Two Ev Entries in the “How Cool is This?” File

Economical energy storage has long been the Holy Grail of electricity. Since 1800, when Alessandro Volta invented the electric pile (a forerunner of the modern battery), hobbyists, scientists, and engineers have experimented with chemicals and materials to create economical storage at a smaller scale than a hydroelectric dam and with a more portable technology than, … More Two Ev Entries in the “How Cool is This?” File

How Cool is This? A Transparent Solar Cell

I’ve not been sharing enough of my “how cool is this?” moments, and believe me, I’ve had plenty of them in the digital and clean tech areas lately. I find this one very exciting: Michigan State researchers have developed¬†a fully transparent solar cell that could be used for windows or device screens: Instead of trying … More How Cool is This? A Transparent Solar Cell

Esther Dyson on the Future of 3d Printing

3D printing is incredible. Take, for example, recent Northwestern mechanical engineering graduate and softball player Lauren Tyndall, who designed and printed her own more ergonomic and comfortable cast for her broken pinkie finger. Or consider the cost and energy use benefits of 3D printing of metal airplane parts in titanium, rather than machining them out … More Esther Dyson on the Future of 3d Printing

How Cool is That Nickel-iron Battery?

It’s been too long since I’ve done a “how cool is that?” expression of awe and wonder at a piece of ingenious creativity. You may recall that early automobiles were battery-powered — the origins of the electric car are deep and over a century old. One battery technology, courtesy of (you guessed it) Thomas Edison, … More How Cool is That Nickel-iron Battery?

The Lifx Lightbulb: Bringing the Internet of Things to Electricity

Lynne Kiesling The LIFX lightbulb is one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in a while, even in a period of substantial innovation affecting many areas of our lives. It’s a Kickstarter project, not coming from an established company like GE or Philips, not coming from within the electricity industry. Go watch the intro … More The Lifx Lightbulb: Bringing the Internet of Things to Electricity

Automating Activities Helps Us Thrive: Three Examples

Lynne Kiesling [… and one of those examples is not using transactive technology to automate individual responses to energy-related variables like price or % renewable! Read on …] Digital technologies do more than reduce transaction costs. They open up new activities, new behaviors that were not imaginable before but are now valuable and contribute to … More Automating Activities Helps Us Thrive: Three Examples

How Does Solar Power Work?

Michael Giberson Many people are confused about how solar power works. Here is an illustrated explanation:   (HT to Nicole S. Thanks Nicole!)

Y’all Have a Happy Holiday!

Michael Giberson The KP Texas office is alive and functional, I am relieved to discover, just recently emerged from the end of semester rush and not yet enveloped in the holiday rush. So I’ll try to rediscover my internet legs, re-raise the Jolly Blogger flag, and set sail in search of curious, erroneous, surprising or … More Y’all Have a Happy Holiday!

Netflix Streaming

Michael Giberson I like to watch good movies, and particularly for someone who now lives outside a major metropolitan area, Netflix has been unbelievably useful. ¬†Netflix really has been amazing. Return one disk by mail and get another a day or two later. Incredible selection. Recently Netflix raised the price on their DVD/Blu-ray rental packages … More Netflix Streaming

Waste Heat into Electric Power?

Michael Giberson I don’t understand the physics here – it’s some combination of quantum mechanics and carbon nanostructures – but according to this news release from the University of Arizona, it can turn waste heat into electric power. So far the interesting properties have been simulated in a computer model, but not demonstrated in a … More Waste Heat into Electric Power?