Energy

The Future of Iron-Air Batteries

A University of Southern California research team has developed a cheap, rechargeable battery that could be used to store energy at solar power plants for a rainy day. The air-breathing battery uses the chemical energy generated by the oxidation of iron plates that are exposed to the oxygen in the air — a process similar to rusting.

Posted in: News, News, Batteries, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Solar Power

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Record Efficiency for Next-Generation Solar Cells

Researchers from the University of Toronto (U of T) and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) have made a breakthrough in the development of colloidal quantum dot (CQD) films. The researchers created a solar cell out of inexpensive materials that was certified at a world-record 7.0% efficiency.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Nanotechnology, Semiconductors & ICs

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New Tech for Grid-Level Electrical Energy Storage

Electrical energy storage is the obstacle preventing more widespread use of renewable energy sources. Due to the unpredictable nature of wind and solar energy, the ability to store this energy when it is produced is essential for turning these resources into reliable sources of energy. The current U.S. energy grid system is used predominantly for distributing energy and allows little flexibility for storage of excess or a rapid dispersal on short notice. Drexel University researchers believe they have a solution.

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

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Solar Nanowire Template Permits Flexible Energy Absorption

Researchers creating electricity through photovoltaics want to convert as many of the sun’s wavelengths as possible to achieve maximum efficiency. For this reason, they see indium gallium nitride as a valuable future material for photovoltaic systems. Changing the concentration of indium allows researchers to tune the material’s response so it collects solar energy from a variety of wavelengths.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Materials, Nanotechnology

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Carbon Nanotubes Help Energize Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

Fuel cells, which use chemicals to create electricity, hold promise in a variety of areas but the high price of platinum catalysts used inside the cells has provided a roadblock. One promising low-cost alternative to platinum is the carbon nanotube – an excellent conductor of electricity. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes riddled with defects and impurities on the outside could eventually replace some of the platinum catalysts used in fuel cells and metal-air batteries, according to Stanford University scientists.

Posted in: News, News, Batteries, Energy Storage, Alternative Fuels

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A Better Understanding of High-Temperature Superconductors

Superconductivity, in which electric current flows without resistance, promises huge energy savings – from low-voltage electric grids with no transmission losses, super-efficient motors and generators, and myriad other schemes. But such everyday applications still lie in the future, because conventional superconductivity in metals can’t do the job.

Posted in: News, News, Power Management, Energy, Energy Storage, Lasers & Laser Systems

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Coaxial Nanocable Could Aid in Energy Storage

Researchers at Rice University have created a coaxial cable that is about a thousand times smaller than a human hair and has higher capacitance than previously reported microcapacitors. The nanocable was produced with techniques pioneered in the burgeoning graphene research field and could be used to build next-generation energy-storage systems.

Posted in: News, News, Batteries, Electronic Components, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage

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