Alternative Energy

Energy Inventions

News and information about innovative inventions and future technology.

Alternative Energy
Alternative Energy

Energy Inventions


New Hydrogen Storage Method

Hydrogen Storage Method Hydrogen is an extremely environment friendly fuel as when it burns it releases only water vapor into the atmosphere, but the problem is that it is not easy to store it because it needs to be stored like other compressed gases. A new solid may solve the problem. A nonreactive noble gas called xenon combined with hydrogen and other massive pressure gives rise to a solid that can be later used to store hydrogen fuel. The research paper is published in the November 22, 2009, advanced online publication of Nature Chemistry. The discovery initiates a new line of materials that which could render impetus to new hydrogen technologies. View Comments


Converting Water and CO2 into Fuel

Water CO2 Fuel Researchers are trying to duplicate the natural process of photosynthesis. If successful, we can use the “evil” carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and industrial units to good use. This way, industrial units don’t have to establish new subsidiary units for the treatment of carbon dioxide. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a prototype machine that utilizes the sun's energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into the molecular building blocks that can be utilized as transportation fuels. If researchers can make this device produce twice the energy generated by the natural process of photosynthesis, it will do great service to environment. It will pave the way to recycle CO2. View Comments


Storing Wind Power as Ice?

Wind Power Ice Of the total amount of electricity generated by all sources, about 75% is used by buildings, a major fraction of which is consumed by air conditioners. With the demand of renewable energy increasing with every passing day, inventors are trying to find the best possible means to store the generated energy during the best time, to provide power when the generators aren’t getting the resources they need. It is a natural phenomenon that the wind blows stronger at night than in the day. We don’t need that extra energy during nighttime. We can store this energy and use it during daytime when the load is too much on the grid. View Comments


Waste Heat Could Double Battery Life on Laptops, Cell Phones

Laptop Computer When we utilize any gadget or means of comfort we know that these devices consume energy. But the energy is not utilized by devices. Some of the energy is lost in the form of friction or heat. For example when we are exploiting the power of computer processor chips, car engines or electric power plants there is a necessity of getting rid of excess heat otherwise the equipments will not perform at their optimal level. Now researchers are thinking about using this waste energy. Peter Hagelstein is the co-writer of this concept and an associate professor of electrical engineering at MIT. His paper was published in the November 2009 issue of the Journal of Applied Physics. View Comments


Green Heating and Cooling Technology from Carbon

Carbon Technology Carbon is a substance environmentalists love to hate. It is the major ingredient of environmental damage. Scientists and environmentalists are working hard to decrease the amount of carbon emission in the environment. But researchers at the University of Warwick have invented a complete different use of carbon. They are using carbon for cooling and heating our cars and homes. If one follows their way, carbon can be utilized in a clean and green way. We know that heating and cooling gadgets make our life comfortable but they are not easy on our pockets. They need lots of power to run and ultimately get transformed into huge amount of bills to pay. If we look at the stats we will find that domestic space heating and hot water devour 25% of energy in the UK. Automobile air conditioning uses about 5% of the vehicle fuel consumed annually all over the EU. Inside the UK, it is responsible for over 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. View Comments


High-Temp Hydrogen Source from Algae

Hydrogen Algae Hydrogen is a strong contender to the generation-next clean and green fuel. Scientists are always trying to eliminate or minimize its drawbacks and maximize its benefits. They want to get rid of the intensive, high-energy process used when we need hydrogen as fuel. Because this process poses hurdle in the progress of hydrogen as clean and reliable alternative fuel. Scientists from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are looking towards the wonder known as photosynthesis for some answers. Photosynthesis is the process from which plants generate energy and food in the presence of sunlight. Scientists think that photosynthesis might help providing answers so that we can utilize hydrogen as a fuel. View Comments


Innovation Reduces Truck Fuel Consumption by 7.5%

Boat Tail Sometimes slight modifications in existing machines do wonders for fuel saving. A simple attachment of a tapering protrusion at the back of a truck can save up to 7.5% in fuel consumption. This is a significant amount of fuel saving with a simple alteration. This fuel saving is possible due to dramatically-improved aerodynamics. It has been verified by road tests conducted by the Dutch PART (Platform for Aerodynamic Road Transport) public-private partnership platform. View Comments


Harvesting Ambient Energy from Nature

Nature We all know that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed but can only be transformed into one form to another. Duke University engineers are trying to utilize this simple formula. They are working on harvesting energy from the motions of everyday life. Normally our everyday motions get wasted and remain unused and dissipate in the form of heat without our realization. Energy harvesting strategies cover the installation of colossal wind farms to manufacture large amounts of electricity to using the vibrations of walking to power small electronic devices. View Comments


Fiber Optics Could Provide New Options For Photovoltaics

Fiber Optic Photovoltaics When we think about going solar we make a mental picture of large heavy panels adorning one’s rooftop. But researchers are trying to get rid of bulky solar panels. They are aiming to achieve this feat with the help of zinc oxide nanostructures grown on optical fibers and coated with dye-sensitized solar cell materials. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have built up a new kind of three-dimensional photovoltaic system. This three-dimensional photovoltaic system will not be heavy and it will not occupy a place of prominence on rooftops; it can be hidden from the view. View Comments


Cheap Energy with New Solar Device

Solar Energy Device Researchers and scientists are putting on endless effort to make the sources of energy clean and green. There are many devices in the market that run on solar energy. The alternative energy atmosphere is charged with anticipation and excitement. But till now one of the biggest dampeners in green energy scenario is the prices. Fossil fuels are available cheaply all over the world. But solar, wind, geothermal or biofuels are still expensive and out of reach of commoners. View Comments


Dirt-Powered Bacteria Batteries

Bacteria Battery Bacteria are one of the most abundant organisms on the planet and also one of the most studied. Today, scientists use bacteria for genetics research, antibiotics, and yes! Even biofuels. Recent technological advances have made a battery running on bacteria a reality. Known as microbial fuels cells or MFCs, batteries running on bacteria and other microbes have been keenly researched by scientist for decades. View Comments


Turning Wastewater into Ethanol

Wastewater into Ethanol As the world continues to search for alternative fuels to fuel our cars and heat our homes, many different opportunities are being explored and there has finally been a significant breakthrough in turning wastewater into ethanol as an automobile fuel source. Qteros and Applied Clean Tech have teamed up to create a biofuel that will get us that much closer to having another true "green" energy source. Water treatment systems are expensive to run and have presented communities where they are located with some significant challenges. Most notably, what they can do with the sludge that is left over once the wastewater has been treated. Plant managers may no longer faced with the difficult task of figuring out this problem. View Comments


Produce Electricity While You Drive

Electricity Driving This can be achieved by using piezoelectric materials under busy roads. The property is aptly known as piezoelectricity and it's the ability to produce electric power in response to applied mechanical stress, and in this case this stress is the movement of vehicles on the roads. The concept was originally developed by Innowattech and now the company is laying down a sort of test road in Israel. Is it a solution to the global energy and environment crisis? It could very well be. View Comments


2 New & Innovative Ocean Wave Energy Devices

Ocean Wave Energy Ocean wave energy can be captured directly from surface waves. Blowing wind and pressure fluctuations below the surface are the main reasons for causing waves. But consistency of waves differs from one area of ocean to another. Some regions of oceans receive waves with enough uniformity and force. Ocean waves contain tremendous energy. Currently scientists and companies are considering exploiting the wave power of oceans to harness clean and green energy. View Comments


Power Electronics could make Hybrid Cars Cheaper

Power Electronics Hybrid cars are often known as "cars of the era." The main feature of the hybrid car is that when we start the car engine, electrical energy is used. This way it helps in keeping a tab on the tail pipe emissions. The use of automobiles is increasing in every part of the globe and so is the threat of toxic pollutants and global warming, thanks to their exhaust ingredients. But if we are using a hybrid car the decrease in the tail pipe emission will do a great service to the environment and society. View Comments


Splitting Water to Store Solar Energy

Solar Energy Storage MIT professor Daniel Nocera earlier worked on a catalysts that can divide water molecules which can be utilized to store energy. Daniel Nocera has established a company named as Sun Catalytix to give his dreams a concrete shape. His company is backed by venture capital firm Polaris Ventures. Nocera is known as a "huge centralized energy person." When he thought about the problems faced by developed and developing world then formed the view that the solution to energy problem lies in cheap energy generation. Sun Catalytix is working on an advanced system that will use low-cost solar panels to produce hydrogen. This hydrogen will then be stored and used to produce electricity in a fuel cell. View Comments


More Efficient Solar Cells with Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon Nanotubes Silicon is one of the basic but expensive materials used in designing solar panels. If we can use something else as effective as silicon but more economical, solar power will be within the reach of the common consumers. Cornell researchers are thinking on somewhat similar lines. They are using a carbon nanotube instead of traditional silicon that hopefully will lead to much more efficient ways of converting light to electricity. View Comments


Enhancing Nanocrystal Electrical Conductance with Gold

Nanocrystal Electrical Conductance It is being estimated that the world demand for energy would be more than twice over by 2050 and we will still be clamoring for more than triple by the end of the 21st century. By that time stock of fossil fuels would be insufficient to meet the ever increasing demand. If we want to march ahead in future we have to seek answers for our energy requirements by using sustainable and carbon-neutral energy technologies. We have to depend on the use of sunlight to generate electricity as well as to split water molecules for the production of fuels. Nanocrystals could be crucial to the success of this vision. We know that electrical conductance in semiconductor nanocrystals is a decisive element for both solar electricity and solar fuel technologies. View Comments


Human Powered Workout Gym Concept

Workout Gym When we look closely at human history we can easily conclude that locomotion is one of the most primordial needs. But our current lifestyle does not allow us with much of the movements. We need to move more often. But it is also true that we live in fitness conscious times. Going to a gymnasium and working out has become a health statement. But till now many of us have not delved deep into what happens in a gymnasium and how can we utilize events happening in gym for better purposes. If we look carefully every member of a gym in a particular time slot is performing some controlled and repetitive motion be it lifting weight or running on a treadmill or doing crunches. What can we do with all these motions? View Comments


A Step Closer to Solar Power in Space

Space Solar Power Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and IHI Corporation are undertaking an ambitious project of $ 21bn. They are aspiring to design and develop a Space-based solar farm that would generate 1GW of power. This will require an area of four square kilometer consisting of rows of solar panels. This space solar farm will be housed 36,000km above the surface of the earth. View Comments


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