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Alternative Energy

Flexible wearable electronics use body heat for energy

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:31:23 EDT

In a proof-of-concept study, engineers have designed a flexible thermoelectric energy harvester that has the potential to rival the effectiveness of existing power wearable electronic devices using body heat as the only source of energy.
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A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:30:58 EDT

Researchers have found a way around what was considered a fundamental limitation of physics for over 100 years. They were able to conceive resonant systems that can store electromagnetic waves over a long period of time while maintaining a broad bandwidth. Their study opens up a number of doors, particularly in telecommunications.
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Deceleration of runaway electrons paves the way for fusion power

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:24:56 EDT

Fusion power has the potential to provide clean and safe energy that is free from carbon dioxide emissions. However, imitating the solar energy process is a difficult task to achieve. Two young plasma physicists have now taken us one step closer to a functional fusion reactor. Their model could lead to better methods for decelerating the runaway electrons, which could destroy a future reactor without warning.
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Corn better used as food than biofuel, study finds

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:29:18 EDT

Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs.
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New metrology technique measures electric fields

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 11:42:13 EDT

It is crucial that mobile phones and other wireless devices -- so prevalent today -- have accurate and traceable measurements for electric fields and radiated power. Until recently, however, it wasn't possible to build self-calibrating probes that could generate independent and absolute measurements of these. To address this, researchers have developed a method to measure electric fields and a probe to carry out such measurements.
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Solar heating could cover over 80 percent of domestic heating requirements in Nordic countries

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 11:41:23 EDT

By using suitable systems, more than 80 percent of heating energy for Finnish households could be produced using solar energy with competitive prices. This result is also valid for Sweden, Norway, Alaska, northern Canada and other locations at the same latitudes.
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Future trucks fueled by hydrogen created with solar power: Exhaust? Pure water vapor

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 09:45:51 EDT

Heavy-duty trucks will soon be driving around in Trondheim, Norway, fueled by hydrogen created with solar power, and emitting only pure water vapor as “exhaust”. Not only will hydrogen technology revolutionize road transport, it will also enable ships and trains to run emission-free.
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Sustainable ethanol from carbon dioxide? A possible path

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 16:54:09 EDT

A recent discovery could lead to a new, more sustainable way to make ethanol without corn or other crops. This promising technology has three basic components: water, carbon dioxide and electricity delivered through a copper catalyst.
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Transforming last night's leftovers into green energy

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 15:16:19 EDT

In a classic tale of turning trash into treasure, two different processes soon may be the favored dynamic duo to turn food waste into green energy, according to a study.
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Inexpensive organic material gives safe batteries a longer life

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:40:50 EDT

Modern batteries power everything from cars to cell phones, but they are far from perfect -- they catch fire, they perform poorly in cold weather and they have relatively short lifecycles, among other issues. Now researchers have described a new class of material that addresses many of those concerns in a new article.
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Making wires of polymers chains

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 12:17:11 EDT

Researchers have modeled a new route to molecular wires suitable for use in miniature electronics.
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Could renewable 'power-by-wire' help fix China’s air pollution problems?

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 12:17:07 EDT

Bringing renewable power ‘by wire’ from western China to its power-hungry Eastern cities could have benefits for both local air quality and global climate change, new research has found.
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Reducing environmental impact of idling buses and delivery trucks

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 08:37:08 EDT

Researchers have developed a system for service vehicles that could reduce emissions and save companies and governments millions of dollars per year in fuel costs.
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Electrolytes made from liquefied gas enable batteries to run at ultra-low temperatures

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 14:27:36 EDT

Engineers have developed new electrolytes that enable lithium batteries to run at temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius with excellent performance -- in comparison, today's lithium-ion batteries stop working at -20 degrees Celsius. The new electrolytes also enable electrochemical capacitors to run as cold as -80 degrees Celsius -- their current limit is -40 degrees Celsius.
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Smart materials used in ultrasound behave similar to water

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:06:37 EDT

Researchers have provided new insight into piezoelectrics materials, a smart material used in ultrasound technology. While forming the most thorough model to date of how these materials work, they found striking similarities with the behavior of water. A more complete understanding of why these materials behave the way they do can unlock new materials design, leading to higher quality piezoelectrics that may revolutionize smart material applications.
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Wireless charging of moving electric vehicles overcomes major hurdle

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 13:43:19 EDT

Scientists have developed a way to wirelessly deliver electricity to moving objects, technology that could one day charge electric vehicles and personal devices like medical implants and cell phones.
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Clean energy stored in electric vehicles to power buildings

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:04:27 EDT

Stored energy from electric vehicles (EVs) can be used to power large buildings – creating new possibilities for the future of smart, renewable energy - thanks to ground-breaking battery research.
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Clean energy stored in electric vehicles to power buildings

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 11:29:24 EDT

Stored energy from electric vehicles (EVs) can be used to power large buildings -- creating new possibilities for the future of smart, renewable energy.
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Printed sensors monitor tire wear in real time

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 11:28:45 EDT

Electrical engineers have invented a printed sensor made of metallic carbon nanotubes that can monitor the tread of tires in real-time. In its first demonstration, the cheap, simple innovation shows it can measure tire thickness down to the millimeter while surviving the harsh conditions of the interior of a tire.
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Solar material for producing clean hydrogen fuel

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:26:07 EDT

A new material has been created based on gold and black phosphorus to produce clean hydrogen fuel using the full spectrum of sunlight.
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New technology will enable properties to share solar energy

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:18:46 EDT

New technology will enable properties to share solar energy and will mean low energy bills for consumers.
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Changing the color of laser light on the femtosecond time scale

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:17:37 EDT

Using femtosecond visible and terahertz (THz) pulses as external perturbations, scientists have investigated the second harmonic generation effect in photoexcited BiCoO3. Driven by the THz pulse, this research highlights the importance of orbital excitation in the Co3+ ion and provides clues for improving the performance of nonlinear optical phenomena in nonlinear crystals on the femtosecond time scale.
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Solar-light-driven fully integrated microfluidic device could serve as autonomous fuel-cell-based power source for microsensors or lab-on-a-chip applications

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 16:33:16 EDT

Miniaturized devices such as microsensors often require an independent, equally miniaturized power supply. Searching for suitable systems, scientists have now developed a fully integrated microfluidic device that produces hydrogen fuel and converts it into electrical energy based on photocatalysis. It works fully autonomously and delivers enough hydrogen energy to power a microsensor for daily data transmission.
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Ammonia on-demand? Alternative production method for a sustainable future

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 11:17:06 EDT

Highly efficient ammonia synthesis at room temperature, with the highest yield ever reported, was just achieved. The small-scale ammonia production under mild conditions was accomplished by applying a direct current electric field to the Ru-Cs catalyst. Collecting highly pure ammonia as compressed liquid becomes possible using this method, and this finding will lead to developing on-demand ammonia production plants that run on renewable energy in the near future.
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New computing system takes its cues from human brain

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 11:53:45 EDT

Researchers have created a new computing system that aims to tackle one of computing's hardest problems in a fraction of the time.
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Zig-zagging device focuses high-energy radiation emissions

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 09:41:31 EDT

Equipment used in cancer treatment requires a strong, monochromatic source of radiation to produce hard X-rays. Other similar radiation sources find applications in nuclear waste processing. To design devices that steadily emit a specific type of radiation, physicists use a special kind of crystal, referred to as a crystalline undulator. Scientists have now demonstrated the ability to control radiation emissions from a particle traveling through such a device.
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Graphene electrodes offer new functionalities in molecular electronic nanodevices

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 19:31:28 EDT

An international team of researchers has revealed a new way to tune the functionality of next-generation molecular electronic devices using graphene. The results could be exploited to develop smaller, higher-performance devices for use in a range of applications including molecular sensing, flexible electronics, and energy conversion and storage, as well as robust measurement setups for resistance standards. 
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Batteries from scrap metal

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 12:03:56 EDT

Scientists have made good use of waste while finding an innovative solution to a technical problem by transforming rusty stainless steel mesh into electrodes with outstanding electrochemical properties that make them ideal for potassium-ion batteries.
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Spin effects in solution-based nanocrystals

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 12:39:43 EDT

Wet-chemically produced nanocrystals are becoming more and more powerful. Now a research group has succeeded in substantiating electronic spin effects in such nanoplatelets. In this way, more cost-effective and more powerful transistors and computer chips with lower power consumption are conceivable in the future.
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200 years of the bicycle: Computer scientists electrify historic “dandy horse”

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 08:57:34 EDT

Small children still use a form of the so-called dandy horse, balance bike or draisine, which the inventor Karl von Drais first tested on a longer route on June 12, 1817. Now, about 200 years later, computer scientists are making the forerunner of the bicycle attractive for adults as well.
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