Waste Tires May be Future Source of Synthetic Fuels

via http://www.flickr.com/photos/artbystevejohnson/

With Europe’s tire waste weighing in at millions of tons per year, and up to 70% of those used tires ending up in landfills, they’re a huge waste issue. And putting them in the landfill may be akin to throwing away fuel, if a new recycling initiative in Europe can prove the viability of using them for new products and fuels. According to the TyGRe project, tires have a high content of volatile gasses, so they have the potential for being used as the raw material for creating synthetic fuels (syngas or synfuel). One current research project is working to… read more

This Wind Turbine Also Produces Clean Water

Eole WMS1000 Wind Turbine

Wind turbines are an excellent method of producing clean energy, but one model takes that a step further by also turning out a thousand of liters of clean drinking water each day, even in the desert. The Eole WMS1000 Wind Turbine can supply not only 30kW of power, but can also condense water out of thin air, making it a great fit for remote areas that need both power and water. The founder of Eole Water, Marc Parent, took his inspiration from the water that collected after condensing in his air conditioner, and applied the same principle to the design… read more

Bladeless Wind Generator Has No Moving Parts

ewicon

Most modern wind generators take the form of the classic windmill configuration, which is a tried and true setup incorporating large spinning blades that then spin a generator for electricity production. But a new type of wind generator from researchers at TU Delft doesn’t have any moving parts at all. The device, called the EWICON (Electrostatic WIndenergy CONvertor), was developed by a pair of researchers, Johan Smit and Dhiradj Djairam, and is said to be able transform the energy of the wind into electricity, without using any mechanical moving parts. It appears that this generator is a variation on the… read more

BP to Sell US Wind Power Operations

BP logo

The energy giant BP is looking to sell off its wind power operations in the United States and focus more on the core of their business, which is gas and oil. BP’s wind operations in the U.S., some 2600 MW in capacity, are estimated to total about $1.5 billion USD, and the company is one of the only oil giants that has made inroads into wind power development. The move into wind power came as the company believed that a natural synergy existed between wind and natural gas (used for power when wind speeds drop), but BP has now determined… read more

Solar Panel Maintenance

Solar Panel Maintenance

There is a tendency to hear a lot about the installation of solar panels, but not so much about the required maintenance. Any type of system placed in the home will likely involve some sort of upkeep. Solar energy systems are efficient choices and do not have to be constantly watched over, however general cleaning is a necessity. Making sure the panels are free of dust and debris as needed is important for the best sunlight reception and energy yield, but also to make them last longer and help keep them scratch free. Periodically hosing them off with water and… read more

Using Trains and Gravity for Energy Storage

railenergystorage

Grid scale energy systems, especially those with renewable energy inputs, need storage. They need better and cleaner and more efficient storage solutions, and one company believes the answer lies in electric trains and gravity. The most common way to store energy on a grid scale is through using “pumped” hydropower, where the off-peak energy is stored as water pumped to a higher elevation, which can then be released to produce electricity as gravity pulls it down to a lower elevation again. Pumped hydro is effective, but it has a number of drawbacks, mostly in the difficulty of finding the right… read more

The Heat Is On

The Heat Is On

Winter is the season for excess when it comes to energy usage. The temptation to raise the thermostat all the way up on cold days is sometimes too much for homeowners, and they pay for it in their energy bill. We’ve compiled a few tips on how to keep track of your heat usage without compromising your comfort. Nest Learning Thermostat: $249.99 from Apple Do you want control over your home at your fingertips? Then you’ll love the Nest Thermostat. It’s currently in its 2nd generation of delivering energy monitoring excellence for anyone with an iPhone, Macbook, or iPad. Remotely… read more

New Discovery Makes Hydrogen Production 1000% Cheaper

Simon Trudel and Curtis Berlinguette

One of the biggest issues in solar and wind power production is that of the variability of the power production throughout the day and throughout the year, and because of that, there is a great need for affordable and effective energy storage systems for both small and large scale use. Batteries keep getting more and more efficient, but buying large battery banks isn’t always the most effective (or cheapest) way to store energy from peak supply to cover peak power demands. However, a new discovery by a pair of scientists at the University of Calgary may make it feasible to… read more

Genetically Modified Organism Could Turn CO2 into Fuel

Michael Adams

We’re concerned, and rightly so, about the continued high levels of CO2 emissions that get released into our atmosphere, but if a recent discovery pans out, those same concentrations of CO2 could be turned directly into fuels. Researchers at the University of Georgia have found a way to take some of the carbon dioxide that is trapped in our atmosphere and turn them into useful products, such as biofuels, with the help of a genetically modified microorganism. “We can take carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and turn it into useful products like fuels and chemicals without having to go… read more

Low-Tech Solar Panel Rotator Boosts Output 40%

Eden Full SunSaluter

In order to get the most amount of energy from solar panels, they need to stay facing the sun as it moves through the sky. Most of the time, they are mounted at a fixed angle and orientation so that they will have good exposure for part of the day and most of the year, because adding a solar tracker with a motor isn’t affordable or feasible. When small solar panel setups are the only power source that people have, such as in the developing world, getting the most electricity out of them every day is really important. But short… read more