frank's blog

Nanomesh – Lead To More Efficient Devices That Convert Heat To Electricity

Posted in ideas, innovation by aldorf on October 5, 2010

A new type of mesh material made out of silicon—the second most abundant element in Earth’s crust—could lead to more efficient devices that convert heat to electricity and vice versa.

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have developed a type of silicon-based nanomesh that is composed of a thin film with a grid-like arrangement of tiny holes. This unique design makes it difficult for heat to travel through the material, lowering its thermal conductivity to near silicon’s theoretical limit.

At the same time, the design allows electricity to flow as well as it does in unmodified silicon.

“In terms of controlling thermal conductivity, these are pretty sophisticated devices,” says James Heath, a chemistry professor at Caltech, who led the work. A paper about the research will be published in the October issue of the journalNature Nanotechnology.

full story at CalTech.

New Research: Charge A Cell Phone From A Conversation – Convert Sound Waves Into Electricity

Posted in ideas by aldorf on September 14, 2010
scheme of mobile phone

Image via Wikipedia

Scientists from Korea have turned the main ingredient of calamine lotion into a tiny material that converts sound waves into electricity. The research could lead to panels that can charge a cell phone from a conversation or provide a boost of energy to the nation’s electrical grid generated by the noise during rush hour traffic.

“Just as speakers transform electric signals into sound, the opposite process — of turning sound into a source of electrical power — is possible,” said Young Jun Park and Sang-Woo Kim, the two corresponding authors of a new article in the journal Advanced Materials.

“Sound power can be used for various novel applications including mobile phones that can be charged during conversations and sound-insulating walls near highways that generate electricity from the sound of passing vehicles,” the co-authors added.

Read full article here.

I Wish I Had This Idea – Human Electricity Pylons (Iceland)

Posted in architecture, ideas by aldorf on September 7, 2010

A great idea that could transform a liability into an asset by turning electricity pylons into pieces of art. The project comes from Choi + Shine Architects (USA) and was an entry into a contest ran by an Icelandic utility. There is no realization date set yet, but let’s hope this will take life somewhere in the world. (via liftlab).

Project page on Choi + Shine

Telegraph: Chain of human pylons planned for Iceland

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