Showing posts with label alternative energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alternative energy. Show all posts

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A ribofunk moment

Nepalese Teen Invents Cheap Solar Panel Using Human Hair

Did you know that melanin, the pigment in hair, is light sensitive and can be used as a conductor? Well, that's what an 18 year old in Nepal recently discovered, and is now using human hair to replace silicon in solar panels.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

High as a kite

High-flying kites could power New York

"For cities that are affected by polar jet streams such as Tokyo, Seoul, and New York, the high-altitude resource is phenomenal," Archer continued. "New York, which has the highest average high-altitude wind power density of any U.S. city, has an average wind power density of up to 16 kilowatts per square meter."

Several technologies have been proposed to harvest these high altitude winds, including tethered, kite-like turbines that would be floated to the altitude of the jet streams at an altitude of 20,000-50,000 feet and transmit up to 40 megawatts of electricity to the ground via the tether.

But don't expect the high altitude wind harvesting to begin right away. Th researchers say that a lot needs to fall into place before the technology is feasible for large-scale electricity generation.


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Thursday, May 14, 2009

A very cool idea

Kinetic Prayer Wheels Transform Prayers Into Energy

Every year millions of tourists and locals descend upon Tibet's temples and spin the prayer wheels contained inside. If the mechanical energy generated by the movement of these spinning wheels could be harnessed, we could potentially reduce the size of our current carbon footprint and supplement an inadequate and unreliable electrical grid for numerous individuals. The Prayer Wheel Energy Generator, designed by Taikkun Yang Li does just this by transforming all of those good vibes into electricity that could be used to provide reliable energy for daily needs such as evening lighting.

Monday, April 20, 2009

We shall see.

PG&E Announces Solar Power From Space By 2016

The project is expected to cost around $2 billion, which will mainly go towards the R&D of the base station and launching the satellites. SolarEn CEO Gary Spirnak has complete confidence in the concept and the company's ability to develop this system. In fact, he projects that they will be able to generate 1.2 to 4.8 gigawatts of power at a price that is comparable to other forms of renewable energy. PG&E is also committed to the idea and has entered into a 15 year contract with SolarEn to produce enough power for 250,000 homes.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Our last best hope?

NIF scientists set the controls for nuclear fusion

The goal is to find a way to achieve controlled, sustained nuclear fusion and energy gain in a lab. According to the director of the facility, Dr. Ed Moses, "When all NIF lasers are fired at full energy, they will deliver 1.8 megajoules of ultraviolet energy to the target." Lasting just a few nanoseconds, the system is capable of generation 500 trillion watts of power -- more than the peak electrical generating power of the entire United States. Significant results are expected sometime between 2010 and 2012.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wind turbines and the robots who love them

Robots to Tend Wind Farms

To climb, the robot pulls itself up a rope, and a specially designed carrier system guides the robot along the surface of the rotor blades. The robot is equipped with several advanced sensor systems, including an infrared radiator, a high-res thermal camera, and an ultrasonic system, all of which detect hairline cracks and flaws in the blades. These features enable RIWEA to detect damage that might be hidden to the human eye.

The robotic system is adaptable to a variety of wind turbines, including those on land and off-shore.

But is it capable of defending against UFO attacks?

Friday, January 30, 2009

I am an island.

The Waterpod: a Floating Eco-Habitat

Designed to test the feasibility of a fully self-sustaining, floating community, Waterpod is a triple-domed island fashioned from reclaimed wood, metal and plastic and affixed to an eighty by twenty-five-foot surplus barge. Organizers say the primary power sources will be passive and active solar systems combined with a wind turbine which together will power all on-board systems including "rotating art installations and a permanent projector illuminating the Waterpod dome each night."

As long as it comes equipped with Cartrivision, consider me sold.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Space elevators needed for space solar power?

It might sound like the piling of one unlikely science fiction idea on top of another - but the small band of enthusiasts who believe machines called space elevators could one day become a reality say their technology could one day save the planet.

(Via Futurismic.)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Article about quasi-perpetual motion technology

Randell Mills, founder of BlackLight Power, claims to have invented a reactor that makes hydrogen atoms drop to an energy state below ground level, which causes them to release "100 times as much energy as you’d get by just burning the hydrogen." IEEE Spectrum interviewed several physicists about it, and they say it's poppycock. Nevertheless, the company developing the technology has received $60 million in funding.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Scientists plan to ignite tiny man-made star

In the spring, a team will begin attempts to ignite a tiny man-made star inside a laboratory and trigger a thermonuclear reaction.

Its goal is to generate temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius and pressures billions of times higher than those found anywhere else on earth, from a speck of fuel little bigger than a pinhead. If successful, the experiment will mark the first step towards building a practical nuclear fusion power station and a source of almost limitless energy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Commuters to Generate Electricity From Walking Into Train Station

The greatest thing about this demo is its sheer practicality in the real world. So many have been talking about solar panel highways or body-heat generating mobile devices, but not so much about kinetic energy. The energy-generating springboard has the additional benefit of being comfortable on the feet and back, something cement and pavement clearly lack.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Could coffee be the alternative fuel of the future?

Nevertheless, more than 16 billion pounds of coffee are produced globally every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Misra estimates that the grounds from that haul could be used to make as much as 340 million gallons of biodiesel. For their part, the researchers turned grounds donated by Starbucks into biodiesel that had the added advantage of smelling like a fresh cup o' Joe.

(Via The Keyhoe Report.)

Monday, December 01, 2008

World's first wave farm up and running

The world's first commercial wave farm in Portugal is now operational. Three 750kW Pelamis Wave Energy Converters (PWEC) have been installed in the first stage of a project which, when complete, will provide enough clean energy to meet the needs of 15,000 households.

Friday, November 14, 2008

How Floating 'Energy Islands' Could Power the Future

One of these hexagonally-shaped islands could generate 250 megawatts (enough power for a small city), Michaelis said. Even more power is possible by mooring together several Energy Islands into a small archipelago that could include greenhouses for food, a small harbor for ships and a hotel for tourists.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Someone at a coffeeshop mentioned this to me because he thought I might be interested. My reputation proceeds me.

NASA Looks at Fission Reactors for Power on the Moon

"Our goal is to build a technology demonstration unit with all the major components of a fission surface power system and conduct non-nuclear, integrated system testing in a ground-based space simulation facility," said Mason. "Our long-term goal is to demonstrate technical readiness early in the next decade, when NASA is expected to decide on the type of power system to be used on the lunar surface."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Long-distance demonstration of solar-powered wireless power transmission achieved

John C. Mankins, former manager of NASA's Exploration Systems Research and Technology Program, and a foremost expert on space solar power, will describe a demonstration project for long-distance, solar-powered wireless power transmission between two Hawaiian islands 148 kilometers apart.

The project will also be featured in an hour-long special Friday evening on Discovery Channel as part of PROJECT EARTH, an eight-part Discovery channel series on the most ambitious geo-engineering ideas to tackle global climate change and the need for new and sustainable energy sources.