At MIT, a showcase of energy ideas

Massachusetts Institute of Technology students demonstrate novel new clean energy technologies at a conference in Boston.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology may be better known for computers and code, but what some folks don't know is that the school is also on the forefront of energy research.

New York Times green reporter Tom Zeller, Jr. descended upon the student-run sixth annual MIT Energy Conference to discover how researchers are coping with the problem of providing power to six billion people on Planet Earth.

We sadly weren't in attendance, but here's what Zeller discovered:

  • A company called StranWind showing off vertical-axis wind turbines for low-altitude residential and commercial applications.
  • A startup called Altaeros Energies displaying an inflatable, kite-like "contraption" shaped like a jet engine for the high-altitude wind market.
  • Virginia-based OPower demonstrating smart grid software solutions for the consumer.
  • Oil and gas services company Schlumberger explaining the technologies used for shale gas exploration and extraction, otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."
  • Startup XL Hybrids, which converts traditional fleet vehicles such as the Ford Crown Victoria into hybrid electrics by retrofitting regenerative braking tech.
  • A student named Gokhan Dundar describing spherical containers made of concrete designed to sit on the ocean floor, using water pressure differentials to store excess energy for offshore wind applications.


Energy Geeks Converge on M.I.T. [New York Times]

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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