Desert Twins produce water through condensation in driest place on Earth

May 29, 2017 by  
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One in 10 people on Earth lack access to safe water , which is why artist Ap Verheggen has been working so hard to address water scarcity over the last decade or so. He and the rest of the SunGlacier team, invited by the Dutch Ministry of Defense, recently tested their idea of making water from thin air in what they describe as the driest, hottest place on the planet: the Sahara Desert . They were able to accomplish the feat solely with the power of the sun and a bit of basic physics. Take a closer look at their groundbreaking Desert Twins , designed specifically for this project, after the jump. From an ice-making leaf in the desert to a solar-powered desert waterfall , SunGlacier has pioneered creative, artistic approaches to the lack of water in Earth’s dry areas. They recently made water from air in Mali with the solar-powered Desert Twins, two devices built for the Sahara Desert test. One device makes water, the other houses an energy unit. Condensation enables the devices to create water. Related: Produce your own water from thin air with SunGlacier’s solar-powered DC03 But it’s much harder to pull water from air in the Sahara than it is in the Netherlands, where SunGlacier is based. According to the team, air in Mali on a summer day only has around half the water vapor of a dry summer day in the Netherlands. They faced several days of challenges as they tinkered with their devices, adding insulation and re-configuring cooling air streams before they finally succeeded in producing any water. The team knew their design could operate in ideal conditions, but the Mali success shows it can work just about anywhere in the world. SunGlacier says their device is “probably the world’s first artificial water well to work entirely off the grid .” SunGlacier intends to keep improving their technology, and say in the future they plan to focus on cleaning and enriching water with salts and minerals, and water storage. Their goal is to build a machine that is able to operate without electricity or a liquid water source, much like a well. + SunGlacier Via SunGlacier Images courtesy of SunGlacier

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Desert Twins produce water through condensation in driest place on Earth

New super batteries could charge phones in seconds and electric cars in minutes

December 7, 2016 by  
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A scientific breakthrough at the University of Surrey could completely change how we charge our devices. Researchers developed a new material that could be used to create supercapacitors 1,000 to 10,000 times more powerful than conventional batteries . The new super batteries would also be safer, faster charging, more efficient, and greener. The breakthrough is made possible by a special type of polymer that is, surprisingly enough, adapted from the principles used to make soft contact lenses. Supercapacitors have long been considered a superior alternative to batteries – able to charge and discharge energy incredibly quickly. However, until now, the materials used for these devices have had a poor energy density that limited their usefulness. This new, denser polymer could change all that. This groundbreaking new technology could allow electric cars to finally become competitive with conventional vehicles. Cars equipped with the new supercapacitors could be charged in minutes, taking no longer than the time it takes to fill a normal vehicle with gasoline. It could also completely transform our household devices and appliances, allowing phones and laptops to charge in mere seconds. Related: MIT’s new carbon-free supercapacitor could revolutionize the way we store power The development seems to confirm what Elon Musk has been predicting for years : that supercapacitors are likely the future of electric transportation. With this new breakthrough, it’s only a matter of time before faster-charging EVs capable of traveling far longer distances hit the market. Via The Daily Mail Images via Myrtle Beach TheDigitel and Pixabay

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New super batteries could charge phones in seconds and electric cars in minutes

New Kinetic Boots Could Help Marines Shed Battery Weight

July 13, 2014 by  
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Military personnel do a lot of marching. And hiking. And running. They move a lot, whether on base or on a mission. While moving, Marines also carry up to 15 pounds of batteries in order to charge all their devices while in the field. Which is not awesome. Now, Lockheed Martin and Canadian boot maker STC Footwear have teamed up to lighten the load while keeping devices powered up. Their Kinetic Boots harness the power of each soldier’s footstep without weighing them down. Follow the link below to learn how they work. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: human powered boots , kinetic boots , kinetic power , lockheed martin , Lockheed Martin boots , military apparel , renewable energy in the military

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How to Remove Data from Electronics before Recycling

August 21, 2013 by  
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Stop hoarding those old electronics. Removing your private data can be done in a few simple steps so you can recycle your devices and protect your privacy.

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Goal Zero’s New Lighthouse 250 Lantern Charges Your Devices in the Wilderness

August 21, 2013 by  
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Goal Zero prides itself in making products for living off the grid, but their new Lighthouse 250 Lantern brings a little technology to your camp . The solar powered lantern is equipped with a USB power hub, to keep gadgets fully charged while you relax by the fire . If you don’t have devices to power up, the rechargeable battery keeps the Lighthouse 250 Lantern aglow for up to 48 hours. Read the rest of Goal Zero’s New Lighthouse 250 Lantern Charges Your Devices in the Wilderness Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “portable generator” , eco design , goal zero , Goal Zero Lighthouse Lantern 250 , green design , solar powered lantern , sustainable design        

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Will a 10 Cent Fee Finally Get New Yorkers to Kick the Plastic Bag Habit?

August 21, 2013 by  
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They say the best things in life are free, but unfortunately so are some of the worst things – like plastic bags at New York City groceries, convenience stores and other retailers. But that could soon change if a new bill that was introduced today by the New York City Council is passed. The proposed legislation would charge consumers at least 10 cents per bag in hopes that frugal shoppers will quit the plastic habit and begin carrying around reusable totes. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: litter , new york city , plastic bag ban , plastic bags , plastic pollution , plastic tax , plastic waste , reusable bags , Shopping , shopping bags        

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MIT Develops Polymer Film That Harvests Energy From Water Vapor

January 11, 2013 by  
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Researchers at MIT just developed a new bio-polymer film that is able to generate electricity from a readily available source: water vapor. The material changes its shape as it absorbs evaporated water. As the bio-polymer film repeatedly curls and unfurls it drives robotic limbs, which in turn generate enough electricity to power micro- and nanoelectronic devices. Read the rest of MIT Develops Polymer Film That Harvests Energy From Water Vapor Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bio-polymer film , devices , gadgets , MIT , piezoelectric , piezoelectric clothing , polymer film , sweat power , water power , water vapor

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MIT Develops Polymer Film That Harvests Energy From Water Vapor

MIT Develops Polymer Film That Harvests Energy From Water Vapor

January 11, 2013 by  
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Researchers at MIT just developed a new bio-polymer film that is able to generate electricity from a readily available source: water vapor. The material changes its shape as it absorbs evaporated water. As the bio-polymer film repeatedly curls and unfurls it drives robotic limbs, which in turn generate enough electricity to power micro- and nanoelectronic devices. Read the rest of MIT Develops Polymer Film That Harvests Energy From Water Vapor Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bio-polymer film , devices , gadgets , MIT , piezoelectric , piezoelectric clothing , polymer film , sweat power , water power , water vapor

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MIT Develops Polymer Film That Harvests Energy From Water Vapor

How to make a portable solar power plant

October 14, 2011 by  
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Nitesh Seth: Portable solar power plant Solar power plant provides an economical and mobile source of clean energy. Proving itself a reliable source of clean fuel, solar power has emerged as a genuine alternative for fast disappearing nonrenewable energy resources. Today a number of devices powered from solar energy have made their entry and have been successful. This is forcing the people of the current generation to accept it as a supplement for their energy demands. So maintaining the same thrust, lets have a look at the process of structuring your own portable solar power plant. Difficulty level Designing your own portable solar power plant is not a very difficult task. If you know the steps and use your skills accordingly, you can have your solar plant ready. You can take the help of a carpenter for designing the wood frames for the accessories of your solar power plant to strengthen its portability. Time required Time required for structuring a portable solar power plant largely depends on the efficacy and skill of the person designing it but normally two-three days are enough for designing and structuring a fully functional solar power plant. Resources required Before you start designing a portable solar power plant you must have the resources required for building it. It includes: 1. A solar panel 2. A 400 watt inverter and a 12 volt deep cycle battery 3. A tool box with auxiliary 12 volt plug and gauge wire 4. Heat shrink ring connectors and heat shrink tube 5. A SPST switch and a bridge rectifier. 6. A soldering iron. Estimated cost The estimated cost of a portable solar power plant made using the above listed items will cost around Rs10000 at standard prices. While the total estimate may fluctuate if different items are preferred. Instructions Following the below listed instructions one can easily make a portable solar power plant : Step 1: Sketching the design The first step of building a portable solar power plant is sketching the design of the solar power plant to be structured. It will be the base for the finally completed product. The quality of the sketch reflects the vision which largely impacts the product to be framed. Step 2: Mounting the battery and wiring The second important step in building a portable solar power plant is mounting the battery in the wooden box and carrying out the wiring which will help in charging the solar panel as well delivering the current to the connected devices. Fixing the battery into the wooden box will also provide safety to the battery and strengthen the portability of solar power plant. Step 3: Installing the plug which will carry the power input The next important step is the installation of the power plug which will carry the input current. For this purpose cut a hole in the in the utility box so that the connection end of the power plug faces the utility box. Step 4: Preparing the wires and drilling holes for its passage The next step includes preparation of the wires for connection to the circuit and drill of holes to facilitate its passage. For this purpose, holes should be cut under the utility box to allow the wires to reach the battery and complete the circuit. After drilling the holes, crimp the wires using a crimping tool and using a lighter shrink the tube on the ring connector. Do not allow the traffic of wires by stripping the long unneeded wires. Step 5: Soldering Run the wires joining the battery and circuit at the bottom of the utility box and put the heat shrink tubes on the connections to avoid short circuiting. Also do not forget to tighten the compressions which will provide safety in case the wires are subject to external disturbing forces. Also screw the lid of the utility box secure the solar power plant. Step 6: Installing the power output plug and wiring for the inverter Mount a 12 volt power output plug in the same way as the power input plug was fixed in the utility box. It will carry the output current. For wiring to the inverter drill holes and run two wires through it. Using the crimping tool crimp the small ring connectors to the inverter ends of the wire and fix large ring connectors to the battery ends. Step 7: Finalizing the solar power plant After completing the above steps plug it into a solar panel for charging it. Once it is charge it will harness the energy from the sun and will power your devices. Frequently asked questions In how much time the solar battery gets charged? It will depend on the intensity of the sun light and quality of the solar cell used. Is it necessary to use wooden box for designing the solar power plant? No it is not necessary to use only wooden box. Any non-conductive and durable material can be used. Quick tips 1. Always use high quality solar cell and wires in your solar plant. 2. Use durable materials for designing the box for your solar power plant. 3. Always ensure direct sun rays on the solar cell. Things to watch out for 1. Always solder the connections to avoid short circuiting. 2. Don’t connect the devices with high energy requirement. 3. Disconnect the devices when they are full charged. 4. Don’t connect the devices when the solar power plant is not charged to an optimum level.

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Future perfect: Self-powered electric aircrafts for cleaner skies

October 14, 2011 by  
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Rajeev Kumar: Self powered electric aircraft Self powered electric aircraft for cleaner skies Aviation industry is contemplating to find ways to use ‘green’ sources of energy for powering its operations. Two reasons can be pointed out for this development. First, the already scarce aviation fuel has become costlier in recent times. Second, there is a growing realization of the need to have low carbon emissions from airline operations. However, it is not that the entire aviation industry has taken this task on a mission mode. Only some organizations have developed a few models of self-powered electric aircrafts. This is certainly a very small but a welcome beginning. Trends 1. Solar Impulse self-powered electric aircraft Solar Impulse Solar Impulse Self-powered electric aircraft for cleaner skies Solar Impulse aircraft is powered by sunlight. Developed as part of long-range solar powered plane project at the Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, this airplane took its first 26-hours flight in July 2010. It has a long wingspan of 63.4 meter and weighs 1600 kg. Solar panels fitted on wings capture the solar energy. This is stored in lithium-ion batteries and also used to power the propellers. The developers are planning go a full circle around the earth on this completely solar powered airplane. 2. Hy-bird solar hydrogen plane Solar Hydrogen Plane Solar Hydrogen Plane for cleaner skies Developed by Lisa Airplanes, Hy-bird is a hybrid plane that uses lithium-polymer batteries as the main source of power. Also, the solar photovoltaics fitted on its 20 meter wingspan accounts for about 10 percent of the total power demand for this airplane. The designers have limited its weight to 1.1 tons by using carbon-fiber for making the body. 3. Helios solar-powered aircraft Helios Solar-Powered Aircraft Helios Solar-Powered Aircraft for cleaner skies The solar and electric-powered Helios Prototype aircraft was developed by NASA under the Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. It was an ultra-light weight aircraft with a 247-feet wingspan. It took its first maiden flight on battery power in 1999. The solar panels were introduced in 2000. In the course of about four-years, the Helios prototype established many records for a non-rocket powered aircraft. In August 2001, it touched the height of 96,863 feet. However, it fell into the Pacific Ocean in June 2003 under bad weather conditions while it was being tested for a 40-hour long endurance mission. 4. Pathfinder solar-powered aircraft Pathfinder Solar-Powered Aircraft Pathfinder Solar-Powered Aircraft for cleaner skies The Pathfinder is an unmanned, remote-controlled, lightweight solar-powered aircraft developed at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California. It designed, built and operated by the AeroViroment Inc. Solar panels fitted on the wing surface provide necessary power for flying this aircraft. It can fly at a speed of only 15-25 miles per hour. This speed is certainly very less for an aircraft. However, the real value of Pathfinder lies in the fact that it has become a reference model for all future long-endurance solar-powered airplanes. The concept Unlike the conventional aircrafts that are powered by aviation fuel, the self-powered electric aircrafts uses sources like sunlight, hydrogen fuel cells or batteries for generating electricity to supply the necessary energy for the flight. While the conventional aircrafts run on internal combustion engines, the electric aircrafts have electric motors. These aircrafts have been mostly developed for demonstrations and experimental purposes. As, they are not well developed for commercial application. In some of the recent models, solar panels are fitted on the upper surface of the wing. Researchers have also shown that hydrogen fuel-cells can also be used for providing necessary energy for the self-powered aircrafts. The advantages There are many advantages of self-powered electric aircrafts. They use renewable sources like solar energy and hydrogen fuel cells. These are non-polluting and long lasting sources of energy. They would reduce total carbon emission by the aviation industry and keep the sky clean. Most of these aircrafts are unmanned. They can be used for surveillance and as low altitude satellites at very low costs without any risk of loss of human life. They can be used for long duration aerial mission and used at high altitudes without any worry of the air traffic. The impact Self-powered electric aircraft is still a concept . Most of the models that has been displayed in recent times cannot duplicate the high-flying commercial planes or even military aircrafts. Also, many are still being developed in the laboratories. However, these are future aircrafts. Their impact can be assessed from the numbers of similar projects undertaken by researchers in different countries today. All of this would certainly change the aviation scenario in coming years.

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