DailyDirt: Harnessing The Energy All Around Us
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Wearable devices would be a whole lot more convenient if they didn’t need to be charged regularly — if only self-winding watches could also be smartwatches. It’s not an entirely crazy idea, but smartwatches would have to be very energy efficient and not use much power in the first place. Nano-generators and ambient energy harvesting aren’t quite ready to keep the latest gadgets going indefinitely, but folks are working on this problem.
- One energy-harvesting nanogenerator made of zinc oxide nanorods can turn sound into electricity. A pocket-sized device with arrays of these little nanorods can convert sound vibrations into a 5-volt power supply. Not exactly a revolutionary battery replacement… yet? [url]
- Controlled bursts of plasma could transfer energy quickly from location to location, but it’s not that easy to direct plasma outside of a vacuum tube surrounded by electromagnets. Researchers just need a little more funding to get 1.21 GW of lightning into a flux capacitor, and then we’ll be all set. [url]
- Thermoelectric materials can convert heat into electricity, but decades of research hasn’t yet produced a thermoelectric generator that wasn’t for niche or novelty applications. A thermoelectric generator (TEG) prototype could be attached to solar heat collectors or the engine of a vehicle to capture waste heat, but commercialization is still years away. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.