• Category Archives: Gadgets and Tech

    Microbial fuel cells use waste water to generate green energy

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    Not everything is waste. Not even sewage water! Today, waste water has multiple uses, with nuclear power plants using treated waste water, cities switching to toilet to tap technologies and breweries using waste water to generate biogas. Not too far away in the future, waste water-powered batteries might just help power up our homes and lighten up our streets too! Microbial fuel cells that rely on wastewater bacteria are currently being developed by environmental engineer Bruce Logan.

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on August 23, 2011
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    Solar powered lamps built for Japan use dye-sensitized solar cells

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    We’ve seen a host of renewable-energy-powered gadgets built to aid the relief work in Japan. Here’s yet another one of those, this time a portable lamp that powers up using solar energy. The lamps use dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), LEDs and nickel-metal-hydride rechargeable batteries and were built by Hiroshi Segawa, professor at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) of the University of Tokyo and his group. Using palm-sized DSSC panels, this is the first time dye-sensitized solar cells have been mass-produced.

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on August 23, 2011
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    13-year-old discovers way to increase energy efficiency, inspired by nature

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    If you’ve been over-friendly with numbers, you probably might have come across the Fibonacci Sequence, the series of numbers around which the whole universe seems to resolve. 13-year-old superbrain, Aidan Dwyer recently associated the good old Fibonacci Sequence with the way tree branches were structured, and stumbled upon the astounding fact that the branches didn’t grow at random, instead choosing positions that help increase the amount of light gathered for the trees. The 7th grader came up with this explanation while walking through the woods one winter day, and couldn’t help noticing the way the barren tree branches were shaped. And to prove himself correct, Dwyer used the same number of solar cells, and built two solar modules, one the traditional flat paneled way, and the second shaped like tree branches, after careful measurements. The result was a 20% higher efficiency level for the tree shaped module!

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on August 22, 2011
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    Solar energy generating LCDs, more than just a dream with UCLA engineering

    5.jpgSolar panels on phones might seem like the next best way to keep phones juiced up with green energy. Engineers at the UCLA however are looking way ahead of our time and technology, and have been working on LCD screens that soak in solar juice! With this, we could probably have a range of green portable devices in the future, that power up with solar energy. The technology is capable of using sunlight, ambient light and the device’s backlight to juice up, using polarizing organic photovoltaics.

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on August 18, 2011
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    Wearable SILVER solar cells turn soldiers into sitting ducks

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    Well, if defense forces around the globe are seriously looking forward to having their soldiers generate electricity on the go, with solar panels, we suggest they have these embedded in military uniforms! Unlike these wearable flexible panels for instance, developed by the Australian National University. The idea of having soldiers generate electricity from the sun while on the go, to power up the devices they carry around, seems feasible, though having these SILVER cells that can easily be spotted by snipers, turning soldiers into sitting-ducks, seems just wrong!

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on August 16, 2011
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    Taiwan scientists develop electronic paper that uses heat to erase

    1-agroupoftaiw (1).jpgThe paper sheets we’re all so used to writing on, right since parchment was forgotten, might just turn into writing material of the past, joining leaves and cave walls! Now, Taiwan scientists have come up with a way for the human race to continue writing away, though keeping paper away. Instead, the Industrial Technology Research Institute has come up with a device called the i2R e-paper with similar dimensions like an e-book, though with a rewritable screen, and without a backlight. To erase the electronic paper, all one needs to do is have it heated up in a thermal writing device like a fax machine.

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on August 10, 2011
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    Samsung to launch solar-powered laptop in US

    samsung-solar.jpgWe’ve featured Samsung’s shiny green solar powered laptop before, the NC215s. first launched in the Asian and African markets, given that these are the places that face maximum power outages, and any renewable-energy-powered portable device seems the best way to keep up with technology, the manufacturer is now planning to launch these in the United States too. The laptop features a 10” screen and sports solar panels on the outer side of the screen. Simply having this one exposed to the sun for a couple of hours helps it soak up enough juice to power up for a considerable time.

    Posted in Alternative Energy, Gadgets and Tech on August 10, 2011
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    Taiwan scientists develop electronic paper that uses heat to erase

    1-agroupoftaiw (1).jpgThe paper sheets we’re all so used to writing on, right since parchment was forgotten, might just turn into writing material of the past, joining leaves and cave walls! Now, Taiwan scientists have come up with a way for the human race to continue writing away, though keeping paper away. Instead, the Industrial Technology Research Institute has come up with a device called the i2R e-paper with similar dimensions like an e-book, though with a rewritable screen, and without a backlight. To erase the electronic paper, all one needs to do is have it heated up in a thermal writing device like a fax machine.

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on August 10, 2011
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    Samsung to launch solar-powered laptop in US

    samsung-solar.jpgWe’ve featured Samsung’s shiny green solar powered laptop before, the NC215s. first launched in the Asian and African markets, given that these are the places that face maximum power outages, and any renewable-energy-powered portable device seems the best way to keep up with technology, the manufacturer is now planning to launch these in the United States too. The laptop features a 10” screen and sports solar panels on the outer side of the screen. Simply having this one exposed to the sun for a couple of hours helps it soak up enough juice to power up for a considerable time.

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on August 10, 2011
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    Apple to recycle old computers and mobile phones for free

    computer_waste_main.jpgApple seems to have learned to work for the best interests of the environment lately. The manufacturer is now willingly accepting old computers, sending them for recycling, in a bid to keep away a load of technological trash from dump yards. Earlier, Apple followed a protocol wherein people were charged for old PC disposal carried out by the manufacturer, or free disposal of old PCs was offered to those buying Macs. Also, Apple’s new Reuse and Recycling Program will take in iPhones and iPads and phones made by other manufacturers too who’ve met their death beds, and if your device still has a considerable breath of life left, you’re entitled to a gift card.

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech, Recycle on August 10, 2011
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