White Room

Videos from UCSB Summit on Energy Efficiency, May 1-2, 2013  

About the White Room

The White Room provides current information relating to new technologies for energy efficiency. Stay connected with the latest news, events, and scientific breakthroughs in this fast moving sector. Use our filters on the left or click here to send a suggestion for content to add.

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Piezoelectrics. Credit: ACS/Nano Letters
Researchers at Georgia Tech have used piezoelectric materials to make the first nanowire-based generators that can harvest enough mechanical energy to power small electronic devices. While initial studies used zinc-oxide nanowires, the researchers are already looking into more efficient materials.
Date: 11/08/2010
Type: Article
Cogenra Solar's hybrid solar cell
Cogenra Solar has developed a hybrid solar array that produces electricity and uses waste heat to provide hot water. The company says it has a solution for the overheating problems that have stymied this type of hybrid solar in the past, and they also believe they can achieve reasonable efficiency.
Date: 11/15/2010
Type: Article
asphalt road
Researchers at the University of Rhode Island have identified a number of ways to harvest waste heat from asphalt roads, including embedding water filled pipes or thermoelectric semiconductors in or under the roadways.
Date: 11/15/2010
Type: Blog
Thermostat
Co-generation of heat from coal power plants increases energy efficiency, but the resultant reliance on coal plants to supply heat limits the grid's use of renewable energy during cold months. As a result, some grid operators are building pumped hydro systems to store the un-used renewable energy.
Date: 11/16/2010
Type: Article
Boeing solar cell efficiency
Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab's solar panels supply power to over 60% of orbiting satellites, but the company may soon be known for another achievement: their new "terrestrial" solar cells beat the old record for solar conversion efficiency by 15%.
Date: 11/22/2010
Type: News
wind turbines
Potential improvements to wind turbine efficiency include (1) using computers to measure the airflow over blade surfaces and adjust the blade angles in real time and (2) adding micro-grooves into the blade surface to reduce the the resistance of blades to incoming airflow.
Date: 11/23/2010
Type: Blog
Technologies: Energy Conversion
GE Train
The ecomagination team at GE is pushing renewable energy limits with heat capture and hybrid dynamic braking on trains.
Date: 01/13/2011
Type: Article
IR body scan. Photo Credit: http://www.watershed.net/About-Saunas/
Human body heat from Stockholm's Central Station is providing as much 25% of the heat for a nearby green building.
Date: 01/20/2011
Type: Blog
Technologies: Energy Conversion
An array of quartz domes 600 nanometers wide and 200 nanometers high.
Stanford University researchers have developed a nanoscale metal reflector that boosts the efficiency of solid electrolyte dye-sensitized solar cells by as much as 20 percent.
Date: 02/07/2011
Type: Article
Waste Heat
UC Berkeley researchers estimate that over half of U.S. energy consumption is dissipated as waste heat; can such a ubiquitous energy source be harvested as an economically feasible alternative?
Date: 03/31/2011
Type: Article

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