The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Apple Delves Deeper into Renewable Energy, Offers Wind Energy Storage Concept

Technology continues to change and expand faster than most consumers can keep up with – but many try their best. And the company that is arguably the most popular and innovative – the one that techies follow like groupies to a rock star – is Apple. But with each new feature, iTunes, iCloud, Apps, and more, comes a greater need for power, which is why Apple is hard at work to find renewable solutions for its ever-growing energy needs.

In order to power many of the features it provides, Apple builds energy-sucking data centers. It has established a clean energy initiative, with plans to power several of its data centers with 100% renewable energy created by the company and locally procured. This past spring, Apple announced that it was building a 20-MW solar farm to help power its data center in Maiden, North Carolina. After construction was completed, it bought another 200 acres of nearby land to build an additional 20-MW solar farm, according to reports. The facility also contains a 5-MW biogas-powered fuel cell installation. Apple claims that it intends to power two additional data centers with renewable energy by early 2013.

Apparently Apple is not settling with its current renewable procurement methods. This week, Apple Insider reported a wind energy storage patent that the company hopes will help mitigate renewable energy intermittency issues. The patent describes the technology as converting the friction from rotating turbine blades into heat. This heat is then stored in a “low-heat-capacity” fluid, such as mercury or ethanol. When wind is at a lull and more energy is necessary, the stored heat can then be transferred to a “working fluid” that is brought to a boil to create steam. The steam is then directed to a turbine that is connected to a generator.

The patent claims that the storage method can reduce costs caused by intermittency and reduce dependence on fossil fuel backup energy. Whether Apple will move forward with the patent isn’t clear, but it is apparent that the company is getting serious about renewable energy solutions.

An additional patent unveiled this week is more on the gadget side. Apple is busy inventing methods to integrate solar power into devices. The patent outlines the technology as either an accessory that can be attached or manufactured into the back of a laptop. It is engineered to harness the sun to power backlight displays, which can enhance battery life and reduce energy usage. According to reports, Apple is considering the use of solar cells for this technology.

Lead image: Andrey Bayda via Shutterstock

RELATED ARTICLES

Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...
Microgrids

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that ha...
As associate editor of RenewableEnergyWorld.com, I coordinate and edit feature stories, contributed articles, news stories, opinion pieces and blogs. I also research and write content for RenewableEnergyWorld.com and REW magazine. I manage REW.com...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

03/01/2015
Volume 18, Issue 3
file

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in Brazil – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

EU PVSEC 2015 (European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition)

The EU PVSEC is the largest international Conference for Photovoltaic re...

Sponsor/Exhibitor: MIREC Week 2015

Solectria, Pillar, and Variadores together are co-Silver Sponsors! Come ...

COMPANY BLOGS

EU PVSEC 2014: Call for Papers Receives Great Response

More than 1,500 contributions apply for presentation in AmsterdamScienti...

EU PVSEC 2014 extends its Scope

Added focus on application and policy topicsAbstracts for conference con...

Solar Impulse Flying From China to Hawaii

The team behind Solar Impulse, the solar-powered airplane, is prepa...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS