New type of fabric harvests energy from the sun and movement

September 16, 2016 by  
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What if your clothes could harvest energy to power your smartphone? Eight Georgia Tech engineers pioneered a new type of hybrid textile that can harvest energy from two sources: the sun and movement. There could be several applications for the innovative fabric , including in clothing, curtains, or tents. The engineers utilized a ” commercial textile machine ” to weave the “hybrid power textile” or “hybrid energy fabric.” The fabric can harvest solar energy through solar cells made of polymer fibers. Triboelectric nanogenerators generate energy from movement. These materials are interwoven with wool . The resulting fabric is “highly flexible,” lightweight, and breathable, according to researchers. The journal Nature Energy published their research online earlier this week. Related: Never do laundry again: researchers create self-cleaning textiles! Paper co-author and Georgia Tech professor in Materials Science and Engineering Zhong Lin Wang said in a statement, “This hybrid power textile presents a novel solution to charging devices in the field from something as simple as the wind blowing on a sunny day.” To test the fabric, the engineers essentially created a flag with it and then drove around in a car as the flag blew in the wind out the window. Although the day was cloudy, a four by five centimeter piece of the fabric gathered enough energy to charge a “2 mF commerical capacitor” to two volts in just one minute. Next the engineers plan to encapsulate the fabric so it’s not harmed by moisture or rain. Early tests show the fabric can be used over and over, but the researchers want to test it further to see just how durable it might be over long periods of time. They think the fabric could be scaled up, as many of the materials used are inexpensive. The polymer fibers utilized are also “environmentally friendly.” + Georgia Tech Images via Georgia Tech

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Norwegian Mountaineering Centre mimics a dramatic snow-covered mountain

September 16, 2016 by  
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Winner of an invited competition from 2009, Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter’s Norwegian Mountaineering Center design is a 900-square-meter mountaineering center and gathering place for both locals and visitors. The building comprises a climbing hall , bouldering spaces, changing rooms, exhibitions, a cafe, library, and administration facilities. The tall climbing wall is sheathed inside the building’s jagged mountain-like form. Related: Timber-clad folk museum rises like a jagged-edged crown in Norway “The Norwegian Mountaineering Center is anchored in an innovative interpretation of nature’s fantastic dimensions and the dramatic experience of mountaineering,” write the architects. “This provides the structure with a characteristic volume communicating its contents with exciting and unique geometrical expression. Its outer skin is clad in a uniform surface, highlighting its originality and situation next to the train tracks of Raumabanen and the station area in the Åndalsnes town center.” The gray, brown, and white shingles that clad the exterior are arranged in a diamond formation. Diamond-shaped windows also punctuate the facade. + Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter Images via Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter , by AndrC? and So?renHarder

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Norwegian Mountaineering Centre mimics a dramatic snow-covered mountain

Breakthrough optical rectenna turns light directly into usable electricity

September 29, 2015 by  
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Light may be the most abundant resource on Earth and now it can be used to create electricity. The world’s first optical rectenna , part antenna and part rectifier diode, was developed by researchers at Georgia Tech to capture light and turn it directly into DC current. Wildly simplifying the generation of electricity, this crafty little device could really become a game changer in the field of renewable energy. Read the rest of Breakthrough optical rectenna turns light directly into usable electricity

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Martin Fenlon breathes new life into a dilapidated 1920s Los Angeles bungalow

September 29, 2015 by  
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Georgia Tech’s Self-Charging Piezoelectric Power Cell Can Harvest 5X More Energy From Footsteps

August 29, 2012 by  
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A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a self-charging power cell that is able to directly convert mechanical energy into chemical energy. The cell then stores the power until it is released as electrical current. The all-in-one piezoelectric power cell essentially eliminates the need to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy for charging a battery, as its new hybrid generator/storage capability utilizes mechanical energy more efficiently than systems which use separate generators and batteries. Read the rest of Georgia Tech’s Self-Charging Piezoelectric Power Cell Can Harvest 5X More Energy From Footsteps Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chemical energy , darpa , Georgia Institute of Technology , mechanical energy , piezoelectricty , piezoelectricty cell , self charging power cell , self-charging batteries

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Georgia Tech’s Self-Charging Piezoelectric Power Cell Can Harvest 5X More Energy From Footsteps

The Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference Comes to St. Louis on Oct 29 – Register Now!

August 29, 2012 by  
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Natural disasters are physically, socially, and psychologically devastating to a town.  It can be extremely difficult to rebuild civic infrastructures and restore the lives of residents.  Where do individuals, families, organizations and governments begin to look for help?  Are there processes, policies, or protocols in place for dealing with the unthinkable?  The Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference   brings together organizations from many different sectors in a collaborative effort to address these types of questions.  The The Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference aims to spread awareness of “green” options available to help disaster-stricken towns not just reconstruct their cities, but to rebuild efficient, livable communities that are healthier and stronger than ever before. Hosted by Saint Louis University’s The Center for Sustainability , Greensburg GreenTown and GreenTown Joplin , the groundbreaking The Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference will be held at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri from Monday, October 29, 201 2 through Tuesday, October 30, 2012 . Read the rest of The Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference Comes to St. Louis on Oct 29 – Register Now! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: greensburg , greensburg greentown , Greensburg Kansas , greentown joplin , joplin missouri , LEED platinum , Missouri , saint louis university , saint louis university’s the center for sustainability , st louis university , sustainable disaster housing , sustainable disaster recovery conference , the center for sustainability

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Four UK Wave and Tidal Companies Compete For Scotland’s £10m Saltire Prize

August 29, 2012 by  
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With some of the strongest tidal currents and most powerful waves in the world just off the coast, it is no wonder that Scotland is looking to develop wave and tidal power. As such, two tidal energy and two wave power developers are currently competing for Scotland’s £10 million Saltire Prize,  which aims to draw international attention to the benefits of clean energy. Read the rest of Four UK Wave and Tidal Companies Compete For Scotland’s £10m Saltire Prize Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aquamarine power oyster , meygen project , pelamis , renewable energy , Saltire Prize , Scotland , scotland renewable energy , scottishpowerrenewables , tidal energy , tidal power , wave energy , wave power

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Four UK Wave and Tidal Companies Compete For Scotland’s £10m Saltire Prize

10 zero emission UAVs designed for greener surveillance

August 30, 2011 by  
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Ankit Sharma: UAVs The Draganfly Tango UAV UAV, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, are used to monitor activities on earth, which is either too risky for humans or beyond their limits. But, with time, more emphasis is being placed on the ‘greenness’ of the vehicle. Function and form are important, but engineers are making sure that today’s UAV’s are not an environmental hazard. So, besides UAV’s being used for war or spying purposes, they are also being used to find ways to make Earth a better planet. This list aims to decode those UAV’s which are used for those ‘green purposes’. Read on. 1. HADA Electric UAV HADA Electric UAV HADA Electric UAV Spain’s National Institute of Aerospace Technology has innovated the first green electric UAV and decided to call it HADA Electric. It is a combination of a helicopter and an airplane. It uses VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) technique. It guzzles only one third of the fuel as done by a regular airplane. The project head Manuel Molero has stated that it can also be manned. It can be used to transmit images in real time, ferrying instruments from one place to another, and for patrolling borders. 2. Northrop Grumman RQ-4 UAV Northrop Grumman RQ-4 UAV Northrop Grumman RQ-4 UAV NASA has decided to give a make-over to Grumman RQ-4 and has transformed it from a land blasting bomber to a more serene environment friend. It will now be used for research flights concerned with verifying the measurements of atmospheric gases made by NASA’s AURA satellite. If a satellite gets damaged, it cannot be brought back from space for rectification. So, dedicated machines are needed to record the measurements so that data doesn’t get lost and to make sure that it’s right. 3. KIST solar-powered UAV KIST solar-powered UAV KIST solar-powered UAV A MoU has been signed between two Korean organizations, Korean Aerospace University and Korea Institute of Science and Technology. They have decided to develop a solar powered UAV, which can hover at an altitude for 20,000 m for many months before coming down for tweaks. It will use design technology from KAU and power its way to the sky with KIST’s solar power mechanism. The wingspan is 40 m long. Solar panel attached to the wings, store the energy in a Li-ion battery module to power the UAV when the sun bids goodbye. 4. Solar-powered UAV by Queensland University of Technology Solar-powered UAV by Queensland University of Technology Solar-powered UAV by Queensland University of Technology Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are working on a solar powered UAV for round-the-clock surveillance. With a wingspan of 2.5 m, the Green Falcon, as it’s called, is equipped with remote sensing visual data capabilities to track down forest fires in Australia which cause loss of life and property. This UAV can also be used to relay information about people in danger, through infrared cameras mounted on it. It can also be used for atmosphere and weather research and prediction, ocean monitoring etc. 5. Aurora’s solar-powered UAV Aurora’s solar-powered UAV Aurora’s solar-powered UAV DARPA’s Vulture Program required an UAV, and Aurora Flight Sciences have developed the perfect model. AFS claims that it can fly at altitudes exceeding 60,000 ft, for 5 years on solar power. The aircraft comprises of three aircrafts arranged in Z configuration for maximum collection of sunlight during the day. The 500 feet long aircraft would charge itself during the day, and flatten at night to increase aerodynamics. AFS claims that it can run at 63 m/s during day, while at night the speed is reduced to 43 m/s. 6. Bye Aerospace hybrid UAV Bye Aerospace hybrid UAV Bye Aerospace hybrid UAV Bye Aerospace has come up with a design for the UAV of the future. The UAV will be solar powered and is being made with collaboration with Ascent Technologies. It is being made keeping in mind the military uses, but will also be manufactured commercially. Silent Sentinel, as it’s called, is a zero emission aircraft. It can be coupled with an advanced Williams FJ33 turbofan for primary propulsion. 7. Fuel Cell UAV by Georgia Tech Fuel Cell UAV by Georgia Tech Fuel Cell UAV by Georgia Tech Georgia Tech has been known to do things a bit differently, and they have kept the trend alive by conducting a successful experiment of a UAV powered by a 500-watt fuel cell. With a 22 ft. wingspan, it is claimed to be the largest UAV to fly on a Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell, using compressed hydrogen. Georgia Tech has used technology in a way that it does not require any boosters to take off. 8. Ion Tiger Fuel Cell UAV Ion Tiger Fuel Cell UAV Ion Tiger Fuel Cell UAV This hydrogen cell powered Ion Tiger has set a record of flying 23 hours and 17 minutes at Aberdeen Proving Ground. It has been developed by Naval Research Laboratory. The USP is that it provides a zero emission flight. And due to electric fuel cell propulsion system, it has low noise. It can be used for patrolling and for weather research. 9. Falx Air’s coaxial UAV helicopter Falx Air’s coaxial UAV helicopter Falx Air’s coaxial UAV helicopter A UAV powered by an electric hybrid engine, Falx Air has decided to carry on the tradition of fast charging battery systems. For keeping weight under control, the company has decided to use materials under aerospace certified composite materials. It is designed to carry a payload of 70 kg, and for long distance surveillance. 10. Drones powered by dye-sensitized solar cells Drones powered by dye-sensitized solar cells Drones powered by dye-sensitized solar cells Researchers at University of Washington are developing an UAV using purple bacteria. They are developing a synthetic dye from it. A pigment in the dye can convert CO2 to carbohydrates. Researchers are trying to mirror the mechanism to convert sunlight into electricity. These type of cells never need to be changed.

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Smartphone application can save your money by increasing your car’s fuel efficiency

August 30, 2011 by  
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B Phanindra Kumar: Smartphone Increasing fuel efficiency Smartphones that have attracted the people are now going to benefit the mankind by preserving the environment besides saving the money by increasing car’s fuel efficiency. Are you wondering as to how phones are going to protect the environment? In July, 2011 a few researchers from MIT and Princeton University have come up with this mobile application that is worth hailing. According to the proposed system, the use of smart phones will save the environment as they are going to reduce the fuel consumption of the cars and other vehicles by nearly 20 per cent. This innovative mobile application helps the car driver fix brackets on the dashboards of their cars. It is in the dashboard that a driver will have to fix the smartphone. A person can use the smartphone as his navigation by just installing a mobile application. Besides navigation, a driver can get the useful information such as free parking space, bus numbers plying in that area and the number of the filling stations in the area along with the prices per liter. Though people are familiar with the navigation system, they are not aware of the feature– photo capture of the traffic signals from a distance. With the help of this unique feature, one can know if there’s a red light from a distance. This will allow the car driver to slow down the speed of the vehicle eventually. When a person slows down the speed of the car, he would not have the need to stop at the signal as the signal is likely to turn to green when the car slowly reaches the junction. Each time a person halts a car and restarts it, his car would be emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases. Since this application alarms the driver to slow down the car, he will have the chance to avoid stopping the car at the signals. This way the new application would be very beneficial to the environment. Apart from alarming the driver to slow down the car, the application also asks the driver to increase the car speed if it detects that there’s a green signal ahead. This is something awesome and that’s the reason why the researchers won the award for the application. Now, one is not sure as to when this application would come into reality. Even if it comes to reality, will the governments make the application mandatory in order to protect the environment is a million dollar question. Source: MIT

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Smartphone application can save your money by increasing your car’s fuel efficiency

Tips to reduce energy consumption of your house

August 29, 2011 by  
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DrHimanshu Mirani: Energy Star Energy efficiency With inflation burning a hole in every pocket and the impending doom of exhaustion of all non-renewable sources of energy, energy conservation today is the buzz word. Not only from the financial point of view, it’s also a responsibility of every informed and vigilant household to contribute towards energy conservation. Howsoever clichéd it may sound but it’s true, energy saved is energy produced. Following are some tips to reduce energy consumption at your home: 1. Switch off unused appliances First things first, always switch off the lights, fans or other appliances if they are not in use. It’s the easiest of all the methods. 2. Washing Always wash full load in washing machines and dishwashers. Prefer drying clothes on lines as it saves about 3-5KW per load of clothes. 3. Computers: Energy management options are in all computers. In Windows it’s in control panel. Mac users can find similar options in System preferences. Also instead of ‘stand-by mode’, prefer to use to use ‘sleep mode’. Set the computer to ‘Hibernate’ after about half an hour of inactivity. It consumes lesser energy then to restart the computer again. 4. Energy Star certified appliances Prefer to use only Energy efficiency certified appliances at home. Also prefer laptops over desktops for they are more energy efficient. Switch over to energy saving TVs from the conventional ones. Use energy efficient lamps instead of tube lights and bulbs with heating filament. 5. Windows Windows are a great way to cool the house as they allow ample ventilation but they must not serve as ‘leaking points’ of conditioned air. Fill in all cracks and crevices in the frames. Always close the windows while AC is on. Replace the windows which you don’t use. Use ‘window treatment’ to enhance their contribution to temperature regulation by exploiting their ‘greenhouse effect’ in winters and use shades/ awnings/ blinds/ shutters/ mesh/ reflector films etc in summers. Also put up exhaust fans in kitchen and bathroom windows to vent out hot and humid air. 6. Routine maintenance Wipe the dust off the tube lights and bulbs as it decreases their illumination. Check that the door of your fridge closes tightly so that there is no air leak. It can be assessed by putting a currency note between closed doors and pulling the bill out. If it comes off easily, it indicates the need to fix it. 7. Renewable Energy Photovoltaic energy is available free of cost and abundantly. So install solar water heaters/ solar lamps/ solar cookers/ solar chargers and batteries and see a drastic cut in your expenses. It’s just a onetime investment as the semi-conductors come with lifelong guarantee! Special materials can be used in flooring in cold areas, which absorb sun’s heat. This way they can be heated when the sun shines and would release warmth during the night. Similarly if you are stay in a windy city, then try to tap the potential of wind energy. 8. Temperature regulation Set the temperatures of your refrigerator around 0-5°C and reduce the thermostat settings of geyser to around 60°C. 9. Fans Prefer using fans over ACs as even fans reduce the perceived temperature by around 4°C (depends on humidity levels). Try to put AC in ‘auto’ mode and use fan instead as AC-fan consumes more power. 10. Energy audit Locate an ‘Energy consultant’ and get an energy audit done for your home. They help to set a target and point out deficiencies in energy management in a very objective way exclusively designed for your home.

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