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Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy

March 21, 2014 9:00 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The worldwide demand for solar and wind power skyrockets. Since 2009, global solar photovoltaic installations have increased 40 percent a year on average, and the installed capacity of wind turbines has doubled. The dramatic growth of the wind and solar industries has led utilities to begin testing large-scale technologies....

Engineering Update #50: Deploying maritime drones

March 20, 2014 10:24 am | by ECN Staff | Videos | Comments

Deploying maritime drones: Now you didn’t really think the flyboys would get to play with all the unmanned toys did you? The Navy has its own plans to deploy drones, including the Hydra underwater “truck”, and other surveillance technology that can function in a maritime environment.

Lockheed Martin and Rowan University partner on radar technology

March 19, 2014 4:01 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Lockheed Martin and Rowan University are kicking off an innovative, strategic partnership to develop new technologies for a broad range of radar system applications in support of national defense. As threats to the United States become increasingly more complex, this next generation of radar technology is critical to protecting national assets and requires the dedication of an educated workforce.

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Computer simulations predict blast scenarios, also have crossover appeal in animation

March 19, 2014 3:41 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Simulation methods helped create animation for Disney’s Oscar-winning film, 'Frozen.' Simulation-based engineering science (SBES) allows researchers to predict the effects of building explosions and analyze the response of building materials to those threats.

Sorption energy storage and conversion for cooling and heating

March 19, 2014 1:53 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

New materials and technologies are making it possible to utilize thermal energy more efficiently. Visit Hall 13 at the Hannover Messe (April 7-11) to find out how researchers from the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance are applying this to heat and cool spaces and industrial processes.

Antimony nanocrystals for batteries

March 19, 2014 10:26 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Researchers from ETH Zurich and Empa have succeeded for the first time to produce uniform antimony nanocrystals. Tested as components of laboratory batteries, these are able to store a large number of both lithium and sodium ions. These nanomaterials operate with high rate and may eventually be used as alternative anode materials in future high-energy-density batteries.

Robodog: Man's newest best friend

March 19, 2014 7:01 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | News | Comments

 What kid doesn’t want a puppy? Come to think of it, what adult doesn’t want a puppy? Yet there’s always a list of reasons why that isn’t a good idea. A new robotic dog may be the answer. Zoomer, the latest in robotic dog technology, does everything a “real” dog would do— barking, running, tail-wagging —without any of the fur or

Stanford makes flexible carbon nanotube circuits more reliable and power efficient

March 17, 2014 4:15 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Engineers would love to create flexible electronic devices, such as e-readers that could be folded to fit into a pocket. One approach they are trying involves designing circuits based on electronic fibers, known as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), instead of rigid silicon chips.

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Potentially safer, greener alternative to BPA could come from papermaking waste

March 17, 2014 12:30 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A waste product from making paper could yield a safer, greener alternative to the potentially harmful chemical BPA, now banned from baby bottles but still used in many plastics. Scientists made the BPA alternative from lignin, the compound that gives wood its strength, and they say it could be ready for the market within five years.

Harnessing everyday motion to power mobile devices

March 17, 2014 12:13 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Imagine powering your cell phone by simply walking around your office or rubbing it with the palm of your hand. Rather than plugging it into the wall, you become the power source. Researchers at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society, presented these commercial possibilities and a unique vision for green energy.

Bionic plants

March 17, 2014 11:59 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Plants have many valuable functions: They provide food and fuel, release the oxygen that we breathe, and add beauty to our surroundings. Now, a team of MIT researchers wants to make plants even more useful by augmenting them with nanomaterials that could enhance their energy production and give them completely new functions, such as monitoring environmental pollutants.

A battery that 'breathes' could power next-gen electric vehicles

March 17, 2014 11:53 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) nearly doubled in 2013, but most won't take you farther than 100 miles on one charge. To boost their range toward a tantalizing 300 miles or more, researchers are reporting new progress on a "breathing" battery that has the potential to one day replace the lithium-ion technology of today's EVs.

Scripps Florida scientists devise new, lower cost method to create more usable fuels

March 14, 2014 2:16 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

As the United States continues to lead the world in the production of natural gas, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have devised a new and more efficient method with the potential to convert the major components found in natural gas into useable fuels and chemicals—opening the door to cheaper, more abundant energy and materials with much lower emissions.

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Introducing advanced security in low-power applications with FRAM MCUs

March 14, 2014 11:29 am | by Priya Thanigai, product marketing engineer, MSP430 microcontrollers, Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Security is becoming increasingly important in a wider range of applications. Numerous methods have been developed to force systems to expose confidential information or even application code, resulting in the development of countermeasures to ensure the security of Flash and EEPROM ICs.

Securing the Internet of Things

March 14, 2014 11:05 am | by Alan Lowne, CEO, Saelig Co. Inc., www.saelig.com | Articles | Comments

With around 2 billion people connected to the Internet and the advent of IoT, there may already be more connected ‘things’ than connected people. In 2013, by some estimates, there were over 10 billion connected devices, and this will climb as high as 50 billion by 2020....

Soft robotic fish moves like the real thing

March 14, 2014 10:52 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Soft robots— which don't just have soft exteriors but are also powered by fluid flowing through flexible channels —now have their own journal, Soft Robotics. MIT researchers report the first self-contained autonomous soft robot capable of rapid body motion: a "fish" that can execute an escape maneuver, convulsing its body to change direction in just a fraction of a second, or almost as quickly as a real fish can.

Scientists find new way to upgrade natural gas

March 14, 2014 10:36 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

America's current energy boom may take a new direction thanks to the discovery of a new way to turn raw natural gas into upgraded liquid alcohol fuel. In the March 14 issue of Science magazine, chemists from Brigham Young University and The Scripps Research Institute detail a process that could reduce dependence on petroleum.

March 2014: Counterfeiting

March 13, 2014 4:23 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Digital Editions | Comments

Counterfeit components cost the electronics industry billions of dollars each year. They also create dangerous situations and increase the risk of product failure. In this March issue of ECN, we identify the key battlegrounds in the fight against fake components.• Seeing through the lies explores the idea of using x-ray techniques as a way of identifying counterfeit components, walking readers through the most common indicators of a counterfeit. • Invisible bar codes offers up a solution to counterfeit components in the form of a covert micro-bar code that are virtually indestructible and invisible to the naked eye. • Counterfeit mitigation looks at a report by the Semiconductor Industry Association detailing the ideal defensive maneuvers against counterfeit components.

Engineering Update Episode 49: The UK's newest UAV

March 13, 2014 9:34 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Welcome to the Engineering Update. In this week's episode: The UKs newest UAV: UK Ministry of Defence recently announced a Release to Service for their own UAV, the WatchKeeper WK450. Robots playing ping pong: UHTTR-1 robotic arm plays one mean game of table tennis.

Ridiculous uses for ridiculous gadgets

March 13, 2014 8:54 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

I recently showed you some outlandish gadgets people are buying. Now I'm back to show you what people are using their ridiculous gadgets for: 1. Robot-penned papers 2. Laser-printed tacos 3. Air hockey robot 4. USB pet rock 5. HAPIfork 6. Internet tasting electrode 7. iBreathalyzer 8. QuantumVET 9. Isophone 10. iPad surgery.

NREL aims to improve building energy performance with new web-based tool

March 12, 2014 5:02 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a web-based tool to help consumers better understand the energy performance of building-related products. The Technology Performance Exchange™ (TPEx™) is a portal that helps manufacturers and other organizations that measure and test products easily share performance data with product consumers.

The 10 most outlandish gadgets

March 11, 2014 12:37 pm | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Most tech gadgets are nothing short of miraculous. But I think these are nothing short of ridiculous. 1. Wake'n Bacon, 2. Caffeine Machine, 3. Solar Hat, 4. Magic Wand Remote, 5. BeerPager, 6. iTypewriter, 7. WheelMate, 8. Spy Pen, 9. Text Message Chandelier, 10. iSmell.

What will be the “must-have” in automotive infotainment in the next five years?

March 10, 2014 10:47 am | by ECN Staff | Articles | Comments

Automotive infotainment systems of the future will benefit from a low-cost, low-power, flexible system-on-chip (SoC) architecture in order to enable a vehicle platform that adapts to evolving content delivery providers and cloud-based services.

Currently sensible

March 10, 2014 9:47 am | by Joshua Israelsohn, Director, JAS Technical Media | Articles | Comments

Sensing physical phenomena and preserving the fidelity of the resulting, often-tiny, sensor signals is a craft of its own within the broader discipline of analog circuit design. One of the most common and, counter intuitively perhaps, more challenging sensing tasks is that of measuring electric current.

Elsevier and Energy Institute work together to publish Journal of the Energy Institute

March 10, 2014 9:17 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce that they have entered into a publishing agreement with the Energy Institute (EI) to publish its official journal, Journal of the Energy Institute. Journal of the Energy Institute, a peer-reviewed quarterly publication first published in 1926, is...

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