Electricity

Electricity from wastewater gets a salty boost

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: March 2, 2012   View Article

Microbes that digest wastewater in a fuel cell to produce electricity are getting a boost from a technology that captures energy from the difference between salt and fresh water, scientists report in a new study.

“It is like putting another battery into a flashlight, you get more voltage and power out,” Bruce Logan, an environmental engineer at Pennsylvania State University, told me Thursday.

The technology could lead to wastewater treatment plants that generate electricity, instead of consuming it.

Ocean motion could produce 9 percent of U.S. electricity

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 31, 2012   View Article

Next-generation technologies that harvest electricity from ocean waves and tides sloshing along the U.S. coasts could provide about 9 percent of the nation’s demand by 2030, according to a pair of recent studies.

The findings, which include maps of these ocean energy resources, should help guide companies looking to develop them.

Biofuel cells may turn cockroaches into cyborgs

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 6, 2012   View Article

The sugars in a cockroach’s belly have been harnessed by a fuel cell and converted into electricity, a big step toward turning insects into cyborgs, scientists are reporting.

Once miniaturized to the point that the fuel cells are non-invasive to the cockroaches, they can be implanted to power sensors or recording devices, for example.

New Year’s Resolution: Get fit, make electricity

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 31, 2011   View Article

A new generation of workout machines that generate electricity as you work up a sweat are poised to invade fitness centers and help you keep your New Year’s resolution to trim down your waistline.

The electricity generated by the machines is fed back into the grid, helping the gym save on its utility bills.

New Year’s Resolution: Get fit, make electricity

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 30, 2011   View Article

A new generation of workout machines that generate electricity as you work up a sweat are poised to invade fitness centers and help you keep your New Year’s resolution to trim down your waistline.

The electricity generated by the machines is fed back into the grid, helping the gym save on its utility bills.

Ant frying tech could make solar cheap

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: November 3, 2011   View Article

Admit it. You fried an ant under a magnifying glass. It’s OK. We did it too. Now scientists are reporting a breakthrough in a similar technology that could bring down the cost of solar power.

About 50 percent of the cost of solar power is due to the materials and manufacturing of solar cells, essentially pieces of silicon that convert sunlight into electricity. By concentrating the sunlight, you can get the same amount of power with fewer cells.

IBM sees energy, money in motion of the ocean

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: October 31, 2011   View Article

The computer giant IBM sees a profitable future in high-tech analytical tools that could expedite and enhance the rollout of machines to turn the motion of the ocean into electricity.

Such machines, called wave energy converters, are under development around the world as a means to tap what appears to be a clean, green source of renewable energy — wave power.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach