Energy

DOE’s Chu to unveil plans to modernize electricity grid Wednesday (update II)

By / February 19, 2009

Pay attention to this: Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 18, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu will deliver the opening keynote address at the 2009 DOE-NARUC National Electricity Forum. In the address, Secretary Chu will outline the Administration’s commitment to modernizing the nation’s electricity distribution system through a “Smart Grid” that will create new jobs, save consumers money,…

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Video of the week: Freescale delivers big power from small solar cells

By / February 18, 2009

Via CNET’s Green Tech blog, we bring you a video about some nifty power conversion technology for photovoltaic applications that Freescale Semiconductor unveiled this week at the Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition. This is about high efficiency, ultra-low-voltage DC-to-DC converter technology. It enables IC startup thresholds to be reduced to 0.32 V (ICs typically can’t…

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Green energy from greenhouse gases: A novel paradigm in mitigating global warming

By / February 16, 2009

(the following is a guest post from Abdul-Majeed Azad, associate professor, chemical engineering, University of Toledo) As we know, the ultimate chemical fate of the conventional fossil fuel combustion is always CO2 and H2O, two well-known greenhouse gases responsible for contributing considerably to the global warming. In 2007 the global level of CO2 was 30…

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NIST’s ‘VERDiCT’ may double concrete’s lifespan

By / February 15, 2009

(corrected, courtesy of the comments from Dale Bentz, below) The “verdict” is in – engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology say they have developed a technique that promises to double the service life of concrete. The soon-to-be patented method is the result of a project called VERDiCT – Viscosity Enhancers Reducing Diffusion…

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Daniel Nocera makes more news with electrolysis gains

By / February 15, 2009

Back in August, we noted the work Daniel Nocera a professor of chemistry at MIT, who is leading has developed an unprecedented electrolysis process that uses the sun’s energy to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen gases. The gases can then be stored and later run through a fuel cell to produce electricity as…

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Video(s) of the week: ACerS award lectures

By / February 13, 2009

The American Ceramic Society has now posted videos of four lectures presented last October as part of the Society’s annual meeting. Each of the lectures is approximately one-hour in length and presented in a “YouTube” level of quality to provide the most ease in viewing. Each of the lectures is presented by a luminary in…

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SCHOTT solar stairway generates power, pizzazz and savings!

By / February 13, 2009

SCHOTT, one of the world’s largest and most innovative glassmakers, reports the accomplishment of another first – the combination of solar panels and colored glass in the design of a stunningly beautiful stairway facade, integrated into the walls of the firm’s administration building in Mainz, Germany. Designed by German artist Paul Wurdel, the beautiful solar stairway…

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Trio gets DOE Phase II SOCF funds

By / February 9, 2009

FuelCell Energy Inc. reports it has been awarded a hefty contract for Phase II of the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance’s Coal-Based Systems Cooperative Agreement. The total program cost is $30.2 million of which $21 million will be funded by DOE. The goal in Phase II to build a minimum…

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Dow Corning makes multi-billion dollar solar investment

By / February 9, 2009

Dow Corning Corp., known for its silicon-based technology, is betting it can be a major supplier to solar industry via a capital investment of several billion dollars. The investment will include construction of a new plant in Hemlock, Mich., where the firm will begin manufacturing high-purity monosilane, a critical specialty gas central to the production…

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Nanocoated pump seal wins ‘Oscar’ of invention

By / February 9, 2009

Dubbed the “Oscars of Innovation” by the Chicago Tribune, the R&D 100 Awards, presented annually by R&D magazine, are a badge of distinction that identifies a product as one of the most creative and noteworthy inventions of the year. Researchers at Argonne National Lab, aided by two Illinois firms, have captured one of these 2008…

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