Alternative Energy

Solar Power for Small Sensors

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

Electric Helicopter Takes Flight in Germany

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

Hydrogen Fuel Cells to Cool Refrigerated Trucks

If you enjoy being able to find fresh produce from far-flung corners of the country at your grocery store, thanks are due, in part, to those big refrigerated trucks that haul them from coast to coast. Those trucks, however, rely on transport refrigeration units (TRUs) powered by diesel generators that use 10 gallons of fuel a day, and generate CO2 emissions. Continue reading

A Horse is a Horse, Unless It’s A Souped-Up Segway

The Tokyo Motor Show is always a good place to see oddball vehicle concepts, and this year should prove no different. Already we’re reading reports about Toyota’s Segway-Tamagotchi mash-up that can respond to drivers’ moods in the same way a horse might. Continue reading

IBM’s Redox Flow System Powers, Cools Computers with ‘Electronic Blood’

IBM researchers have unveiled a new liquid power and cooling solution for computers that it has dubbed “electronic blood.” Continue reading


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