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Nanogenerators harvest body’s energy to power devices. "Ene-Farm" home fuel cell moves into a condo. The new 'Ene-Farm' home fuel cell installed in a condominium's pipe shaft with the fuel cell on the right, the backup heat source on the left and the hot water unit at the rear Panasonic and Tokyo Gas have continued joint development of their "Ene-Farm" home fuel cell unit, which became the world's first commercialized fuel cell system targeted at household heating and electricity generation when it went on sale in Japan in May 2009.

The latest model is aimed at use in condominiums and features a number of modifications to ensure the units meet the more stringent installation standards placed on those buildings. Like previous Ene-Farm units, the new model uses a fuel processor to extract hydrogen from the city gas supply and react it with oxygen from the atmosphere to generate heat that is then used to generate electricity as well as supply hot water.

Source: Panasonic About the Author Post a CommentRelated Articles Just enter your friends and your email address into the form below. Berliners' co-op aims to take over and run electricity grid of city | World news. Arwen Colell was cycling down a Berlin street one afternoon when a friend from her choir group called her and said: "We should buy the electrical grid. " The idea was not out of the blue. Germany's energy transition, from nuclear and fossil fuels to renewables, has lined rooftops with solar panels. But it was another ambition to run Berlin's distribution network.

Colell did not hesitate. "We should definitely do it," she said. "Good idea. " Since that conversation in 2011, Colell and her friend, who are in their mid-20s, have built a movement aimed at putting the city grid under citizens' control when the system goes on sale next year. The co-operative founded by the two students, Citizen Energy Berlin, has recruited around 1,000 members, each paying a minimum of €500 (£430) a share. The fundraising has some distance to go. The Berlin senate will make a decision next year, based on financial resources and capacity to manage the grid. Homegrown Green Energy Is Making Power Utilities Irrelevant.

There are 3,200 utilities that make up the U.S. electrical grid, the largest machine in the world. These power companies sell $400 billion worth of electricity a year, mostly derived from burning fossil fuels in centralized stations and distributed over 2.7 million miles of power lines. Regulators set rates; utilities get guaranteed returns; investors get sure-thing dividends. It’s a model that hasn’t changed much since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. And it’s doomed to obsolescence. That’s the opinion of David Crane, chief executive officer of NRG Energy, a wholesale power company based in Princeton, N.J.

What’s afoot is a confluence of green energy and computer technology, deregulation, cheap natural gas, and political pressure that, as Crane starkly frames it, poses “a mortal threat to the existing utility system.” Crane, 54, a Harvard-educated father of five, drives himself to work every day in his electric Tesla Model S. He’s not alone in his assessment, though. Tiny Chiplets Are a New Level of Micro Manufacturing. Power Plants on the Way Out? Forget big generators... in ten years' time we could be making and even selling our own electricity. We might even save the planet. By Fred PearceTHE NEW SCIENTIST MAGAZINE January 7, 2001 - LONDON's fabulously successful Tate Modern art gallery has wowed the public.

Now it seems that the gallery, housed in the disused Bankside power station, has captured the industrial zeitgeist, too. Power stations, the behemoths of the industrial age, could be on the way out. As politicians in the Hague this week thrash out ways of limiting the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, industry strategists are forecasting the demise of giant, centralised generating stations. The people that spread thousand-megawatt power plants across the planet now see the future in small generators, each little more than a millionth as powerful, in basements and backyards round the world. Existing national power grids won't disappear. Dan Rastler, a researcher at the EPRI, thinks his boss is being conservative. "Global Power: The Electric Hypergrid" from New Scientist Magazine. GLOBAL POWERThe Electric HypergridBy Fred Pearce NEW SCIENTIST MAGAZINE When Arab energy ministers met in Cairo in April, there was one thing at the top of their agenda -- plans for a regional electricity grid that would stretch more than 5000 kilometers from Morocco in the west to the Gulf states in the east.

And for Maher Abaza, Egypt's energy minister and the meeting's host, that would only be the start. Abaza foresees a network, with Egypt at its heart, that would give the energy-hungry countries of Europe access to the hydropower of Africa's mightiest rivers. Ultimately, he envisages a worldwide power system that would cut the cost of electricity everywhere. This, says Abaza, represents "the hope for the peoples of the developing world. " Abaza is following in the footsteps of Richard Buckminster Fuller, the maverick American architect and futurologist who was born 100 years ago next week.

The Mekong links may lead to a larger southeast Asian grid. Such links can be complex. Buckminster Fuller's Critical Path. Critical Path was the last of Buckminster Fuller's books, published shortly before his death in 1983 and summing up his lifetime of work. Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller was an American architect, author, designer, futurist, inventor and visionary who devoted his life to answering the question "Does humanity have a chance to survive lastingly and successfully on planet Earth, and if so, how? ". He is frequently referred to as a genius (albeit a slightly eccentric one). During his lifelong experiment, Fuller wrote 29 books, coining terms such as "Spaceship Earth", "ephemeralization" and "synergetics".

He also developed and contributed to a number of inventions inventions, the best known being the geodesic dome. Carbon molecules known as fullerenes (buckyballs) were so named due to their resemblance to geodesic spheres. Bucky was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1981. There is no energy crisis, only a crisis of ignorance - Buckminster Fuller Critical Path Geodesic Domes. Cloud Shield, Twine's Gateway To The Full-Blown Internet Of Things. If you’re not afraid of hacking together a bit of code and plugging tiny wires into a credit-card-sized circuit board, you probably already know what an Arduino is. If not, here’s the short version: An Arduino is a little electronic brain you can program to do interesting interactive stuff, like dim the lights in your living room when you turn on your TV.

It lets you turn dumb objects (or environments) into smart ones. Meanwhile, you may have also heard of Twine, a little green box full of sensors that lets you connect physical objects to the Internet without having to know any code at all. If you’ve ever wanted your basement to send you a text message if it floods, Twine is for you. Now, if you’ve ever wanted your Arduino to connect easily to your Twine--because you’re some kind of mad maker genius--the guys behind Twine have got you covered. The problem that Cloud Shield solves is one of communication. [Cloud Shield is available on Supermechanical’s website for $35.] The era of energy dinosaurs is coming to an end. Working in clean energy can be frustrating. Tons of exciting things are happening, but elite conventional wisdom isn’t keeping pace and nobody listens to bloggers like me shouting about it. One of the few outlets in the mainstream energy world to consistently stay ahead of the curve is Bloomberg New Energy Finance. (I have interviewed its chief executive, Michael Liebreich, before.)

As Exhibit A, I offer this new “VIP brief” written by Liebreich and his able colleague Nathaniel Bullard. Like too few writers and analysts in this area, Liebreich explicitly takes a systems approach: What happens when you saturate the system with wind or solar depends on what you think is going to happen next with power storage, demand response, electric vehicles, mandated back-up and dozens of other factors. You will note that this echoes, somewhat eerily, my widgets vs. systems language. Here, in capsule form, is the shift in perspective Liebreich urges for those making decisions in today’s energy markets: The Dismantling of our Power Industry Infrastructure. On Wednesday I was invited to speak on a panel at the 2012 National Electricity Forum, an event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, in Washington DC.

As the kickoff speaker on the panel, my message to them noted that the power industry is an industry that is under attack. An attack not being carried out by terrorists or invading armies, rather it is being attacked by emerging new technologies that have been advancing quickly and are currently beginning to boil around the edges. The event was kicked off by U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize winning physicist and former director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

As the kickoff speaker on the panel, my message to them noted that the power industry is an industry that is under attack. My advice was that they begin to make transition plans for dismantling the industry, plans that will include dismantling our national grid and replace it with a series of micro grids. Understanding the National Power Grid.