Brighter And Lighter

Full-colour quantum dot displays fabricated by transfer printing

An innovation in LED lighting achieved through the use of quantum dots has greatly increased the efficiency, brightness, lifetime and low turn-on voltage of this energy source. A research team at Seoul National University, South Korea has published their research in a recent issue of Nano Letters. They found that the key to improving the brightness and efficiency of the QLEDs (Quantum Light Emitting Diode) comes from improving the injection of current-carrying electrons and holes into the quantum dots. The more efficiently the electrodes can inject electrons and holes into the quantum dots, the more efficiently QLED can emit light. The anodes… read more

Air-Powered Hybrid Car

Compressed air hybrid Peugeot

The concept of an air-powered hybrid car has long been a dream of ecological idealists, though, unfortunately, has never been a practical application in real life. However, GM partner Peugeot, famous for their Peugeot Citroen line of luxury cars, may have a game-changer on their hands with their concept of a compression hybrid vehicle. The car would effectively put out a combined 117 mpg, with its compressed air/combustion engine combination. For city-drivers, you may never have to fill up your car again, as the Peugeot’s compression engine is the primary power supply for speeds 0-43mph. Once you start driving faster than… read more

Power From The Body

Power from the body

Obtaining power from the human body may sound like a crazy idea, but scientists have started to take this idea seriously. There are various ways one can obtain power from the body such as heat, body movement and vibrations metabolism. One obvious form of energy harvesting is using well known piezo-electricity technology, which means converting human movements and vibrations into electricity. Researchers from the University of Michigan have developed a prototype using piezoelectricty to charge pacemakers installed in human hearts. Generally, pacemakers are introduced to do the work of the heart which has become weak but patients face many and regular… read more

Green Companies

Green companies

When choosing a cell service provider, a company’s commitment towards eco-friendliness usually isn’t a major deciding factor for potential customers. However, it’s important to note that some companies are making serious efforts to increase their green-ability. In the U.S., Sprint is rated the most eco-friendly telecom company, and is ranked the #3 Greenest Company in America. They were also 2012’s Top Wireless Provider, and received the 2nd-highest overall score on the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index. The service provider was also listed as one of the Top 20 Most Responsible U.S. Companies out of a list of 4,100 competitors. Another notable service provider… read more

Auto-Tinting Windows

View W Hotel SF 5

A startup in Silicon Valley has unveiled a smart window which promises green and energy efficient building in the future. Soladigm (formally called “View”) officially introduced its flagship product auto-tinting window system, which will be displayed to the public at the Greenbuild conference in San Francisco. Previously there have been many attempts to make windows that can change color just like a chameleon in order to adjust light and temperature indoors but these glass products are rarely manufactured and used. The product is basically an electro-chromatic glass which is highly durable and provides a reasonable payback on energy reductions and… read more

Costs Slow Solar Down

High Costs Slow Solar Down

In 2011, residential solar system installers paid a little over $1.80 per watt for solar panels in the United States, and added $4.36 per watt to the cost of the solar panel to complete an installation. Compared to other countries—specifically Germany, the world leader in solar energy—the cost in the United States to complete an installation is three times as much, leading to a lack of willingness for Americans to spend the high amount of money to install solar panels. However, a report released this month by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory explains why the costs in the United States are… read more

Social Media Saving Energy

Sharing bills on Facebook

Social media has changed the lifestyle of humans recently. The way people share and communicate has changed a lot since dark blue (I mean Facebook) and light blue (I mean Twitter) invaded our lives. Integration of life with these media outlets has become tighter than yesteryears and as a result a company has rightly taken a smart and productive initiative which makes use of this generation “sharing” technology. Opower, a U.S based company has created a platform where people can track their electricity use and share this information with their friends. This app can be logged in directly with a… read more

Eggshell Storage

Eggshells for energy

Mitlin, a professor of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Alberta, Canada is working on a way to turn waste eggshell membranes and egg whites into materials for high-performance supercapacitors. Supercapacitors are devices which offer many “need-of-the-hour” features like high power density, charging and discharging which are generally faster than regular rechargeable batteries. But unfortunately they store much less energy. Mitlin thinks the membranes inside eggshells could help crack this problem. “If you could keep the very nice power of a supercapcitor but extend the energy density even to be that of a mediocre lithium-ion battery, you’d really… read more

Obama Wants Smarter Windows

President Backs Smart Window

In the first quarter following his re-election, President Obama’s administration is working to emphasise its ‘green’ credentials. President Obama has come up with a Better Buildings national energy efficiency initiative, and building windows are front and center in the plan. Windows have been a thorn in the side of energy efficient building designs, and though they have gotten better at insulation, they are still not at a capability which can be accepted. The Department of Energy is leading the way, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (APRA-E), which is part of the DOE, has awarded a grant of $3 million to… read more

Solar Paint

solar_paint-1325606641672

Capturing and using the sun’s rays has always been an enthralling task for researchers and recent advancements in the electronics industry has brought a great deal of interest into the field of solar. A research team from Notre Dame University led by Prashant Kamat has created one such form of solar energy conversion where they introduce us to “solar paste” which will replace solar panels in the future. By simply painting the outside of a house with this special solar paste/paint electricity can be generated from the sun which would potentially power the home appliances inside. This paste is alcohol based… read more