Siemens and AES start new energy storage company to rival Tesla

July 13, 2017 by  
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Tesla’s no longer the only big company in the energy storage game. Back in April, Mercedes-Benz started to deliver home energy storage units in Germany, and now technology giants Siemens and AES are creating a new energy storage company, Fluence . The venture could reach consumers in more than 160 countries. AES and Siemens intend to draw on their knowledge of the power industry to offer energy storage technology in Fluence. Although the new venture will operate independently of its parent companies, according to a press release, it will draw on technology both have developed, like the AES Advancion and Siemens Siestorage technologies. AES CEO Adrés Gluski said of the move, “This will accelerate the integration of renewables into the energy network of tomorrow.” Related: New on-demand energy system generates and stores power in one device In combination, the two companies have either deployed or been awarded 48 projects in 13 countries to install 463 megawatts of battery-based energy storage . AES has been deploying energy storage systems for 10 years, in seven countries. Siemens has been around for much longer. The company was founded in 1847 and boasts a sales presence in over 160 countries. Which means Fluence stands to do well, on a global level. According to the press release, “The company will empower customers around the world to better navigate the fragmented but rapidly growing energy storage sector and meet their pressing needs for scalable, flexible, and cost-competitive energy storage solutions.” And the energy storage market is growing at a steady pace. According to IHS Markit , the sector could expand from three gigawatts (GW) in installed capacity in 2016 to 28 GW just around six years later, in 2022. That’s enough power to run roughly 18.6 million households. The companies expect after regulatory approvals, the transaction will close later in 2017. + Fluence Via Siemens and AES Images via AES Energy Storage on Twitter and Siemens

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Siemens and AES start new energy storage company to rival Tesla

World’s largest mural unveiled in Russia

July 13, 2017 by  
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Moscow-based creative art association, Artmossphere has just unveiled what looks to be the world’s largest mural. Painted by legendary Russian urban artist, Misha Most , the elaborate art piece called Evolution-2 spans a whopping 10,800 square meters on the side of an old industrial complex in the Russian town of Vyksa. Working with five assistants, Most took 35 days to paint the large mural onto the expansive wall of the Vyksa metallurgical plant. The work took 35 days and was recently unveiled at the Art Ovrag festival . The project was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the United Metallurgical Company (OMK) and the 260th anniversary of the Vyksa metallurgical plant. Related: This massive 11-story mural in Chile celebrates treehuggers Most says he found inspiration in science fiction tales from the 60s and 70s that envisioned life in the future, “The future is traditionally associated with certain changes: in society, in individual person changes, in personal psychology and physiology, in relationships, environment and nature. The essential graphic element of the project is a scientist, a robotized man, a human-like android, as well as the elements of Chemistry, Physics and other sciences. I tend to visualize the thoughts in the investigator’s head.” Although the Guinness World Records are reportedly considering the inclusion of Most’s work for the world record of largest mural painted by one artist, it has not been made official yet. + Misha Most + Artmossphere + Art Ovrag Photography via Artmossphere

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World’s largest mural unveiled in Russia

New stacked solar cell absorbs energy from almost the entire solar spectrum

July 13, 2017 by  
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Most traditional solar cells aren’t able to convert long-wavelength photons into electricity . A team of researchers led by Matthew Lumb at The George Washington University is hoping to change that in order to capture more power. They’ve designed a solar cell that can harvest just about all of the energy in the solar spectrum – and could become the world’s most efficient solar cell with an efficiency of 44.5 percent. The scientists created a prototype of their solar cell that differs from most others: they stacked multiple solar cells to create a single device that can capture nearly all the solar spectrum’s energy. And as opposed to the solar panels that adorn many rooftops , this new solar cell utilizes concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) panels that concentrate sunlight onto micro-scale cells using lenses. Related: SunPower nabs record for world’s most efficient rooftop solar panel The cell works something like a sieve for sunlight, as each layer absorbs a certain set of wavelengths, to capture nearly half of available energy – most traditional cells only capture around one quarter. Efficiency is one of the main goals of any researcher working on solar cells, and these scientists obtained what could be the highest efficiency in the world using materials based on gallium antimonide (GaSb) substrates. A technique called transfer-printing allows the tiny cells to be constructed with great precision. But this groundbreaking solar cell wasn’t cheap. Still, though the materials utilized were expensive, the scientists think the technique to build the cells is promising to show how efficient a solar cell could be. In the future they think a similar product could hit markets “enabled by cost reductions from very high solar concentration levels and technology to recycle the expensive growth susbtrates.” The journal Advanced Energy Materials published the research this week. 12 scientists from the United States Naval Research Laboratory and other American institutions collaborated with Lumb on the paper. Via Newswise Images via Matthew Lumb and Pixabay

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New stacked solar cell absorbs energy from almost the entire solar spectrum

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