UMD scientists invent new water-based battery that won’t catch fire

April 16, 2018 by  
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Researchers at the University of Maryland have invented a new  water -based zinc battery that is safer than a traditional lithium-ion battery, but which doesn’t sacrifice power or usability. The team utilized elements of older zinc battery technology with novel water-in- salt electrolytes to create a battery that is not prone to catching fire. “Water-based batteries could be crucial to preventing fires in electronics, but their energy storage and capacity have been limited – until now,” said study first author Fei Wang in a statement . “For the first time, we have a battery that could compete with the lithium-ion batteries in energy density, but without the risk of explosion or fire.” Their work was recently published in the journal Nature Materials . One of the new battery ‘s improvements over traditional batteries is its ability to overcome irreversibility, the phenomenon in which the charge delivered by the battery at its intended voltage decreases with usage, through a technique that changes the structure of the positively charged zinc ions within the battery. In addition to the battery’s application in consumer goods, it also could prove invaluable in extreme conditions such as the deep  ocean or outer space. Related: California’s desert battery could be three times the size of Tesla’s The saline aqueous nature of the zinc battery eliminates the need to replace evaporated water within the battery, a key challenge of traditional zinc batteries. “Existing zinc batteries are safe and relatively inexpensive to produce, but they aren’t perfect due to poor cycle life and low energy density,” said study co-author Chunsheng Wang in a statement . “We overcome these challenges by using a water-in-salt electrolyte.” The researchers believe that their invention and related discoveries could be applicable to a wide variety of energy technologies. “The significant discovery made in this work has touched the core problem of aqueous zinc batteries,” said study co-author Kang Xu in a statement , “and could impact other aqueous or non-aqueous multivalence cation chemistries that face similar challenges, such as magnesium and aluminum batteries.” + Nature Materials Via  TechXplore Images via John T. Consoli/University of Maryland

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UMD scientists invent new water-based battery that won’t catch fire

Chile’s rustic Casa Pollo is made from recycled zinc plates and reclaimed wood

February 1, 2018 by  
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This quirky home in Chile adapts to the terrain to provide expansive views of a beautiful estuary on Chiloe Island. Ortuzar Gebauer Arquitectos wrapped Casa Pollo with reclaimed zinc plates, evoking the aesthetic of old warehouses in Chiloé. The house is composed of spacious areas that can accommodate large groups of people. These spaces are well connected with the outdoors, and a large timber deck that offers views of the canal. From the mainland, the house appears hermetic and opaque, referencing old Chiloé barns and warehouses . However the façade facing the canal is open and features large glazed surfaces. Related: Minimalist timber CML House in Chile features a unique pinwheel layout Reused native woods dominate the interior, creating a feeling of warmth and protection from the elements. The roof forms a sheltered area on the terrace to allow the occupants to fully enjoy an indoor-outdoor lifestyle. + Ortuzar Gebauer Arquitectos Via Archdaily Photos by Federico Cairoli

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Chile’s rustic Casa Pollo is made from recycled zinc plates and reclaimed wood

Detox your troubles away in this new public sauna built of natural materials

June 5, 2017 by  
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Helsinkians and visitors take note—a beautiful new public sauna has popped up on a tiny island in the Finnish capital. Architecture firm OOPEAA designed the recently opened Lonna Sauna, a contemporary building constructed solely of natural materials. Built on a former military outpost in front of Helsinki’s city center, the timber sauna is an easily accessible escape that promises tranquility with a view. Commissioned by the Governing Body of Suomenlinna , the Lonna Sauna on Lonna island is one of several initiatives transforming the former sea fortress islands into recreational destinations. Accessible via a short waterbus ride from the city’s harbors, the new 190-square-meter sauna sits on the island’s southeast tip near six heritage-listed buildings that date back to Russian rule of the island in the 19th century. The wood-heated sauna was built as a continuation of Finland’s tradition of public saunas—a dwindling culture seeing recent renewed interest—with a modern twist. The log cabin -like building is constructed of handcrafted wooden logs left untreated and topped with a sculptural pitched roof clad in zinc . Related: Gorgeous year-round bath house in Sweden soaks up the winter sun “The skillful use of larch in the furnishings and the large windows opening a view from the sauna loft into the archipelago create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere,” wrote OOPEAA. “The unique natural features of the Lonna island create a special and authentic atmosphere adding a new aspect to the experience of an urban public sauna. It brings together the calming and peaceful experience of the sauna ritual and the social aspect of the public sauna as a gathering place for people.” The Lonna Sauna is open daily from 2PM to 7PM throughout the summer. + OOPEAA Via Dezeen Images via OOPEAA and Lonna Sauna

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Detox your troubles away in this new public sauna built of natural materials

Handcrafted timber pavilion celebrates British and Japanese craft traditions

July 22, 2016 by  
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Completed as part of the Kingston University Degree Show 2016, the Seminar House Pavilion combines traditional craftsmanship found in British and Japanese culture. The students drew inspiration from their study abroad trip to Nagano and Tokyo , where they toured a variety of Japanese buildings , from a 16th century timber castle to a self-built concrete house. Fujimori also gave talks on the “Red School,” a term he coined to describe a group of Japanese architects recognized for the handmade aspects of their buildings. Related: Terunobu Fujimori’s Otherworldly Tree Houses Defy the Laws of Gravity The top-heavy Seminar House Pavilion comprises three tiers, each clad in different materials and partially constructed of recycled materials from the 2015 pavilion. Four zinc -clad “legs” support a middle section covered in around 1,000 sweet chestnut shingles. The topmost section is clad in Yakisugi, or Shou-Sugi-Ban, a type of burnt cedar wood commonly used in Japan for siding and decking projects. Students created the cladding materials in a series of workshops. Visitors can access the pavilion’s different levels via wooden ladders. The project will be open to the public during museum hours from summer to autumn. + Kingston University + Dorich House Museum Via Dezeen

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Handcrafted timber pavilion celebrates British and Japanese craft traditions

Amazing dragon-inspired cliff house in Spain uses the Earth to stay cool

March 14, 2016 by  
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Prefab solar-powered home is a modern take on the traditional Slovenian farmhouse

May 18, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Prefab solar-powered home is a modern take on the traditional Slovenian farmhouse Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: contemporary farmhouse , louvers , modern farmhouse , passive solar principles , Prefab , prefab home , scapelab , Solar Power , timber louvers , traditional farmhouse , zinc

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Prefab solar-powered home is a modern take on the traditional Slovenian farmhouse

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