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Energy Blog Renewable Energy Concepts Part 1

Renewable Energy Concepts Part 1

Chris Hurcombe
by Chris Hurcombe February 22, 2012
Putting Nuclear Waste to Work 2

Renewable Energy Concepts Part 1

Solar, geothermal and wind are well known renewable energy resources but finding sources of renewable energy is a none stop challenge and it will continue to be till we find the “perfect” way to generate renewable energy.  As we strive for energy efficiency and sustainable resources there are more novel sources on the horizon that can provide power for many things effectively.

In this two article series you will find 4 innovative renewable energy technologies that could change the way we look at energy generation. You may find that some are too futuristic and should be reserved for sci-fi books and space movies, like generate energy from body heat or from nanotechnology while others are fairly simple like pedal power.

1. Body Heat

If someone told you that one of the busiest train stations in Stockholm has become a source of energy for a commercial building across the street, would you believe it? The video below proves it is possible.

Kungsbrohuset with english translation from Klapp.Co on Vimeo.

Jernhusen, a transportation real estate company in Sweden, found a way to create usable energy from the body heat of the quarter million commuters who pass through Stockholm Central Station each day.

According to a BBC article:  Heat exchangers in the Central Station’s ventilation system convert the excess body heat into hot water. That is then pumped to the heating system in the nearby building to keep it warm.  In practice, the system lowers the energy costs of the building by 25%.

The Swedish company now wants to expand the project to industrial buildings and homes. It is too early to jump to conclusions but this could be a real game changer for cities like London.

2. Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is innovating many areas of our contemporary society and powering objects using this form has been a dream of scientists and engineers for quite some time.  In a not so “high tech” experiment scientist discovered that by heating zinc oxide nanoparticles with aluminium in a microwave the zinc oxide conducts electricity, while the aluminium makes it difficult for the molecules to transfer heat parking electrons and electrical current.

The challenge now is to find a way to power electrical appliances with it.  There are many concepts being tested including one from a researcher at the London Centre for Nanotechnology who developed a cell phone power source that uses solar cells and light from OLED to produce an overall longer battery life.

Right now the biggest hurdle is to find a way to produce sustainable energy returns.  We are a bit far from it but the concept could change the way we power our technology in the near future.

This is it for the first part of our Renewable Energy Concept series and make sure you don’t miss next week’s when we’ll bring two even more innovative renewable energy generation concepts.

In them mean time why not share your thoughts on these two technologies in our comments

There is also a discussion happening on Twitter about this, and you can tweet your opinion with a @CatalystEnergy but remember you will need to follow us first.

If you would like more information on our range of Renewable Energy Concepts or would simply like to find out how we could benefit your business, simply call our energy team today on 0870 710 7560.