Energy

Thermal Metamaterial for Waste-Heat Harvesting in Power Plants and Factories

The thermal metamaterial was developed in research aimed at efficiently harvesting waste heat from power plants and factories. (Purdue University/Sean Molesky) An international research team has used a thermal metamaterial to control the emission of radiation at high temperatures, an advance that could bring devices able to efficiently harvest waste heat from power plants and factories. Thermophotovoltaic devices that generate electricity from thermal radiation might be adapted to industrial pipes in factories and power plants, as well as on car engines and automotive exhaust systems, to recapture much of the wasted energy.

Posted in: News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Harvesting

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Technology Powers Implants Wirelessly Via Ultrasound

The basic structure of the ultrasound power supply and communication. (© Photo Fraunhofer IBMT) Scientists have developed a demonstrator that powers active implants wirelessly via ultrasound. Ultrasound waves have a broader range in the body, and they penetrate the implant’s metal casing more easily than electromagnetic waves. The ultrasound waves are also capable of bidirectional transfer of information, such as the temperature of the implant, or details regarding the type and intensity of electrical stimulation.

Posted in: News, Energy

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Renewable Energy Could Be Under Our Feet

Associate Professor Xudong Wang holds a prototype of the researchers’ energy harvesting technology, which uses wood pulp and harnesses nanofibers. (Photo: Stephanie Precourt) Flooring can be made from any number of sustainable materials, making it, generally, an eco-friendly feature in homes and businesses. Now, flooring could be even more “green,” thanks to an inexpensive, simple method developed by University of Wisconsin–Madison materials engineers that allows them to convert footsteps into usable electricity.

Posted in: News, Energy, Energy Harvesting, Renewable Energy

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Flexible Solar Panels Absorb Diffused Light

Virginia Tech researchers have produced flexible solar panels that can become part of window shades or wallpaper. The material will capture light from the sun as well as light from sources inside buildings.

Posted in: News, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Materials

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Fully Premixed, Low-Emission, High-Pressure, Multi-Fuel Burner

Applications include use in aircraft, spacecraft, and heating and boilers for commercial and residential systems.NASA’s Glenn Research Center has developed a novel design for a fully premixed, high-pressure burner capable of operating on a variety of gaseous fuels and oxidizers, including hydrogen-air mixtures, with a low pressure drop. The burner provides a rapidly and uniformly mixed fuel-oxidizer mixture that is suitable for use in a fully premixed combustion regime that has the benefits of low pollutant emissions (when operated at fuel lean conditions) and freedom from harmful flashback effects, combustion instabilities, and thermal meltdown problems that are normally associated with premixed combustion systems operating at high pressures.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Aviation, Energy

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Selenium Interlayer for High-Efficiency Multi-Junction Solar Cell

This technology can be commercialized for terrestrial applications such as power plants and smart grid systems.Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a low-cost, high-efficiency solar cell that uses a thin layer of selenium as the bonding material between wafers. Selenium is a semiconductor, and it is also transparent to light at photon energies below the band gap. The innovation allows a multi-junction solar cell to be developed without the constraint of lattice matching, and uses a low-cost, robust silicon wafer as the supporting bottom substrate and bottom cell. This enables a cell that is simultaneously lower in cost, more rugged, and more efficient than existing space solar cell designs. This technology has the potential to be used in next-generation solar cells in space, and it can be commercialized for terrestrial applications such as power plants and smart grid systems.

Posted in: Briefs, Solar Power

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Scientists Simulate Bacteria-Powered 'Windfarm'

A team of scientists from Oxford University has shown how the natural movement of bacteria could be harnessed to assemble and power microscopic "windfarms."

Posted in: News, Energy Harvesting, Renewable Energy

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