Energy

Energy Harvesting

Here are the latest technical briefs and resources for design engineers working in energy harvesting. Find trending applications used in wireless autonomous devices in electronics, and wireless sensor networks.

Learn about the world's first wave-driven desalination system.
Question of the Week: Energy
Will Wave-Powered Desalination Catch On?

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

Inventor Olivier Ceberio found a new way to turn ocean waves into fresh water.
INSIDER: Electronics & Computers
A Battery-Free Sensor for Underwater Exploration

To investigate the vastly unexplored oceans covering most of our planet, researchers aim to build a submerged network of interconnected sensors that send data to the surface — an...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Thin Nylon Films for Transparent Electronic Devices

Very thin nylon films were created that can be used in electronic memory components. The films are several hundreds of times thinner than a human hair and could be used in bendable...

Question of the Week: Energy
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...

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...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Energy Harvesting for Smart Home Sensing
The key to acceptance and adoption of a "smart home" will be enhancing total ease of ownership.

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.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Technique Identifies Electricity-Producing Bacteria

Certain species of bacteria that exist in oxygen-deprived environments must find a way to breathe that doesn't involve oxygen. These microbes — which can be found deep within mines, at...

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...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Wearable Liquid Unit Harvests Energy

Researchers have created wearable technology to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. It presents a step toward the practical realization of self-powered, human-integrated technologies.

Our readers ask: How do you know that you have the right anode? How can you inspect the electrolyte or electrode material?

In the polymer composites industry, cure cycles are typically developed from trial-and-error or a more effective processing science approach to reduce...

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...

The increased use of photonics has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions — by 3-billion tons.

Wearable devices that harvest energy from movement are not a new idea, but a material created at Rice University may make them more practical.

We recently had a discussion with Sri Peruvemba, VP of Strategy at BeBop Sensors (Berkeley, CA), about the technology and applications for their two-dimensional fabric sensor material. I started by asking Sri...

Briefs: Materials
Using Laser Metal Printing to Cool Computer Chips

Traditionally, electronics are cooled using a heat sink that transfers the heat generated by the electronic system into the air or a liquid coolant. For the heat sink to work, it has to be attached to the CPU or the graphics processor via a thermal interface material such as thermal paste. It...

Briefs: Energy
Wood-Based Technology Creates Electricity from Heat

Researchers have transformed a piece of wood into a flexible membrane that generates energy from the same type of electric current (ions) on which the human body runs. This energy is generated using charged channel walls and other unique properties of the wood’s natural nanostructures. With...

Briefs: Energy
Self-Powered, Washable, Wearable Displays

Clothing usually is formed with textiles and has to be both wearable and washable for daily use; however, smart clothing has had a problem with its power sources and moisture permeability, which causes the devices to malfunction. To solve this problem, a textile-based, wearable display module technology...

A new 3D printed device turns snowfall into electricity.
Who

Millions of people who rely on pacemakers, defibrillators, and other livesaving implantable devices powered by batteries that need to be replaced every five to 10 years.

A new technology may lead to a more mainstream use of algal biofuels.
5 Ws: Sensors/Data Acquisition
5 Ws of 3D-Printing Piezoelectric Materials
Who

Piezoelectric materials are used in everything from cellphones and wearables, to robotics, energy harvesting, and tactile sensors.

The Create the Future Design Contest, launched in 2002 by the publishers of Tech Briefs magazine, helps stimulate and reward engineering innovation. The annual event has...

Existing nanosensor technologies depend on an external power source (typically a battery) to operate. Chemical and biological sensors based on nanowire or nanotube technologies exhibit...

Don’t hold your breath, says Jeff Crystal from Voltaic Systems.

Videos