Wal-Mart, one of the largest corporations in the world, has made the opening move toward its goal of 100% renewable energy operation. As reported in Energy & Power Management Magazine under the headline “Wal-Mart Launches Solar Power Pilot Project”, Wal-Mart announced its intention to purchase solar panels from BP Solar, SunEdison LLC, and PowerLight for installation at 22 pilot locations. Each solar installation is expected to provide up to 30 percent of the power demand for the facility where it is installed.
The 22 participating Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores will be in California and Hawaii, where power is expensive. Given Wal-Mart’s concern for the bottom line, this project will demonstrate one of the long-held axioms of this blog: if executed correctly, renewable energy is more economical than conventional fossil fuel energy (see Energy Technology is NOT a Bubble). In fact, David Ozment, director of energy for Wal-Mart, said that pilot project stores are expected to achieve savings over their current utility rates immediately — as soon as the first day of operation.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
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