Alternative Energy

Energy Inventions

News and information about innovative inventions and future technology.

Alternative Energy
Alternative Energy

Energy Inventions


The Human Powered Car

Human Car Seattle company HumanCar®, founded by Charles S. Greenwood PE, has been developing human powered vehicles for over 30 years. Their showcase creation is the human car, a 4-wheel, 4-passenger vehicle that can achieve remarkable speeds of 60+ mph! Unfortunately the car is not available to the public, the orginal prototype cost $250,000. The stated goal of the project is to develop efficient transportation alternatives that inspire a "sense of an evolving socioeconomical model". According to HumanCar®, "The time is drawing near when all of the elements - manufacturing, marketing, and product optimization - come together in a cost effective and aesthetically pleasing form." View Comments


Hydro-Hydraulic Energy Invention

Hydraulic Pakistan inventor Sarfraz Ahmad Khan has been working hard to develop new hydro technologies like this hydro power invention. His latest concept features the run of river active setup of micro hydro power generation blended with basic principals of hydraulics. This concept explores the possibility of transmitting the (collective) mechanical power gained from run-of-river hydro setup by converting it into hydraulic pressure. The sum-up of hydraulic pressure will make the main generators work. The basic concept requires hydraulic systems that can help to us to gain some reasonably good mechanical advantages. The hydro-mechanics will convert the mechanical force into hydraulic pressure. The collective hydraulic pressure shall be utilized to rotate the generator shaft. View Comments


Wind Powered Rotating Skyscraper

David Fisher Residents of Dubai may one day experience a unique and constantly changing skyline thanks to Dynamic Architecture's wind powered rotating skyscraper. The main idea behind their concept involves a central concrete core surrounded by 59 independently rotating levels. The skyscraper would generate its own electricity from the massive horizontal wind turbines that would be stacked in between each floor. This idea may seem outlandish or impossibly expensive, but the oil price boom in Dubai has already funded many other similarly massive and complex architectural projects. If oil prices continue to increase these rotating wonders may be seen on Dubai's horizon within the next few years. View Comments


Google SketchUp Goes Green!

Google Sketchup ExampleThere is great potential for free software like Google SketchUp to play a role in the development of future small and large scale alternative energy technologies. Google SketchUp is free software that can be used to create complex 3-D models. The software interface is simple and easy to use. The possibilities are limitless! Anyone can now create a 3-D version of their idea or concept! The models can then be imported into programs like Google Earth. More specifically, SketchUp is the perfect software to help us in our quest to develop new energy technologies. View Comments


Zero Carbon City

Zero Carbon City The Masdar Initiative is an environmental urban ambition by Foster + Partners to develop a sustainable city. They recently released these beautiful images of their conceptual walled city where residents would enjoy a carbon and waste-free environment. The 6 million square metre project is based on the principles of an ancient walled city, combined with modern alternative energy technologies. The mixed-use, high density city will include a University, Innovation Center, Company Headquarters and several economic zones. The company plans to launch the project at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2007. The initiative is being driven by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company. View Comments


Vertical Axis Windmill Invention

Vertical Axis WindmillToronto Inventor Tom J. Gilmour recently published his conceptual designs for what he is calling Tom's Whirligig. Patent applications have been made, and Tom hopes to reserve all rights and worldwide patents for his design. Tom believes his windmill plans to be the most complex ever devised. While he is not yet sure of the workability of this concept, he is optimistic about its feasibility and hopes to soon find the time to build a working model. His website provides detailed descriptions, illustrations, Google Sketchup files and a blog for visitor comments. View Comments


Hydro Power Invention

Hydro PowerA new hydro power technology is being developed by Sarfraz Ahmad Khan of Pakistan. In theory these hydro plants would not require a reservoir and would have a minimal impact on the environment. They could be run side-by-side in rows and would be much cheaper to build, operate and maintain. Sarfraz has high hopes that his ideas could revolutionize hydro power in his country and across the globe. He is currently seeking expert confirmation of his ideas; this article provides a brief summary of his ideas along with some of the 3D images he has created. You can help him by leaving your comments at the bottom of the page, or by joining the discussion that inspired this article. View Comments


Cradle to Cradle: Rethinking Sustainability

Cradle to CradleIt is time for our civilization to rethink the way we live, work, travel, design, build and consume. To think that we are doing our part simply by driving a hybrid car and recycling our paper, bottles, and cans is a dangerous illusion. For years, environmentalists have been telling us to do more with less in order to make change happen. This is simply not enough. We are going to have to fundamentally change the way we design our products, industries and cities. Our current recycling methods are inefficient and only serve to perpetuate the "cradle-to-grave" manufacturing model that we've been using for hundreds of years. View Comments


Water-Fuel Converters Project

Water FuelThe Water/Fuel Converters Project is specifically designed to clarify how hydrogen based fuels can be used to enhance carbon based fuels. The purpose is to educate the general public about the simplicity of on-demand electrolysis technology and the ease of integration into already existing infrastructure. A main aspect of the project is to provide free information whereas other website attempt to capitalize on the situation. By presenting free information the general public now has the best possibility to become informed about how the near future of the energy industry will evolve. View Comments


Ocean Energy Bionics

Ocean Energy BionicsBioPower Systems is developing a new ocean energy technology in Australia that will use bionics to mimic natural systems in order to produce energy. Both bioSTREAM and bioWAVE technologies use biomimicry, which refers to the adaptation of biological traits in engineered systems. BioPower Systems has copied many of the beneficial traits from natural systems in the development of the new ocean energy conversion systems. The company is researching this new technology for application. Laboratory testing will be completed in 2007, and full-scale ocean-based prototypes will be tested in 2008. Commercial units are expected to reach the market by the end of 2009. View Comments


BMW Hydrogen 7 Production

BMW Hydrogen 7BMW has announced the start of production of the new BMW Hydrogen 7, the world's first hydrogen-powered luxury saloon car. Destined to make its first public appearance on 28 November at the Los Angeles Motor Show, the Hydrogen 7 will be built in limited numbers and offered to selected users in 2007. The BMW Hydrogen 7 is based on the existing 7 Series and comes equipped with an internal combustion engine capable of running on liquid hydrogen or petrol. In hydrogen mode the car emits nothing more than water vapor. Powered by a 260hp 12-cylinder engine, the Hydrogen 7 accelerates from zero to 62mph in 9.5 seconds before going on to an electronically limited 143mph top speed. View Comments


Pedal Powered Electricity Generator from Windstream

Pedal Powered GeneratorThe pedal powered generator from Windstream is perfect for emergencies, power failures, remote locations, and off-grid applications. It can be pedaled or cranked by hand to charge 12 volt batteries and run small appliances. The typical average continuous power that can be generated by pedaling the Human Power Generator is up to about 80 watts. The maximum power obtainable through hand cranking typically is about 50 watts. The pedals and optional hand-cranks are interchangeable. Re-engineered for more strength, easier adjustment, and smooth operation, the new MkIII Human Power Generator is the tool for energy education and self-reliant electrical production. View Comments


Mesquite to Ethanol Machine

Mesquite to EthanolMesquite is a deciduous tree, commonly found in Northern Mexico and the United States. Because of its long roots and ability to flourish in dry climates, mesquite trees can be quite a frustrating nuisance for farmers and ranchers alike. Mesquite trees can use up a lot of water because their roots grow deep in order to tap into local water tables. This limits the growth of other important plant forms like grasslands for cattle grazing. A new technology promises to help solve this ongoing problem by harvesting and converting mesquite into ethanol fuel, which can then be used to power farm equipment and vehicles. View Comments


Ambient Energy Generator Technology

Radio WaveAmbient energy generators have the potential to replace battery power as an energy source in a variety of practical applications, particularly in remote locations. Research has shown that it is possible to produce electric power from ambient sources like human energy, radio waves and transmission wires. Traditional electrochemical batteries and fuel storage systems are limited by factors such as battery life, fuel supply and weight. Recent advances in electronic components and sensor technologies are steadily reducing the energy requirements of many remote components and devices, further advancing the potential capabilities of ambient energy power generation. View Comments


Green Steam Energy

Steam EngineRobert Green, an American Inventor, has developed a brand new technology which generates kinetic energy through the conversion of waste heat (as well as many other fuel sources). The Green Steam Engine is piston powered and designed for a wide assortment of practical applications. These steam engines are easy to build and can be used to power boats, electricity generators, air or water pumps, water distillers, heat pumps, air conditioners and a wide array of other small to medium sized appliances. How-To Plans and Components can be ordered directly through the Green Steam Engine website. View Comments


Energy from Pollution

Pollution EnergyResearchers at the Center for Biotechnology at The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University are developing an amazing new technology which will potentially have the ability to extract electricity from pollution and organic waste products. They hope their biological fuel cells will help slow global warming by cleaning excess carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. At the same time this new technology would help deal with rising populations and resultant waste/pollution problems. This process would also eliminate the need to use fossil fuels as an energy source. Currently, fuel cell energy requires heat and a fuel source in order to produce energy. View Comments


New Battery Technology for Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid Battery TechnologyA battery developer is claiming its technology can extend the range of hybrid electric vehicles. Technology Research Laboratories Inc. (TRL, Research Triangle Park, N.C.) claims its battery technology can extend the range of hybrid electric vehicles to 75 miles or better per charge. The company claims its battery operates on physical chemistry principles different from conventional lead-acid batteries, and is made almost entirely of carbon and plastic materials. Problems with battery technology have hindered large-scale development. Technology advances are needed to improve consumer confidence in hybrid vehicles. View Comments


Diesel-Electric Hybrid Train

Hybrid TrainTrials will start next year on what is being billed as Europe's first hybrid high-speed train, which can cut emission levels by up to 50%. The system, which has been developed by Hitachi in Japan, consists of a battery-assisted diesel-electric traction engine. The traction unit uses the battery when the train is at rest and in the early stages of acceleration up to around 30 kilometres an hour (19mph), at which point the conventional diesel engine kicks in. View Comments


Candle Powered Heater

Candle HeaterA Northern California inventor has created an attractive tabletop heater that adds meaningful heat into home or office powered by a single candle. This functional and creative device consists of a multi-core steel and ceramic radiator suspended above the candle on an artistic naturally finished steel frame. The rising heat of the candle is captured and concentrated in the radiator assembly by a central solid steel core. After 20-30 minutes the outer ceramic surface radiates the captured thermal energy into home or office. » Source: Heat Stick View Comments


Hydrogen Electrolyzer Award

GE Global ResearchPopular Mechanics magazine has awarded GE Global Research (of the General Electric Company) its 2006 Breakthrough Award. The award was given in recognition of GE's development of an advanced hydrogen electrolyzer. The Electrolyzer has the potential to lower the cost of producing hydrogen energy through the water electrolysis process. High-tech plastic parts are used in place of metal parts to lower the cost of producing high performance electrodes, which improves the technology's market competitiveness. This technology has the potential to build a better future by improving lives and expanding knowledge. View Comments


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