Electricity

New Year’s Resolution: Get fit, make electricity

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 30, 2011   View Article

A new generation of workout machines that generate electricity as you work up a sweat are poised to invade fitness centers and help you keep your New Year’s resolution to trim down your waistline.

The electricity generated by the machines is fed back into the grid, helping the gym save on its utility bills.

Ant frying tech could make solar cheap

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: November 3, 2011   View Article

Admit it. You fried an ant under a magnifying glass. It’s OK. We did it too. Now scientists are reporting a breakthrough in a similar technology that could bring down the cost of solar power.

About 50 percent of the cost of solar power is due to the materials and manufacturing of solar cells, essentially pieces of silicon that convert sunlight into electricity. By concentrating the sunlight, you can get the same amount of power with fewer cells.

IBM sees energy, money in motion of the ocean

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: October 31, 2011   View Article

The computer giant IBM sees a profitable future in high-tech analytical tools that could expedite and enhance the rollout of machines to turn the motion of the ocean into electricity.

Such machines, called wave energy converters, are under development around the world as a means to tap what appears to be a clean, green source of renewable energy — wave power.

The era of e-bikes is upon us

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: September 27, 2011   View Article

Bikes with an electric-motor assist are beginning to change the way people get around town, according to experts who declare the age of the e-bike is upon us.

E-bikes look and operate similar to their traditional pedal-powered equivalents, but contain a battery-powered motor that kicks on when, for example, pedaling up a menacing hill.

Technologist wins ‘genius’ award for sensor tech

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: September 20, 2011   View Article

Your credit card bill tells you how much you spent on gas last Tuesday, groceries on Wednesday, and football tickets on Friday night. Wouldn’t it be helpful if your electric bill did something similar?

This isn’t pie in the sky for Shwetak Patel, a 29-year-old technologist who received a $500,000 “genius” grant Tuesday for his work on inexpensive and easy-to-deploy sensors that can make our lives more efficient and enjoyable.

Can EVs solve wind power puzzle?

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: September 13, 2011   View Article

Electric vehicles outfitted with a $10 computer chip can help streamline the addition of wind power to the electric grid, according to a study that shows how the two types of technology could piece together the puzzle of our green energy future.

One of the biggest hurdles utilities face with the addition of wind power and other renewable sources of energy to the grid is where and how to store excess generation for use when people actually need it. Until that happens, if the wind blows when nobody needs electricity, for example, the energy is wasted.

Wind turbines harness MRI tech

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: September 7, 2011   View Article

The high-tech magnets in modern MRI systems encountered at the doctor’s office may soon generate electricity from the wind, according to researchers at the General Electric Company.

MRI systems are the tube-like contraptions that make images of damaged hearts, torn ligaments, brains, and other body tissues. Instead of X-rays, the images are made with superconducting magnets, which are electromagnets made from coils of superconducting wire.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach