Energy

NREL, Swiss Scientists Power Past Solar Efficiency Records
August 29, 2017 11:43 AM - DOE / National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Collaboration between researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) shows the high potential of silicon-based multijunction solar cells.

NREL, Swiss Scientists Power Past Solar Efficiency Records
August 29, 2017 11:43 AM - DOE / National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Collaboration between researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) shows the high potential of silicon-based multijunction solar cells.

NREL Analysis Identifies Where Commercial Customers Might Benefit from Battery Energy Storage
August 29, 2017 11:39 AM - DOE / National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Commercial electricity customers who are subject to high demand charges may be able to reduce overall costs by using battery energy storage to manage demand, according to research by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Oil and gas wells as a strong source of greenhouse gases
August 28, 2017 04:22 PM - Helmholtz Centre For Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)

The pictures went around the world. In April 2010, huge amounts of methane gas escaped from a well below the Deepwater Horizon platform in the Gulf of Mexico. This "blow-out" caused an explosion, in which eleven people died. For several weeks, oil spilled from the damaged well into the ocean. Fortunately, such catastrophic "blow-outs" are rather rare. Continuous discharges of smaller amounts of gas from active or old and abandoned wells occur more frequently.

WPI Researchers Demonstrate New Membrane Technology That May Help Make Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Viable
August 28, 2017 03:37 PM - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

While cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells offer clear advantages over the electric vehicles that are growing in popularity (including their longer range, their lower overall environmental impact, and the fact that they can be refueled in minutes, versus hours of charging time), they have yet to take off with consumers. One reason is the high cost and complexity of producing, distributing, and storing the pure hydrogen needed to power them, which has hindered the roll-out of hydrogen refueling stations.

Dispersants Improved Air Quality for Responders at Deepwater Horizon
August 28, 2017 03:32 PM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A study published Aug. 28, 2017, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesadds a new dimension to the controversial decision to inject large amounts of chemical dispersants immediately above the crippled oil well at the seafloor during the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. The dispersants likely reduced the amount of harmful gases in the air at the sea surface—diminishing health risks for emergency responders and allowing them to keep working to stop the uncontrolled spill and clean up the spilled oil sooner.

Recipe for Safer Batteries — Just Add Diamonds
August 25, 2017 01:01 PM - Drexel University

While lithium-ion batteries, widely used in mobile devices from cell phones to laptops, have one of the longest lifespans of commercial batteries today, they also have been behind a number of recent meltdowns and fires due to short-circuiting in mobile devices. In hopes of preventing more of these hazardous malfunctions researchers at Drexel University have developed a recipe that can turn electrolyte solution — a key component of most batteries — into a safeguard against the chemical process that leads to battery-related disasters. 

Recipe for Safer Batteries — Just Add Diamonds
August 25, 2017 01:01 PM - Drexel University

While lithium-ion batteries, widely used in mobile devices from cell phones to laptops, have one of the longest lifespans of commercial batteries today, they also have been behind a number of recent meltdowns and fires due to short-circuiting in mobile devices. In hopes of preventing more of these hazardous malfunctions researchers at Drexel University have developed a recipe that can turn electrolyte solution — a key component of most batteries — into a safeguard against the chemical process that leads to battery-related disasters. 

Researchers identify cheaper, greener biofuels processing catalyst
August 25, 2017 11:11 AM - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Fuels that are produced from nonpetroleum-based biological sources may become greener and more affordable, thanks to research performed at the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institutethat examines the use of a processing catalyst made from palladium metal and bacteria.

Researchers Report Breakthrough in Magnesium Batteries
August 24, 2017 10:08 AM - University of Houston

Magnesium batteries offer promise for safely powering modern life – unlike traditional lithium ion batteries, they are not flammable or subject to exploding – but their ability to store energy has been limited.

Researchers reported Aug. 24 in the journal Nature Communications the discovery of a new design for the battery cathode, drastically increasing the storage capacity and upending conventional wisdom that the magnesium-chloride bond must be broken before inserting magnesium into the host.

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