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WSU News electricity

Building tools to protect America’s power grid

By August Schiess, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

PULLMAN, Wash. – When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in late September, it devastated the island’s power grid — and estimates suggest residents won’t have full power again until mid-December. » More …

New device could turn heat energy into a viable fuel source

By Will Ferguson, College of Arts and Sciences

Yi_Gu wsu physics researcher

PULLMAN, Wash. – A new device being developed by Washington State University physicist Yi Gu could one day turn the heat generated by a wide array of electronics into a usable fuel source. » More …

WSU researchers receive $2.3M to improve U.S. power grid design

By Erik Gomez, intern, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture

Chen Ching Liu WSU Electrical Engineering

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have received a $2.3 million Department of Energy grant to more efficiently distribute power and better manage outages for the U.S. electric power grid. » More …

WSU to lead $30M international partnership to advance power grid

Noel Schulz Anurag SrivastavaPULLMAN, Wash. – WSU will lead a nationwide consortium of U.S. universities and industry partners in a five-year, $30 million joint research project with India to advance the development of the power grid in both countries. » More …

Ask Dr. Universe: Will electricity ever run out?

Dr-Universe-230PULLMAN, Wash. – Scientists could see and feel electricity in nature long before they discovered how to make it. Maybe you’ve seen it during a powerful electrical storm or felt a little shock from static electricity. » More …

Researchers develop unique waste cleanup for rural areas

By Tina Hilding, Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture

Beyenal-and-EwingPULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have developed a unique method to use microbes buried in pond sediment to power waste cleanup in rural areas. » More …

Video: Accidental discovery dramatically improves conductivity

Tarun-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Quite by accident, Washington State University researchers have achieved a 400-fold increase in the electrical conductivity of a crystal simply by exposing it to light. The effect, which lasted for days after the light was turned off, could dramatically improve the performance of devices like computer chips.

» More …

Microbes generate electricity in Dana Hall outreach

MFC lights



microbes generate electricityPULLMAN, Wash. – In a hallway in a building at the engineering end of campus, a string of small, red LED lights blink unobtrusively, powered by a bucket of muddy water.


Dedicated crews of microscopic bacteria in the mud generate electricity by doing what bacteria do best: eating.
“The microbes eat organic material and transfer electrons to an anode buried in the sediment,” said Timothy Ewing, the Ph.D. student who helped put together the microbial fuel cell powering the lights. “The … » More …

Pumping electricity into grid pays 15 cents a kilowatt-hour

Solar pioneers who have been feeding electricity into the Northwest power grid have until July 31 to apply for retroactive incentives under the state’s newest alternative-energy law. The law provides a payment of 15 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity that backyard producers have sent into the grid.

“This finally makes solar a viable investment for the little guy, which is how I’ve always looked at it — as a capital investment,” said Mike Nelson, director of the solar program for Washington State University Extension.

For the full story, go to the Seattle PI at