Archive for the ‘energy’ category

Mar 13, 2024

Giant ‘sand battery’ holds a week’s heat for a whole town

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

A new industrial-scale ‘sand battery’ has been announced for Finland, which packs 1 MW of power and a capacity of up to 100 MWh of thermal energy for use during those cold polar winters. The new battery will be about 10 times bigger than a pilot plant that’s been running since 2022.

The sand battery, developed by Polar Night Energy, is a clever concept. Basically, it’s a big steel silo of sand (or a similar solid material) that’s warmed up through a heat exchanger buried in the center, using excess electricity from the grid – say, that generated during a spike from renewable sources, when it’s cheap.

That energy can then be stored for months at a time, with reportedly very little loss, before being extracted as heat on demand. This could theoretically be converted back into electricity, although with some energy loss. But Polar Night says that the most efficient method is to just use the heat itself.

Mar 12, 2024

Scientists Uncover Atomic Secrets of Photosynthesis

Posted by in categories: energy, food

The mysteries of photosynthesis have been unveiled at the atomic level, providing significant new insights into this plant super-power that transformed the Earth into a green landscape over a billion years ago.

John Innes Centre researchers used an advanced microscopy method called cryo-EM to explore how the photosynthetic proteins are made.

The study, published in Cell, presents a model and resources to stimulate further fundamental discoveries in this field and assist longer-term goals of developing more resilient crops.

Mar 10, 2024

World’s largest sand battery set to slash emissions in Finnish town

Posted by in categories: energy, information science

Having refined its charging algorithms, Polar Night Energy is now ready to scale up the storage tech in Pornainen.

Once completed, the new battery will be integrated with the network of Loviisan Lämpö, the Finnish heating company that supplies district heating in the area.

“Loviisan Lämpö is moving towards more environmentally friendly energy production. With the Sand Battery, we can significantly reduce energy produced by combustion and completely eliminate the use of oil,” says CEO Mikko Paajanen.

Mar 9, 2024

This new Mack MD Electric is a mobile EV charging station

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability, transportation

The benefits of fleet electrification are well-known, but the question of feasibility is still very real in the minds of many heavy fleet managers. To help fleets understand how electric trucks can fit into their operations, Mack Trucks is offering a mobile off-grid charging system.

Mack made the announcement earlier this week at the American Trucking Associations Technology and Maintenance Council Annual Meeting, where they showed off renderings of a Mack MD Electric carrying a “renewable propane” powered generator and 120 kW charger. While somewhat clunky as a concept, it should do a reasonable enough job of pretending to be permanent infrastructure to give a fleet manager a sense of whether or not an electric solution will work for them.

“This system will allow the customer or dealer to charge trucks – whether it’s a demo unit or a multi-unit ride-and-drive event at the dealer – without having charging infrastructure readily available at their site,” says Ryan Saba, energy solutions manager for Mack Trucks. “Mack hopes that this option will help customers more easily experience the benefits of e-mobility and a more sustainable transportation option.”

Mar 9, 2024

Report: US broke clean energy growth record by 12.5% in 2023

Posted by in category: energy

The ACP power annual market reports for 2023 shows a drastic increase in clean energy power prodution in the United States of America.

Mar 9, 2024

Swiss nanotech taps into hidden energy from tap, seawater evaporation

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology

“But in the process, we also made a major finding: that hydrovoltaic devices can operate over a wide range of salinities, contradicting prior understanding that highly purified water was required for best performance.”

The process can generate power around the clock since evaporation occurs at various temperatures and even at night. The process also occurs across humidities, making it suitable for use across the planet, irrespective of location.

Mar 9, 2024

Storm-resistant tech that generates electricity using seawater tested

Posted by in category: energy

The floating energy generator is an ideal energy solution for tropical islands that have conventionally relied on fossil fuels for their energy needs.

Mar 9, 2024

Emissions hit a record high in 2023. Blame hydropower

Posted by in category: energy

Droughts led to a drop in generation from hydroelectric plants, and fossil fuels filled the gap.

Mar 9, 2024

Juno’s Groundbreaking Discovery: Surprising Oxygen Insights From Europa’s Close Flyby

Posted by in categories: energy, space

The ice-covered Jovian moon generates 1,000 tons of oxygen every 24 hours – enough to keep a million humans breathing for a day.

Scientists with NASA ’s Juno mission to Jupiter have calculated the rate of oxygen being produced at the Jovian moon Europa to be substantially less than most previous studies. Published on March 4 in Nature Astronomy, the findings were derived by measuring hydrogen outgassing from the icy moon’s surface using data collected by the spacecraft’s Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JADE) instrument.

The paper’s authors estimate the amount of oxygen produced to be around 26 pounds every second (12 kilograms per second). Previous estimates range from a few pounds to over 2,000 pounds per second (over 1,000 kilograms per second). Scientists believe that some of the oxygen produced in this manner could work its way into the moon’s subsurface ocean as a possible source of metabolic energy.

Mar 9, 2024

Toyota to boost EV battery production with Primearth EV Energy buyout

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

Toyota is boosting its ability to mass-produce “a wide variety” of EV batteries following an agreement with Panasonic to take full control of Primearth EV Energy (PEVE). The move will help Toyota respond to the growing demand for batteries.

The automaker agreed with Panasonic to make Primearth EV Energy a wholly owned subsidiary Tuesday.

Toyota said the acquisition will strengthen its ability to mass produce EV batteries. It is officially scheduled for later this month.

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