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Energy

Technologies for sustainable and renewable energy


More Efficient, Self-cleaning Solar Cells

Written by , on March 17, 2014

Researchers from Changchun University of Science and Technology, Xi’an Technological University and Cardiff University have found that a patterned layer on top of the active part of a solar panel can avoid the energy losses due to reflection from the surface. They have devised an approach to the lithographic process used to “print” microelectronic circuits […]  Read more »

Solar Power at Night?

Written by , on March 11, 2014

Physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, led by Federico Capasso, a world-renowned expert in semiconductor physics, photonics and solid-state electronics, have proposed a device that would harvest energy from Earth's infrared emissions into outer space. The device would consist of a "hot" plate at the temperature of the Earth and air, […]  Read more »

Cold-tolerant, Oil-Producing Sugarcane

Written by , on February 26, 2014

A team led by researchers at the University of Illinois is using recent advances in plant biotechnology to increase sugarcane's geographic range, boost its photosynthetic rate and turn it into an oil-producing crop for biodiesel production. The team introduced genes into the sugarcane that boost natural oil production in the plant's stems to about 1.5%.  […]  Read more »

Drones to Collect Solar and Wind Energy

Written by , on February 12, 2014

New Wave Energy, an English company, has plans to build a high altitude aerial power plant, consisting of networks of unmanned drones that can harvest solar and wind energy and transmit it wirelessly to receiving stations on the ground. As sunlight radiates down to the Earth's surface some of its energy is absorbed into the […]  Read more »

Power from a “Wave Carpet”

Written by , on February 7, 2014

University of California Berkeley professor Reza Alam and his team have developed a "wave carpet" which can extract the energy of ocean waves and turn it into electricity or fresh water The "wave carpet" is a rubber mat which sit on top of a grid of hydraulic actuators, cylinders and pumps, on a muddy ocean […]  Read more »

Using Steam Engine Technology for Power Storage

Written by , on November 30, 2013

A group of Australian engineers has formed a company, Terrajule, to develop a novel energy storage solution. The Terrajoule system combines concentrated solar thermal energy, steam engines and an integrated storage system using an insulated pressure vessel. The concentrated solar thermal energy is used to produce steam. Since it is impractical to store steam for […]  Read more »

Easily Reduce Building Energy Use

Written by , on November 16, 2013

According to the US Department of Energy, on average office buildings are empty for about 72% of the time and 55% of their total electricity use occurs during this time. Half of this wasted electricity is used for heating, ventillation and air conditioning. Another 25% is consumed by lighting. The remaing 25% is "plug loads" […]  Read more »

Carbon Capture and Storage 2.0?

Written by , on October 16, 2013

The Global CCS Institute, which is based in Canberra, has reported that since its previous survey a year ago, five carbon capture and storage projects have been canceled, one reduced in size and seven postponed, while three have been added. The leader in capture and storage is the United States – mostly because of the […]  Read more »

Falling Particle Solar Thermal Power

Written by , on September 17, 2013

Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, and partner institutions, are using a falling particle receiver to more efficiently convert the sun's energy to electricity in large-scale, concentrating solar power plants. The falling particle receiver developed at Sandia drops sand-like ceramic particles through a beam of concentrated sunlight and captures and stores the heated […]  Read more »

Ship Design Uses Hull as Sail

Written by , on September 12, 2013

The Norwegian speed sailor and inventor, Terje Lade, has developed a new concept for a ship in which the hull acts as a giant sail. He estimated that the "Vindskip" would have fuel savings of 60% and emissions reductions of 80% compared to current cargo ships. (Image: Lade AS) The Vindskip would have natural-gas fired […]  Read more »