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Energy policies relating to alternative energy

Current energy policies are still based heavily on natural resources. Meanwhile, the trend is increasingly toward alternative resources, such as wind power.

It's only a matter of time before natural resources, such as petroleum, are depleted. Petroleum, a fossil-based energy source deposited across millions of years, is used to produce fuel or electricity. Taking stock of the fact that 260 billion barrels (one barrel = 159 liters) of oil were extracted over the last 11 years, it's evident that the world's petroleum resources will be depleted one day. New developments in solar or wind power are aimed at providing alternative energy sources that will enable us to maintain our current standard of living. Petroleum is also required by the chemical industry to manufacture special plastics.

The advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy sources

When discussing the subject of petroleum and alternative energy, one must bear the advantages and disadvantages in mind. Our resources are running short . Because we cannot count on petroleum for the future, there will come a time when everyone will rely on the efficiency of wind power and other alternative energy sources . Unlike petroleum, wind power can be managed to ensure that it constantly renews itself. Wind power meanwhile makes it possible to have enough resources to supply entire cities. Petroleum has the additional disadvantage of harming the environment through CO2 emissions. This has resulted in increasing demand for resources such as wind power. Wind power can be classified into different categories. A class 4 wind turbine can meanwhile provide resources in a much more efficient manner than petroleum resources for instance. In addition, unlike petroleum, resources such as wind power offer a decentralized energy supply. This means that in contrast to petroleum, the utilization of wind power does not require a large power plant. Instead, it makes "transporting" the energy easier and faster. Decentralized wind power entails a massive infrastructure change. Resources such as wind power certainly bring disadvantages when it comes to the environment, although they pale in comparison to the disasters that can result from petroleum. The utilization of our resources determines how we continue to maintain our standard of living. This makes it important to continue public discourse on the issues of wind power and petroleum.

Resource shortage

It's only a matter of time before there is no petroleum left. For this reason, from a resource standpoint we should already be moving toward heavy reliance on wind power instead of petroleum. After all, from a pure scientific point of view, new petroleum resources won't be available for millions of years. Unlike petroleum, wind power is a resource that will never run dry. In Germany alone, wind power is serving as a popular alternative resource to petroleum. The demand for wind power will increase in line with the consumption of petroleum. For this reason, it is imperative that we gradually move away from petroleum and make more use of wind power or other alternative energy resources. The environmental pollution caused by petroleum is reason enough for an environmentally-conscious society to use solar or wind power. In contrast to petroleum, wind power is significantly better for the environment and offers a unique resource balance.

Power and Electrical Engineering

This topic covers issues related to energy generation, conversion, transportation and consumption and how the industry is addressing the challenge of energy efficiency in general.

innovations-report provides in-depth and informative reports and articles on subjects ranging from wind energy, fuel cell technology, solar energy, geothermal energy, petroleum, gas, nuclear engineering, alternative energy and energy efficiency to fusion, hydrogen and superconductor technologies.

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Supercharging silicon batteries

OIST scientists designed a novel silicon-based anode to provide lithium batteries with increased power and better stability

As the world shifts towards renewable energy, moving on from fossil fuels, but at the same time relying on ever more energy-gobbling devices, there is a...

07.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Stanford professor tests a cooling system that works without electricity

It looks like a regular roof, but the top of the Packard Electrical Engineering Building at Stanford University has been the setting of many milestones in the development of an innovative cooling technology that could someday be part of our everyday lives. Since 2013, Shanhui Fan, professor of electrical engineering, and his students and research associates have employed this roof as a testbed for a high-tech mirror-like optical surface that could be the future of lower-energy air conditioning and refrigeration.

Research published in 2014 first showed the cooling capabilities of the optical surface on its own. Now, Fan and former research associates Aaswath Raman and...

06.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Engineers develop tools to share power from renewable energy sources during outages

The algorithms allow homes to draw on power from renewable energy sources while they're disconnected from the grid

If you think you can use the solar panels on your roof to power your home during an outage, think again. During an outage, while your home remains connected to...

06.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Did you know that specialty light sources help to analyze undesirable pollutant emissions?

Smog hanging over cities is the most familiar and obvious form of air pollution. But there are different kinds of pollution—some visible, some invisible.

Generally any substance that people introduce into the atmosphere that has damaging effects on living things and the environment is considered air pollution.

04.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Electricity production: When enzymes rival platinum

A fuel cell converts chemical energy into electrical energy via hydrogen combustion. Though it is considered to be a clean technology - because it does not emit greenhouse gases - fuel cells do use costly rare metal catalysts1, such as platinum, to oxidize hydrogen and reduce oxygen.

In recent years, the identification of biocatalysts, enzymes with remarkable properties, has revitalized research in this area: their oxygen, and especially...

04.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

Robotic system monitors specific neurons

Success rate is comparable to that of highly trained scientists performing the process manually

Recording electrical signals from inside a neuron in the living brain can reveal a great deal of information about that neuron's function and how it...

31.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Mechanically stacked GaInP/GGaInP/GaAs- and Si Solar Cell Reaches 35.4% Efficiency

A mechanically stacked GaInP/GaAs//Si triple-junction solar cell reaches a certified one-sun energy conversion efficiency of 35.4%. While the Si bottom cell with POLO (poly-silicon on oxide) passivating contacts was fabricated at ISFH the monolithic GaInP/GaAs top cell was fabricated at NREL.

A cooperation of the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reaches a certified one-sun energy...

31.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

High-speed switching for ultrafast electromechanical switches and sensors

Unlike the slow ferroelastic domain switching expected for ceramics, high-speed sub-microsecond ferroelastic domain switching and simultaneous lattice deformation are directly observed for the Pb(Zr0.4Ti0.6)O3 thin films. This exciting finding paves the way for high-frequency ultrafast electromechanical switches and sensors.

Piezo micro electro mechanical systems (piezoMEMS) are miniaturized devices exhibiting piezoelectricity, i.e., the appearance of an electric charge under...

30.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Conformal metasurface coating eliminates crosstalk and shrinks waveguides

The properties of materials can behave in funny ways. Tweak one aspect to make a device smaller or less leaky, for example, and something else might change in an undesirable way, so that engineers play a game of balancing one characteristic against another. Now a team of Penn State electrical engineers have a way to simultaneously control diverse optical properties of dielectric waveguides by using a two-layer coating, each layer with a near zero thickness and weight.

"Imagine the water faucet in your home, which is an essential every-day device," said Douglas H. Werner, John L. and Genevieve H. McCain Chair Professor of...

28.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Stretchable biofuel cells extract energy from sweat to power wearable devices

A team of engineers has developed stretchable fuel cells that extract energy from sweat and are capable of powering electronics, such as LEDs and Bluetooth radios. The biofuel cells generate 10 times more power per surface area than any existing wearable biofuel cells. The devices could be used to power a range of wearable devices.

The epidermal biofuel cells are a major breakthrough in the field, which has been struggling with making the devices that are stretchable enough and powerful...

22.08.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

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