Nomadic Power: Mobile Batteries for Electric Cars

by Deedee Chao

Nomadic Power, a German start-up founded in 2014, is looking at electric vehicle charging in a new way, by developing mobile lithium ion batteries that can charge a vehicle in 20 minutes or less. If this business and model become viable, electric vehicles would no longer be bound to short trips and frequent stops at charging stations, and electric car charging infrastructure can be “mobilized” and more easily set up in different locations. Continue reading

ORNL Creates Low Cost Energy Sensors

by Mariah Valerie Barber

Oak Ridge National Library, the largest US Department of Energy science research laboratory has created new low-cost wireless sensor technology that can be used to monitor the energy consumed by commercial buildings (Ornl.gov). Currently, buildings consume 40% of all energy being consumed in the United States. Most commercial buildings poorly monitor and control their energy consumption. For example, systems in commercial buildings such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and electricity often are under controlled and unmonitored. These new sensors have the potential to reduce the energy consumption of buildings by 20-30% (Physics.org). Continue reading

Coolerado’s Air Conditioners Save Energy With HMX Technology

by Mariah Valerie Barber

During the 2015 AHR Expo that took place January 26-28, 2015, Coolerado received the “AHR Expo Innovation Award,” for their new innovative air-cooling technology. Coolerado, an energy company based in Denver, Colorado, has created air conditioners that use a tenth of the energy used by the most commonly used air conditioners or 90% less energy used by the regular air conditioners. Coolerado utilizes its patented heat and mass exchanger (HMX) and fresh air to create cool air, rather than the chemical refrigerants, compressors, and recycled air used by traditional air conditioners. By using fresh air and HMX technology Coolerado both reduces the amount of energy being used and provides the user of its products with cleaner, healthier air (Coolerado.com). Continue reading

SolePower: Solving the Mobile Energy Problem

by Shannon O’Neill

Advancements in technology, specifically in handheld devices and portable electronics, are increasing at a rapid rate. Because battery technology and advancements have been moving at a much slower rate, the use of these devices has been limited to their battery life. This issue motivated engineering students from Carnegie Melon University to develop SolePower, a rechargeable battery that is powered and charged when the user walks.

A special insole (or “ensole, for energy insole) is placed in the user’s shoe. The mechanism inside the insole is able to capture the kinetic energy produced when walking, which is then used to spin an electromagnetic generator as fast and as long as possible. The power created is then stored in an energy pack, which can be stored on top of the user’s shoe or on the users ankle. This energy pack can then be hooked up to cell phones or other portable devices and used a portable battery. Currently, an hour walking provides enough energy to sustain two and a half hours of talk time on a cell phone, with a walk between two and a half to five miles providing a full charge to an iPhone. Continue reading