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Hi-tech hydrogen source from 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.   

Dutch automotive aerodynamic energy saving 

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.   

Dell installs solar trees in car park 

Two things are certain for the future: electric cars will become more popular and solar power will continue to grow as a viable source of energy. Because of this, the world is looking to industry leaders not only in the energy business, but to other major corporations that can have a major impact on the world’s power usage. Dell has stepped up to the plate and hopefully the Dell solar trees parking lot is a sign of greater things to come.

The Dell solar parking lot by Envision Solar is a very innovative way that Dell has implemented solar powered lights and it is something that is immediately making an impact. The solar trees serve not only the purpose of gathering the suns energy as a viable energy source, but even provides shade over about 50 parking spaces as well! The lot was made viewable from the highway so Dell can let everyone know that solar power is the way to go.  

Fiber optics could offer new options to Photovoltaic 

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. 

Solar powered car battery chargers. 

It seemed like it would only be a matter of time before Toyota would jump into the market of using renewable energy to charge a car and they have done so in a big way. The solar charging station by Toyota will be put on display at the Tokyo Motor Show 2009. While there are other charging stations on the market for electric cars, the fact that this one is solar powered has the industry abuzz in anticipation.

The solar charging station by Toyota almost looks like something that you would have seen in one of the old sci-fi movies, but this is the real deal. It works by collecting the suns energy through solar panels and then stores the energy in a battery that is later used to charge and power the vehicle. This is just another great innovation that is pushing our world to a 'greener' lifestyle and will use renewable energy in yet another every day application. 

Osmotic power plant to open in Norway 

With the big push on alternative energy sources, world leaders everywhere are pushing for new power technology to create power plants that will use different resources to keep the earth greener. Her Royal Highness, The Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway has just made a huge step as a leader in this movement as she has announced the opening of the world’s first osmotic power plant, due to begin operations on November, 2009.   

 Noise and random vibrations to create energy.

With each passing day, scientists are coming out with unique solutions to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels. They are now thinking of turning stray forms of energy such as noise or random vibrations from the environment into useful form of energy. They want to use piezoelectric effect for such purposes. Some materials produce electricity while undergoing mechanical stress. This is known as piezoelectric effect. Small piezoelectric crystals can come up with enough voltage to create a spark which can be utilized to ignite gas.

Piezoelectric crystals act as igniters. They are helpful in many gas-powered appliances like ovens, grillers, room heaters, and hot water heaters. These piezoelectric crystals are quite tiny and can be easily fitted into lighters too.

Piezoelectric crystals are also fitted into electronic clocks and watches for time alarm noise.Materials scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have taken the help of piezoelectric effect to harness random energy available in the atmosphere to turn water into usable hydrogen fuel. It might prove a simple, efficient method to recycle waste energy.

The research team is led by Huifang Xu, who is a UW-Madison geologist and crystal specialist. They took nanocrystals of zinc oxide and barium titanate. These two nanocrystals were put in water. When these crystals received ultrasonic vibrations, the nanofibers flexed and catalyzed a chemical reaction.

This whole process resulted in splitting the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Huifang Xu along with his team has published their work in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. They wrote in the journal, “This study provides a simple and cost-effective technology for direct water splitting that may generate hydrogen fuels by scavenging energy wastes such as noise or stray vibrations from the environment.

This new discovery may have potential implications in solving the challenging energy and environmental issues that we are facing today and in the future.” Xu and his colleagues applied the piezoelectric effect to the nanocrystal fibers successfully. Xu says, “The bulk materials are brittle, but at the nanoscale they are flexible.” It is akin to the difference between fiberglass and a pane of glass.

It has been noted that smaller fibers exhibit more flexibility than larger crystals. Therefore smaller fibers can generate electric charges without difficulty. The project team has extracted an impressive 18 percent efficiency with the nanocrystals, higher than most experimental energy sources. Xu shares his views, “because we can tune the fiber and plate sizes, we can use even small amounts of [mechanical] noise — like a vibration or water flowing — to bend the fibers and plates.

With this kind of technology, we can scavenge energy waste and convert it into useful chemical energy.” What a fantastic idea. But scientists didn’t utilize this electrical energy straightaway. They use this energy in breaking the chemical bonds in water to split oxygen and hydrogen. Xu explains, “This is a new phenomenon, converting mechanical energy directly to chemical energy.”

Xu calls it a piezoelectrochemical (PZEC) effect. Why it seems that scientists are beating around the bush? Because chemical energy of hydrogen fuel is more stable than the electric charge. Storage of hydrogen fuel is easy and would not lose potency over time. With the right technology, Xu foresees this method to be utilized where small amount of power is needed.

Now we can imagine charging a cell phone while taking our morning walk or we can enjoy cool breeze that can power street lights. Xu says, “We have limited areas to collect large energy differences, like a waterfall or a big dam. But we have lots of places with small energies. If we can harvest that energy, it would be tremendous.”  

Using Carbon Nanotubes to produce Electricity.

The researchers of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have uncovered a new phenomenon of carbon nanotubes. They found that carbon nanotubes discharge powerful waves of electricity under certain circumstances. MIT team named it as thermopower waves. They are pinning their hope on thermopower waves to produce electricity to be utilized in small electrical appliances or maybe in large-scale applications too. This project was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the US National Science Foundation (NSF). 

World largest solar powered boat

PlanetSolar enjoys the distinction of being the largest solar-powered boat in the world, and it's ready to take on the world. This beauty’s vital stats are: weight: 60-ton, a 470-square-meter are covered by 38,000 solar cells to generate 103.4 kW of energy. 18 million euro ($24.4 million) was spent to adorn this beauty in environmentally friendly way. SunPower Corporation has provided the all vital 38,000 black photovoltaic cells to generate power for this catamaran. These solar panels have a pretty decent conversion rate of 22%. This solar powered ship will be launched this month to get the real taste of water from the Knierim Yacht Club in Kiel, Germany.  

Solar powered sensor could be revolutionary.

Science continues to amaze and one of the latest discoveries may literally change the world as we know it. This tiny solar-powered sensor can fit on the face of a penny and barely cover up the date. How this little wonder, developed at the University of Michigan, is able to create the power of something 1,000x its size is amazing, and because of this, the applications are quite numerous.

When devices like this come to light, one of the first things that anyone thinks of is the effect that they will have on the medical community. Many implants require some type of power source and if a solar-powered sensor can be used to power then, it changes everything that we currently rely on or know in regards to this implants. 

Solar powered hydrogen refill station.

Honda finally unveiled their new solar hydrogen solar station and all signs point to a dramatic success. The station is smaller than previous models and enables an electric car owner to refill their fuel cell overnight. The unit should easily fit into a homeowners’ garage taking up significantly less space than previous models.

The older model required a compressor and electrolyzer for it to be operational. One of the reasons the units were so big was because of the compressor that was required to run the unit. Not only that, the compressor was also the reason that the units were so expensive to produce and purchase. 

Germanium technology to improve lasers. 

The materials in lasers can be expensive and difficult to work with. A discovery at MIT may be changing all of that much sooner than we think as germanium laser technology is here and it is very real. The beauty of this latest technology is that there isn’t even a large call to change manufacturing specs as they exist because germanium can easily be incorporated into designs that are already in place.  

New battery technology could lead to self powered devices 

The advancements that are being made in battery technology are pretty mind boggling. We are seeing devices that are drawing power from just about every source that is imaginable, and now there is battery technology from researchers at Imperial College London that may actually have devices that create their own power. From cell phones to cars and everything in between, there may eventually be nothing more needed than to actually use the device.  

Natural body movements to create energy. 

That may be a little aggressive, but Princeton University engineers have developed a device that may change the way that we power many of our smaller gadgets and devices. By using out natural body movement, they have created a small chip that will actually capture and harness that natural energy to create enough energy to power up things such as a cell phone, pacemaker and many other small devices that are electronic.  

Solar cells from Tobacco plants soon. 

As the world continues its quest to use less fossil fuels, the latest possible solution comes from the most unlikely of sources: the tobacco plant. This latest news comes from the University of California, Berkeley. It will be nice to see tobacco used for something other than lung cancer.

 This new discovery is based on the possibility of literally programming the cells of the plants to get solar cells from tobacco plants. The science behind it is actually pretty simple (at least in explanation form) and pretty amazing. By using a genetically engineered virus, scientists were able to literally transform the cells of the plants to create synthetic solar cells.  

Jet engines the new inspiration for windpower. 

Wind power has recently received a nice boost as one of the hottest forms of energy on the market. When comparing the recent market growth against all forms of energy, both renawables and non-renewables, wind turbines seem to be jumping to the head of the pack.

While it still has a way to go before it catches up to solar, it is gaining ground rather quickly. Something that will help pick up the pace even further is new technology that is coming from FloDesign. Their truly unique wind turbine is actually based on the design of a jet engine instead of the traditional windmills that we see all across the country. Their concept seems to be a simple one, but it extremely effective. 

Wood powered cars again ??? 

Few people that are ripping around the streets in today’s gas guzzlers will remember wood-powered cars, but if things continue the way they are, they may be lucky enough to see one pull up next to them at the light. Wood-powered cars are starting to pop up again as yet another means of saving our fossil fuels. Wood-powered cars made their first big appearance in Europe during WWII. A wood gas generator was attached to the vehicle so that the drivers could save fuel, yet still keep their cars operational. Looking at some of the pictures from back then, the cars literally look like they have a wood-burning furnace attached to the hood or trunk. It may have looked funny, but it was actually very efficient.  

Foldable portable wind generators. 

Renewable energy is one of the hottest things on the market right now but until recently, solar power has been getting most of the attention. While there are plenty of techno gadgets, like solar briefcases and solar laptop chargers, that can have solar power on the run, very few if any items exist for other sources of renewable energy to become portable. The foldable wind generator has all the right ideas, but may still be just a bit ahead of its time.  

Solar distillation to help reduce salinity worldwide. 

Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno are developing a solar technique that will take care of the ecosystems of terminus lakes around the world. This new solar distillation system will help in removing the salinity of the lake water. This will be possible with the help of a specialized low-cost solar pond and patented membrane distillation system deriving power by renewable energy.

Francisco Suarez is a doctoral student in hydrological sciences at the University. He is of the view, "These lakes -- hundreds worldwide -- such as the Great Salt Lake, the Salton Sea, the Aral Sea and Walker Lake here in Nevada, see a decline in water levels and an increase in salinity from both human and natural processes. The high levels of salinity are dangerous and unsustainable for aquatic life."  

Converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuel with Bacteria.  

More and more people are becoming aware of the harmful effects of greenhouse gases. Common people and scientists both are gearing up to reduce carbon footprints. Now more investments are available for research in alternative energy. Researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have genetically been working on a cyanobacterium.

Their research paper was published in the Dec. 9 print edition of the journal Nature Biotechnology. They successfully modified a cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide and generate the liquid fuel isobutanol. This isobutanol can prove to be of great potential as a gasoline alternative. The whole process happens with the help of sunlight through photosynthesis.   

Redesign the wheel to save energy. 

When necessary and conducive atmosphere is being created for research in alternative energy field we are getting so many diverse projects in many fields that sometimes it seems mind boggling. When we pay attention to a vehicles’ tire its mostly when it is flat and we have to change it in most unlikely places.

But scientists are trying to develop tires that change shapes according to the conditions of the road. Imagine a tire which can change its shape to that best suited for the conditions of the road. This shape of tire contains green benefits too in the form of reduced travel times to increased fuel efficiency. Farmers often have to traverse in rough terrain and there tires can help them in combating the problem attached with soil compaction caused by current wheel designs. This problem has another add on too. Soil compaction leads towards the losses in production nearing 20%. These tires can also be helpful in roads that are facing the problem of flooding or have mud, rocks, holes, or sand. The re-mold-able wheels can easily adjust themselves to newer height and width on command. What else one needs while sitting behind a wheel!

Kite Wind Generator

The Kite Wind Generator simply known as KiteGen is an Italian company. They are installing kites that sprout from funnel like structures. They are mounted on giant poles. When wind blows these kites come out of funnels. For short, use kites that spring from funnels on the end of giant poles when the wind blows.

For each kite, winches release a pair of high-resistance cables to control direction and angle. These kites are light and ultra-resistant. These kites are similar to those used for kite surfing – light and ultra-resistant, capable of flying up to a height of 2,000 meters.KiteGen people have thought of new ways to exploit the wind power existing at an altitude.

They have discarded the usual heavy and static plants like current wind turbines, but opted for light, dynamic and intelligent ones. They have installed all the light devices in the air and heavy ones on the ground for generating power. The basics of the wind turbines and KiteGen are same. But they have moved the heaviest parts to the ground.

They claim that the resulting structure, base foundation included, is much lighter and cheaper. They have also provided flexibility regarding the height of kites. If the wind is strong at certain height, the height of the kite too can be adjusted accordingly. If today wind if blowing nicely at 1000m, say, kites can be adjusted at the same height. If tomorrow the strong wind is blowing at certain other height, wind kites can be flown at that height to gain maximum advantage of the wind power.

New 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.

Converting water and CO2 into 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.

Storing wind power as ice.

Air conditioning in the summer consumes the lion’s share of a building’s energy cost. Calmac Booth is manufacturing a hybrid cooling system. This system exploits an ice bank thermal energy storage tank known as IceBank. IceBank makes and stores ice for use in air conditioning systems when the wind is blowing a bit faster or the sun isn’t shining, that is, at night.

Heavily insulated polyethylene is used to manufacture the IceBank tanks. They also contain a spiral-wound, polyethylene-tube heat exchanger surrounded with water. The tanks are available in a variety of sizes. According to one’s need it is available from 45 to over 500 ton-hours.

When the charging cycle is going on, a solution containing 25% ethylene or propylene glycol is cooled by a chiller. In the next step this solution is circulated through the heat exchanger inside the IceBank tank. It has to be noted that the ethylene-based or propylene-based is an industrial coolant.

These coolants are particularly devised for low viscosity and superior heat-transfer properties.The unique property of the IcaBank is that the ice is built uniformly throughout the tank. Charging cycle of an IceBank tank takes about 6 to 12 hours. This device can also be utilized in conjunction with a solar panel array.

During summer time the entire system tries to survive during peak hours. IceBank simply prepares ice at night, when electricity is cheaper and it is cooler. During afternoon, this stored energy can be consumed by running air conditioning. At that time it is hot and electricity is in short supply. IceBank can help in reducing the load on the grids during peak hours. According to the company reducing electricity demand for cooling can cut energy costs by 20 – 40 percent. That reduction also translates into fewer emissions from power plants. 

Waste heat to be better utilized.

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.

Green heating and cooling technology from Carbon.

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. Researchers at the University of Warwick are trying to find out clean and green solutions to the above mentioned problems. They are devising new ways to save energy and reduce global warming.If we are using even the finest condensing boilers at homes they are about 90% efficient. If we are opting out for electric heat pumps that use electricity to pull out heat from the outside air or the ground to keep our houses warm, the electricity consumed results in huge CO2 production at the power station.Researchers are trying to devise a novel way of using adsorption technology to heat and cool our houses and cars. They utilize the heat from a gas flame or engine waste heat to power a closed system containing only active carbon and refrigerant. It works in a simple manner. At room temperature carbon adsorbs the refrigerant and when heated the refrigerant is driven out. This is a procedure that alternately heats and cools the carbon. This procedure can be used to remove heat from the outside air and put it into radiators or hot water tanks. It works in opposite manner for air conditioning cars. It extracts the heat from the inside of the car. The major hitch of adsorption technology is that it would require roughly 300 liters in volume for an automobile’s air conditioner and bigger for a heat pump to heat the houses. We can’t fit such a device into a car or our houses carrying that huge volume.University of Warwick researchers have cracked the above mentioned problem of huge volume. They formulated adsorption systems design that significantly shrink these devices. Their devices are small and light enough to be fitted in our houses and cars. They have applied for a patent for their invention. They use thin (0.7mm thick) sheets of metal throughout the active carbon in the heat exchanger. Every sheet holds around hundred tiny water channels (0.3mm in diameter). This makes the heat transfer much more efficient. These water sheets shrink the adsorption based equipment 20 times smaller than was formerly possible.The University of Warwick engineers are of the view that their new adsorption technology will reduce the electricity up to 30%. They invented device that will utilize the waste automobile heat and cool the interiors. This will not derive any mechanical power from the car engine. So it will result in reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions up to 5%. But here is the cherry on the top. According to the scientists we don’t have to shell out extra money to integrate these equipments into new vehicle models. If it would cost us at all, it will be very little. Manufacturers are interested in the work of Warwick engineers. Now Warwick Ventures, the university’s technology transfer office, and H2O Venture Partners are setting up a new spin-out company, Sorption Energy Ltd. They are aiming to capture the two high value markets: greener heating and hot water systems for houses and air conditioning for cars.

The solar flower tower.

The Solar Flower Tower is a product of AORA Solar and was designed by a very forward thinking architect named Haim Dotan. Companies continue to look for ways to make solar energy more efficient and his Solar Flower Tower is the latest in innovative designs that maximizes the solar energy captured at a solar station. As the world continues its quest to integrate renewable energy into our daily energy usage, you can expect to see a lot more of these solar powered flower fields. The Solar Flower Tower is currently placed in a field of 30 solar tracking mirrors and gathers the sunlight that is reflected directly off of them to the top of this 30 foot structure. What appears to be the bulb of the Solar Flower Tower is actually a solar receiver that has a 100kw gas turbine inside of it. As the suns energy is captured by the receiver, it raises the temperature of the internal air to over 1,000 degrees Celsius and powers the gas turbine. The turbine then generates electricity that is immediately transported to the local power grid for use. While the Solar Flower Tower is colorful and unique, it is proving to be a huge step forward in making solar power readily available and cost efficient. This monstrous flower is constructed of recycled materials (green energy created from green materials) and can be constructed in just a few days. The idea is to expand the station and gradually add a variety of Solar Flower Towers that are different colors. Instead of having an eyesore in the middle of the dessert, we will have what will appear to be a colorful field of flowers from afar. Instead of pollen, these flowers are creating electricity!

Turning waste water 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. In our energy deprived world scientists are trying to find out various elements, alloys and substances that can provide clean and green energy along with meeting our energy demands.

This quest has led them to superconductors. Superconductor materials have no electrical resistance. This property paves way for electrons to travel through them freely. Superconductor materials also carry large amounts of electrical current for long periods of time without losing energy as heat. Scientists are of the view that metallic hydrogen can prove to be a high-temperature superconductor.

Adding Lithium to Hydrogen could improve production.

We know that hydrogen is the lightest element present in this universe and lithium is the third lightest element. We find hydrogen as gas and lithium as metal at given temperature and pressure present on the earth. In hydrogen gas, the atoms are robustly paired and each hydrogen atom contributes one electron to the bonding. In chemistry shorthand, hydrogen is called H2.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a paper this week written by a team of scientists from Cornell University and the State University of New York. They shared that if we add small amounts of lithium to hydrogen and if we keep the pressure at about one-fourth of a pressure (on which hydrogen turns into a metal) hydrogen transforms into a metal with superconductivity properties. National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided finances for this project.Hydrogen and lithium react with each other and form a non-metallic stable compound. This is shown as LiH and known as lithium-hydrogen compound. Jupiter and Saturn experience intense gravitational forces and pressures therefore hydrogen is found in metallic form there. Scientists are trying to create situations so that they can extract hydrogen’s electron. How? They are trying to squeeze it between the facets of a diamond anvil cell under pressures up to 3.4 million atmospheres. We know that the atmospheric pressure at sea level is one atmosphere and at the center of the earth is around 3.5 million atmospheres. Scientists have faced lots of difficulties with this method of steady pressures. They have been trying shock-wave methods. This is a kind of sophisticated computer program.

Producing energy while you drive.

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.

Getting Biofuel from the worlds garbage.

There is plenty of garbage on this planet; in fact there is so much garbage that many developed countries are trying to dump their garbage on the lands of lesser developed countries, at a fee of course. But does dumping garbage on other places solve the problem? On the contrary it spreads pollutions and diseases. In fact it is more dangerous to dump garbage in the less developed countries (because there are neither technologies available to process it nor enough awareness). Even creating landfills wastes precious resources

Splitting water to store solar energy.

MIT professor Daniel Nocera earlier worked on a catalysts that can divide water molecules which can be utilized to store energy. 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.

New hope for hydrogen storage.

It seems simple but if put it into practice then we can develop real potential for hydrogen fuels. A new method of “recycling” hydrogen-containing fuel materials could pave the way for commercially viable hydrogen-based vehicles. An article published in world’s leading chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, makes a claim about recycling hydrogen-containing fuel materials. Los Alamos National Laboratory and University of Alabama researchers working within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Chemical Hydrogen Storage Center of Excellence express a noteworthy progress in hydrogen storage science. 

Solar power from space.

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.

Solar cells could be printed like newspaper.

Sunlight is a non exhaustible source of energy without contributing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Still it is miles away from replacing the fossil fuels. Many reasons can be sited. One of its biggest disadvantages is it is still out of reach for the common man and it has a long break-even period. Unless a product or service is embraced by masses it can’t be treated as alternative source to fossil fuels. But scientists are tirelessly working on solar cells. It is believed that solar cells could soon be produced more cheaply using nanoparticle "inks". These nanoparticles can help in printing solar cells like newspaper or painted onto the sides of buildings or rooftops to absorb electricity-producing sunlight.

Studying sea waves with Radar.

Off shore wind is steady and blows harder. If a country is densely populated it is hard to find open space to install wind farms. That is why there are more and more offshore wind farms in densely populated Europe where there is limited space on land and relatively large offshore areas with shallow water. Scientists of the Geesthacht GKSS Research Centre are interested in offshore winds and mechanics of sea waves. They are working on a radar system to study the behavior of the sea waves. This technology will be available for utilization on the North Sea on the FINO3 research platform. This technology will help in finding out the details of the interactions between offshore wind power machines and swells.

First solar powered passenger boat in Berlin.

Manufacturers who are concerned not only about profit but about future too are developing such products that are clean and green and run on alternative fuels. Though currently clean and green products are costly, efforts are on to make them easy on pocket too. Solon SE is a Berlin-based solar company that has produced a zero emission solar ship. Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit was present at a ceremony to launch the "SOLON." It is Berlin’s first passenger ship deriving its power from solar energy.

Italys first hydrogen power plant.

Italy has come up with world’s first hydrogen power plant. This power plant is situated in Fusina, near Venice in the Veneto region of Italy. Enel is constructing this power plant producing no undesirable greenhouse gases. It is Italy’s largest power company with a track record of fifty million power and gas customers. Enel is procuring hydrogen from an accompanying production from Polimeri Europa’s petrochemical plant. This hydrogen will be brought to the establishment by especially built pipelines. Polimeri produces a wide range of petrochemical products, and its ethylene-cracking process will be responsible for the hydrogen feedstock. This hydrogen power plant will be operational in 2010. It will provide power to 20,000 households.

Electricity and desalination from waste water.

In most part of the world safe and clean drinking water is unavailable for daily consumption and industrial use. Currently to desalinate water two kinds of technologies are being used. First is known as reverse osmosis and the second is electro-dialysis. Both of these processes need huge amount of energy. A team of scientists from China and U.S.A are working to eliminate ninety percent of the salts from seawater or brackish water. They are also trying to generate electricity from wastewater. "Water desalination can be accomplished without electrical energy input or high water pressure by using a source of organic matter as the fuel to desalinate water," reported in a recent online issue of Environmental Science and Technology.

Hydrokinetic power barges. 

Interest in hydrokinetic energy -- which generates power by using submerged or partially submerged turbines that harness the energy from flowing water -- is on the rise throughout the world. Renewable energy advocates, governments and investors are increasingly becoming aware of river currents and the huge associated energy potential. Because hydrokinetic power generation relies simply on the extraction of energy from the natural velocity of water, these power systems can be placed into sources of flowing water with minimal infrastructure or environmental impacts.

New advances in Hydrogen fuel catalysts.

Hydrogen has great potential as a fuel of future because it is an environmentally clean energy fuel and save us from the undesirable side effects of greenhouse gases. Before becoming it a fuel of the masses we need necessary infrastructure to store it and move it. We will also need fuel cells on economical scale. To make hydrogen as a popular alternative fuel some engineers are working on storage factor of hydrogen fuel. They don’t want compressed hydrogen into a tank. They want to store hydrogen fuel into a large molecule. When we want hydrogen out of the molecule we will need a catalyst. Now, researchers have new details about one such catalyst.

Plastics that convert light to electricity.

We all are familiar with the positive impact of alternative energy on our environment. Now researchers are trying to improve upon the existing alternative energy technology. As far as solar energy is concerned they are trying to make solar panels cheap and people friendly. Normally the solar panels are quite bulky and difficult to fit in on existing architecture. Therefore scientists all over the world are focusing on developing organic solar cells. They could be inexpensive and look like thin films.

Hydrogen from waste materials.

Environmentalists are continuously searching for green and clean fuel. Until now they have been putting a lot of energy and talent into hydrogen fuels because when hydrogen is burned, the only emission it makes is water vapor. So it is a great advantage that burning of hydrogen doesn’t produce carbon dioxide. Clearly, hydrogen is less of a pollutant in the air because it emits little tail pipe pollution. Engineers at the University of Leeds are working on a project keeping hydrogen in mind. They are developing an energy efficient, environmental-friendly hydrogen production system but with a difference. They are trying to extract hydrogen from waste materials. These materials can be vegetable oil or the glycerol by-product of bio-diesel. They are aspiring for the high purity hydrogen-based fuel that could be utilized for large-scale power production. They are also developing hydrogen cells for laptops or other gadgets. A grant of over £400k has been awarded to the University by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) within a consortium of 12 institutions known as SUPERGEN Sustainable Hydrogen Delivery.

Suncatcher power system ready for commercial production.

Stirling Energy Systems (SES) and Tessera Solar worked jointly and have come out with their precious device called SunCatchers(TM). They exhibited their four newly designed solar power collection dishes at Sandia National Laboratories’ National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF). SunCatchers are the new dishes that will be utilized on commercial-scale by 2010. Chuck Andraka, who is the lead Sandia project engineer, shares his enthusiasm about SunCatchers, "The four new dishes are the next-generation models of the original SunCatcher system. Six first-generation SunCatchers built over the past several years at the NSTTF have been producing up to 150KW of grid-ready electrical power during the day. Every part of the new system has been upgraded to allow for a high rate of production and cost reduction."

Solar tiles for your roof.

Just imagine your neighborhood mason fitting your roof tiles and these same tiles producing dependable solar energy for your house or office – you no longer need to hire scientists and alternative energy nerds for a simple roof job, and the cost is no longer a bottleneck. A technology catches on when it is easier to implement and efficient to use. With Solé tiles, constructing roofs that produce solar energy without becoming cumbersome and expensive eye-sores is soon going to become a reality.

Energy from waste plastics.

If we try to get rid of plastics altogether from our lives, we know that it is quite impractical. So what is the next best thing? We can recycle plastic in such a manner that it is economical and produces clean and green energy for our utilization. Industrial designer Chris Allen has come up with an imaginative answer to the problem of plastic litter. He named his project as ‘The Plastic Plan.’ This project needs millions of plastic bottles along with their caps. We can procure these plastic bottles from landfills and carbon-intensive recycling plants. The next step is to convert these plastic bottles into thousands of cubes that can float on the ocean surface. Now after having thousands of similar these cubes can be joined together to form an offshore structure. This structure’s size is akin to three football fields. These structures are stacked one on top of the other.

Washing machine running on one cup of water.

An environmentally friendly washing machine has been developed by the University of Leeds, Britain. The technology has been developed by Professor Stephen Burkinshaw of the University of Leeds. He has been working on this project for the past thirty years. This project had been funded by IP Group, an intellectual property commercialization group. The project team claims that this clean and green machine will just need a cup of water to wash clothes. It would be available in the market next year. But currently the washing machine will be available in hotels and dry cleaning outlets only.

Transparent electronics a solar breakthrough.

Not even in our wildest dreams have we anticipated that while we are simply looking out the window enjoying the outside view our windows can simultaneously produce energy for our household needs! Not only windows but the facade of the house, too, might be harnessing the power of solar energy. This might be our future domestic power supply scenario. This can be possible with the help of transparent solar cells. These solar cells can increase the surface area to produce energy.

New generation of Solar devices with trapped sunlight.

What a wonderful age we are living in! We hear about so many possibilities in the field of alternative energy. Scientists all over the world are thinking about alternatives to fossil fuel. On every scale be it large or small progress is being made. Here the researchers are inspired by the Greek legend Dionysius' ear. Dionysius erected a cave. It was shaped like an ellipse. Dionysius’ purpose was to hear the words whispered by a prisoner in one of the foci of the cave. Some of the present day science day museums are following the same features where two people standing the extreme ends of a room can hear each other’s whisper. This feature motivated physicists Roberto De Luca and Aniello Fedullo, both of the University of Salerno in Italy, to design sunlight traps. They are using two elliptical mirrors, with one collecting sunlight and another (they named it zozzaroid) focusing sunlight back to the vertex of previous one and into the blackbody. Here they are using mirror for steam generation.  

New solid oxide fuel cell technology.

Scientists are tirelessly working on sources of alternative energy so that we can have a better substitute for fossil fuels in near future. We know that sunlight, wind and geothermal sources of energy are better for everyone. But they also need efficient fuel cells for better utilization of power. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) seem promising enough for both stationary and mobile applications. Stationary use can cover residential applications to power plants. Mobile applications contain energy for ships at sea and in space, as well as for automobiles. Another advantage of the SOFCs is when they are working in reverse manner as solid oxide electrolyzer cells they create pure hydrogen by splitting water.

 
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