New green technology could harvest body heat as energy

September 2, 2020 by  
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Scientists have created thermocells, energy-efficient devices, that can harvest excess heat and convert it into renewable energy . They hope to create portable batteries that could be applied to many types of surfaces to harvest excess heat — including clothing to utilize heat from the human body as energy. The group of 11 scientists who worked on this project published their study in the journal Renewable Energy . They are affiliated with The National University of Science and Technology in Moscow [NUST MISIS]. Related: MIT moves toward greener, more sustainable artificial intelligence Thermoelectricity is the type of electricity that is generated by temperature differences, called temperature gradients. These are found everywhere, including around the human body. While this is an area of green energy with untapped potential, previously developed thermocells have a low output power. But the scientists may have solved this problem. “We have shown the possibility of using a nickel oxide electrode based on hollow nickel microspheres in a thermocell,” said Igor Burmistrov, one of the study’s authors. “A record for aqueous electrolytes hypothetical Seebeck coefficient has been reached. In addition, we have found a nonlinear change in current-voltage characteristics, which is not typical for thermocells , which ensures an increase in the device’s efficiency.” The new thermocell appears to potentially be a safe and cost-effective way to generate renewable energy. The scientists are exploring the possibility of one day using this technology to create a supercapacitator that would stay charged for a long period of time. Even non-chemists who have a hard time grasping the exact process of how the thermocell works will immediately begin to ponder its applications. What if our body heat could power air conditioners? Could we charge our phones with body heat while we go for a run? The possibilities for a greener future are endless. + NUST MISIS Via CleanTechnica Image via Melk Hagelslag

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New green technology could harvest body heat as energy

Green roofs can improve air quality inside buildings

April 15, 2019 by  
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A new study has found that green roofs do a lot more than just provide extra space to grow plants. These eco-friendly roofs can also enhance air quality inside of buildings by reducing the ozone levels that come in from the outdoors. Scientists at Portland State University conducted the study at a large commercial building in Portland. Researchers installed devices on the roof, which was split between a traditional membrane and a green roof. The devices measured ozone levels of the air surrounding the building. They discovered that plants on the roof helped to trap ozone, preventing it from coming into the building. Related: 9 ways to add more houseplants to your home The new study adds to the growing list of green roof benefits. According to Phys.org , this includes the ability to filter carbon dioxide, cut down on excess water runoff after big storms and reduce heat in urban environments. Not to mention all of the veggies and plants that can be grown, cultivated and even shared with the local community. But how does the vegetation trap ozone and remove it from the air? The process of trapping ozone is called dry deposition, where particles in the air accumulate on solid surfaces. The process of dry deposition is completely natural and has been proven to be an effective way of filtering air. Prior to the new research, however, scientists did not know that a green roof could actually improve air quality indoors. It should be noted that the study, which was published last month in Building and Environment, only took place over a few days. The scientists who led the research effort have admitted that more studies that measure pollutants trapped over a long period should be completed. They also want to look at other pollutants other than just ozone. Once this happens, we will better understand the broader benefits of green roofs and just how much they can contribute to better indoor air quality. + Portland State University Via Phys.org Image via Urformat

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The U.S. government is finally investigating artificial turf’s possible cancer link

February 17, 2016 by  
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After a long period of frustration and hand-wringing, the U.S. government is finally responding to the public’s concerns about artificial turf and its potential link to cancer. For some time now, researchers have suspected that dangerous chemicals found in artificial turf are making their way into people’s bodies – especially children – and possibly being correlated to cancer rates. Three agencies will begin an investigation , following a call to action which reached all the way to the White House. Read the rest of The U.S. government is finally investigating artificial turf’s possible cancer link

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Five innovative technologies developed to store excess renewable energy

October 5, 2011 by  
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Preeti Dahiya: Excess Renewable Energy Storage Innovative technologies developed to store excess renewable energy Introduction The renewable energy is one of the basic energy sources available to us these days and moreover, it is available in plenty all around us. All we have to do is start capturing and storing this renewable energy which can be used to perform various day to day operations without much hassle. This energy, as it is available free of cost, will save plenty on our pocket and thus is becoming famous among people. The storage of energy is what the deal is and people have made various devices and equipments to store this renewable energy in an efficient way. So, here we are with a list of five innovative technologies developed to store excess renewable energy. 1. Compressed air energy storage system Compressed air energy storage system Latest technology in conserving intermittent energy The compressed air energy storage system is one of the widely used systems to store the excess energy produced by renewable sources. This latest technology is being used on wide scale to harness energy from renewable energy sources. It brings out a situation where large amount of renewable energy can be stored into it and can be used later for efficient purposes. The drawback of this technology is that it cannot store energy in the form of electrical energy and it should be converted to some other form so that it can be stored. This brings out remarkably large efficiency losses and is claimed as a non-economically viable solution. The basic compressed air energy storage works on the principle that excess power present on the grid powers an electric motor which is used to drive the compressor. 2. Beacon Power Beacon Power Beacon Power’s high-energy flywheels energy storage solution Beacon Power has come up with a unique and awesome concept to store and harness the renewable energy at a large scale. They have constructed a few arrays of flywheels which are capable of storing energy. This kind of storing in flywheels is nothing new but the company claims that this new technology is being implemented with carbon fiber as well. These flywheels can store up to 2-3% of generated energy. The company have started building more such flywheels and aims at reaching a number of 200 for its new plant. Each flywheel used here weighs 2000 pounds and spins at 16,000 rpm. 3. Molten salt concentrating solar power plant Molten salt World’s first renewable energy storage plant built by Enel New technologies and new ways of harnessing energy are developed every day and this is one such unique way of storing and harnessing renewable energy. This Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant is the world’s first power plant which makes use of molten salts. Also the plant is the first ever plant which is completely integrated with combined-cycle gas power plant. It uses molten salts for the heat transfer and storage purpose. This power plant is named ‘Archimede’ which is located in Priolo Gargallo (Sicily). These molten salts can be operated at really high temperatures in the range of 500-600°C and can be operated for long hours as they offer much higher durability. It does not require oil or any such component to harness energy. The company says that Italy can host 3-5,000 MW of CSP plants by 2020. This has inspired other nations and people across the globe have started going for this new efficient technology. 4. Hydrogen energy store Hydrogen energy store Edible crystals to store hydrogen efficiently Hydrogen is considered to be a highly useful source of producing renewable energy as it offers energy at very low prices. Nowadays people have started using various techniques to store the hydrogen for fuel-cell cars. This technique was developed by the researchers at the Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. They have come out with ways of storing hydrogen and one of them is to freeze the gas around -250 degrees and them transform it into liquid form and then store it into molecular cages. This method has come out to be the best method until now and researches at the same university are finding more efficient ways of storing hydrogen. Moreover, the materials used to make this cage are easily available and hence are cheap. The material cage occupies space about 1300sqm. 5. Highview Power Storage Highview Power Storage UK based company Highview Power Storage, has developed an innovative way to store renewable energy This new and unique way of storing energy named Cryo-Energy system is developed by a Britain based company Highview Power Storage. As the non-conventional form of energy production is gaining more importance these days, the company has unveiled its latest technology to harness and store energy. The engineers of the company tried to mange liquefied air to store the energy and the results were shocking. The liquefied air worked out and stored some amount of energy on the first run. This process uses cryogenic techniques to bring down the temperature of natural air and the cool it down to use it as a power storage medium. The natural air is liquefied at temperature of 190 degrees and then is cooled down to store energy. The disadvantage here is that the electrical energy cannot be stored for a long period and hence should be used in a given period of time. The system can save up to $3000/kW of power capacity which is substantial.

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