Mane Energy Issue 9 - March 2018 - Page 10

In 1752 scientist Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning was, in fact, electricity, building upon his discovery, over 100 years later, in 1879 Thomas Edison developed the light bulb which brightened homes and showed the path to the benefits of electricity. At around the same time the power of steam was used to power vehicles, these changes in our day to day lives is arguably the birth of the energy industry. Since these discoveries research has continued in a bid to discover the most effective source of energy. As we consumed more and more energy sources of this great power adapted, coal plants popped up in their hundreds, and we as consumers began to thrive. However as continued to use energy scientists discovered with great power came consequences, the coal plants were producing fumes into the atmosphere along with automobiles. Thus a new industry was born, that of renewable energy. It has been a long journey from Franklin’s key on a kite test, and we are still discovering new and exciting ways to enjoy energy without the consequences. Here we have outlined the futuristic tech which has the best of both worlds.

Imagine harnessing the power of the trillions of bacteria all around us. How would that work? When bacteria breathe, they carry out a chemical reaction which in the process released electrons. By connecting a breathing tube to the positive and negative ends of a battery, it is possible for the flow of electrons to be harnessed and therefore generate power. This process is known as microbial fuel cell, and it has big hopes of being a viable source of energy one day.

Conventional solar panels collect photons to generate energy from the sun, however, new technology is being developed called solar glass which uses salts to absorb energy from wavelengths that are not visible. A building could generate all the power it requires through its see-through solar glass panels. Similarly, there is solar paint which has light-sensitive particles and conductive material which when sprayed over electrodes make up a spray on power generator!

Future energy technology

Solar Glass

Bacteria energy