Electricity for us – the obvious way to power all the necessary devices: plugged in or working on batteries. It would seem that electricity can be used with almost no restrictions, because it is not limited by resources, because we can always produce more. However, as reality shows, this is not an easy and cheap way; therefore, new and more interesting ways of producing electricity and heat are necessary.
Medusa help medics?
Jellyfish glow in the dark thanks to green fluorescent proteins (GFP). They do not shine on their own. This occurs when the jellyfish are exposed to a different light, from blue to ultraviolet. Scientists from Gothenburg (Sweden) managed to place such proteins on aluminum electrodes: exposure to ultraviolet rays led to the fact that proteins form electrons, thanks to which electrical energy was created in the constructed circuit. Proteins attached to nanorobots can illuminate the inside of the human body, making it easier for doctors to study and work.
Speaking of the human body – whenever we move, we produce heat energy. Already in the first decade of the 21st century, the Swedish real estate office Jernhusen decided to use it to heat its headquarters. To this end, an installation was launched that captures the heat energy of the users of the nearby main railway station. As Karl Sundholm, the project manager at Jernhusen, explained, about 250,000 people pass through the station every day. People – their very presence, generates heat. But they bring much more by buying food, drinks, newspapers or books.
Heat is captured by a special installation, then the water is heated, which is piped to the offices of Jordhusen and radiators. A similar solution was used in Paris, near the Pompidou railway station, to heat a residential building.
Warm, warm … subway
In 1900, the average temperature in the tunnels of the London Underground (established in 1863) was 14 degrees Celsius, now it has increased by 10 degrees. On hot days, underground transport can be very hot. About 89% of heat is generated as a result of train operation (for example, friction associated with braking), 7% is the heat generated by passengers, and 4% is the influence of auxiliary systems.
Municipal authorities are looking for an efficient way to control this heat energy. This source can have great potential if solutions are implemented that increase energy production.
The picture shows Lake Nyos, the most dangerous of the three exploding lakes found. Under the bottom of the lake is a natural pocket filled with magma, the source of a large amount of CO 2. Carbon dioxide, which is constantly deposited in the water, poses a huge threat to residents of nearby areas – in the 1980s, released gas led to the death of about 1,700 people. In addition to carbon dioxide in the waters of these lakes there is also methane.
The Government of Rwanda has decided to use Lake Kivu, located in this country. A 3.6 MW power plant was built near the lake. Electric generators are supplied with gases collected from the lake water.
Green energy on the wave
Not only lakes can be used for energy production. Scientists have come up with several ways to produce electricity using the kinetic energy of sea waves.
Fast driving a car is not just wind in your hair …
… but also in turbines. Turkish company Deveci Tech has created a turbine that can produce electricity due to the impulse generated by the movement of cars.
Coal can be green
Carbon nanotubes are widely used. Currently, they are mainly used for the production of lightweight, but extremely durable materials. However, MIT researchers have found that they can also be used to generate solar energy. They can accumulate 100 times more energy than ordinary solar panels.
Sugar will strengthen engines?
Sugar in the tank is dangerous, but as an energy source it can be excellent. According to scientists from Virginia Tech, sugar will be able to power an electric vehicle battery.
Researchers are working on how to convert sugars to hydrogen, which can be used as fuel for electric vehicles. By mixing sugar with water and 13 strong enzymes, they get three times more hydrogen than using traditional methods.
So when will we fill up with sugar? Not earlier than in 10 years. However, as scientists are encouraging, their discovery can be used much faster in the production of batteries for laptops, mobile phones and other electronic devices.
SMS: the fastest way … energy production
How many SMS messages do we send every day? Is sending an sms the fastest way to communicate using the phone? Perhaps, but not many people know that it would be possible to use the energy that we spend to write a short text, for example, to power the charger.
Alexander Parker came up with a way to transfer this energy: to do this, it is necessary to integrate the piezoelectric layer into the smartphone screen. It allows you to generate electrical potential under the influence of compression or tension.
The advantage of this solution will be the possibility of its wide application: not only in the cells, but also on a much larger scale – in sports halls, sidewalks and on the roads. And cons? Unfortunately, the cost of implementing the solution will be too high in relation to the amount of energy received.
Do we have a chance to get energy from space? Already there is the first idea: both dear and dangerous for our planet. The Green Future portal offered to send a satellite into space, which in optimal conditions (that is, without loss of energy) could collect solar energy that does not penetrate into the atmosphere and transmit it to Earth as a quasi-laser beam. High in orbit, the sun shines all the time, so it will be (almost) an inexhaustible source of energy.Although this proposal should be taken as a joke, perhaps with the development of technology, the NASA space agency will be able to develop solutions that will help astronauts accumulate solar energy.