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Power & Energy

76 Posts authored by: Cabe Atwell
The 3D battery is a proof of concept but has the potential to change how batteries work. A mockup of the 3D battery architecture with interpenetrating anode, separator, and cathode each about 20 nanometers in size. (Photo via Cornell University)   Companies are rushing to make smart devices sleeker, more powerful, and faster than last year’s model. But one thing that they still have trouble nailing down is reliable battery life. Battery life is the top concern for consumers and often ...
Trolysis introduces their long-awaited flagship system to consumers, which promises to be a cheaper and more efficient alternative to traditional fuel. Though it looks like a trash compactor, this system actually turns aluminum into fuel (Photo via Trolysis)   There’s so much more to aluminum than a building material. The material itself is strong, lightweight, and inexpensive. It’s found in various objects from soda cans to cars. But did you ever think aluminum could be used a ...
The left shows MU’s honeycomb structure for the material, while right shows diode-type behavior of current flowing in one direction (Photo via University of Missouri)   There’s no question that smart devices, like phones and laptops, have made our lives a bit easier. But the biggest complaint about them, aside from increasing price, is the battery life. No matter how many times you upgrade your phone or how long you charge your laptop, the battery never lasts. Is there a soluti ...
General Electric’s department of renewable energy is working on a new wind turbine that will contribute to reducing the cost of electricity. Comparison chart of the Haliade-X to other important buildings. (Image via GE)   The US firm General Electric (GE) has a department of Renewable energy that puts the company among the leading providers of wind turbines. With more than 35,000 wind turbines around the globe, GE’s renewable energy department does not just build the turbines; ...
The Japanese car company Nissan is reusing some of the batteries from its electric cars in a new program to power cities’ streetlights. A lamp prototype of the light reborn program promo video (Image via Nissan)   As the debate on climate change and everyone’s carbon footprint continues, it is becoming evident that the world needs cleaner sources of energy, which mankind could adapt to all uses possible. That must be the driving factor in the fever automobile companies got to m ...
(Image credit: Pexels)   Coal ranks number one on the dirty scale when it comes to burning fossil fuels for power generation. When coal burns, it releases carbon dioxide and methane, known emissions that contribute significantly to global warming. It also creates sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), mercury along with particulate matter or soot, all of which have a negative impact on both the environment and humans. As a result, more plants have shifted to natural gas and renewable ...
Renewable energy development in the California desert. (Image credit: Bureau of Land Management via Flickr)   California is on track to reach 50% of their renewable energy goal ten years ahead of schedule, according to the California Public Utilities Commission RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) report, released back in November. The state’s primary utilities have already met (or are about to exceed) their renewable energy target of 33% by 2020 and is on track to hit their 2030 goal ...
Gallium nitride device can handle high voltages and make power conversion more efficient. (Image credit: MIT)   Most people know that electrical efficiency affects nearly everything that uses power- smartphones/mobile devices, electric vehicles and even the grid. Power converters play a significant role in the electrical equation, but they are incredibly inefficient and will never output more than the power it takes in. They are responsible for modifying voltages or convert between DC and ...
3D printed gears and spring toggle a switch made of conductive plastic, which changes the state of a 3D printed antenna to convey data to a Wi-Fi receiver. (Image credit: University of Washington)   Researchers from the University of Washington have advanced civilization a few more years into the future by developing the first 3D printed plastic objects that are capable of collecting useful data and communicate that data to connected devices wirelessly without any electronics or batteries. ...
New research from Samsung show that lithium-ion batteries can be both fast charging and have high capacities when coated with graphene. No, this isn’t your carpet under a microscope. It’s what graphene looks like. (Photo from Samsung)   Even though lithium-ion batteries have a lot of capabilities, they’re pretty limited. Normally, they can only provide either fast charging speeds or high capacities, rarely both. Samsung researchers working with Seoul National University a ...
Hurricane Maria aftermath. The storm damaged the island’s already deteriorated electrical infrastructure. (Image credit Puerto Rico National Guard via Flickr)   Electricity is something most of us take for granted until it suddenly is shut off, and then it’s like our lives come to a screeching halt- no TV, no Wi-Fi, and no way to recharge mobile devices. While a power outage may leave us in the dark for a few hours or perhaps a few days, it’s nothing compared to what peop ...
Tesla Powerpack 2 system is scalable from 200 kWh to 100+ MWh. (Image credit Tesla)   Last September, Australians living in the southern half of the country got to experience what it’s like to live on the sun. To add insult to injury, they were also hit with a massive storm that knocked out power to 1.7-million homes. As a result, government officials began looking for ways to incorporate renewable energy sources and storage into the grid that could provide a security blanket in case ...
Logitech is launching two new wireless technologies that complicate the debate of wired vs. wireless mouses due to its reported impeccable performance. The Logitech G wireless mouse and charging pad which is available as a hard or cloth pad. (Photo via Logitech)   Are you adding wireless charging to all your designs? Maybe you should.   Recently, wireless charging has become an increasingly popular idea in providing unrestricted access to electronic devices, such as AirVolt’s w ...
The wireless charging system featured on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com allows for greater ease and flexibility in the dreaded time spent charging phones. AirVolt’s wireless charging system uses radio waves and is comparable to wired-charging. (Photo via Airvolt's Indiegogo)   Mobile communication devices are becoming an essential part of life around the world, and in more developed countries, smartphones have become commonplace. Aside from the practical functional capabilities ...
A small Normandy village spent $5.2 million to build a solar panel road that will help power the streetlights. The solar panel road will be used by 2,000 motorists a day (via Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA)   Every year different towns and cities work to incorporate solar power into their transportation systems, like Santiago, Chile wanting to power its Metro system on solar energy. Now, a town in France is claiming to have the world’s first solar panel road. Tourovre-au-Perche, a small ...