Generating power via piezoelectrical processes has always been limited by the size of the device and the frequency generated, but researchers at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) claim to have found a way to harvest enough power from low-frequency vibrations to power small electronics.
Toyota will launch a fuel cell-powered sedan in the U.S. in 2014. The automaker has been showing off the Toyota FCV at auto shows, and says that unlike other fuel cell vehicles, this one will be available for the mass market at an affordable price. Continue reading
This summer the Nissan ZEOD RC will become the first entry at Le Mans 24-hour race to run a one-hour lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe using nothing but electrical power. Equally impressive, though, is the new Nissan DIG-T R 1.5 liter turbo engine that will kick in once the electrical-only portion of the run is completed.
Wireless sensors are becoming more pervasive as we move toward the “Internet of Things” that futurists have been telling us is on the horizon. But for these sensors to work, they have to have power. In some cases, the sensors can piggyback on items that are already hooked up to the grid (like refrigerators). In others, though, the sensors either need battery power or some other form of energy, and that has traditionally mean that the sensors themselves have to be large enough to accommodate a power source. Those size considerations, in turn, limit design possibilities. Continue reading
Germany’s e-volo launched the maiden flight of its two-man electric multicopter, the VC200 Volocopter, last week. The original version of the craft weighed 80kg and could fly for 20 minutes. The two-seater version was developed as a hybrid vehicle with a range extending combustion motor. Continue reading