energy

Researcher: a penny will buy about 3 hours’ worth of thoughts

Researcher: a penny will buy about 3 hours’ worth of thoughts

The term a penny for your thoughts inspired a researcher to look into what duration of thoughts could actually be purchased with a penny. Quantifying something like this isn't exactly easy, so the researcher decided to base the calculations on energy costs in the United Kingdom, looking at how much energy the human brain uses and how much thinking can be done on a penny's worth of electricity. As it turns out, it doesn't cost much at all to power your epiphanies.

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How GM’s giving old batteries a second charge

How GM’s giving old batteries a second charge

General Motors is one of the auto makers working to reuse old electric car batteries, and in its case it is doing so with Chevrolet Volt batteries with one of its IT buildings. Using a handful of old Volt batteries from the model’s first generation, General Motors is powering an administration building in conjunction with wind and solar energy. This is due to the remaining capacities of the batteries after they stop being useful for the Chevy Volt electric cars.

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Xbox One highlights energy-saving mode for lower electric bills

Xbox One highlights energy-saving mode for lower electric bills

A few weeks ago, the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council was critical of Microsoft and their Xbox One console in how its "Instant On" mode was wasting energy and increasing electric bills of gamers around the world by a collective $250 million. Now, Microsoft is making more of an effort to put the Xbox One's energy-saving option front and center during set-up, allowing users to make a clear choice about using less electricity, and save an average of $6-$15 per year, according to the company.

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Portland adds Hydroelectric Water Pipes

Portland adds Hydroelectric Water Pipes

The city of Portland is known to be progressive, and their latest venture into hydroelectricity is no exception. The eco-friendly city is adopting the latest technology, LucidPipe from Lucid Energy, to harness the power of the city's existing water line. Installed last December and financed privatedly by Harbourton Alternative Energy, the 200-kW LucidPipe system replaces a only a portion of the conventional water pipeline.

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Google campus will soon be powered by wind

Google campus will soon be powered by wind

Anyone who’s taken a ride through California’s Altamost Pass knows it’s gusty up there. To take advantage, wind turbines don’t dot the landscape — they dominate it. In a new project that will replace about 770 turbines with 48 new machines (that produce twice the energy as the dated turbines), Google has announced they will purchase about half the energy from the new machines. That power grab (literally) will provide Google with enough renewable energy to power their entire corporate campus in Mountain View.

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Apple’s new California solar farm will turn their stores, campus green

Apple’s new California solar farm will turn their stores, campus green

In an attempt to go completely green with their operations in California, Apple is building a solar farm in Monterrey County. The $850 million project will span 1,300 acres, and feed enough power to the grid to offset everything Apple does in California. Their 50-plus retail stores, new campus, existing offices, and data center in Newark — all offset by this solar farm. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the new solar farm today as he spoke at Goldman Sachs Technology conference, and called it Apple’s ‘most ambitious project ever’.

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Silent, tree-shaped wind turbines to debut in Paris

Silent, tree-shaped wind turbines to debut in Paris

Wind-generated power has the potential to make a huge contribution to varying renewable energies around the globe, but the issue of where turbines are built can be a big issue for some communities, or even countries. When wind turbines can't be built off-shore, some places feel constructing them on land ruins the scenery of the landscape, takes up too much space, or generates too much noise. Enter France's NewWind, which has been developing aesthetically pleasing, tree-shaped turbines meant to run silently within cities, at ground level.

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Ocean current energy system in the works by Toshiba and IHI

Ocean current energy system in the works by Toshiba and IHI

The teams as IHI Corporation and Toshiba Corporation have begun work on an ocean energy power generation system. They've been selected by Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as co-researchers in their new system for "Research and Development ("R&D") of Ocean Energy Technology - Demonstration Research of Ocean Energy Power Generation". The team have been working on research and development since 2011 on a Next-Generation Ocean Energy Power Generation (Underwater Floating Type Ocean Current Turbine System) - demonstration research is coming up next.

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Brio smart outlet only turns on when you need it

Brio smart outlet only turns on when you need it

Electrical outlets pose different sorts of threats, most notably being to small children who poke objects inside them out of curiosity. The go-to method for avoiding this unfortunate scenario is using plastic outlet plugs that block the ports, but that's not always effective. A California company called Brio has addressed this issue with a smart outlet likewise called "Brio" that only goes live when a valid object is plugged into it. In doing so, the company hopes to mitigate the typical hazards associated with outlets.

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Germany’s Sunfire makes synthetic gasoline from water, CO2

Germany’s Sunfire makes synthetic gasoline from water, CO2

While vehicles like Toyota's fuel-cell powered Mirai are leading the charge to a future less reliant on fossil fuels, Germany's Sunfire GmbH may have a way to bridge the gap with its method of producing synthetic fuel from water and carbon dioxide. By using two of the world's most abundant elements to create hydrocarbon fuel, a much great efficiency over fossil fuels can be achieved.

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New solar cell is its own battery

New solar cell is its own battery

Solar power is an important part of our future, but in many ways it is still too expensive. The Ohio State University has helped lessen that issue with a new device it created -- a solar cell that serves as its own battery, doing so using a type of panel design that introduces air into the "breathing" battery.

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