TAG: Energy

EnergySaver App Analyzes Household Energy Use, Saves Money


Want some help saving energy (and money) at home? Then you may want to check out the EnergySaver app, which analyzes, tracks, and displays your energy usage, so you can cut out unnecessary and phantom power demands. If you don’t know the details of your electricity, gas, and water use at home, it can be tough to figure out which appliances and activities could be optimized or replaced in order to reduce wasteful consumption, and that’s where this app comes in. EnergySaver helps users to analyze their current and past energy consumption rates, and then estimates future usage, not just… 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

Affordable Solar Options

Affordable Solar Options

The sun’s rays have long been utilized for energy. Though they pay for themselves in the long run, the upfront costs of installing solar panels can be steep. If you want the optimal effects of solar energy but cannot afford to solarize your whole home or business, there are other options that will produce sustainable power without as steep of a price tag. Financing and tax incentives are usually available for renewable energy installations. Instead of splurging for an entire line, you can also purchase individual panels and add to your solar collection when you have the opportunity. If you… read more

What Time Is It?

What Time Is It?

Energy use varies throughout the day causing fluctuations in rates. Energy consumption costs more at peak times where use spikes across the board. For example, in many areas from 4 to 8 on weekday evenings is typically when energy use it at its highest. So the electricity you use during a certain part of the day may actually cost you more during another time. Peak times vary for different areas and seasons. There are simple tricks to reduce energy use and save a little money, too. More than half of all energy expended is from housing. Things like using air… read more

Microbial Fuel Cells Produce Electricity and Clean Water


Researchers at Penn State University have developed a system called a microbial reverse electrolysis cell (MRC), which is capable of not only producing clean energy, but also clean water. Currently, microbial fuel cells are not efficient enough to generate significant amounts of energy from wastewater, but reverse-electrodialysis systems (RED) can, yet require costly materials to produce power. The team of researchers combined the best of both systems to develop the MRC, which is said to generate “surprising” levels of electricity. Although right now, the MRC system still requires expensive membranes to operate, the research could spur on further innovation in… read more

Interior Design Tricks for Increased Energy Efficiency

Interior Design Tricks for Increased Energy Efficiency

Interior design is not only for aesthetics, but also considers the functional elements of a space. Knowing how to incorporate energy saving strategies in a home is a useful way to mix purpose with design. Color, an integral part of the decorative process, is one application that can be used for an energy conserving advantage. Painting an area with lighter colors can reflect heat from other objects in the room that gather it, like fireplaces, furniture pieces, ceilings, surrounding walls or other materials conducive to storing heats. Applying darker colors in a room absorbs some of the heat and can… read more

There’s Power Beneath The Waves

Power Beneath the Waves

Deep ocean currents are powerful and constant movements of ocean water more than 400m below the surface. They occur due to density driven forces acting upon them including gravity. A new type of ocean power generator is being considered that could harvest this steady, reliable energy of the deep ocean currents, and a group of companies is working together to place the first 1 megawatt system on the seafloor. Companies are currently raising funds for the demonstration project, and they are looking into R&D funding from the U.S. Navy and the Department of Energy. The grid connections and system software used… read more

Water Heaters Can Act as Battery Storage for Grid


A new study by energy consultants Ecofys shows that home water heaters can help the power grid to accommodate the variable nature of wind energy, and thereby help integrate wind into regional power grids. The project, funded by Bonneville Power Administration and Northwest Power and Conservation Council, demonstrated that residential electric water heaters, furnaces, and refrigerated warehouses can all help provide energy storage at a much lower cost than other alternatives, such as batteries. “Water heaters can act as battery storage for the power grid.” – Gary Huhta, Cowlitz County Public Utility District Power Resources Manager Wind power generation is… read more

Perform Your Own Energy Audit

Perform Your Own Energy Audit

Performing an energy audit at home or the office can locate possible sources of energy deficiency as well as save money once problems are addressed. Professional energy audits can be helpful resources and are sometimes needed, but inspecting the basics yourself can uncover easily fixable issues. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, approximately 5%-30% can be saved on energy bills if detected problems are fixed. Doing an audit any time of year can increase efficiency but many energy experts recommend doing them when the weather changes seasons, preferably in the summer and winter. In the summer warmer air may… read more

Self-cooling Thermoelectric System Uses No Electricity


A prototype thermoelectric device that can provide free cooling for any device that gives off heat (over 30ºC) has been developed by researchers at the UPNA/NUP-Public University of Navarre. Many types of devices generate excess heat, which then needs to be dissipated, requiring external power. This new innovation, however, could allow power converters and transformers to produce enough power to cool themselves, without any external energy costs. “When these devices are functioning, they heat up and need to be cooled down.In many cases, heat exchangers with fans are used which naturally need to be powered externally and consume a certain… read more