ARPA-E is modeled after DARPA and financing one groundbreaking energy innovation after another. Arun Majumdar, the agency's director, talks about some of the projects it's funding, from biofuels grown on electrodes to air conditioners that crush current efficiency standards.
Here comes the next generation of innovators revolutionizing batteries. Brian Parsonnet led the development of the Ice Bear, a device that is attached to commercial air conditioners and uses ice to store energy, making cooling more efficient and easing the burden on the electric grid.
Data centers are the hidden energy vampires of the computer industry, using about 1.5% of all power in the United States. With energy consumption expected to double to 100 billion kilowatt hours (a $7.4 billion cost in energy bills), it's become increasingly important for data centers to cut power use whenever possible. That's where Core4 Systems, a Napa, California-based startup, comes in.
A couple of weeks ago we heard about plans for a solar-assisted Toyota [NYSE:TM] Prius, and now it seems Nissan [NASDAQ:NSANY] is jumping on the solar bandwagon as well. Reports about the Prius suggested it would feature solar panels to power its air conditioning, but Nissan is taking a less revolutionary step and using the sun's energy to charge a given car's battery. The panels will be made by a company called ICP Solar, which has reportedly just entered into a sales agreement with the European and North American branches of Nissan to make OEM solar chargers.