Wind

Aging lighthouse gains new life as a beacon for offshore wind industry

Publication: NBC News   Date: January 8, 2013   View Article

An aging, wind-battered lighthouse about 13 miles off the coast of Virginia is set to gain new life as a test bed for technologies that could expedite the development of the offshore wind industry, the U.S. Department of Energy announced today.

Models suggest the raw potential of offshore wind is sufficient to meet the entire current electricity needs in the U.S., according to Will Shaw, an atmospheric scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who discussed plans for the test bed facility at a conference today in Austin, Texas.

Ready for extreme weather? IBM – yes, IBM – can help

Publication: NBC News   Date: August 9, 2012   View Article

On June 28, if anyone in the greater Washington D.C. area ran a weather-modeling service called Deep Thunder, they would have known a derecho windstorm was about to rip trees from the ground, knock out power and leave millions of people stifling in relentlessly sticky heat.

No one did.

As a result, millions of people suffered for days on end as utilities scrambled to restore electricity. Many businesses were idled through the Fourth of July holiday. Untold millions in wages and revenue were lost. At least 13 people died.

Crazy blimp may soon power remote villages

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: April 27, 2012   View Article

A helium-filled, doughnut-shaped blimp with a wind turbine for its filling may soon be the go-to power source for remote villages and industrial operations.

“Definitely one of our use cases is providing a consistent, reliable source of power in remote communities and island nations,” Ben Glass, who invented the turbine at MIT, told me on Thursday.

Liquid batteries to pour on green energy?

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: February 15, 2012   View Article

Banks of scorching hot batteries filled with molten metals may be the long-sought silver bullet to make large-scale adoption of wind and solar energy a practical, purely green reality.

Such a storage solution is needed because, as we know, the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine where and when it’s needed.

Energy storage breakthroughs on the horizon

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: November 18, 2011   View Article

Breakthroughs in energy storage technologies are on the horizon that could turn vast swathes of the world’s sun-soaked deserts and windy plains into sources of clean, renewable energy, according to experts focused on our energy future.

No one technology — ranging from storing a portion of the sun’s energy collected during the day in molten salt to run solar thermal generators at night to banks of lithium-ion batteries scattered around neighborhoods — will be the solution.

Rather, “there is going to be a portfolio of energy storage” options, Bruce Dunn, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles, told me Thursday.

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