Using Electricity to Generate Alternative Fuel

Electrical energy generated by various methods can be difficult to store efficiently. Chemical batteries, hydraulic pumping, and water splitting suffer from low energy-density storage or incompatibility with current transportation infrastructure. UCLA researchers have demonstrated a method for storing electrical energy as chemical energy in higher alcohols, which can be used as liquid transportation fuels.

Posted in: News, News, Batteries, Energy Storage, Solar Power, Alternative Fuels, Greenhouse Gases


New 3D Designs Double Solar Power

A team of MIT researchers is building cubes or towers that extend solar cells upward in three-dimensional configurations. The results from the structures they’ve tested show power output ranging from double to more than 20 times that of fixed flat panels with the same base area.

Posted in: News, News, Computers, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power


Device Uses Temperature Differences to Create Electrical Charge

Power Felt is a new thermoelectric device developed by researchers at the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University. By touching a small piece, body heat is converted into an electrical current.

Posted in: News, News, Batteries, Power Management, Energy Harvesting, Thermoelectrics


New Approach to Graphene Electronics

Graphene has been touted as the next silicon, but it is too conductive to be used in computer chips. A University of Manchester team led by Nobel laureates Professor Andre Geim and Professor Konstantin Novoselov has literally opened a third dimension in graphene research.

Posted in: News, News, Electronics, Power Management, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, LEDs


Next-Generation Battery Technology

Sandia National Laboratory researchers have developed a family of liquid salt electrolytes - known as MetILs - that could lead to better batteries and well as devices that can help incorporate large-scale intermittent renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, into the nation’s electric grid.

Posted in: News, News, Batteries, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power


Superconducting Current Limiter

A new superconducting current limiter based on YBCO strip conductors has been installed at a power plant. At the Boxberg power plant of the Swedish company Vattenfall, the current limiter protects the grid for own consumption that is designed for 12,000 volts and 800 amperes against damage due to short circuits and voltage peaks.

Posted in: News, News, Power Management, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power


Lightweight, Solar-Powered Generator

An Office of Naval Research (ONR)-funded solar generator has recently entered full production, with several systems already in the field. The Ground Renewable Expeditionary ENergy System (GREENS) is a portable, 300-watt, hybrid battery generator that uses the sun to produce electric currents.

Posted in: News, News, Batteries, Renewable Energy, Solar Power