Arnold is back and he just gave the keynote speech at this year's ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, DC. Now that he's no longer the governor of California, Schwarzenegger is on a mission to advocate a national transformation to green energy. He stated that when he started bodybuilding more than 40 years ago it was far from the mainstream sport it is today.
Schwarzenegger explained, "We needed to change bodybuilding's whole perception, so it wouldn't simply be equated with men in skimpy bathing suits." His contention is that we need to move past the old arguments over climate change and move forward with a green energy revolution.
The Light Catcher is a cool concept that combines an AA or AAA battery profile with integrated miniature solar panels. Imagine placing your dead batteries on a sunny window sill for a few hours to recharge. Much like wind-up batteries, the solar concept makes disposable batteries a thing of the past.
Pictured here, renderings of the Light Catcher batteries show a clear exterior that lets light penetrate to the internal solar panels at the core. Besides just typical battery functionality, they also provide a 3.5mm jack for powering compatible devices on the go.
This incredibly versatile backpack is set for exploration and will even keep you devices charged. Built into the bag is a 1500 mAH lithium polymer battery and a removable solar cell. Besides the portable, renewable power option, the Zeal Optics Reliant backpack packs 1280 cubic inches of outdoor gear.
Zeal designed the bag specifically to complement their Transcend GPS goggles, which give skiing enthusiasts real-time data on a heads up display. A special pocket accommodates the goggles and of course they can be charged with the solar cell and battery just like other devices.
This rechargeable battery concept couldn't be simpler. Grab the top and bottom of the dead battery and wind it up! The spring inside the battery housing then turns and charges the power cell inside. Designed by Yeon Kyeong Hwang and Mieong Ho Kang, these wind-up batteries could charge anywhere without external power.
The top half of the battery is the actual power cell, described in the design as Ni-mH. The bottom half twists and loads a spring inside the barrel, which as it unwinds turns a generator that charges the battery. Of course, the battery can also be charged with an external charger to save you from having to wind it up all the time.
If it looks like a jet engine that's because it uses the same principles. However, this turbine is not expending energy, it's generating energy. Most wind turbines max out at 60 percent efficiency.
The problem is that 40 percent of the wind passes around the blades of the windmill without actually turning the generator and making power. Here comes the FloDesign Wind Turbine to change all of that. By focusing the wind over the blades, it improves efficiency dramatically.
The Texas city of San Antonio today announced that it would become the first major U.S. city to harvest methane gas from human waste and produce a clean burning fuel from it.
The city of 1.3 million people produces about 140,000 tons of a substance euphemistically called "biosolids" per year. The main byproduct of this substance is methane, which can easily be converted into natural gas to burn in power plants. The city made a deal in which Massachusetts based Ameresco Inc. will convert
$115 million to build 50 acres of sustainable, productive greenhouses growing food in the middle of the Sahara Desert? According to Charlie Paton, Michael Pawlyn, and Bill Watts of the Sahara Forest Project, this is just the tip of the iceberg. As currently envisioned, these technologies could also produce electric power for cities in Africa and Europe, renewable bio-fuel, and ample fresh water in the process.
The concept combines multiple already-proven technologies into one system to transform the desert into a productive landscape. Concentrated solar power (CSP) focuses the sun's rays with mirrors to heat water into steam and spin turbines to generate power. Seawater greenhouses convert ocean water to fresh water using condensation, providing fresh water and nutrients for crop growth and lowering the temperature inside.
Fresh from Sweden comes a new idea in home energy generation. A unique-looking, quiet windmill called the Energy Ball. The company HomeEnergy has developed the aerodynamics of the Energy Ball to accelerate wind through the rotor and achieve high efficiency renewable power generation.
The device will install with limited space and operate silently at wind speeds as low as 4.5 miles per hour. Perfect for the roof of a private home, the Energy Ball plugs directly into an electrical outlet to contribute power to the household.
The Magenn Power Air Rotor System (MARS) uses helium to float at 400-1000 feet altitude, where the winds have potential to produce double the electrical output over ground based systems. The MARS is portable and generates power as the stationary rotor spins facing the wind.
Prototypes have already flown and a 10-25 kW version is planned for production by 2010. Advantages of the MARS include competitive electricity prices at under 15 cents per kWh. The units are not a threat to birds or bats, and operate extremely quietly. Magenn plans to initially target markets where infrastructure
Envision Solar has developed the first-generation Solar Grove for use in parking lots. This "grove" of Solar Trees not only generates power, it transforms otherwise barren parking lots into modern-looking, shaded areas. Everyone knows how much time and gas it takes to cool down
your car when it's been sitting in the sun all day. Not only do the Kyocera-manufactured solar panels keep the sun off of cars parked underneath, they prevent the asphalt from absorbing and later releasing wasted heat energy. All this while generating enough electricity to pay for the investment