Sunday, June 03, 2012

Energy innovation: snails and Griddies

Sunday, June 03, 2012
Energy innovation: snails and Griddies

Ask to describe most people to Vanguard energy technology, and she call LED lights that certain forms of solar energy and new electric storage methods. But how about this – production of energy from a living body?

Journal of the American Chemical Society reported a "real-life scientific tail of the first electrified worm." Researchers have placed a fuel cell in a snail that naturally produced generates energy with sugar by the snail body.

Consider it the ultimate in distributed generation. The AMC sees potential for the small electrical devices may "for future spy cameras, microphones and other electronic eavesdropping."

-Researchers induced a stream in the living snail two electrodes of carbon nano-tubes inserted into their shell. They coated the electrodes with enzymes, to promote a chemical reaction. An electrode electrons from glucose in the snail body pulled and others used these electrons to oxygen molecules into water. Researchers found that electricity again generated the enzymes in the snail, who lived for several months with the implanted fuel cell.

Others have implanted electricity-producing biofuels in different animals, such as rats and rabbits, but only partially. This was the first time researchers generated electricity for a long period without harming the animal according to the journal.

"The worm with the implanted biofuel cell in a natural environment, produce sustainable electric micropower to enable different bioelectronic devices can serve" the authors were quoted saying.

At this point, it's hard to say where this research is - whether it will be quirky or depth. But the diverse innovation underline it, surrounding the electrical energy, an industry that saw little technological change for the first 100 years. Industry insiders used to say, that Thomas Edison to find the light bulb would practically unchanged if he were born again. This is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.

Griddie Awards

With this change the need comes to consumer education, especially, if they need to change their behavior in any way. Including electrical snails, if nobody wants to use it?

This is the second issue of the weekly blog: Griddies. These are the awards from the Association of demand response and smart grid 2012 issued 26-28, at its annual meeting in Washington, DC, June. The Association consumers in the new smart grid technologies began competition in recognition of the need of the industry this year. Instead of issuing a call for papers, sent a "inspiring examples of the work of marketing and communications, nonprofit interest groups, technology companies, creative agencies, public relations firms and professionals find call for creative"

The finalists are on the company's Web site, and there are some really consumers catch work. In one of my favorites, this one from reliant energy, a rapper named mega watt shows us all smart device at his villa digs. He tells us he keeps it "Real Time" and sings his song "Power Strip." In another, I liked, Green Mountain power line offers excellent cartoon that explains the meaning of the smart-grid in an appealing, clear, and concise way. Another reliant energy has a plug talk amusing, which asks questions online about energy and offers opportunities for those that they are right.

These are the finalists only as a pair. Take a look through the list on the site see, want you amused and impressed with how far the once gotten boring electric power industry be. The ADS plans, the finalists for a "town meeting vote" put to the Assembly in June. Check back. We list, the winners at

ELISA is a long-time energy writer. See examples of her work on

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