Posts tagged energy

Key fusion goal reached for the first time

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The National Ignition Facility in the US has has announced they’ve reached a key step towards creating energy using nuclear fusion.

14,000 ton neutrino detector being built in Minnesota.
The US Department of Energy’s Fermilab along with the University of Minnesota are building the enormous plastic structure to try and learn how neutrinos change while they travel, to better understand the makeup of the universe.
The detector - which is made of over 300,000 individual detecting cells - will capture neutrinos shot from a cannon over 500 miles away, making the trip in only 3 milliseconds.
Fermilab has a video up of the construction here.

14,000 ton neutrino detector being built in Minnesota.

The US Department of Energy’s Fermilab along with the University of Minnesota are building the enormous plastic structure to try and learn how neutrinos change while they travel, to better understand the makeup of the universe.

The detector - which is made of over 300,000 individual detecting cells - will capture neutrinos shot from a cannon over 500 miles away, making the trip in only 3 milliseconds.

Fermilab has a video up of the construction here.

Mirrors give Winter light to Rjukan.
A small town in Norway has had three large mirrors installed on a hilltop to reflect sunlight to the town, which gets no direct sunlight over the winter months.
The mirrors are computer controlled to move throughout the day to keep a small patch of light on the town square. The idea was initially thought of a hundred years ago by an engineer working in the town, which was established to provide workers to the nearby power plant.
The Italian town of Viganella has had a similar system in place since 2006.

Mirrors give Winter light to Rjukan.

A small town in Norway has had three large mirrors installed on a hilltop to reflect sunlight to the town, which gets no direct sunlight over the winter months.

The mirrors are computer controlled to move throughout the day to keep a small patch of light on the town square. The idea was initially thought of a hundred years ago by an engineer working in the town, which was established to provide workers to the nearby power plant.

The Italian town of Viganella has had a similar system in place since 2006.

BBC

Nuclear fusion milestone reached

The BBC is reporting that the National Ignition Facility has conducted a fusion experiment where for the first time in the world, the amount of energy released through a fusion reaction has exceeded the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel.

BBC

MIT developing ‘grid-scale’ energy storage.

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An MIT team is working on a ‘flow-battery’ design that they say will be efficient enough to allow solar and wind farms to store energy, before releasing it into the grid later as demand requires.

Solar powered screen extends battery life by 20%.
French company SunPartner have developed a 300 micron thick transparent layer able to be added above or below a regular touchscreen which can harvest energy from sunlight.
The low cost panel uses stripes of standard thin-film solar cells alternating with transparent film. It then adds a layer of tiny lenses that spread the image coming from the screen to make the opaque stripes disappear and to concentrate rays coming in from the sun.
The company say the panel is currently being tested with a ‘number of manufacturers’ and they hope licensing deals to follow which will see phones using the technology come to market in 2014.

Solar powered screen extends battery life by 20%.

French company SunPartner have developed a 300 micron thick transparent layer able to be added above or below a regular touchscreen which can harvest energy from sunlight.

The low cost panel uses stripes of standard thin-film solar cells alternating with transparent film. It then adds a layer of tiny lenses that spread the image coming from the screen to make the opaque stripes disappear and to concentrate rays coming in from the sun.

The company say the panel is currently being tested with a ‘number of manufacturers’ and they hope licensing deals to follow which will see phones using the technology come to market in 2014.

Video: ‘PediPower’ energy harvesting shoe.

A team at Rice University has shown off their energy harvesting shoe, designed to take energy normally wasted when the heel of a shoe strikes the ground, instead turning it into useable energy to power medical devices or other low energy gadgets.

The PediPower hits the ground before any other part of the prototype shoe. A lever arm strikes first. It is attached to a gearbox that replaces much of the shoe’s sole and turns the gears a little with each step. The gears drive a motor mounted on the outside of the shoe that generates electricity to send up to the battery.

“It may be worth looking into having both the heel and the ball of the foot produce power, especially if this shoe could be used while running,” Armada said.

The students expect the project to be picked up by another team at Rice in the fall, with the hope they can refine the materials, shrink the size and boost the power output, all of which will get PediPower closer to being a commercial product.

“If we could prove that we could produce some usable power, store it in a battery and discharge that battery on a mobile device or an MP3 player, then we could prove this device works,” Armada said. “Now the next team can come in and make it smaller and lighter without sacrificing power.”

Energy harvesting pavement powers its own streetlights.
London-based startup Pavegen has developed tiling that can harvest kinetic energy from people’s footsteps, turning it into up to 8 watts of electricity per footstep.
The tiles are made of 95 percent recycled tyres, and use a proprietary wireless communications technology to transmit data about the number of footfalls and the energy generated via the Internet. A wireless network of the tiles could provide valuable information to city planners and nearby business owners about the number of pedestrians in the area at different times of the day.
At the last Summer Olympics in London, the tiles were installed outside a tube station where they generated enough energy to power lights in the area for five hours a night.

Energy harvesting pavement powers its own streetlights.

London-based startup Pavegen has developed tiling that can harvest kinetic energy from people’s footsteps, turning it into up to 8 watts of electricity per footstep.

The tiles are made of 95 percent recycled tyres, and use a proprietary wireless communications technology to transmit data about the number of footfalls and the energy generated via the Internet. A wireless network of the tiles could provide valuable information to city planners and nearby business owners about the number of pedestrians in the area at different times of the day.

At the last Summer Olympics in London, the tiles were installed outside a tube station where they generated enough energy to power lights in the area for five hours a night.

World’s largest concentrated solar power plant opens.
'Shams 1' has opened in Abu Dhabi, producing up to 100-megawatts as part of a greater plan to generate seven percent of the emirate's energy by renewable means by 2020.
Instead of using photovoltaic cells to directly generate energy like a traditional solar power plant, concentrated solar power plants use parabolic mirrors or lenses to collect heat and drive turbines and create energy.

World’s largest concentrated solar power plant opens.

'Shams 1' has opened in Abu Dhabi, producing up to 100-megawatts as part of a greater plan to generate seven percent of the emirate's energy by renewable means by 2020.

Instead of using photovoltaic cells to directly generate energy like a traditional solar power plant, concentrated solar power plants use parabolic mirrors or lenses to collect heat and drive turbines and create energy.

Energy-harvesting soccer ball on KickStarter.
The SOCCKET uses a pendulum-like mechanism inside a regular soccer ball to harvest kinetic energy gathered while the ball is in play. It stores it for later use, when the ball can be used as an off-grid power source to power an LED lamp for three hours, or to charge a cellphone, among other uses.
While the ball seems to be primarily designed for use in poorer areas, you can support the project and/or pick up your own SOCCKET at their KickStarter page, until March 28.

Energy-harvesting soccer ball on KickStarter.

The SOCCKET uses a pendulum-like mechanism inside a regular soccer ball to harvest kinetic energy gathered while the ball is in play. It stores it for later use, when the ball can be used as an off-grid power source to power an LED lamp for three hours, or to charge a cellphone, among other uses.

While the ball seems to be primarily designed for use in poorer areas, you can support the project and/or pick up your own SOCCKET at their KickStarter page, until March 28.