News

Boost for Energy Storage Systems

Batteries could get an upgrade from an Oak Ridge National Laboratory discovery that increases power, energy density, and safety while reducing charge time. The results could also have significance for applications in stationary energy storage systems for solar and wind power, and for smart grids.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power, Green Design & Manufacturing, Smart Grid
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Electricity and Carbon Offsets from Hog Waste

A system constructed by Duke University and Duke Energy on a hog finishing facility converts hog waste into electricity and creates carbon offset credits. Google, which invests in carbon offsets to fulfill its own carbon neutrality goals, announced its endorsement of the project this week.

Posted in: GDM, News, Energy, Renewable Energy, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies
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Do the benefits of a "cloud-first" strategy outweigh the risks and drawbacks?

This week's Question: While companies debate the merits of cloud computing, the U.S. government has been weighing its own options. By gradually shifting to maintenance-free services that are based on the Internet and run by private companies, Vivek Kundra, the White House's former chief information officer, said that this kind of "Cloud First" strategy would consolidate data centers and save the government more than $3 billion a year. Others, however, note that the cloud has its own expenses, data protection concerns, and speed considerations. What do you think? Do the benefits of a "cloud-first" strategy outweigh the risks and drawbacks?  
Posted in: Question of the Week
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Innovative Heat-Regulating Building Material

Researchers at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China (UNNC) have invented a material that can retain and release heat according to specific temperature requirements. The material could be used in both new and existing structures and offer considerable energy savings.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Solar Power, Lighting
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Are "thinking" or "learning" computers simply a next logical step in computer evolution?

  This week's guest Question comes from INSIDER reader Kenneth Polcak: IBM has recently developed prototypes of energy-efficient computer chips that emulate the synapses, neurons, and learning functions of the human brain. IBM's Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) project seeks to mimic the functions of the brain on a new type of highly efficient processing chip. It uses advanced algorithms and silicon circuitry to create computers that could function without set programming and could "learn through experiences, find correlations, create hypotheses, and remember - and learn from - the outcomes." Such a system could, for example, monitor the world's waters via a network of sensors monitoring temperature, water pressure, or wave heights, and use that information to predict or detect tsunamis. Many believe this development is the next logical step in the technological progression of computer evolution, while others view this as a dangerous step with unknown or unintended consequences.   What do you think? Are "thinking" or "learning" computers simply a next logical step in computer evolution? Yes or no?    
Posted in: Question of the Week
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Human Gait to Power Portable Electronics

Engineering researchers Tom Krupenkin and J. Ashley Taylor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a new energy-harvesting technology that could reduce our dependence on batteries and instead capture the energy of human motion to power portable electronics.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Harvesting, Renewable Energy
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Will the PC be replaced by tablets and mobile devices?

  This week's Question: Last year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said users are moving toward a "post-PC world," and computer sales have indeed slowed. Perhaps demonstrating Jobs' "post-PC" concept, the information technology giant HP recently announced that it would stop producing tablet computers and mobile phones, and that it is considering the sale of its PC division. Smartphone and tablet sales have increased, but many users still consider their Windows machines and Macs to be their central computing devices, and that new mobile technologies are complementing desktops and laptops rather than replacing them.   What do you think? Will the PC be replaced by tablets and mobile devices?  
Posted in: Question of the Week
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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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