5 Techs Harvesting Energy from Tiny Motions

Posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 by

The low-power energy harvesting idea has teased us for years. Engineers and materials scientists looking at bustling city sidewalks, packed gyms and well-traveled bridges saw potential for all that movement to be converted into useful electricity. So where is all the tech? Self-powered environmental sensors are still undergoing testing. Energy-harvesting tiles remain a novelty. […]

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Scotland region will be powered by kites

Posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2016 by

In parts of Scotland, one response to the need for renewable energy is to go fly a kite. No, really. In just under 10 years, kites will generate power for an entire region of Scotland, thanks to efforts by a British company named Kite Power Solutions. Kite Power Solutions will soon install a 500-kilowatt system […]

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California Freeways Will Soon Generate Electricity

Posted on Thursday, August 11th, 2016 by

A new statewide initiative means they could soon be generating some much-needed electricity. The office of L.A.-area Assemblyman Mike Gatto announced recently that the California Energy Commission has agreed to fund multiple piezoelectric pilot projects in the Golden State. According to a state energy commission report, “Piezoelectric crystals give an electrical discharge when mechanically stressed.” So as vehicles […]

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Energy Storage Hits the Rails Out West

Posted on Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 by

Compared to the mechanics of chemical batteries, the idea behind rail storage is simple. During periods of low electricity demand, power is dispatched from the nearby grid to pull a chain of weighted train cars uphill. And there they will sit—losing no power to degradation—until the grid has a period of high power demand. […]

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Santiago’s Subway Will Soon Be The First To Run On Mostly Solar And Wind Power

Posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 by

A solar system will pump electricity directly from Chile’s Atacama desert to the city, 400 miles away. The Atacama region in Chile—where it essentially never rains—is the sunniest place on the planet. By 2017, some of the solar power produced there will be sent hundreds of miles away to the subway in Santiago, the first metro […]

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Scientists Turn Florida’s Rotten Tomatoes Into Clean Energy

Posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 by

Tomatoes are useful for a lot of things — mixing into salads, adding nutritional value to cheeseburgers, lobbing at struggling standup comics, and even making plastic for car parts. But a team of scientists at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has come up with a powerful new application for the flushed fruit: […]

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How Colorado Is Turning Food Waste Into Electricity

Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 by

The six huge cream-colored holding tanks at Heartland — which can hold 1.7 million gallons of food waste and manure slurry — work like enormous stomachs. Pretty much anything you could eat can go into the digester. And as with our own digestive systems, what comes out at the end is a liquid (a water-based […]

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The world’s first solar-powered bike path is generating more energy than expected

Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 by

It’s been one year since an innovative solar-paneled bike path was laid in Krommenie, Netherlands, and the results have even surprised the designers. Over the past year the path has generated 70 kilowatt-hours per square meter – enough to power about three houses. The people behind SolaRoad are hopeful the path’s success will spur more […]

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Poop Train

Posted on Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 by

Thirty years ago, the treated remnants of a city’s sewage—known as “biosolids” to those in the industry—usually went into the ocean. But in 1988, the government realized this wasn’t the best idea and gave municipalities three years to figure out where else their sludge could go. In addition to finding a new place to put it, the EPA […]

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By 2018, Dutch rail will be fully powered by wind

Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 by

The Netherlands, a nation that’s been keen on harnessing the power of the wind since pretty much forever, has announced that in an effort to slash transport-related carbon emissions, its entire electric train network — all 1,800 miles of it — will run on energy produced at European wind farms. To be clear, Dutch […]

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