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Ocean power, the other renewable, is on its way. Tens of millions of us will flock to the beach as summer rolls on.

Ocean power, the other renewable, is on its way

As we frolic along the shore we will also be awed by the relentless, eternal power of the ocean. Scientists at Stanford and MIT find new way to harness waste heat. Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT News Office Stanford and MIT researchers have developed a four-stage process that uses waste heat to charge a battery.

Scientists at Stanford and MIT find new way to harness waste heat

First, an uncharged battery is heated by waste heat. Then, while the battery is still warm, a voltage is applied. When fully charged, the battery is allowed to cool, which increases the voltage. Once the battery has cooled, it actually delivers more electricity than was used to charge it. Vast amounts of excess heat are generated by industrial processes and by electric power plants. Now researchers at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a new alternative for low-temperature waste-heat conversion into electricity – that is, in cases where temperature differences are less than 100 degrees Celsius.

The new approach is described in a study, published in the May 21 issue of the journal Nature Communications, by Seok Woo Lee and Yi Cui at Stanford and Yuan Yang and Gang Chen at MIT. Voltage and temperature. 112, 030602 (2014): Nanoscale Heat Engine Beyond the Carnot Limit. Lockheed Martin, Victorian Wave Partners Contract to Start Development. The OPT PowerBuoy system — shown here during installation for a Spanish project — uses a proprietary buoy device to convert wave energy on the surface of the ocean into electricity at maximum efficiency.

Lockheed Martin, Victorian Wave Partners Contract to Start Development

The system planned for the south coast of Australia is projected to generate 62.5 MW of electricity, enough to supply 10,000 homes. Lockheed Martin has joined a partnership to develop what it described as “the world’s largest wave energy project” to date, off the Victoria coast in southern Australia. Victorian Wave Partners Ltd. is an Australian special-purpose company owned by Ocean Power Technologies Australasia Pty Ltd., a developer of “wave energy” technology. OPT’s PowerBuoy system uses a "smart" buoy to convert wave energy into electricity. The buoy moves up and down with the rising and falling of waves, and the mechanical energy generated by this action drives an electrical generator, which transmits power to shore via an underwater cable. Funny Looking Tower Generates 600% More Electrical Energy Than Traditional Wind Turbines. The Sheerwind wind turbine promises to produce 6 times the electrical power than traditional wind turbines.

Funny Looking Tower Generates 600% More Electrical Energy Than Traditional Wind Turbines

A Power Plant on Every Street. A one-meter-square gray box studded with green lights sits in a hallway near the laboratory of materials scientist Eric ­Wachsman, director of the Energy Research Center at the University of Maryland.

A Power Plant on Every Street

It is a mockup of a fuel-cell device that runs on natural gas, producing electricity at the same cost as a large gas plant. The box is designed to house stacks of solid-oxide fuel cells that differ from their conventional counterparts in a dramatic way: they’re projected to produce electricity for $1 per watt, down from $8 in today’s commercial versions, thanks to improvements that ­Wachsman has made in the ceramic materials at their heart. The technology could eventually become a practical and affordable way to ease strain on the increasingly stressed electricity grid; anywhere there’s cheap natural gas, we could also have constant and cheap electricity.

Conventional solid-oxide fuel cells run at high temperatures, making them more expensive and prone to performance losses. Massive Energy Skyscrapers On U.S Mexico Border to Pump Out 500 MWs to Electric Grid. Stratospheric superbugs offer new source of power. Bacteria normally found 30 kilometres above Earth have been identified as highly efficient generators of electricity.

Stratospheric superbugs offer new source of power

New thermocell could harvest 'waste heat' (Phys.org) —Harvesting waste heat from power stations and even vehicle exhaust pipes could soon provide a valuable supply of electricity.

New thermocell could harvest 'waste heat'

A small team of Monash University researchers working under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) has developed an ionic liquid-based thermocell. Thermocell technology is based on harnessing the thermal energy from the difference in temperature between two surfaces and converting that energy into electricity. Led by Monash University researcher and Australian Laureate Fellow Professor Doug MacFarlane and Monash University PhD student Theodore Abraham, the collaborative project developed the thermocell device with the highest power outputs yet reported and no carbon emissions. The new thermocell could be used to generate electricity from low grade steam in coal fired power stations at temperatures around 130°C. Mr Abraham's research is published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science. Research update: Jumping droplets help heat transfer.

Many industrial plants depend on water vapor condensing on metal plates: In power plants, the resulting water is then returned to a boiler to be vaporized again; in desalination plants, it yields a supply of clean water.

Research update: Jumping droplets help heat transfer

The efficiency of such plants depends crucially on how easily droplets of water can form on these metal plates, or condensers, and how easily they fall away, leaving room for more droplets to form. Solar Wind Energy Source Discovered. Solar Wind Energy Source Discovered March 8, 2013: Using data from an aging NASA spacecraft, researchers have found signs of an energy source in the solar wind that has caught the attention of fusion researchers.

Solar Wind Energy Source Discovered

Electrons are not enough: Cuprate superconductors defy convention. Related images(click to enlarge) University of Illinois To engineers, it's a tale as old as time: Electrical current is carried through materials by flowing electrons.

Electrons are not enough: Cuprate superconductors defy convention

Nanostructured nanowires appears to solve loss of superconductivity in very strong magnetic fields. Quantum Refrigerator Offers Extreme Cooling and Convenience. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a solid-state refrigerator that uses quantum physics in micro- and nanostructures to cool a much larger object to extremely low temperatures. What's more, the prototype NIST refrigerator, which measures a few inches in outer dimensions, enables researchers to place any suitable object in the cooling zone and later remove and replace it, similar to an all-purpose kitchen refrigerator. The cooling power is the equivalent of a window-mounted air conditioner cooling a building the size of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It's one of the most flabbergasting results I've seen," project leader Joel Ullom says. Could a captive tornado power an entire city? You have to wonder what focusing that diffuse heat energy at one spot in the atmosphere would do to the local weather. Warm air plus cool air don't always play nice with each other. Isn't that diffuse heat already being focused as it leaves the stacks? MIT creates LED that cools its surrounding environment. Source: Happy Via.