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A compilation of news we've carried at from




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Directory:Mimicking Living Organisms > Directory:Solar:Photosynthesis Imitation > Scientists find natural photovoltaic cell in hornet, and copy it - The oriental hornet is more active during the day, and tends to become even more active as the temperature rises. And now scientists have discovered the reason: the hornets are solar powered. It turns out that the distinctive yellow stripe on the hornet's abdomen is actually full of tiny protrusions that gather sunlight and harness it for energy. (GizMag December 6, 2010)
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Directory:Solar > Directory:Solar PhotoVoltaics > Boeing to mass-produce record-breaking 39.2 percent efficiency solar cell - Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab is bringing multi-junction solar cell efficiencies seen in the lab into mass production with the announcement of its C3MJ+ solar cells which boast an average conversion efficiency of 39.2 percent. Boeing hopes to transfer its satellite success to the terrestrial solar cell market with these new high-efficiency solar cells that are expected to be available beginning in January. (GizMag November 24, 2010)
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Directory:Building > Directory:Building > The brick-road-laying Tiger Stone - A road-wide device by Dutch inventor, Henk van Kuijk of Vanku, is fed loose bricks, and lays them out onto the road as it slowly moves along. A quick going-over with a tamper, and you’ve got an instant brick road. (GizMag November 15, 2010)
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Directory:Nuclear > Directory:Fusion > Directory:Fusion New approach could mean break-even nuclear fusion reactions within 2-3 years - After decades of worldwide research costing billions of dollars, the goal of achieving “net-gain,” where more energy is produced than is required to trigger the fusion chain reaction, still remains elusive. Now researchers at Sandia Labs are claiming a breakthrough that could see break-even fusion reactions in as little as two to three years. (GizMag Nov. 15, 2010)
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Directory:Nanotechnology / Directory:Lighting > Gold nanoparticles turn trees into streetlights - Yen-Hsun Su of Academia Sinica in Taiwan implanted gold nanoparticles into Bacopa caroliniana plants and found that, when exposed to high wavelength ultraviolet light, the gold nanoparticles can produce a blue-violet fluorescence that triggers a red emission of the surrounding chlorophyll. (GizMag Nov. 11, 2010)
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Directory:Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) > Directory: Remedies for Grid Vulnerabilities to Solar Flares > NASA’s Solar Shield to mitigate damage to power grid from severe solar storms - A new NASA project called “Solar Shield” is working to develop a forecasting system that can mitigate the impacts of solar storm events and keep the grid electrons flowing. About 30 minutes before impact an incoming CME would sweep past a spacecraft stationed 1.5 million km upstream from Earth, with sensors to then relay intensity measurement information to earth. (GizMag Oct. 27, 2010)
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Directory:Water as Fuel / Directory:Hydrogen > Directory:Hydrogen Production > Japanese company lays claim to world's cheapest hydrogen production process - Japan’s FUKAI Environmental Research Institute has announced a new technology for obtaining hydrogen efficiently and inexpensively. Their process involves adding aluminum or magnesium to boiling “functional water,” a proprietary substance that can be produced from by running regular tap water through a natural mineral-containing "functional water generation unit.” (GizMag October 18, 2010)
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Directory:Wind > Directory:Wind:Largest > World’s Largest Wind Farm Will Be Built in Oregon - The US Department of Energy has approved the partial guarantee for a $1.3 billion loan to support the construction of the world’s largest wind farm, located in eastern Oregon. The initiative will create a 845-megawatt wind-powered energy generating facility located immediately south of the Columbia River, built on approximately 32,000 acres. (GizMag October 13, 2010)
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Directory:Wind > Directory:Wind / Directory:Wind Farms / Directory:Piezoelectric > Windstalk concept is a wind farm without the turbines - An interesting Windstalk concept devised by New York design firm Atelier DNA could overcome the aesthetics and vibrations contentions to wind farms while still allowing a comparable amount of electricity to be generated by the wind. The array of densely arranged poles are packed with a stack of piezoelectric ceramic discs. Fluid in the base of the poles would turn turbines. (GizMag October 13, 2010)
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Directory:Conservation / Directory:Home Generation:Air Conditioning > Cleanair system said to cut energy costs by up to 25 percent - If only the air already in buildings could be cleaned up and reused, far less energy would be used on continuously conditioning fresh air, heating it or cooling it. University of Copenhagen’s Prof. Matthew Johnson's patented Cleanair system involves a process called Photochemical Air Purification, which incorporates ultraviolet light and photochemical reactions similar to those that occur in the Earth’s atmosphere. (GizMag October 4, 2010)
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Directory:Waste to Energy > Directory:Energy from Sewage / Directory:Microorganisms in Energy Production > Human waste power plant goes online in the UK - Brotish Gas has gone online with a sewage-to-biomethane plant that converts the treated sewage of 14 million Thames Water customers into clean, green gas and is pumping that gas into people's homes. Biomethane is created when bacteria known as anaerobic digesters break down organic material such as human or animal waste, food and household waste to produce a thick, odorless waste plus methane. (GizMag October 5, 2010)
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Directory:Waste to Energy > Directory:Waste Heat Generators / Directory:Fuel Efficiency > CPT's auto exhaust gas energy recovery system - Controlled Power Technologies (CPT)'s Turbo-generator Integrated Gas Energy Recovery System (TIGERS) uses the same switched reluctance technology as its production-ready VTES electric supercharging and SpeedStart stop-start systems. CPT estimates it will take five years to bring TIGERS to market. (GizMag September 27, 2010)
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Directory:Fuel Efficiency > Directory:Fuel Efficiency > Avion car goes border to border on one tank of diesel - In 1984, Craig Henderson and Bill Green built a one-of-a-kind super fuel-efficient car called the Avion. In 1986, it set the Guinness world record for fuel economy by averaging 103.7 mpg (2.27L/100km) while driving from the Mexican to Canadian borders. It is still on the road... and breaking its own records. On August 29th, they drove 1,478 miles (2,379 km) to the Mexican border getting 119.1mpg (1.97L/100km). (GizMag Sept. 15, 2010)
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Directory:Nanotechnology / Directory:Solar > Directory:Solar PhotoVoltaics > Directory:Concentrated Solar Power > Carbon nanotube “solar funnel” for smaller, more efficient solar cells - Using carbon nanotubes, MIT chemical engineers have found a way to concentrate solar energy 100 times more than a regular PV cell. Such nanotubes could form antennas that capture and focus light energy, potentially allowing much smaller and more powerful solar arrays. (GizMag September 12, 2010)
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Directory:Waste to Energy / Directory:Waste Heat Generators > Haier Power Pad takes energy from shower water and returns it to hot water system - The Haier PowerPad is a concept which captures the heat energy contained within the water that runs off our bodies every morning in the shower, and returns said energy to the hot water tank. Haier claims the PowerPad is currently capturing and returning 15% of the energy coming out of the faucet and by the time it goes on sale six weeks from now, that figure will be 20-30%. (GizMag July 31, 2010)
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Directory:Oil > Directory:Ecological Impact of Oil > Directory:BP's Gulf Oil Volcano > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > BP to trial underwater voraxial separator in Gulf - Mounted on a skimmer vessel, the machine takes oil-laden water from the sea and spins it at high speed in a central cylindrical chamber. The resulting centrifugal force pulls the water to the outer edges of the chamber, leaving the oil in the middle. Once separated, that oil is then captured and stored in onboard holding tanks, while the water flows back into the ocean. (GizMag July 19, 2010)
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Directory:Hydrogen / Directory:Flight > Long-endurance, hydrogen-powered Phantom Eye UAV unveiled - Unveiled earlier this week in St. Louis, Boeing's Phantom Eye will set a new benchmark in long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology when it takes to the skies in 2011. With a wing-span of 150-feet, the hydrogen-powered aircraft will cruise at 150 knots, carry up to 450-pounds and stay aloft at 65,000 feet for up to four days. (GizMag July 13, 2010)
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Directory:Solar > Directory:Solar Hydrogen / Directory:Solar:Photosynthesis Imitation > Breakthrough in using sunlight to split water - A team of MIT researchers has managed to mimic the photosynthetic process in plants by engineering M13, a simple and harmless virus, to help splitting water into its two atomic components - hydrogen and oxygen - using sunlight. The virus acts as the chlorophyl by capturing light, then transfers the energy down its length, acting like a wire. (GizMag Apr. 16, 2010)
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Directory:Fuel Efficiency > Directory:Awards > Directory:X Prize:Automotive > Just 12 teams remaining in Automotive X PRIZE - Ultimately, vehicles in each of the three classes will have to exceed 100 MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent), meet emissions and performance requirements, and complete on-road challenges in the fastest time possible, if they want to win their share of the US$10 million prize. (GizMag July 1, 2010)
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Directory:Electric Vehicles > Directory:Prizes > Around the world in 80 days race for zero emission electric cars - Louis Palmer is hoping a race to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days in zero emission, electric powered cars will harness public interest and inspire new ways of thinking about mobility, cars and renewable energy solutions. Starting Aug. 15, 2010 in Geneva, contestants will travel 30,000 km through 20 countries. (GizMag June 16, 2010)
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Directory:Refrigeration / Directory:Magnetism > The future of refrigeration could be magnetic - Scientists at U.C. Berkeley are seeking to utilize the magnetocaloric effect in which a changing magnetic field within a material causes it to get colder, in order to create a magnet-based refrigerator. Not only would it use less power and run quieter than your current fridge, but it also wouldn’t contain any hydrofluorocarbons, gases which can add tremendously to the greenhouse effect if not properly disposed of. (GizMag July 5, 2010)
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Directory:Storage > 'Never-before-seen material' can store vast amounts of energy - Using super-high pressures similar to those found deep in the Earth or on a giant planet, researchers from Washington State University have created a compact, never-before-seen material capable of storing vast amounts of energy. Described by one of the researchers as “the most condensed form of energy storage outside of nuclear energy,” the material holds potential for creating a new class of energetic materials... (GizMag July 4, 2010)
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Directory:Electric Vehicles > Directory:Electric Vehicle Recharging Stations > Free fast-charging stations for 4,400 Chevrolet Volt owners - With the long-awaited Chevrolet Volt set hit showrooms later this year, GM has announced that early adopters (in certain cities) will be eligible for one of 4,400 free home charging stations. The 240-volt fast-charge station deal is tied to a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program which aims to assess electric vehicle charging infrastructure requirements. (GizMag June 21, 2010)
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Directory:Hydrogen > Directory:Fuel Cells > At last! An affordable, portable, pocket-sized Personal Fuel Cell - Horizon Fuel Cell has released the world's first affordable, pocket-sized fuel cell. Priced at US$99, the Minipak produces electricity from hydrogen at the point of use and offers effectively unlimited run-time for personal electronics. (GizMag June 15, 2010)
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Directory:Building > Directory:Building > Student creates cost-effective self-healing concrete? - Researchers at the University of Rhode Island have created a concrete matrix embedded with a micro-encapsulated sodium silicate healing agent via a process that can be done in a cost-effective manner. When cracks form in the concrete, the capsules rupture and release the agent into the adjacent area... (GizMag May 27, 2010)
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Directory:Electric Vehicles > Directory:Electric Vehicle Recharging Stations > Nissan EV quick charger to hit the market - In preparation for the December release of its sold-out all-electric LEAF automobile, Nissan said it will be selling in-house-designed EV quick chargers for CHAdeMO plugs. Nissan plans to install 2,200 standard non-quick chargers in dealerships throughout Japan, aiming for one charger within 40 kilometers of any point on the road. (GizMag May 26, 2010)
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Directory:Solar > Directory:Space Based Solar Power / Directory:Flight > Directory:Propulsion > First solar powered spacecraft successfully launched - Today, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun (IKAROS) craft. IKAROS is a space yacht that gathers energy for propulsion from sunlight pressure (photons) by means of a square membrane measuring 20 meters (65.6 ft) diagonally. (GizMag May 21, 2010)
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Directory:Fuel Efficiency > Directory:Flight > Double bubble aircraft design would use 70 percent less fuel - A team of MIT researchers unveiled their latest feat of engineering. Their innovative D-series airplane, lovingly referred to as the “double bubble” uses 70% less fuel than conventional aircraft and can take off on shorter runways. (GizMag May 19, 2010)
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Directory:Prizes > Directory:X Prize:Automotive > Automotive X PRIZE - Shakedown stage results - 27 vehicles survived the first of three on-track testing stages in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, covering efficiency, safety, and performance evaluations including durability, acceleration and braking and avoidance maneuvers. The competitors will now set their sights on the Knockout Qualifying Stage at Michigan International Speedway in June. (GizMag May 17, 2010)
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Directory:Lasers and Energy / Directory:Nuclear > Directory:Fusion > Worlds Largest Laser Takes First Steps Toward Nuclear Fusion - When all of its 192 laser beams are operational later this year, the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will focus about two million joules of ultraviolet laser energy on a tiny target in the center of its target chamber, generating unprecedented temperatures (100 million degrees) and pressures (100 billion times Earth's atmosphere) in the target materials... (GizMag May 10, 2010)
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Directory:Weather Control / Directory:Lasers and Energy > Swiss breakthrough could mean rain on demand - Researchers from the University of Geneva have reported laser-powered cloud seeding success, both inside and outside the laboratory. The team fired short 220-millijoule pulses of infrared light from a laser into an illuminated chamber of water-saturated air at minus 24°C and noted the formation of clouds in the laser's wake. (GizMag May 4, 2010)
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Directory:Fuel Efficiency > Directory:Transmissions > Is Steve Durnin's D-Drive the holy grail of infinitely variable transmissions? - Steve Durnin's ingenious new gearbox design is infinitely variable, doesn't need a clutch, doesn't use any friction drive components, and the power is always transmitted through strong, reliable gear teeth. Could ot be the holy grail of gearboxes? (GizMag May 13, 2010)
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Directory:Electrical Grid > Directory:Electrical Grid > Transmission speeds of 100Mbps over 1km on existing copper networks - Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs has demonstrated technology that boosts the transmission speeds over two copper pairs to 100Mbps over a distance of 1km. This could see such infrastructure given a new lease of life, satisfying consumer’s need for speed for some time to come. (GizMag April 22, 2010)
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Congress:Top 100 Technologies -- RD > Congress:T100:Related Lists > MIT Technology Review names 10 technologies that will change the World - The list includes Joule Biotechnologies genetically engineered microorganisms that can turn sunlight into ethanol or diesel light-trapping photovoltaics using nanoparticles of silver on the surface of a thin-film cell and green concrete. (GizMag April 20, 2010)
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Directory:Fuel Cells > Directory:Microbial Fuel Cells > Navy's microbial fuel cell generates electricity from mud - Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert chemical energy to electrical energy to offer a clean, efficient and reliable alternative to batteries and other environmentally harmful fuels. The U.S. Office of Naval Research has developed an MFC that could revolutionize naval energy use by converting decomposed marine organisms into electricity. (GizMag April 20, 2010)
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Directory:Thermal Electric > Directory:Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion > First robotic underwater vehicle to be powered entirely by natural, renewable, ocean thermal energy - The Sounding Oceanographic Lagrangrian Observer Thermal RECharging (SOLO-TREC) autonomous underwater vehicle uses a novel thermal recharging engine powered by the natural temperature differences found at different ocean depths, via phase change materials. So the vehicle can be powered indefinitely just by moving up and down in the water. (GizMag April 8, 2010)
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Directory:Storage > Directory:Batteries > Directory:Lithium > Directory:Lithium > Lithium-air batteries offer three times the energy density - Lithium-air batteries have the potential of providing energy densities up to three times that of the conventional lithium-ion batteries found in just about every portable consumer electronics device and electric vehicles. Researchers at MIT have made a breakthrough that could help make the commercial development of lightweight rechargeable batteries a reality. (GizMag Apr. 5, 2010)
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Directory:Storage > Directory:Batteries > Directory:Lithium EcoloCap claims its battery technology more than 98% efficient - The Nano Lithium X Battery by EcoloCap offers over 98 percent efficiency and has "the world’s highest energy density output per mass". The battery was also found to have the "fastest recharge time of any comparable commercial battery" together with the "lowest cost per energy output". (GizMag March 24, 2010)
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Directory:Alternative Fuels > Directory:Waste to Energy / Directory:Plasma > Directory:GlidArc(R) Plasma and Syngas Technology > Plasma technology offers clean fuel breakthrough - According to Prof. Albin Czernichowski from France’s University of Orleans, a device called a GlidArc reactor has successfully been used to create clean fuels from waste materials, utilizing electrically-charged clouds of gas called “plasmas.” One of the fuels is a form of diesel that reportedly releases ten times less air pollution than conventional diesel. (GizMag March 25, 2010)

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Directory:Solar > Directory:Solar:Photosynthesis Imitation > Drawing inspiration from Mother Nature in designing an ‘artifical leaf’ - A group of Chinese scientists has presented a design strategy based on the chemistry and biology of natural leaves that could lead to working prototypes of an artificial leaf that captures solar energy and uses it efficiently to change water into hydrogen fuel. (GizMag March 26, 2010)
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Directory:Fuel Efficiency / Directory:Vibrations > Regenerative shock absorber to bump up car energy capture capabilities - To harvest up and down motion energy usually lost in shock absorbers, a team of mechanical engineers from Stony Brook University, have designed and tested a shock absorber that can be retrofitted to cars to convert the kinetic energy of suspension vibration between the wheel and sprung mass into useful electrical power. (GizMag March 19, 2010)
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Directory:Biomass / Directory:Biofuels > Directory:Biofuels:Research and Development > Plant-based fuel is cheap, easy, and ready to power your jet - Engineers at University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to convert 95% of the energy of cellulosic biomass into jet fuel using stable, inexpensive catalysts, basic equipment and minimal processing. The end hydrocarbon product is so similar to jet fuel that it is ready for application by present internal engine designs. (GizMag March 11, 2010)
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Directory:Flight > Directory:Flight > It's 2010 - finally my jet pack is here! - Finally we can all take flight as Martin Aircraft in New Zealand releases the first commercially-available jet pack that provides 30 minutes of flight time! The Jetpack is constructed from carbon fiber composite, weighs 250 lbs and measures ~5 ft in girth. Driven by a 200 hp (150 kw) engine, it can reach ~8000 ft. (GizMag March 7, 2010)
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Directory:Nanotechnology / Directory:Thermal Electric > Carbon nanotubes offer new way to produce electricity - MIT scientists have discovered that moving pulse of heat traveling along the miniscule wires known as carbon nanotubes can cause powerful waves of energy. These "thermopower waves" can drive electrons along like a collection of flotsam propelled along the surface of ocean waves, creating an electrical current. The previously unknown phenomenon opens up a new area of energy research. (GizMag March 8, 2010)
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Directory:Electric Vehicles > Directory:Electric Cars / Directory:Emergency Preparedness / Directory:Human-Powered > HumanCar can double as back-up generator for home - This health-conscious electric vehicle by HumanCar is able to convert the rowing motion of the driver and any passengers to charge a battery and power the vehicle, or it can be recharged from a socket. The vehicle can also be used store energy and act as a backup power generator to provide electricity to the home. (GizMag March 1, 2010) (Video)
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Directory:Thermal Electric / Directory:Human-Powered > Human heat can power electronics - New energy-scavenging systems under development at MIT could generate electricity just from differences in temperature between the body (or other warm object) and the surrounding air, harnessing differences of just one or two degrees, producing tiny (~100 microwatts) but nevertheless useful amounts of electricity. (GizMag Feb. 17, 2010)
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Directory:Electric Vehicles > Directory:Electric Cars > Directory:Electric Cars > TREXA announces pricing details for DIY electric car - TREXA has announced a base price of US$15,999 for the lithium-powered, modular platform which is designed to facilitate the creation of custom "vehicle apps". "We believe that it’s time we put the automotive industry back into the hands of the people, by offering them a cost-effective, well-supported vehicle platform to design and build for." (GizMag February 9, 2010)
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Directory:Solar > Directory:Solar PhotoVoltaics > Millimeter-scale, energy-harvesting sensor could operate almost perpetually - Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a solar-powered sensor system that is just nine cubic millimeters in size. It is 1,000 times smaller than comparable commercial counterparts and can harvest energy from its surroundings to operate nearly perpetually. Applications include medical device implant power, remote sensors. (GizMag Feb. 9, 2010)
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Directory:Electric Vehicles > Directory:Electric Vehicle Recharging Stations / Directory:Fuel Cells / Directory:Solar Hydrogen > Directory:Solar Hydrogen > Honda's next gen solar-powered hydrogen fuel cell station for home use - Honda has begun work on a smaller solar hydrogen station prototype intended as a home refueling appliance. Capable of an overnight refill of fuel cell electric vehicles it is designed to be a single, integrated unit that will fit in the user's garage, producing enough hydrogen (0.5kg) via an 8-hour overnight fill for daily commuting (10,000 miles per year). (GizMag Feb. 1, 2010)



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