Energy

Lightbulbs Are Becoming Obsolete

Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) can be used to create light emitting surfaces instead of lights that emit from a single point like bulbs. This makes the light more diffuse and more power efficient. Current OLED surfaces are made in panels or sheets, but eventually could be included in many surfaces in household items, like […]

Thermopower Waves from Nanotubes

Heat produced by burning fuel in a carbon nanotube “wick” can force a wave of electrons down the tube, producing electric current. An engineering lab at MIT has made new progress on this technique. Thermopower Waves (from “Daily Planet”) [youtube.com] A clip from an episode of “Daily Planet” on Discovery Channel Canada featuring the research […]

Portable Piezo Power

Rechargeable batteries have changed our lives. Batteries that constantly recharge themselves will change things more. It is the ability to collect ambient vibrations and convert the energy into electricity that makes this possible. Piezo-electric materials produce electricity from pressure or stress. Micropower generators are small devices that use piezo-electric materials to collect current produced by […]

Small Powerful Microbatteries

Size, weight and power limitations have been holding back some areas of technology, like electric vehicles. New, fast charging, lithium ion microbatteries may be about to change that. Small in size, big on power: New microbatteries a boost for electronics – [illinois.edu] Though they be but little, they are fierce. The most powerful batteries on […]

Thin Flexible Solar Cells Can Be Applied Anywhere

A new kind of “metal sandwich” made of nickel and silicon dioxide allows the creation of thin film solar cells that can be peeled off their substrate and stuck onto just about any surface. If this technique can be exanded to thin film electronics in general, it will open up a new field of products. […]

Ionic Lifters

These ionic lifters work by moving air and have the potential to float and move light aircraft. They are quite different from the ion thrusters proposed for space propulsion. A mighty wind – [mit.edu] When a current passes between two electrodes — one thinner than the other — it creates a wind in the air […]

Fibonacci Solar Panels

The American Museum of Natural History recognizes students in grades 7-12 with their “Young Naturalist Awards” for research based science. Aiden is a 13 year old 7th grader from NY who won one of these awards for his research on optimizing solar panels by mimicking nature. Please read the entire article (linked below) to enjoy […]

Aluminum Celmet Batteries

Celmet (cell+metal) is a porous, metallic mesh that is conductive and can store electric charge. Sumitomo Electric (SEI) has previously produced celmet using nickel based alloys, but now is producing an aluminum version that can triple the capacity of current lithium-ion batteries. This could also allow the creation of smaller and lighter batteries. Development of […]

Printing Solar Cells

We are fast approaching the point where we will be able to print anything. It should be no surprise to see solar cells and panels on the list of materials that researchers are learning to print. Imagine being able to print solar panels whenever and wherever you need them at a low cost factor. While […]

Harvesting Ambient Energy

The word, “ambient” means, “from the surrounding environment”. It can mean either something that is found in the surrounding environment or something in the environment that surrounds. We have been harvesting energy from the surrounding environment from before the first glimmerings of civilization. Collecting fire from a lightening strike, damming and redirecting water, water wheels, […]