Showing posts with label alternative energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alternative energy. Show all posts

Monday, April 7, 2014

Has The U.S. Navy Found A Way To Make Fuel Out Of Sea Water?

Could You Soon Be Filling Up With SEAWATER? US Navy Reveals 'Game Changing' Fuel Created From Water -- Daily Mail

* Has flown radio controlled plane using 'sea fuel' in first test of new fuel
* New technique can capture 92% of CO2 in water to create jet fuel
* Could be used to create fuel for any vehicle without having to modify engines

The US Navy has developed a radical new fuel made from seawater.

They say it could change the way we produce fuel - and allow warships to stay at sea for years at a time.

Navy scientists have spent several years developing the process to take seawater and use it as fuel, and have now used the 'game changing' fuel to power a radio controlled plane in the first test.

Read more ....

My Comment: I am always super-duper skeptical when I am reading reports like this one .... but these researcher believe that they have a winner.

Monday, January 14, 2013

GravityLight: Lighting For A Billion People

The GRAVITY-Powered Lamp That Could Bring 1.5billion People Out Of The Darkness -- Daily Mail 

* The GravityLight uses a sand-filled sack to pull a rope through a tiny generator to power an LED light
 * It's makers claim a single pull can keep the light going for up to 30 minutes
 * They hope to distribute 1,000 free to impoverished communities in India and Africa

A British company hopes to bring electric light to 1.5billion people who live off the grid with an incredible electric light that is powered by gravity.

The GravityLight uses a sack of sand to gradually pull a piece of rope through a dynamo mechanism which generates electricity to power an LED light.

A three-second pull on the rope to raise the sack will keep the LED bulb running for up to 30 minutes, its makers claim.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is just the first generation prototype .... I can only imagine what subsequent innovations will bring.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

U.S. Navy's Biofuel Plans Get The Support Of The U.S. Senate

Senate Votes To Save The Navy’s ‘Great Green Fleet’ -- Danger Room
The Senate on Wednesday threw a life raft to the Navy’s beleaguered plan to power its ships and jets with biofuel. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus trumpeted the program as key to service’s long-term stability, pledging $170 million to kickstart the wobbly biofuel industry, promising to get half the Navy’s fuel from alternative sources by 2020, and making plans to dispatch an eco-friendly “Great Green Fleet” in 2016.  

Read more ....

More News On the U.S. Senate Approving The Pentagon's Plans For Bio-fuels

Senate OK’s military spending on biofuel refineries -- Stars and Stripes
Senate gives green light to Pentagon green energy -- Bloomberg Businessweek/AP
Navy's Biofuel Plan Gets Senate Support -- Wall Street Journal
Senate strikes restriction on military biofuel development -- Reuters
US Senate backs military, Obama on green fuels -- TG Daily
Senate Again Backs Pentagon's Green-Energy Plans -- Wall Street Journal
With Senate’s Support, Advanced Biofuel Industry Ready for Takeoff -- Energy Collective Democrats put green energy back into military budget bill -- Human Events

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ocean Wave Energy The Next Big Thing

Stefan Siegel, president and chief technology officer of Atargis Energy Corporation, talks about the 1:10 scale model of a cycloidal wave energy converter that the company is testing in the wave basin at Texas A&M Offshore Technology Research Center Monday, July 16, 2012, in College Station. Hydrofoil blades on the underwater device rotate to extract energy from waves. ( Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle ) Photo: Melissa Phillip / © 2012 Houston Chronicle

Scientists Seek Next Wave In Power Generation -- Fuel Fix

Aerospace engineers are working to make ocean wave energy the nation’s newest source of green power by applying the physics of wind turbines to the sea.

Former U.S. Air Force Academy scientists took over Texas A&M University’s wave tank recently to test the idea that if air can produce affordable electricity, so can ocean water.

Read more ....

My Comment:
It is still years away from any possible development.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Biggest Laser Pulse Fired In Human History Could Power New Kind Of Nuclear Reactor

The future of energy? NIF Director Edward Moses said. 'It is fully operational, and scientists are taking important steps toward the quest for clean fusion energy.'

'Step Towards Clean Energy': Biggest Laser Pulse Fired In Human History Could Power New Kind Of Nuclear Reactor - And Solve Energy Crisis Forever -- Daily Mail

* 'Shaped pulse' of energy generated 500 trillion watts of peak power
* 1,000 times more than the whole United States uses at any given moment
* Array of 192 lasers aims for 'laser fusion' - a 'Holy Grail' of clean energy
* Facility aims to ignite controleld version of reaction found in heart of stars, and in hydrogen bombs

The most energetic laser shot in mankind's history was fired at the stadium-sized National Ignition Facility in California this month.

On July 5, an array of 192 lasers filed a pulse of ultraviolet laser light that deliver generated 500 trillion watts of peak power - 1,000 times more than the whole of the U.S. uses at any given time.

The pulse is a historic moment for the 'fusion' facility, which aims to generate power using a nuclear fusion reaction - similar to what happens in hydrogen bombs.

Read more ....

My Comment: They still have a long way to go before anything practical comes from this research.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Green Energy From Beneath The Waves

An underwater generator developed by a Maine firm was tested on riverbeds and the seafloor. Ocean Renewable Power Company

Tidal Turbines: New Sparks Of Hope For Green Energy From Beneath The Waves -- Christian Science Monitor

After decades of abandoned plans and crushed prototypes, tidal powers finds new footing off the shores of Eastport, Maine.

Eastport is used to being on the fringe of things – the easternmost city in the United States, a remote outpost of Maine's poorest county, and one of the westernmost communities of the Bay of Fundy, home to the world's most dramatic tidal swings.

But in recent years, this community of 1,600 has found itself at the center of an industrial enterprise that its people thought had abandoned them for good: harnessing the tides to generate electricity. Amid Eastport's abandoned sardine factories and often-empty storefronts, engineers have been testing a new generation of tidal turbines that could power the region's homes and businesses without having an adverse effect on the environment, fisheries, or the beautiful views of the forested islands of neighboring Canada.

Read more ....

My Comment: Every little bit helps.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Is The U.S. Navy's Biofuels Program A Boondoggle?

Last month, the U.S. Navy deployed the Paul F. Foster - a decommissioned destroyer now used for experimental purposes - on a 17-hour voyage powered by Solazyme Inc.'s algae-derived biofuel. Photo: U.S. Navy

McCain Sees Another Solyndra In Navy Biofuels Spending -- The Hill

The Navy’s push to develop biofuels to run its fleet of planes and warships could devolve into a “Solyndra situation” for the Pentagon, a top Republican senator said today.

During Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.) compared the now-bankrupt solar energy company, into which the White House sank $535 million in loan guarantees, to Navy-led efforts in alternative energy.

Read more

My Comment: What caught my eye was the following ....

.... But Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) pointed out that even at a competitive price, the Navy’s plan to use a “50/50 blend” of diesel fuel and a biofuel supplement would still cost $15 per gallon. Traditional JP-5 jet fuel used in the Navy’s fighter aircraft runs $4 to $5 per gallon on average, Inhofe said.

$15 per gallon !!!!! .... you've got to be kidding me. And what is even worse is that these are just projections .... projections from a government agency that has a lousy record in projecting anything.

Bottom line .... it is too expensive and if implemented will help in busting the defense department's budget. My suggestion .... go back to the drawing board and find an alternative plan that is more practical and economically feasible.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Key to Using Methane as a Clean Energy Source

Scientists are looking at how to sequester carbon produced by burning methane in an ice-like state

Methane Hydrate Cages, The Key to Using Methane as a Clean Energy Source? -- SciTech Daily

Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory are researching ways to use methane as a clean energy source by capturing the CO2 byproduct in an ice-like state. The researchers are using SNAP to look at the molecular level relationship between methane and water to better understand how hydrocarbons are taken up and released in the environment.

Imagine a robot sent out on the prowl on this energy hungry planet looking for methane, the principal component of what we call “natural gas” and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth.

Read more

My Comment:
Faster please.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How To Fill A Gas Tank For $1 A Gallon

How A Billionaire Fills Gas Tank For $1 A Gallon -- CNN

Long Beach, California (CNN) -- Gasoline at $4 a gallon is no worry for T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire energy investor from Texas. He drives from his home to his office in a car that runs on fuel costing less than $1 a gallon.

His method: He has a device that fuels his Honda Civic GX with natural gas from the pipes that serve his home. And he thinks there's a lesson there for America's energy woes.

Pickens, who is speaking Wednesday at the TED2012 Conference in Long Beach, California, said America needs to make natural gas a building block of a plan for ending oil imports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Natural gas is "cheaper, it's cleaner, it's abundant and it's ours, and we're fools not to use it," Pickens said in an interview with CNN.

Read more

My Comment: I always predicted that one day our cars will be running on natural gas. More stories like this one will probably push that day even sooner.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A New Source Of Energy From Superbugs?

Scientists have engineered a new super biofilm, a key component of which is Bacillus stratosphericus -- a microbe commonly found in high concentrations in Earth's stratosphere. (Credit: © Andrey Armyagov / Fotolia)

Stratospheric Superbugs Offer New Source of Power -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Feb. 21, 2012) — Bacteria normally found 30 kilometres above Earth have been identified as highly efficient generators of electricity.

Bacillus stratosphericus -- a microbe commonly found in high concentrations in the stratosphere -- is a key component of a new 'super' biofilm that has been engineered by a team of scientists from Newcastle University.

Read more ....

My Comment: It's not going to happen .... 30k is too far away.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

An Innovative Way To Collect Solar Energy

13-year-old Aidan Dwyer developed a new way to collect solar energy, and along the way sparked a fierce debate among scholars and scientists. He joins the News Hub to tell his story. Photo: Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

A Youngster's Bright Idea Is Something New Under The Sun -- Wall Street Journal

Aidan Dwyer Took a Leaf from the Trees and Electrified International Debate

NORTHPORT, N.Y.—A new way of collecting solar energy has polarized scientists around the world and ignited fierce debate on the Internet, where the innovator in question has been called everything from an alien to the agent of a global conspiracy.

Maybe a better title would be an intellectual Hannah Montana. That's because the scientist, Aidan Dwyer, is 13 years old.

This past summer, Aidan won a national science competition with what seemed to be a bright idea: His research appeared to show that solar panels arrayed like the leaves on a tree collect sunlight more efficiently than traditional setups.

Read more ....

Friday, October 8, 2010

What Farming Ants Can Teach Us About Bioenergy

A leaf-cutter ant foraging trail. These ants can form foraging trails in the rainforest that are hundreds of meters long containing thousands of workers. Credit: Jarrod Scott, University of Wisconsin-Madison

From Live Science:

What new methods will allow us to create biofuel from plants? Garret Suen, a computational microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) in the Department of Bacteriology is trying to find out. Suen is a post-doctoral researcher working in the lab of Cameron Currie and in January of 2011, he will be joining the faculty in the Department of Bacteriology and starting up his own lab and research program. Suen grew up in Toronto (before moving to Calgary for college), and being from Canada, he thoroughly enjoys Wisconsin winters. Suen’s current work at UW centers on how to convert cellulose found in plants into a fermentable sugar that can be used to make ethanol for fuel.

Read more ....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Solar Or Wind Power? Why Not Both?

Solar wind doesn't act like wind on Earth, and the satellite wouldn't generate electricity like a windmill. iStockphoto

From Discovery News:

A massive satellite that harvests the power in solar wind could meet the energy needs of all humanity and then some.

Solar and wind power have long been two of the main contenders in the race to find the next big renewable energy resource. Rather than choosing between the two, scientists at Washington State University have instead combined them.

Read more ....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Scheme To 'Pull Electricity From The Air' Sparks Debate

The claim of electricity from the air as a renewable resource is controversial

From The BBC:

Tiny charges gathered directly from humid air could be harnessed to generate electricity, researchers say.

Dr Fernando Galembeck told the American Chemical Society meeting in Boston that the technique exploited a little-known atmospheric effect.

Tests had shown that metals could be used to gather the charges, he said, opening up a potential energy source in humid climates.

However, experts disagree about the mechanism and the scale of the effect.

Read more ....

My Comment: In a time of impending energy shortages (and high cost) .... I would not hesitate to look for alternatives.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Magnesium Power: White-Hot Energy

From The Economist:

New power sources could be made using magnesium.

STORING energy is one of the biggest obstacles to the widespread adoption of alternative sources of power. Batteries can be bulky and slow to charge. Hydrogen, which can be made electrolytically from water and used to power fuel cells, is difficult to handle. But there may be an alternative: magnesium. As school chemistry lessons show, metallic magnesium is highly reactive and stores a lot of energy. Even a small amount of magnesium ribbon burns in a flame with a satisfying white heat. Researchers are now devising ways to extract energy from magnesium in a more controlled fashion.

Read more

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Body Heat: Sweden's New Green Energy Source

Commuters at Stockholm's Central station. Jim Stenman

From Time Magazine:

It's 7:30 a.m. on a wintry morning in downtown Stockholm and a sea of Swedes are flooding Central Station to catch a train to work. The station is toasty thanks to the busy shops and restaurants and the body heat being generated by the 250,000 commuters who crowd Scandinavia's busiest travel hub each day. This heat used to be lost by the end of the morning rush hour. Now, however, engineers have figured out a way to harness it and transfer it to a newly refurbished office building down the block. Unbeknownst to them, these sweaty Swedes have become a green energy source: "They're cheap and renewable," says Karl Sundholm, a project manager at Jernhusen, a Stockholm real estate company, and one of the creators of the system.

Read more ....

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mobile Nuclear Reactors Could Provide Power And Jet Fuel For Military, DARPA Says

Navy Aircraft Could nuclear-powered carriers use their reactors and seawater to provide jet fuel for their aircraft? U.S. Navy/Stephen Rowe

From Popular Science:

Making U.S. Navy carrier groups and Army bases more self-sufficient and energy-efficient could mean turning to mobile nuclear reactors. The Pentagon's DARPA scientists have put forth the modest proposal of deploying miniature reactors to convert hydrogen and carbon into military jet fuel, as well as providing power, The Register reports.

Read more ....

Friday, March 12, 2010

As China And US Plan to Exploit "Burning Ice" For Fuel, The Ice Race Is On

Photo: Icy Hot : Courtesy of NASA

From Popular Science:

Methane hydrate crystals show promise as a clean energy source.

When methane and freezing cold water fuse under tremendous pressure, they create a substance as paradoxical as it coveted: burning ice. Earlier in the year, a report from the National Research Council identified the combustible water, also known as methane hydrate, as a potential source of natural gas. Now, according to the Chinese news organization Xinhau, China is joining the US, Japan, and South Korea in the hunt for this weird mineral.

Read more ....

Saturday, March 6, 2010

With Artificial Photosynthesis, A Bottle of Water Could Produce Enough Energy To Power A House

Potential Energy Cells? shrff14, via

From Popular Science:

One of the interesting side effects of last year's stimulus bill was $400 million in funding for ARPA-E, the civilian, energy-focused cousin of DARPA. And in this week's first ever ARPA-E conference, MIT chemist Dan Nocera showed how well he put that stimulus money to use by highlighting his new photosynthetic process. Using a special catalyst, the process splits water into oxygen and hydrogen fuel efficiently enough to power a home using only sunlight and a bottle of water.

Read more ....

Monday, March 1, 2010

Clean Tech: A New Way To Hasten Energy Solutions

Solar panels cover the rooftop of the STAPLES Center sports complex in Los Angeles.
David McNew / Getty Images

From Time Magazine:

If we're going to find a way to fix our long-term energy woes — whether it's through biofuels made from algae or through the rise of miniature nuclear-power plants, — the solution is likely to come from northern California. Yes, in Silicon Valley, the same entrepreneurs who brought us the Internet — and, O.K., — are exploring new ways to make and use energy. And we'll need them, as much for our economy's well-being as for our planet's.

Read more ....