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Energy Generating Clothing

Energy Generating Clothing

Scientists have already brought a device to market that allows you to charge batteries wirelessly.  Imagine now, that your cell phone could stay charged by simply putting it in your pocket.  Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have developed a way to weave carbon nanotubes into textiles that generate electricity with movement. The nanotubes can be filled with superconducting elements like Boron and Magnesium powder which generates electricity.  Combined with the wireless charging technology, and your next jacket could charge your cell phone and ipod without any wires. Which begs the question, what if this technology could be applied to virtually anything that moves a lot?  The technology grows nanotubes and sprays them with a finely ground powder.  …

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Pee Powered Battery

When striving to create a small, disposable test for various disease such as diabetes, scientists were pushed to find an equally small, inexpensive, disposable battery.  (someone ironic, seeing as you’re not supposed to throw out batteries) What they discovered is that many tests rely on urine to determine test results.  Since urine is acidity, scientists have developed a battery powered by the very urine it is testing.  An acid based battery has been around since you could buy kits to make batteries out of potatoes or lemon water. “In order to address this problem, we have designed a disposable battery on a chip, which is activated by biofluids such as urine,” says Ki Bang Lee, one of the researchers responsible …

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Offshore Wind For 2011?

Recent studies suggest the United States coastline has the capacity to completely change the power generation balance in this country.  The Eastern seaboard alone has about 127 Gigawatts of capacity, thats around 25 massive wind turbines. In addition to a bunch of clean, new energy the study found the potential for 130,000-210,000 new jobs.  Now that’s something we could use. There is one significant barrier to this kind of paradigm shift.  The ships that are needed to build such huge power plants are only made overseas.  No big deal right?  Wrong.  An obscure law prevents foreign made ships from servicing domestic ports.  That’s the kind of thing that probably sounded good on paper when American shipbuilders lobbied hard for it.  …

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Small Wind Generation

I live in a windy place.  Some days there’s nothing, but just two nights ago we had over 100 mile per hour winds here in Vermont.  That got me to thinking, if I had a wind turbine, I probably could have generated two months were of electricity. Vermont has progressive net metering laws, so I could generate a 500 watts and that would subtract from my net electricity usage for the month. (hence the term “net metering”)

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Power Plastic Gains Efficiency

A company called Konarka makes a flexible solar generating plastic compound that generates electricity.  Think of the possible applications for this technology.  Wrapping electric vehicles, buildings and remote structures to power small applications.  Or, imaging a trickle-charging effect for boats and RV’s that need occasional power boosts. Konarka has announced that their product’s efficiency has increased to 8.3 percent.  Although still small, this is a big boost.  Some day we’ll have technology that captures 100% of the sun’s energy by the time it reaches the earth’s surface.  For now, we’ll have to use 8.3% to power bus stops in San Francisco. Source

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Upcoming Tidal Power Installation

The UK has just invested 20 Million pounds in a tidal generation project as part of the Low Carbon Economic Area.   The area will be 1 kilometer by 2 kilometers and be available for leases by energy companies.  The project is called Wave Hub. The tidal array will be the first major tidal installation project put into place.  What is cool about this project is developers have up to 5 year leases (possibly extendable) and can generate a max of 4-5 MW of energy.  This will, in theory, encourage various technology deployments which should give us a nice glimpse of the potential for future projects globally. Installations will begin this year with the first project and extend forward until leases …

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Electricity from pavement

Researchers at the University of Rhode Island have identified four potential methods of harnessing energy from pavement.  If any were put into place, think of the massive electricity generation that could take place based on the shear amount of pavement in the U.S. Option 1 is to wrap flexible solar panels around the jersey barriers that separate lanes on highways.  Eh, lukewarm for me. Option 2 involves laying pipes in the pavement which absorbs massive heat in the summer.  Sometimes up to 140 degrees.  The researchers are thinking of piping the hot water to bridges to melt ice instead of trucks with salt.  They’re also thinking of piping the water to nearby buildings for consumption.  Personally, I am imagining the …

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Energy Friendly Dirt

I have recently been doing some research on heating my home in an eco-friendly way.  I currently heat entirely with wood.  Which is essentially free, a thorough heat that warms to the core.  However it is not environmentally friendly because of the rapid release of carbon into the atmosphere.  Of course, I only cut dead trees to burn, which means I am only releasing carbon that is in the process of being released anyway.  I’m just doing it much faster than nature would. Another issue with wood heat is it’s on or off.  There isn’t a setting on my wood stove to keep the house at 65 or 70.  It’s all or nothing which can make for uncomfortable spikes and …

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Biggest Solar Facility Yet

Remember the pictures of crop circles and designs in the nineties?  They mystified the media and we spent a whole season debating their meaning.  Well, I implore you to check out this aerial photograph and judge it as anything less than spectacular: Producing 80 Megawatts, this is the largest Solar (photovoltaic) installation in the world.  And it sits with our neighbors in Canada.  In addition to shear magnitude, the installation has demonstrated true green priorities by minimizing the overall carbon footprint.  The technology utilized is super thin solar panels which minimized material and installation cost. The combination of feed-in tariff programs support by the Government as well as a 20 year contract to purchase energy made Canada the ideal location.  …

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Mobile Wind Turbine Speeds Up Site Survey

Ever wonder how they plan wind farms?  A lot more energy and assessment goes into the area that just an open field and some tall poles.  Survey equipment is often erected to determine the absolute premium location for each turbine.  Setting up poles and milling through data has been the only method for planning wind farms… until now. The mobile wind turbine by Pope Design moves to follow the wind or to collect data.  It no longer takes a whole crew of workers and a crane to collect data over and over. Another possible use is mobile wind generation.  Military applications are endless, as are heavily rural or undeveloped areas.  A mobile electrical plan is just what many communities need, …

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