Making Durable Synthetic Catalysts for Energy Storage

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researchers have used a common protein to guide the design of a material that can make hydrogen gas. The synthetic material works ten times faster than the original protein found in water-dwelling microbes - clocking in at 100,000 molecules of hydrogen gas every second.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Alternative Fuels, Energy, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power, Green Design & Manufacturing

With Photovoltaic Polarizers, Devices Could be Powered by Sunlight

UCLA engineers have created a novel concept for harvesting and recycling energy for electronic devices — one that involves equipping these devices' LCD screens with built-in photovoltaic polarizers, allowing them to convert ambient light, sunlight, and even their own backlight into electricity.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Harvesting, Renewable Energy, Solar Power

Are airborne iPads a risk?

This week's Question: A growing number of airlines, including Alaska Airlines, are giving pilots the option of using iPads in the cockpit. In a flight scenario, the iPad would take the place of the hefty manuals and training documents that the Federation Aviation Administration requires pilots to have on hand. Some pilots embrace the idea of the touchscreen tablet use because they no longer have to struggle with thousands of manual pages (or changes to those pages), and they can manage and zoom in on information quickly, including aeronautical charts. Skeptics, however, say that the electronic gadget is geared toward consumers and therefore won't meet the usual stringent aircraft standards. The device, unlike paper, relies on batteries and could also be another distraction as pilots view multiple screens.   What do you think? Are airborne iPads a risk?    
Posted in: Question of the Week

Understanding How the Ocean Impacts Climate Change

Lisa Collins, an environmental studies lecturer at the University of Southern California, spent four years collecting samples from floating sediment traps in the San Pedro Basin off the Los Angeles coast, giving scientists a peek at how much carbon is locked up in the ocean and where it comes from.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Environmental Monitoring, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases

60-Watt Replacement Bulb Is A Winner

Yesterday, the DOE announced that Philips Lighting North America won the first award under the Department's Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition. DOE's L Prize challenged the lighting industry to develop high-performance, energy-saving replacements for conventional light bulbs.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Government, Lighting

LAUNCH: Energy Challenge Is Open For Submissions

NASA, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of State, and NIKE formed LAUNCH to identify, showcase, and support innovative approaches to global challenges through a series of forums. The LAUNCH: Energy Challenge has begun and focuses on sustainable energy challenges for the developed and developing worlds.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Government

New Method for Boosting the Light Output of Green LEDs

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

A Rensselaer research team led by Christian Wetzel, a professor of physics, etched a nanoscale pattern at the interface between a light-emitting diode’s (LED) sapphire base and the layer of gallium nitride (GaN) that gives the LED its green color. The new technique results in green LEDs with notable enhancements in light extraction, internal efficiency, and light output. The discovery brings Wetzel one step closer to his goal of developing a high-performance, low-cost green LED.

Posted in: News, Lighting

Unusual Effect May Lead to More Efficient Thermoelectric Devices

Berkeley Lab scientists have found that temperature gradients in semiconductors, when one side of the device is hotter than the opposite side, can produce electronic vortices – whirlpools of electric current – and can, at the same time, create magnetic fields at right angles to both the plane of the swirling electric currents and the direction of the heat gradient.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Thermoelectrics

Will greater robotics initiatives hurt more than help?

This week's Question: Last month, the White House announced the National Robotics Initiative, a major program to develop next-generation robots for manufacturing, healthcare, and other areas. The robotics community received the project with enthusiasm, but some observers expressed concern about an expansion in automation. Some argue that processes carried out by robotic systems, like special surgeries and auto manufacturing tasks, are of a higher quality than those performed by a human, and they are essential for keeping companies competitive, and thus able to expand and hire more workers. Others, however, say that a greater move to automation will minimize the number of blue-collar and white-collar jobs.   What do you think? Will greater robotics initiatives hurt more than help?  


Posted in: Question of the Week

New 3D Photonic Crystals Are Electronically and Optically Active

Researchers at the University of Illnois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated the first optoelectronically active 3D photonic crystal - an advance that could open new avenues for solar cells, LEDs, lasers, and more.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Solar Power, Lighting

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