Hackers can do a lot of damage via broadband power lines

Hackers showed they have a very long reach at the Defcon hacker conference this week. They can turn off your power or hack your home automation systems through internet-connected power lines.

Independent security researchers David “Rel1k” Kennedy and Rob “Kc57″ Simon told the audience that they were releasing free tools that will let hackers break into home automation, business automation, and security systems that operate over the electrical wires of a building. It’s one more example of how hackers can pretty much break into any computerized technology available.

“We have to bring more exposure to this attack vector,” Kennedy said in his talk, which drew a big crowd at Defcon.

» via VentureBeat

via infoneer-pulse:

Tata, MIT Collaborate to Create Energy From Water, Bring Power to 3 Billion People 
Using a technique similar to photosynthesis the Tata Group has figured out how to create power from water. Daniel Nocera and his team believe they could build a “refrigerator sized mini power plant” that could provide power for up to three billion people in the developing world. The research is still in its early stages but Nocera believes his plan could successfully use water as a viable energy source.
Source: Fast Company

Tata, MIT Collaborate to Create Energy From Water, Bring Power to 3 Billion People

Using a technique similar to photosynthesis the Tata Group has figured out how to create power from water. Daniel Nocera and his team believe they could build a “refrigerator sized mini power plant” that could provide power for up to three billion people in the developing world. The research is still in its early stages but Nocera believes his plan could successfully use water as a viable energy source.

Source: Fast Company

Echelon pitches smart grid apps platform | Green Tech - CNET News
Smart-grid companies are the latest to copy the mobile phone apps model in a bid to get traction for their technology. Echelon on Wednesday introduced a software platform and hardware device designed to collect and process information coming from smart meters and other devices at the edge of the power grid. The company also announced that utility Duke Energy has signed on as a customer.  

Echelon pitches smart grid apps platform | Green Tech - CNET News

Smart-grid companies are the latest to copy the mobile phone apps model in a bid to get traction for their technology. Echelon on Wednesday introduced a software platform and hardware device designed to collect and process information coming from smart meters and other devices at the edge of the power grid. The company also announced that utility Duke Energy has signed on as a customer.  

poptech:

Energy, Form, Motion: Massoud Amin (by AlphachimpStudio)
An illustration of Massoud Amin’s 2009 PopTech talk on the Critical Need for a “Smart” Energy Grid. Massoud wants to make our energy infrastructure more sustainable  and secure. The complex systems researcher from the University of  Minnesota believes this requires networking energy into a “smart” grid  that incorporates alternative energy. This will provide national as well  as environmental and financial security.



Watch: Massoud Amin: A Smart Grid

poptech:

Energy, Form, Motion: Massoud Amin (by AlphachimpStudio)

An illustration of Massoud Amin’s 2009 PopTech talk on the Critical Need for a “Smart” Energy Grid. Massoud wants to make our energy infrastructure more sustainable and secure. The complex systems researcher from the University of Minnesota believes this requires networking energy into a “smart” grid that incorporates alternative energy. This will provide national as well as environmental and financial security.

Watch: Massoud Amin: A Smart Grid

electricpower:

Key to ocean-wave power: keep your generators dry (i.e. on land) 

Pulling almost unlimited energy from the ocean’s waves, tides, and currents isn’t a new quest. But Aquamarine Power’s Oyster takes a simple approach that may just find that holy grail.
So far, harnessing ocean power has been tough, due the sea’s brutal, machine-crushing operating environment. (Turns out Neptune’s an angry, vengeful god.) But Aquamarine has a solution:

The key is the Oyster’s simplicity. It’s basically a giant hinged flap pushed by wave energy, with just seven pieces — two hydraulic pumps, four valves and a hinge — that send pressurized water ashore. Once there, this water drives a turbine, making the Oyster’s power-generating guts more like a typical hydroelectric power plant than any ocean-energy idea tested to date.
Moving pressurized water ashore, and not electricity itself, keeps the transmission equipment — the generator, converters, transformers and other equipment that doesn’t mix well with water — high and dry on land.
The firm hopes to shuck enough Oysters to generate 200 megawatts, in a proposed ocean energy farm off Scotland’s Orkney Islands, by 2013.
Via Aquamarine Power

DVICE

electricpower:

Key to ocean-wave power: keep your generators dry (i.e. on land)

Pulling almost unlimited energy from the ocean’s waves, tides, and currents isn’t a new quest. But Aquamarine Power’s Oyster takes a simple approach that may just find that holy grail.

So far, harnessing ocean power has been tough, due the sea’s brutal, machine-crushing operating environment. (Turns out Neptune’s an angry, vengeful god.) But Aquamarine has a solution:

The key is the Oyster’s simplicity. It’s basically a giant hinged flap pushed by wave energy, with just seven pieces — two hydraulic pumps, four valves and a hinge — that send pressurized water ashore. Once there, this water drives a turbine, making the Oyster’s power-generating guts more like a typical hydroelectric power plant than any ocean-energy idea tested to date.

Moving pressurized water ashore, and not electricity itself, keeps the transmission equipment — the generator, converters, transformers and other equipment that doesn’t mix well with water — high and dry on land.

The firm hopes to shuck enough Oysters to generate 200 megawatts, in a proposed ocean energy farm off Scotland’s Orkney Islands, by 2013.

Via Aquamarine Power

DVICE

electricpower:

First Solar Begins Operation of Largest Thin-Film PV Plant in California 
First Solar’s utility-scale PV plant has now been quietly up and running, in Blythe, California, for its first full month. Once it got a go-ahead in the summer this project only took three months to build.
Perhaps its relatively smaller size for utility-scale solar holds a key to its success in getting off the ground.  Unlike the 250 MW solar trough technologies that are held up in reviews, this project is a modest 21 MW.
CleanTechnica

electricpower:

First Solar Begins Operation of Largest Thin-Film PV Plant in California

First Solar’s utility-scale PV plant has now been quietly up and running, in Blythe, California, for its first full month. Once it got a go-ahead in the summer this project only took three months to build.

Perhaps its relatively smaller size for utility-scale solar holds a key to its success in getting off the ground.  Unlike the 250 MW solar trough technologies that are held up in reviews, this project is a modest 21 MW.

CleanTechnica

infoneernet:

Norway opens world’s first osmotic power plant

Norway opened on Tuesday the world’s first osmotic power plant, which produces emissions-free electricity by mixing fresh water and sea water through a special membrane.
State-owned utility Statkraft’s prototype plant, which for now will produce a tiny 2 kilowatts to 4 kilowatts of power or enough to run a coffee machine, will enable Statkraft to test and develop the technology needed to drive down production costs.
The plant is driven by osmosis that naturally draws fresh water across a membrane and toward the seawater side. This creates higher pressure on the sea water side, driving a turbine and producing electricity.

Seen at cnet news

infoneernet:

Norway opens world’s first osmotic power plant

Norway opened on Tuesday the world’s first osmotic power plant, which produces emissions-free electricity by mixing fresh water and sea water through a special membrane.

State-owned utility Statkraft’s prototype plant, which for now will produce a tiny 2 kilowatts to 4 kilowatts of power or enough to run a coffee machine, will enable Statkraft to test and develop the technology needed to drive down production costs.

The plant is driven by osmosis that naturally draws fresh water across a membrane and toward the seawater side. This creates higher pressure on the sea water side, driving a turbine and producing electricity.

Seen at cnet news

L Prize offers $10 million in light-bulb innovation competition

The L Prize competition  —sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Energy — will substantially accelerate America’s shift from inefficient, dated lighting products to innovative, high-performance products. Just as Thomas Edison transformed illumination over a century ago, the L Prize will drive innovation and market adoption. The L Prize is the first government-sponsored technology competition designed to spur lighting manufacturers to develop high-quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace the common light bulb.

Smarter power for a smarter planet.

Our energy can be made smart. It can be managed like the complex global system it is. We can now instrument everything from the meter in the home to the turbines in the plants to the network itself. In fact, the intelligent utility system actually looks a lot more like the Internet than like a traditional grid.

It can be linked to thousands of power sources—including climate-friendly ones such as wind and solar. All of this instrumentation then generates new data, which advanced analytics can turn into insight, so that better decisions can be made in real time. Decisions by individuals and businesses on how they can consume more efficiently. Decisions by utility companies on how they can better manage delivery and balance loads. Decisions by governments and societies on how to preserve our environment. The whole system can become more efficient, reliable, adaptive…smart. Conversations for a Smarter Planet: 2 is a series

I have been testing three of these devices, the Power Monitor from Black & Decker Corp. (BDK), the very similar PowerCost Monitor from Blue Line Innovations Inc., and the more-sophisticated The Energy Detective 5000 from Energy Inc. In my tests, the Black & Decker model provided the most effortless electricity-tracking service. At $99.99, it is also the least expensive. The devices provide real-time data about how much power you’re using across the house in terms that are easy to comprehend: cost per hour and cost per month. Turn on the microwave and watch the cost jump from 10 cents to 25 cents an hour. Turn off some lights and see the cost drop a few cents.

Water power: A prototype battery made by PolyPlus uses lithium metal as the anode and salt water as the cathode to power an LED. As the battery discharges, lithium ions diffuse into the water, but the device doesn’t harm the surrounding clown fish. Credit: PolyPlus
IBM recently announced that it would develop lithium metal-air batteries for the energy grid and for transportation. “Lithium ion is the gold standard, but what can beat it is lithium metal,” says Paul Beach, president of battery manufacturer Quallion of Sylmar, CA. (via Technology Review: Waterproof Lithium-Air Batteries)

Water power: A prototype battery made by PolyPlus uses lithium metal as the anode and salt water as the cathode to power an LED. As the battery discharges, lithium ions diffuse into the water, but the device doesn’t harm the surrounding clown fish. 
Credit: PolyPlus

IBM recently announced that it would develop lithium metal-air batteries for the energy grid and for transportation. “Lithium ion is the gold standard, but what can beat it is lithium metal,” says Paul Beach, president of battery manufacturer Quallion of Sylmar, CA. (via Technology Review: Waterproof Lithium-Air Batteries)