electricity

This Flexible Skin Patch Could Use Friction To Power Your Wearables

The idea of capturing some energy from you constant writhing and wriggling ins’t new — but this small, flexible device certainly is. The postage stamp-sized circuitry, once attached to the skin, could generate electricity to power the gadgets secreted about your person.


Incandescent Bulbs, 135 Years Ago And Today

On January 27, 1880, Thomas Edison was awarded a patent for an incandescent lamp. It was still two years before his first power grid would flicker to life in NYC, and Edison was living on the precipice of a new age. Oh, how things have changed.


The Forgotten Story Of NYC's First Power Grid

Lower Manhattan of the 1880s was a wonderland of futuristic technology and engineering: The city’s first cable car arced over the harbour. A spindly new steel bridge was forming to connect Williamsburg to the city. And on the Lower East Side, Edison was tearing up the streets to build the first permanent power station in the world.


California's Grid May Soon Store Energy In Giant Ice Packs 

California wants better batteries, which is why the electric company Southern California Edison is planning a set of, let’s say, unconventional energy storage solutions, including huge 450-gallon ice packs. Why? It all has to do with a little-known problem with California’s wind-reliant electric grid.


Your Set-Top Box Is An Energy-Sucking Monster (But It Doesn't Have To Be)

An innocent little cable box can suck up more electricity than your actual TV. The most galling part though? Up to two-thirds of its power-hogging actually happens in “idle” mode, when you’re not even using it. The good news is device makers have the technical ability to make cable boxes that don’t waste so much electricity. They just need to actually do it.


Watch How The World's Largest Solar Farms Get Built

Large-scale solar plants are monstrous construction projects, that cover hundreds or thousands of acres of land in photovoltaic goodness. This amazing video shows how they go from concept to reality.


Your Smartphone Could One Day Be Powered By Jet Fuel

Battery life on modern gadgets sucks — so why not power your mobile devices with something a little more potent like, err, jet fuel? That’s the idea of researchers from the University of Utah, who think that fuel cells could efficiently be made to run using the same fuel as fighter jets.


This Was An Electric Razor (And Face Massager!) In 1926

As electricity invaded American homes in the 1920s, everything imaginable was becoming electrified. From electric clocks and coffee percolators to electric dishwashers and stand mixers, every gadget was going electric. Even the sacred ritual of shaving one’s face was getting the electric treatment, as you can see in this early version of the Vibro-Shave electric razor.


Report: Solar Is Way Worse Than Other Renewables

Solar is an established — and constantly improving — form of renewable power. But according to a new report by the European Union its economic impact is incredibly costly, and far worse than wind and even hydroelectric power.


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.