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

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…


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

Storing solar power increases energy consumption

January 31, 2017

According to research from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, homes with solar panels do not require on-site storage to reap the biggest economic and environmental benefits of solar energy. In fact, storing solar energy for nighttime use actually increases both energy consumption and emissions compared with sending excess solar energy directly to the utility grid. In a paper published in Nature Energy on…


Capturing carbon dioxide emissions and saving energy

January 30, 2017

The need to generate more electrical power can lead in two directions, and both exact huge costs. Power plants can continue to release high levels of the greenhouse gas, or they can adopt ‘carbon capture’ technologies to trap and sequester some of the CO2 from emissions—but at great expense. Hundreds—perhaps thousands—of university and commercial research centers test new materials and novel engineering schemes to more efficiently snare CO2 before it…


Electron microscopy study to understand energy storage

January 19, 2017

Researchers in the Dionne lab camped out with one of the most advanced microscopes in the world to capture an unimaginably small reaction, in a lab 18ft below the Engineering Quad of Stanford University. The lab members conducted arduous experiments – sometimes requiring a continuous 30 hours of work – to capture real-time, dynamic visualizations of atoms that could someday help our phone batteries last longer and our electric vehicles go…


The bigger, the better, for solar power storage

December 20, 2016

It would be a lot easier to expand our use of solar and wind energy if we had better ways to store the large quantities of electricity we’d need to cover gaps in the flow of that energy. Even in sunny Los Angeles, a typical house roofed with enough photovoltaic panels to meet its average needs would still face daily shortfalls of up to about 80% of the demand in…


Turning renewable energy into natural gas

December 2, 2016

For wider adoption of wind and solar power, one of the biggest challenges is how to store the excess energy they often produce. A technology developed at the University of Chicago, and now being commercialized by a University startup, is addressing the intermittent nature of these renewable sources. It uses a selectively evolved, unicellular microorganism that helps convert electricity into methane gas. That gas can be stored, transported and used…


Tesla’s SolarCity sets example for the world

November 28, 2016

To celebrate its $2.6bn acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla has announced a major solar energy project: wiring up the whole island of Ta’u in American Samoa. Previously, the island ran on diesel generators, but over the past year Tesla has installed a microgrid of solar energy panels and batteries that will supply “nearly 100 percent” of power needs for Ta’u’s 600 residents. The project seems intended to show off the potential…


Glow-in-the-dark dye fueling our future

November 18, 2016

If someone came up with the idea of a glow-in-the-dark dye being the next advancement in energy storage technology, the scientists at the University of Buffalo would be on board. And in fact they are. A fluorescent dye called BODIPY has been identified by researchers as a material for stockpiling energy in rechargeable, liquid-based batteries that could one day power cars and homes. But the traits that facilitate energy storage…


‘Back to the Future’ inspired solar-powered clothing

November 15, 2016

A UCF scientist has developed filaments that harvest and store the sun’s energy – and can be woven into textiles, after being inspired by Marty McFly’s self-lacing Nikes in Back to the Future Part II. The breakthrough would essentially turn jackets and other clothing into wearable, solar-powered batteries that never need to be plugged in. It could one day revolutionize wearable technology, helping everyone from soldiers who now carry heavy…