MIT battery that inhales and exhales air can store power for months

October 12, 2017 by  
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Could this air-breathing battery help solve energy storage woes? 10 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers developed the battery capable of storing electricity for months for around one fifth of the cost of comparable technologies. MIT professor Yet-Ming Chiang said, “This battery literally inhales and exhales air , but it doesn’t exhale carbon dioxide , like humans – it exhales oxygen .” MIT says their air-breathing battery could help renewable energy , like solar and wind, be more practicable for the grid . Their rechargeable flow battery costs a fraction of current technology, and can store power for long periods of time, with zero emissions and few location restraints. Related: Former Tesla executives to produce battery “with significantly lower carbon footprint” Sulfur dissolved in water comprises the battery’s liquid anode. What MIT described as an aerated liquid salt solution in the liquid cathode brings in and lets out oxygen. According to the institute, “Oxygen flowing into the cathode causes the anode to discharge electrons to an external circuit. Oxygen flowing out sends electrons back to the anode, recharging the battery.” The cost of the anode, cathode, and electrode materials in the battery is around 1/30 that of lithium-ion batteries , according to MIT. If the battery system was scaled up, it could store electricity for around $20 to $30 per kilowatt-hour – compare that against today’s batteries, which are around $100 per kilowatt-hour, at least. Right now, the prototype is about as big as a coffee cup. But Chiang said flow batteries are highly scalable. This new technology could compete with pumped hydroelectric storage systems, though, since the MIT system is more compact, it could be deployed in more locations where renewable energy is being generated. As solar and wind energy production can be intermittent, the battery could store the energy they generate to offer a reliable source of power. The journal Joule published the research this week. Via MIT News Images courtesy of the researchers and Felice Frankel

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MIT battery that inhales and exhales air can store power for months

Cover installs its first prefab dwelling for the masses in L.A.

October 12, 2017 by  
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Thoughtful prefabricated design for the masses just moved one big step closer to reality. Tech company Cover just completed and installed its first computer-designed dwelling—and it’s begun taking pre-orders worldwide and delivering in Los Angeles. Cover, which describes their work as “doing for homes what Tesla is doing for the car,” uses proprietary computer algorithms to design beautiful custom spaces crafted to meet the user’s needs and optimized to meet rigorous Passive House standards. Cover is setting out to revolutionize the building industry with its streamlined process that combines precision-made prefabricated panels with proprietary technology. Cover’s computer algorithms create high-quality floor plans customized to the client’s needs as well as property and zoning constraints in as little as three days. The custom-designed units can be built to sizes ranging from 100 to 1,200 square feet and can be used as standalone homes with full kitchens and bathrooms. Energy efficiency is a big component of Cover’s units. Each modular unique dwelling will be built in Cover’s Los Angeles factory to rigorous Passive House standards and boast 80% more energy efficiency than the average home. Floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors let in ample natural light, while the low-slope roof is optimized for photovoltaics . Radiant heating and cooling provide consistent and comfortable temperatures inside the airtight building envelope. Its steel structure is 100% recyclable. Related: Cover’s $50k algorithmic tiny houses are 80% more efficient than conventional homes “Unlike other prefab companies and builders, Cover is a technology company first, armed with a team of full-time software engineers, designers, manufacturing engineers, and architects who have developed technology that streamlines the entire process of designing, buying, permitting, manufacturing and assembling Cover units,” said Alexis Rivas, Co-Founder and CEO of Cover. “We focus on the quality of the spaces and the little details – like the way light reflects off surfaces, how a door handle feels or the framing of the view – to transform the living experience for our customers and ensure a more efficient, smarter, and thoughtful way of living.” The first Cover unit is a 320-square-foot space that will be used as a music studio and office. Cover plans to produce 150 units per year in its Los Angeles factory. + Cover

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Cover installs its first prefab dwelling for the masses in L.A.

Oxford, UK to create first zero-emissions zone in the world

October 12, 2017 by  
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Oxford , England, with its history of learning dating back to the 11th century, is now shifting into the future with an electric-vehicle only zone in the city center. In banning all internal combustion engine vehicles, the city is establishing what it says is the first zero-emissions zone in the world. Starting in 2020, six streets in Oxford’s city center will be free of smaller gas-guzzling vehicles, including buses and taxis. By 2035, the ban will have expanded to all fossil-fuel powered vehicles and will encompass the entire city center. While such a dramatic change in the city center’s urban design may encourage less driving, thus less greenhouse gas emissions, the zone was inspired by a need to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide, most of which comes from car exhaust, by three-fourths. Chronic exposure to nitrogen dioxide can cause respiratory problems and eye irritation. Data from the World Health Organization also indicates that Oxford is one of eleven British cities to exceed the safe limits of toxic particles known as PM10s and PM2.5s. A “step change” is urgently needed to prevent air pollution from “damaging the health” of Oxford residents, said city councilor John Tanner. Related: GM’s plans for “all-electric-future” spell doom for fossil fuel industry The switch-over plan is expected to cost Oxford city government, bus companies, and local businesses approximately £7 million to replace the fossil-fuel consuming vehicles, including all municipal vehicles, with electric vehicles. An additional £7 million will be spent to build compliance infrastructure , such as CCTV cameras with plate number recognition technology. Those who still choose to bring their old fashioned vehicles into the city center after the ban will face a significant fine. To sustain such a project, Oxford would require sustained commitment from local, regional, and perhaps federal government. Via The Guardian Images via  Martijn van Sabben ,  Giuseppe Milo

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Oxford, UK to create first zero-emissions zone in the world

Can a water heater be as sexy as a Tesla?

March 4, 2016 by  
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How grid-interactive water heaters are joining the battery revolution.

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Can a water heater be as sexy as a Tesla?

Wireless Electric Car Charging Closer to Reality

May 26, 2011 by  
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Photo: Volvo 20 kW Induction System Flanders’ Drive, Volvo, Van Hool, Bombardier and others are partnering to work on creating an induction charging system that could allow electric vehicles to be charge quickly and conveniently. Just park over a buried plate and log in the system (unlike in the image above, it’ll probably be done by wireless identification), and voilà! Charging a battery pack of the size fitted to the Volvo C30 Electric(24 kWh), which Volvo will use for testing, is expected to take about an hour and twenty minutes, if the battery is entirely discharged….

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Wireless Electric Car Charging Closer to Reality

You Be The Judge In The Great Prefab Debate

May 26, 2011 by  
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UPDATE: The results are in, at our biggest audience ever for TreeHuggerLive. Our two invited judges, Allison Arieff and Preston Koerner, both went for Michelle Kaufmann and the Affirmative; our Audience went solidly for the Chad Ludeman and the negative

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You Be The Judge In The Great Prefab Debate

Recycled Road Sign Furniture by Boris Bally (Photos)

May 26, 2011 by  
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Photos: courtesy of Boris Bally The orphaned road sign is a common trophy in college dorm rooms, pubs and the like, but Rhode Island-based artist Boris Bally takes it a step further design-wise by converting them into graphically striking furniture pieces. Bally calls his furniture “humanufactured” — meaning that it’s all done by hand — hand-fabricated, pierced, brake-formed and finished. Here’s more of his outstanding furniture and home accessories, all visually surprising and all handcrafted from “the dissected remains of street signs”…

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Recycled Road Sign Furniture by Boris Bally (Photos)

Tesla Roadster Rated at 119 MPGe by U.S. EPA

May 26, 2011 by  
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Image: Tesla But That Number is of Limited Use…

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Tesla Roadster Rated at 119 MPGe by U.S. EPA

Wool Ball Hybrid Humidifier can be powered by your pet

August 31, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Hybrid energy humidifier with an integrated energy generator. The Wool Ball Hybrid is the brainchild of designer Yuan Gu and has been conceptualized to make your living room more comfortable by keeping indoor air humid and clean.

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Wool Ball Hybrid Humidifier can be powered by your pet

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