Supermarket Chain Converts Food Waste to Energy

Supermarket Chain Converts Food Waste to Energy

We have a staggering amount of food waste in our modern world, and while we can all do our part to reduce that on our end, there is still quite a bit of waste in the food system at the distribution level. But one supermarket company is taking steps to close that loop a little bit, by turning their food waste into biogas to provide clean energy for its distribution center. Kroger is now using an anaerobic conversion system at its 650,000 square foot Ralphs/Food4Less Compton (California) distribution complex to convert unsold food into renewable energy, which will also greatly… read more

Hemp Could Yield Cheap Nanomaterials for Supercapacitors


Next generation energy storage may come from supercapacitors, devices that can not only store large amounts of energy, but can also both receive and deliver a charge quickly. One of the ‘wonder’ materials used for developing them is graphene, which can be difficult and expensive to make, but one group of researchers may have found a replacement that can be made from agricultural waste, specifically fibers from the hemp plant. Research at the University of Alberta into using plant waste materials as feedstock for commercial products has turned out a “graphene-like” nanomaterial that can function as electrodes in supercapacitors. The… read more

It’s Boiling Under The Sun

It's boiling under the sun

Basic physics states that steam cannot exist without a boiling liquid. An innovative and possibly revolutionary new method of utilizing solar power follows that law. The problem with steam power is the inefficiency and waste associated with the initial boil of a liquid. Traditional methods of boiling liquid are dependent on convection, a process involving both conduction (heat diffusion) and advection (heat transfer by bulk fluid flow) whereby heat is introduced to the material. Slowly the temperature of the liquid increases¬†from the heat application area to the other areas of the liquid. This is the method stove-top heating elements use,… read more

The Downdraft Tower – A Windy Alternative


We know skyscrapers – and other structures of human occupation – consume a lot of energy over their lifetime, but what if there was a skyscraper that generated energy instead? When completed, the proposed Downdraft Tower will make this possible.¬†The Downdraft Tower is the central project of the Clean Wind Energy company, a public company who focuses on green alternatives to traditional wind sourced energy. Further developing a concept that was created nearly thirty years ago, the tower would utilize proven methods to create a reliable source of wind energy. The tower could operate in most climates, though it is… read more

Engineering Students Build Electricity-Generating Shoes


We all expend energy every time we move, so why not capture some of it and put it to use charging our devices? That’s what a group of engineering students at Rice University did with their PediPower shoes, a prototype device that can generate electricity through the motion of the wearer. After being approached by a Houston-based company, Cameron, to look toward “microscale green energy technologies”, a group of four students, dubbed The Agitation Squad, designed and built a successful shoe-mounted generator for their required university project, which, while not ready for primetime, showed potential for further development. The prototype… read more

SolarKiosk Delivers Modular Solar Energy Hubs for Off-Grid Communities


Over a billion people in the world live off the grid, without regular or reliable access to electricity, and the simplest things for us, such as charging a battery or having a light to use after dark, are very difficult or expensive for them. One way to empower people living in remote areas can be to help increase the local power supply by using renewable energy to reduce both the cost and the environmental impact of generating it. And one business is doing just that, by creating autonomous business hubs capable of generating enough energy to help lift rural communities… read more

New Printer Produces Paper-Sized Organic Photovoltaic Cells


A new organic photovoltaic cell printer can produce paper-sized sheets of solar cells quickly and efficiently, effectively enabling wider adoption of solar power. The new printer, developed by the the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC), is capable of turning out paper-thin, flexible solar cells at a rate of one every two seconds by “printing” them using semiconducting inks. “There are so many things we can do with cells this size. We can set them into advertising signage, powering lights and other interactive elements. We can even embed them into laptop cases to provide backup power for the machine inside.”… read more

Large-Scale Electricity Storage Could Come from Offshore Pumped Hydroelectric Plants


Efficient grid-scale storage and energy conversion solutions are key components to a smarter and more robust grid, especially with more renewable energy sources entering the market. Almost all (99%) large-scale electricity energy storage in the world uses pumped hydro technology, and a recent design for offshore energy storage from MIT takes that model and puts it at the bottom of the ocean. And now it looks like there’s another contender for energy storage solutions exploiting the pressure differential at the seabed, this time from Subhydro in Norway. “Imagine opening a hatch in a submarine under water. The water will flow… read more

High School Student Creates Tiny Supercapacitor for Rapid Device Charging

Eesha Khare

One day, your mobile phone could recharge in as little as 20 seconds, thanks to the work of a very talented high school student. We’re all tired of having dead batteries in our mobile devices that take hours to fully charge again, so innovations in small-scale energy storage could radically change the way we build, use, and charge our gadgets. 18 year old Eesha Khare, of Saratoga, California, may hold one of the keys to doing so, and now, thanks to the Intel Foundation, she’s $50,000 closer to bringing her invention to the market. Khare has developed a tiny supercapacitor… read more

Australia Launches Clean Energy Map

clean energy map

Australians who are curious about clean and renewable energy in their country now have an easy way to investigate the projects currently in place there, thanks to a new clean energy map. The Clean Energy Map, from the Australian government, covers over 1200 projects that cover renewable energy, energy efficiency and pollution-reduction across 16 different government initiatives. The interactive map categorizes the projects by type, and allows users to search the full map or use GPS (or their postcode) to find projects near them. “The Clean Energy Map features outcomes from measures such as the Renewable Energy Target, but also… read more