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EWICON bladeless wind turbine generates electricity using charged water droplets

EWICON bladeless wind turbine generates electricity using charged water droplets
Dutch researchers have developed the EWICON, a bladeless windmill with no moving parts that produces electricity by pushing charged water droplets into the wind Image Gallery (2 images) Wind energy may be one of the more sustainable sources of power available, but the spinning blades of conventional wind turbines require regular maintenance and have attracted criticism from bird lovers. That might explain why we've seen wind turbine prototypes that enclose the blades in a chamber or replace them entirely with a disc-like system. But researchers in the Netherlands set out to eliminate the need for a mechanical component entirely and created the EWICON, a bladeless wind turbine with no moving parts that produces electricity using charged water droplets. Where most wind turbines generate electricity through mechanical energy, the EWICON (short for Electrostatic WInd energy CONvertor) creates potential energy with charged particles – in this case, water droplets. About the Author Related:  Wind EnergySolar EnergyEnergy Sources & Generation

Virtually silent, fully enclosed, bladeless wind turbines on the way A wind turbine that uses boundary layers instead of blades to generate power has been patented by Solar Aero, a New Hampshire based not-for-profit scientific research organization. Modeled on the 1913 Tesla steam turbine, the Fuller turbine is virtually silent and completely enclosed, which avoids many of the drawbacks of bladed turbines such as noise, radar interference, visual pollution and wildlife injuries. Solar Aero's Howard Fuller says the principal of operation is roughly the same as for the Tesla steam turbine. "Closely-spaced discs trap the motive fluid molecules (in this case air) in a laminar flow adjacent to the disc surface. This provides aerodynamic drag, which imparts force to the disc surface. The turbine is likely to have a cut-in speed of about 3.5 knots and optimum speed is about 20 knots and near transparency to radar microwave transmissions can be achieved with proper construction materials and techniques. Maintenance costs should be less than for bladed turbines.

Flexible Glass Could Make Tablets Lighter and Solar Power Cheaper Researchers at the U.S. government’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have built flexible solar cells using a thin and pliable kind of glass from Corning, the company that makes the glass that covers iPhone screens. The new solar cells could make rooftop solar power far cheaper. Based on tests by Corning, which makes a product called Gorilla glass for iPhone screens and which announced the flexible material, called Willow glass, last year, shingles made from such solar cells could last for decades on a roof—even weathering hail greater than three centimeters in diameter. The new solar shingles could be nailed to a roof in place of conventional shingles. The cost of installation is one of the largest parts of the overall cost of solar power—its share has increased even as the cost of the cells themselves has plummeted in recent years. Solar shingles are already available (see “Solar Shingles See the Light of Day” and “Alta Devices Plans a Fast-Charging Solar iPad Cover”).

Trees used to create recyclable, efficient solar cell Solar cells are just like leaves, capturing the sunlight and turning it into energy. It's fitting that they can now be made partially from trees. Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University researchers have developed efficient solar cells using natural substrates derived from plants such as trees. Just as importantly, by fabricating them on cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) substrates, the solar cells can be quickly recycled in water at the end of their lifecycle. The technology is published in the journal Scientific Reports, the latest open-access journal from the Nature Publishing Group. The researchers report that the organic solar cells reach a power conversion efficiency of 2.7 percent, an unprecedented figure for cells on substrates derived from renewable raw materials. Georgia Tech College of Engineering Professor Bernard Kippelen led the study and says his team's project opens the door for a truly recyclable, sustainable and renewable solar cell technology.

Pacific Sky Power by Dan Tracy The world needs more clean energy but for many people, the cost is too high. Building on the successes of conventional wind power technology, Pacific Sky Power has developed affordable wind turbines that can be used at many different locations. If you don't have a good spot for installation, we also have towers. These systems are good starter kits for learning about this technology. Wind turbines convert kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy which spins a generator to produce clean electricity. Our wind turbine is rated at 15 watts which can be used for charging 12 volt batteries. View testing clips of the 45 watt system below. Technical Specifications Startup wind speed: 8 mph Optimum wind range: 10 to 25 mph Survival wind speed: 40 mph Rotor type: Horizontal axis Number of blades: 2 Blade material: GWS plastic Rotor diameter: 15" Generator type: Brushed DC motor Battery charging: 12 volt DC Charging rpm: 500 to 2000 rpm

Zeoform: The eco-friendly building material of the future? Zeoform promises a recyclable, low carbon-footprint building material that's as strong as ebony Image Gallery (4 images) Australian company Zeo has developed and patented a glue-free process that creates a strong, versatile new building material out of just cellulose and water. The resulting hardwood-like material known as Zeoform can then be sprayed, molded or shaped into a range of products. The environmental advantage of using cellulose as raw material is that, as the most abundant organic compound on Earth, it can be extracted from a wide range of sources including recycled paper, fabrics and plants. The formula used to make Zeoform imitates a natural glue-free process called hydroxyl bonding, whereby cellulose fibers stick together in water. Zeo says the resulting material that is recyclable, "as strong as ebony" and can be shaped using a range of techniques that make it suitable for use in "any industry requiring woods, plastics and resins for manufacturing." About the Author

UGE replaces 4K wind turbine with mysterious mid-range VisionAIR - (Private Browsing) Urban Green Energy (UGE) recently unveiled its newest vertical-axis wind turbine, the VisionAIR, as part of an installation at the Beijing International Garden Expo. The company confirmed to Gizmag that the VisionAIR is replacing its former 4K turbine, last seen adorning the top of an EV charging station, as its standard mid-sized option for customers. Compared with the previous model, the new turbine's design aims for better efficiency at moderate wind speeds, which UGE plans to integrate with its hybrid energy projects. View all UGE spent over a year developing and testing the fiberglass blades to achieve a lightweight system. According to the company, the assembled VisionAIR is built to last over 20 years and has already obtained a handful of certifications for its quality and safety features. The VisionAIR actually generates less energy at 5.5 m/s winds (3,600 kWh/yr versus the 4K's 4,500 kWh/yr), but a lower rated wind speed might help it make up the difference. Source: UGE

Faster Drilling, Diminishing Returns in Shale Fracking Plays Nationwide? Sharon Kelly, DeSmogBlogWaking Times Today’s shale gas boom has brought a surge of drilling across the US, driving natural gas prices to historic lows over the past couple of years. But, according to David Hughes, geoscientist and fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, in the future, we can expect at least the same frenzied rate of drilling – but less and less oil and gas from each well on average. “It’s been a game changer,” Mr. After crunching data from hundreds of thousands of oil and gas wells across the U.S., Mr. But the data reveals that in four of these top five shale-gas plays, drillers have been less and less successful in hitting the next big strike-it-rich well. Everywhere else, the regional drop-offs are steep. In other words, shale gas regions start to lose their luster fast. “So how long do these plays last?” It’s not just the Haynesville. Drillers have known for a long time that individual shale gas wells tend to decline at a startling rate. If Mr. Jeffery D. Mr.

New discovery could mean making fuel from carbon in atmosphere CleanTechnica If we’ve learned anything from the totality of human history, it is that if we ever find anything in great enough abundance, we’ll try to use it for something that benefits us. One need only look at the coal deposits, forests, and oceans for proof of this. This instinctual human trait has been the cause of numerous conflicts and problems, including the highly publicised anthropogenic global warming that has caused our current climate change. Our atmosphere is slowly suffocating on increased levels of carbon dioxide which are trapping heat and warming our planet, slowly melting the ice caps, raising the sea level, and pushing warmer latitudes closer to the poles. But now, researchers at the University of Georgia, USA, have found something that we have in abundance and created something useful out of it. “What this discovery means is that we can remove plants as the middleman,” said Adams, who is co-author of the study.

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