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Power & Energy

11 Posts authored by: CharlesGantt
It’s more clear now than ever before that humanity must place higher importance on reducing our carbon footprint, and the quickest way to do that is to increase research into alternative energy generation methods. A team of scientists from Trinity College Dublin has recently published their work on a breakthrough that has major potential to lead us to completely renewable energy production. The paper was published in the journal, Nature Communications early last month.   The idea of ...
Graphene is one of those super-materials that continues to surprise scientists worldwide with its level of usefulness and relatively unique characteristics. It seems like new discoveries with the material are being made every month, and it’s quickly becoming clear that one-day graphene will be heralded as one of the most important materials humans have ever discovered. It has already proven key in the advancement of electronics, batteries, and pigments among other things. Just last year re ...
There is no doubt that sustainable energy sources are the way of the future, but exactly how we generate that sustainable energy is anyone’s guess. While solar, wind and even hydroelectric energy generation is progressing forward every year, that has not stopped researchers from experimenting to find new ways to generate electricity.  In a recently released study, researchers at Northwestern University, and Caltech have discovered a new method for generating electricity from common ru ...
Overheating electrical components is one of the main causes of failure in electronic hardware, and is quickly becoming one of the leading causes of failure in modern mobile devices. While some of the overheating issues are caused by faulty components, the issue is mostly attributed to improper heat displacement and the lack of adequate heat shielding. Often times, engineers will place small aluminum heatsinks and shielding plates on the more egregious thermal offenders and will use air-gaps, car ...
I wrote a piece several years ago that touched on the topic of batteries being the one piece of technology that has not improved at the same rate as other parts of technology such as the microprocessor, and despite all of the advancements in lithium-ion battery technology since then, including ones I have written about recently, not much has actually changed. However, researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and Department of Materials Science and Engineering are working to change that.  ...
While my previous article on flexible Lithium-ion batteries focused on wearables as a driving force in flexible battery development, this article is focused on a new type of flexible Lithium-ion battery technology being developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology that aims to help relieve the dependency current Lithium-ion batteries have on nickel and cobalt, two metals that are becoming more volatile in the world’s markets. I previously published an article that details why those met ...
One of the major problems plaguing wearable technology today is the lack of batteries that can safely and reliably flex with the movement of clothing without breaking and leaking harmful electrolyte, or even bursting into flames altogether. That’s not to mention how uncomfortable rigid batteries are when affixed to the clothing. Lack of a reliable flexible battery also prevents innovation in flexible electronics such as foldable smartphones, roll-up screens, etc, but that may change soon t ...
When most people think about the composition of batteries used in modern electric vehicles such as those produced by Tesla, or the batteries that keep our smartphones powered up, the word Lithium comes to mind. In fact, these batteries are so prevalent in modern life, that the word “lithium-ion” has become a household term. What most do not know, is that lithium-ion batteries are comprised of several metals, or at least the oxides of several metals including cobalt, nickel, and lithi ...
It’s often said that supercapacitors are the future of energy storage, but for that statement to become reality, supercapacitor performance needs to increase greatly, and that is just what researchers at MIT have been working on. In a newly released study, researchers from MIT and a few other institutions have developed a novel class of liquids that could revolutionize how supercapacitors perform by increasing capacity by four or five times, improve reliability, and could reduce the risk o ...
We’ve all experienced that moment of panic when our smartphone, tablet, or laptop beeps and gives us that all too familiar five-percent of power remaining warning. Most of the time, this low power warning is nothing more than a reminder that we need to connect our device to a power source to recharge its battery. The issue of battery life vs power consumption of electronic devices has plagued engineers since before the transistor radio was first invented, and those challenges have remained ...
I would like to introduce everyone to a new project I am working on. Meet The Workbench, a new web series that is designed to showcase DIY projects, EE tools and hardware, and general Maker - DIY projects. The series is being produced, and hosted by myself, and will start off as a twice per month video series, with releases increasing as it picks up momentum.   This weeks episode follows me along as I build a DIY benchtop power supply from a kit produced by Sparkfun, and a 650W PC PSU from ...