Tag Archives: energy

Shimizu’s Dream: Proposals to Benefit Future Generations

from SHIMIZU Corporation:

Shimizu continues to introduce our vision for the future.
We tackle new technological challenges and present wide-ranging proposals for the benefit of up-coming generations.

Toward a hydrogen economy: Clues from nature

from h+ Magazine: ⇦ Much more at source

Artificial photosynthesis may soon be a reality – splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. You only have to look as far as your garden to observe one of the most common chemical reactions in nature at work pulling apart water molecules (H2O) and splitting them into carbohydrates and oxygen (O2).

Nature provides the template for this process using the energy from sunlight to fuel the reaction.  Here’s a video showing the basic process:

New project aims for fusion ignition

MIT-led Ignitor reactor could be the world’s first to reach major milestone, perhaps paving the way for eventual power production.

from MIT News:

Russia and Italy have entered into an agreement to build a new fusion reactor outside Moscow that could become the first such reactor to achieve ignition, the point where a fusion reaction becomes self-sustaining instead of requiring a constant input of energy.

The design for the reactor, called Ignitor, originated with MIT physics professor Bruno Coppi, who will be the project’s principal investigator.

Computerized agents for smart electricity

from University of Southampton via alphagalileo.org:

Computer scientists at the University of Southampton have developed a system of computerised agents which can manage energy use and storage in homes.

Having already developed agents that can trade on the stock market and manage crisis communications, a team of researchers, led by Dr Alex Rogers and Professor Nick Jennings at the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science, have now developed an agent-based micro-storage management technique that allows homes to adapt their energy use to match market conditions.

The ultimate aim of this system is to optimise individual electricity usage and storage, in order to improve efficiency of the electricity grid and to reduce emissions.

Self-powered flexible touchscreens

from MIT’s Technology Review:

Researchers at Samsung and Sungkyunkwan University in Korea have come up with a way to capture power when a touch screen flexes under a user’s touch.

The researchers have integrated flexible, transparent electrodes with an energy-scavenging material to make a film that could provide supplementary power for portable electronics. The film can be printed over large areas using roll-to-roll processes, but are at least five years from the market.

With LIDAR, Smart turbines can predict the wind

from green futures:

Smart turbines that can predict changes in air current could dramatically boost the efficiency of wind power. Existing turbines are designed to rotate into the wind and adjust their blade angles, but this only tends to happen periodically – whereas wind conditions are often much more changeable.

But a laser-based equivalent to radar, called LIDAR, will make it possible to monitor wind speeds up to 200 metres away from the turbine, says Torben Mikkelsen of the Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Denmark.

Artificial photosynthesis achieved with nanotechnology

Pure awesomeness from MIT:

A team of MIT researchers has found a novel way to mimic the process by which plants use the power of sunlight to split water and make chemical fuel to power their growth.

In this case, the team used a modified virus as a kind of biological scaffold that can assemble the nanoscale components needed to split the hydrogen and oxygen atoms of a water molecule.

Splitting water is one way to solve the basic problem of solar energy: It’s only available when the sun shines. By using sunlight to make hydrogen from water, the hydrogen can then be stored and used at any time to generate electricity using a fuel cell, or to make liquid fuels (or be used directly) for cars and trucks.