Comments Off on 3 reasons to get charged up about energy storage
How did batteries become such a sexy discussion topic among sustainability professionals? Here’s some advice for deciphering the headlines.
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3 reasons to get charged up about energy storage
Comments Off on A new standard for net-zero leases in Boulder
The Rocky Mountain Institute is among the new tenants at an ambitious new development in the Colorado city.
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A new standard for net-zero leases in Boulder
April 7, 2017 by
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Comments Off on Modular Qube Tents snap together to create giant camping forts
The team behind the amazing modular Pod tent has launched an exciting new line of tents that can be connected together to create complex structures in minutes. You can connect Qube tents at every corner to transform a solo camping experience into a communal one. M2C Innovation designed the structures to be tall enough to stand up in and to include solar panels, LED lighting strips and 13,000 Mh battery packs. Qube tents can be set up and packed away in less than 2 minutes. A universal tunnel attached to each side of the tent allows you to create bespoke configurations for a larger group of campers . A black lining prevents the sun blaring through the heavy duty 300D nylon material manufactured to withstand heavy rainfall. A removable ground sheet means you can have extra comfort underfoot and makes the tent easier to clean when you pack it away. Related: Lightning-proof Bolt tents will keep you safe in a storm A solar panel simply unfolds and slips into the pocket behind the window and plugs directly into the battery pack to store free energy. The battery pack can then be used to charge your smart phone or smart device– anything with a USB connection– or it can be used to power a LED lighting strip that offers a soft lighting inside the tent. The battery stores enough energy for charging devices to full power 5-6 times from one stored charge. + M2C Innovation + Qube Tents Indiegogo
Comments Off on American fern inspires groundbreaking new solar storage solution
Energy storage has been a leading obstacle to widespread adoption of solar energy , but that may be about to change. A new nature-inspired electrode developed by two scientists at RMIT University in Australia could hold the key to drastically improved storage. Their electrode, which is based on patterns in the western swordfern, could boost the capacity of storage technologies by a staggering 3,000 percent. The groundbreaking electrode is made with graphene , and according to the university, could open the door to flexible, thin solar capture and storage technology. This would allow us to place a thin film on smartphones, cars, or buildings – enabling them to power themselves with solar energy. Related: Pocket-sized HeLi-on charger uses flexible, printed solar cells to power your phone The two researchers found inspiration for their prototype in the veins of the Polystichum munitum , a native western North American fern. Researcher Min Gu said in a statement, “The leaves of the western swordfern are densely crammed with veins, making them extremely efficient for storing energy and transporting water around the plant. Our electrode is based on these fractal shapes – which are self-replicating, like the mini structures within snowflakes – and we’ve used this naturally efficient design to improve solar energy storage at a nano level.” The electrode could be combined with supercapacitors , which have been combined with solar already but haven’t been widely utilized for storage due to limited capacity. But the scientists’ prototype can increase their capacity 30 times greater than current limits, according to Gu. The journal Scientific Reports published the research online the end of March. Paper lead author Litty Thekkekara said by using their electrode with a solar cell, we could develop flexible thin film solar, replacing the rigid, bulky solar cells that are limited in use. Smartphone batteries would become a thing of the past, and hybrid cars wouldn’t need charging stations, if scientists could build on this research to develop thin film solar. Via RMIT University Images via RMIT University
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American fern inspires groundbreaking new solar storage solution
Comments Off on How energy-data-as-a-service is enabling innovation
Energy is now a resource that can be optimized with enterprise benefit. Energy companies are taking lessons from tech to offer energy-as-a-service.
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How energy-data-as-a-service is enabling innovation
Comments Off on 8 innovations that will electrify 2017
Distributed energy resource (DER) valuation, electric vehicles and alternative capital planning are front of mind for grid innovators.
8 innovations that will electrify 2017
Comments Off on MIT’s new carbon-free supercapacitor could revolutionize the way we store power
Finding ways to store clean energy is one of the largest challenges green entrepreneurs and innovators face today. A team led by MIT researchers developed a new supercapacitor that could revolutionize the way electric vehicles , for example, store power. The MIT supercapacitor, made without conducive carbon , even has the potential to ” deliver more power .” Past supercapacitors were all made with carbon, which required “high temperatures and harsh chemicals to produce,” according to MIT News. The main innovation by the team of five MIT scientists and one Argonne National Laboratory scientist is the use of new materials, metal organic frameworks (MOFs). It was thought MOFs couldn’t conduct electricity , but the team discovered “highly electrically conducive MOFs” in the lab. Related: New graphene super batteries charge up in seconds and last virtually forever MOFs that can conduct electricity are beneficial for supercapacitors because they have an “extraordinarily large surface area for their size,” more than carbon materials possess. As supercapacitor performance is dependent on surface area, electrically conducive MOFs could be the perfect material to utilize in such devices. Plus, MOFs “can be made under much less harsh conditions” than carbon. This research is important because it could allow electric vehicles, for example, to be even more environmentally friendly and receive more power. The MIT team says their supercapacitors could also be used for grid-scale storage and “could play an important role in making renewable energy sources practical for widespread deployment.” The MIT supercapacitors stand up well against existing capacitors in several areas, such as how many “charge/discharge cycles” they can go through: they lost not even 10 percent performance “after 10,000 cycles,” a statistic similar to existing supercapacitors. The journal Nature Materials published the team’s research online this week. Chemistry professor at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium described the MIT research as “very significant, from both a scientific and applications point of view.” MOFs have many other potential applications, such as in self-shading windows . Via MIT News and ZDNet Images via Melanie Gonick/MIT and Paul Wilkinson on Flickr
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MIT’s new carbon-free supercapacitor could revolutionize the way we store power
Comments Off on Electricity industry sparks with disruptive change
In dozens of conversations about electric power generation and delivery at the VERGE 16 convergence, it’s clear this century old industry is in the midst of disruptive transformation.
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Electricity industry sparks with disruptive change
Comments Off on Silicon Valley conference and expo first to utilize 100% renewably powered microgrid
VERGE microgrid to showcase the combined power of solar, wind, biomass and energy storage technologies available today.
August 3, 2016 by
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Comments Off on Canadian chemists use vitamins in new sustainable lithium battery
Chemists at the University of Toronto have developed a new battery that stores energy in a cathode derived from vitamins . The breakthrough could eventually lead to batteries that are much cheaper and more environmentally friendly than regular lithium-based batteries, but with similar performance. This development marks the first time a bio-derived polymer has been successfully applied to battery technology, an accomplishment that could unlock a new path for the future of energy storage . Flavin derived from vitamin B2 operates as the cathode in the new battery , which is the part where energy is stored when the battery is connected to an electronic device. Looking to nature for solutions, a design approach called biomimicry made a lot of sense to the research team as they sought to build a better battery. “We’ve been looking to nature for a while to find complex molecules for use in a number of consumer electronics applications,” said Dwight Seferos, an associate professor in the university’s Department of Chemistry and Canada Research Chair in Polymer Nanotechnology. Related: Researchers accidentally discover a way to make batteries last basically forever The result is an environmentally friendly battery that is also easier to make than typical lithium ion batteries. “When you take something made by nature that is already complex, you end up spending less time making new material,” Seferos added. After much trial and error, and many failures, the team of chemists successfully created a new material from vitamin B2 that begins with genetically-modified fungi and, through a semi-synthetic process, links two flavin units to create a long-chain molecule (in other words, a polymer). The bio-derived polymer makes it possible to create a truly green battery that has both high capacity and high voltage, which are both key elements to running all the portable electronic devices that modern life has come to rely upon. The research was published in this month’s edition of the journal Advanced Functional Materials. Via Phys.org Images via Diana Tyszko/University of Toronto and Shutterstock
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Canadian chemists use vitamins in new sustainable lithium battery