MIT’s new carbon-free supercapacitor could revolutionize the way we store power

October 13, 2016 by  
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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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Ron Arad Architects unveil designs for Israels tallest skyscraper in Tel Aviv

October 13, 2016 by  
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ToHA was commissioned as a joint venture between two large investment and development companies that procured a coveted 1.8-hectare site in the center of Tel Aviv. The two sculptural towers offer 160,000 square meters of floor space and feature tapered facades partially elevated on legs for a minimal footprint on the ground plane. The glazed and angled facades are carefully oriented to ensure that every desk within the generous office floor-plates have access to natural light . Related: Zaha Hadid unveils sinuous skyscrapers for Australia’s Gold Coast In minimizing the building footprint, the architects open the ground plane up to public plazas and densely planted gardens. Three stories of community facilities within the building and a large roof garden will also be accessible to the public. Construction for phase 1 of ToHA began in 2013 and the project is slated for completion at the end of 2018. + Ron Arad Architects Via Dezeen Images via Ron Arad Architects

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Ron Arad Architects unveil designs for Israels tallest skyscraper in Tel Aviv

Flow Batteries for Household Power Storage

March 31, 2016 by  
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Residential power storage options are starting to get more competitive with a flow battery being introduced to the market in Australia. Flow batteries have been something we’ve looked at for grid-scale storage , and the research into the technology has been making advances. But it has been primarily a utility-scale technology. However, the technology has been developed to suit a smaller scale, and a commercial version of a household-scale flow battery is coming to market in Australia with a 10kWh flow battery called ZCell . The ZCell uses a zinc bromide flow battery developed by the parent company Redflow . The Redflow battery offers several advantages over lithium-ion battery packs, including high temperature tolerance without a need for active cooling; full cycle depth available and no cycle depth limitations; no concern about thermal runaway; and an electrolyte that is also naturally fire retardant. The system has been announced with an installed price of “between $A17,500 and $A19,500 a system” (around 14,000 US dollars or 12,500 Euro). The annual average household energy demand for Australia (in 2010) of 7,227 kWh translates to about 19.8kWh per day, so the ZCell would only account for half of that if it was fully charged and then discharged on a daily basis. However, it is likely that many of the homes and businesses with the greatest interest in the ZCell would be more efficient than average. Local power storage such as the ZCell or the Tesla Powerwall allows direct storage of energy produced by solar panels or other on-site generation when that production exceeds demand, and then allows that stored energy to be used later, when needed. Local power storage can also be used for load-shifting in areas with tiered electricity rates, where higher prices charged for power during peak periods and off-peak periods have lower rates. In cases like that, the battery is charged during less expensive, off-peak times, and then the battery is used instead of the higher-priced grid power for things that need power during the peak periods of the day.

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Flow Batteries for Household Power Storage

Smart home’s solar farm stores excess energy in a battery system rivaling Tesla’s

December 21, 2015 by  
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Abandoned Canadian Open-Pit Mine Could Be Turned Into 400 Megawatt Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Plant

February 21, 2013 by  
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Hydroelectric power can be a very efficient way to produce or augment renewable energy. But if you don’t have a nearby river that’s big enough to dam—that’s where pumped storage comes in. Using the power of gravity and a reversible turbine, Toronto’s Northland power wants to convert an old open-pit iron ore mine in Marmora, Ontario, into a waterfall five times the height of Niagara Falls. Water spilling over the new waterfall could generate 400-megawatts of power and allow customers to take advantage of peak-time power prices when demand is high and local wind turbines typically are less active. Read the rest of Abandoned Canadian Open-Pit Mine Could Be Turned Into 400 Megawatt Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Plant Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “wind power” , canada , hydro power , hydroelectric power , Marmora , Northland Power , Ontario , open pit mine , power storage , pumped storage , wind energy

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Abandoned Canadian Open-Pit Mine Could Be Turned Into 400 Megawatt Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Plant

University of Delaware’s Electric Vehicles Give Power Back to the Grid

March 31, 2010 by  
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Electric vehicles are pretty green in their own right. After all, the cars create zero carbon emissions. But imagine a vehicle that not only runs on electricity, but actually gives power back to the grid

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University of Delaware’s Electric Vehicles Give Power Back to the Grid

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