electricity

Rooftop Solar Panels Are Almost All Facing The Wrong Direction

If you’re thinking that solar panels face south to capture the most sunlight and thus the most energy, then you’d be absolutely correct. Yet, solar experts are saying that rooftop panels should be installed facing west. This surprising turn can be explained by quirks in the US’ electrical grid.


Monster Machines: The World's Biggest And Best Gas Turbine Can Power 400,000 Homes

If you thought the GE90 aircraft engine was a masterpiece of modern engineering, just get a load of this beauty. General Electric’s 9HA is the most advanced and efficient gas turbine available today and though it may not be able to lift a 787 off the ground, this potent electricity producer can easily power a mid-size metropolis.


US President Was Afraid Of The First White House Light Switches In 1891

The first president to install electric lighting at the White House was Benjamin Harrison in 1891, but he never touched the light switches himself, for fear of being electrocuted. This was a reasonable fear, given how crude household electric wiring could be at the time.


This Portrait Made With Electric Sparks Is The Ultimate Homage To Tesla

Video: Phil Hansen is a multimedia artist “who specialises in representative portraiture using media that connect to the subject matter.” This portrait of Nikola Tesla using electricity is the perfect example of that.


This Flapping Device Makes Electricity From Wind Rushing Past Your Car

As far as car accessories go, we have to admit this one looks pretty silly. But the Samsung scientists who made it could also be onto something. The flapping tongues inside are actually coated with gold, and when they rub up against a smooth plate, electricity is created through something called the triboelectric effect. It could be a whole new way to harness wind energy.


This Temporary Tattoo Is Actually A Battery That's Powered By Your Sweat

What if the sweat produced by your body could power your gadgets? And what if the connection between the two could be made by a temporary tattoo, the more you sweat, the more power the tattoo generates? That’s exactly what researchers at UC San Diego have developed — and one day, it could power your wearables.


Simply Layering Solar Cells Could Make Them As Cheap As Natural Gas

It’s not uncommon to focus on excotic solutions to making solar power more efficient: new materials, complex tracking systems or unusual physical phenomena. But what about just stacking them on top of each other?


This Giant Searchlight Once Scanned Los Angeles From The Mountains Above

As twilight faded over Pasadena on September 9, 1894, an artificial sun flickered to life for the first time. High above town in the San Gabriel Mountains stood a wonder of the new electric age: a 60-inch General Electric searchlight, by many accounts the largest in the world. This massive projector first dazzled audiences at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Now it would perform its nightly spectacle in the mountains above Los Angeles.


Smart Grids Could Save Australians $28 Billion In Electricity Costs

A $500 million, four year smart electricity grid pilot project in Sydney and Newcastle CBDs has paid off, with the final analysis showing that smart grid monitoring and control could save Australian consumers a total of $28 billion over 20 years. A national smart grid would enable a gamut of services like real-time consumption monitoring that could help Australians lower their energy bills.


Electricity-Eating Bacteria Are Real And More Common Than We Thought

In the extreme world of bacteria, stunts such as living in hot springs or without oxygen are, like, totally unimpressive. But then there are bacteria that live off electricity, feeding directly on naked electrons. Even more surprisingly, scientists are finding that these bacteria are not even that rare.


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