Flexible wind turbines are more efficient

February 27, 2017

It has been discovered that if you use flexible blades on a wind turbine it can dramatically increase its efficiency. A small team of researchers with Sorbonne Université and École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers-ParisTech published a paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A, and described their approach and the results they obtained through physical testing of their idea. After many years of research, modern wind turbines…


Solar energy collecting windows in sight

The dream of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy has been brought one step closer to reality thanks to high tech silicon nanoparticles and the researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Milano-Bicocca. The researchers developed technology to embed the silicon nanoparticles into what they call efficient luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs). These LSCs are the key element of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy. When light…

February 22, 2017

Boat to produce hydrogen from the ocean for clean energy storage

February 21, 2017

In a bid to prove the effectiveness of hydrogen as a renewable fuel, Victorien Erussard and Jérôme Delafosse will sail around a world in a boat powered by the gas – made from the elements they encounter on the way. “The problem is that 95 per cent of the hydrogen that you use already is made out of fossil energies,” says Delafosse. “We will produce hydrogen onboard from the ocean, we…


Multi-energy-harvesting device to push IoT development

February 8, 2017

Researchers from the University of Oulu in Finland have found that a mineral with the perovskite crystal structure has the right properties to extract energy from multiple sources at the same time. Perovskites are a family of minerals, many of which have shown promise for harvesting one or two types of energy at a time—but not simultaneously. One family member may be good for solar cells, with the right properties…


The first electromagnetic metamaterial made without metal

January 30, 2017

The world’s first electromagnetic metamaterial made without any metal, has been created by electrical engineers at Duke University. The device’s ability to absorb electromagnetic energy without heating up has direct applications in imaging, sensing and lighting. Metamaterials are synthetic materials composed of many individual, engineered features that together produce properties not found in nature. Imagine an electromagnetic wave moving through a flat surface made of thousands of tiny electrical cells….


Harvesting unused mechanical energy in the environment

December 16, 2016

A new concept in energy harvesting could capture energy that is currently mostly wasted due to its characteristic low frequency and use it to power next-generation electronic devices. In a project funded by electronics giant Samsung, a team of Penn State materials scientists and electrical engineers has designed a mechanical energy transducer based on flexible organic ionic diodes that points toward a new direction in scalable energy harvesting of unused…


It’s getting hot in here, so charge up your smart watch

December 15, 2016

Company founders Akram Boukai, CEO, and Douglas Tham, Chief Technology Officer of Matrix Industries, based in Menlo Park, Calif., think that thermoelectric technology is ready to power wearables now, and soon will make sense for implantables and low-power sensors on the Internet of Things. Thermoelectric devices harvest energy using a temperature difference between their two sides to generate a voltage. Matrix launched what it calls a thermoelectric-powered smart watch—and I…


Tesla’s SolarCity sets example for the world

November 28, 2016

To celebrate its $2.6bn acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla has announced a major solar energy project: wiring up the whole island of Ta’u in American Samoa. Previously, the island ran on diesel generators, but over the past year Tesla has installed a microgrid of solar energy panels and batteries that will supply “nearly 100 percent” of power needs for Ta’u’s 600 residents. The project seems intended to show off the potential…


Glow-in-the-dark dye fueling our future

November 18, 2016

If someone came up with the idea of a glow-in-the-dark dye being the next advancement in energy storage technology, the scientists at the University of Buffalo would be on board. And in fact they are. A fluorescent dye called BODIPY has been identified by researchers as a material for stockpiling energy in rechargeable, liquid-based batteries that could one day power cars and homes. But the traits that facilitate energy storage…


Harnessing carbon dioxide needs engineered efficiency

November 18, 2016

The vast diversity of organisms on the planet expresses enzymes for the conversion of carbon dioxide into organic compounds, like sugar. Plants do the same through photosynthesis, and the efforts to harness these capabilities to transform CO2 into high-value products such as bio fuel and renewable chemicals have met with limited success. While increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere poses a challenge, researchers also see it as an opportunity….