grid

Watch how much electricity the UK is generating in near real time

As environmental concerns are ever more important, how can we make informed decisions about what we should do? Check out this website where you can monitor the real time energy situation in the UK. Gridwatch was created a couple of years ago by an electrical engineer looking to get past what they viewed as a…

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James O'MalleyWatch how much electricity the UK is generating in near real time

Hot Stepper Orange Power Wellies charge your phone using heat from your feet!

Here's a great gadget idea for the green-conscious festival goer (or tech savvy farmer for that matter). Introducing the Hot Stepper Orange Power Wellies that can charge your mobile phone just by using the heat from your feet. How's this…

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Gerald LynchHot Stepper Orange Power Wellies charge your phone using heat from your feet!

Gadget FAIL? Try turning it off and back on again in 27% of cases

Ever taken a screwdriver to the innards of a beloved, dying gadget in the hopes of breathing new life into it? Well you shouldn't bother according to the Gadget Helpline, as in many cases there is a much simpler solution;…

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Gerald LynchGadget FAIL? Try turning it off and back on again in 27% of cases

Mobile phones and gadgets to charge themselves?

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What if you never had to plug any of your gadgets in to charge them ever again? No stray wires running around your walls, no need to remember to pack numerous chargers when going on holiday and of course there are the financial and ecological benefits as well.

Well, this could well become a possibility. Nokia has got their boffins in Cambridge working on a technique whereby a phone can remain in standby mode and effectively charge itself using just ambient radio waves.

I’m no scientist, but I’ve done the research and I understand it as thus:

Waves in the air, such as Wi-Fi, radio, television and so forth can be harnessed and converted into enough juice to power your gadgets.

The system needs a bit more developing though, currently the boffins are only able to gather between three to five milliwatts of power and they need this figure to be more like 50 milliwatts in order for it to work in practice.

If they do manage to master this system, the possibilities are pretty immense. On the flip side, how scary is it that, potentially, there is enough electricity floating about in the air to charge mobile phones? How our brains don’t get frazzled remains a mystery to me.

(via NokNok)

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Paul LamkinMobile phones and gadgets to charge themselves?

VIDEO: Energy & Efficiency, season finale

I’ve done it. I’ve taken the final step. The final solution. The ultimate energy-saving measure! Never again will I consume a Watt of electricity or burn an ounce of carbon.

I am a zero-energy man. I am FREE from the SHACKLES of energy use. You hear that, Southern Electric? I’ve cancelled my direct debit.

I can now relax. And sleep. Although it gets a bit cold to sleep at night…

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Gary CutlackVIDEO: Energy & Efficiency, season finale

VIDEO: Energy & Efficiency, episode 9

Winter. A terrible time for energy waste, thanks to women always being cold and needing the heating on, plus it’s dark so the only things to do are watching TV and going on the internet. AND you have to have the lights on. It’s a terrifying period of BIG SPENDING on utility bills. If only there was some way to SAVE MONEY and ENERGY during the winter months…

There is! Allow me to introduce the concept of Human Hibernation. It’s insanity that we bother being awake during the boring winter, so I propose a Human Hibernation period from November to March. It’s worked successfully in the animal kingdom for decades – so let’s follow their example and activate hibernate.

Christmas will have to be moved to Easter to accommodate human hibernation, but that’s the only downside…

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Gary CutlackVIDEO: Energy & Efficiency, episode 9

Do policemen dream of electric sheep?

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A traffic jam caused by a runaway sheep in North Wales was solved by police using a Taser. The police offer in question, when faced with the problem of how to move a sheep out of the road, inexplicably decided the best course of action was to pull out his “non-lethal” electricity stun gun, zap the poor beast, and carry it to the side of the road, still twitching…

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Duncan GeereDo policemen dream of electric sheep?

VIDEO: Energy & Efficiency, episode 1

With rocketing energy prices and the pressure to be “green” in everything you do, I thought it’d be fun – and hopefully educational – to start a series of videos looking at ways we can all be more energy efficient around our homes and offices.

To kick thinks off, I take a look as the massive (white) elephant in the room – the always-on electricity sponge that is the household refrigerator. Do we really need access to cold cheese 24 hours a day? Or is it just a conspiracy by the electricity companies to keep their shareholders happy?

I hereby declare that next week is National Turn Your Fridge Off…

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Gary CutlackVIDEO: Energy & Efficiency, episode 1

Intel demos wireless electricity – magnetism used to avoid frying human flesh

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It’s another entry in our occasional Future Made Real series, this time concerning fantasy sci-fi invention #261 – wireless electricity.

For some reason it’s chip-maker Intel that’s the latest company to show off some wireless electric kit, managing to power a 60 Watt light bulb (how energy inefficient of it) from a distance of three feet. That’s 90cm, if you’re reading this in the Benelux regions or France…

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Gary CutlackIntel demos wireless electricity – magnetism used to avoid frying human flesh

Titanic builder diversifying WILDLY by setting up world's best tidal electricity system

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Northern Ireland has just surged ahead in the sustainable energy world-saving race, thanks to the efforts of Harland & Wolff – the very same Harland & Wolff of Titanic fame.

The shipbuilder has engineered what it believes is the biggest tidal power system in the world today, with the its SeaGen setup capable of pumping out 1.2 megawatts – enough to keep the PCs and TVs on in around 1000 homes…

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Gary CutlackTitanic builder diversifying WILDLY by setting up world's best tidal electricity system