News

New Supercapacitor Offers Robust, Versatile Energy Storage

Rice University researchers have created a solid-state, nanotube-based supercapacitor that combines the best qualities of high-energy batteries and fast-charging capacitors in a device suitable for extreme environments. Potential uses span on-chip nanocircuitry to entire power plants.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage
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Funding for Solid-State Lighting R&D

The Department of Energy has announced the availability of up to $12 million in funding for energy-saving lighting technologies. The DOE will invest in projects to accelerate research and development of solid-state lighting technologies like LEDs and OLEDs.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Government, Lighting
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Updated ENERGY STAR Specifications

The EPA is introducing new ENERGY STAR requirements for home dishwashers and furnaces, and evaluating how to best address and encourage smart grid functionality in ENERGY STAR specifications like refrigerators and air conditioning units.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Government, Green Design & Manufacturing, Smart Grid
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The August Issue of Lighting Technology Is Here

The new issue of Lighting Technology has more new feature articles, application stories, tech briefs, products, videos, and research news - all on the latest advances in LEDs and solid-state lighting.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Lighting
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Hybrid Solar System For Rooftop Hydrogen

Instead of systems based on standard solar panels, Duke University engineer Nico Hotz proposes a hybrid option in which sunlight heats a combination of water and methanol in a maze of glass tubes on a rooftop. After two catalytic reactions, the system produces hydrogen that can be stored and used on demand in fuel cells.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Alternative Fuels, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Green Design & Manufacturing
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Discovery Could Streamline Production of Biofuels

A team of researchers at the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) have pinpointed the gene that controls ethanol production capacity in a microorganism. This discovery could be the missing link in developing biomass crops that produce higher concentrations of ethanol at lower costs.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Biomass, Energy, Renewable Energy
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Is a GPS-based meter a promising model for cars?

This week's Question: Countries like the Netherlands have recently undergone trials of an automobile GPS system that uses a mileage-based formula to  calculate charges based on individual car trips. In particular tests, a  tabulation takes into account a car's fuel efficiency, the time of day,  and whether a route is a busy or less-traveled one. At the end of each  month, the vehicle's owner would receive a charge much like that of a cell phone bill, detailing times and costs of usage. Supporters of  these types of meters contend that the charges are fairer than current taxes like automobile purchase and registration fees; they derive from  actual use rather than mere ownership. If imposed, they could also  replace gas and vehicle taxes as well as tolls, or offer greater charges for vehicles with poor fuel efficiency. Opponents, however, dislike the  introduction of a new type of tax, and some critics have privacy concerns about the monitoring of drivers' locations.   What do you think? Is a GPS-based meter a promising model for cars?  
Posted in: Question of the Week
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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
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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
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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
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