TAG: Clean technology

3D Graphene Could Boost Thin Film Solar

3D Honeycombed Graphene Could Boost Thin Film Solar

Dye-sensitized solar cells are one of the up-and-coming renewable energy technologies, due to their flexibility, ease of production, and relatively low cost. But one of the materials essential to their manufacture, even if only in small amounts, is platinum, which currently costs as much as $1500 per ounce. But a recent breakthrough by a scientist at Michigan Technological University could replace the need for platinum in dye-sensitized solar cells by using a structure made from a plentiful and inexpensive material. Professor Yun Hang Hu and his team developed a way to inexpensively synthesize a new 3D version of graphene (a… 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

What a Clever Keyboard

TransluSense keyboard

Since the first computer and monitor combination were created in the early 1970’s, very little has changed in the actual design and layout of keyboards. While some are shaped differently and vary in ergonomics, a keyboard has always been a plastic or metal slab with keys spread out on it. That all changes in 2013. A company called TransluSense has debuted their Luminae Keyboard+ and Trackpad+ typing device. It is a glass surface keyboard that uses state-of-the-art lasers and infrared sensors to detect finger movements and key presses on the glass. It’s curved for an ergonomic feel and design. It… read more

Atmospheric Vortex Engine Could Power Cities with Tornados


A new clean energy concept, the Atmospheric Vortex Engine (AVE), will be built out into a bigger prototype for further testing and analysis, thanks to some Silicon Valley funding. With the receipt of a new grant from The Thiel Foundation, AVEtec will work toward building an 8 meter diameter prototype of their unique energy device at Lambton College in Ontario, which will spin a 1 meter diameter turbine. The AVE works by using low temperature waste heat to create a tornado-like vortex that acts as a virtual chimney, and the technology could be used to spin turbines for electricity. Other… read more

Portable Fuel Cells

Portable fuel cells

Fuel cells may outdo themselves – with the advent of mobile clean energy, or portable fuel cells, which are expected to have a greater and more rapid-growing market than fuel cells used for transportation. Portable fuel cells are either built into mobile devices or used to charge them, ridding the need for wall sockets. They operate at a low cost and can be used in off grid operations. Benefits of portable fuel cells include a longer run time than batteries, rapid recharging, and a significant weight reduction compared to conventional batteries. Portable fuel cells may also prove crucial in the midst of natural… read more