Solar cells capture up to 40 percent more energy when they can track the sun across the sky, but conventional, motorized trackers are too heavy and bulky for pitched rooftops and vehicle surfaces. Now, by borrowing from kirigami, the ancient Japanese art of paper cutting, researchers have developed solar cells that can have it both ways.
In the future, a wireless charging system will allow electric cars not only to charge their batteries, but also to feed energy back into the power grid, helping to stabilize it. The cost-effective charging system achieves high levels of efficiency across the whole power range, from 400 watts to 3.6 kilowatts, while the car and the charging coil can be up to 20 centimeters apart.
In the world of computer gaming, bragging rights are accorded to those who can boast of blazing-fast graphics cards, the most powerful processors, the highest-resolution monitors, and the coolest decorative lighting. They are not bestowed upon those crowing about the energy efficiency of their system. If they were, gaming computers worldwide might well be consuming billions of dollars less in electricity use annually, with no loss in performance, according to new research.
Intermittency is one of the problems affecting renewable energies, including marine energy: sometimes there's a lot; other times it's in short supply. So to properly manage sea energy and incorporate it into the mains, it is helpful to know when the waves are expected to be bringing sufficient power.
What if there were a way to suck carbon dioxide right out of the air and turn it into useful products? It might seem fantastic but scientists have actually proved it's possible. One of the challenges with making it a viable process, however, is manufacturing products that are valuable enough to cover the high costs of extracting the carbon dioxide.
Highly efficient, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) could slash the world's electricity consumption. They are already sold in stores, but more widespread adoption of the technology has been hindered by high costs due to limited availability of raw materials and difficulties in achieving acceptable light quality. But researchers report today that they have overcome these obstacles and have developed a less expensive, more sustainable white LED.
Engineers have developed a novel technique to predict when bearings inside wind turbines will fail which could make wind energy cheaper. The method uses ultrasonic waves to measure the load transmitted through a ball bearing in a wind turbine.
Cleaning up municipal and industrial wastewater can be dirty business, but engineers have developed an innovative wastewater treatment process that not only mitigates carbon dioxide emissions, but actively captures greenhouse gases as well.