German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour – equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity – through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.
Read the article: Germany sets new solar power record, institute says
Russia has unveiled an ambitious plan to build the world’s longest tunnel under the Bering Strait as part of a transport corridor linking Europe and America via Siberia and Alaska. The 64-mile (103km) tunnel would connect the far east of Russia with Alaska, opening up the prospect of the ultimate rail trip across three quarters of the globe from London to New York. The link would be twice as long as the Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France. The $65 billion (£33 billion) mega-project aims to transform trade links between Russia and its former Cold War enemies across some of the world’s most desolate terrain. It would create a high-speed railway line, energy links and a fibreoptic cable network.
Read the article: Russia plans $65bn tunnel to America
The fundamental building blocks of all computing devices could be about to undergo a dramatic change that would allow faster, more efficient machines. Researchers at computer firm Hewlett Packard have shown off working devices built using memristors – often described as electronics’ missing link. These tiny devices were proposed 40 years ago but only fabricated in 2008. HP says it has now shown that they can be used to crunch data, meaning they could be used to build advanced chips. That means they could begin to replace transistors – the tiny switches used to build today’s chips. And, crucially, the unique properties of memristors would allow future chips to both store and process data in the same device.
Read the article: Hewlett Packard outlines computer memory of the future
A Silicon Valley inventor claims that a new technology called the Bloom Box will revolutionize how households use the electrical grid. The Bloom Box is a fuel cell that converts oxygen and an energy source – natural gas, biofuels, or even solar – into electricity. K.R. Sridhar, former NASA scientist and founder of Bloom Energy, revealed the technology Sunday night on “60 Minutes,” and plans to hold a news conference Wednesday in San Jose. He envisions every house having a Bloom Box power plant installed in the back yard.
Google, eBay, and FedEx are currently testing the Bloom Box. The prototype devices are the size of refrigerators and cost around $700,000. eBay claims the Bloom Box saved the company $100,000 in annual energy costs. Details on operating and maintenance costs, however, are sketchy. Fuel cell technology has been around for a long time. It normally requires precious metals such as platinum, making it too expensive for widespread applications. Bloom Box fuel cells are constructed instead with ceramic wafers coated with a special ink.
If Sridhar has truly discovered a way to make fuel cells affordable, it will transform the electrical grid. If not, the Bloom Box could be a bust.
Read the article: Bloom Box: Segway or savior?
“Smart meters installed at homes can unleash data about the fluctuating price of electricity throughout the day, enabling consumers that have energy management tools to shift energy consumption to the time of day when power is cheapest. The utility-focused tools use smart meter info to provide a deeper dive into energy analysis and can even control smart appliances for utilities to implement demand response events.” – earth2tech.com
My picks: Google PowerMeter and Green Energy Options. (Both pictured above)
Read the article: 10 Monitoring Tools Bringing Smart Energy Home