Energy

Renewable Energy

Browse key developments, news, and technical briefs for renewable energy sectors. Design engineers will discover insights to the advantages and integration of renewable power technologies.

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.

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...

Blog : Energy
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
Briefs : Energy
Technique Identifies Electricity-Producing Bacteria
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...

Technique Identifies Electricity-Producing Bacteria
Facility Focus : Motion Control
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 : Electronics & Computers
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
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
Blog : Photonics/Optics
From LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019: Light as the Key to Global Sustainability
From LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019: Light as the Key to Global Sustainability
The increased use of photonics has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions — by 3-billion tons.
From LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019: Light as the Key to Global Sustainability
Blog : Energy
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.
INSIDER : Data Acquisition
Release of Solar Panel Dataset Helps Cities Make Power Grids Safer and More Reliable
Release of Solar Panel Dataset Helps Cities Make Power Grids Safer and More Reliable

Solar power researchers have traditionally only used the power measurements from single residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to estimate the power...

Release of Solar Panel Dataset Helps Cities Make Power Grids Safer and More Reliable
INSIDER : Power
Winter Could Pose Solar Farm ‘Ramping’ Problem for Power Grid
Winter Could Pose Solar Farm ‘Ramping’ Problem for Power Grid

By adding utility-scale solar farms throughout New York state, summer electricity demand from conventional sources could be reduced by up to 9.6% in some places. But Cornell...

Winter Could Pose Solar Farm ‘Ramping’ Problem for Power Grid
Briefs : Energy
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
One-Pot Bioconversion of Distiller’s Grains to Advanced Biofuels
One-Pot Bioconversion of Distiller’s Grains to Advanced Biofuels

Increase in bioethanol production throughout the US has led to an increase in the process coproduct — distiller’s grains with solubles (DGS). DGS can be used to feed...

One-Pot Bioconversion of Distiller’s Grains to Advanced Biofuels
Briefs : Wearables
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...

Blog : Energy
A Better Battery Offers ‘All-Renewable’ Promise for the Power Grid
A Better Battery Offers ‘All-Renewable’ Promise for the Power Grid
An Ohio State researcher shares with Tech Briefs the promise of potassium-oxygen batteries.
A Better Battery Offers ‘All-Renewable’ Promise for the Power Grid
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Measurement Method for Radioactive Methane

Anew method for measuring radioactive methane is an optical one based on spectroscopy. Previously, radioactive methane has been measured with accelerator mass spectrometry involving expensive machines. Optical measuring could be a cheaper and more agile method.

Blog : Energy
High-Speed Jet Mixer Efficiently Turns Algae into Fuel
High-Speed Jet Mixer Efficiently Turns Algae into Fuel
A new technology may lead to a more mainstream use of algal biofuels.
High-Speed Jet Mixer Efficiently Turns Algae into Fuel
Articles : Energy
Create the Future Design Contest Alumni Achieve Market Success
Create the Future Design Contest Alumni Achieve Market Success

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...

Create the Future Design Contest Alumni Achieve Market Success
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Microscopy Technique Works at Extreme Heat
Microscopy Technique Works at Extreme Heat

A stainless steel alloy — alloy 709 — has potential for elevated-temperature applications such as nuclear reactor structures. It is exceptionally strong and resistant to damage when exposed to...

Microscopy Technique Works at Extreme Heat
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Alternating Current Photovoltaic Building Block
Alternating Current Photovoltaic Building Block

Today's photovoltaic power systems are generally comprised of a single photovoltaic module or multiple modules connected by combinations of series and parallel circuits as a photovoltaic array....

Alternating Current Photovoltaic Building Block
Podcasts : Aerospace
Here's an Idea: Garbage!
Here's an Idea: Garbage!
In this episode of Here’s an Idea™, we talk with researchers who are finding small — and sometimes even fun — ways to take out all the trash.
Here's an Idea: Garbage!
INSIDER : Energy
Solar Cell Does Double Duty for Renewable Energy
Solar Cell Does Double Duty for Renewable Energy

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 technique...

Solar Cell Does Double Duty for Renewable Energy
Blog : Energy
From Trash to Treasure: How to Convert ‘Fatberg’ Waste into Biofuel
From Trash to Treasure: How to Convert ‘Fatberg’ Waste into Biofuel
Have you heard of "fatbergs?" Researcher Asha Srinivasan explains how her team is turning masses of fat, oil, and grease into biofuel.
From Trash to Treasure: How to Convert ‘Fatberg’ Waste into Biofuel
Facility Focus : Green Design & Manufacturing
Facility Focus: Idaho National Laboratory
Facility Focus: Idaho National Laboratory

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...

Facility Focus: Idaho National Laboratory
Blog : Materials
‘Smart’ Squid Material Offers Thermal Conductivity, On Demand
‘Smart’ Squid Material Offers Thermal Conductivity, On Demand
Researchers discovered that an on-and-off kind of thermal regulation is possible if you look to the squid.
‘Smart’ Squid Material Offers Thermal Conductivity, On Demand
Facility Focus : Energy
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

In 1977, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, Golden, CO) started as the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI), spurred by national concern during the 1973 oil embargo that caused long lines...

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Q&A : Energy
Q&A: NYU's Dr. André D. Taylor Shows Pathway for Perovskite Cells

An international team of university researchers, led by Dr. Taylor, reports solving a major fabrication challenge for perovskite cells — the intriguing potential challengers to silicon-based solar cells. These crystalline structures show great promise because they can absorb...