Flexible wind turbines are more efficient

February 27, 2017

It has been discovered that if you use flexible blades on a wind turbine it can dramatically increase its efficiency. A small team of researchers with Sorbonne Université and École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers-ParisTech published a paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A, and described their approach and the results they obtained through physical testing of their idea. After many years of research, modern wind turbines…

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New year, new me, new solar panels?

February 27, 2017

In the US, the number of solar panels in residential areas is steadily increasing thanks to photovoltaic systems become cheaper and more powerful for homeowners. A study conducted in 2012 by the US Department of Energy (DOE) predicts that solar could reach 1 million to 3.8 million homes by 2020, a big leap from just 30,000 homes in 2006. But that adoption rate could still use a boost, according to…

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Ultraviolet light used to convert carbon dioxide into fuel

rhodiumimageee
February 23, 2017

Tiny nanoparticles that help convert carbon dioxide into methane using only ultraviolet light as an energy source have developed by researchers at Duke University. Having found a catalyst that can do this important chemistry using ultraviolet light, the team now hopes to develop a version that would run on natural sunlight, a potential boon to alternative energy. Chemists have long sought an efficient, light-driven catalyst to power this reaction, which…

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Solar energy collecting windows in sight

The dream of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy has been brought one step closer to reality thanks to high tech silicon nanoparticles and the researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Milano-Bicocca. The researchers developed technology to embed the silicon nanoparticles into what they call efficient luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs). These LSCs are the key element of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy. When light…

February 22, 2017
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Redox flow batteries for renewable energy 1,000 times more stable

chemistsimpr
February 21, 2017

Solar utilities need a way to store extra charge for a rainy day. The same goes for wind power facilities, since the wind doesn’t always blow. To take full advantage of renewable energy, electrical grids need large batteries that can store the power coming from wind and solar installations until it is needed. Some of the current technologies that are potentially very appealing for the electrical grid are inefficient and…

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Ponds to accelerate climate change with methane

pondsimageee
February 21, 2017

By reducing the amount of carbon dioxide stored in ponds and increasing the methane they release, new research shows that rising temperatures could accelerate climate change. The scientists experimentally warmed an array of ponds over seven years by 4-5°C and studied the impacts on greenhouse gas emissions and rates of metabolism. Changes observed after the first year became “amplified” over a longer period, according to the study by the University…

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Hydronium-ion battery holds promise for sustainable energy storage

Developed by scientists at Oregon State University, a new hydronium-ion battery shows promise for sustainable, high-power energy storage. It’s the world’s first battery to use only hydronium ions as the charge carrier. The new battery provides an additional option for researchers, particularly in the area of stationary storage. Stationary storage refers to batteries in a permanent location that store grid power – including power generated from alternative energy sources such…

February 21, 2017
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Boat to produce hydrogen from the ocean for clean energy storage

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February 21, 2017

In a bid to prove the effectiveness of hydrogen as a renewable fuel, Victorien Erussard and Jérôme Delafosse will sail around a world in a boat powered by the gas – made from the elements they encounter on the way. “The problem is that 95 per cent of the hydrogen that you use already is made out of fossil energies,” says Delafosse. “We will produce hydrogen onboard from the ocean, we…

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Moving data with light to save electricity

opticalchipimageee
February 21, 2017

At current rates of increase, computers’ energy requirements will exceed the world’s total power output by 2040, the Semiconductor Industry Association has estimated. Using light rather than electricity to move data would dramatically reduce computer chips’ energy consumption, and the past 20 years have seen remarkable progress in the development of silicon photonics, or optical devices that are made from silicon so they can easily be integrated with electronics on…

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Automated system detected cracks in nuclear power plants

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February 20, 2017

Shown to be more accurate than other automated systems, a new automated system detects cracks in the steel components of nuclear power plants has been developed. “Periodic inspection of the components of nuclear power plants is important to avoid accidents and ensure safe operation,” said Mohammad R. Jahanshahi, an assistant professor in Purdue University’s Lyles School of Civil Engineering. “However, current inspection practices are time consuming, tedious and subjective because they…

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