The Asian Development Bank and two U.N. agencies launched a hub this week to mobilize investments and innovation to bring clean energy to the Asia Pacific region, where more than 600 million people lack electricity and 1.8 billion use firewood and charcoal at home.
Energy demand is soaring in the region on the back of economic and population growth, and the ADB says that by 2035 developing countries in the region will account for 56 percent of global energy use, up from 34 percent in 2010. They will need more than $200 billion in energy investments by 2030.
EPFL scientists have developed a mathematical model to minimize the infrastructure and operational costs of the TOSA ultra-rapid rechargeable electric bus system.
Are electric buses that recharge themselves at bus stops the future of public transportation? For now they’re part of the arsenal deployed in the name of sustainable mobility. In Geneva, ABB Sécheron and its partners — TPG, SIG and OPI — have just concluded a successful pilot operation of their electric bus system TOSA. Instead of using overhead lines, the buses power up in just 15 seconds at specific stops and at the terminus station. How can this technology that frees trolleybuses from electric wires be integrated into the public transport network? ,br />Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/videos/2014/06/math-helps-keep-cost-electric-buses-down
The energy world is not keeping up with Elon Musk, so he’s trying to take matters into his own hands. Musk, chairman of the solar installer SolarCity, has announced that the company would acquire a solar panel maker and build factories “an order of magnitude” bigger than the plants that currently churn out panels. “If we don’t do this we felt there was a risk of not being able to have the solar panels we need to expand the business in the long term,” Musk said in a conference call.
Musk is also a founder and the CEO of the electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors, which is planning what it calls a “gigafactory” to supply batteries for its cars.In both cases, Musk’s goal is to make sure that the components critical to his vision of the future — electric cars and solar energy — are available and cheap enough to beat fossil fuels.
Washington State Univ. researchers have developed the first fuel cell that can directly convert fuels, such as jet fuel or gasoline, to electricity, providing a dramatically more energy-efficient way to create electric power for planes or cars.
Led by Profs. Su Ha and M. Norton in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, the researchers have published the results of their work in Energy Technology. A second paper on using their fuel cell with gasoline has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Power Sources. The researchers have made coin-sized fuel cells to prove the concept and plan to scale it up.
A new video shows a synthetic opal, which is made using polystyrene spheres surrounded by even tinier polystyrene spheres around 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Harry Beeson, from the Univ. of Cambridge, explains how it’s important to look at nanoscale structures like this to improve the efficiency of solar cells.
“Currently, solar panels are usually built from some form of crystalline silicon, and achieve reasonable power conversion efficiencies. However, this crystalline silicon is relatively expensive to make and is rigid and heavy, reducing the portability of the solar cells. Alternative materials could counter these problems, but for the moment cannot achieve the same efficiency as silicon.
Iberian Peninsula’s Geothermal Power Capable of 5x Current Capacity
The temperature increases by 30 C for every kilometer further underground. This thermal gradient, generated by the flow of heat from the inside of the Earth and the breakdown of radioactive elements in the crust, produces geothermal power. Around 500 power stations around the world already use it to generate electricity, although there are yet to be any in Spain.
However, the subsoil of the Iberian Peninsula has the capacity to produce up to 700 gigawatts if this resource was exploited with enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) at a depth of between three and 10 kilometers, where the temperatures exceed 150 C. This is confirmed in a study that engineers from the Univ. of Valladolid (UVa) have published in the journal Renewable Energy.
Researchers at UC Riverside Bourns College of Engineering have developed a three-dimensional, silicon-decorated, cone-shaped carbon-nanotube cluster architecture for lithium ion battery anodes that could enable charging of portable electronics in 10 minutes, instead of hours.
Lithium ion batteries are the rechargeable battery of choice for portable electronic devices and electric vehicles. But, they present problems. Batteries in electric vehicles are responsible for a significant portion of the vehicle mass. And the size of batteries in portable electronics limits the trend of down-sizing.
New observations by researchers at MIT have revealed the inner workings of a type of electrode widely used in lithium-ion batteries. The new findings explain the unexpectedly high power and long cycle life of such batteries, the researchers say.
The findings appear in a paper in the journal Nano Letters co-authored by MIT postdoc Jun Jie Niu, research scientist Akihiro Kushima, professors Yet-Ming Chiang and Ju Li and three others.
Imagine being able to carry all the juice you needed to power your MP3 player, smartphone and electric car in the fabric of your jacket? Sounds like science fiction, but it may become a reality thanks to breakthrough technology developed at a Univ. of Central Florida research lab.
So far, electrical cables are used only to transmit electricity. However, a nanotechnology scientist and professor, Jayan Thomas, and his Ph.D. student Zenan Yu have developed a way to both transmit and store electricity in a single lightweight copper wire. This video shows Thomas and Yu lighting an LED using energy stored in the outside coatings of an electrical cable.
Electric school buses that feed the power grid could save school districts millions of dollars — and reduce children’s exposure to diesel fumes — based on recent research by the Univ. of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment (CEOE).
A new study examines the cost-effectiveness of electric school buses that discharge their batteries into the electrical grid when not in use and get paid for the service. The technology, called vehicle-to-grid (V2G), was pioneered at UD and is being tested with electric cars in a pilot project.
Scientists Create New Hybrid Energy Transfer System
Scientists from the Univ. of Southampton, in collaboration with the Universities of Sheffield and Crete, have developed a new hybrid energy transfer system that mimics the processes responsible for photosynthesis.
From photosynthesis to respiration, the processes of light absorption and its transfer into energy represent elementary and essential reactions that occur in any biological living system.
Fossil Fuel-free Process Makes Sustainable Biodiesel
A new fuel-cell concept, developed by a Michigan State Univ. researcher, will allow biodiesel plants to eliminate the creation of hazardous wastes while removing their dependence on fossil fuel from their production process.
The platform, which uses microbes to glean ethanol from glycerol and has the added benefit of cleaning up the wastewater, will allow producers to reincorporate the ethanol and the water into the fuel-making process, says Gemma Reguera, MSU microbiologist and one of the co-authors.
Electricity prices are probably on their way up across much of the U.S. as coal-fired plants, the dominant source of cheap power, shut down in response to environmental regulations and economic forces.
New and tighter pollution rules and tough competition from cleaner sources such as natural gas, wind and solar will lead to the closings of dozens of coal-burning plants across 20 states over the next three years. And many of those that stay open will need expensive retrofits.
Vast amounts of excess heat are generated by industrial processes and by electric power plants; researchers around the world have spent decades seeking ways to harness some of this wasted energy. Most such efforts have focused on thermoelectric devices, solid-state materials that can produce electricity from a temperature gradient, but the efficiency of such devices is limited by the availability of materials.
Now, researchers at MIT and Stanford Univ. have found a new alternative for low-temperature waste-heat conversion into electricity — that is, in cases where temperature differences are less than 100 C.
Some of the wind turbines generating electricity on Earth today grew out of technology developed in the 1990s for settlements on Mars.
Back then at NASA’s Ames Research Center, senior research scientist David Bubenheim and his colleagues worked on designing a complete ecological system to sustain astronauts on Mars. To generate electricity for the future Martians, they developed a hybrid concept combining two renewable sources: wind and sun.