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Monthly Archive: June 2011

Laptops Could Be Powered by Typing

Written by , on June 30, 2011

Scientists at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have made a discovery that could lead to laptops powered by typing. The researchers succeeded is showing that piezoelectric thin films have the capacity to turn mechanical pressure into a measurable amount of electricity. It has been known since the 1880s that certain crystals are able to […]  Read more »

New Catalyst Could Be a Big Step Towards Commercial Fuel Cells

Written by , on June 29, 2011

A new catalyst, developed at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, could represent a substantial milestone on the way to cheap, durable, light and environmentally friendly fuel cells. Currently, the best fuel cells are powered by hydrogen. The biggest obstacle to the wide use of hydrogen fuel cells […]  Read more »

New Alloy Produces Electricity from Waste Heat

Written by , on June 29, 2011

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a new alloy that is able to convert heat directly into electricity. The alloy, created by combining nickel, cobalt, manganese and tin at the atomic level, is a multiferroic materials. These matertials have unique elastic, magnetic and electric properties. When heated, this particlular alloy suddenly changes from […]  Read more »

Solar Plant Now Supplying “Baseload” Power

Written by , on June 25, 2011

The world’s first solar power plant. to supply utility-scale "baseload" power has been launched near Seville in Spain. The 10 megawatt solar thermal Gemasolar plant has the capacity to store energy for up to 15 hours in molten salt batteries, enabling it to provide enough power for about 25,000 households for.24-hours a day.  Read more »

Cleaning Up Fukushima with “Blue Goo”

Written by , on June 20, 2011

Japanese authorities are using a blue liquid that hardens into a gel that is then peeled off surfaces, taking microscopic particles of contaminants, including radioactive pollutants, with it to clean up the contamination caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The "blue goo", or DeconGel, was discovered by accident in 2009 at the Hawaiian venture capital […]  Read more »

Battery Breakthrough

Written by , on June 19, 2011

In what has been described as the biggest battery breakthrough ever, researchers at MIT have come up with a radical new design which could provide a lightweight and inexpensive alternative to existing batteries for electric vehicles and the power grid. The new technology uses an innovative architecture called a semi-solid flow cell, in which the […]  Read more »

Car Bodies That Store Electricity

Written by , on June 16, 2011

Researchers at the Imperial College London are working towards developing car bodies which can act as capacitors. To help cut weight and increase driving distances, engineers are developing car frames and bodies made of carbon fibre-reinforced composite materials that can be half the weight of steel but provide superior strength and rigidity. By lacing the […]  Read more »

Electric Car Sharing for Paris

Written by , on June 15, 2011

Following the success of Paris’ bicycle sharing programme, Velib, the city is to get an electric vehicle sharing programme, Autolib. It is eventually hoped to have 4,000 electric vehicles allowing one-way trips between charging stations all over the city, beginning in December. Production of the first 700 Autolib cars has already started in the Italian […]  Read more »

“The Sea Is Rising” – John Butler Trio

Written by , on June 14, 2011

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Improved Efficiency Using Waste Heat

Written by , on June 12, 2011

Engineers at Oregon State University have reported that they have achieved a major step toward addressing the waste as heat of much of the energy produced by cars, factories and power plants. The new systems should be able to use much of that waste heat either in cooling or the production of electricity. Currently, more […]  Read more »