A Million-Dollar Buoy Will Spot the Best Sites for Wind Farms

With roughly 12,383 miles of coastline, the US has plenty of potential installation sites for offshore wind farms. Floating data collection centers like the one shown above will help energy companies and government agencies alike find the windiest, and most effective locations along America's shores. » 9/16/14 11:46am Tuesday 11:46am

Scientists Solved the Mystery of Why Rechargeable Batteries Go Bad

Every time you recharge your lithium-ion batteries, their storage capacity decreases just a little bit. That is why your mobile gadgets won't stay on nearly as long as they did even a year ago. But thanks to research by the US Department of Energy, we finally know why exactly that occurs and, more importantly, how to… » 5/29/14 1:40pm 5/29/14 1:40pm

What It Will Take to Farm Sunlight from Space

Whether they're producing voltage directly from solar rays or focusing them to melt salt like Ivanpah, even Earth's biggest and baddest solar power plants are hamstrung by all this damnable atmosphere getting in the way. But a new kind of off-world solar energy plant could soon provide the whole planet with plenty of… » 4/30/14 2:00pm 4/30/14 2:00pm

How We Could Save the World From Global Warming Before Our Time Is Up

We've blown our chances of fully counteracting the effects of climate change; recently-released reports from the International Energy Agency and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) provide plenty of evidence. But all hope is not yet lost, we've still got a small chance to keep from irreversibly poisoning our… » 4/16/14 11:00am 4/16/14 11:00am

GE's Wind Turbine Tester Puts Gigantic Drivetrains Through Hell

Modern multi-megawatt wind turbines are downright gargantuan, standing more than 700 feet tall with 260-foot blades spinning 190 mph at the tip. To make sure that these monolithic machines are up for 20 years of energy production, GE has created a tortuous test bed capable of sucking 20 years of life from a turbine in… » 4/03/14 11:40am 4/03/14 11:40am

These Solar-Thermal Toilets Are Carbon-Sequestering Charcoal Factories

More than a quarter of all people—some 2.5 billion humans—still lack access to basic sanitation services. But thanks to this revolutionary solar-powered toilet, even the most remote throws of civilization will be granted both a safe place to poop and a means of turning their business into brown gold. » 3/16/14 4:00pm 3/16/14 4:00pm

Floating Generator Transforms the Ocean's Motions into MegaWatts

While winds may die and clouds may obscure the sun, nothing can stop the rhythmic lapping of ocean waves. Now, an Australian company hopes to harness that power and covert it to usable electricity with the most powerful wave-energy generator ever created. And this is just their small-scale prototype. » 11/04/13 11:40am 11/04/13 11:40am

How to Sun-Cook a Steak in South Africa

Consistent electricity is more guideline than rule in South Africa, even on the outskirts for the capital city of Johannesburg. This ambiguity leaves residents either living in the dark or at the mercy of expensive and hazardous kerosene- or coal-based fuels. One social entrepreneur however, has a plan to provide… » 9/02/13 6:30pm 9/02/13 6:30pm

The World's Biggest Test Bench Puts Wind Turbines Through the Wringer

Vestas' latest and greatest offshore wind turbine, the 8 MW V164, is designed to operate for a quarter century with minimal upkeep. To ensure that these massive turbines (their blade sweep area is equal to three football fields) are robust enough for 25 years of service in the North Atlantic, Vestas tortures its… » 8/21/13 11:30am 8/21/13 11:30am

The Army's Got a Fuel Cell That Runs on Corn Husks and Old Bullets

The Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAAP) in Middletown, Iowa has an overabundance of two things: corn waste and excess energetics—leftover explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics and such. But using a new ethanol-based fuel cell developed by nanoMaterials Discovery Corp (nMDC) will transform these waste materials into… » 6/13/13 11:30am 6/13/13 11:30am

What Biofuel Is (And Where It Comes From)

Cars didn't always run on gasoline. Henry Ford envisioned his Model T's puttering along with tanks fully of ethanol. Early diesel engines ran on peanut oil. Of course, the discovery of massive petroleum reserves at the turn of the 20th century quickly put the brakes on that notion—why bother creating biofuel when… » 6/12/13 4:00pm 6/12/13 4:00pm

Drop This Underwater Turbine in Any River For Free Continuous Power

A Japanese company called Ibasei has developed a compact underwater turbine generator that could be a silver lining during natural disasters that cause intense flooding. The Cappa looks like a small jet engine from a plane, but it's actually designed to harness rushing water and turn it into free energy. » 12/12/12 4:00pm 12/12/12 4:00pm

This New Battery Will Store Excess Wind Power Using the Air Itself

Wind farms simply aren't reliable sources of steady power, which is why many rely on enormous battery systems to store excess current for times when the wind isn't gusting enough to meet our energy demands. Problem is—the production of these batteries is itself a drain on resources. So what if, instead of lithium and… » 10/10/12 11:30am 10/10/12 11:30am