Switzerland-based industrial machine behemoth ABB just announced plans to throw its weight behind a massive network of electric vehicle charging stations across Europe, the US, and Asia. The company plans to integrate chargers into smart grid systems and allow drivers to juice up their electric vehicles while they are out and about. The announcement is a big nod that the nascent electric car market is set to boom – sources project that over 5 million EVs will be sold each year by 2017, and the charger market is valued at $1 billion.
A number of energy-efficient homes and communities are currently in the process of being tested, but a Los Angeles-based company is going one small step farther. KB Home presented its first net-zero-energy home in an event in Las Vegas, and it’s not just experimental. The home, called the ZeroHouse 2.0, is available to consumers (in certain areas, including Vegas).
ZeroHouse 2.0 is the natural extension of KB Home’s standard building practices, which all comply with the EPA Energy Star Standards. The company claims that the ZeroHouse 2.0 can eliminate the electric bill altogether; in the ridiculously hot weather of Nevada, that’s quite a feat.
17 Years Old Pakistani College Student Shahzaib Hussain from Quetta figures out a away to produce electricity with Earth’s Magnetic Field. He said that this is the world’s cheapest way to produce electric from earth’s magnetic field. Shahzaib Hussain also invited in the US in World’s 1500 Intelligent students competition. Shahzaib Hussain studying in Army Public School & College Quetta.
Electricity obtained from sea water is one of the most reliable clean sources of energy and now it’s set to become one of the most affordable ones. The proof lies in the SeaRaser project, belonging to the UK alternative energy company Ecotricity – more low-cost even than fossil fuels.
Landfills are a necessary component of contemporary life. According to the US EPA, the average person in the U.S. produces nearly 1,130 pounds (513 kilograms) of waste per year, and the vast majority of that ends up in landfills. Much of that trash decomposes, and releases methane and CO2, both of which are greenhouse gasses. However, methane is also a gas which can be used as a fuel, and increasingly, landfills are beginning to realize this is an energy resource and are making use of it.
An aquatic “bicycle pump” is set to take to the seas and turn wave power into clean electricity after being acquired by green energy company Ecotricity. The Searaser device, which pumps saltwater to an onshore generator, has been tested in prototype and praised by ministers.
Searaser uses the rise and fall of a large float to pressurise water, but unlike other wave power technologies does not generate the electricity in the hostile environment of the ocean. “If you put any device in the sea, it will get engulfed in storms, so it all has to be totally sealed,” said inventor Alvin Smith. “Water and electricity don’t mix – and sea water is particularly corrosive – so most other devices are very expensive to manufacture and maintain.” The technology means the salt water and electricity-generating equipment never meet, and is done routinely in Japan.
There is an exponentially increasing demand for clean water especially in those places, which do not have efficient electric supply like remote locations or big, crowded cities where water pipes are running under the ground. This urgent need of online monitoring is not met by the alternatives such as solar panels and other renewable energies. Although, hydroelectricity, i.e. energy production by water has been a successful accomplishment in the past, the markets are still void of efficient products. As a solution to this problem, an Israeli company HydroSpin Monitoring Solutions Ltd. has successfully developed a micro-generator known as Hydrospin that produces energy by monitoring the water flow inside the distribution pipes.
As many of you know, a broken and then repaired thing won’t ever be as it was before, no matter how much we try. This truth applies as well to electronic circuits, that once broken are not very easy to fix. Despite these, a team of engineers at the University of Illinois managed to create self-healing circuits for electronics and batteries.
How many of you have not tried to open a TV or a laptop and when you had to put it back together it was already broken? I guess you know what I’m talking about, and I also guess you know this kind of question often asked by your not very happy parents: “You wanted to see why it worked, huh?”.
Research into developing insect cyborgs for use as first responders or super stealthy spies has been going on for a while now. Most research has focused on using batteries, tiny solar cells or piezoelectric generators to harvest kinetic energy from the movement of an insect’s wings to power the electronics attached to the insects. Now a group of researchers at Case Western Reserve University have created a power supply that relies just on the insect’s normal feeding.
Recognizing that using a real insect is much easier than starting from scratch to create a device that works like an insect, Case Western Reserve chemistry professor teamed up with graduate student Michelle Rasmussen, biology professor Roy E. Ritzmann, chemistry professor Irene Lee and biology research assistant Alan J. Pollack to develop an implantable biofuel cell to provide usable power for the various sensors, recording devices, or electronics used to control an insect cyborg.
Among the world’s most developed countries, Germany seems to be on the right track concerning renewable energy production. The country’s renewable resources have been used more than the classic ones this year, reports BDEW, Germany’s Federal Association of Energy.
Therefore, nuclear power dropped to 17.4 percent after Chancellor Angela Merkel had decided to show down the oldest eight reactors, as a reaction to the disaster at Fukushima, Japan. Plans are that by 2022 they’ll have phased out all of the nuclear power plants today in function.
To leap to the next generation of nuclear power technology, Bill Gates-backed start-up TerraPower is approaching countries rather than individual utilities or financiers.
Gates last week disclosed that he brought up TerraPower’s fourth-generation nuclear power technology with government officials at the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology during a visit to China. “TerrPower is having very good discussions with [China National Nuclear Corporation] and various people in the Chinese government,” Gates told the Associated Press.
Bellevue, Wash.-based TerraPower then said that the company has visited energy experts in the U.S. France, India, Japan, Korea and Russia, but that “there were no deals to at this time.”
While Germany and Japan are backing away from nuclear power, the United Kingdom is looking in completely the opposite direction – 8 new nuclear plants are scheduled to be built. As a close neighbor, Germany has a number of words on the topic (all of them polite, but not particularly flattering).
Germany’s announcement of zero nuclear was prompted by the Sendai quake and the Fukushima nuclear meltdown last spring, as Clean Technica readers may remember, but those phase-out plans were already in place. The announcement gave rise to fears of insufficient power feeding into the grid anyway. However, Jochen Flasbarth, president of Germany’s EPA, pretty much thinks the entire idea is ridiculous, and furthermore that nuclear power is not the answer to a stable power supply:
If you thought the Fukushima disaster derailed nuclear power worldwide, look again.
Evacuations and the havoc caused by meltdowns at four reactor cores at the Fukushima power plant earlier this year prompted Japan to shift away from nuclear power and recatalyzed a nuclear phase-out in Germany. But many countries remain enthusiastic about nuclear power, and interest in newer technologies has increased because they are safer, according to a panel of industry professionals here at the MIT Energy Finance Forum on Friday.
“Our investors have a very long time horizon and the reason they supported it is the long-term societal implications and the potentially significant returns from that (so) we haven’t seen any wavering of support,” said Tyler Ellis, a project manager at TerraPower. “Our development partners are trying to accelerate the time scale (of building plants) due to the energy security and safety.”
Protest at Jaitapur over planned construction of two new nuclear reactors.
A series of protests that began in October have delayed the hot start of two Russian 1000- MW VVER reactors in the Tamil Nadu state on India’s southernmost coastline. Additional protests, some of them violent, have set back the start of construction of two French 1650-MW EPR reactors in the Maharashtra state on India’s west coast some 400 km (250 miles) south of Mumbai.
When it comes to keeping airport runways clear of ice, there are several options, including the use of chemical, thermal, electric and microwave technologies. All of these methods can be expensive, as they require either a considerable amount of electricity, or a number of human workers. Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas, however, are developing a new system that would use the freely-available power of the Sun to keep runways from freezing up.