Sponge creates steam using ambient sunlight

How do you boil water? Eschewing the traditional kettle and flame, MIT engineers have invented a bubble-wrapped, sponge-like device that soaks up natural sunlight and heats water to boiling temperatures, generating steam ...

Generating electricity from heat using a spin Seebeck device

Thermoelectric (TE) conversion offers carbon-free power generation from geothermal, waste, body or solar heat, and shows promise to be the next-generation energy conversion technology. At the core of such TE conversion, there ...

Self-watering soil could transform farming

A new type of soil created by engineers at The University of Texas at Austin can pull water from the air and distribute it to plants, potentially expanding the map of farmable land around the globe to previously inhospitable ...

Temperature differences give rise to electricity

More than half of today's energy consumption is squandered in useless waste heat, such as the heat from refrigerators and all sorts of gadgets and the heat from factories and power plants. The energy losses are even greater ...

New materials turn heat into electricity

Most of today's power plants--from some of the largest solar arrays to nuclear energy facilities--rely on the boiling and condensing of water to produce energy.

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