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Water is pretty wild when you think about it: all of its three states of matter are consumable by humans, and one in particular can even give off electrical power. A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has discovered that when water condenses on and spontaneously jumps back and forth...

July 17th 2014 at 3:16am 0 Comments
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Thermoelectrics -- which use wasted heat to generate electricity -- could get a lot more interesting thanks to a company called Alphabet Energy. It's set to commercialize tetrahedrite, a metal that more than doubles the efficiency of current tech for as little as a fiftieth the cost. Thermoelectri...

July 16th 2014 at 10:44am 0 Comments
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You may recall The Oatmeal's (aka Matthew Inman's) fundraising campaign to save Nikola Tesla's former lab and get a museum built in the electrical pioneer's honor. Well, it only partly succeeded; while the money was enough to rescue the property, Inman realized that it would take at least $8 milli...

May 14th 2014 at 4:11pm 0 Comments
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Solar panels have become cheaper and more efficient in recent years, but you can't say the same for the big, costly inverters turning their energy into usable electricity. Google isn't happy with this lack of progress, so it's about to launch the Little Box Challenge, an open competition to build...

May 9th 2014 at 10:44pm 0 Comments
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If there's one thing you should know about Engadget, it's that we absolutely love lasers. And thanks to the University of Arizona and University of Central Florida, our favorite pulsating form of light might soon find a much less destructive purpose, than say on Navy ships, anti-missile airliners...

April 11th 2014 at 7:26pm 0 Comments
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Soldiers don't have many options for overcoming sleep deprivation outside of a good cup of coffee. If the Air Force Research Laboratory's experiments prove successful, though, troops may rely on tiny jolts of electricity to stay alert. By using a mild current to stimulate key parts of the brain, t...

February 20th 2014 at 8:33pm 0 Comments
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Solar power just hit the big time in the US -- BrightSource Energy has confirmed that the world's largest solar thermal plant, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California, is up and running. The array, also backed by Google and NRG Energy, produces a total 392MW of power through 173...

February 13th 2014 at 5:33pm 0 Comments
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It's not very often that a light switch really catches Engadget's eye, so you know it has to be something clever to show up on our virtual pages. This particular lightbulb activation device (as demonstrated by NXP) is not only wireless, it's powerless -- we were able to turn on a wireless lightbul...

January 7th 2014 at 6:34am 0 Comments
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Google's goal of meeting its electrical needs with renewable sources got another big boost today. The Happy Hereford wind farm in Texas will produce 240 megawatts of juice, and all of that output has been bought by Big G. That power won't flow directly from the turbines into Google's data centers,...

September 17th 2013 at 2:03pm 0 Comments