Scientists Develop a Better Battery, Thanks to Graphene. In Brief A collaboration between Graphenano and its Chinese partner Chint has led to a graphene polymer battery that surpasses any current lithium ion battery, and it could soon replace batteries in domestic use and electric cars.
POWERING The Future The Spanish company Graphenano has introduced a graphene polymer battery that could allow electric vehicles to have a maximum range of a staggering 800 kilometers (497 miles). The battery can also be charged in just a few minutes. And it could do more than revolutionize electric cars. The company notes that the battery is designed for a number of uses, and could be put in houses, bicycles, drones, and even pacemakers. Future batteries, coming soon: charge in seconds, last months and power over the air. While smartphones, smarthomes and even smart wearables are growing ever more advanced, they're still limited by power.
The battery hasn't advanced in decades. But we're on the verge of a power revolution. Big technology companies, and now car companies that are making electric vehicles, are all too aware of the limitations of current lithium-ion batteries. While chips and operating systems are becoming more efficient to save power we're still only look at a day or two of use on a smartphone before having to recharge. That's why universities are getting involved. Boosting the efficiency of solar panels. A UConn researcher has developed a light-harvesting antenna that could double the efficiency of existing solar cell panels and make them cheaper to build.
Professor Challa V. Kumar, who holds appointments in the departments of Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, and the Institute of Materials Science, and his team have created a gel that enhances the ability of solar cells to absorb energy from sunlight. Solar Cells Made Obsolete. Revolutionary new solar windows can generate 50 times more energy than conventional photovoltaics. We’ve seen several transparent solar cell concepts on Inhabitat, but perhaps none with such ambitious claims as those made by SolarWindow Technologies.
In a webinar today, the Maryland-based startup announced that their revolutionary power generating windows, which they say can generate 50 times more power than conventional solar panels per building, would soon hit the market. Unlike traditional and opaque PV technology, SolarWindow can be readily applied as a coating to any glass window or plastic surface and instantly generate electricity, even in artificial light and shade. The company claims that the SolarWindow technology can produce more power at a lower cost and offers an incredibly fast ROI of just one year.
That’s incredible, considering that conventional solar systems require at least 5 to 11 years for payback. Related: Crystal Clear Solar Panels Could Turn Your iPhone Into an Energy Generator. Forgetful scientists accidentally quadruple lithium-ion battery lifespan. Until someone figures out a replacement for lithium-ion in rechargeable batteries, research will continue into how to cram more energy inside as well as extending their useful lifespan.
Two scientists believe they have managed to extend the life of such batteries significantly, and all because of an accident in the lab. Today’s lithium-ion batteries typically rely on graphite anodes to offer a long lifespan. Rechargeable battery performance declines and eventually falls off a cliff (becomes unusable) due to those anodes repeatedly expanding and contracting as lithium ions migrate during the cycle of charging and discharge. Lithium compounds build up on the electrodes during this process then break off during the expansion and contraction.
This exposes the surface of the electrode and over time decomposes it to the point of failure. A battery that charges in 6 minutes? MIT breakthrough could power smartphones of the future. Everyone wants their smartphone battery to last longer.
And new research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) could help make it possible. A team of scientists have created what they call a "yolk and shell" invention and reckon it could charge from zero to full in only six minutes. What's more, the new technology could hold three times' the capacity of the lithium ion batteries in current smartphones and tablets. Meaning you could go for over two days without charging your phone. The new battery uses nanoparticles to help a titanium dioxide "shell" and aluminium "yolk" (anode) expand and contract without degrading over time.
At the moment, current batteries will expand and contract as soon as they leave the factory. Star Wars' Moisture Farming Tech Won't Save California. In Star Wars, Luke Skywalkers's aunt and uncle work as "moisture farmers" on the desert planet Tatooine, extracting water from the air with technology.
"Moisture farming" tech is in use on planet Earth. But while that may seem an appealing fix to water-starved California, experts say a far better creative solution may lie in leveraging other technology that reduces water use and cleans and reuses wastewater. Future Eco Towers Scrub Smog From Paris Air Moisture farming extracts water from the atmosphere, most often by refrigerating air so that the water condenses out. Companies like Aqua Sciences and PlanetsWater build and sell water-from-air units of all sizes that only need electricity to start capturing water from the atmosphere. There are also fog nets and research into bio-inspired technology that captures moisture from the air the way some plants do.
But in the arid West, there often isn't a lot of water in the air, except for places were fog rolls inland, like San Francisco. Energy Recovery from Waste Nitrogen via N2O Decomposition. A major goal of wastewater treatment is net energy neutral or net energy producing treatment processes that remove oxygen depleting forms of carbon and nitrogen.
While the treatment of waste carbon via processes such as anaerobic digestion or gasification enable energy recovery, the treatment of waste nitrogen requires energy inputs. My research at Stanford has focused on the development of a a new wastewater treatment process that recovers energy from waste nitrogen by converting reactive nitrogen (i.e. ammonia) to nitrogen gas via a nitrous oxide intermediate. This process is termed the Coupled Aerobic-anoxic Nitrous Decomposition Operation (CANDO) and involves 3 steps: (1) oxidation of ammonia to nitrite, (2) reduction of nitrite to nitrous oxide, (3) decomposition/combustion of nitrous oxide to nitrogen and oxygen gas with energy recovery. Mercedes-Benz takes on Tesla with a home battery of its own. Efficiency record for black silicon solar cells jumps to 22.1 percent. The researchers from Finland's Aalto University and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya have obtained the record-breaking efficiency of 22.1% on nanostructured silicon solar cells as certified by Fraunhofer ISE CalLab.
An almost 4% absolute increase to their previous record is achieved by applying a thin passivating film on the nanostructures by Atomic Layer Deposition, and by integrating all metal contacts on the back side of the cell. The surface recombination has long been the bottleneck of black silicon solar cells and has so far limited the cell efficiencies to only modest values.
The new record cells consists of a thick back-contacted structure that is known to be highly sensitive to the front surface recombination. The certified external quantum efficiency of 96% at 300nm wavelength demonstrates that the increased surface recombination problem no longer exists and for the first time the black silicon is not limiting the final energy conversion efficiency. Solar Energy. Vortex .Bladeless Wind Generator. The Future of Wind Turbines? No Blades. It’s no longer surprising to encounter 100-foot pinwheels spinning in the breeze as you drive down the highway.
But don’t get too comfortable with that view. A Spanish company called Vortex Bladeless is proposing a radical new way to generate wind energy that will once again upend what you see outside your car window. Their idea is the Vortex, a bladeless wind turbine that looks like a giant rolled joint shooting into the sky. The Vortex has the same goals as conventional wind turbines: To turn breezes into kinetic energy that can be used as electricity.
Steorn's Orbo. How Sustainable is Stored Sunlight? Picture: Tesla's lithium-ion home storage system. In the previous article, we have seen that many life cycle analyses (LCAs) of solar PV systems have a positive bias. Most LCAs base their studies on the manufacturing of solar cells in Europe or the USA. However, most panels are now produced in China, where the electric grid is about twice as carbon-intensive and about 50% less energy efficient.  Likewise, most LCAs investigate solar PV systems in regions with a solar insolation typical of the Mediterranean region, while the majority of solar panels have been installed in places with only half as much sunshine. New Solar Battery Could Generate Cheaper Clean Energy. A new kind of solar cell could store electrical energy without any help from traditional batteries, according to a new study.
Researchers at Ohio State University, in Columbus, have developed what they're calling the world's first solar battery — a hybrid device that combines the energy-capturing abilities of a solar cell with the energy-storing capabilities of a battery. The new cell could lower the cost of harvesting renewable energy from the sun by as much as 25 percent, according to the researchers. [Top 10 Craziest Environmental Ideas] Printing silicon on paper with lasers. Silicon printed on paper (credit: M. Trifunovic et al. /Applied Physics Letters) Researchers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have pioneered a method that allows silicon, in the polycrystalline form used in circuitry, to be produced directly on a substrate from liquid silicon ink with a single laser pulse.
The capacity for printing silicon ink onto substrates has existed for some time, but necessitated a 350° C thermal annealing step — far too hot for paper and other common surfaces. The researcher’s new method bypasses this step, transforming the liquid silicon directly into polysilicon. They discuss their research in Applied Physics Letters. Energy. Dr. Richard Lunt. Scientists are turning salt water into drinking water using solar power. By inexpensively turning salt water into drinking water using sustainable solar power, a team from MIT in the US has not only come up with a portable desalination system for use anywhere in the world that needs it, but it’s just won the 2015 Desal Prize - a competition run by USAID to encourage better solutions to water shortages in developing countries.
In order to win the $140,000 prize, entries had to demonstrate how their invention not only works well, but is cost-effective, environmentally sustainable, and energy efficient. And the MIT researchers teamed up with US-based manufacturing company, Jain Irrigation Systems, to do just that. The team’s invention works by using solar panels to charge a cache of batteries that power an electrodialysis machine that removes salt from the water and makes it perfectly drinkable. David L. Tesla Motors to Unveil Home and Utility Batteries April 30. Tesla Motors Inc. will announce a home battery and a “very large” utility-scale battery on April 30, according to an e-mail sent to investors and analysts. The e-mail Tuesday from Jeffrey Evanson, Tesla’s head of investor relations, said the company “will explain the advantages of our solutions and why past battery options were not compelling.” Khobi Brooklyn, a Tesla spokeswoman, said that “we’ll share more information next week,” without confirming the e-mail.
Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk had tweeted on March 30 that Tesla would announce a “major new product line -- not a car -- will be unveiled” on April 30 at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California. The maker of luxury electric cars is using its lithium-ion battery technology to position itself as a front-runner in the emerging market for energy storage that supplements, and may ultimately threaten, the traditional electric grid.
IBM Solar Collector Magnifies Sun By 2000X – These Could Provide Power To The Entire Planet. Silent rooftop wind turbines could generate half of a household's energy needs. Solar power will soon be as cheap as coal. Aluminium batteri varsler revolution - Nyheder - EDBpriser. Vi har efterhånden hørt det nogle gange, at NU kommer det revolutionerende batteri, der gør de timelange opladninger for vores mobiler og tablets overflødige, men der er stadig ikke kommet et nyt batteri på markedet til vores mobile enheder. New aluminum air battery could blow past lithium-ion, runs on water. IBM solar collector magnifies sun by 2,000x (without cooking itself), costs 3x less than similar systems.