corn we look for in the summer. Unfortunately, the allocation of light energy into products we use is not as efficient as we would like. Now engineering researchers at the University of Cincinnati are doing something about that.

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Are High Speed Elephants Running or Walking?

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Young African Elephant leaving a waterhole in the Savute/Savuti area of Chobe N.P. in Botswana.

Most animals don’t think anything of breaking into a run: they switch effortlessly from walking to a high-speed bouncing run. But what about elephants? Their sheer size makes it impossible for them to bounce up in the air at high speeds. So how are high-speed elephants moving: are they running or walking?

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New Research Rejects 80-Year Theory of ‘Primordial Soup’ as the Origin of Life

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In rejecting the soup theory the researchers turned to the Earth’s chemistry to identify the energy source which could power the first primitive predecessors of living organisms: geochemical gradients across a honeycomb of microscopic natural caverns at hydrothermal vents. These catalytic cells generated lipids, proteins and nucleotides which may have given rise to the first true cells.

For 80 years it has been accepted that early life began in a ‘primordial soup’ of organic molecules before evolving out of the oceans millions of years later. Today the ‘soup’ theory has been over turned in a pioneering paper in BioEssays which claims it was the Earth’s chemical energy, from hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, which kick-started early life.

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Engineers Use Aerospace Approach to Design Wave Energy System

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Shown is the view from the far downstream end into the test section of the U.S. Air Force Academy water tunnel.

The ocean is a potentially vast source of electric power, yet as engineers test new technologies for capturing it, the devices are plagued by battering storms, limited efficiency, and the need to be tethered to the seafloor.

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Algae Turned Into High-Temperature Hydrogen Source

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This image shows the process by which Photosystem I in thermophilic blue-green algae can be catalyzed by platinum to produce a sustainable source of hydrogen.

In the quest to make hydrogen as a clean alternative fuel source, researchers have been stymied about how to create usable hydrogen that is clean and sustainable without relying on an intensive, high-energy process that outweighs the benefits of not using petroleum to power vehicles.

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Is The Sky The Limit For Wind Power?

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In the future, will wind power tapped by high-flying kites light up New York?

In the future, will wind power tapped by high-flying kites light up New York? A new study by scientists at the Carnegie Institution and California State University identifies New York as a prime location for exploiting high-altitude winds, which globally contain enough energy to meet world demand 100 times over. The researchers found that the regions best suited for harvesting this energy match with population centers in the eastern U.S. and East Asia, but fluctuating wind strength still presents a challenge for exploiting this energy source on a large scale.

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