Energy Inventions News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on new energy inventions
Trees and algae have been turning CO2 into fuel since the dawn of time, unlocking the chemical energy within this molecule to power metabolic processes. With a little ingenuity, it is already possible to transform CO2 into anything from petrol to natural gas. Any conversion processes will take a lot of energy. The question is, can these processes be refined to ensure that less energy is used to create this fuel than is provided by it? The key challenge is to convert CO2 into carbon monoxide (CO), by removing one of its oxygen atoms. Once you have CO, the process of creating hydrocarbon fuels such as petrol is easy. It's achieved through a reaction known as the Fischer-Tropsch process – most commonly used to synthesise liquid fuel from coal. But getting from CO2 to CO requires ... a lot of energy. The US Government's Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have opted for ... a system that takes its energy source from concentrated solar power. As Green Futures goes to press, researchers from Bristol and Bath Universities in the UK have also announced plans for solar-powered CO2-to-fuel conversion.
Note: If plants are able to convert CO2 to energy and have been doing this for billions of years, why can't scientists figure out a way to do this for human use?
People are looking for ways to trim budgets and cut down on energy use. There's a product heating up in Utah that does just that. It even helps a good cause. Don't underestimate the power of cooking with the sun. LaRue Howells first bought a Global Sun Oven a year ago to be prepared for an emergency, but now she uses it a few times a week, all-year round and shares her knowledge with members of her church. Howells said, "I can grab the solar oven and some food and take off if I needed to, and it's wonderful to have." She baked bread for us. The temperature outside was in the low 40s. "We baked bread when it was 17 degrees outside," she said. "The temperature outside isn't the issue, it's the sun." To control the heat of the oven, you adjust the angle of the oven to the sun. If you want to reduce the heat, you angle it away from the sun. One-third of the Sun Ovens sold in the U.S. are sold in Utah. Joe Crane, with Kitchen Kneads, said, "Just being prepared, self-sufficient brings a lot of peace of mind to people." Crane started to sell them nearly a year ago. "Temperature makes no difference," he said. "I've cooked at 5 below to 90 degrees in the summer time." All you need is sun, and cook times aren't much longer than with a conventional oven. As useful as we might find them, Sun Ovens are life sustaining in developing countries looking for solutions to deforestation and energy deficiency. Domestic sales help pay for ovens in Afghanistan, Nepal and South Africa. They cost around $300. Sun Ovens [use] no electricity and [burn] no fuels, meaning no emissions.
Mater Dei High School finished first and third out of 33 high school and college student teams from North and South America, shattering the miles per gallon record set last year by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Mater Dei's "6th Gen" car won the traditional fuel combustion category in the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas with [a] run of 2,843.4 miles per gallon. Mater Dei's other car in competition, "5th Gen" finished third with a Friday run of 2,383.8 miles per gallon. Mater Dei wins $10,000 for first prize, along with an additional $2,400 for internal combustion engine awards. The Eco-Marathon Americas, which began in 2007, is a gathering of college and high school student teams trying to drive the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel. Collectively, it's an effort to change the way the world uses energy. Each team uses a hand-built, high-mileage prototype vehicle at the California Speedway from vehicle design to management to financing, the student teams managed their vehicles from start to finish. In addition to being eco-friendly, the competition is also about giving the students an opportunity to gain practical experience in science, math, business and design.
Note: Why wasn't this remarkable news covered by any major media other than this NBC affiliate? For another astonishing, yet little-known engine invention by high school students, click here. For more on the repression of new energy inventions, click here.
A powerful winter storm swept across northeastern Ohio in early January, knocking out power for nearly 60,000 customers. But in an isolated one-story building, tucked among the trees and fields of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the lights stayed on. So did the computers. The power source: two fuel cells, each about the size of a refrigerator. "It worked seamlessly," said Tom Toledo, maintenance operations supervisor at the park. "We didn't even realize there was a power outage." The performance of these fuel cells, a demonstration project for fuel cell maker Acumentrics Corp. of Westwood, is an example of a technology whose time may be approaching. Unlike traditional technologies, which burn fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas to make power, fuel cells rely on chemical reactions to produce electricity and heat. Fuel cells are most frequently imagined as an advanced engine for automobiles. But as Acumentrics' success in Ohio demonstrates, on-site generation represents another application, one that specialists say will make it to market long before fuel cells replace the internal combustion engine. Acumentrics, in fact, is moving toward commercial production of a compact fuel cell system to power and heat homes. Working with the Italian heating products company Merloni TermoSanitari, Acumentrics hopes to get these household units, small enough to hang on a wall, into European markets by 2010. Estimated price: $5,200. "This is a new way of making electricity," said Gary Simon, Acumentrics chief executive. "It's like going from vacuum tubes to microchips." Acumentrics is one of about 40 Massachusetts firms developing fuel cell technology that someday may power everything from military outposts to cellphones.
Note: For many exciting reports of new energy inventions, click here.
An Erie cancer researcher has found a way to burn salt water, a novel invention that is being touted by one chemist as the "most remarkable" water science discovery in a century. John Kanzius happened upon the discovery accidentally when he tried to desalinate seawater with a radio-frequency generator he developed to treat cancer. He discovered that as long as the salt water was exposed to the radio frequencies it would burn. The discovery has scientists excited by the prospect of using salt water, the most abundant resource on earth, as a fuel. Rustum Roy, a Penn State University chemist, has held demonstrations at his State College lab to confirm his own observations. The radio frequencies act to weaken the bonds between the elements that make up salt water, releasing the hydrogen, Roy said. Once ignited, the hydrogen will burn as long as it is exposed to the frequencies, he said. The discovery is "the most remarkable in water science in 100 years," Roy said. "This is the most abundant element in the world. It is everywhere," Roy said. "Seeing it burn gives me the chills." Roy will meet this week with officials from the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense to try to obtain research funding. The scientists want to find out whether the energy output from the burning hydrogen - which reached a heat of more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit - would be enough to power a car or other heavy machinery. "We will get our ideas together and check this out and see where it leads," Roy said. "The potential is huge."
Note: For an exciting survey of major media reports of new energy inventions, click here.
Millions of inventions pass quietly through the U.S. patent office each year. Patent No. 7,033,406 did, too, until energy insiders spotted six words in the filing that sounded like a death knell for the internal combustion engine. An Austin-based startup called EEStor promised "technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries," meaning a motorist could plug in a car for five minutes and drive 500 miles roundtrip between Dallas and Houston without gasoline. By contrast, some plug-in hybrids on the horizon would require motorists to charge their cars in a wall outlet overnight and promise only 50 miles of gasoline-free commute. And the popular hybrids on the road today still depend heavily on fossil fuels. "It's a paradigm shift," said Ian Clifford, chief executive of Toronto-based ZENN Motor Co., which has licensed EEStor's invention. "The Achilles' heel to the electric car industry has been energy storage. By all rights, this would make internal combustion engines unnecessary." Clifford's company bought rights to EEStor's technology in August 2005 and expects EEStor to start shipping the battery replacement later this year for use in ZENN Motor's short-range, low-speed vehicles. The technology could also help invigorate the renewable-energy sector by providing efficient, lightning-fast storage for solar power, or, on a small scale, a flash-charge for cell phones and laptops. EEStor's secret ingredient is a material sandwiched between thousands of wafer-thin metal sheets, like a series of foil-and-paper gum wrappers stacked on top of each other. Charged particles stick to the metal sheets and move quickly across EEStor's proprietary material. The result is an ultracapacitor, a battery-like device that stores and releases energy quickly.
Note: For many exciting articles about new, efficient and clean energy inventions, click here.
Algae seems a strange contender for the mantle of World’s Next Great Fuel, but the green goop has several qualities in its favor. Algae, made up of simple aquatic organisms that capture light energy through photosynthesis, produces vegetable oil. Vegetable oil, in turn, can be transformed into biodiesel, which can be used to power just about any diesel engine. Algae has some important advantages over other oil-producing crops, like canola and soybeans. It can be grown in almost any enclosed space, it multiplies like gangbusters, and it requires very few inputs to flourish—mainly just sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. “Because algae has a high surface-area-to-volume ratio, it can absorb nutrients very quickly,” [Jim] Sears says. “Its small size is what makes it mighty.” The proof is in the numbers. About 140 billion gallons of biodiesel would be needed every year to replace all petroleum-based transportation fuel in the U.S. It would take nearly three billion acres of fertile land to produce that amount with soybeans, and more than one billion acres to produce it with canola. Unfortunately, there are only 434 million acres of cropland in the entire country, and we probably want to reserve some of that to grow food. But because of its ability to propagate almost virally in a small space, algae could do the job in just 95 million acres of land. What’s more, it doesn’t need fertile soil to thrive. It grows in ponds, bags or tanks that can be just as easily set up in the desert—or next to a carbon-dioxide-spewing power plant—as in the country’s breadbasket. Sears claims that these efficiencies will allow Solix Biofuels, the company he founded, to create algae-based biodiesel that costs about the same as gasoline.
Note: For many other innovative ideas to develop cheap, renewable energy sources, click here.
Retired TV station owner and broadcast engineer, John Kanzius, wasn't looking for an answer to the energy crisis. He was looking for a cure for cancer. Four years ago, inspiration struck in the middle of the night. Kanzius decided to try using radio waves to kill the cancer cells. His wife Marianne heard the noise and found her husband inventing a radio frequency generator with her pie pans. "I got up immediately, and thought he had lost it." Here are the basics of John's idea: Radio-waves will heat certain metals. Tiny bits of certain metal are injected into a cancer patient. Those nano-particals are attracted to the abnormalities of the cancer cells and ignore the healthy cells. The patient is then exposed to radio waves and only the bad cells heat up and die. But John also came across yet another extrordinary breakthrough. His machine could actually make saltwater burn. John Kanzius discovered that his radio frequency generator could release the oxygen and hydrogen from saltwater and create an incredibly intense flame. "If that was in a car cylinder you could see the amount of fire that would be in the cylinder." The APV Company Laboratory in Akron has checked out John's ... invention. They were amazed. "That could be a steam engine, a steam turbine. That could be a car engine if you wanted it to be." Imagine the possibilities. Saltwater as the ultimate clean fuel. A happy byproduct of one man searching for the cure for cancer.
Note: Though this exciting breakthrough was reported in dozens of local media, not one major news outlet found it worthy of mention. To verify this yourself, click here.
Off the western coast of Scotland, on the Isle of Islay, science teacher Ray Husthwaite turns on the light in his classroom. The electricity comes from a power cable that runs to the mainland. But it also comes from the ocean. A few miles from the school, wave action compresses and decompresses air in a chamber. The moving air powers a turbine, which generates electricity. "It is pleasant ... to sit beside the gray, concrete structure and listen to the rising and falling of the waves, driving air through the turbines like the breath of a great sea monster," Husthwaite said. "It seems insane to me to be investing in nuclear power stations and gas turbines when there are endless, free energy resources in the rivers, oceans and the wind." Ocean power gradually is joining the ranks of wind and solar power as a source of renewable energy. Islay's wave-power converter, the Limpet 500, has been operating since 2000. In Hawaii, the Navy has been churning up electrons with the help of a floating buoy. And in Portugal, engineers are installing snakelike tubes designed to convert the sea's motion into electricity. Some designs, like the Limpet, use waves to push air through a column. Others convert the sea's up-and-down motion into mechanical energy. One wave-power company executive told a congressional committee last year that several hundred square miles off the California coast could supply the electrical needs of all of the homes in the state.
Note: To learn about an abundance of other new energy technologies which could replace oil, click here.
The home and office of Kyle Foggo, who stepped down on Monday as the Central Intelligence Agency's No. 3 official, were searched today. Mr. Foggo resigned after becoming entangled in a widening investigation that has already brought down former Representative Randy Cunningham. Mr. Foggo's workplace in Langley, Va., and his residence in Virginia were searched this morning by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the C.I.A. inspector general's office. April Langwell, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I.'s San Diego office, said Mr. Foggo had been under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the Defense Department's inspector general's office, as well as by the C.I.A.'s inspector general and the F.B.I. The inquiry by the C.I.A.'s inspector is examining whether he improperly awarded agency contracts to a longtime friend, Brent R. Wilkes, a military contractor whose companies have received nearly $100 million in government contracts over the years. Mr. Foggo, 51, has admitted attending poker parties throughout the 1990's that Mr. Wilkes held in a suite at the Watergate Hotel in Washington. The parties were primarily attended by C.I.A. officials and congressmen, and Mr. Cunningham, a California Republican, occasionally attended. Several news media accounts have reported that prostitutes frequented the parties.
Note: This article has huge significance. Until just a few years ago, there was a virtual blackout in the media on any negative coverage of the CIA. The fact that the Feds raided the home of the #3 man in the CIA and it was reported in top newspapers is an external manifestation of huge shake-ups going on behind the scenes. Buzzy Krongard, the previous #3 at the CIA has been linked to the millions of dollars in suspicious stock option trades made just prior to 9/11 that were never claimed, though this received little media coverage.
It seems too good to be true: a new source of near-limitless power that costs virtually nothing, uses tiny amounts of water as its fuel and produces next to no waste. Randell Mills, a Harvard University medic who also studied electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, claims to have built a prototype power source that generates up to 1,000 times more heat than conventional fuel. Independent scientists claim to have verified the experiments and Dr Mills says that his company, Blacklight Power, has tens of millions of dollars in investment lined up to bring the idea to market. What has much of the physics world up in arms is Dr Mills's claim that he has produced a new form of hydrogen, the simplest of all the atoms, with just a single proton circled by one electron. In his "hydrino", the electron sits a little closer to the proton than normal, and the formation of the new atoms from traditional hydrogen releases huge amounts of energy. According to Dr Mills, there can be only one explanation: quantum mechanics must be wrong. "We've done a lot of testing. We've got 50 independent validation reports, we've got 65 peer-reviewed journal articles," he said. "We ran into this theoretical resistance and there are some vested interests here.
Note: Hundreds of respected scientists, including a genius friend of ours with 12 patents to his name, have developed devices which produce energy for a very low price, only to have their inventions either bought and shelved or destroyed systematically by those with vested interests. Our friend's $7 million company was taken over by vested oil interests after first both his home and office were ransacked and than a bullet-hole was put through his office window. For lots more on this, see our New Energy Information Center.
U of Michigan takes prize, finishing the 2500-mile course in 54 hours. Fourteen of the twenty entrants completed the race. The last to cross the finish line (Kansas State U) came in 12.5 hours after the winner. The ten-day solar car race from Austin to Calgary came to a successful finish yesterday. The University of Michigan's Momentum placed first, completing a few seconds under 54 hours. They also set a record by averaging 46.2 mph in this, the world's longest solar car race. The University of Minnesota's Borealis III came in second, trailing by 12 minutes. MIT's Tesseract came in third. Canada's leading team, the University of Waterloo, came in fifth with their Midnight Sun. Fourteen cars went all the way to the finish line, with the last to cross being Kansas State University's Paragon on its maiden race, at 87.5 hours, a little over 12 hours after the winner.
Note: A solar powered car averaged 46.2 mph in over a 2,500 mile course! Why isn't this making mainstream news headlines? I invite you to do a Google news search on "Solar Challenge" (the annual solar car race). You will find that almost no major media cover this event at all. The few who do somehow fail to mention anything about the speeds attained by these cars. Why is the media not covering these incredible breakthroughs?
British scientists have developed an antigravity machine that can float heavy stones, coins and lumps of metal in mid-air. Based around a powerful magnet, the device levitates objects in a similar way to how a maglev train runs above its tracks. The device exploits diamagnetism. Place non-magnetic objects inside a strong enough magnetic field and they are forced to act like weak magnets themselves. Generate a field that is stronger below and weaker above, and the resulting upward magnetic force cancels out gravity. Scientists have used diamagnetism to make wood, strawberries and, famously, a living frog fly. "That force is strong enough to float things with a density similar to water, but not things with the density of rocks."
[Somender Singh] claims that his invention makes an engine cleaner, quieter and colder...while using up to 20 percent less gas. So far, all Singh’s invention has earned him is a few polite rejection letters from presidents, professors and auto manufacturers. “I am...no man with letters after his name or fancy institutions, and what I have invented is really very simple,” he admits. Remember that the internal combustion engine is itself hardly rocket science. The internal combustion engine (ICE) has been with us for about 200 years. The basic concept—the boom that turns a crank—has not really changed at all. The efficiency of that bang had stalled out at around 28 percent. The vast majority of the fuel was dissipated as engine heat or exhaust. Singh knew that ... the combustion chamber [was where] fuel was turned to bang. He modified a motorcycle, then a two-stroke, then a four-stroke, then a car, then 50 cars. Singh applied for a patent in January 1999, and the U.S. Patent Office issued him No. 6237579 in May 2001. Finally he was allowed to bring his engines and hook them to a Benz EC-70 dynamometer with a five-gas analyzer and a Benz gravimetric fuel-measuring device. At between 2,000 and 2,800 rpm, Singh’s modified engine used between 10 and 42 percent less fuel than its unmodified twin, with no appreciable losses in torque or power.
Note: After posting a message on a group of high-school students who achieved dramatic improvements in car engine efficiency two weeks ago, we received emails from more than ten people claiming to have made or know of similar inventions. The above article was sent as evidence in one case. Dozens of other cases that could be real. For Mr. Singh's website, see http://www.somender-singh.com. For lots more, click here.
British researchers believe that they have made a groundbreaking scientific discovery after apparently managing to "create" energy from hydrogen atoms. In results independently verified at Bristol University, a team from Gardner Watts - an environmental technology company - show a "thermal energy cell" which appears to produce hundreds of times more energy than that put into it. If the findings are correct and can be reproduced on a commercial scale, the thermal energy cell could become a feature of every home, heating water for a fraction of the cost and cutting fuel bills by at least 90 per cent. The makers of the cell, which passes an electric current through a liquid between two electrodes, admit that they cannot explain precisely how the invention works. "What we are saying is that the device seems to tap into another, previously unrecognised source of energy." The cell is the product of research into the fundamental properties of hydrogen, the most common element in the universe. Hydrogen can exist in a so-called metastable state that harbours a potential source of extra energy. [Quantum] theory suggests that if electricity were passed into a mixture of water and a chemical catalyst, the extra energy would be released in the form of heat. After some experimentation, the team found that a small amount of electricity passed through a mixture of water and potassium carbonate - potash - released an astonishing amount of energy. "It generates a lot of heat in a very small volume," said Christopher Eccles, the chief scientist at Gardner Watts. The findings of the Gardner Watts team were tested by Dr Jason Riley of Bristol University, who found energy gains of between three and 26 times what had been put in.
Note: For an abundance of reliable reports on amazing new energy developments, click here.
Plants take in carbon dioxide, water, and sunshine to create a sugary fuel. Now researchers have done the same, but even better. A recent study in Science describes the system, named Bionic Leaf 2.0. In the “leaf,” solar energy splits up a water molecule, and bacteria turn hydrogen and carbon dioxide into liquid fuel, mainly isopropanol. The fuel could possibly be used to power a car's engine or motor in the future. The researchers, led by Daniel Nocera and Pamela Silver from Harvard University, have made advancements on their original Bionic Leaf, released last year. The system had some problems, mainly with the metal catalyst that helped the reaction. In the first edition, the catalyst also set off a reaction that attacked the bacteria’s DNA. The new system has a new catalyst made of cobalt and phosphorus. This solves the bacteria-attacking problem and also increases the efficiency of the reaction to 10 percent efficiency. Normal photosynthesis in plants is one percent efficient at converting solar energy to biomass. This technology has the potential to bring another type of solar energy to users. Nocera said in a press release that they are continuing their research, chiefly on bringing this technology to the developing world.
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As if the images of this MSV Explorer prototype amphibious vehicle weren’t arresting enough, Cornish inventor Chris Garner claims to have solved the centuries-old conundrum of perpetual motion – which could lead to electric cars that never have to be recharged. Garner ... is utterly convinced that what he’s come up with will work, saying he’s spent “35,000 hours of science” on the project so far. It’s called the “hyper performance gyro generator”, and he doesn’t just want us to take his word for it – instead he’s having it tested ... at the University of Plymouth next week. Garner prefers to call it “self-sustaining energy”. He explained that the “gyro gen” functions on the principle that it can go from 1rpm to 6,000rpm with very little in the way of friction or drag. Once spinning it won’t stop until it wears out. If the resulting ampage ... is higher than that required to power an electric motor then you’ve got free fuel for travel. In the example currently under development, the gyro gen produces 1,600 amps, far more than the 400 amps required to drive a pair of motors. The remaining electrical energy could then be used to power ancilliaries, such as air conditioning, lights and so forth. Whether it all works in reality remains to be seen – we’ll have a better idea after the tests next week – but it could mean a future free from electric vehicle range anxiety for all of us.
Note: To get the full story on this, click on the MSN link above and then click through the 14 slides of the vehicle there. For lots more great information on this exciting new technology, click here.
Think of the pickup truck from Via Motors as an electric generator on wheels. The truck, unveiled [on January 10] at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, runs on electricity. But it also can supply electricity - enough to power whole houses. PG&E has been testing two of the pickups since 2010. The trucks could respond to small power outages, temporarily supplying electricity to blacked-out homes. The trucks can supply a maximum of 15 kilowatts of electricity at any given moment - more than the typical house requires. PG&E field workers also could use the pickups to run their power tools. Many of the electric cars now hitting the market are small passenger vehicles, made for commuters. Via, however, targets the other end of the size spectrum. The company, based in the Detroit suburbs, has focused on electrifying large vehicles: trucks, SUVs and vans. Each Via truck has saved PG&E about $2,700 per year in fuel costs, when compared with a conventional pickup. The utility has about 3,500 similar vehicles in its fleet, and converting all of them would save PG&E about $9.5 million each year.
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David Sandalow, the Energy Department's assistant secretary for policy and international affairs, practices what he preaches when it comes to alternative-energy vehicles. Sandalow drives a Toyota Prius converted to a plug-in electric for his 5-mile commute to work every day. He recharges at night in the carport of his Washington home. Sandalow's Prius, which was converted two years ago to allow him to recharge the battery from an electric outlet, gets more than 80 miles per gallon and lets him drive 30 miles on a single charge. He can drive up to 30 miles on a single charge, only has to fill the gas tank about twice a month, and he figures he gets about 80 miles a gallon. Including the six-hour electric plug-in a day, it works out to about 75 cents per gallon of gas. His aftermarket conversion cost about $9,000, on top of the price of the Prius. Sandalow wrote the 2007 book Freedom From Oil, and he thinks that hybrids and plug-ins are the quickest way for the country to lessen its dependence on foreign oil.
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Matt Reynolds, an assistant professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at Duke University, wears other hats, too — including that of co-founder of two companies. These days, his interest is in a real hat now in prototype: a hard hat with a tiny microprocessor and beeper that sound a warning when dangerous equipment is nearby on a construction site. What’s unusual, however, is that the hat’s beeper and microprocessor work without batteries. They use so little power that they can harvest all they need from radio waves in the air. The waves come from wireless network transmitters on backhoes and bulldozers, installed to keep track of their locations. The microprocessor monitors the strength and direction of the radio signal from the construction equipment to determine if the hat’s wearer is too close. Dr. Reynolds designed this low-power hat, called the SmartHat, with Jochen Teizer, an assistant professor in the school of civil and environmental engineering at Georgia Tech. They are among several people devising devices and systems that consume so little power that it can be drawn from ambient radio waves, reducing or even eliminating the need for batteries. Their work has been funded in part by the National Science Foundation.
Note: For exciting reports on new energy developments, click here.
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