Energy

Could renewable 'power-by-wire' help fix China's air pollution problems?
June 19, 2017 04:26 PM - IOP Publishing

Bringing renewable power ‘by wire’ from western China to its power-hungry Eastern cities could have benefits for both local air quality and global climate change, new research has found.

The study, published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters, examined if ongoing power transmission capacity investment in China – driven largely by concerns over air pollution – could also reduce local adverse health impacts from air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Keeping California's Natural Gas System Safe
June 19, 2017 04:09 PM - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The massive natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon shined a light on California’s aging natural gas infrastructure. And five years of extreme drought also exacted its toll on transmission pipelines. Now the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has been awarded $4.6 million by the California Energy Commission for two projects aimed at improving the safety and reliability of the state’s natural gas system.

Next-gen solvents capture carbon with half the energy
June 19, 2017 02:10 PM - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

U.S. energy production could increase with the help of an improved carbon capture technology that use about half the energy of today's standard technologies. Emissions captured at fossil fuel power plants could in turn be used to harvest more crude by injecting it into underground oil fields.

Inexpensive Organic Material Gives Safe Batteries a Longer Life
June 19, 2017 02:04 PM - University of Houston

Modern batteries power everything from cars to cell phones, but they are far from perfect – they catch fire, they perform poorly in cold weather and they have relatively short lifecycles, among other issues. Now researchers from the University of Houston have described a new class of material that addresses many of those concerns in Nature Materials.

Inexpensive Organic Material Gives Safe Batteries a Longer Life
June 19, 2017 02:04 PM - University of Houston

Modern batteries power everything from cars to cell phones, but they are far from perfect – they catch fire, they perform poorly in cold weather and they have relatively short lifecycles, among other issues. Now researchers from the University of Houston have described a new class of material that addresses many of those concerns in Nature Materials.

This tiny cell packs power — then can be tossed away
June 16, 2017 08:20 AM - Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University researchers are developing a tiny power source that activates with only a few drops of water and can provide instant power up to 100 minutes before being tossed away.

The patent-pending biodegradable PowerPAD (Power: Portable And Disposable) is a single-use disposable battery—a mere inch in diameter—in which water stimulates a chemical reaction that changes the oxidization of its atoms.

Batteries that "drink" seawater could power long-range underwater vehicles
June 15, 2017 04:38 PM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The long range of airborne drones helps them perform critical tasks in the skies. Now MIT spinout Open Water Power (OWP) aims to greatly improve the range of unpiloted underwater vehicles (UUVs), helping them better perform in a range of applications under the sea.

Recently acquired by major tech firm L3 Technologies, OWP has developed a novel aluminum-water power system that’s safer and more durable, and that gives UUVs a tenfold increase in range over traditional lithium-ion batteries used for the same applications.

Batteries that "drink" seawater could power long-range underwater vehicles
June 15, 2017 04:38 PM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The long range of airborne drones helps them perform critical tasks in the skies. Now MIT spinout Open Water Power (OWP) aims to greatly improve the range of unpiloted underwater vehicles (UUVs), helping them better perform in a range of applications under the sea.

Recently acquired by major tech firm L3 Technologies, OWP has developed a novel aluminum-water power system that’s safer and more durable, and that gives UUVs a tenfold increase in range over traditional lithium-ion batteries used for the same applications.

Electrolytes Made from Liquefied Gas Enable Batteries to Run at Ultra-low Temperatures
June 15, 2017 04:06 PM - University of California - San Diego

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a breakthrough in electrolyte chemistry that enables lithium batteries to run at temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius with excellent performance — in comparison, today’s lithium-ion batteries stop working at -20 degrees Celsius. The new electrolytes also enable electrochemical capacitors to run as low as -80 degrees Celsius — their current low temperature limit is -40 degrees Celsius. While the technology enables extreme low temperature operation, high performance at room temperature is still maintained. The new electrolyte chemistry could also increase the energy density and improve the safety of lithium batteries and electrochemical capacitors.

New technology will enable properties to share solar energy
June 14, 2017 05:57 PM - University of Huddersfield

In the UK alone, some 1.5 million homes are equipped with solar panels, and it has been estimated that by 2020 the figure could soar to 10 million, with the prospect of lower energy bills for consumers and massive reductions in CO2emissions. Now, a University of Huddersfield researcher is developing new technologies that could enable clusters of houses to share their solar energy, rather than simply exporting surplus electricity to the national grid. Also, new systems for fault detection will enable householders to monitor and maintain the efficiency of their panels.

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