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.

Question of the Week: Energy
Will Stretchable, Printable Solar Cells Catch On?

A Rice University lab is making solar cells that are stretchable, printable, and paintable. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.

This week's Question: Will Stretchable, Printable Solar Cells Catch On?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

In the quest for abundant, renewable alternatives to fossil fuels, scientists have sought to harvest the sun’s energy through “water splitting,” an artificial photosynthesis...

Briefs: Energy
Piezoelectric Resonator with Two Layers

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) filters have advantages in being able to reduce the size, weight, and power required when used as part of electronic systems such as radios; however, MEMS-type filters have limitations. For example, thickness MEMS-type filters (e.g., thickness-extensional mode...

Articles: Data Acquisition
Smart Sensor Technology for the IoT

Internet of Things (IoT) applications — whether for city infrastructures, factories, or wearable devices — use large arrays of sensors collecting data for transmission over the Internet to a central,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Energy-Storing Material Folds Onto Itself

Eagles can store energy in their feet without having to continuously contract their muscles to then jump high or hold on to prey. New materials have been created that can store energy this way. The...

ALUMINUM-POWERED ELECTRICITY GENERATION

Aluminum has an incredibly high energy density — double that of gasoline and an order of magnitude greater than...

In 1951, the first nuclear reactor in Idaho was built, starting a legacy at what is now Idaho National Laboratory (INL). INL is the site where 52 pioneering nuclear reactors were designed and...

When hit with light, semiconductors (materials that have an electrical resistance in between that of metals and insulators) generate an electric current....

Researchers discovered that an on-and-off kind of thermal regulation is possible if you look to the squid.

New solar energy research from Arizona State University demonstrates that silicon-based tandem photovoltaic modules, which convert sunlight to electricity with higher efficiency...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Microtesting Rig

The measurement of mechanical behavior in very small samples whose dimensions are on the order of microns and below can offer advantages over conventional macroscopic testing in many instances. Motivations for investigating...

Briefs: Energy
Piezoelectric Thrust Vector Control for Hall Effect Thruster

The design of the CubeSat required precision pointing of the thrust vector through the spacecraft center of gravity to minimize fuel usage for attitude correction. Because the center of gravity shifts over the course of the mission, a means of adjusting the thrust vector was needed....

An international team of university researchers, led by Dr. Taylor, reports solving a major fabrication challenge for perovskite cells — the intriguing potential...

Hybrid solutions that combine small photovoltaic (PV) panels with industrial grade rechargeable Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries provide long-term power for remote...

By introducing some new ingredients to the flow battery, Stanford University scientists are advancing a new way to store wind and solar electricity.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Near-Zero-Power Temperature Sensor

A temperature sensor was developed that runs on 113 picowatts of power — about 10 billion times smaller than a Watt. The technology could enable devices that can be powered by harvesting energy from...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: July 2018

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Researcher Jaana Vapaavuori answered an additional question regarding the future of flexible solar cells.
Professor Jaana Vapaavuori spoke with Tech Briefs about the manufacturing methods that could someday decrease the cost and increase the lifetime of flexible solar cells.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Ultra-Wide-Bandgap Power Electronics

Power electronics used for routing, control, and conversion of electrical power traditionally utilize silicon semiconductors. These systems tend to be bulky, require active cooling, and are inadequate for...

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Researchers from Purdue University demonstrated that thermoacoustics properties could theoretically occur in solids as well as liquids.
Briefs: Energy
Fabric Converts Kinetic Energy into Electric Power

A fabric was developed that converts kinetic energy into electric power. The greater the load applied to the textile and the wetter it becomes, the more electricity it generates. The woven fabric generates electricity when it is stretched or exposed to pressure. The fabric can currently generate...

Facility Focus: Semiconductors & ICs
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

This year, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) marks 75 years as a research institution. Located in Oak Ridge, TN, ORNL is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and...

As the need for nano precision has become increasingly important in many fields of research and manufacturing — such as microelectronics fabrication,...

Rotary encoders play important roles in motion control and industrial automation systems, providing control systems with information about the motion of motor...

By binding photosensitive dyes to common plastic membranes and adding water, chemists have made a new type of solar power generator. The device is similar to familiar silicon...

Briefs: Energy
Cobalt Oxygen-Evolving Catalysts for Clean Solar Fuel

By splitting a water molecule into two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen, scientists can use the Sun’s energy to make a clean fuel. Splitting a water molecule requires a metal catalyst to get the reaction started. Recently, much scientific attention has focused on cobalt, a relatively...

Briefs: Energy
Aluminum as a Fuel

Batteries and combustion engines each have distinctive benefits and limitations. Batteries have simple construction and operate silently; however, their energy density (i.e., the energy per unit volume) is poor, and...

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