Energy

Energy Efficiency

Stay cutting-edge with essential news, product developments, and technical briefs pertaining to energy efficiency plus sustainable and renewable technologies and tactics.

Latest Briefs & News

Question of the Week : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Will Wave-Powered Desalination Catch On?

Today's lead INSIDER story demonstrated how ocean waves can be used to turn seawater into freshwater.

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Chip Converts Wasted Heat to Usable Energy

Car engines, laptop computers, cellphones, and refrigerators all heat up with overuse. That heat can be captured and turned into energy using a method that produces electricity from heat. The technology uses a silicon chip, also known as a “device,” that converts more thermal radiation into...

Question of the Week : Electronics & Computers
Does Snow Have Power Potential?

A 2019 Tech Briefs story demonstrated a plastic-like, flexible nanongenerator that creates electricity from falling snow.

Briefs : Energy
Low-Cost Thermoelectric Material Works at Room Temperature

The widespread adoption of thermoelectric devices that can directly convert electricity into thermal energy for cooling and heating has been hindered, in part, by the lack of materials that are both inexpensive and highly efficient at room temperature. A new material was developed that...

Q&A : Energy
Q&A: A Circulatory System for Robots

Robert F. Shepherd is Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He is leading a team exploring the use of hydraulic fluids in soft robots to also serve as a source of energy.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Material for Faster Computer Memory

Scientists are studying bismuth ferrite (BFO) material that has the potential to store information much more efficiently than is currently possible. BFO could also be used in sensors, transducers, and other electronics.

Briefs : Communications
Compact Antenna Enables Communication Where Radios Fail
Compact Antenna Enables Communication Where Radios Fail

A pocket-sized antenna was developed that could enable mobile communication in situations where conventional radios don’t work such as underwater, through the ground, and over very...

Compact Antenna Enables Communication Where Radios Fail
Articles : Electronics & Computers
Energy Harvesting for Smart Home Sensing
Energy Harvesting for Smart Home Sensing
The key to acceptance and adoption of a "smart home" will be enhancing total ease of ownership.
Energy Harvesting for Smart Home Sensing
Blog : Materials
How to Generate Electricity — From Rust
How to Generate Electricity — From Rust

Scientists from Caltech and Northwestern University have found a way to generate electricity by combining saltwater with one of life's more undesirable compounds: rust.

How to Generate Electricity — From Rust
Articles : Test & Measurement
Stepper Motor Drives: Factors to Help Determine Proper Selection
Stepper Motor Drives: Factors to Help Determine Proper Selection

Stepper motors and stepper-based linear actuators are often selected for open-loop motion control devices and equipment. These can be found in a wide range of products and...

Stepper Motor Drives: Factors to Help Determine Proper Selection
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cryogenic Hydraulically Actuated Isolation Valve

Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a cryogenic isolation valve that utilizes the upstream line pressure of cryogenic fluids for actuation. Previously, the use of cryogenic fluids for actuation systems had been too difficult to control and resulted in unsafe operating...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Combustion Gas Heat Exchanger
Combustion Gas Heat Exchanger

Two very challenging problems facing the U.S. and the world are energy security and global climate change, largely due to dependence on fossil fuels. Cost-effective technologies have been developed that are...

Combustion Gas Heat Exchanger
5 Ws : Energy
5 Ws of the Wearable Cooling and Heating Patch
5 Ws of the Wearable Cooling and Heating Patch

Who

The patch — which serves as a personal thermostat — provides personalized cooling and heating at home, work, or on the go by cooling or warming the user's skin to a comfortable...

5 Ws of the Wearable Cooling and Heating Patch
Facility Focus : Aerospace
Facility Focus: National Energy Technology Laboratory
Facility Focus: National Energy Technology Laboratory

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory — with sites in Anchorage, AK; Albany, OR; Morgantown, WV; and Pittsburgh, PA...

Facility Focus: National Energy Technology Laboratory
Briefs : Communications
Technology Produces Unclonable Digital Fingerprints for Internet of Things Devices
Technology Produces Unclonable Digital Fingerprints for Internet of Things Devices

Researchers have created technology that is 10 times more reliable than current methods of producing unclonable digital fingerprints that can be used to...

Technology Produces Unclonable Digital Fingerprints for Internet of Things Devices
Briefs : Materials
Process Directly Converts Methane to Methanol
Process Directly Converts Methane to Methanol

Methanol is a key feedstock for the production of chemicals, some of which are used to make products such as plastics, plywood, and paints. Methanol also can fuel vehicles or be reformed to...

Process Directly Converts Methane to Methanol
Blog : Energy
Answering Your Questions: What Are My Lithium-Ion Battery Inspection Options?
Answering Your Questions: What Are My Lithium-Ion Battery Inspection Options?
Our readers ask: How do you know that you have the right anode? How can you inspect the electrolyte or electrode material?
Answering Your Questions: What Are My Lithium-Ion Battery Inspection Options?
Briefs : Energy
Fuel Cell Technology Runs on Solid Carbon
Fuel Cell Technology Runs on Solid Carbon

Whereas hydrogen fuel cells (e.g., proton exchange membrane (PEM) and other fuel cells) generate electricity from the chemical reaction between pure hydrogen and oxygen, direct carbon fuel cells...

Fuel Cell Technology Runs on Solid Carbon
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Aircraft Engine Icing Event Avoidance and Mitigation
Aircraft Engine Icing Event Avoidance and Mitigation

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a new means of avoiding and mitigating icing events for aircraft flying above 14,000 feet, dramatically improving aviation...

Aircraft Engine Icing Event Avoidance and Mitigation
Briefs : Energy
Thin-Film System Converts Heat from Electronics into Energy
Thin-Film System Converts Heat from Electronics into Energy

Nearly 70 percent of the energy produced in the United States each year is wasted as heat. Much of that heat is less than 100 °C and emanates from things like computers, cars, or...

Thin-Film System Converts Heat from Electronics into Energy
Articles : Materials
Design of an Energy-Efficient Critical Angle Lens Reflector
Design of an Energy-Efficient Critical Angle Lens Reflector

The critical angle lens reflector has commercial applications that supersede ordinary mirrored reflectors. The physics of the critical angle lens reflector are based on the optics...

Design of an Energy-Efficient Critical Angle Lens Reflector
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Integrated Silicon Photonic Switch Demonstrates Lowest Signal Loss Ever in High-Speed Data Transmission
Integrated Silicon Photonic Switch Demonstrates Lowest Signal Loss Ever in High-Speed Data Transmission

Experimental photonic switches developed at UC Berkeley have shown promise toward the goal of fully optical, high-capacity switching for...

Integrated Silicon Photonic Switch Demonstrates Lowest Signal Loss Ever in High-Speed Data Transmission
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
How to Produce More Clean Water? Resemble the Rose.
How to Produce More Clean Water? Resemble the Rose.
A new water purifier works better because it takes the shape of the rose.
How to Produce More Clean Water? Resemble the Rose.
News : Transportation
Engineers Develop Concept for Hybrid Heavy-Duty Trucks
Engineers Develop Concept for Hybrid Heavy-Duty Trucks

Heavy-duty trucks, such as the 18-wheelers that transport many of the world's goods from farm or factory to market, are virtually all powered by diesel engines. They account for a...

Engineers Develop Concept for Hybrid Heavy-Duty Trucks
News : Electronics & Computers
Next-Generation, Low-Cost Stop Sign Improves Driver Safety
Next-Generation, Low-Cost Stop Sign Improves Driver Safety

It's dark on the back road as a motorist speeds toward the intersection. Up ahead, the stop sign blends with the night and in seconds a deadly crash occurs. According to the U.S....

Next-Generation, Low-Cost Stop Sign Improves Driver Safety